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Let's see how fast you can light a candle!

Laser Smith

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So I was making some videos the other day and managed to light a candle quite fast with my 445nm just over 1w in a mxdl 3405 host. I thought it was pretty quick but let's see if anyone thinks they can go faster ;)
 

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Benm

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I've never tried, but that went a heck of a lot faster then i would have tought!
 

Julian95

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Just tried that out with my spartan 1w 447nm and I couldn't do it, only a lot of smoke. I know this could be because of a lot of other factors, but I couldn't light a match "the hard way" either. It does burn, but I couldn't catch fire anything with it. Does this mean the laser could be underspec?
 
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You also need to make sure the distance of the laser to the candle is right according to the specific focus you have it adjusted to. That said, I don't really know what the required mW is to light a candle wick. I would be curious to know actually.
 

Julian95

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Well I wasn't focusing it (it isn't focusable unless I use something external), but the distance I was pointing it from the candle was pretty short, and according to the video it shouldn't be so hard with 1w.
And i'd like to know the required mw to light a candle aswell.
 

offroadfreak8582

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You also need to make sure the distance of the laser to the candle is right according to the specific focus you have it adjusted to. That said, I don't really know what the required mW is to light a candle wick. I would be curious to know actually.
Well actualy you cant say i need 987mW for it to light a candle. Every candle has a different composition. Also wavelenth and proper focus a variables. I've had that i would cut candle fuses and that they lit fuses in very different time frames.

There are just too many variables too it too give it a certain mW. That said in my opinion you will at least 800mW and perfect focus to be able to light a candle.. This might vary per candle ofcourse :p

Another weird thing i noticed when lighting candles is that the first time you try you have the best change of ignition.. If you light a candle, blow it out and try to light it again it will be more difficult. Why? I dont know :p my guess is that when the candle wax has been lit before it gets "transparent" faster which makes it harder to ignite..

Correct me if i am wrong :)

Greetingss,,

Greetings,,
 

Things

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Just tried it with my CO2 laser and the candle melted into a pool of wax before it could light :D
 

jander6442

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The only thing to this is focus, focus. A chare on the candle wik to begin with works well.
 
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There are just too many variables too it too give it a certain mW. That said in my opinion you will at least 800mW and perfect focus to be able to light a candle.. This might vary per candle ofcourse :p

Another weird thing i noticed when lighting candles is that the first time you try you have the best change of ignition.. If you light a candle, blow it out and try to light it again it will be more difficult. Why? I dont know :p my guess is that when the candle wax has been lit before it gets "transparent" faster which makes it harder to ignite..

Correct me if i am wrong :)
Those are some good points, thanks and interesting observation of the melting of wax within the wick itself becoming more reflective. :)


Just tried it with my CO2 laser and the candle melted into a pool of wax before it could light :D
You really should make a video of that! Is it a 40W CO2?

It reminded me of watching a special effects how it is done type show for a horror and sci fi movie where they were demonstrating how the monster character was done with a wax face built from the inside out including the wax skull, wax skin eyes etc and then they used a blow torch to melt it away to simulate some kind of attack for the final scene of the movie.

I imagine your CO2 laser would have worked even better for that scene! :D :beer:
 

Ramsey_innovations

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Well actualy you cant say i need 987mW for it to light a candle. Every candle has a different composition. Also wavelenth and proper focus a variables. I've had that i would cut candle fuses and that they lit fuses in very different time frames.

There are just too many variables too it too give it a certain mW. That said in my opinion you will at least 800mW and perfect focus to be able to light a candle.. This might vary per candle ofcourse :p

Another weird thing i noticed when lighting candles is that the first time you try you have the best change of ignition.. If you light a candle, blow it out and try to light it again it will be more difficult. Why? I dont know :p my guess is that when the candle wax has been lit before it gets "transparent" faster which makes it harder to ignite..

Correct me if i am wrong :)
I would definitely agree, many factors are involved. I've lit candles with 600mw of 405nm. The energy density just has to be high enough along with a proper fuel and oxygen supply. I find that a very slight breeze or draft can help things ignite well.

I believe that just about any laser that qualifies as class 4 has the potential to initiate ignition, if the conditions are correct.

I will have to semi disagree with the statement "If you light a candle, blow it out and try to light it again it will be more difficult". Usually if I hit the wick or match stick as close as I can to where the stream of smoke is still venting from just after extermination, it will light right back up. I do have to be quick and have the focus just right to plasm-ate immediately upon contact. If I wait several seconds it does become much more difficult though. Its kind of like the old trick where you can make a flame jump down the stream of smoke of a just exterminated candle, ignites the super heated gasses. Anyone know what I'm talking about?
 

Things

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You need to slightly de-focus the laser to light a candle properly, at least at higher powers. Too small a focal point and you just vapourize wick material, you need to diffuse the beam a little so it heats the wax on the wick to ignition point.
 

Laser Smith

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Things is right. I've cut wicks in half before igniting them by being too spot on with the focal point. If you go just before or after the FP though it'll light right up :can:

That being said you probably won't be able to ignite a candle without focusing...
Unless you've got a lot of Mw's :eg:

Thanks for all the replies guys! I was unsure if this thread would get a single one

Live long and prosper,
Matt
 

Cyparagon

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Here's my attempt


Is it cheating if I use 60W instead of 2? :undecided:
 

Laser Smith

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:crackup: You are in the wrong weight class Cyparagon lol
That's fantastic though, I wonder if it's worthy of Guinness? A world record and a beer :beer:
 




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