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How powerful are foreign shop lasers?

MitchPearcey

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I have a green laser I bought in Egypt from just a normal shop, I am guessing because it was not bought online and this is my first laser its about 5mW or 10mW, maybe I am even being optimistic about the 10mW.

I know its hard to judge a lasers power without a metre but what would be your estimate for these types of lasers, the beam is visible at night and in dark rooms/places. It cant light matches but I have noticed it can make black tape smoke (not put a hole through it though). It can also make my black bin smoke a little.

Also I am looking to buy another laser because what is cooler than one laser? Two. So what companies sell lasers with output levels of 20mW, 30mW, 40mW, and 50mW and for relatively cheap prices? Preferably reliable companies too that do not sell underspec lasers.

Sorry if the post was nooby you can probably tell I am not an expert on lasers.
 



Pi R Squared

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Hello Mitch, welcome to LPF. You may want to also post in the Welcome area to tell us a little about yourself so we can get to know you better. Are you north east of London? The reason your location shows as Es*** is because the forum doesn't allow the word $ex, I assume you are from E$$ex you can respell it with a different character like I did, or just leave it as is, hopefully most will know where you are, or you can just say you are in England, it doesn't matter.

I would estimate the power of your laser at more like 40mW, with a 532nm green some of this will be IR and not visible light because a 532nm is a DPSS laser and not direct diode.

What do you consider cheap prices? Cheap lasers are mostly something to avoid, especially with a 532nm green, they are always a gamble.

Alan
 

Laser Chick

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Hi MitchPearcey,

Welcome to the forum.
Alan covered it perfectly for you. Watch out for IR from cheap 532nm lasers.
 

bostjan

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What are you hoping to do with the second laser? If you want a laser for pointing, 532nm green works well, but, as others said, the green color of the 532nm green lasers is not direct light - these lasers use a small crystal that lights up when exposed to infrared light, so an IR filter must be used on the output of the crystal to block harmful IR light. The IR pumped into the crystal is particularly dangerous, because it is close enough to visible light in wavelength that it causes a great deal of damage to the retina, but you can't see it, so you don't even know it's blinding you until it's too late.

You also have to be particularly careful with a high powered pointer that lacks the IR filter, when around reflective surfaces, since the IR may reflect at a slightly different angle than the green light, so you might beam yourself in the eye with harmful IR only. Probably much worse than that is how some surfaces may reflect IR light like a mirror, whilst transmitting or absorbing green light. For example, clear glass transmits visible light, but often reflects IR. Some kinds of thin plastic like trash bags and tape may absorb green light but transmit IR, causing other potential dangers.

That all said, I would recommend a good 532 nm green pointer, or, if you are willing to spend a bit more, the newer 520 nm green direct diode lasers are pretty cool. It's a little greener green than 532 nm, and there's no IR. I would suggest collecting a few different wavelengths of 5 mW pen pointers, like 650 nm (or 635 nm) red, 405 nm violet, etc. These pointers are safe and are direct diode, and fairly inexpensive. You could also get some really cool pointer pens that have boutique colors, but they are quite expensive. Those come in (roughly) 450 nm, 475 nm, 590 nm, and so on.

If you want to burn stuff, I'd still recommend starting with those to get a good handle on how lasers work. If you do have a mishap and lase yourself in the eye with a 5 mW pen, you should be okay, but if you run out and buy some crazy 445 nm 5000 mW monster and zap yourself in the eye, you're going to be lucky if you ever see out of that eye again. Always use laser goggles with class IIIB lasers and, although we love our class IV lasers, they probably should not be handled without the utmost care.
 

wally445

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I decided to buy one of the ndg4216 515nm diodes of Jordan at dtr its running at 350ma and around 140mw. I have to say i really love this laser i put it in a c6 host and cant get enough, the colour and divergence are awesome. I would recommend one highly plus Jordan can set the power to whatever you would like and you can be 99.9% positive it wont die after a week which you cant when looking for a green dpss laser for not much money.
 
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