Sunday, November 5, 2017

Luxor Sky Beam - Worlds Largest Beam Or Bug Magnet?

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If you are headed to Vegas you do not want to miss the Luxor Sky Beam. Especially if you are a lover of physics!

Luxor Sky Beam


The Luxor Sky Beam is the by far the strongest beam of light in the world.  Its so bright strobe lights are turned before the beam is fully powered up to warn aircraft. The beam can temporarily blind pilots if they go near it. Supposedly it can even be seen from space. The beam is rated at 42.3 billion candela which is the base unit of luminous intensity in the International System. Such a massive construction was only possible to due using computer-designed, curved mirrors. These mirrors manage to collect the light from 39 xenon lamps. Then the magic happens when the design focuses all the light into one narrow beam. Giving us the end result of the most intense light beam the world has ever witnessed. Astonishingly the beam is can be seen as far as 275 miles away at cruising altitude by aircraft on a good clear night. That is as far away as Los Angeles!

Cost To Run The Beam


As you can imagine running such a massive light might run you quite the electric bill. The 39 lamps that are used to power the project are each rated at a very impressive 7,000 watts.  All cost around $1,200 to replace. But what is even more impressive the $20 dollars an hour electric bill they generate in order to power the 315,00 watts needed to power the system. It's estimated that it costs $51 an hour to operate in total! This most of been too much for even the wealthy hotel and casino owners. After 2008 only half of the lamps are now used at a time.


Insanely Hot Lamp Room

You will find the lamp room about 50 feet below the top of the building. This room is serviced by only two workers each day.  The workers have to replace the lamps every 2000 hours. They also have to keep an eye on the lamps to make sure they are not getting too hot.  This hot room gets up to 300 °F while the lights are operating.  The workers even have to use spacecraft insulation wrap to try to minimize the insane heat coming from lamps as much as possible.

Vegas Sky Beam Created Its Own Ecosystem


Have you ever heard about the Luxor sky beam bugs? The creators of the sky beam probably realized when they first turned the massive light in October 15, 1993, they were turning on the worlds largest sky beam. However, no one knew they were also turning on the world's largest bug magnet! That's right, very soon after the light was turned on a lot of moths made their way to the Beam. In the future maybe instead of saying like moths to a flame, we should say like moths to a sky bream? But the fun did not end there. Soon after the moths arrived the beam technicians soon found out the huge number of moths were attracting a likewise huge amount of bats hungry for moth dinner. The story does not end there. Soon after the bats arrived a likewise huge number of owls showed up for the bats. Yeah so apparently, owls like some good moth feed bat meat. Now, my friends, we have a little man-made ecosystem going on in Vegas.

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