'World's brightest' Spyder 3 Krypton laser
By Ben Coxworth
September 6, 2011
Perhaps you were one of the first people to buy a standard red laser pointer when they first came out. Then, you jumped on the bandwagon when the more powerful green laser pointers showed up. Now, you're just willing to admit it: you want the most powerful handheld laser that it is legally possible to own. Well, according to the folks at Wicked Lasers, that would be their Spyder 3 Krypton. Just how powerful is it? Let's put it this way, the website warns users not to point it at aircraft or satellites.
Yep, with a claimed range of 85 miles (137 km), the top-end model Krypton can apparently shoot its 1-watt beam through the earth's atmosphere and into outer space. It puts out 86 million lux, which reportedly makes its projected dot appear 8,000 times brighter than the Sun. The laser does at least come with safety goggles, plus it has a coding feature that keeps unauthorized users from being able to turn it on.
It is also said to be the first laser to incorporate an internal thermopile detector. This lowers the operating current to stabilize the device's temperature, when excess heat is detected.
It has nine operating modes, including strobe, beacon and SOS, and is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Wicked Lasers states that it is too powerful to use as a pointer or gun sight, which does cause one to wonder what it is intended to be used for.
The Spyder 3 Krypton comes in 300-, 500- and 1,000-milliwatt models, which sell for US$299.95, $499.95 and $999.95 respectively. If you want the 1-watt beam, you'll have to shell out the thousand bucks.
So, is it right for the general public to be able to buy something like this? It's certainly a question to ponder, but here's another - how would you know if you were pointing it at a satellite?