Science Fiction Flashlights

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hank
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Science Fiction Flashlights

OK, we know that line about any sufficiently advanced technology.

But — science fiction, not fantasy. No mumbled incantations and glowing orbs directed by waving wands.

Science fiction. What can you come up with? And do you know any mentions in published SF?

hank
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My first “almost could happen” is the hardware incarnation of the magic glowing orb.

A handle mounting a power supply/recharger for a drone flashlight that goes where I want light, and lights that up for me.

Lightbringer
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Wrist-mounted lights: http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/SIMs_beacon

Probably thought headlights looked too goofy for teevee, ‘though they’d be infinitely more useful. Throw light where you’re looking, not where your forearm is pointed.

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I was gonna say a light grenade for the zombie apocalypse but someone has already done it – https://www.l-tron.com/LightGrenade

Blackbeard
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these seem like a step backwards from what we have now:

Lux-Perpetua
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Looks like they have hightech flashlights on DS9, too. Big Smile

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Even in Alien Covenant they used some miserable XM-L T6 thrower.

Jack Kellar
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Alien Isolation has a surprisingly tiny one for the setting. No idea why it’s in a full-on headset structure, though, it doesn’t work as a communicator. Batteries run dry pretty fast (much less of a concern than it may seem on paper), so I’m guessing it’s based on halogen bulbs…?

There’s also the fascinating Electro-flare of the old X-COM games by MicroProse. The first game was launched in 1994 and it still managed to predict throwable LED lanterns.

Someone on Instructables even put up an instruction set on how to make a homemade one, and it’s pretty bright. This is how it looks when lit:

Thirdly, there’s Bioshock 2, where hilariously enough, your flashlight is your own bioluminescence cranked up to max. (For the life of me I can’t get a picture of it on the internet! Angry )

delusional
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This is actually a US military issue light, it’s been produced for decades. The Army models were olive drab, the Navy/Air force models were grey. I have one of each. Mostly D-cell, I’ve seen a few C-cell. They come with four color diffusers for signaling and not killing night vision or being less detectable to the enemy. It’s right-angle design is for hanging it on the straps of your backpack. They also have one feature I sometimes find I cannot do without, they float in water.
The photo is from the DS9 episode “Little Green Men” where the ferengi visited Earth in the year 1947. Not sure if the light design is actually that old, but I would not be surprised at all if it does. I’m not sure if that’s still the model issued to GI’s today, but you can definitely still get them.

Lux-Perpetua wrote:

Looks like they have hightech flashlights on DS9, too. Big Smile


Jack Kellar
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Come to think of it, a buoyant flashlight is not at all a bad idea. Especially with the waterproofing we have today.

delusional
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If you’re doing any kind of boating, buoyancy can be life-or-death, but not-so-great for diving.
Just checked… The army model I have is very dark green, almost black. You can see the clip in the photo. It was issued to me in 1987. USARMY is stamped on the side.
The Navy model is straight, it is not a right-angle light, but otherwise has all the same features of the Army light. USNAVY is stamped on the side. Dad left the Navy in 1965.
They both still work.

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Ever thought of dropping in an LED upgrade on either of them?

delusional
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No, but I did just decide they belong on the long shelf I made this year, along with my other queens. Amazingly, the Navy one looks almost like it’s never been used, only one small scratch on it, and the switch has very positive, secure action. All 4 diffusers are still in the tail cap. Keep the batteries out of them, of course.

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Lux-Perpetua wrote:

Even in Alien Covenant they used some miserable XM-L T6 thrower.


Looks like an old LED Lenser X21R.2

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How about a flashlight that is cooled by “li-900”, the ceramic that was used in space shuttle tiles? You could cast a triple spacer for a convoy s2 out of this stuff! Does anyone here have connections at Lockheed?
It would be nice to have a 3000 lumen pocket light that can run on turbo till the battery dies.Remember this is just fiction. Wink

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Dogue wrote:
How about a flashlight that is cooled by “li-900”, the ceramic that was used in space shuttle tiles? You could cast a triple spacer for a convoy s2 out of this stuff! Does anyone here have connections at Lockheed? It would be nice to have a 3000 lumen pocket light that can run on turbo till the battery dies.Remember this is just fiction. Wink

Those tiles are the exact opposite of what you want. They’re extremely good insulators. For good cooling you need good conductors of heat.

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hank
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One I wished for long ago — a fan-folding combination reflector and heat radiator.

Flashy Mike
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Hey, an old magnesium bulb flash. I’m pretty sure I have one lying around somewhere (but can’t find it right now).

wle
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just infinite light, tiny size, infinite run time*, lumens and pattern adjustable infinitely and quickly

most important – no blinky modes
~
*(or zero charge time)

wle

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How about an RTG-driven flashlight? Big Smile (just kidding of course)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_battery

NASA used these on space exploration missions like Voyager.

Jack Kellar
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:

How about an RTG-driven flashlight? Big Smile (just kidding of course)


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_battery


NASA used these on space exploration missions like Voyager.


I’ve seen one fanwork of The Martian where Watney uses an RTG to warm up the rover while he goes looking for Pathfinder. After much failure and overheating, he makes it work.

hank
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Hmm, maybe a flashlight using parasitic WiFi energy suck to recharge.
Would it need a trailing antenna?

Unloco
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delusional wrote:
The photo is from the DS9 episode “Little Green Men” where the ferengi visited Earth in the year 1947. Not sure if the light design is actually that old, but I would not be surprised at all if it does.

The TL-122 is an old design, before WWII… But that of the photo appears be a MX-991/U, more modern (Vietnam). https://olive-drab.com/od_soldiers_gear_flashlight.php

Edit: Fulton still manufactures it… http://fultonindoh.com/product-categories/government-military/

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But I’m hoping y’all can come up with some novel, innovative, surprising, new ideas —- science fictiony ideas —- for flashlights of the future.

Dream a little!

hank
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Okay, a dystopian future flashlight — built-in facial recognition.

Scan it over the crowd and it brightens to pick out the [insert your personal paranoid fantasy here] people.

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A “people recognizing” light is already in the works. But it is for car headlights that selectively dim parts of their beam to avoid blinding everyone on the road.

Petzl has a crude version of this in their $400 industrial headlamps. A pair of IR transcievers mounted in the headlamps will automatically crank down the output when it is pointed at someone also wearing a $400 headlamp.

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The Last Katun
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Unloco wrote:
delusional wrote:
The photo is from the DS9 episode “Little Green Men” where the ferengi visited Earth in the year 1947. Not sure if the light design is actually that old, but I would not be surprised at all if it does.

The TL-122 is an old design, before WWII… But that of the photo appears be a MX-991/U, more modern (Vietnam). https://olive-drab.com/od_soldiers_gear_flashlight.php

Edit: Fulton still manufactures it… http://fultonindoh.com/product-categories/government-military/

I still have one; readapted with a reflector with three low power LEDs; it will give about 60 lumens, but to get around at home it’s fine; I run it with two “D” “SUPERPILA” at nikel cadmium dating back to the 80s, but they still work

hank
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Cross-reference for historians: flashlights in use by astronauts and cosmonauts at present:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/10168

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0-degree divergence light source Smile

hank
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Black photons — invisible at the source, which only become visible when reflected from something more solid than air.
Useful when trying to illuminate something that would like to shoot back.

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Rufusbduck was ahead of his time with this build.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/22205

 

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