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Waren Luna II 1500mW blue - good option? Other laser questions.

SPL Tech

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I am new to laser pointers and have a few questions.

First off, I am trying to understand what specifications to look for when shopping to determine how far a laser will shine and the laser's ability to melt objects.

Obvousaly the higher the diode output in mW, the brighter and more powerful it will be. But what about color and wavelength? Just thinking about the basics of wavelengths, I assume a laser with a lower wavelength (like blue) would shine farther and burn objects better if it focuses more light into a smaller beam. Is this correct? What about price? I have seen 1W blue lasers for $1000 and I have seen 1500mW blue lasers for less than $300. Why such a big difference?

Also, I have seen 2W blue lasers with a class IIIA rating and 1W lasers with a class IV rating. That doesent make sense, why would a less powerful laser have a higher class rating than a lesser powerful one?

Lastly, I am considering getting the WarenLaser Luna II 445nm 1500mW blue pointer. It costs $270 so I am pretty much trying to get the best laser in that price range. Am I looking at a good option? The Luna II is the most powerful one I could find for under $300. I dont suppose anyone makes a class IV for under 300?

EDIT: It seems WarenLaser ships from China, no thank you. Any suggestions for US based companies?
 
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DrSid

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As for the difference. Blues always used to be expansive. They were made as DPSS lasers. That is complicated and ineffective way, especially at some wavelengths. Then only recently (well, almost two years now) blue laser diodes appeared. These are much cheaper, and much stronger.
So most usually, cheap blue will be direct diode laser, it will be 445 or similar wavelength. Expensive blue will usually have different wavelength (like 470), and it would be good old DPSS.

As for the 'power' of the laser .. focus itself is not really important. Theoretically it would be .. but there are other effects. Especially we are talking about beam shape, and material absorption.
Some lasers have oddly shaped beam, which cannot be easily focused. This applies especially for distant burning. It is unfortunately case of those cheap blues. They are so called multimode lasers, and their beam is bar shaped. They burn very well at close ranges, but their beam quickly diverges with distance. On the other hand, some consider this to be an advantage, form of safety feature.
As for material absorption, blues ans violets (405nm) are most easily absorbed by most materials. Still you can find materials which are burned better by red then blue .. but this is easily offset by the fact, that blues are available at higher powers. This absorption has major effect on any burning.

Generally you can sort out colors like this:

RED: direct diode laser, around 200mW, very cheap, good for burning for the price. Beam is nice, but due the it's color it's not as well visible.

GREEN: DPSS lasers. Affordable around 400mW, getting expensive after that. Very nice beam. Very visible beam. It burns as well as anything, but it's power (also dangers) is at distance and relative brightness.

BLUE (445nm): direct diode laser, around 1W (up to over 2W, still the diode is the same). Cheap power. Multimode, thus bad at distance, but for close range it burns as hell. VERY dangerous also. This wavelength is very well absorbed by flesh, or eye tissues. Beam is rather visible. Blue is relatively dark compared to green, but it dissolves better in air, which somewhat compensates for this. Generally it look about 1/4 to 1/2 darker then green at same power.

VIOLET (405nm): direct diode laser, around 800mW (Blue ray laser). Sometimes even better burning laser, because it is not multimode. It has nicer beam shape, so especially at larger distances it burns better. But it's on border of visible range of human eye, it's not any spectacular. This actually makes them more dangerous, as they burn better then you would expect.

As for the laser you ask, I have never heard of it. Most people here will suggest CNI, O-like, Dragon lasers, and especially: build your own, or buy one from members.
 
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Eudaimonium

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Also, I have seen 2W blue lasers with a class IIIA rating and 1W lasers with a class IV rating. That doesent make sense, why would a less powerful laser have a higher class rating than a lesser powerful one?
It doesn't make sense indeed, what you're seeing here is seller's ignorance in the subject.
Class I denotes power lesser than 0.25 mW and/or and enclosure and safety of the laser in such a way, that it does not under any possible operating circuimstances pose any thread to the health of the person.
Class II denotes power of 0.25 mW to 1mW, and damage to the eyesight is possible only under extremely long exposure with additional optics for increasing the power density of the beam, and the damage is only temporary.
Class IIIa denotes power of 1mW - 5mW, and permanent damage is only possible with additional optics and very long exposute.

Higher classes described below are considered "dangerous" because your blink reflex will not protect you fast enough from permanent damage.

Class IIIb is 5mW - 500mW, present immediate danger to eyesight under all circuimstances.
Class IV is 500mW onwards, presents immediate danger not only to eyesight, but to general health (skin burns - thermal and chemical reaction damage) as well.
 

DrSid

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Class IV is also dangerous when diffuse reflections are considered .. ie you can't even watch the spot on the wall. Sure, distance and color of the wall do play a role in this, but there is a chance it will harm your sight.

It's good time to ask THE question: what goggles are you going to use ?
Picture is worth thousand words here: http://laserpointerforums.com/f53/hit-eye-1000mw-445nm-blue-laser-69469-2.html#post1004511

BTW. as I said, I don't know the laser you talk about .. but so far no company made reliably on specs 1.5W laser. It needs real good heatsink and driver. Most lasers declared as 1W reach about 800mW (across companies), and those declared 1.2W are usually just around 1W. So far I don't know about any company selling 1.5W. Some craftsmen here made builds with over 2W though, and 1.5W on specs is pretty common.
 
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Ash

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SPL tech. Welcome to the forums.
How much experience do you have with lasers?
Do you have any experience with firearms?

Please realize that a 150mW-200mW 532nm laser will be brighter, go further and be more awe-inspiring than a 1000mW 445nm laser.
:beer:
 

SPL Tech

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It doesn't make sense indeed, what you're seeing here is seller's ignorance in the subject.
Class I denotes power lesser than 0.25 mW and/or and enclosure and safety of the laser in such a way, that it does not under any possible operating circuimstances pose any thread to the health of the person.
Class II denotes power of 0.25 mW to 1mW, and damage to the eyesight is possible only under extremely long exposure with additional optics for increasing the power density of the beam, and the damage is only temporary.
Class IIIa denotes power of 1mW - 5mW, and permanent damage is only possible with additional optics and very long exposute.

Higher classes described below are considered "dangerous" because your blink reflex will not protect you fast enough from permanent damage.

Class IIIb is 5mW - 500mW, present immediate danger to eyesight under all circuimstances.
Class IV is 500mW onwards, presents immediate danger not only to eyesight, but to general health (skin burns - thermal and chemical reaction damage) as well.
But the classification rating sticker is placed on the laser by the manufacturer. I have seen an 850 mW green with a class IIIa sticker. I have seen a 2W blue with a class IIIa sticker. The WarenLasers Luna II 1500mW blue has a class IIIb sticker. Actually, its rare that I find any pointer with a class IV sticker on. I have looked at a number of lasers well over 500mW and a lot of them have class IIIa and IIIb stickers on them. Once again, it is the manufacturer thats putting these stickers on. So whats the deal in these cases?
 
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SPL Tech

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SPL tech. Welcome to the forums.
How much experience do you have with lasers?
Do you have any experience with firearms?

Please realize that a 150mW-200mW 532nm laser will be brighter, go further and be more awe-inspiring than a 1000mW 445nm laser.
:beer:
Well I use to operate a CNC 1,000W laser that could cut through 1" thick steel instantly. I also memorized what the acronym LASER stands for the age of 13. Does that count? I have always wondered if laser is actually suppose to be fully capitalized. Laser started off as an acronym, it never use to be an actual word. But now it seems many use it as a noun. Thats interesting, I dont know of any other word in the English language that is actually an acronym but has been converted to an actual noun, an actual word. Ha, I am just messing with you. Yes I have a bit of experience with some low powered lasers and one 850mW green.

I am in the military so I will let you guess the answer about the firearm experience. I aware of the risks of high power lasers. Thanks. :)
 
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Ash

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L.A.S.E.R.., I dont know of any other word in the English language that is actually an acronym but has been converted to an actual noun, an actual word. ..
Actually the definition of an acronym states that they are typically pronounced as whole words.

Some acronyms;
NASA
OPEC
SONAR
RADAR
SCUBA
AIDS
...
Initialisms are created from the first letters of strings of words, but can not be pronounced on their own.
Examples of initialisms;
CIA
FBI
FAQ
SQL
...
Well I use to operate a CNC 1,000W laser that could cut through 1" thick steel instantly... I aware of the risks of high power lasers.
CNC 1,000Watt laser? OK... However a mounted-laser (difficult to point at eye) is not the same beast as a portable laser,... But, of course, since you have an 850mW green laser, obviously you know that.
What type of safety glasses do you have? Do they just cover 532nm, or are they multi-wavelength?

Also, what laser is it that you have that is 850mW and 532nm?
 

Light1

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May I suggest Survival Lasers. Made by a forum member Garog in Utah. You can find him when looking under the buy, sell,trade forum (sticky) . He lists some special packages for forum members there. Top quality. I have the 1.1 watt model...works quite well.
 
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