We learn more about how the team at Unilite has taken product testing to new heights… quite literally!
When Unilite claimed its SP-4500 speaker worklight was from another planet, we didn’t expect such a theory to be put to the ultimate test. After counting down to lift off during the summer, however, the team decided to embark on its most daring mission to date by sending the SP-4500 speaker worklight into space. The journey of how it got there required intricate planning, the type that is reminiscent to mission control of Apollo 11.
One of the initial considerations was its possible threat to aircraft. A large balloon carrying a solid work light isn’t the ideal obstacle for a jet plane.
The possible risk to built-up areas then needed to be checked. This was done with simulations that plotted the different layers of wind and how it would rise through the atmosphere. After these considerations, the team had a flight path and it was time for the launch.
With the SP-4500 fully charged (giving a 3.5 hour run time on its highest setting), it was fixed onto a custom-built solid exoskeleton frame so that it would be stable during flight – much like the solid tripods they can be fitted onto back on earth. The camera was placed front on and the light of the SP-4500 turned on using the five-stage dimming switch.
When time for lift off arrived the balloon was inflated and released, with the SP-4500 sitting like a passenger waiting for its fate. As it rose into the sky, temperatures dropped to -60°, which is 20° lower than the unit is tested to back on earth. It would then have to cope with the low pressures of the outer reaches of earth’s atmosphere. Thankfully Unilite builds its lights tough, so this wasn’t an issue.
When it reached the summit of its climb it hovered over earth, pausing to take in the amazing view. Earth looked so small from this vantage point, like a gassy soft ball. The light was still on and gripping the platform tight, however there was a moment of panic when the balloon burst and started to hurtle back towards earth. Within a few seconds the parachute had been deployed, which controlled and softened the descent.
It was then a case of tracking the unit as it floated back down to earth. Fortunately, the Unilite team didn’t need to worry about rainwater during the descent as the product’s IP65 rating protects against liquids.
Like storm chasers, the team scrambled to follow its trajectory as it approached a field at the end of its two-hour journey. Although the impact was firm this still didn’t cause an issue because the SP-4500 is IK07 shock-proof. In fact, it’s also 2m impact resistant, though dropping it from space without a parachute might be pushing things slightly.
Once the team had arrived and inspected the landing, the SP-4500 was found safe and sound. The unit was working as normal, and even the light was still on – a great end to an earth-shattering experiment.