LASERPOD
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Laserpod, retail 66.76 ($104.25)* (www.laserpodusa.com)
Manufactured by Plugg (www.laserpod.com)
BUY IT AT THELEDLIGHT.COM
Last updated 09-13-10


* IMPORTANT: Pricing is accurate as of 02-14-10. Please visit the Currency Calculator for the latest currency conversion rates from US dollars to British pounds.




The Laserpod is a very unique lighting device that has to be seen to be believed. It uses three LEDs and three diode lasers for production of light, and a slowly-rotating multifaceted crystal, faceted reflector, plus three diffusion devices to produce various patterns on the ceiling or in the diffusion devices themselves.

It operates from the included "wall wart" AC adapter or from three AA cells that you supply yourself, if desired.

The switch allows you to select LEDs with lasers, lasers alone, or off.

It comes in a sturdy, thick metal body, which is chrome plated and therefore quite shiny and beautiful to look at even when the lamp is off.


 SIZE



The first thing you'll note is that the box the Laserpod comes in is sealed with a white light hologram sticker. Once you're ready, use a knife to cut this sticker down the center, allowing the end flap of the box to open. Slide the styrofoam block out, and remove the lid from it.
Inside the styrofoam square, in cut-outs moulded to fit, you should find the following:
  • 1x Aluminum Laserpod projection lamp unit
  • 1x Electroplated tall domed diffuser
  • 1x Electroplated small domed diffuser
  • 1x Crystal ball (already installed in projector lamp unit)
  • 1x Pebbled glass diffusion disk (to be set into the projector lamp unit)
  • 1x AC adapter (wall wart transformer)
  • 1x Laserpod Book of Light (booklet containing several photographs of the Laserpod's light)
  • 1x Instructional and safety leaflet
Remove the wall-wart from its white box, plug the end of the cord into the receptacle for it on the back of the Laserpod, and plug the square part into any standard 110-130 volts AC household receptacle (in the United States).

Press the button on the back of the Laserpod (directly above the AC adapter receptacle) until it clicks and then release it to turn the LEDs and lasers on. Press and release it again to have just the lasers on. And press & release it a third time to turn the Laserpod completely off.


Photograph of the business-end, showing the crystal ball and faceted reflector.

You can operate the Laserpod by itself to project its patterns on the ceiling above wherever you set it down, place the pebbled glass diffusing disk over the lamp to diffuse the light farther, or affix one of the two electroplated plastic domes (with or without the glass diffusing disk) onto the lamp so that the lamp illuminates these domes instead of projecting its patterns on your ceiling.



Normally, the Laserpod operates from its included AC adapter, but if you wish to use it in a location without AC power, you can do that by installing three AA cells in it. To do that, follow these four simple instructions:
  1. Be sure the unit is turned off.
  2. Unscrew and remove the base of the Laserpod, and set it aside.
  3. Install three new AA cells, being sure the flat-end (-) negative faces a spring in each chamber for it.
  4. Screw the bottom of the Laserpod back on.
Using known-new Duracell alkaline cells, current was measured at 237mA with LEDs and lasers on, and 110mA with lasers only.



This is a lamp designed to be placed somewhere and not {vulgar term for having had intercourse} with, not a flashlight meant to be thrashed and abused, so I won' try to drown it in the toilet, smash it against a concrete sidewalk, throw it against a wall, stomp on it, sit down hard on it, or otherwise abuse it. So this portion of the web page will be more bare than this section of the web page on a page about a flashlight.

The instructional material advises that this lamp be used for only four hours at a time. I'll use it for more than that just to see what happens when you exceed that four hour mark.

(Update 11-06-04): I intentionally left the Laserpod on all night, and nothing bad happened. All three LEDs and all three lasers continue to function, the crystal ball continues to rotate slowly, and the outer casing is not hot or even warm.

Speaking of things that rotate slowly, I think I forgot to mention that there is a small, faceted crystal ball on a shaft that rotates very slowly (est. approximately 1.25 revolution per minute or 1.25RPM (1 revolution every 45 seconds)), mounted above the LEDs and lasers, so that the light sources shine through it. That's what causes the patterns to change, and what gives you the patterns in the first place.

(Update 01-14-05): No fewer than five times over the last week or two, I measured the rotation at 1.25RPM (1 revolution every 45 seconds) using a clock with a second hand on it. This will likely be the last update to this web page unless something happens to the Laserpod.

There is a laser caution label affixed to the back of the Laserpod advising the user that the lasers inside are CDRH Class II devices, emitting a wavelength range of 630nm to 680nm at less than 1mW. The actual wavelength of the lasers appear to be in the 640nm-650nm range, with a power output of less than one milliwatt apiece - so the labelling is indeed accurate.

The Laserpod has three rubber feet on its base, so it will sit stable and secure wherever you put it - assuming of course the surface you place it on is reasonably flat.


Photographs of the Laserpod with the short and tall plastic diffusers on.


Photograph of the Laserpod with the glass diffusing disk on, and photograph showing the Laserpod turned on with the tall plastic diffuser in place.



Photograph of the light on a ceiling from ~5'.
Yes, the laser spots really do have those cross shapes. Not a camera artifact this time.


Same as above, but with glass diffusing disk in place.


Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the lasers in this product.


Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the lasers in this product; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band of 645nm to 665nm.


Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the LEDs in this product.
Spectrometer's response above 600nm cut off to eliminate laser emission line.


Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the lasers in this product (little-used second unit tested).


Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the lasers in this product (little-used second unit tested); spectrometer's response narrowed to a band of 645nm to 665nm.


Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the LEDs in this product (little-used second unit tested).
Spectrometer's response set to a band between 360nm and 600nm to show UVA emission and to eliminate laser emission line.


Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the NUV LED in this product (little-used second unit tested).
Spectrometer's response set to a band between 360nm and 420nm to show UVA emission only.

USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.


WMP movie (.avi extension) showing the product in action.
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Video clip on YourTube showing the product in use.

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Video clip on YourTube showing the tall diffusing dome both with and without the pebbly glass diffusing disk in place. Unit is shown both with lasers-only and with lasers & LEDs. Near the end of the video, you can see the product going down the tube again (before I could show "lasers-only plus pebbly diffusing disk").

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TEST NOTES:
Test units (TWO) were received on the morning of 11-05-04, after requesting one for evaluation on this website on the afternoon of 11-04-04. That was FAST, thank you!!!

The AC adapter is labelled to output 4.5 volts DC at 500mA.
The center of the connector is (+); the outer barrel is (-).

The adapter can be used without removing batteries from the Laserpod, as there is an interlock switch built-in that disconnects the batteries when AC power is used.


UPDATE: 11-07-04
I have intentionally left the Laserpod turned on for at least the last 36 hours, even though the instructional material states it should be kept on for no more than four hours at a time. I have no failures or malfunctions to report, and the metal lamp body is not hot or even warm.


UPDATE: 11-08-04
Two updates to report this morning...first, the Laserpod has been left on for ~60 hours now, and I still have no failures or malfunctions to report...second, I somehow managed to knock the silly thing to the floor from a ~30" height, and did not cause it to fail or screw up. Still looks and works like the day I took it out of the box and plugged it in.


UPDATE: 11-09-04
The Laserpod has been left on for ~84 hours now, and I think I can shut it off for awhile and let it rest. Let's take care of that right now...BRB...there, done. I still have no failures or malfunctions to report...
Unless something unfortunate happens, I think we're looking at a Trophy Case placement here.


UPDATE: 11-10-04
After allowing the Laserpod to remain off for ~7 hours, I turned it back on, and it's been on since.
I did measure the current yesterday or the day before, and was able to extrapolate LED drive current. That violet LED is receiving a bit more than 43mA, and as a result, is expected to have a shorter than usual device lifetime.


UPDATE: 11-11-04
I have decided to rate this product 4 1/2 stars and place it in The Trophy Case on this website.


UPDATE: 11-14-04
I've had the Laserpod on for another ~90 hours continuosly, and still have no malfunctions or failures to report.


UPDATE: 11-20-04
I received an email regarding the apparently dark LED under the "driveshaft" the crystal ball is affixed to. Yes, it's supposed to be dimmer than the other two LEDs in the unit.

The important part of the response I sent was:

The LED under the "driveshaft" should be lighted a rather dim purple or violet color, VERY MUCH dimmer than the two blue LEDs. Carefully look down through the crystal when the Laserpod is turned on with both lasers and LEDs, and within less than one minute, you should note a slightly whitish purple/violet color in there. You might not otherwise see it.
The lasers are CDRH Class II, so if you get hit in the eye with one, no need to worry about it. :-)



UPDATE: 11-25-04
I've had my Laserpod on continuously for approximately 115 hours, and still have no failures or malfunctions to report. I've only had it unplugged to charge a cellular telphone; I installed an outlet strip this morning so I no longer need to unplug the Laserpod to charge the phone.

Now we'll see what happens when I operate the Laserpod for more than 115 hours continuously.


UPDATE: 11-25-04
Yes, a same-day update. No, you aren't seeing things.
The Laserpod fell off the top of a shelf approximately 6.1 feet high to very low pile carpet laid on what I believe is a wooden floor. No damage was detected, and no failures or malfunctions occurred either.


UPDATE: 11-30-04
I heard from the inventor of the Laserpod this morning; this is what he had to say:

BIG THANKS FOR YOUR ENTHUSIASTIC REVIEW AND GLAD YOU LIKE MY LITLE BABY ...
FROM THE INVENTOR OF LASERPOD ... YOU AINT SEEN NOTHING YET

SEE SOUND HEAR VISION

BE LIGHT



UPDATE: 12-09-04
The Laserpod is now available for $99.00 with free shipping, but this is for an unknown, limited time only.


UPDATE: 12-16-04
The Laserpod is also available from DryIceOnline.com.
This website is based in the United States.


UPDATE: 12-18-04
The Laserpod is now available from TheLEDLight.com for $75 plus S&H until 12-31-04.



UPDATE: 12-21-04
The $75 deal for the Laserpod at TheLEDLight.com has now been recinded for reasons unknown. Expect to pay $99 from this source as with other sources now.



UPDATE: 12-31-04
I've had the Laserpod on continuously for more than a month (no less than 864 hours now), and still have no malfunctions to report. But I do have a spare on hand if this one somehow kicks the bucket. I really do like the Laserpod, and it would be a shame to have this one poop out on me without a spare one to put up right away.


UPDATE: 01-27-05
That violet LED is visibly dimmer than it was when the Laserpod was new, but it's not whirling down the {vulgar term for feces}bowl just yet. I picked up and physically examined the Laserpod specifically to look for this potential source of degredation.


UPDATE: 05-08-05
One of the diode lasers may now be somewhat dimmer than the other two. I've had the Laserpod running for at least 2,280 hours continuously (it's only supposed to be operated for 4 hours at a time), so I do not consider this to be a defect or fault at all. The violet LED appears dimmer than it was when I examined it in late-January, but it's not dark by any means.


UPDATE: 05-31-05
Maybe I was just seeing things before...that diode laser that appeared to dim earlier this month really doesn't appear to have dimmed at all.


UPDATE: 05-07-10
The newer of the two Laserpods has partially pooped out -- the LEDs still function properly, but the lasers no longer function properly. When the button is pressed, the lasers come on for approx. 50 milliseconds (0.050 seconds) and then extinguish.
Therefore, that dreadful "" icon will have to be used; denoting the fact that the unit has failed, but that I have another.


UPDATE: 05-14-10
The unit that went down the tube on May 07 has mysteriously sprung back to life.
Therefore, that totally dreadful "" icon can now be removed.


UPDATE: 05-17-10
The unit that failed and then later came back to life has gone down the tube again, so that dreadful "" icon will have to be used once more.



Video clip on YourTube showing how my Laserpod went to pot. Note that the ball no longer turns and the lasers no longer function -- you can see them briefly turning on a number of times; this was me partially pressing & releasing the power switch button -- the lasers do not stay on as they should.

This clip is approximately 10.377634521597 megabytes (10,519,822 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
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UPDATE: 05-17-10
No, you aren't seeing things.
Yes, a same-day update.
Administering "percussive maintenance" (striking the product on its side with my hand) has restored correct operation. However, since you should never have to beat the living tweedle out of something to get it to function properly, the dreadful "" icon will stay.


UPDATE: 07-29-10
The newer of the two units has pooped out again.
Administering "percussive maintenance" (striking the product on its side with my hand) has failed to restore operation.


UPDATE: 08-02-10
Both units have now gone to pot in the same manner, so I no longer have a functioning unit.
Therefore, that dreadful "" icon will have to be replaced with the even more dreadful "" icon.


UPDATE: 08-24-10
The little-used ("newer") unit has sprung back to life.
I wanted to perform spectroscopy of its NUV LED, and it came back to life after just a few moments of fiddling with it.

Therefore, that dreadful "" icon will once again be replaced with the less dreadful (but still bad) "" icon.


UPDATE: 09-10-10
The little-used ("newer") unit has croaked again.
It ate it while I was shooting a video of it with the tall diffuser in place (please see farther up this web page for that video -- which does actually show the unit going to pot in it!)


UPDATE: 09-13-10
The dead unit has mysteriously sprung back to life.

Therefore, that dreadful "" icon will once again be replaced with the less dreadful (but still bad) "" icon.





PROS:
Very unique lighting device
Can use either AC adapter or batteries
Seems rather durable for a non-flashlight lighting device


CONS:
Violet LED could have a shorter than expected lifetime because it's overdriven.
That's why I rated it 4 1/2 stars and not 5 stars.


    MANUFACTURER: Plugg
    PRODUCT TYPE: Laser/LED Light Show Device
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm blue LED, 5mm violet LED, red diode laser
    No. OF LAMPS: 6 (2x blue LED, 1x violet LED, 3x diode laser)
    BEAM TYPE: N/A
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off/mode change on side of product
    BEZEL: Metal; LEDs, diode lasers, crystal, and reflector protected by glass window
    BATTERY: 3xAA cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 237mA (LEDs & lasers), 110mA (lasers only)
    WATER- AND PEE-RESISTANT: Very light splatter-resistance only
    SUBMERSIBLE: NO WAY HOZAY!!!
    ACCESSORIES: Two plastic diffusing domes, one glass diffusing disk, AC adapter
    WARRANTY: 1 year

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star RatingStar Rating





Laserpod * www.laserpodusa.com







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