Old 03-10-2012, 09:54 PM #17
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

Before you give up on lasers, think about this: high-enough rated goggles can reduce the transmission of that wavelength upwards of 10^6 times. That's reducing it by a factor of one MILLION.

If you want to do this, get a ~500-700mW 405nm laser, always keep your OD6+ goggles on (see these: YLW - Blu Ray, Blue Diode, 457nm [NR-YLW-EN207] - $101.50).

Even at 700mW of output power, if you got a reflection, the worst damage you could take would be from 700 NANOwatts of 405nm light. A lit room is brighter than that.

It's an expensive pair of safety goggles, but they are rated for use and you will be fine, most likely even from just looking straight into the laser (but still, DON'T DO THAT).



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Old 03-10-2012, 10:36 PM #18
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

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Originally Posted by Wolfman29 View Post
Before you give up on lasers, think about this: high-enough rated goggles can reduce the transmission of that wavelength upwards of 10^6 times. That's reducing it by a factor of one MILLION.

If you want to do this, get a ~500-700mW 405nm laser, always keep your OD6+ goggles on (see these: YLW - Blu Ray, Blue Diode, 457nm [NR-YLW-EN207] - $101.50).

Even at 700mW of output power, if you got a reflection, the worst damage you could take would be from 700 NANOwatts of 405nm light. A lit room is brighter than that.

It's an expensive pair of safety goggles, but they are rated for use and you will be fine, most likely even from just looking straight into the laser (but still, DON'T DO THAT).
Sounds like my kind of laser goggles. Question is... can you see through them? :P

Truthfully that thread probably scared me a bit too much. I'm sure the lot of you secure your lasers in a sturdy clamp, check for reflective surfaces, make sure there are no onlookers (without protection) and then strap on a good pair of laser-blocking goggles before turning it on. It's just so easy to make a mistake. A shread of neglect and you or someone near you could be off to the ER, all because you wanted to, I dunno, pop balloons or whatever you guys like to do, without being safe. If I'm going to brandish one of those high power lasers as though it were the typical laser pointer, I'm definitely going to get a pair of goggles like you described, and stack on additional measures on top of that. There may be a future in lasers for me yet, but I've got more learning to do, and some play money to save up.

That reminds me, no one answered one of my questions! What do you guys like to do with your lasers, either for fun or for practical use? Me, I'd just like to use one as a battery-powered fire starter if nothing else, preferably with a rechargable battery that can be recharged via usb or something. Much more stable than a lit flame.
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:17 AM #19
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

You can't go wrong with getting a less powerful laser (and goggles) to start off with while you get used to how to handle it safely. Something that would be acceptable and safe to use your laser for would be pointing at distant treetops to admire the beam.

It is always good to get into a habit of using safe practices before you ever pick up a more powerful laser. If you lose focus for a second on what you are doing it is far too easy to turn the laser on before it is pointed at a safe location and you could end up accidentally pointing at the neighbors house or windows and then drag the beam across their yard and then onto the treetops you meant to point at in the first place.

You need to think carefully and concentrate on what you need to do to safely operate it BEFORE you even pick up the laser. While you will still need goggles for anything over 5mW you will be less likely to put burn marks on your walls or accidentally shine something really powerful somewhere you really didn't want while you are still learning.

To start out wanting to use it for burning is probably not wise until you learn how to safely handle the laser and are aware of ALL the potential things that could happen that you may not be able to predict. This could be forgetting to put your goggles on while pointing the laser dot 2 feet in front of you, or not realizing the cat has walked into the room you are using the laser in because you forgot to close the door. Maybe you were using the laser indoors and the beam reflects off something reflective goes out the window and blinds someone walking by your house? You will never be able to recover from the consequences of having ruined your eyes or someone else's.

Another thing to remember is that when you have your goggles on you will be protected but may have a false sense of security that may make you less aware of where you point the laser. You will not be able to see the beam with the goggles on and the dot will be far less visible so it will be less apparent where the laser is actually pointing. (Or even if it is on or off.)

The knowledgeable laser hobbyists on the forums here all think KipKay is an idiot for promoting powerful burning lasers to noobs and or kids who don't know how to safely use them and it is very apparent to the veterans that KipKay himself doesn't even know all that much about lasers himself. Wicked Lasers is also generally thought of in pretty low regard because of its marketing campaign to attract kids and noobs to really powerful lasers in their quest for sales.

I would suggest browsing the forums and read as much as you can. It is the best place on the internet to learn about laser safety and what you can and cannot do safely with lasers. If you have any more questions this is the best place to have your questions answered. I am still in the process of learning as there is an incredible depth of knowledge that is involved in understanding lasers and the hobby but I now feel I have a pretty good grounding in the safe practices since reading the forums and being helped by the knowledgeable veterans and hobbyists here.

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Old 03-11-2012, 01:23 AM #20
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

The safe way to get rid of annoying spiders and ants,is to buy a big can of raid hornet and wasp killer it shoots a stream of posion 12 feet away.
kills spiders and ants faster then a laser,plus becareful you do not set them a flame they will run as fast as they can while still burning.
They might go inside your wall and start a fire in your house.
Very risky,i know because i shot a big ass deer fly off of the window with the 445nm, and it was still burning when it fell in the crack by the floor i had to put out a mini fire.small but could of been worse it's stinks also.
And as far as safety goes you only get one set of eyes.
Everyone sees a laser beam different then most folks.Always wear safety goggles for the spectrum you are using.
I never would buy a wicked laser there they are under spec,and a waste of money,you can build three blues for the price of one.
Build your own is the only way to go.
It's not as hard as people think good luck.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:13 AM #21
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

Yeah, you can see through those. They only block out light in a specific part of the spectrum. And no, at least I don't "secure my lasers in clamps, etc." It's really just common sense - avoid shiny things, they are easy to spot (because they shine!). Just wear goggles and you should be completely fine when it comes to high-OD, OEM safety goggles.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:51 AM #22
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

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Originally Posted by Dave934 View Post
The safe way to get rid of annoying spiders and ants,is to buy a big can of raid hornet and wasp killer it shoots a stream of posion 12 feet away.
kills spiders and ants faster then a laser,...
Said he can't use poison because of the pets.
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..Thanks so much Fret for showing me that link (the subject in question now has a friggin avatar of what I have to guess is a damaged retina, possibly his own).
Yes. Xouls avatar is an actual picture of the permanent injury to his retina.
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SCREW. THAT.
Just makes me think, though, what the hell are you guys using them for!.?
This:



Please note the safety glasses shown in the first few seconds, I am wearing them the entire time while shooting the video.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:56 AM #23
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

ahhem
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkLZj...layer_embedded

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Old 03-11-2012, 09:16 PM #24
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

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Originally Posted by ElectroMagneticFreak View Post
You can't go wrong with getting a less powerful laser (and goggles) to start off with while you get used to how to handle it safely. Something that would be acceptable and safe to use your laser for would be pointing at distant treetops to admire the beam.

It is always good to get into a habit of using safe practices before you ever pick up a more powerful laser. If you lose focus for a second on what you are doing it is far too easy to turn the laser on before it is pointed at a safe location and you could end up accidentally pointing at the neighbors house or windows and then drag the beam across their yard and then onto the treetops you meant to point at in the first place.

You need to think carefully and concentrate on what you need to do to safely operate it BEFORE you even pick up the laser. While you will still need goggles for anything over 5mW you will be less likely to put burn marks on your walls or accidentally shine something really powerful somewhere you really didn't want while you are still learning.

To start out wanting to use it for burning is probably not wise until you learn how to safely handle the laser and are aware of ALL the potential things that could happen that you may not be able to predict. This could be forgetting to put your goggles on while pointing the laser dot 2 feet in front of you, or not realizing the cat has walked into the room you are using the laser in because you forgot to close the door. Maybe you were using the laser indoors and the beam reflects off something reflective goes out the window and blinds someone walking by your house? You will never be able to recover from the consequences of having ruined your eyes or someone else's.

Another thing to remember is that when you have your goggles on you will be protected but may have a false sense of security that may make you less aware of where you point the laser. You will not be able to see the beam with the goggles on and the dot will be far less visible so it will be less apparent where the laser is actually pointing. (Or even if it is on or off.)

The knowledgeable laser hobbyists on the forums here all think KipKay is an idiot for promoting powerful burning lasers to noobs and or kids who don't know how to safely use them and it is very apparent to the veterans that KipKay himself doesn't even know much all that much about lasers himself. Wicked Lasers is also generally thought of in pretty low regard because of its marketing campaign to attract kids and noobs to really powerful lasers in their quest for sales.

I would suggest browsing the forums and read as much as you can. It is the best place on the internet to learn about laser safety and what you can and cannot do safely with lasers. If you have any more questions this is the best place to have your questions answered. I am still in the process of learning as there is an incredible depth of knowledge that is involved in understanding lasers and the hobby but I now feel I have a pretty good grounding in the safe practices since reading the forums and being helped by the knowledgeable veterans and hobbyists here.
Thanks for the helpful post. I agree with everything, a laser capable of burning things is too much power for me to handle from the get-go, and I need to have a better grasp of what I'm handling before I move up to something powerful. If my understanding is correct however, doesn't a 6mW laser pose just as much threat as a 1W laser in the sense that one hit in the eye will permanently harm you? If that's the case, playing with lower-power lasers will pose a similar threat and should not be toyed around with either.

Also, I too am angry at both Wicked Lasers and KipKay for recklessly advertising these powerful lasers to people like myself, although at least Wicked Lasers posted warnings everywhere. KipKay didn't say a word about safety in his butane lighter laser video, and his review of the Arctic was mostly just to explain the features. In either case, however, the danger these lasers pose is severely understated, and they need to take steps to make sure these lasers are put in responsible hands. I could have hurt myself or someone else if I had bought that laser and played with it before looking up on laser safety info first. Wicked Lasers also shipped their lasers with inadequate safety glasses the first time around, so you can tell they don't care. I might just go and build my own if I want one so bad, I'd like to know more about building electronics anyways.

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Originally Posted by Wolfman29 View Post
Yeah, you can see through those. They only block out light in a specific part of the spectrum. And no, at least I don't "secure my lasers in clamps, etc." It's really just common sense - avoid shiny things, they are easy to spot (because they shine!). Just wear goggles and you should be completely fine when it comes to high-OD, OEM safety goggles.
Do laser protection goggles only vary by their OD rating and what color spectrum they block? I want to be sure. Even if I buy those goggles you posted before, I'm likely to test a smaller laser on them using a LPM (I think that's what it's called) to see how much actually gets through. I've also heard about IR laser energy, which is apparently invisible but just as dangerous, so does that have to be filtered out before it becomes acceptably safe with the goggles on, or do goggles block that out too?

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Originally Posted by Ash View Post
This:



Please note the safety glasses shown in the first few seconds, I am wearing them the entire time while shooting the video.
That looks pretty cool... but isn't that horribly dangerous even with a strong set of goggles? It looks like you'd have to be staring directly down the barrel of those lasers, unless you just moved the camera around but stayed out of the way yourself.

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I'm not sure if you're making a joke about the typical newbie here, or implying something about me. I assure you, if you're trying to insult me, you're wasting everyone's time including your own. If not, then I apologize for the rudeness. That video pretty much sums up my mindset when first inspired by KipKay's video. I wasn't taking it seriously at all until I started looking into the dangers.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:21 PM #25
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

Regarding your question towards my comment: typically, yes, that's the only way that laser goggles vary - the spectrum they block and their optical density. Of course, they vary in many other ways if they aren't certified because they may be inconsistent, etc. However, OEM Laser Systems goggles are certified, so you can be assured of that. Regarding IR light... it is only emitted in small amounts from specific laser processes: for instance, in the process that produces 532nm (green) lasers, IR is often emitted. The same is true about 473nm (light blue) and 589/593.5nm (yellow/amber) lasers. However, typical royal blue, blu-ray, or red lasers emit NO IR light.

Also - no, a 6mW laser is NOT nearly as dangerous as a 1W laser. The thing about the eye damage hazard is that a 5mW laser is rated (I believe) as having a 50% chance of doing permanent eye damage. That number increases with power. Further, the amount of eye damage done increases with power as well. That is, a 6mW laser may only have 55% chance of damaging your eyes and will probably not leave a noticeable blind spot. However, a 1W laser will have a 100% chance of damaging your eyes and WILL leave a noticeable blind spot.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:58 PM #26
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

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Regarding your question towards my comment: typically, yes, that's the only way that laser goggles vary - the spectrum they block and their optical density. Of course, they vary in many other ways if they aren't certified because they may be inconsistent, etc. However, OEM Laser Systems goggles are certified, so you can be assured of that. Regarding IR light... it is only emitted in small amounts from specific laser processes: for instance, in the process that produces 532nm (green) lasers, IR is often emitted. The same is true about 473nm (light blue) and 589/593.5nm (yellow/amber) lasers. However, typical royal blue, blu-ray, or red lasers emit NO IR light.
Is that small amount of IR light so small that it's irrelevant (I'm assuming it would vary anyways)? Do goggles that block a color that also emits IR light block that IR light as well, or is there a separate defense for that?

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Also - no, a 6mW laser is NOT nearly as dangerous as a 1W laser. The thing about the eye damage hazard is that a 5mW laser is rated (I believe) as having a 50% chance of doing permanent eye damage. That number increases with power. Further, the amount of eye damage done increases with power as well. That is, a 6mW laser may only have 55% chance of damaging your eyes and will probably not leave a noticeable blind spot. However, a 1W laser will have a 100% chance of damaging your eyes and WILL leave a noticeable blind spot.
I think it's pretty safe to say that the damage from a 1W laser vs. a 6mW laser is going to be much more severe. I was trying to say that it wouldn't matter which intensity hit you. The goal is not to suffer eye damage at all, but no one is going to tell you it's a good idea to point a laser directly at your eye no matter how strong your goggles are, which indicates that there's always a chance it may still do some damage. Of course, you'd never know until it happened. The bigger concern is if a laser beam hits my eye when my goggles are off due to some kind of accident, one which I cannot currently foresee because the most experience I have with lasers is giving my cat something to do. In that case, it doesn't matter how strong the laser is if the likelihood of sustaining eye damage is that high to begin with. Once I have suffered eye damage, I have failed to protect my eyes, and if I know I'm going to fail at keeping my eyes healthy, I'm not going to play with lasers period. The likelihood of an accident happening and causing damage has to be extremely low before I'll feel comfortable with any laser.

Likewise, it doesn't make any more sense to play with a pistol before playing with a minigun because it's less powerful and is less likely to cause as much damage, because chances are, if someone gets hit by a bullet anywhere on their body, they're going to sustain far more harm than they're comfortable with.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:17 PM #27
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

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Is that small amount of IR light so small that it's irrelevant (I'm assuming it would vary anyways)? Do goggles that block a color that also emits IR light block that IR light as well, or is there a separate defense for that?
It really depends on what company made the laser. Cheap Chinese companies will often not include IR filters, so you may get as much as 20-30mW of IR output. However, high quality manufacturers like CNI include IR filters, so I am actually incapable of measuring the output (but it is still there, just below 1mW).

That said, it is not inherently true that all goggles that block 532nm or 473nm or 589/593.5nm lasers will also block 808nm and 1064nm (the two wavelengths of IR emitted from all of these systems). However, I just got a pair of goggles that blocks both the IR wavelengths and the visible wavelengths. OEM Laser Systems also sells a lot of goggles that protect in the same manner - protect from IR and the other colors.


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I think it's pretty safe to say that the damage from a 1W laser vs. a 6mW laser is going to be much more severe. I was trying to say that it wouldn't matter which intensity hit you. The goal is not to suffer eye damage at all, but no one is going to tell you it's a good idea to point a laser directly at your eye no matter how strong your goggles are, which indicates that there's always a chance it may still do some damage. Of course, you'd never know until it happened. The bigger concern is if a laser beam hits my eye when my goggles are off due to some kind of accident, one which I cannot currently foresee because the most experience I have with lasers is giving my cat something to do. In that case, it doesn't matter how strong the laser is if the likelihood of sustaining eye damage is that high to begin with. Once I have suffered eye damage, I have failed to protect my eyes, and if I know I'm going to fail at keeping my eyes healthy, I'm not going to play with lasers period. The likelihood of an accident happening and causing damage has to be extremely low before I'll feel comfortable with any laser.

Likewise, it doesn't make any more sense to play with a pistol before playing with a minigun because it's less powerful and is less likely to cause as much damage, because chances are, if someone gets hit by a bullet anywhere on their body, they're going to sustain far more harm than they're comfortable with.
See, this is where I am going to get flamed. When I was a kid, I once just got a red laser from Walmart and literally just pulled my eye open wide and just shined it in my eye for a good few seconds. Maybe that's why I wear glasses now, but I doubt it - I don't have any unnatural blind spots.

The point is, your eye is remarkable when it comes to healing itself. Personally, I am extraordinarily comfortable around lasers below about 30mW. I know it's far above the maximum permissible exposure, however remember that this is the government that is doing this regulation. And, in the event that someone gets hurt, they are going to sue the crap out of someone. So, we can know that 5mW is certainly a conservative estimate. That said, this doesn't mean you won't be that 1% that gets hurt by 5mW or whatever. It just means it's an incredibly small risk. So yes, there is a risk with a 6mW laser, it's just really small. No, by any means, it is not as dangerous as a 1W laser. But, there is a risk in doing anything, and to be completely honest, probably walking around your house is more dangerous to your vision than safely using a 6mW pointer (what if you fall or what if a fly lands on your eye and scratches your cornea?).
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:14 AM #28
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Originally Posted by Wolfman29 View Post
It really depends on what company made the laser. Cheap Chinese companies will often not include IR filters, so you may get as much as 20-30mW of IR output. However, high quality manufacturers like CNI include IR filters, so I am actually incapable of measuring the output (but it is still there, just below 1mW).

That said, it is not inherently true that all goggles that block 532nm or 473nm or 589/593.5nm lasers will also block 808nm and 1064nm (the two wavelengths of IR emitted from all of these systems). However, I just got a pair of goggles that blocks both the IR wavelengths and the visible wavelengths. OEM Laser Systems also sells a lot of goggles that protect in the same manner - protect from IR and the other colors.
I haven't actually read up on what "nm" is but I'm assuming that's the wavelength of a laser, which also determines the color of the laser. If that's the case, finding a pair of goggles that blocks both would be relatively easy I would think, which is good.

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Originally Posted by Wolfman29 View Post
See, this is where I am going to get flamed. When I was a kid, I once just got a red laser from Walmart and literally just pulled my eye open wide and just shined it in my eye for a good few seconds. Maybe that's why I wear glasses now, but I doubt it - I don't have any unnatural blind spots.

The point is, your eye is remarkable when it comes to healing itself. Personally, I am extraordinarily comfortable around lasers below about 30mW. I know it's far above the maximum permissible exposure, however remember that this is the government that is doing this regulation. And, in the event that someone gets hurt, they are going to sue the crap out of someone. So, we can know that 5mW is certainly a conservative estimate. That said, this doesn't mean you won't be that 1% that gets hurt by 5mW or whatever. It just means it's an incredibly small risk. So yes, there is a risk with a 6mW laser, it's just really small. No, by any means, it is not as dangerous as a 1W laser. But, there is a risk in doing anything, and to be completely honest, probably walking around your house is more dangerous to your vision than safely using a 6mW pointer (what if you fall or what if a fly lands on your eye and scratches your cornea?).
I've probably done something similar with a cheap laser from a store. I know I've grazed my eye with a direct beam with those and I'm not aware of any blind spots (although my vision has seemed to degrade a bit over time, but it's not nearly to the point where I need glasses, I just need to squint at things occasionally). Of course that's a laser under 5mW. I'm comfortable with playing with those simply because causing damage to someone's eye would have to be very deliberate, and it'd basically have to be shined on someone's eye for a good period of time before it'd cause damage, giving that person plenty of time to blink or turn away as well.

Also, part of the "government regulation" thing is why I came here. I know typically when a rule or limit is placed and excessive warnings are put up about how dangerous something might be, it's probably an over-reaction, but because, I dunno, 1 out of 1,000 people may have been injured by it, it needs a warning label stressing how dangerous it is. If I were to wear a powerful set of goggles rated for the laser I'm using, used a LPM to make absolutely sure that it does what it says it does (you never know when you're buying from someone you don't know, especially online), then bought a laser under 200mW and got hit in the eye by a beam that bounced off of something, I'd likely be unharmed. That is, based on what I've learned so far. If a pair of goggles like you have subscribed can cut a laser down by 1,000,000x the original laser strength, then I'm pretty damn safe. That, along with safe laser-usage practices, maintaining control of my laser and making sure not to point it recklessly, and I think the chances of me hurting myself are pretty low. Most lasers have to be held down in order to keep the laser going, so I'd basically have to be doing this intentionally. That story about the guy who's 1W laser rolled off his chair or whatever and strayed off into his eye either had its button held down by something, or you didn't need to hold it down at all. That, of course, was because his goggles were off while it was on, and it was not secured.

I'm basically just being paranoid because the danger is so high. Lasers also seem to be a highly sophisticated technology, one that I have very little experience in, and the internet isn't always the most secure place for information, since that information can be written by almost anyone, and that anyone may be a moron speaking as though he were a professional. Anyone in here, even, could potentially be misguided or misinformed, but not know it simply because that person hasn't had an accident yet. That's part of the reason why I started this thread. I'll admit, I didn't search for some of this info, but I wanted to gather as many alternate viewpoints as I could. Five people all telling me the same thing may not comfort me as much as one would think, but it's certainly more comfortable than just reading off of a web page that claims to know everything about lasers.

So, with all of that said, I'm glad the folks here have been as accommodating as they have, but I feel I still have learning to do and I'll probably be spending much of that learning here. Already you guys have done a good deal to point me in the right direction. I think it's pretty safe to say then when I finally do start using lasers, I'll probably be wearing something like a blast suit :P.

(Apologies for the length of this post, btw)
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:26 AM #29
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

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Originally Posted by Gabraham View Post
I haven't actually read up on what "nm" is but I'm assuming that's the wavelength of a laser, which also determines the color of the laser. If that's the case, finding a pair of goggles that blocks both would be relatively easy I would think, which is good.
Yup. nm is the abbreviation for nanometers, which is the unit we use for wavelength of the visible spectrum, because the visible spectrum falls between the 400-700 * 10^-9 meters, which is 400-700nm.

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Originally Posted by Gabraham View Post
Also, part of the "government regulation" thing is why I came here. I know typically when a rule or limit is placed and excessive warnings are put up about how dangerous something might be, it's probably an over-reaction, but because, I dunno, 1 out of 1,000 people may have been injured by it, it needs a warning label stressing how dangerous it is.
That's exactly it. I'm probably one of the more "radical" people here who isn't always saying "goggles or die" but I think it's reasonable. For my own laser uses, I really only use goggles when focusing the laser (so I can get it to a smaller dot due to the glare) or when burning things. I've done the math on it and I am confident enough in my common sense that I won't point it at anything that will risk harm to my eyes. And, I know, even if I get a non-specular reflection, it probably won't be a perfect reflection and be more distributed/distorted, so you are certainly not going to see the full power of the laser.


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Originally Posted by Gabraham View Post
If I were to wear a powerful set of goggles rated for the laser I'm using, used a LPM to make absolutely sure that it does what it says it does (you never know when you're buying from someone you don't know, especially online), then bought a laser under 200mW and got hit in the eye by a beam that bounced off of something, I'd likely be unharmed. That is, based on what I've learned so far. If a pair of goggles like you have subscribed can cut a laser down by 1,000,000x the original laser strength, then I'm pretty damn safe. That, along with safe laser-usage practices, maintaining control of my laser and making sure not to point it recklessly, and I think the chances of me hurting myself are pretty low.
If you do everything you said, you're chances aren't just low - they are literally zero. The thing about goggles is that they aren't there to protect you from direct hits. Likely they will, but they are mainly to protect against accidents - that's why I typically don't wear goggles when just pointing around. The brightness isn't uncomfortable to my eyes and I am not worried about accidents (I know my surroundings well and I am not clutzy). But even with those O.D. 6+ goggles, you'll probably be able to just stare down the beam for 5 seconds or so and be fine :P (Not advising that, of course!)


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Originally Posted by Gabraham View Post
Most lasers have to be held down in order to keep the laser going, so I'd basically have to be doing this intentionally. That story about the guy who's 1W laser rolled off his chair or whatever and strayed off into his eye either had its button held down by something, or you didn't need to hold it down at all. That, of course, was because his goggles were off while it was on, and it was not secured.
Interestingly, that's actually not the case most of the time here. Most of the higher-powered lasers that are sold here and elsewhere are actually "clicky" tailcap lasers or "side-clicky" lasers in that you press it once and it stays on until you press it again. It makes for convenience for star pointing, burning, etc.


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Originally Posted by Gabraham View Post
I'm basically just being paranoid because the danger is so high. Lasers also seem to be a highly sophisticated technology, one that I have very little experience in, and the internet isn't always the most secure place for information, since that information can be written by almost anyone, and that anyone may be a moron speaking as though he were a professional. Anyone in here, even, could potentially be misguided or misinformed, but not know it simply because that person hasn't had an accident yet. That's part of the reason why I started this thread. I'll admit, I didn't search for some of this info, but I wanted to gather as many alternate viewpoints as I could. Five people all telling me the same thing may not comfort me as much as one would think, but it's certainly more comfortable than just reading off of a web page that claims to know everything about lasers.
I got ya. However, this forum is especially good when it comes to honest information. You'll rarely see a thread where someone puts false information that isn't immediately recognized as such and then changed/removed. And you're right - I even could be intentionally misguiding you. But, looking at my post count and my reputation, it would make sense to think that I am a useful contributing member.

And just so you know - I am certainly not a professional. All of what I have been saying here I have read here (or discovered through mathematics on my own, in one case).

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Originally Posted by Gabraham View Post
So, with all of that said, I'm glad the folks here have been as accommodating as they have, but I feel I still have learning to do and I'll probably be spending much of that learning here. Already you guys have done a good deal to point me in the right direction. I think it's pretty safe to say then when I finally do start using lasers, I'll probably be wearing something like a blast suit :P.

(Apologies for the length of this post, btw)
See, now it seems that you are deathly afraid of lasers. Why would anyone participate in a hobby where they can't enjoy the hobby for what it is? Why wear goggles to protect you from exactly that which you are claiming to enjoy so much? The thing about lasers is that are essentially only light. So if you can't see the beam/dot, you're missing out on something :P
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:16 AM #30
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

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See, now it seems that you are deathly afraid of lasers. Why would anyone participate in a hobby where they can't enjoy the hobby for what it is? Why wear goggles to protect you from exactly that which you are claiming to enjoy so much? The thing about lasers is that are essentially only light. So if you can't see the beam/dot, you're missing out on something :P
Well, right now, I am. But like I said in my original post, I really wanted it for lighting stuff on fire from afar. I can see decent potential in setting up a rig for fireworks such as positioning a match at the end of a fuse, then lighting it from a safe distance with a powerful laser. Of course, it makes a pretty good ignition source at close range, and seems to be able to light things for a very long time, since from what I've read, that 1W Arctic could run for 40 hours straight with a battery that's not all that big. Then, of course, there's using against spiders, and I can see a large number of ways I could use it to help me kill them. I know, most people think there's far easier and more practical ways to kill them, but the key is distance. The only time I want to get close to a spider is when I'm able to smash them with a near-unavoidable stomp from my shoe. Most of them don't linger that close.

As far as aesthetics go, I can't see a ton of potential with lasers. That video that was posted here was neat, but I'm betting that setup costed hundreds of dollars, and could only really be admired in controlled circumstances. I'd probably get bored of just looking at one before long.

EDIT: Also, I don't really remember claiming I enjoyed it very much. I think I've stated numerous times that I've never touched a laser other than the typical presentation pointer.

Last edited by Gabraham; 03-12-2012 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:19 AM #31
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

You'd be surprised... at first it's a single green laser. After you get a taste for a beam at night, though, the addiction sets in.

Anyway, there is no way an Arctic can run on high-mode for 40 hours. That's either stupidity or false advertising.
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Default Re: Questions about powerful lasers

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Originally Posted by Wolfman29 View Post
You'd be surprised... at first it's a single green laser. After you get a taste for a beam at night, though, the addiction sets in.

Anyway, there is no way an Arctic can run on high-mode for 40 hours. That's either stupidity or false advertising.
I believe some reviewer said so, but then, he may not have been using it on high. I don't know. In any case, I don't think I'd ever start out with more than a weaker laser, enough to produce some cool beams. Those have to be far less expensive and less dangerous. Then I'd get a better idea of how much I really like them. I'd really like to know of some other cool things to be done with lasers though. The consensus I'm gathering seems to be:
1. Point at stuff
2. Oooooh, pretty colors!
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