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Green Lasers: Infrared filters, why they are important-

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Green lasers: InfraRed filters

Why they are important-


With green lasers getting more and more powerful as time goes on, it is vital that you are aware of the dangers posed by them. Without an IR filter, a laser could be putting out large amounts of Infra-Red. Infrared light is very dangerous to the eye. If you were to be exposed to IR light to the eye, very serious damage can occur, most noticable blinding. This is why we should take care when handling with lasers. 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.


What does a IR filter look like? Below is a picture of one. I have also included one where it is attached to a laser module.
                             

Lasers without IR filters are often measured and the total output is quoted. Many lasers sold on eBay are filterless and have very high ratings. We have seen 150mw green lasers which only put out about 20-30mw of green. The rest is in IR. The IR does not focus the same way as the green because different wavelengths focus differently and in effect, you will end up with a cone of invisible radiation around the beam. If this invisible radiation reflects from a surface, it is possible to be getting a sustained hit in your eye which you will not notice. Most eBay lasers are of the unfiltered variety and if you are unlucky enough to have purchased one, you have been scammed !!!!!

 
You may be asking how a shoddy laser pointer can have a power of 200mW but be less bright than a 50mWlaser 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 50mW laser pointer will be 50mW 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.
Genuine green laser link on ebay- Genuine Green lasers


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