Old 06-12-2009, 06:21 AM #1
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Default safety question

hello all

im purchasing the +40mW from optotronics tomorrow but i have a couple of questions about safety that i dont recall seeing. its gonna be used mostly for astronomy but i was wondering will safety gogglles be necessary if i am looking at the beam when the laser is pointing int he sky

also say i am in a room and point the laser at a painted all will looking at the spot cause damage to my eyes?

thanks


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Old 06-12-2009, 08:36 AM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venom21 View Post
hello all

im purchasing the +40mW from optotronics tomorrow but i have a couple of questions about safety that i dont recall seeing. its gonna be used mostly for astronomy but i was wondering will safety gogglles be necessary if i am looking at the beam when the laser is pointing int he sky

also say i am in a room and point the laser at a painted all will looking at the spot cause damage to my eyes?

thanks
Hello, I have a 50mW laser and though it is pretty bright, it is not overwhelmingly bright. If you point it at a white wall you can look at the spot, just don't stare at it for too long. You will not need safety glases for poiting it into the sky, the beam will be visible but it will not be bright. The beam will appear brighter away from the city limits/light pollution and less bright in the city. This is what the beam looks like from the side at 90 with a 5 minute exposure:



If you plan on burning things (yes it will burn, but very slowly) like smoking leather or attempting to light a match with the aid of a lens then safety glases are needed. Otherwise they will not be needed. I only use the red safety glases when I am burning with my +150mW laser. Enjoy your +40mW laser, I really like my +150mW from Optotronics, good stuff.

-Todd
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Last edited by Emc2; 06-12-2009 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:43 PM #3
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In the vast majority of cases, looking at the dot on an unpolished surface will not harm your eyes. The exceptions to this are (obviously) polished reflective surfaces and very high power levels. Typically the diffuse reflection of a spot from a laser hitting an unpolished surface is not dangerous until you reach powers of about 500mW or more, at which time a diffuse reflection could possibly have enough power concentration to damage you eyes permanently, although a reflection from a flat (not glossy) white painted wall is still unlikely to cause damage. Nearly all hobbyist lasers are not powerful enough to cause damage from diffuse reflection.
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