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Tech by VICE

You Can't Hide From This 1000 Watt LED Drone

The Empire’s probe droids are one step closer to reality.

by Matthew Gault
Oct 15 2016, 5:00pm

YouTuber rctestflight built a 1000 watt LED light bar about a year ago, then he slapped it on a drone. At first, the multi-colored, smoke spewing, off-the-shelf Alta 8 drone looks like any outdoor party goers dream. It soars through the air, casting light on hidden area and dazzling those on the ground with beautiful colors.

Then rctestflight turns the bright LED light on and gives us a glimpse of a horrifying future. He shot the footage in a rural area in the dead of night and it's beautiful yet terrifying. The slow-moving 1000W LED blasts light into a derelict building, pushing the darkness out and filling it with harsh, unnatural light. It's not quite as strong as this 20,000 watt bulb, but it certainly makes an impression. It looks a lot like the rulers of dystopian future searching for thought-crime perpetrators.

Two guys cross a bridge, previously unnoticed until the drone cruises by and lights them up. The Alta 8 and the harsh light combine to create a law enforcement dream—an agile robot capable of precision lighting in urban areas. Why use an expensive search light attached to a helicopter when an army of tech-savvy cops piloting off-the-shelf drones and LEDs purchased from EBay will do the job?

Thankfully, rctestflight's terrifying light blaster only flies for 10 minutes before losing power.