Old 04-21-2012, 11:22 PM #1
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Default Is it good for a laser to be overspec?

Hi all, I have a simple question.
If you buy a laser, and you're a bit lucky it is overspec. But is this "healthy" for the laser itself? For example a 1W which puts 200mw more out, or a 5mw 589nm which output is 100% than it should be.
Does overspec laser die faster?


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Old 04-21-2012, 11:58 PM #2
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Default Re: Is it good for a laser to be overspec?

The answer is: It depends.

Each individual diode is capable of outputting at different powers. Even with the same make and model of diode from the same production line one will be good enough to output 350mW and another will be good enough only to output 300mW.

If you assume that the person who built your laser knew what they were doing then it follows that they probably tuned it to a level that gave your particular diode a good lifetime. If they didn't know what they were doing they could have overloaded it.

The best advice is to just not worry about things that you don't have the ability to change.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:06 AM #3
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Default Re: Is it good for a laser to be overspec?

Okay, thanks. Does somebody had a laser which died because it was too much overspec?
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:21 AM #4
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Default Re: Is it good for a laser to be overspec?

There's a difference between a laser being overspec and overdriving it.

Overspec laser is when laser is built according to specifications and it was set for a long lifetime, but it still outputs higher than expected.

Example, DPSS green lasers. Due to their complex internal constructions, the DPSS conversion process efficiency varies wildly. Sometimes only on average, 25% or so of IR output gets converted to green.

Which means, theoretically, if you have a 100mW IR pump diode, you'd get 25mW of green outside. Ofcourse realistically, efficiency does not scale linearily from low powers to high powers but you get the idea.

Now, overspec green laser happens when you have a 100mW pump diode but have 35 mW of green output instead of 25mW. That's when you manage to get the inner construction better than planned due to sheer luck, and gain extra output at no additional cost.

Direct diode lasers are very rarely overspec. Only time when that happens is when you get what is known as "freak diode", which outputs insane amounts of light compared to other diodes for same amount of input power.

That happens VERY rarily though, one in tens of thousands I'd say. We've seen very few 445nm freaks, I think RHD has one outputting 2.6 Watts or something, I know that member called Dustin (dlmb) once had a 405nm PHR that gave 300+something mW for only 180mA input current (normal is 100mW for 120mA), and I'm yet to hear about 650nm freaks.

DPSS greens are what's most likely overspec, because as I said, internal construction is complicated and to put it bluntly, a bit random, so you may hit lower powers than intended, as well as higher.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:27 AM #5
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Default Re: Is it good for a laser to be overspec?

Thanks! That was what I searched for +1
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150mW 405nm RIP HOMEMADE!
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1000mW 445nm 3D Printed Host Build HOMEMADE! *click me HARD*
1000mW 447nm Dragonlasers Spartan
300mW 532nm Skylaser 517mW peak H532L-S300B skylaser
50mW 589nm Dragonlasers Spartan Variable Power Mod *click me HARD*

500mW 635nm HOMEMADE!*click me HARD*

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Old 04-22-2012, 12:41 AM #6
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Default Re: Is it good for a laser to be overspec?

No problems, man. I left out explaining what "overdriving" is compared to "overspec", but you seem to already know that.

Have a nice day
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