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Hello Laser Pointer Forums,

I am a student at the University of Georgia majoring in physics. I understand the science behind lasers but besides the high powered lasers used in lab I am not very familiar with lasers that can be used for "recreational use". With that being said, I want to invest in my first premium laser. Here is exactly what I want from the laser starting with my number one priority to my lowest priority. Not all conditions need to be met but I would love if they were. I have no particular budget but as a broke college student, the cheaper, the better!

1) Something really cool! I am geeky and want something to show my friends.
2) No real safety concerns. I do not want to have to wear glasses. Of course I know not to shine any laser into a person's eyes but I don't need a laser that will cut through things, burn holes, or pop balloons. I want to be able to use the laser without always worrying.
3) I would love to be able to see the beam of the laser; not just the point.
4) It would be awesome to have a blue laser but I am not opposed to green! Red is not really attractive to me.
5) I would love to be able to point out the stars at night to someone. This may be out of the question.
6) I want attachable lenses to manipulate the beam into cool patterns to show off to friends!

Thanks everyone! Please include links to the lasers if there is one that sticks out to you. Your experience is very much appreciated.
 

Tmack

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Your best bet will be around a 50mw 532 (green) laser. This will do all of what you have requested without being terribly dangerous. Of course a direct hit would be bad , but you will not be setting fire to your surroundings. It will be very visible at night to star point, beautiful beam, and as long as your pointing at a fair distance, glasses aren't absolutely needed. Nt to say accident don't happen, but a 50mw pointed at the sky won't do any eye damage.

Try laserbtb . They have a great line of pens that use AAA batteries and come in strengths up to 150mw in 532nm.

They also have a hl450 100mw . Which is blue, but now we are into glasses territory , but its also not a 1w laser either. Just do some browsing around he site for a laser under 100mw in yor price range. While glasses may not be what you want, you may want to compromise there. I have recently been hit in my left eye because I wasn't wearing glasses and now have permanent reminder of how little effort it takes to throw on some glasses.
 

Photonz

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Im sure you could get a awesome custom built laser with all the specs you want here on the forum. I also recommend 50mw 520-532nm
 
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Thanks so much for the response!!! That points me in the right direction. To clarify, what exactly do you mean by "direct hit"? Also, to understand what I would be getting, is this laser something that I could simply use to point during a powerpoint presentation or would this laser put me in a completely different playing field? Thanks again!
 

Tmack

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5 mw is what you want for a PowerPoint. 50mw would drown out your presentation. And a direct hit is just what it sounds like. The beam hitting your eye.
 

Tmack

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Thanks . You can also take a look n the buy sell trade section. But a lot of the lasers you see there will be some monsters. But if your anything like us, you'll get your 50mw, and only want more! :)
 

Hap

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Or you can always try a 589nm beauty.

Warning: May attract a lot of chicks and make everyone at the campus want to be your friend :)
 
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I agree with all of the above. There is no question that conditions 2,3,5 together would require a low power green. A 520nm is better in my opinion than a 532nm but more expensive, 532nm are sometimes unreliable unless you get an expensive one because they are DPSS. I just finished a 520nm a couple of days ago and it cost me $150.00 just for the parts so you may want to try a 532nm. I would still recommend safety glasses for when you are using it indoors at close range, and remember you will need batteries and a charger too, so figure that into your budget. Welcome to the world of lasers and to LPF.

Alan
 




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