LED Luminaries

LED news and insight from our technology editor Steve Bush, who has been messing with LED lighting for more years than he would care to remember.

Stop or I’ll shoot …my LED gun!

When one of my friends told me that LEDs were now being used as a weapon to incapacitate suspects I was a little bit sceptical to say the least, or more truthfully I thought he should lay off the heavy stuff. However, I decided to do a quick Google search, more to shoot down his theory in flames than to see if it was true.

 

I was more than a bit surprised when I actually got some results.

It seems that high brightness LEDs are being strobed to disorientate suspects. The pulsing pattern and varying colours of the device temporarily blinds and nauseates the victim. This type of non-lethal is proving more effective than other forms of non-lethal incapacitor to neutralise suspects without any long-term effects.

 

A company called Intelligent Optical Systems based in Torrance, California have been awarded a $1m grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop the concept further.

 

I think this is something that anyone designing LED systems should take a good look at – if you’d pardon the pun – as the last thing you’d want is to inadvertently release a puke-ray device onto the general market.

 

More info here http://science.howstuffworks.com/led-incapacitator.htm

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3 Comments

  1. Alistair Winning
    April 01, 2009 16:26

    I read a few different sources before writing the blog, and it does seem pretty effective. The victim feels intensely sick and struggles to do anything at all.
    Another benefit of the technology is range, whereas pepper spray/CS gas and stun guns have to almost always be used very close, the LED gun can be used at a distance, which gives police time to react if it doesn’t work as expected.
    Other ranged non-lethal weapons cause a lot more long term harm to the victim.

  2. April 01, 2009 16:15

    I think you are underestimating a clever piece of kit, Bob. We’ve actually written about this – Brilliant LED incapacitator stuns attackers. Check out the various examples of the “LED incapacitator” on YouTube, too. Not for all occasions, but it could be a useful weapon in the police’s armoury.

  3. March 27, 2009 14:58

    I’m not sure this would be very effective, especially against someone with the real variety of gun, or knife or even fisticuffs.
    or even Corporal Jones. After all apparently they don’t like it up ‘em if all they’ve got is a LED gun