Laser pointers are quickly growing in popularity. If you’re curious about what laser pointers are, what they do, who uses them, and more important questions regarding lasers, you’ve come to the right place. Here we’ll address questions like:
- What are laser pointers?
- What are laser pointers used for?
- Who uses laser pointers?
- What do different laser beam colors do?
- How much power do I need?
- What about burning lasers?
- Are laser pointers safe?
- Where can I buy a laser online?
So let’s get started.
What are Laser Pointers?
Laser pointers are handheld devices that emit a collimated beam of laser light in a specific wavelength of light at a specific output power. In other words, a laser pointer is a laser you use in your hand which “points” or “shines” a laser beam. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, are available in a multitude of beam colors, and can widely range in output power.
What are Laser Pointers Used For?
Any application where a consistent beam of laser light is required. Lasers can be used for:
- Astronomy or star gazing
- Giving a presentation
- Science experiments
- Photography or Filmmaking
- Arborist & landscaping work
- Construction work & mining
- Hobbies & burning
- Military training & combat
- Riflery & shooting competitions
- Bird watching or as goose control
- Tours & tour guides
- and many more
Laser pointers can be used for an incredible number of real-world applications.
Who uses Laser Pointers?
Laser pointers are growing in popularity for use at home and the workplace. Consider a construction crew utilizing the aid of a green laser pointer to direct personnel where work must be completed on a structure. Or a fire rescue team signaling across mountainous valleys to one another during a rescue operation. Or a fed-up homeowner scaring geese away from their property with a high power green laser pointer. There are numerous ways in which a laser can assist with everyday life.
Laser pointers are also used by the military for training and combat exercises. Professors and teachers prefer a low power 5mW green laser pointer for use with presentations or other visual aids. Competition shooters zero their scopes using a high power laser pointer at distances of 100 – 1000 meters.
Many different kinds of people find value in having a laser pointer as a real-world tool. (See our article on Goose Control Laser Pointers here)
What do Different Laser Beam Colors Do?
Laser pointers are available in both visible and invisible light frequencies. Invisible infrared laser pointers are invisible to the human eye and are not suitable for most purposes. When we are considering visible laser pointer colors the most common are:
- Purple / Violet
So what do these different colors mean? As a general rule 532nm green laser light is 5X – 7X brighter than any other laser beam color at the same power. If we take a 200mW green laser pointer, it will be 5X brighter than a 200mW red laser pointer and 7X brighter than a 200mW purple laser.
Green light is the brightest color to the human eye so 532nm laser light will appear brighter at the same power.
How Much Power Do I Need?
This will depend primarily on the application of the laser pointer. Generally, 100mW or 200mW in green laser light is suitable for most applications. 200mW is a minimum for daytime use and the higher the power the better for visibility. If you’re looking for a burning laser pointer that can light matches and pop balloons, you’ll need to go up in power.
What About Burning Lasers?
Lasers are available in different classes (Class I – IV) which signify the strength they possess. Stronger lasers produce enough heat to be considered “burning laser pointers”. These lasers can light matches, pop balloons, light a cigar, cut through electrical tape, etch into certain wood types, and more. As a general rule, any laser 500mW or higher will be most suited to burning. The color will not make a difference only the beam output power. If you’re looking for a burning laser beam you’ll need a minimum of 300mW.
Are Laser Pointers Safe?
Like any tool, cheap quality or improper use can be cause for concern. Very cheap lasers out there can also be more dangerous as they do not use safety measures that keep laser users protected. So, laser safety will often come down to the end-user. Here are some rules to keep your laser use safe:
- NEVER aim at aircraft, motor vehicles, or people
- NEVER look directly at the beam
- BE CAREFUL around reflective surfaces when indoors
- WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES when doing burning experiments or using lasers over 300mW
- BE RESPONSIBLE
- USE COMMON SENSE
It is not only incredibly irresponsible to shine a laser at an airplane but it also carries hefty criminal penalties and fines. Use common sense.
Where Can I Buy a Laser Online?
Today you can find all sorts of different places to buy a laser pointer online. The problem is that not all laser pointer manufacturers or models are created equally. You could easily be going with a laser that won’t last more than a few days. The most important thing to do is to do some research into any laser company you’re considering. A few guidelines to keep in mind:
- Is there a warranty period? If so, how long?
If there is no warranty listed, look somewhere else. Warranty periods of less than 6 months should never be considered. How can you trust a laser pointer if the company producing it won’t even back it up with a warranty period? The answer is you can’t.
Look for warranties. Also, ask questions if you have them. Can you get someone on the phone during business hours? How long does it take the laser pointer company to reply to an email question? By simply asking a question you can get a good read on how suitable any laser pointer store is for your business.