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Sci-fi inventors set another record with a flashlight as bright as ‘four suns’

By Vanessa Lee and Anthony Vasquez-Peddie, CTV News

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    TORONTO, Ontario (CTV Network) — They say necessity is the mother of invention, but that’s not the case for the team at Hacksmith Industries. The Ontario-based inventors are more focused on stretching the imagination and pushing past the impossible, and one of their bright ideas has landed them in the record books for a second time.

The Nitebrite 300, while perhaps not the most practical flashlight, shines at 501,031 lumens, making it the brightest flashlight in the world, according to Guinness World Records. The device, barely able to be wielded by a single person, is comprised of 300 LEDs and can light up an entire football field at night.

“It’s like staring at the Sun four times,” Chris Thiele, Product Manager at Hacksmith Industries, told CTV National News, while laughing, “Like four overlapping suns.”

The invention has landed Hacksmith Industries a second entry in the Guinness World Records. Their first was for building the world’s first retractable lightsaber late last year.

The company has made a reputation for itself by bringing science fiction to life, taking ideas from comics, movies and video games and making real-life prototypes. Other inventions have included Captain America’s shield and Wolverine’s claws.

The small team, operating out of Kitchener, Ont., is made up mainly of engineers and videographers. They also have a massive reach, with over 12 million subscribers on YouTube.

“We try to impact a large number of people in a small way and the best way we can do that is through inspiring people to do their own projects, to get involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics),” co-founder Ian Hillier said.

Hillier said it’s a dream to be able to turn his passion into a living.

“I think we do a good job of making things real and helping people picture a world where science fiction is real,” he said.

Among the group’s works in progress is a real-life power loader inspired by the movie Aliens, another project looking to pop something through our screens and into reality.

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