Author Topic: Laser "flashlights" are being sold on Amazon  (Read 785 times)

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Offline Ben321

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Laser "flashlights" are being sold on Amazon
« on: January 14, 2023, 05:12:51 am »
If you want to find any high powered lasers like those sold by Wicked Lasers, and you look on Amazon, you'll find they are mostly called "flashlights", to avoid the scrutiny that would otherwise occur if they called them lasers.
 

Offline Infraviolet

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Re: Laser "flashlights" are being sold on Amazon
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2023, 09:31:21 pm »
A typical example of rules making things worse then, the cobra effect (or the rats tails to give the other example from history), now people who thought they were getting a mere flashlight end up with a dangerous laser that they don't know about.
 

Offline jonpaul

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Re: Laser "flashlights" are being sold on Amazon
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2023, 12:35:07 pm »
will Amazon and Jeff B. accept liability for customers that are injured or blinded by Amazon illegal lasers?

Will the government enforce safety regulations violation by a huge Dem mega$ donor?

j
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Offline Stray Electron

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Re: Laser "flashlights" are being sold on Amazon
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2023, 02:42:58 pm »
If you want to find any high powered lasers like those sold by Wicked Lasers, and you look on Amazon, you'll find they are mostly called "flashlights", to avoid the scrutiny that would otherwise occur if they called them lasers.

  First of all, I would highly dubious of the claimed power level of anything coming out of China and sold on Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba or anywhere else.  Does anyone have an optical power meter and want to verify the optical output power of any of these products?  Or even just a volt and amp meter and that wants to measure the input power?

  I remember the "50 Watt" audio amplifier speaker combos that used to be sold with many computers.  They used a wall ward that was rated at 8 Watts!

   The output power of the Amazon "flashlights" might well be dangerous but I doubt that any of them are anywhere near their claimed power levels.
 

Offline Ben321

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Re: Laser "flashlights" are being sold on Amazon
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2023, 12:11:19 pm »
If you want to find any high powered lasers like those sold by Wicked Lasers, and you look on Amazon, you'll find they are mostly called "flashlights", to avoid the scrutiny that would otherwise occur if they called them lasers.

  First of all, I would highly dubious of the claimed power level of anything coming out of China and sold on Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba or anywhere else.  Does anyone have an optical power meter and want to verify the optical output power of any of these products?  Or even just a volt and amp meter and that wants to measure the input power?

  I remember the "50 Watt" audio amplifier speaker combos that used to be sold with many computers.  They used a wall ward that was rated at 8 Watts!

   The output power of the Amazon "flashlights" might well be dangerous but I doubt that any of them are anywhere near their claimed power levels.

The 50 watt audio amplifier sounds like it makes loud sound, so people buying it, if they play music that sounds loud to them, they probably assume the claim was true, and are happy with the product. Only someone who really wanted to know for sure would go to the effort of measuring the speaker output power. So that right there is why they probably got away with it. Most people were just content listening to music that sounded loud enough to them, so they didn't complain or even investigate the actual audio output power (most probably wouldn't even know how to test this).

Same thing with the high powered lasers sold on Amazon. If it can burn stuff (the reason people buy it, thinking that it's cool to burn stuff with lasers), they won't check the actual optical output power (nor would most of them even have the equipment to perform this test).
 

Offline Ben321

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Re: Laser "flashlights" are being sold on Amazon
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2023, 12:18:54 pm »
A typical example of rules making things worse then, the cobra effect (or the rats tails to give the other example from history), now people who thought they were getting a mere flashlight end up with a dangerous laser that they don't know about.

It seems Amazon's search algorithm can sort out what is a laser from a flashlight though. If I type "flashlight" into Amazon's search, it shows me literal flashlights. When I type in "1000mW laser pointer" it shows me various laser pointers (some of which don't make the claim to be high powered, and their item title uses the phrase "laser pointer", and some of which claim to be high powered, and their item title includes only the word "flashlight", or "pointer" but without the word "laser").

One thing I wish Amazon's algorithm would do better, is to better parse the text I type. When I type "1000mw laser pointer". I want it to NOT also show me lower powered lasers, but currently it shows a wide variety of items including low powered normal laser pointers (though most do appear to be claiming to have a high output power).
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Laser "flashlights" are being sold on Amazon
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2023, 07:47:17 pm »
One thing I wish Amazon's algorithm would do better, is to better parse the text I type. When I type "1000mw laser pointer". I want it to NOT also show me lower powered lasers, but currently it shows a wide variety of items including low powered normal laser pointers (though most do appear to be claiming to have a high output power).

They probably don't want to make it easy for nutjobs who want handheld 1W lasers. More likely they just haven't considered such a possibility as a filter.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2023, 07:48:59 pm by Gyro »
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Offline Ben321

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Re: Laser "flashlights" are being sold on Amazon
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2023, 09:18:38 pm »
One thing I wish Amazon's algorithm would do better, is to better parse the text I type. When I type "1000mw laser pointer". I want it to NOT also show me lower powered lasers, but currently it shows a wide variety of items including low powered normal laser pointers (though most do appear to be claiming to have a high output power).

They probably don't want to make it easy for nutjobs who want handheld 1W lasers. More likely they just haven't considered such a possibility as a filter.

I'd think the search algorithm though would compare what you have typed with text that appears in the title of the item at least. Nowadays, there's AI that exists that can easily read and understand the meaning of a piece of text. So it could analyze your search query, and also the title of the item (and item description present on the product page itself), and match the meaning of your search query with the meaning of all the available text describing the item. This way, you'd only get what you were searching for.
 

Offline nali

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Re: Laser "flashlights" are being sold on Amazon
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2023, 09:49:28 pm »
Of course, just to confuse the issue you CAN get genuine laser-powered flashlights... they're called LEP (Laser Excited Phosphor) lamps and have very tight beam width. @mikeselectricstuff did a teardown of a LEP car headlamp some while ago IIRC

Easy to differentiate from cheapo diode laser pointers as they're very expensive in comparison.
 

Online thm_w

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Re: Laser "flashlights" are being sold on Amazon
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2023, 12:24:07 am »


Of course, just to confuse the issue you CAN get genuine laser-powered flashlights... they're called LEP (Laser Excited Phosphor) lamps and have very tight beam width. @mikeselectricstuff did a teardown of a LEP car headlamp some while ago IIRC

Easy to differentiate from cheapo diode laser pointers as they're very expensive in comparison.

Interesting, yeah it looks like tight beam width is the main pro. Lumens are not very high.
https://www.shtfblog.com/what-are-laser-excited-phosphor-lep-flashlights/
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