Laser pointers can be dangerous if the laser beam is too powerful. Fortunately, laser pointers have power limits. Most are capped at 5 mW, but you can also get them with much higher output. According to the American National Standards Institute, laser pointers of this power can damage your eyes.
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Laser pointers use an IR-pumped, diode-pumped solid-state laser to produce their beams. Because of this, they can produce a much brighter beam than most traditional lights. A typical red laser pointer has about five milliwatts of power and a beam that is tight enough to hit the Moon, though the atmosphere would scatter some of the light.
One of the biggest risks associated with laser pointers is flash blindness. This light from a laser pointer can be too intense and cause temporary blindness. Although this effect is short-lived, it can be dangerous for people flying or driving a vehicle. This problem is especially dangerous at night, when people’s pupils are wider, so the light will be more intense. It’s best to seek medical attention if you experience flash blindness, especially if you’re driving or flying.
The distance between the laser pointer and the target is a good guideline. At one meter, a pointer’s spot will be about 2.2 millimeters in diameter. A hundred meters away, it will be 200 mm in diameter. This is a much smaller spot than the one you’ll see when using a flashlight. However, you should never use a laser pointer as a weapon. Using it in this way could cause a serious injury.
Some laser pointers can go even farther. The red laser pointers of the early 1980s were incredibly powerful, but they cost hundreds of dollars. Nowadays, they are much smaller, and are relatively inexpensive. Some of them even have two wavelengths – 650nm and 638nm.
Depending on the output power and the color of the laser, the range of a laser pointer will vary. For example, green lasers are 7X brighter than other colors, and they’re the most effective for the same amount of power. However, the distance it can cover will depend on how you use it.
The green laser has a much longer visual interference distance than a blue laser. A 500 mW green laser pointer has 100 times the power of a blue laser. In addition, a 500 mW green laser has 10 times more NOHD and glare distance than a blue laser.
If you want to use your laser pointer indoors, a red laser is a great option. The bright light can help you see details in dark places. It’s also useful in low-light conditions like construction and interior decorating. A green laser is similar to a red laser but is more powerful.
While laser pointers can be fun, they can also be dangerous. When used improperly, they can cause permanent eye damage. You should never shine them directly into your cat’s eyes. It can damage its eyesight or even burn its retina.