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The flashlight, which is being developed for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), uses a range finder to measure the distance to the target's eyes so that it can adjust the energy of the light to a level that won't cause permanent damage. Then it rapidly shoots out pulses of light from an array of ultrabright light emitting diodes (LEDs).
...The LED flashlight comes with a few caveats. The person being targeted could easily look away, or he or she might be wearing heavily tinted glasses. And the device would not be useful to, say, a security agent who is chasing a suspected attacker. "It is designed to be used on someone coming at you," Lieberman says. Also, the flashlight's effects are less during the day. But Lieberman notes that security agents will more likely face situations in which they need the device at night.