Waist-worn flashlight gets hip with hands-free high beams

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Worn at the waist, the Repulsor features a 60-degree beam angle, max output of 7,911 lumens, and 2,300 ft (701 m) throw distance(Credit: Repulsor)

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What happens when you want directed illumination, yet also need to keep your hands and forehead clear for other tasks or gear? One startup is looking to address such situations with a new generation of flashlight. The Repulsor is designed to be worn about the waist, delivering bright beams that rival those found on many cars.

Modern LED technology has been able to create some powerful, portable, and even connected lighting options. It's not uncommon to find pocket-sized EDC flashlights capable of hours' worth of 100-lumen output from a single AA battery. Some of the latest headlamps, such as the Nao+, feature smartphone integration for greater lighting control. Although the latter may be hands-free, not all would consider it comfortable to wear.

We've recently seen the magnet-mounted Zyntony Ra strap light, which is USB-powered and conveniently wearable. However, with its 60-degree beam angle, max output of 7,911 lumens, and up to 2,300 ft (701 m) of throw distance, the Repulsor takes personal lighting to the next level.

By design, the Repulsor flashlight looks like it could have been a prop from the original 1984 Ghostbusters movie. Users secure this 2.8-lb (1.3-kg) light to the back of belts, and the flexible arms allow the lenses to be aimed in almost any direction. It's like equipping high beams on the hip.

The Repulsor's pair of 50 W Xenon HID lamps are run by an 8,000-mAh lithium battery, which is good for up to 90 minutes of non-stop full-power operation (115 minutes for the 12,000-mAh model) per charge. And with the wall adapter, the Repulsor needs only an hour of plug-in time before it's ready to go.

In addition to the LED display and power setting switch, the flashlight features a USB output port for charging mobile devices. Although constructed out of durable aluminum, tempered glass, and impact-resistant plastics, the Repulsor is, at best, water-resistant only.

Those who are interested in a bicycle headlight option can choose to mount the Repulsor to handlebars. It's designed to work with a standard attachment, allowing users to ride bikes at night with the kind of visibility one normally gets from motor vehicles.

The Repulsor flashlight is currently funding on Kickstarter, having raised 257 percent of its US$20,000 goal in three days, with another 44 days left to go. Pledges for the Repulsor start at $175 for the 8,000-mAh capacity battery, and $199 for 12,000-mAh.

If production goes according to schedule, backers can expect shipments to start sometime this July.

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