What do you get when you combine CES, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, and a former NASCAR driver that now does desert racing? If you’re talking about this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, then you get a demonstration of ultra-bright, darkness-shredding laser high beams. Shuji Nakamura, a Nobel Prize Laureate, and Steve DenBaars cofounded SLD Laser, and the company has been illuminating just about everything, but nothing quite as brightly as they have accomplished with their laser light headlights.
SLD Laser headlights use highly efficient laser lights, which have 100 times more luminance than LEDs. That extra power gives the laser lights a range of over one kilometer. Even more interesting, all that light requires less power and less space. The lights can also be shaped and focused to just about anything, including down to a beam the size of a poker chip that can be seen for over half a mile. Even with all that power, laser lights are still UL-certified—so those high beams coming at you won’t fry out your retinas.
While European regulations allow for laser headlights, US laws are still a bit behind the time, so laser lights have been limited to racing applications. SLD Laser has provided them to endurance racers. In fact, last year’s Baja 1000 winner used SLD Laser headlights. If you can’t wait for laws to catch up, SLD Laser is also making a flashlight with the same technology.