Flashlight as a weapon? (no not pummeling)

May 22, 1999
I don't know where to post this question since this isn't really considered a martial art weapon. While looking for good Tac Light prices I found this: PlasmaBeam

At the end of the second paragraph it says:
The modulation speed can be "strobed" to turn the light into a tool for incapacitating people. This feature is intended for law enforcement and military only.
Is this possible? Or is this science fiction?

I use Netscape but this webpage is best viewed with MS IE. Watch out for cheesy music in the homepage
That light sounds awesome. I was very interested until I saw the price. I wonder what the lamp life would be?
The lamp sounds like a Xenon flash tube so I would expect it to have a pretty long life.

Certian frequencies of flashing lights can cause an epileptic fit in some people. This light seems to be a strobe that runs at 200 Hz. by adjusting this frequency and the duration of the flashes (PWM) you could produce any signal you wanted. This light is so intense it would probably be very effective.

This light sounds like a gadget used in one of Tom Clancy's novels.
It is a variation of the short arc lamp which means it ignites surrounding gas with an arc of electricity. That is an oversimplification but that is what I remember from the brochure for Cateye Stadium light for mountain bikes. With no filament the life is indefinite.0 Theoretically.

They said it was mentioned in a Tom Clancy novel but didn't say which one.

I've known about this light for a while so when I posted this on the 'other' forum I figure I better read it. Which lead me to my original question, is this a weapon?
I think the book is "Debt of Honor"

If this light performs as they describe it it could knock people unconcious or at least into an epileptic fit. It would definetly blind anyone within a couple of hundred meters. I would say that this would be a very real and effective weapon.
Oops, I didn't read the post. So to all of you who read what I wrote, just forget it.


Civilian "Military" fans unite!!!

[This message has been edited by prigger (edited 08 July 1999).]

[This message has been edited by prigger (edited 08 July 1999).]
I've carried for a long time a 2AA flat flashlight the kind you see at the grocery store near the battery display. It rides in my left hand coat pocket. The idea is when attacked at night, a quick flash in my attackers eyes while I draw my pocket sabre gives me an edge.

Since some of these models sport krypton bulbs, his night vision is gone, I've got the light so my night vision is a non-factor. A sudden bright light is very disconcerting, and we now have shades of dark lantern rapier fighting! All for less than $10. -Brian
I used to work with epileptics. Some kinds of epilepsy can be triggered by a flashing light at certain frequencies; television can occasionally do that when reception is bad. There are a few people in the general population who have that kind of epilepsy and don't know it because they've never been exposed to a flashing light in the right frequency range, so it is possible that such a "weapon" could cause a seizure even in someone who doesn't know he has epilepsy. I don't have statistics at hand, but the number of people who could be affected is very small, far less than 1%. It doesn't even affect many known epileptics.

The mental hospital I used to work at did EEG testing of known epileptics and sometimes when they couldn't see any seizure activity in the brain waves at all they'd try a flashing light to try to induce some. I volunteered for the demonstration when my orientation class visited the EEG room and they shined a flashing light on my closed eyelids while taking an EEG and went through the whole range of frequencies that can trigger seizure activity, with no result of course, so I have no hesitation in offering the Cougar Allen challenge.

-Cougar Allen :{)
P.S. The technician said my brain waves were normal and gave me the printout of my brain waves. It's a long strip of graph paper with waves on it, maybe fifty feet long (15m). I took it home and showed it to all my friends to prove I'm normal, but none of them found it convincing. Only an expert can interpret what the graph means and the technician didn't give me anything in writing to prove it means I'm normal, and nobody I know believes me when I tell them that's what he said. Oh, well....

-Cougar Allen :{)
Something strikes me as "funny" about the light. For one, I though light color was measured by wavelengths, not degrees Kelvin. Also "Special electronic techniques are used to compess the arc from the short arc Xenon bulb into the tiny ball of Plasma material. Precisely focusing this tiny sun like ball of light in the exact focal point of our parabolic reflector give the Plasma Beam it's super efficient beam." Compressing plasma? Isn't that what scientists have been trying for years to do to start cold fusion? Why don't they just set the bulb in a place where it is automatically set for optimum focus? I think it's probably just a really bright flashligh with a lot of hype. If anyone can prove me wrong I will gladly admit to my mistake.


[This message has been edited by KuKu (edited 10 July 1999).]
Cougar, it's not that you aren't a normal, well-adjusted upstanding citizen, it's that so many others are abberant.

Yeah, this smells like a wad'o'balogna to me. Yeah, it'd be disorienting, but I wouldn't count on it for disabling enemies. People dance in strobe lights. This is different only in degree.

It'd be great against certain epileptics, but being that a close personal friend of mine does suffer from seizures, I can assure you that if you caused her to have an epileptic fit, all the flashing lights in the world would not be enough to stop me from shoving this thing up where even proctologists dare not go.

My opinion;

Probably better than a maglite, not all it's claimed to be, and too much of a liability due to possible medical complications.

"I thought light strength is measured in wavelength, not degress kelvin"

You kick ass!

I think wavelength has more to do with spectrum and intensity though, I know most flashlights/searchlights are measured in "candlepower". Just what "candlepower" is I don't know, but some maglites have tousands of them.
The degrees Kelvin business is about the color of the light, the frequency curve ... comparable to black body radiation at that temperature ... we're really straying off topic here.

Right, it's a very bright light with some hype. That narrow a beam has to limit the usefulness, but I can imagine it could be useful for some applications, even at the price.

I have long suspected it's the other people who are aberrant.... Do they have brain wave printouts to prove they're normal??? Who are you going to believe, the expert or the people who merely know me???

-Cougar Allen :{)
Thanks for the clarification Cougar. And of course I believe you and the expert over some old nobodies off the street.
The brightness of a particular light is measured in spherical candle power, beam candle power, or lumens. The color of the light is measured in kelvin or nanometers. This light is listed at 7 million cp, 6200K or 900nm with the ir filter installed.

I guess the viability of its use as a non-lethal weapon is still in question.
I just looked at their page again and most of it looks like marketing speak so it would be hard to trap them on details. The fact that it is an AOL members page doesn't lend them much credability nor does the fact that their home page plays the James Bond theme. The covert agencies which of course can not be named also make this sound like a mickey mouse operation.

At seven million candle power I still think it would blind anyone at it.