Demystifying Laser LightsTerminology: Explaining Key Terms and Concepts in 5 Minutes

Demystifying Laser LightsTerminology: Explaining Key Terms and Concepts in 5 Minutes

by Newfeel Ho on Oct 08, 2023

Laser light technology is intricate and diverse, which can often leave its specifications and characteristics perplexing. In order to facilitate a better understanding of the critical details of laser products, this article will explain the most common terms in a clear and accessible manner while providing real-world examples.

Common Laser Lights Terminology

Wavelength and Color
One of the most crucial characteristics of lasers is wavelength, measured in nanometers (nm), which determines the laser's color. Different wavelengths manifest as different visible colors:
- 405 nanometers - Purple
- 532 nanometers - Green
- 638 nanometers - Red
- 445 nanometers - Royal Blue
- 650 nanometers - Deep Red
To achieve multicolor effects, DJ lasers combine multiple wavelengths, such as red, green, and blue, into a single unit or utilize wavelength mixing to generate a spectrum from a single laser diode.

Scanning Speed (KPS)

Scanning speed, also known as KPS (thousand points per second), indicates how quickly the laser scans per second. This determines how crisply animations and graphics can be projected.
- Low speed lasers, below 4KPS, are suitable for simple beam effects.
- High-speed lasers, 12KPS and above, are ideal for club environments with complex graphics.
- 20KPS supports highly intricate animations, such as detailed logos or text.

Diode Types

Laser diodes produce the actual laser beam. Key types include:
- IR diodes for infrared wavelengths, producing invisible beams.
- RGB diodes for red, green, and blue visible laser beams.
- Laser modules integrate multiple diodes and optical components into a single unit.
High-quality diodes from reputable brands like Osram ensure optimal efficiency and brightness.

Scanner Types

Scanners guide and control the motion of laser beams using mirrors:
- Galvo scanners rapidly steer the beam using tiny mirrors for graphic projections.
- Polygon scanners employ rotating optical elements for faster and more complex effects.
- Hybrid scanners combine both to offer versatility.
Higher-quality mirrors enable faster scanning speeds and greater accuracy.

Optical Power

This refers to the power output of the diode, measured in milliwatts (mW). Greater power results in a brighter projection:
- Low power: <100 mW, suitable for 3R lasers.
- Medium power: 100-499mW, ideal for 3B lasers.
- High power: 500mW+, suitable for 4 lasers.
Venue size and ambient light determine the ideal power requirement.

Beam Count

Multiple laser diodes can simultaneously project beams of different colors. Beam count indicates how many beams are in a single unit. For example, a 3-beam laser has separate red, green, and blue lasers.
More beams allow for more vibrant and intricate effects, but also increase costs. Three or five beams strike a good balance for most DJs.

Control and Programming

Aside from manual control knobs, common laser lights programming options include:
- DMX control: Connects to a lighting console for synchronized laser performances with music and stage lighting integration.
- ILDA: Uses PC-driven laser performance control software to project graphics, text, and animations.
- Standalone: Built-in sound activation and automatic modes for performance versatility.
When considering programming options, take into account your requirements and technical skills.
(Supplier Note: Affordable programmable laser products are available as examples.)

Key Takeaways

Metal enclosures and accessories are more durable for transport and stage use than plastic. Touring-grade cases offer protection.
While laser terminology might initially seem complex, understanding key specifications like wavelength, scanning speed, power output, and control modes informs you of what lasers can do. Familiarity with these features can assist you in selecting the perfect laser for DJ requirements.
We hope this explanation sheds light on laser terminology, making your purchasing decisions clearer. If you need any guidance in choosing professional lasers to enhance your events, please don't hesitate to reach out to us!
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