Laser Safety Glasses?
I was wondering where i could get some cheap red laser safety glasses. I'm buying a 200mw red laser pointer just to muck around with (http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.11315) also how important are safety glasses
- BiofreakLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
Ok, let me start off by saying the other answerer may be an optician and a mom, but is spewing forth advice that is not only naive but dangerously wrong in this case. Yes, most laser pointers are not particularly dangerous. But most laser pointers are 5mW or less. A 200 mW laser is anything but a typical laser pointer and is about 200 times the laser damage threshold for the human eye. If you were to shine this in your eye, the damage would be instantaneous and likely permanent. Even weak reflections from this laser can be well above the laser damage threshold. Such a laser should not ever be used with out proper protection. This is a class 3 laser and needs to be treated appropriately.
So, here's the thing. Laser goggles are a bit complicated. First off, you need to make sure you have the right color goggle. That means you need to know what color your laser is (what wave length) and you need to make sure your goggles protect at that color. For green lasers, they are often doubled from IR lasers, so not only do you need to worry about the green color (630 nm or so) but you also need to worry about twice the wavelength (1260 nm). In such a laser, if you don't have an IR filter, the 1260 light is actually significantly more dangerous than the green light (especially because you can't see 1260 nm light, but it does equally as much eye damage as visible light at the same power). You will need a goggle that protects at both 630 and 1260 nm. Also, a green laser goggle (which is usually orange in color) will not protect you from a red laser (which requires blue goggles).
You want to cut this 200 mW laser down to a safe amount of light, which is less than 5mW (or if it is a doubled green laser, you need to get it down to 1mW or less). Laser safety goggles are stated in terms of OD (optical depth) where OD 1 means it cuts the power by an order of magnitude, while OD 2 cuts it by two orders of magnitude. Since you are at 200 mW, OD 2 goggles will get you to 2mW. So you want OD 2 to OD 3 goggles at whatever wavelength your laser is at. Unfortunately, most laser goggles are not cheap ($100+), but I have never priced laser goggles that are that weak. The goggles I have are all OD 5+, and are meant for much stronger lasers.
If you were using a red laser (or a non-doubled green laser), a dark pair of sun glasses would almost be enough to protect you. Sun glasses usually block 90% to over 95% of the light, which makes them OD 1. If they blocked 99% of the light, they would be OD 2. Since dark sunglasses are almost OD 2, if you found a really dark pair, they would probably be sufficient. But realize that dark glasses make your pupil dilate, which makes you more prone to laser damage. Real laser safety glasses will let other colors of light through to keep your eye from dilating, in case you get hit by the laser. Therefore, sun glasses are not ideal. Also, if you are using a doubled green laser, your sunglasses will likely provide no protection at all from the 1260 nm light.
You are using a power of laser that really is not safe unless it is mounted to a table so it has little risk of getting into someone's eye. You need to realize this and treat your laser accordingly. If you are using it by holding it, where it can easily accidentally shine in a bad place, then you really need to have eye protection for everyone who can possibly be exposed (that includes people walking past windows).
I can't give you any cheap place to find laser goggles or glasses. If you search on google, I'm sure you can find some that are $200 or less. I doubt you will find anything for under $100. But please don't use that as an excuse to not have the appropriate protection. Losing your eyesight will cost you much more then $200 over your lifetime.
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- SpectacleLv 71 decade ago
Safety glasses for lasers are for industrial lasers. Low powered just for fun laser pointers do have their hazards, but do not require safety eye wear. Here is a web page with some laser pointer safety info for you. Please be careful.Source(s): I am an optician and a mom O^O
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