The Truth About Laser Pointers

Laser pointers have been around since red laser diodes look to have been on the market which means they are older than most teenagers who bought them. Laser pointers are usually made from direct diode lasers or solid state laser diodes (DPSS). Direct diode pointers available in red or violet (made from Blu-Ray lasers at 405 nm WL “nanometers wavelength”) and direct diode green are likely to be available soon thanks to a company called KAAI that develops them for the laser projector market.

Red laser pointers are available in various wavelengths such as 635 nm, 650 nm, 660nm, 670 nm.

DPSS laser pointers are usually available at the following wavelengths, (blue) at 473 nm, (green) at 532 nm and (yellow) at 589 nm and (orange) at 593 nm. Because the human eye is most sensitive to green with a clear peak brightness at 555 nm this means that all the other visible colors look less bright despite the same power level. The difference in brightness of a clear color is basically expressed in this ratio with green at 514 nm being (1) then blue at 488 nm becomes (2.6 times smaller than green) and red at 647 nm becomes (4.6 times less than green). Previous ratios and wavelengths can be found in the mixed Argon / Krypton Ion gas, a white light laser used by professional laser show companies. The color brightness ratio will vary according to the wavelength but the above given ratio will give you the right color balance of white light. To summarize the 1 watt green laser at 514 nm it seems as bright as a blue laser 2.6 watts at 488 nm and as bright as a 4.6 watt red laser at 647 nm. You should consult a color chart to compare the clear brightness of other laser wavelengths.

Some things to consider If you want to buy a DPSS laser pointer is the power level and the way the diode is operated. What I mean about power levels, is the actual power level measured at the operating wavelength. Because a typical green DPSS laser pointer has several laser wavelengths involved to produce twice the frequency of visible output, unless the manufacturer provides good filtering, the power you measure at 532 nm may also come from 2 other IR laser wavelengths. You can actually get cheap laser pointers that emit infrared light (808 nm and 1064 nm) almost as high as visible light, which can be very dangerous and deceive someone who thinks they are buying a house that burns paper. Another thing about DPSS laser pointers is the way the diode pump is operated, which can be pulsed (turned on and off at a fixed frequency) or a constant wave of CW (continuously). It’s easy to determine if you are buying a laser pointer DPSs are pulsating because you will see lines that are cut if you move the rays quickly across the wall or ceiling.

The last concern with laser pointers is the biggest, namely security because the ever increasing power output is available today. Usually laser pointers are limited to 5 milliwatts but there are manufacturers that seem to serve clients who want more power like Evil Lasers in China that provide pointers that are more like flashlights, producing power levels as high as 500 milliwatts of green or red. It also doesn’t take rocket scientists to buy raw laser diodes and drivers to make them themselves higher than legal laser pointers.

To provide a perspective on the power level, a 5 miliwatt green laser at 532 nm would be enough to enchant your night-adjusted vision and might cause an automotive accident to say one hundred meters from the source. Conversely, a 500 milliwatt green laser can easily cause permanent damage to your vision, ignite fires by burning paper or other combustible material at close range and inevitably distract airline pilots who approach the runway at a distance of one or two miles. Safety is everything when it comes to laser pointers.

Because laser applications are so widespread, we cannot prohibit them but try to apply better control over their use and distribution. Lasers are strictly controlled by the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA in the United States and other regulatory bodies that are related to countries that produce and sell them.

To be sure, lasers are inspired by science fiction and laser pointers attract not only fans of Trekkies and Star Wars but people from all walks of life. Be it sports enthusiasts who are eager to influence the results of home games or grandma gets her training and cheap entertainment while playing following the red dot with 10 of her cats, lasers are everywhere.

I have worked with lasers for more than 20 years. I have designed, built and operated laser projectors for more than 10 years. As a laser or laser operator, I enjoy another path to creative expression using this extraordinary media to help the charity I choose. I am also a Stained Glass artist with more than 20 years of experience.

eBay Laser Pointer Scam Exposed

Fraud itself is based on the type of light provided by the laser pointer, the way power is measured, changes made to the laser pointer and sellers who are not aware and / or dishonest.

Type of light

This laser is advertised as a green laser and must provide green light and only green light. That never happened. Nearly all green power high power laser pointers supposedly on eBay emit a combination of green light with a wavelength of 532nm light and infrared light with a wavelength of 808nm and 1064nm of light.

All genuine high-power green laser pointers have filters installed which prevent them from emitting infrared light. Laser pointers on eBay are missing this filter that has been deleted or intentionally made without. Removing the infrared filter from the laser pointer increases its strength and makes it far more dangerous.

Take a 240mW laser pointer which is commonly found on eBay as an example. This laser pointer probably only has 40mW of green light with the remaining 200mW of light being infrared light. Customers pay for a laser pointer with 240nm green light and only get a laser pointer with 40mW of light. Effectively deceive them from 84% of their money.

Another problem with the infrared filter that is missing is a very dangerous laser. Infrared light spreads like a torch beam compared to a green light in a narrow beam. Visible green lights can be avoided but infrared light because they are invisible cannot be avoided. Most safety glasses that protect the green light are fully transparent to infrared light. This means someone who wears safety glasses and uses one of these lasers is less likely to avoid light and is far more likely to suffer damage to their eyes.

Power measurement

The power of most laser pointers will reach its peak in the first few seconds then stabilize at a much lower level than the peak. A reputable seller will give average strength as the advertised power. EBay sellers, on the other hand, use peak power as the advertised power. This is very deceptive because it misleads people into thinking the laser is far more powerful than it really is.

Modification

This laser pointer is only designed to handle power from around 5mW to 10mW. The seller modifies the laser pointer by increasing the power from the battery to the laser diode so that the diode emits a stronger laser beam. The problem with this is that diodes are not built to handle higher forces and will have a much shorter life cycle and are likely to burn. Many eBay lasers lose power or burn completely in a matter of hours or even minutes. The lens in the acrylic coating laser pointer is also not designed for increased power and tends to be damaged with reduced or completely failed performance.

These eBay sellers are not laser experts and generally have little or no understanding of the laser pointers they sell. This means they cannot provide quality advice or recommendations and the level of support and service they provide is minimal. Their general response to customers when there is a problem with the laser pointer is to send it back as a replacement. Given that laser costs are no more than shipping costs, most customers reduce their losses at that time.

Possible improvements

Laser pointers with a power of more than 5mW are classified as dangerous items and are not allowed on eBay. If you have been tricked by one of these sellers, you can threaten to report it to eBay and maybe their account is suspended or even closed.

If you pay by PayPal, you can also open a dispute for items that are not as described. This dispute may not be decided for you, but most sellers are willing at that stage to issue you a refund. If you pay by credit card, you can restart your bill with your credit card company in the same way with a greater chance of success than PayPal.

The last choice is bluffing. Claims that you will contact eBay, police, and government departments responsible for consumer affairs in their country if they do not issue you with a refund. Considering they sell items that are prohibited by eBay and are illegal to sell (legal to own) in a number of countries, these cliffs are very effective.

Skyline Green Laser From Points of Beyond

Showing a constellation or star will not be difficult with the help of the Skyline green laser pointer. This is because this amazing laser pointer emits diverse green laser beams that appear to stretch up to the stars. This amazing laser unit with an output of 5mW over nearly 80 miles throughout the galaxy can still be seen in a dark and somewhat polluted atmosphere (cloudy or smoky place), unlike this red laser pointer, this mystical green mess can be seen in the darkest of nights and not even fade at great distances which means these units are easily seen in dark and foggy situations. These units usually come 6 feet long and with pocket clips. The skyline unit is equipped with three (3) triple A batteries but flows quickly.

Some people with the Skyscout unit (a revolutionary handheld device that uses advanced GPS technology with the convenience of point and click to identify thousands of stars, planets, constellations and more.) Can install their Skyline green bookmarks reliably and most of their coworkers or viewers can see what their unit shows, whether it’s constellations, stars, or even colonies hidden above the stars (just kidding, but who knows?), with just a touch of a finger on the “target button” then the Skyscout “LCD” button can analyze the description or even coordinate.

Even though, the bracket (ABS) attaches to the SkyScout side. Manufacturers claim that it will not interfere with the GPS Sky Scout system or the ability to point perfectly. The manufacturer also states that brackets are recommended ONLY for use with Orion SkyLine Green Laser Pointers, which have been thoroughly tested to ensure that they will not interfere with the Sky Scout GPS system or pointer accuracy. So if you use SkyScout more than just a rarity, and use SkyScout as a teaching aid or just want to see objects more comfortably, Skyline along with a bracket can be a good investment.