What Qualifies as a Military Grade Laser?

by | Jul 1, 2021 | Military Laser Pointers

If you’re looking for a high-power laser pointer you’ve likely come across various product lines, output powers, beam colors, features, classes, suppliers, components, and more. There are loads of lasers out there that claim to be “military-grade lasers” or “military lasers” but what defines this classification? Let’s take a look. 

Lasers of All Varieties are Used by Armed Forces

Military Grade Lasers

Military Grade Lasers

There is no one single standard for what defines a military laser pointer or system. Different branches from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Space Force, ATF, DEA, and police forces utilize lasers for loads of real-world applications. We’re not just talking about wartime or open conflicts either. Lasers are often used for military training exercises in various spectrums and powers in non-combat zones. 

Let’s look at an example: Infrared laser pointers are often used by men on the ground to signal to a helicopter or passing aircraft a specific target or location. Because these lasers can travel such far distances at higher power levels, military personnel find them an indispensable tool to have in their arsenal. Lasers provide a visual aid, signaling device, target finder, and more. A common variety: AN/PEQ-2 Infrared Target Pointer/Illuminator/Aiming Light (ITPIAL)

Are Burning Lasers also Military Grade?

They sure can be. But as previously stated the power levels and beam frequencies can vary greatly from one use to another. Burning high output power lasers are indeed used often by service members. From our example above, (signaling to a helicopter pilot where the enemy is) burning laser pointer output powers are often used. A 1,000mW 980nm IR laser is not only a burning laser but also a great military tool. Pilots can see these high power beams from long distances with the visual equipment they use. Even while piloting at night, and this makes a burning laser far more visible than a non-burning laser. 

What about Visible Beam Colors for Military Purposes?

We’ve seen how invisible or infrared laser beams are utilized but what about visible colors like green 532nm? The short answer is, Yes. Visible colors like green, red, blue, and even purple/violet are used. The most common of the visible colors used would be Green and Red for a few key reasons. 

First of all, green laser light at the same power is 5x-7x brighter than other colors. So, you get greater visibility at equal power levels and at lower power consumption. That gives someone on the ground more available time to use a laser on a single charge. This can prove critical to completing a mission or exercise. A 200mW green laser beam is 5x brighter than a 200mW red beam and 7x brighter than a 200mW purple laser. This is something that the military keeps in mind when choosing the right model for any training or real-world exercise. 

What Military Grade Laser is Best?

You should be choosing a laser to buy based on your application, not any stand-alone specifications you see on a laser spec sheet. Answer a few simple questions:

  • Do you need the laser to work in daylight, nighttime, or both?
  • Are you looking for visibility?
  • Do you want a burning laser?
  • What is the application? A presentation will require a low power whereas lighting a match will require a high output power.
  • Is there a warranty on the laser I’m considering? 
  • Can I get help and support if I need it?

If you can answer these questions you’re ready to go, if you can’t, no worries you can give us a call and we’re happy to discuss your application and provide direction on choosing the best laser pointer for your specific need..

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