A drone flying with a 1,000-Watt LED is the best thing you'll watch today

Drone photography is exploding, and people are pushing the envelope to come up with creative ways to use unmanned aerial vehicles as art. One man, Daniel Riley, thought outside the box and came up with a light-based performance that not only is incredible to watch, it may also have some practical application for law enforcement and search and rescue.

So what did Riley do that was so incredible? The photographer took an incredibly bright 1,000 Watt LED light panel and attached it to a Freefly Alata-8 drone. Riley is no stranger to working with bright lights — he created the 1,000 Watt light rig last year as a DIY project that he published on YouTube.

Earning the title of the world’s brightest DIY flashlight, the panel puts out an earth shattering 90,000 Lumens. The 10-pound rig is built using 100 LED chips that are installed in a row. Each 100 Watt module includes a heat sink and an individual driver that provides sufficient juice from the battery to power the light. Two lithium polymer batteries in tandem power the lights providing about 10 minutes of run time.

In his latest experiment with the 1,000 Watt lightbar, Riley upgraded his light bar with new lights that are brighter and that change color. He built a landing gear for the light rig and attached it to the Alta drone. The Alta drone has super bright navigation lights on each arm that make it easy to fly at night. Alta even has a custom configuration panel that provided Riley with the ability to change the brightness and color of the lights from his smartphone. With a third battery on board, the drone and the light bar can operate for up to 10 minutes.

The light is so incredibly bright it can light up a mountainside or an entire yard with the flick of a switch. Over the course of several months, Riley used the rig to film some incredible footage a night. Not surprisingly, he played around with lighting effects, bouncing light off buildings, bridges, and forests. The results are stunning from the point of view of photography, but they also showcase the rig’s ability to provide bright light in areas that are usually difficult to illuminate. This flying flashlight could easily make a great search and rescue or law enforcement tool for night operations.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Get one of the best cheap drones you can buy, and cry less when you crash

Want to get in on all this hot drone action, but don't want to spend half a paycheck to make it happen? There are actually lots of feature-packed budget options. Check out this list of the best drones under $500.
Emerging Tech

Death from above? How we’re preparing for a future filled with weaponized drones

Drones are beginning to enable everything from search & rescue, to the delivery of medicines to hard-to-reach places. But they are also being used as cheap, and deadly flying bombs. How can we defend ourselves?
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

Here are the best (and least likely to explode) hoverboards you can buy

With widespread reports of cheap, knock-off Chinese hoverboards exploding, these self-balancing scooters may be getting a rough reputation. They're not all bad, though. Ride in style with our picks for the best -- and safest -- hoverboards
Product Review

Parrot Anafi drone review

It’s definitely not perfect, and there are a few little things that could be improved, but even so, Anafi is unquestionably the best drone that Parrot has ever made.
Emerging Tech

From electron microscopes to X-rays, high-tech tools expose low-tech art forgery

At the Indianapolis Museum of Art, conservation scientist Greg Smith and Glennis Rayermann, then a Ph.D student, used high-tech equipment to determine if a painting was made by master forger Icilio Federico Joni.
Emerging Tech

Looking for a good read? Here are the best, most eye-opening books about tech

Sometimes it's sensible to put down the gadgets and pick up a good old-fashioned book -- to read about the latest gadgets, of course. Here are the tech books you need to check out.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX Starlink: Here’s everything you need to know

SpaceX Starlink is the name of Elon Musk's ambitious plan to blanket the globe with high speed broadband internet via a network of satellites. Here's everything you need to know about it
Emerging Tech

Flying food: Uber has set a target date to use drones for meal delivery

Uber is better known for transporting people around town, but it also has a growing meal-delivery business called UberEats. It currently uses drivers and cyclists to deliver the food, but also has plans to use drones.

NYPD pulls thousands of body cams after one explodes

The NYPD has recalled thousands of body cameras after one of them exploded during an officer's shift on Sunday, October 21. No one was injured in the incident, which is thought to have been caused by the device's battery.
Emerging Tech

There’s finally a way to trace ‘untraceable’ 3D printed guns

To help track 3D-printed guns, researchers have developed a new algorithm which is able to identify which 3D printer was used to print an object, based on its unique fingerprint. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

These solar-powered water purifiers can produce 30,000 gallons of water per day

Problems with contaminated water? Quench Water & Solar's water purifiers can purify up to 30,000 gallons of fresh water per day and it's offering the technology to whoever wants it.
Smart Home

Silo A.I. vacuum storage system tells you when your leftovers are going bad

"Alexa, is the chicken still OK to eat?" Newly launched on Kickstarter, Silo is a neat vacuum storage container that will extend your food's shelf life -- and add in a useful dose of A.I., too.