Welcome to Laser Pointer Forums - discuss green laser pointers, blue laser pointers, and all types of lasers

LPF Donation via Stripe | LPF Donation - Other Methods

Links below open in new window

ArcticMyst Security by Avery

Beginners General Question - Distance / Power


New member
Jul 20, 2022
Hi folks,

I've got a sprint project I'm working on regarding long-distance scoping (simple monocular, with a digital eyepiece/camera and some night-time visual aid). Its not really "Night Vision" but I guess you could categorize it as such.

I am currently past choosing the monocular and the camera (IMX290 based) and require some assistance with the distant illumination. Normal IR leds (either 850nm or 940nm) are found to be effective roughly up to 100m (I did sift through many types, including the high-powered beads and played with various lens configurations).

This is where lasers come in - and this is where I'm a total n00b. I've managed to acquire three chinese-made lasers hoping they could provide much better illumination and further distance (0.5W 850nm, 1W 940nm and 1.5W 808nm). Needless to say the 808nm one is intense and perfectly covers a 350m+ distance with a nice spread using its provided lens (aliexpress of course).

Here is where I get lost, and I only assume that lack of knowledge in optics (and of course, lasers) totally keeps me back.

Say that I wish to achieve over 500m distance of coverage. I cannot yet say much about the "spread" or "intensity" (other than an image should be visible in the camera) - but I was wondering where should I "focus" (see what I did there?) my efforts.

Is this mainly an optical consideration, and my struggle should be with finding the best optics? (for example, sacrificing a smaller monocular that already has its optics aligned, say 8x30)

Or should I strive to find a more powerful module? (I'd reckon 5W).

Or ... and I'm sorry about this n00bish questions - am I looking at some complicated issue that requires better know/hows...