Working in the laser industry, I have come across many complaints from buyers all over the world about shoddy green lasers pointers. In order to help customers understand the dangers of shoddy laser pointers and clear up some misunderstandings, we’ve listed below information on shoddy lasers.
Infrared (IR) lightGreen light (wavelength of 532nm) is the most visible color to the human eye and any green laser you buy should give out green light and ONLY green light. Our Viper laser pointers and Hulk portable lasers for example only give out 532nm green light. Shoddy lasers though give out green light AND dangerous infrared (IR) light. Infrared light cannot be seen by the human eye so the beam from these shoddy laser pointers is not as bright as it should be and is also very dangerous.
You may be asking how a shoddy laser pointer can have a power of 200mW but be less bright than a 55mW Viper laser pointer. Here is the trick. As we just said, these laser pointers give out a lot of infrared light which you can’t see making them less bright. Laser power meters however cannot distinguish between green light and infrared light. The 200mW power level of a shoddy laser pointer will normally be made up of mostly infrared light. For example a 200mW shoddy laser pointer is likely to have a combination 25mW green (532nm) and 175mW infrared (808nm). A 55mW Viper laser pointer will be 55mW of green light with virtually no infrared light.
All genuine green laser pointers and portable lasers have infrared filters inside them that blocks infrared light. Shoddy laser pointers have had this filter removed. Without this filter, these laser pointers are very dangerous because the infrared light can damage your eyes and you would not even be aware of it until to late.
So if you have a high powered laser pointer that is not bright, it is most likely giving out lots of dangerous IR so please use it with extreme care, or even better, destroy it.
Poor quality cases/shells
Another problem with shoddy laser pointers is their casing or shell. Their shell is commonly made out of normal low quality metal or even plastic. A high powered DPSS laser module generates a lot of heat that needs to be dissipated by the shell. If shell is made out of poor quality material, the heat from the laser can not be released and will very quickly build up. This heat build up will cause the laser diode to burn out which completely destroys the laser. The shell for both Viper laser pointers and Hulk portable lasers are made from a special metal alloy that is very effective at dissipating heat and protecting the laser diode. When a 95mW Viper laser pointer has been working for 60 seconds, your hand can feel the heat been released from the shell as the laser is kept cool.
Many shoddy lasers are only designed to operate at low powers such as 5 or 10mW. These lasers have the power from the batteries to the diode boosted to give a more powerful beam. The problem with modding these lasers is that the diode, their shell, lens, crystal and even the on/off switch are not designed for the higher power and temperature. Most modified lasers will burn out and be completely useless in a matter of days, often only hours. A simple analogy is putting a 200W light globe in a light that is only designed to handle 25W. The light may work but it will be long before the frame warps, the mounting melts and the light is destroyed.
Shoddy lasers are designed at standard to meet low specifications. The components and manufacturing process used are fast and very cheap. Every component in these shoddy lasers, the diode, crystal, lens assembly, IR filter (when they have them which is rare), shell, heat sink, circuit board and battery terminals have VERY poor quality and a typical life span of 30 to 50 hours maximum. Our green lasers on the other hand come from a world leading manufacturer and use quality components that meet every single international standard. Our lasers are designed to last 5000 hours and our guarantees reflect this.
Why buy a shoddy laser?
The only advantage in buying a shoddy green laser pointer is that they are sold with attractive carrying cases/boxes. Sadly even these cases have quality problems and are normally knock offs or imitations of brand name boxes such as “Parker Pen” boxes. These boxes are designed to carry pens, lighters and everything other than delicate optics and electronics. In the end, a plastic box can be easily copied or imitated but there is no substitute for cutting edge lasers technology!
Article is courtesy of Dragonlasers – No 1 online store for green laser pointers & high power lasers