Building The Brightest Light Sabre In The World

If you are looking for a Star Wars light sabre, sometimes your choices can be a little disappointing. “Replica” sabres from toy and novelty vendors may superficially look the part, but with their tinny speakers and lacklustre show of LEDs they often have less of the Force about them and more of the Farce.

[Jeremy Lee] offers a solution; he’s built what he claims to be the brightest light sabre in the world. That’s a bold assertion, and one which we think might even throw down a gauntlet to other sabre builders and spark an arms race among Jedi wannabes.

The super-bright sabre uses a 144 LED double-sided strip of Neopixels in a polycarbonate tube, with a DC to DC converter powered by a 1000mAH LiPo battery. Sound effects come from a SparkFun Pro Micro powering a 2W speaker through a small audio amplifier. The handle meanwhile is constructed from PVC pipe fittings.

His first attempt at the sabre had the LEDs at full power, and promptly melted his tube. Thus the final version runs at 40% of its maximum rating, with a “burst” mode for those moments at which combat demands it.

His write-up is a series of posts, with plenty of video at all points. It might seem odd to show you the shortest of them here at only a few seconds long, but since the unique selling point is its brightness we think the best way to show that is at night.

We’ve featured plenty of Jedi weapons over the years. A lot of them use LEDs like this colour changing one, but the most impressive is probably this one using flame. Please, keep them coming!

18 thoughts on “Building The Brightest Light Sabre In The World

  1. I don’t know much about star wars but I think jedi are supposed to build their own lightsabre? I find the idea of people in the films walking around the diy store looking at plumbing fittings quite amusing.

    1. Based on the expanded universe (old and new) this is basically how it was in some cases. One novel describes Luke Skywalker searching junk shop on Tatooine for the basic electronics and housing.

      1. I had this same thought, fused quartz tubing is readily available.
        Then I thought, quartz or mica, what happens when you swing your light saber and hit something solid?
        Then I thought, how hot can polycarbonate get without melting? Turns out it should be good for about 145 C.
        Then I thought, how hot can an LED get? Turns out WS2812s are rated to operate up to 80C.
        So, I’m gonna stick with polycarbonate for the shatter resistance.
        Maybe active cooling is the way to go for maximum brightness?

        1. For active cooling, you’ve already got a tube, so a little brushless fan in the handle blowing air right through the whole thing should do a lot of good for a little complexity.

  2. I made a lite for work for my self.( everyone called it a light sabre, so I started. )
    It is on a 1/2″ pvc pipe with allmost 10 meters of 120 leds a meter at about 4′ long then I put a piece of florecent light protector ontop ot that then I made a adaptor for a 18v dewalt battery. And it has a big ass DC to DC down converter on it to around 11.5 v I have cranked it up to 13.5v but it only lasts about 1 hour on a charge and gets hot as hell. But at 11.5v it will last 4 hours. It was a great light for work. They supplied the power I had the light.
    It was like having 2 or 3 40watt right beside you.

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