This is a Class 4 laser, the most hazardous of the four main laser classifications.
Max. output power: 2100 milliwatts
Wavelength 1: 638 nanometers, 900 mW
Wavelength 2: 532 nanometers, 700 mW
Wavelength 3: 445 nanometers, 500 mW
Min. divergence: 1.5 milliradians
Output: Continuous Wave (CW)
Type: Laser Projector
Class 4 visible-beam lasers are high-powered. A Class 4 laser can cause a significant eye injury if the beam, whether direct or reflected, enters the eye.
Even staring at the diffuse reflection of a laser "dot" on a wall or other surface, may cause an eye injury within a few feet of the dot. Do not stare at the laser "dot" when it is close to you.
To prevent eye exposure, always be aware of the beam location. Keep it away from people's eyes and heads. Watch out for reflected beams from glass and shiny surfaces.
Use of laser protective eyewear is recommended, as discussed elsewhere on this page.
Avoid exposure to skin and sensitive materials. A Class 4 laser can burn skin and materials, especially dark and/or lightweight materials at close range.
A Class 4 laser can be a distraction, glare or flashblindness hazard for pilots and drivers. It may also be a potential eye injury hazard for pilots at relatively close range. NEVER aim any laser towards an aircraft or moving vehicle. This is unsafe and is illegal -- you could be arrested and jailed.
This is not a toy. Children should never be permitted to use Class 4 lasers.
Any teenager using a Class 4 laser should be continuously supervised by a responsible adult. A number of teenagers have caused eye injuries to themselves or others by misusing Class 3B and Class 4 lasers.
Even if this laser looks like a pointer or flashlight, do not use this laser for pointing purposes. Class 4 lasers are too powerful to be used as pointers. Use a Class 2 (less than 1 mW) or Class 3R (less than 5 mW) laser for pointing purposes.
The hazard distances listed below are intended only as general guidance. This is because 1) your laser may vary from the parameters (power, divergence) listed below, and 2) information on labels or marketing materials may not always be correct. For example, studies have shown that some laser pointers may be falsely labeled to avoid regulations -- the actual power may be 10 times or more what the label indicates.
Always err on the side of safety. If your laser has not been measured by a knowledgeable and trained Laser Safety Officer, assume it is more hazardous than the label or marketing materials would indicate.
Color indicates the relative hazard: Red = potential injury, green = unlikely injury. Beyond the Nominal Ocular Hazard Distance, the chance of an injury is "vanishingly small" according to safety experts.
The scattered light from the laser "dot" as viewed on a surface, can be an eye hazard. Avoid looking directly at the laser dot for more than a few seconds. The light is too bright if you see a sustained afterimage, lasting more than about 10 seconds.
The more powerful the laser, and the closer your eye is to the laser dot, the greater the chance of injury. This can occur during certain actions, such as aligning the beam or trying to hold the laser dot on a fixed location in order to burn a material.
- Looking at the laser dot for more than 1 minute is an eye hazard within 3 ft (0.9 m) of the laser.
If you must look at the laser dot for relatively long periods of time within the hazard distances, use laser protective eyewear as discussed elsewhere on this page.
- This laser is a skin injury hazard within 50 in (1.3 m) of the laser.
- This laser is considered a burn hazard within 39 inches (1 m) of the laser.
NEVER aim any laser towards an aircraft or vehicle that is in motion. The bright light can flashblind, cause glare, or distract the pilot or driver. This is why aiming any laser towards an aircraft is illegal.
- This laser's beam can temporarily flashblind a pilot or driver, causing afterimages, within 0.4 miles (0.7 km) of the laser.
- This laser's beam can cause glare, blocking a pilot or driver's vision, within 1.9 miles (3 km) of the laser.
- This laser's beam can cause distraction, being brighter than surrounding lights, within 19 miles (30 km) of the laser.
Never aim a laser at or near an aircraft, no matter what its color or power.
The human eye is most sensitive to green light (555 nm). An equal amount of red or blue light will appear dimmer than the same amount of green light.
This laser has multiple wavelengths. Its beam is equivalent in brightness to an 805 milliwatt laser emitting the brightest-appearing wavelength, 555 nm.
This calculation is based on data from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in publication AC 70-1:
- 900 mW of 638 nm light is equivalent in brightness to 174 mW of 555 nm light
- 700 mW of 532 nm light is equivalent in brightness to 616 mW of 555 nm light
- 500 mW of 445 nm light is equivalent in brightness to 15.3 mW of 555 nm light
In the U.S., aiming a laser at or near the flight path of an aircraft is a federal felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000. Other countries, and U.S. states have similar laws for interfering with safety; such laws may be used to arrest, fine or imprison a person for aiming at aircraft and vehicles.
The power of the laser does not matter. Even if a laser's power is relatively weak, aiming ANY laser beam at an aircraft or vehicle is illegal.
Persons aiming higher-powered beams are especially likely to be caught, because the beam is very visible from the air. It is easy for police helicopters to trace the beam back to the perpetrator's location.
See this page for a selected list of the many persons who have been jailed and/or fined for aiming lasers at aircraft.
To help prevent eye injury when viewed at close range, use laser safety eyewear that has an Optical Density (OD) of at least 3.4. Because this laser has multiple wavelengths, ensure that the eyewear attenuates all wavelengths -- at least OD 3.4 for each wavelength.
Other use situations may require different OD's; consult a qualified laser safety officer or other person trained in laser eyewear selection.
Any device that can focus the dot to be sharper, or the beam to be tighter than its normal width, will increase the hazard range and the risk of injury. Use extra caution when the beam is focused.
Scanning the laser beam, by moving it quickly in various patterns such as lines or circles, does NOT significantly reduce hazards.
Do not aim this laser projector directly at any person or audience area. Deliberate scanning onto an audience with a Class 3B or 4 laser is inherently hazardous.
Because the labels on consumer lasers may give incorrect information -- the wrong Class or the wrong power -- do NOT rely on the label for any safety-critical calculations. Any laser aimed into an audience-accessible area must be measured with appropriate equipment by a qualified Laser Safety Officer. The LSO will determine the laser's Nominal Ocular Hazard Distance. The audience must be further than this distance. The LSO will also determine any other safety measures to be taken; for example, continuous supervision of the area, emergency stop buttons, etc.
In addition, in the U.S. and many countries and venues, special permission is required before ANY human access to Class 3B or 4 laser beams is allowed -- even if the audience is further than the NOHD. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires submission and FDA approval of an audience scanning variance, before any public performance can take place.
Lasers used for demonstrations, shows, displays and entertainment are highly regulated in the U.S. Both the laser projection device and the way in which it is used (the laser show) must be certified to the Food and Drug Administration. This is for ANY laser show even if the laser beam is kept away from audience areas. Generally, shows in a private home with friends and family are not covered but all other demonstrations, shows, displays, etc. done with a Class 3B or 4 laser would require the user to submit a variance, and get FDA approval in advance before the show can proceed.
Do not perform any public demonstration, show, display or entertainment with this laser projector, without having a variance from FDA. More information is available from FDA or the International Laser Display Association.
In addition to federal laws, some states and jurisdictions also regulate laser equipment and/or usage. Contact information for state agencies is available from Rockwell Laser Industries.
At the national level, laser show safety advice is given by Public Health England, formerly the Health Protection Agency. On their website they give the following guidance (as of 27 March 2014):
The NRPB, now the Radiation Protection Division of the Health Protection Agency, has undertaken considerable research into the use of lasers in the entertainment industry. Some situations have given cause for concern, mainly because the potential or actual exposure of people, including the audience, has not been properly assessed. The use of lasers may be covered by conditions on the premises under the Licensing Act, which is enforced by the local council (district, unitary or other authority). HPA advice to such councils is that a risk assessment should be carried out to demonstrate that people are not exposed to unacceptable risks. Assessment of laser display effects used for intentionally scanning the audience is time-consuming and complex. HPA experience is that such assessments are rarely satisfactorily undertaken and the practice should not routinely take place.
Many other countries and jurisdictions have regulations regarding laser show and display usage. Venues such as concert halls may have their own requirements.
Contact all appropriate authorities to ensure your laser show meets venue and government requirements.