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James Chillman

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Ok for our schools production in the national theatre we are using a toy lightsaber wich has a little torch in it. Now for the national this torch isnt any way near as bright as it needs to be so ive been thinking about modifying it with LED's at th base of the lightsaber, has any one else got any other suggestions on how to make it light up better.

The lightsaber is similar to this one although its sections are mutlicoloured:



any suggestions would be greatfull


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You might want to look at electroluminescent wire. Maplin amongst others sell a kit for about £10 meant for PCs, stock code A63AL.


Or how about one of those coloured florescent tubes for making 'cars go faster'?

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Depending on time constraints:


Electroluminescent wire as Brian suggested would give a better effect, but you'd almost be rebuilding from scratch so you need quite a long time to get it right.

The stuff is flexible, even when lit, and is the same brightness all along it's length.


If you put a kink in it it tends to break though, although it doesn't destroy the whole length, just the bit from the kink to the unpowered end. I've seen the stuff in use, and it's very pretty!


If you don't have much time, then a medium-sized Maglite or a 20W 12v dichroic lamp with a sealed-lead-acid battery is your best bet.

However, the back of dichroic lamps get very hot, so you'll need to take account of this when designing the handle.


Pricewise there isn't much difference between the two techniques.

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Less bright, last longer (irrelevant), run cooler.

You'll need quite a few in a cluster to light it bright enough, so it will be quite expensive.


Halogen lamp:

Brighter, simple electronics, runs hot, cheaper.

If it's lit for more than a few seconds you'll need to test how warm the lamp gets, because it's likely that it will get hot enough to significantly soften the plastic.

How much that matters depends on how soft it gets and what you are doing with it.


If those are your options, then I'd suggest LEDs.

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