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New to lasers - few questions

38sFinest

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Hey yall. I posted in the welcome forum but didn’t want to get too far in depth over there.
Thanksgiving evening I had a few drinks and started thinking about this green laser I had recently lost. I know it’s somewhere in my house I just can’t find it... Anyhow - I got online to replace it and WOW there are a lot of options! I went on to spend a few bucks and ended buying a 1.5w blue and a 200mw green.
I bought the last one from a guy I know who buys bulk and knows nothing about them. The small paper that came with it only claimed it shines 4.8 miles. I used to make my dog chase it and shine it all over my house. Hurt to look at the dot/beam but have never had any problems for last two or three years of usage. We’d go to the park and my dog would run 200 yards back and forth chasing that thing. I was thinking how cool it would be to have one in blue! Little did I know that 1.5w is not even close to safe to use without glasses, which apparently filter out all the blue light, so now I’m not sure I even want this thing if I can let look at it.

My question - would the blue one be safe to shine into the sky without glasses?
Would the green one be safe to shine at the park at night without glasses?
What power would you speculate my old green laser was at?

Thank you all for your time. I did make sure to read all the stickies on forum rules and tips and all of the safety stickies and a few thread debates. I searched a bit too as well so I have a tenuous grasp on these matters at least.
 

paul1598419

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Any laser is safe to point into the sky without safety goggles. In fact, using safety goggles defeats the purpose of pointing it at stars as you can no longer see the beam in the air. Safety goggles are there to prevent eye damage from accidental collimated reflections off metal or glass that might strike the pupil of your eye. Even looking at the beam profile on a matte surface is not dangerous as it becomes a point source of light that can be seen by anyone in the room and, therefore, decreases in proportion to the square of the distance you are away from it. But, until you have handled a laser with more frequency it is best that you use safety goggles indoors as accidents can happen.
 

Immo1282

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Yep Paul's nailed the... well nail on the head!

Reflections off painted surfaces, cloth, brick whatever might be uncomfortable to look at - but it's no different from looking at a lightbulb directly. It hurts cause it's bright - it's not causing real damage. 1.5W is enough power to start to burn surfaces though - so careful if you are flinging a 1.5W beam around inside your home as you could char wood/paper/fabrics :) The darker a surface, the more energy it'll absorb - Burning white paper is far more difficult than burning black paper. Your green pointer is not going to damage anything other than eyeballs from a direct reflection. Avoid mirrors, glass and staring directly into the beam and you should be fine.

I have a 1W 445nm (blue) that I've used quite a bit indoors at home - and I'm starting to get more comfortable with specific use of it without glasses. I usually slip on a pair of safety glasses if I'm doing anything close up - as it lets me observe the dot (well in the case of a powerful 445nm, bar) comfortably. Glasses prevent accidents, not enjoyment of lasers :)
 

RedCowboy

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Viewing the beam in the air is safe for your eyes just watch out for that poor bird flying by. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

38sFinest

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Yep Paul's nailed the... well nail on the head!

Reflections off painted surfaces, cloth, brick whatever might be uncomfortable to look at - but it's no different from looking at a lightbulb directly. It hurts cause it's bright - it's not causing real damage. 1.5W is enough power to start to burn surfaces though - so careful if you are flinging a 1.5W beam around inside your home as you could char wood/paper/fabrics :) The darker a surface, the more energy it'll absorb - Burning white paper is far more difficult than burning black paper. Your green pointer is not going to damage anything other than eyeballs from a direct reflection. Avoid mirrors, glass and staring directly into the beam and you should be fine.

I have a 1W 445nm (blue) that I've used quite a bit indoors at home - and I'm starting to get more comfortable with specific use of it without glasses. I usually slip on a pair of safety glasses if I'm doing anything close up - as it lets me observe the dot (well in the case of a powerful 445nm, bar) comfortably. Glasses prevent accidents, not enjoyment of lasers :)
Awesome. Thank you for clarifying and thank you Paul for your reply in my other thread as well.
I read a few threads about the dangers of them and I am now fully aware thankfully! Heck I was even pretty scared to be honest. They are still in the mail.
I’m not sure what might have happened if I hadn’t just decided to google it today. I really had very little understanding. I knew it could be dangerous...but exactly how and when I wasn’t sure of.
Thanks for being so courteous to a noob fellas.
 

Lifetime17

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Hi, Enjoy the laser but keep it away from playing with the dog. 1.5W will burn so be careful and the dogs sight is another issue. And be safe also.

Rich:)
 

paul1598419

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You will eventually find out that a 1.5 watt laser will burn your skin very fast too. It can also catch many things on fire, so be aware of all of this when you are pointing it. A brick makes a pretty good beam stop. You will likely never have a laser that can damage a clay brick. If you can get a dark one, it will help in making the light coming back at you less intense, but I have no problems looking at a 1.5 watt 445nm laser on a white surface.
 

38sFinest

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Yes I read this previously. It’s what made me want to sell the laser I just bought. Wah! I was nervous it was unusable without glasses but I understand that if you are not exposed to reflections it is safe to look at from the sides. And to be safe and smart about what “reflective” surfaces may be. Anything melting, glass, gloss surfaces, anything shiny...I think I get it. I am still nervous though.

Paul - what distance do you view the blue 1.5w on the paper at? Is that with or without glasses?
 

Lifetime17

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Hi,
If you use common sense and safety you don't need to be scared of the laser . Just be cautious and be careful in time you will get to know what a higher power laser can do. This hobby can be a lot of fun is you are safe and knowledgeable . You dont need to sell them if you use your finer judgement . Get a pair if safety glasses and never look directly into the beam or shine it at other humans and pets.

Rich:)
 

hakzaw1

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Hi, Enjoy the laser but keep it away from playing with the dog. 1.5W will burn so be careful and the dogs sight is another issue. And be safe also.

Rich:)
I agree BUT think about the dog's sanity too.. just how does one ACTUALLY know the dog enjoys this??
Think about it..--

no matter how hard your pet tries..they NEVER 'catch' the dot..(wow that sounds fun). and for a few the dot becomes a BAD addiction that causes them to always be looking for the dot and any shiny things set some dogs off.\\AND can an owner get any lazier than using a laser instead or stick or frisbee or go jogging.


You will not find any/many dog experts this disagree with this --most notably is Caesar Milan... 'The Dog Whisperer' would NEVER agree with an owner who thinks lasers are the answer-and BTW- truth be told .. injury to a dog's eyes is very unlikely-- but we say that so as to not hurt YOUR feelings. get a frisbee please.. let the dog WIN a few times- because with lasers they never win.
search results (did this after posting the above)
https://www.google.com/search?q=Using+a+laser+to+play+with+cats+or+dogs..good+idea?

one of the search 'hits'

''Laser Dogs: Why Laser Beams Make Canines Crazy | HuffPost
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/.../laser-dog-beams-canines-crazy_n_1707784.html
Jul 27, 2012 - When a wiggly little bead of light catches a dog's eye, nothing in the world ... Dogs (and some cats) instinctively chase these bright-red dots ... Probably not such a good idea. ... Dodman ''
___________________
THis activity I truly believe is well-meant..

some owners learn see the 'big picture' and find other ways...
some are 'bullheaded' and never admit being wrong IMHO.
best wishes
hak
 
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RedCowboy

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Don't we need to be at least 36 inches from a non reflective white surface to safely view a 1w blue dot/spot ?

By view I mean take a quick glimpse, I still would not stare at it, I will look at the spot on my wall target via a large mirror on the opposite wall but I don't like to look at it just feet away.
 
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paul1598419

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My walls are white and don't burn at 3 watts. I look at three watts of 450nm blue laser on a wall at 12 feet. I can look at it as long as I please without distress. I generally don't look at any laser closer than that unless I am doing a burn test. But, plywood is not white and at 3 feet it causes me no pain.
 

Immo1282

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Yeah - if I'm trying to burn anything - i.e. focused and up close it's definitely time for goggles- but that's a matter of comfort rather than anything else...
 

38sFinest

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I agree BUT think about the dog's sanity too.. just how does one ACTUALLY know the dog enjoys this??
Think about it..--

no matter how hard your pet tries..they NEVER 'catch' the dot..(wow that sounds fun). and for a few the dot becomes a BAD addiction that causes them to always be looking for the dot and any shiny things set some dogs off.\\AND can an owner get any lazier than using a laser instead or stick or frisbee or go jogging.


You will not find any/many dog experts this disagree with this --most notably is Caesar Milan... 'The Dog Whisperer' would NEVER agree with an owner who thinks lasers are the answer-and BTW- truth be told .. injury to a dog's eyes is very unlikely-- but we say that so as to not hurt YOUR feelings. get a frisbee please.. let the dog WIN a few times- because with lasers they never win.
search results (did this after posting the above)
https://www.google.com/search?q=Using+a+laser+to+play+with+cats+or+dogs..good+idea?

one of the search 'hits'

''Laser Dogs: Why Laser Beams Make Canines Crazy | HuffPost
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/.../laser-dog-beams-canines-crazy_n_1707784.html
Jul 27, 2012 - When a wiggly little bead of light catches a dog's eye, nothing in the world ... Dogs (and some cats) instinctively chase these bright-red dots ... Probably not such a good idea. ... Dodman ''
___________________
THis activity I truly believe is well-meant..

some owners learn see the 'big picture' and find other ways...
some are 'bullheaded' and never admit being wrong IMHO.
best wishes
hak
I hear you, and, actually, I agree as well. It’s an interesting point that you bring up - that of the dogs desire and then frustration in lieu of catching that dot. My dog goes berserk over shiny lights, phone reflections...she even knows when you take out your phone to look at ceiling for the reflection that may appear!
The laser is more for my enjoyment, but she does get a heck of a run out of it. Is it wrong? That’s subjective. Unethical? Definitely not.
Believe it or not, after she chases the dot a bit she will run up to me and try to snatch the laser out of my hand! Play with her for more than 20 min and she won’t chase the dot, just try to grab that damn laser I’m holding.

As far as exercise goes, well, she is a boxer/pit mix and LOVES to run. 65lbs and very strong. She pull me for a few miles almost daily on my long board, walked twice and we play stimulating games together as well(hiding toys or cookies in the yard/house to find). She gets the excersize she needs, but she does not enjoy “playing”. She bullies other dogs when she plays. She is very dominant. She does not like to fight unless instigated, but she loves to pin other dogs to the ground. She does not chase the ball unless the other dog has it. She just loves to run and chase rabbits!

Hopefully this did not come across as defensive. I do appreciate the advice!
 

Encap

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As far as the need for laser glasses/goggles goes, here is a good laser hazard chart---have a look and draw your own conclusions. http://www.lasersafetyfacts.com/resources/FAA---visible-laser-hazard-calcs-for-LSF-v02.png and also have a read of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_safety

An excellent source of additional laser hazard info--see: http://www.laserpointersafety.com/menu-safety-info.html

Get a pair of good laser glasses/goggles to protect your eyes
Accidents are accidents and they happen. Accidents with lasers happen so fast there is no chance of correcting to avoid them

An Eagle Pair is the way to go -- see: https://www.survivallaserusa.com/Safety_Goggles/cat1667093_1527285.aspx
 
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