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Old 05-03-2010, 02:01 PM #1
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Question Clarifying safety with a 5mW green laser

Hello laser people! I ordered a "True 50mW" green laser from DealExtreme a couple weeks ago and I'm expecting its arrival sometime this week. I've been poking around your forums here a little bit and I'm starting to wonder if I should purchase a 5mW as well for safety purposes.

I would just like to clarify a few things about the 2 lasers and I'm under the impression that this is the best community to seek help from ^^

First and foremost, I decided to go with the 50mW because I wanted something decently visible and it was only 20$ where as a 5mW was 10$ so my simple logic told me "double the price for 10x the power? Hell yes!" and now I'm starting to think I made a bad decision. I knew from the start I would have to be very careful with it, but I'm starting to worry now for things such as reflections. A reflected beam is obviously something that can accidentally happen to anyone and from what I've been hearing the reflection is enough to cause instant and permanent damage as well. Now to me that kind of defeats the purpose of the laser because to me it would be hard to use it recreationally with this possibility of damage being present.

So what I would like to know is: would the 5mW True Green laser from DealExtreme be completely safe to use without worrying about any permanent damage? Obviously I wont be pointing it at or near anyone's eyes either on purpose, but in the event of direct eye exposure I'm lead to believe that it won't harm a person due to the blink reflex limiting exposure time. And it goes without saying if the direct beam can't damage your eyes then neither would any reflection or anything else of the sort. Is this true?

Sorry for the novel-like post, and thanks in advance

P.S. The 2 lasers I mention are these 2:
50mW: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1371
5mW: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.91

EDIT: Oh and one more thing now that i think of it. Is it dangerous to look at the actual dot of the 50mW close up as well? For example, would it be a bad idea to point the 50mW at the floor by my feet and look at it or is that safe?



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Old 05-03-2010, 08:37 PM #2
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Default Re: Clarifying safety with a 5mW green laser

Do you live in the US? Because DealExtreme wont ship to the US, Also looking at the dot of a 50mW on a matte surface is fine and should not cause problems. You could always buy a pair of safetly glasses for indoor use of your laser.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:49 PM #3
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Default Re: Clarifying safety with a 5mW green laser

safety glasses are a must for lasers >5mW if you value your vision.

that '50mW' laser will not be 50mW, 30mW if you're lucky. dealextreme are notoriously bad for selling underspec lasers that are over 10mW. but for 20$ it's still a good deal.

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Also, would a crap-load of evenly-wound aluminum duct tape work for heatsinking around the Aixiz module?
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:11 PM #4
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Default Re: Clarifying safety with a 5mW green laser

If your floor is polished wood like mine, the beam could easily reflect into your eye causing permanent damage before you have a chance to blink. If you want quality lasers, go to ledshoppe. I heard they were good greenies. They have 5mw to 50 mw greens. I personally bought a 50mw from them and is waiting for it to arrive. I've also heard that looking at anything higher then a 30mw greenie the dot can be harsh looking.
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:43 PM #5
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Default Re: Clarifying safety with a 5mW green laser

Yea the laser actually arrived shortly after i finished posting and I've been avoiding any reflective surfaces completely lol. So would the 5mW be hard to hurt anyone with?
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:49 PM #6
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Default Re: Clarifying safety with a 5mW green laser

yes 5mW is relatively safe to use as long as you don't purposely point it at your eye for prolonged periods of time, but a hit to the eye wont do any permanent damage.

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Also, would a crap-load of evenly-wound aluminum duct tape work for heatsinking around the Aixiz module?
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:32 PM #7
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Default Re: Clarifying safety with a 5mW green laser

If it is truly a 5mw, your eye should blink quick enough to stop any permenant damage from occuring.
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:04 AM #8
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Default Re: Clarifying safety with a 5mW green laser

If you're buying the laser from dealextreme, rayfoss, o-like or any other Chinese distributor then there is no guarantee that the 5mW laser will actually be 5mW. In the vast majority of cases low powered cheap green lasers are overspec, some so much that they'll burn. If you want a green laser that is actually 5mW (and the comparative safety that comes with it), get it from Radio Shack or Z-BoltŪ Green Lasers for Consumer, Corporate, Military & LE.
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:45 AM #9
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Default Re: Clarifying safety with a 5mW green laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by laserboystuart View Post
yes 5mW is relatively safe to use as long as you don't purposely point it at your eye for prolonged periods of time, but a hit to the eye wont do any permanent damage.

stuart
Thank You for the easy simplistic answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElektroFreak View Post
If you're buying the laser from dealextreme, rayfoss, o-like or any other Chinese distributor then there is no guarantee that the 5mW laser will actually be 5mW. In the vast majority of cases low powered cheap green lasers are overspec, some so much that they'll burn. If you want a green laser that is actually 5mW (and the comparative safety that comes with it), get it from Radio Shack or Z-BoltŪ Green Lasers for Consumer, Corporate, Military & LE.
So more often then not the 5mW "True" or not from DX is going to be hugely more powerful than 5mW? I hear people talking about these things to measure the power of lasers, how much do those cost and where can i get one? I dont plan on sinking a whole lot of money into this whole laser thing, i know alot of you guys are huge hobbyists but i honestly just wanted one for some good safe fun and for 20$ it seemed an easy choice, now its starting to get a bit more expensive. those zbolt lasers are like 40$ minimum
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:58 AM #10
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Default Re: Clarifying safety with a 5mW green laser

If you worry about your vision thats a good thing

I would suggest looking into a pair of laser goggles, even if you dont need them they are always good practice.

There is a few members that sell goggles on this site for a fairly reasonable price, Try pming scopeguy20. He may actually have a pair of red in stock.

Also Dragon lasers have a nice pair that offer really good protection --> Laser Glasses - UV to Green Lasers Protection 190-548nm :: Laser Safety :: Dragon Lasers

Anyhow im glad you enjoy your laser!

Hope I helped,
Jeff

Edit: Dx is hit and miss with there lasers, some people have gotten really good lasers some have got crap ones way underspec.

Average 5 mw lasers can be anywhere between 1-30+ mw
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:16 AM #11
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Default Re: Clarifying safety with a 5mW green laser

Goggles are the best bet. You can use a laser of nearly any power with goggles as long as they're for the wavelength you're using.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:18 AM #12
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Default Re: Clarifying safety with a 5mW green laser

Why is safety always so expensive lol alright well i guess ordering the lower powered laser from DX would be pointless, ill just stick to bein careful with the one i got and maybe invest in some goggles. thanks for the help everyone
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:51 PM #13
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Default Re: Clarifying safety with a 5mW green laser

In practice, a reflected beam from 50mw is probably not going to do you any lasting damage. Most surfaces will reflect only a few percent of the incoming light. Only a mirror would pose any real hazard and even then, after allowing for divergence, hand-shake and built-in safety margins, you would be unlikely to suffer any permanent injury from a momentary exposure. As long as you are sensible (which it sounds as though you are), you should be fine.
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