Safe laser pointer for eyes

  • Thread starter rodsika
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  • #1
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Are their laser pointers that are totally safe for the eyes? What kind to look for?
 

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  • #2
jhae2.718
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I don't believe there are lasers that are totally safe for the eyes. The lower the power of the laser, the less damage it will cause if it is shone at the eyes. ... Still, it's best not to stare into the laser with your remaining eye.
 
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  • #3
AlephZero
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Class 1 laser devices are safe under all conditions.
Class 2 devices are safe unless you deliberately stare into the beam. If the beam accidentally hits your eye, your automatic "blink reflex" will be fast enough to protect your vision.

Note, there may be a letter after the class number, like 1M or 2a.

Class 3 and 4 devices are NOT safe unless you take precautions using them. In some countries there are legal restrictions about owning and using them (especially class 4).

Low power laser pointers are class 2. These are perfectly adequate for use as laser pointers.

The "pointers" advertised and sold as "high power" or "burning" lasers, are usually class 3 devices.

If a laser is advertised or sold without saying what class it is, then don't buy it!
 
  • #4
AlephZero
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Of course, at the power most laser pointers are at, you have to stare at them pretty long for damage to occur.
That is not correct. Shining a class 2 laser into your eyes for 5 or 10 seconds can cause severe temporary problems (e.g. total sight loss in the eye for several days). Class 3 lasers can cause irreversible sight damage in a few secoinds.

Be aware that your eyes do not contain any nerves that "feel pain", so there is no warning of the damage you may be causing.
 
  • #5
Drakkith
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Also, be aware that because of the way certain lasers generate their light, they can generate a lower or higher wavelength of light that your eye cannot see and will not produce a blink reflex. This makes it very easy to damage your eye if you look into the laser, as the laser visual light itself may not be bright enough to cause damage or cause you to blink, but the non visible wavelengths can be causing damage.

Simply put, NEVER EVER EVER point ANY laser into someones eye or look into one, no matter what.
 
  • #6
In some clubs and shows, they shoot lasers all over the crowd. It would make me so nervous.
 
  • #7
jhae2.718
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That is not correct. Shining a class 2 laser into your eyes for 5 or 10 seconds can cause severe temporary problems (e.g. total sight loss in the eye for several days). Class 3 lasers can cause irreversible sight damage in a few secoinds.

Be aware that your eyes do not contain any nerves that "feel pain", so there is no warning of the damage you may be causing.
I worded that poorly and ambiguously. By long time I meant around the > 5 s range (which to me seemed a ridiculously long time to stare into a laser).

Thank you for pointing that out.
 
  • #8
Drakkith
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In some clubs and shows, they shoot lasers all over the crowd. It would make me so nervous.
Agreed. However, I am assuming that the moving lasers are at a low enough power and moving quick enough that even it one passes over your eye you "shouldn't" receive any eye damage. But one can never be too careful eh?
 

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