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Old 12-26-2011, 07:02 PM #17
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Default Re: new to lasers

Glad to help! I don't mind at all if you copy my post. Laser safety needs to be posted everywhere people who use or think about lasers are.

The wavelength ("color", measured in "nm" (nanometers)) often determines the purpose of the laser. IR is anything above 700nm. IR is subdivided a lot, but the divisions aren't very important for most applications. If you want IR that cannot be seen at all it has to be above 900nm. Many people (including myself) can see 808nm rather well. It appears as a dim red. 808nm, 940nm, and 1064nm are some of the most common wavelengths.

405 = violet, which is NUV (Near UV), makes things fluoresce, and burns the best because of high absorption.

445 = cerulean blue, currently the highest power available in direct diode form.

473 = sky blue, very expensive to produce in an inefficient manner called DPSS.

510 = forrest green, the first direct diode green, we're waiting on real production to start, it could revolutionize the green laser market and drastically affect prices once it is readily available.

532 = standard green, also made inefficently and expensively (at higher powers) by DPSS.

594 = Yellow, either produced by DPSS or HeNe Gas lasers, expensive and unavailable at very high powers.

612nm = orange HeNe Gas Laser, unavailable at even what most people consider "low" power, expensive.

632.8 = orangish red (looks red to me though), HeNe standard color. inexpensive, but always lower than 30mW.

635 = orangish red (again, looks plain red to me), direct diode highly visible red. Medium price, available in high powers.

650 = standard direct diode red (looks blood red to me), very cheap, available in a wide range of powers, was one of the first mass produced diode wavelength.

670 = dark red, usually very low power and inexpensive, iirc was the first mass produced diode available to the public.

Lasers between 500nm and 600nm are visially brighter to humans than any other. I forget the exact peak wavelength, but it is in the mid 500's, I'd say around 560nm. It is my opinion that the 400-500 range is brighter than the 600-700 range. People perceive these two areas differently, and for me 450nm is FAR brighter than 650nm. Heck, 405nm is still brighter than 650nm to me.

That should help you while you're looking through various lasers for sale. It certainly isn't a complete listing though and many manufacturers label wavelengths + or - 5nm. So, a 445nm is a 450nm, etc.

If you want to use high powered IR for hunting (and it does work great!) make sure you pick up a pair of IR Laser goggles that have a high VLT (visible light transmission, which is a measurement of how well you can see out of them). The real danger is having the laser reflect back at you, or someone else. As long as it can be ensured this does NOT happen, lasers can be used very safely.


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Old 12-26-2011, 07:17 PM #18
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Default Re: new to lasers

Hi xenophobe, thanks for the link. It really opens your eye's to the dangers of laser's.
Thanks.

Sigurthr
What a informative post. Putting into laymans terms easy to understand. Thanks, I'm starting to appreciate the dangers and how to. Respect lasers.
Thanks
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