Monday, February 15, 2010

Best 5mW Laser Pointers: Review

What You Need to Know About Laser Pointers

Few tools are more useful in a presentation than a good quality laser pointer. A good laser pointer is one of those rare work tools that seem to do double, triple or quadruple duty at home, for use as a DIY tool, a n astronomy tool, a gadget, a pet toy... Yet many of us who have bought laser pointers at random have found that finding a good quality laser pointer is not easy.

If you pick, at random, among the enormous numbers of laser pointers available on the net, you are almost certain to buy a poorly assembled device of low quality. Unusually, there are few reputable companies with a recognizable brand name, on which you can count in order to buy quality devices. Using Word of Net (the experience of other net users) is critical to a successful laser pointer purchase.

Laser pointers are tightly regulated in most countries, due to the potential danger that they can pose when misused (pointing a laser beam at an eye, a plane etc.). In the US, it is illegal to sell a laser pointer with a power of more than 5mW. However, it is possible to buy higher powered lasers working off batteries for such applications as astronomy, firearms guiding systems, etc. In this review, we discuss legal low-power laser pointers, for use in presentations, as pet toys - or as personal gadgets. Class IIIa indicates less than 5mW, while class II is limited to 1mW. We are researching Class IIIa 5mW laser pointers, fully legal for sale in the US as presenter laser pointers.

While traditional hand-held laser pointers are red, many other colors are now available, including green, blue, violet, and yellow. At equal power, they are all equally dangerous (or innocuous), but green lasers are more visible to the human eye due to the way we perceive different light frequencies. So, for a given power level such as 5mW, a green laser will be most visible.

As a safety reminder, do remember that even low-power lasers can be dangerous, and permanently damage an eye after even a few seconds of exposure. Never point them at vehicles or faces, including your own. You can be arrested and sent to jail for pointing a laser pointer at planes, police officers, etc. Also be aware that a laser dot may be mistaken by somebody as a weapon targeting device, so, just in case they have a quick trigger finger, be careful how you use your pointer...

Tomorrow, we will discuss what makes a good laser pointer... So come back soon!

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