Time: 6 months | Cost:
PERFORMANCE: Some flashlights pump out more light, but the Maxablaster has a much greater reach because the mercury arc lamp creates a tightly focused beam. Ottow says he once illuminated a ferry boat some nine miles away.
POWER: Thebulb is typically used for lab equipment and is designed to run off an outlet, so Ottow had the difficult task of packing together 54 off-the-shelf nickel-metal-hydride batteries. To regulate the current, he added a ballast.
SAFETY: Ottow installed a strong glass window in case the pressure shatters the bulb and gave it an extra coating to block harmful UV rays. He also added a mechanism so the light needs a key to operate.