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Old 10-26-2008, 08:52 AM #1
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Default Laser Show Safety and Info

Hello there, I enjoy creating lighting projects to illuminate my house that are enjoyable and are pleasing to the eye. I've been interested in using lasers for awhile, but am concerned about the possible damage to the vision of myself and my house guests.

I have stumbled across a guide based on creating a laser light show through the use of a laser, mirror glued to a headphone speaker, and a diffraction grating plate. I do not desire an incredibly powerful light show, instead the same process with a much weaker laser that can be left on 24/7 (and not overheat) to light up the ceiling in my living room.


Safety
With a 5mW laser (the legal intensity allowed by the U.S. FDA to be owned without a reason) and the laser passing through a diffraction grating, will a guest who looks into one of these diffraction beams (either accidentally or on purpose) damage their vision? As this is intended to be left on 24/7 or mainly at night, it needs to be safe to have in the living room. Are there any precautions I should look into for constructing this project? (I am assuming that construction with the single beam will be dangerous, yet diffracted beams will be much weaker)


Quality
This is not supposed to be a distraction in the house, but whenever someone walks into the room at night will see the ceiling illuminated with glowing laser patterns. Is a 5mW laser bright enough to be visible on the ceiling after having passed through a diffraction grating? From reading peoples comments about lasers, many people desire lasers that pop balloons or cut tape (high powered - 50mW+). Can I have a successful show with a laser weaker than 5mW (lower power would be preferable)?


Heat Dissipation
From what I have been reading, leaving a laser turned on for continued period can burn out or damage the laser. What kind of lasers can I purchase that can be left on indefinitely?

Any information would be greatly appreciated, and I am very interested to begin to use lasers for projects.

-QuackMasterDan


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Old 10-26-2008, 09:39 AM #2
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Default Re: Laser Show Safety and Info

Safety: To be honest I don't like any laser shining in my eye 5mw or 20 Watt, laser light is a very focused intense form of light.. 5mw is not going to blind you, unless you want it to.. Most likely that it will not.. rather safe than sorry..

Quality: The darker the better.. 5mw green would work nicely.. I have a 35mw module from DealExtreme, very nice bright beam and cheap..

Heat: Duty cycle is what comes into play here.. Duty cycle being the safe amount of time a laser can run without burning out.. 5mw has no duty cycle, meaning that it can run continuously.. Pointers are not great in this aspect since they can burn out. A module is a better option, they are made to run for long periods of time, like is laser shows..

Photonlexicon.com and laserfx.com are great sites to read up on safety
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:28 PM #3
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Default Re: Laser Show Safety and Info

i would recommend a simple 5mw green module that you can buy for under 15 dollars then put it in a simple heat sink. the reason i say green is because it is the easiest to see and at lower powers it will be more than bright enough for a spirogragh (the 2 mirrors spinning)

also what exactly are you planning to do with the diffraction grating? fyi this is not needed to make a spirograph.

you could easily use two smaller 1.5 volt pager motors and run your green laser off its needed 3 volts use a 3 volt power supply and your set. only one power supply needed and you can plug it in.




heres a few pictures of my 150mw 405nm blu ray spirograph.

i would say that my 5mw green is easier to see compared to this laser.





let us know if you have anymore questions i like helping with spirographs!
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:42 PM #4
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Default Re: Laser Show Safety and Info

Thank you very much for the information, it's helped a lot in my understand of how to make this work.

I am finding it difficult to find anyone that sells a low power laser module, everything seems to be a laser pointer with the casing taken off and titled a module so it can be sold without restrictions. After two hours of searching, I am unable to find any viable solutions for a laser under 5mW and does not overheat. (The best I found was at DealExtreme [ Geniune New Wish 5mW Green Laser Module (5V) ] but its been sold out for 4 months).

Can anyone on this board provide me a place to purchase a 1-5mW Green laser module?

Also, is it possible to run a laser pointer module continuously if it is cooled with a fan/heatsink?
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:51 PM #5
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Default Re: Laser Show Safety and Info

I am planning to create both a spirograph and the mirrored speaker with a diffraction grating.

For the setup, I will have a small mp3 player always playing music attached to an extracted large headphone speaker. Glued to the center of the speaker will be a small mirror, and this piece will be setup at a 45 degree angle. The laser will shine horizontally into the mirror reflecting upward into a transmission matrix diffraction grate and spread across the ceiling. When music is played through the headphone the laser beam will jitter for the pattern to illuminate the ceiling. Hopefully this should all work out and light up my house at night!
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:33 PM #6
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Default Re: Laser Show Safety and Info

well there is a member here that sells 5mw up to 50mw green modules you could but a heat sink and put the module in them and get an unlimited duty cycle!

that members name is sandstone

check out the for sale section
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Old 11-22-2008, 09:27 AM #7
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Default Re: Laser Show Safety and Info

5mW green laser module I have

Green Dot Laser Module(Operating Voltage:1.5V,optik output power:,1mW,2~5mW)

Model NO. OS-1.5U

Application : laer alignment,stage lllume,water lllume

Diameter:6mm,8mm,10mm,12mm

Wavelength:532nm

Optical power:<1mW,2~5mW

Operating Voltage:1.5V

Operating Current:<380mA

Operating Temperature:15[ch948]~35[ch948]

Storage Temperature:0[ch948]~50[ch948]

Life Time:>3000 hrs

Spot Size:<6.5mm

Pls contact me , add my ICQ 367172440
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