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Over-spec laser!!!!! I need help!!!!

RohanHarikumar

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Okay I have recently purchased a 5mW laser pointer from amazon.com. The box said the laser was <5mW and the laser label says the same. I was recently shining it around my room, looking at the (bright) dot when the laser reflected brightly, not a beam, but brightly of my thumb, about 4 inches from my face. I looked at the reflected light for about a second before looking away.

I searched online and it says 5mW lasers should be fine, but I want to know if the 14$ laser I purchased is overspec...

Please help me as I think my laser is dangerous to use indoors. Also does the infrared radiation give me cancer if shone at skin/ reflected into eyes via thumb or white wall paint.
 

crazyspaz

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Hahaha, dont worry, you wont get cancer! :crackup:
But chances are, your laser is overspec. Im not sure about amazon, but certainly from ebay "<5mW" lasers can be upwards of 100mW. Just obviously don't shine it into your eyes, you will be fine.
 

Eudaimonium

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You are way too paranoid, and a little misinformed.

Yes, your laser is probably overspec. Poor quality control.

NO, you are not in any danger if the laser did not specifically hit your eye.

No, you will not get any cancers from the green laser IR leak! IR light doesn't even cause anything like that.

Your laser is probably outputting in the neighborhood of 30 mW total on a good day. IR leak part of that is not even 10mW by the worst standards. (My bet around 5 or so militwatts). You can totally shine it on your skin. Just never at the eyes and reflective surfaces.

So as long as you didn't get any laser light into your eyes directly, you are fine. Make sure to not only protect your own eyes from the laser, but everybody else's as well!

And I don't mean "Buy 50 laser safety goggles pairs", I mean: Use common sense and responsibility.

Sum up: You're good. Be careful. Happy lasing! :beer:
 

apwhitelaw

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I was actually reading an article about this today. While the legal limit(lol) is 5mw, whoever did the article tested various ones, and some rated as high as around 70mw. They were freaking out about it.

I mean yeah it could be a little bad, but clearly these are every day people who have no idea about these things and what goes on in places like this forum. 70mw isn't anything when I can buy a 2w(2000mw) for less than $200.

Anyways, you are fine, but don't be pointing it right into your eye or someone elses.

Honestly at work we have these handheld lasers that are used to check the temp on different coolers and such(grocery story). Anyways somehow the laser is able to read temperatures(if anyone knows how, please speak up, I'd like to know!) but sometimes people mess around and shine them at me and such. I'm sure it's a pretty low mw, but still.
 

RohanHarikumar

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Thanks soo much. I mean, when I think something is wrong, placebo effect takes control. Thanks again man. :)
 

icecruncher

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Usually that stuff is class 1 or 2.

But don't rule out a 70mw laser

I have a "5 mw" laser 405 that will burn because the beam is very tight. (I think it's actually 30-40mw)

Now imagine what that will do to your eyes.

And all but one of my argons are below 70mw, but you easily can see the beam

My SP-127 HeNe looks brighter than my 100mw 473 at times and it's less than 40mw.

Anytime you are over 5mw, danger can pop up in more than just the mw rating. Better beam specs also make it more dangerous.

Finally, consider this, in addition to mw and beam specs, freq has a huge effect on perceived danger. My 200mw 532 is scary to see in a small room, but I have class IV 808nm that I can barely see the dot when focused. It will blind you in a flash it you aren't careful.

Be careful - use goggles

I mean yeah it could be a little bad, but clearly these are every day people who have no idea about these things and what goes on in places like this forum. 70mw isn't anything when I can buy a 2w(2000mw) for less than $200.

Anyways, you are fine, but don't be pointing it right into your eye or someone elses.

Honestly at work we have these handheld lasers that are used to check the temp on different coolers and such(grocery story). Anyways somehow the laser is able to read temperatures(if anyone knows how, please speak up, I'd like to know!) but sometimes people mess around and shine them at me and such. I'm sure it's a pretty low mw, but still.
 
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Blaster

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The "<5mw " laser 405nm ie eBay pen I'm assuming is more likely 80 plus mW, i have dozens of eBay pens and 90% are well overspec 10 to 20 times over ,a few are 25 times over, only a few lower power ones at 10mW .Great value for around 8 dollars and i haven't killed one yet. But a real danger to people that think they are only 5mW
.Some are of course ,but majority well over so unless you have a LPM to know the real power treat them the same as a 100mW laser ie can blind you in a split second if your lucky temporary if your*not permanent burnt spot on your retina .I say 80mW because you cant burn at 40mW just not enough grunt no matter how 'tight the beam is "others may disagree , but that's my experience .

QUOTE=icecruncher;1241966]Usually that stuff is class 1 or 2.

But don't rule out a 70mw laser

I have a "5 mw" laser 405 that will burn because the beam is very tight. (I think it's actually 30-40mw)

Now imagine what that will do to your eyes.

And all but one of my argons are below 70mw, but you easily can see the beam

My SP-127 HeNe looks brighter than my 100mw 473 at times and it's less than 40mw.

Anytime you are over 5mw, danger can pop up in more than just the mw rating. Better beam specs also make it more dangerous.

Finally, consider this, in addition to mw and beam specs, freq has a huge effect on perceived danger. My 200mw 532 is scary to see in a small room, but I have class IV 808nm that I can barely see the dot when focused. It will blind you in a flash it you aren't careful.

Be careful - use goggles[/QUOTE]
 
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The Lightning Stalker

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Also does the infrared radiation give me cancer if shone at skin/ reflected into eyes via thumb or white wall paint.
No. You're thinking of ultraviolet, x-rays, and gamma rays. Those are all shorter wavelength
than visible light. Infrared is on the complete opposite end, much longer. It does not
have enough energy to damage DNA as the others do. Only light below 400nm can do that. This is an oversimplification, of course, but generally holds true.
 




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