When it comes to flashlights, is there such a thing as too bright? Some powerful consumer-grade handheld LED flashlights reach 1,000 to 2,000 lumens, or even more. We can tell you firsthand from our recent experiences with a 2,500-lumen Olight R50 Seeker that this is a lot of light output. You essentially need to be outside to use such a powerful light to its full potential, since splash-back during indoor use can be blindingly bright. Regardless, it's nice to have this massive output on tap—you can turn day to night at the flip of a switch.

fenix-ld75c-flashlight-close-up

This Fenix LD75C produces 4,200 lumens, but that's still nowhere near the DIY flashlight seen below.

In most circumstances, we'd consider a 1,000+ lumen flashlight to be quite powerful. So, we don't really have the words to describe a light that produces 72 times that amount. In a recent video, YouTube channel host Samm Sheperd created a DIY flashlight that easily achieves 72,000 lumens. It's composed of eight powerful LEDs, focused by individual lenses, and powered by a set of three 3-cell lithium battery packs which produce 36 volts.

DIY LED flashlight water cooled electronics 1

This light vaguely resembles some sort of Martian weapon from a sci-fi movie.

Now, if you've ever worked with powerful LED lights before, you'll likely know that heat creates a host of problems. Many off-the-shelf flashlights (including the Olight R50 we mentioned) have to ramp down output after a minute or two, otherwise the LED will become hot enough to melt or damage sensitive circuitry. To avoid this problem, Sheperd bought some water-cooling components designed for gaming computer builds, and adhered them to the LED array. A tiny pump and radiator circulates cool water over the LED cases, preventing heat damage—pretty ingenious.

DIY LED flashlight water cooled electronics 2

The results are pretty mind-blowing. Check out the video below:

At the end of the video, Sheperd adds three more LEDs to bring output to 100,000 lumens—because why not. So, do you think there's such a thing as too bright? Let us know in the comments.


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