Laser lighter


[rog8811] shared his laser lighter with us. He has gutted a zippo style lighter and inserted a blue ray laser module. The old fuel compartment houses the batteries. This is pretty cool, though it might take forever to actually light a cigarette with it. His build log is quite nice with diagrams and detailed pictures of the whole process. Our question is simple, why haven’t we seen this on a James Bond film? Too bad he couldn’t use a stronger laser, like from a laser cutter. We know they do a fine job of cutting pizzas.


  1. BigD145 says:

    it’s pointed the wrong way.

  2. hypoxide says:

    that is sweet. i want one. anyone have an estimate as to what it would cost to make?

  3. Spyingwind says:

    Great Guide!

    The only problem that is see with a more powerful laser is that you would need a better cooling system and a bigger battery.

  4. Josh says:

    Nice little project. Just 2 minor problems I have with it (aside from the safety of getting flashed in the eye with it). have to be really careful with those laser modules. some can be very fragile.

    1) I didn’t see a schematic. maybe it didn’t load for me?
    2) I really dislike installing batteries in a parallel circuit without some kind of current control between them. If one goes dead before the others, that can cause a lot of problems, such as explosion/leaking.

  5. rog8811 says:

    Hi, I will try to answer some questions :)
    It is pointed the wrong way for a couple of reasons, the main one is the focus point can be easily be found as it is right on the edge of the lid, so hold the cigar against the lid and it lights.I can engrave plastic and wood by resting the lid on the surface, it keeps it in perfect focus. Another reason was just to get it to fit.

    Cost to build was around $30 including the lighter.

    Correct on the more power, I had to weigh power to room available, the Blu-ray gives a much higher mw output per ma input ratio than IR or red.
    Schematic is there somewhere. I am never that happy with parallel batteries but with only 38ma/h batteries I need to do it for longevity…and it makes best use of space.

    As to the eye safe I would not suggest lighting a cigar with it in your mouth, it works well enough just getting it to smoke.

    Regards rog8811

  6. dan says:

    sounds rather cool; how long does lighting a cigar take with this thing?

  7. nick says:

    sweet now i can make myself a lazer bong lighter!

  8. rog8811 says:

    If you look at the video
    You will see it took around 9 seconds to light a cigar, I would say that the batteries had been well used during the day before I made the video.

    I would guess a laser bong would be quite easy… that would certainly blow some minds :)

    Regards rog8811

  9. kyoorius says:

    Warning: Do not look into laser with remaining eye.

  10. strider_mt2k says:

    Are there instructions for attaching this to a shark’s head?

    No, seriously, it’s creative and retro-futuristic and is a winner.

    it’s like a lighter you might find in “bioshock” which i am only now just playing.

  11. larry says:

    Very nice. Nice hack.

  12. mike says:

    awesome ! a new high-tech way to get cancer.

  13. Jack says:

    Quality hack.

  14. Terc says:

    Considering he managed to burn his finger right off the bat, I’m guessing he doesn’t realize the damage he’s doing to his eyes. With lasers this strong, just looking at the dot it casts is enough to burn blind spots in your eyes. Reflections that hit his eyes would be enough to cause blindness. These lasers ARE NOT TOYS. If you’re not a laser technician, you probably shouldn’t take one of these diodes out of its case.

  15. rog8811 says:

    You are making a big assumption there terc. I have built and used higher powered lasers than this, I am well aware of the dangers which is why I have safety glasses to wear when burning or engraving. I do not have the cigar in my mouth when I light it, Ok I burnt my thumb, which I found funny so did not edit it out of the video and it made a point.
    On my website there is a page called “lasers are not toys” which explains the dangers of lasers and how to use them safely.

    Regards rog8811

  16. andre says:

    another hazard with these lasers is that they are UV-A which means even diffuse
    reflections can cause “arc eye” as well as the retinal burn hazard.

    just to give you an idea i built an experimental pcb etcher with a similar diode and the beam is powerful enough
    that even the badly focussed 1″ diameter beam can degrade the emulsion from across a desk. i had to step down
    the power for this reason (makes it slightly safer while tuning) despite using welding goggles enough light
    got through them to cause problems the next day.

    i have reason to believe that the cheaper (Bluray burner) diodes even emit into the UV-B range which makes them
    even more dangerous! Focussing one on your skin is a BAD IDEA at any power level.

    #include “$0.02.h”

  17. PKM says:

    That’s actually so cool it makes me want to take up smoking just so that I can own one of these. No lie.

  18. rootKRP says:

    i just finished my attempt at this bad boy and i can tell you mines looks no where close to how good this one looks.

  19. nitori says:

    Definitely should use goggles with a laser of this much power.
    Judging by the noise in the video it seems the camera’s CCD or CMOS sensor has been damaged by the laser it’ll do the same thing to your eyes if you are not careful.
    BTW that is a blue-violet laser 404-407nm not UVA 400 nm–320 nm.
    UVB is 320 nm–280 nm and only excimer and nitrogen lasers can generate that.

  20. matt says:

    all of the shiny surfaces make my eyes ache! The one reason why I cannot have a toy as cool as this is that retinas work as attractors for laser light.

  21. andre says:

    iirc spurious UVA and UVB emission can indeed occur from any InGaN based diode, Nichia had 370nm diodes a while back.

    You can get LEDs that emit at 320nm but they are insanely expensive.


  22. Jack London says:

    That’s so cool, and for only $30? I really want to make one now.

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