Understanding Fixed Focus vs. Adjustable Focus Laser Pointers

by | Aug 2, 2023 | Green Lasers, Laser Pointers

When searching for different handheld laser pointers online, you may notice various features depending on the models you browse. There are things like key lock switches, momentary vs. constant on/off buttons, laser heads and caps to attach, duty cycles, and more. Regarding focus, a “fixed focus” laser is specified on a specific beam width, and it cannot be adjusted. An “adjustable focus laser pointer” offers the ability to focus and narrow the beam width of a laser. Also, it is one of the more common features you’ll find out there.

But is that really something you need? Or is it something that isn’t very useful for your application? You may or may not need to focus or widen a beam depending on how you intend to use your laser pointer. Let’s find out if the option is right for you.

What is Your Primary Application for the Laser?

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First and foremost, how do you intend to use the laser? Do you have a specific application or use case in mind? Or is it more for general use? Or maybe you’re unsure how you intend to use the laser you buy. All things being equal, having more beam control with a focusing laser is usually a good thing. This way, you can determine the correct width or focus for any target you’re aiming towards.

Focusing a Laser Beam at Longer Distances

If your needed range is less than 100 feet, then having the ability to widen or thin out the beam will matter less, as a high-quality laser pointer won’t expand much over 100 feet. The nature of light emitting from an aperture is to expand over greater distances. Think about how a flashlight beam expands outwards in all directions when using it. A laser beam is a condensed beam of light, but it will still expand over distances. This is known as beam divergence; the higher the beam divergence, the more the width will grow over specific distances.

If you need your laser “dot” to be visible at distances greater than 100 feet, it is a good idea to consider a focusable laser. If you need to shine a green laser towards Canada geese pests at over 100 yards, you’ll want the ability to narrow the beam. This way, you can ensure you have the brightest possible “laser dot” at any distance. When we thin out a beam at a greater distance, it condenses the light and makes it more luminous instead of fainter. For example, the most popular goose control laser is the 500mW GX green laser. It is focus adjustable, giving you much more control at various distances to ensure you have the brightest possible dot to scare off the flocks of geese for good. 

Selecting the Right Laser Pointer Model

Knowing what you’ll use the laser for is a good idea before you buy. If you’re unsure, you can ask a laser expert from a reputable company with phone support or send an email. Do you need a specific color or output power? As a general rule of thumb, green laser light is 5X-7X brighter than any other visible laser color at the same strength. So, a 200mW green laser is 5X more visible than a 200mW red laser and 7X brighter than a 200mW purple laser. For most users, green is the best option because of the increased visibility, but it is up to you. For astronomy lasers, green is also the best bet, as you can see the beam at night to point out constellations.

If you have questions about a specific laser model or want guidance on choosing the right one for your requirements, call us to discuss the best choices. We’ve been in business since 2005 and specialize in the best laser pointers online.