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Univet 531 Safety Goggles Review

Traveller

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I think that anyone who's been @LPF long enough are already familiar with the reliable safety glass vendors in the Northern American region, such as the venerable OEM Laser Systems. You can also pick up a certified and affordable pair from Nova too (at least for 532nm...). Lastly, you may come across exotic models (exotic as in China) that are not certified but have been "vouched for" by fellow LPF members.

Given the above, a European company (based in Italy) like Univet will be less appealing to the North American market but may be of interest to EU members such as myself. Although there's nothing preventing EU members from buying high-quality Northern American products, we always have to deal with customs as well as our beloved "Value Added Tax" (VAT). This, not to mention the usually more expensive shipping costs. Customs will normally tack on a 10-16% "Customs" fee and then add the 20% VAT to that subtotal. So you can imagine that the final cost will be fairly higher than the price you had in your head after selecting your product from that Northern American store...
:'(
Univet is of course not the only European company offering Safety Goggles, there is UK's Lasermet, for example and I'm sure there are a few more that sell HQ safety wear. *However the few goggles that I did have a look at had price tags well beyond the €100 / $130 mark. Clearly our eyesight is priceless but for a hobbyist, there is a point where we can say it's overkill.

Univet 531s
On to the review. I purchased two pairs of Univet's 531 frame-style from a local Viennese third-party vendor, Roithner LaserTechnik (since this review is for the goggles, I will only say that Roithner's employees are very professional and that they do sell their diverse range of laser products worldwide). I purchased a pair of "311s" for reds and a pair of "313s" for blues-greens.

Univet 531 - 311 Specs:
HeNe, Au vapor, III , IV harmonics YAG, UV
VLT: 20%
190-375 @ OD 6
595-670 @ OD 3
615-665 @ OD 4
625-660 @ OD 5
In layman: OD 5 protection for typical 635 - 650nm Red Lasers.
Price: €80 ($109) + 20% VAT = [my] final cost of €98

Univet 531 - 313 Specs:
argon, HeCd, UV, II, III, IV harmonics YAG
VLT: 35%
190-375 @ OD 5
315-535 @ OD 5
315-540 @ OD 4
315-543 @ OD3
In layman: OD 5 protection for 405 BluRay, 473 Blue and 532 Green DPSS lasers
Price: €65 ($88) + 20% VAT = [my] final cost of €78

Like I said, other EU companies generally don't offer anything (of this quality) under the €100 mark so that €78 for a pair of certified OD5 532nm is a good deal. And that was from my "local" third-party vendor. Perhaps yours may offer Univet for even less... !



So what do you get for your hard-earned money, besides OD 5 protection?

Fit: the goggles fit me "snugly" on the sides and although the sides of the frame does "give" a bit, they are NOT adjustable. The frames "stick out" from one's face a few mm to make room for prescription glasses, which I wear and one of the reasons I went with this particular frame. However... they will only fit over "lean" or smaller glasses; if you have anything that looks like it belongs in the '60s then the 531 will NOT fit!.

The frames also block all peripheral vision but I don't mind as I don't need it while burning at close range, etc. They are also pretty decent-looking and would work in a University lab but no where near as "laid back" as Nova's and I certainly wouldn't venture downtown with them... :p

Extras: Aside from the goggles, of course, you get a [damn large] foam-lined carrying case, an official "Declaration of Conformity" issued by ah, Istituto Masini (...), some croakies-like retaining straps, a cleaning cloth, a Users Guide (...). The declaration states the associated wavelengths and protection levels of the polycarbonate filters and the EN 207, 208 reference standards.



Bottom line: Guaranteed* safety for my eyes, comfortable frames that will fit over "modest" prescription glasses and even a well-padded [soft] case, all for under €100 says it all :cool: I know for many of us €100 is a nice chunk of change but [start-of-lecture] my philosophy is if you're not prepared to spend some money on protection, you should probably consider a different hobby... [/start-of-lecture].

*EDIT: With "guaranteed" I mean if they say it's OD 5, it's OD 5. I am not implying that you can or should look directly at (or "into") any laser, regardless of the glasses!!!



Well, I think that concludes my review (aren't you relieved, lol). Oh yes, almost forgot, here are a few pics for your viewing pleasure. Click on any one of them for the full res version:



 
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Bionic-Badger

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How exactly are we supposed to interpret that protection table? They've got many overlapping wavelength ranges for the same model. Also, are these goggles certified to the extent that they will not melt or lose their protection while under direct exposure? That is the meaning of certification you know, not just an "OD" rating. You can have "OD5" novelty 3D goggles from a cereal box, but they'll just melt when they absorb the energy from the beam.
 

Traveller

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Bionic-Badger said:
That is the meaning of certification you know, not just an "OD" rating.
Yes they are certified (EN 207, 208*) as I noted in my review.

Btw, the "overlapping" represents a Bell curve such that the edges of the curve drop from OD5 down to OD 3. The "critical" wavelengths however all fall in the OD 5 range. I don't blame you, I also had trouble reading the table until Frothychimp sorted it out for me
 ;)


* EN 207
Laser eye protection products require direct hit testing and labeling of eye protectors with protection levels, such as D 10600 L5 (where L5 reflects a power density of 100 MegaWatt/m2 as the damage threshold of the filter and frame during a 10 seconds direct hit test at 10,600 nm). The safety glasses, filter and frame, must be able to withstand a direct hit from the laser for which they have been selected for at least 10 seconds (CW) or 100 pulses (pulsed mode).

EN 208
This norm refers to glasses for laser alignment. They will reduce the actual incident power to the power of a class 2 laser (< 1 mW for continuous wave lasers). Lasers denoted as class 2 are regarded as eye safe if the blink reflex is working normally. Alignment glasses allow the user to see the beam spot while aligning the laser. This is only possible for visible lasers (according to this norm 'visible lasers' (defined as being from 400 nm to 700 nm). Alignment glasses must also withstand a direct hit from the laser for which they have been selected, for at least 10 seconds (CW) or 100 pulses (pulsed mode).
 

Traveller

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Well, now I know they are popular, 'cause the burglars that "visited" my Apt. last week took them (too)...  :mad:
(...but left all my lasers behind...  ::)  ;D)

Well, of course I ran out and picked up a second set... should convince you of my satisfaction with these goggles  :cool:
 
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EN207/EN208 are the European equivalent to ANSI/FDA certifications or Canadian CSA certifications. You've probably more commonly heard them expressed as CE certified.
 

Traveller

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Niko said:
if you hadn't bumped it I wouldn't have read it.
Glad you read it (and liked it)!

Lasers are much more "fun" than goggles but goggles are none the less necessary and need to be promoted too...  :cool:
 

Traveller

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Bump..

...'cause I see too many people pointing their, say, shiny new 12x 405nm Lazors in the proximity of reflective surfaces...

"Beam me up Frothy..."
 
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MLZ

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Yeah great review. I was clueless where to buy good CE certified goggles here in Europe.
So thanks!
 

Gryphon

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Wow, look how old this thread is :eek: Its even got one of Frothy's posts in it :bowdown:

On another note, sweet goggles
 

Bluefan

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Didn't know there was such a vendor in europe, but I already got my EN207 certified stuff anyway.

But I always though the ANSI regulation only requires a proper OD, and the EN207 actually requires to withstand 10 second or 100 pulses.
 

Traveller

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Would anyone recommend the cheap $15 laser googles...
Are you being serious, or just spamming this thread? Assuming the former, I wouldn't even waste my time looking at $15 goggles... :| But if you're in need of say, more "affordable" goggles, please take the time to browse the reviews available here on LPF.
 




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