If you’re in the market for a laser pointer you may be saying to yourself, “there are a lot of different laser colors, output powers, and styles, what will be the best laser for me?” Knowing which laser you should buy can be tricky if you’re unfamiliar with the technology, or the ways they can be used for specific applications, it can seem a bit daunting. Here we’ll look at different types of lasers, different beam colors, and different output powers; so you have a better understanding of what laser would be suit your specific need.
What is Your Desired Laser Pointer Use?
The most important factor when considering which laser to buy will be your main goal and application for using a laser in the first place. You should be trying to answer a few key questions:
- What do I need the laser for?
- How far away will I need to shine the laser?
- Will I need to use the laser beam in daylight hours?
- Do I need safety features like a key switch?
- What about some control like a focusing ability?
- Does any single color help my application?
- Do I need a burning laser pointer?
- Do I want to hold the button down or it clicks on and off?
These are some standard questions you should try to tackle before making a purchase. Lasers come in all different shapes and sizes so it’s important to know why you want the laser and how you plan on using it. Now, we’ll look at some specific use cases for different types of lasers.
General Laser Pointer Info to Consider
Before we look at specific use cases, there are some general rules to consider when looking for a laser.
- As a rule, green laser light at 532nm is the brightest laser color to the human eye at the same power. For example, a 200mW green laser will be 5X brighter than a 200mW of red or blue laser and 7X brighter a 200mW purple laser.
- The color does not matter for burning ability it is only the mW output power.
- Green laser light or high power blue laser light is suitable for daytime use, the higher the power the better, 500mW+ being ideal for daytime use.
- Class IV lasers are the best for burning ability as they are over 500mW, ideal for lighting matches, popping balloons, and more.
- Blue lasers are typically higher in power and are therefore better for burning use.
- Laser pointers that can focus the beam offer more beam control and can aid in burning ability.
- A momentary on/off switch is preferable for presentations while a constant on/off switch is preferable for Goose control.
Ideal Laser Pointer for a Specific Application
Now that we know different lasers can be used for different reasons let’s look at some specific applications.
Goose Control Lasers: green lasers at 500mW+ or blue at 2000mW+ have proven incredibly effective for non-lethal goose/geese control and deterrence.
Arborists & Construction: green lasers will be best suited for this sort of work for indoor or outdoor use. Point out specific tree limbs or items several stories upwards on a construction site.
Military Exercises & Training: depending on the variety of training and the branch of the military, green at 532nm or infrared (IR) 808nm-1064nm will be best suited for night vision or aviation exercises.
Astronomy & Star Gazing: here you’ll have more choice as any color will do, for green anything 5mW or higher, red and blue anything 25mW or higher, and purple anything 100mW or higher.
Presentations & Auditoriums: ideally you’ll want to go with a green laser, 5mW can be ok but if it is a very lit auditorium you will want to go with more power, around 50mW.
Knowing Where to Buy a Laser Pointer
Not all laser pointer or laser manufacturers are created equal. There are very few USA suppliers or retailers of lasers. BigLasers.com, being in the industry since 2005, is a leading USA brand but you should be asking a few questions about specific lasers if you have them. You should look for reputable companies, and make sure they have:
- Minimum 1-year warranty on any laser
- Actual phone and email support with a real live person on the other end
- Can an answer technical questions and provide usage recommendations
- Is based in the United States
- Has a long track record in the industry
- Has real and true tested output powers (nearly all Chinese laser suppliers list false power ratings, there is no such thing as a handheld 50,000mW green laser for $50, the technology doesn’t exist at any cost in handheld form, let alone for less than $100)
If the company you’re considering doesn’t meet any or all of these, you should look elsewhere. Give us a call if you have questions and get a real person here in the USA on the other side.