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



Laser Pointer Store

The Real mW output of ebay lasers?

Joined
Jun 28, 2016
Messages
1
Likes
0
Points
0
Hi, this is my first post on this forums and ive always wondered if eBay lasers were more powerful than listed as. I went to the legal issues page and read what countries lasers were legal and illegal in and I seen that in the US lasers more the 5mW need a key and most of the eBay lasers requires a key, so does that mean they are more powerful then listed or not. If they are more than the output listed what is the actual output power?

any answers would be much appreciated.
 
Last edited:

diachi

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
9,447
Likes
1,322
Points
113
Some are more powerful, some aren't. Sellers usually list them all as 5mW regardless in order to get around eBay rules on selling laser pointers that are >5mW.

Just having a key switch doesn't make a laser legal to sell in the States - there are other requirements that need to be met too - most of which aren't met by cheap eBay lasers. Having a key also doesn't necessarily mean that it's over 5mW, nor does it mean it's under - all it means is that whoever designed it chose to add a key switch.
 

Sta

New member
Joined
Jan 27, 2014
Messages
1,708
Likes
428
Points
0
They are almost always more powerful than listed. Their power wildly varies due to low quality control, but usually nothing more than 100mw (other than blues). While it is technically illegal to import lasers above 5mW, there is nothing illegal about owning them. And the importation regulations are almost never enforced. :)
 

diachi

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
9,447
Likes
1,322
Points
113
While it is technically illegal to import lasers above 5mW, there is nothing illegal about owning them. And the importation regulations are almost never enforced. :)
IIRC - it's only illegal to import lasers >5mW that don't meet FDA requirements - if it meets the requirements you're good to go. You can have a "portable, battery operated" laser that meets the FDA requirements on interlocks, emission control, emission indicators, labelling etc just fine. Of course - none of the cheap Chinese lasers even come close to meeting those requirements.

Edit: relevant document here: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/medica...onandguidance/guidancedocuments/ucm095304.pdf
 
Last edited:

micheal rosen

Active member
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
580
Likes
104
Points
43
Generally, you can assume that any green laser is 30-100mW, along with even more IR radiation. for red lasers, it varies, though it may be in the lower range, hower powers of up to 100mW have been reported among reds. for purples, its similar to reds, however you are extreemely unlikely to encounter a purple laser of less than 5mW on ebay. If your concerned about legality: dont be. I havent heard of anyone getting in legal trouble for buying or selling lasers in the US. If you concerned about safety, get a laser from a reputable, high quality seller that is listed as less than 5mW. i would reccomend laserbtb for the cheap option, their pen lasers can be guarenteed to be less than 5mW, they've been tested by LPF users.

EDIT: that information is all regarding pointers. None of the small 301 lasers and blues lasers are anywhere near 5mW. 301-303 type lasers, and their similarly cheap counterparts are in the 100-200mW range for red and purple, 50-100mW for green, and blues come in other hosts at 500-1500mW.

EDIT 2: Welcome to the forums!!!
 
Last edited:

ElectricPlasma

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 11, 2015
Messages
1,608
Likes
935
Points
113
While it is technically illegal to import lasers above 5mW, there is nothing illegal about owning them. And the importation regulations are almost never enforced. :)
I believe the law is no laser pointers over 5mW can be imported. As Diachi said, if it's FDA approved as a portable laser it should be fine. Lab lasers will also get through no problem, as well as gas lasers IIRC.

Also, about enforcement, they are definitely enforced but if they don't include a battery in the device they usually don't get caught. Even if they do, sometimes they're not tested if the shippers do a custom bypass by marking it as a gift and the content as a flashlight. This is illegal and generally not very good practice, but it's how they make money. If it were marked as a laser it would definitely get checked out by customs and seized/destroyed if not within regulations and/or illegal.
 

Encap

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
4,577
Likes
1,396
Points
113
FYI, the most current statements by the US FDA reflecting US laws, rules, and regualtions are as follows:

"FDA regulates all laser products, even handheld, battery-powered lasers that are available for purchase FROM manufacturers, importers, assemblers, dealers or distributors in the United States and its territories. This includes lasers manufactured or obtained on a continuing basis for the purpose of sale or resale.

FDA requires that manufacturers of these lasers limit the power of the laser light to 5 milliWatts (often abbreviated as "mW") or less. The labeling or packaging must allow the purchaser to know the power of the laser, its hazard class, and its wavelength before the laser is purchased. Even online advertisements must display this information for the purchaser.

Even the smallest handheld, battery-powered lasers are capable of emitting laser light at hazardous powers. Larger models, the size of a small flashlight, can burn skin and pop balloons. More importantly, consumers should assume any size handheld battery-powered laser they do not directly control has the potential to blind or permanently affect eyesight.

One way to determine if such a laser has been manufactured to regulatory power and hazard class limits is to find labeling. The labeling that comes with the laser (and online labeling) must display the power, hazard class, and wavelength. The wavelength is a number that describes the color of the beam.

The label must display the laser power. It must be 5 milliWatts or less. The label must display the hazard class. It must be Class I, Class IIa, Class II, Class IIIa or Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3R."

"REMEMBER:
Do not purchase a handheld, battery-powered laser labeled with hazard Class IIIb, Class IV, Class 1M, Class 2M, Class 3B or Class 4 unless the manufacturer has an approval from FDA (called a "variance") to allow the purchase. Lasers approved for purchase in these classes often have very specific uses and may be sold under certain conditions known to the manufacturer. Sales without a variance, or sales that violate the conditions of the variance, ARE ILLEGAL"

From 6/29/2016 update FDA web site here: Does FDA regulate these new powerful laser "pointers" and are they hazardous?

Additional explaination from FDA as follows:
"Laser pointers are hand-held lasers that are promoted for pointing out objects or locations. Such laser products can meet one of two definitions for laser products. The first is for “surveying, leveling, and alignment laser products” as defined by Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 1040.10(b)(39):

“Surveying, leveling, or alignment laser product means a laser product manufactured, designed, intended or promoted for one or more of the following uses:
(i) Determining and delineating the form, extent, or position of a point, body, or area by taking angular measurement.
(ii) Positioning or adjusting parts in proper relation to one another.
(iii) Defining a plane, level, elevation, or straight line.”

Hand-held lasers promoted for entertainment purposes or amusement also meet the second definition, that of “demonstration laser products” as defined by 21 CFR 1040.10(b)(13):
“Demonstration laser product means a laser product manufactured, designed, intended, or promoted for purposes of demonstration, entertainment, advertising display, or artistic composition.”
"Laser products promoted for pointing and demonstration purposes are limited to hazard Class IIIa by FDA regulation.

21 CFR 1040.11(b) and 1040.11(c), limit surveying, leveling, and alignment, and demonstration laser products to Class IIIa. This means that pointers are limited to 5 milliwatts output power in the visible wavelength range from 400 to 710 nanometers. There are also limits for any invisible wavelengths and for short pulses. Pointers may not exceed the accessible emission limits of CDRH Class IIIa or IEC1 Class 3R."

From FDA website last updated 3/12/2015 here: http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationEmittingProductsandProcedures/HomeBusinessandEntertainment/LaserProductsandInstruments/ucm116373.htm
 
Last edited:

Hap

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 5, 2013
Messages
8,443
Likes
1,584
Points
113
Yeah, I've only ONCE had a problem when importing a laser. It was a 500mW 532 from JetLasers and it ended up getting hung up in U.S customs for a couple months, I eventually forgot about it and got a new unit from Gray. Well, what do you know a couple months later the laser that was stopped at customs got to my doorstep with U.S border protection labeling around it, and nothing looked like it was even touched!

Very possible it just ended up on a group of random packages they decided to inspect. Either way, it got to me safely :yh:

-Alex
 

RedCowboy

Well-known member
LPF Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 10, 2015
Messages
6,844
Likes
1,657
Points
113
Be very careful with the 405nm purple "sometimes labeled blue " laser pens, they can easily be 75mw and have a very tight beam that looks very puny and weak, but it's not, it's a cataract inducing wavelength and can do damage to your retina quickly so don't be fooled by it's weak appearance.
 

CurtisOliver

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2015
Messages
5,958
Likes
1,466
Points
113
As Micheal Rosen correctly pointed out, watch out for stray infrared in the green lasers. They usually don't include ir filters.
 




Top