I have made a metacafe video showing it in operation
There is a danger of being exposed excessively to laser radiation as with any laser project, yet the beam/effect has never done a 180 turn and come back at me in the viewing area. I would assume this would be attempted by responsible knowledgeable persons who are fully aware of the dangers of experimenting with lasers.
Step 1: Lighter Selection
Step 2: Lighter Setup
Step 3: Laser Stability
This laser uses an Open Can diode I found in a Lite On DVDRW drive, it has a 3 tripple A (AAA) cell battery holder and I have a 2.2 ohm resistor in series with the diode and I measured 310ma laser drive current. I used parts from the local hardware stores and for a colimnating lens I used the assembly on the end of a cheapo laser pointer. The lens is made of clear plastic. There is a switch on the end of and if i click it once it is on, click again it is off.
Step 4: Optical Diagram
People have stated that the lighter may blow up! I have tried both filled and unfilled lighters and have never had one become peirced by the beam. I have no power meter to read the output power so I suppose if a higher powered laser was used it MAY release the gas inside a filled lighter.
With freshly recharged batteries and the right distance/angle the results are very cool!
And again, here is a link to the video if you have not went there yet to see this in operation:
I hope you can also enjoy my little discovery with your high powered laser pointer also!
There have been many times I get a call from friends inviting me over and then requesting that I bring my laser and special lighter along with me for an evening of socialization.