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Old 10-29-2012, 12:35 AM #1
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Default Looking at beam - >1w

I've read posts that say looking at the beam of a laser outside isn't bad without goggles, it's the dot you have to worry about. With the higher powered lasers, like those over 1W, I wonder about that. I can see the beam because it's reflecting off of particals in the air. Is there a point where the laser is putting out enough power to make even those tiny reflections dangerous to look at without goggles?

I was playing with my Lazerer 445 LZSK 1W the other night. It's pumping out around 1100mw. The beam looks amazing, especially on humid or dusty nights. While pointing it into the sky on a cooler evening, the beam caught my breath, and I was caught off guard by how bright it was. That's what got me seriously wondering.

How about waving it around in the smoke above a fire? I haven't done it, and won't until I get more feedback about it. Any thoughts?


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Old 10-29-2012, 01:14 AM #2
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Default Re: Looking at beam - >1w

No, it's fine. 1W is a very little amount of light, relatively, looking at the beam without goggles is perfectly safe, as long as you're aiming the laser away from yourself.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:28 AM #3
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Default Re: Looking at beam - >1w

Thanks. I hated posting such a newbie question like that, one that has probably been posted many times before, but I didn't find anything that really put my mind at ease. So smoke really isn't a big deal, huh? At what power level would a person have to start worrying about the beam?
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:30 AM #4
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Default Re: Looking at beam - >1w

Probably around 100W or so I'd start getting cautious
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:06 AM #5
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Default Re: Looking at beam - >1w

An honest LOL! Point taken!
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:28 PM #6
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Default Re: Looking at beam - >1w

Even in dense smoke the beam is visible as a beam .. ei. the reflected energy is distributed along line. That means that density is a lot lower then if you watch just a dot, where all reflected energy is at one .. well .. dot.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:40 PM #7
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Default Re: Looking at beam - >1w

I would guess that the only atmospheric condition that may present a hazard would be heavy snowfall, I would just use some caution in that case.
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