What do I need to respect in terms of laser output power?
In order to compare lasers worldwide, it is common to specify the effective output power, which is the most important criterion for objective comparison of lasers.It is specified in Watt or milliwatt (1W = 1000mW).Power is measured directly at the aperture of the laser source and before all optical components.
Power distribution: Most important for the visibility of laser light is the balanced power distribution on the base colors. A full-color laser system (or: RGB system) should give a perfect balanced, white laser light. The white light can be balanced by reducing single base colors. If a single color needs to be reduced in power in a greater extent to get a balanced white, e.g. the green laser, effective overall output power of the laser system is reduced as well. That‘s why it is very important to have the laser components in a projector at harmonized power. Especially important are the wavelengths of the individual colors (please see other FAQs)
How does human eye perceive (laser) light?
The human eye perceives the different wavelengths of the visible color range with a different intensity. The optimum is at 555nm - the green DPSS as RGB elementary color meets this as the most closest.
Therefore it is decisive to find the perfect balancing act between best power distribution and largest green part in order to match the best possible visibility.The closer the nanometer is to this optimum (up and down), the brighter is the perception of a color. However, this visibility curve looks not like a common bell-curve and therefore brings special characteristics in the blue and red color range with it.
How are the different colors created with lasers?
With a full color solid state laser, (at least) three different laser modules are used together. White light, as well as mixed colors, are generated by the additive color mixture of red, green and blue (like e.g. the TV set). Color shades are produced with the partial switch-off or the dimming of single colors, which is so called "analog modulation".
To increase output power or to create a larger or more vivid color range, it is possible to mix even more than three colors. It needs some knowledge to operate such systems properly.
The wavelengths of the individual laser modules define the color. That's why it is very important to have the "right" red and the "right" blue to get good visibility with a good color spectrum at the same time.
I want to terminate the laser beam after about two metres, like the lightsabers in Star Wars. How can I do that?
It is not possible to create lightsaber like effects: You cannot "terminate" the laser beam somewhere, it can physically not be terminated without having an end-point (surface).
Light can not be ended somewhere, it can only "fade out", meaning intensity is reduced with greater distances. But this is of course not feasible for a lightsaber.
Please also read the FAQ regarding projection surfaces
Can I make 3D projections in the air with lasers?
You always need a surface to reflect the laser light. This can be fog or haze for beam shows, or all kinds of screens for projections. Very common screen types are waterscreens, gauze screens, rear projection screens or fog screens.
All 3D-like projections with lasers also need kind of a surface to be reflected on! Real 3D is not possible without having a 3D surface.BUT: You can of course generate 3D look-alike projections with our systems. If you need support in doing that, please contact us - we have specially skilled professionals for high end shows.
You cannot create 3D-like projections in the air, but if you have a kind of surface (e.g. in between of two buildings), it is no problem to do so.
Unfortunately laser light cannot be "terminated" somewhere without having an end-point (surface).
Do I need fog or haze to make the laser beams visible?
You always need a surface to reflect the laser light. This can be fog or haze for beam shows or all kinds of screens for projections. Very common screen types are water screens, gauze screens, rear projection screens or fog screens.
All 3D-like projections with lasers also need kind of a surface to be reflected on!
It is not possible to create laser-sword like effects: You cannot "terminate" the laser beam somewhere, it cannot physically be terminated without having an end-point (surface).
MotionLasers recommends using a haze machine for indoor beam shows to get the smoothest effect.
What is the difference between optical effects and normal scanners?
Optical effects are created by using a certain glass/mirror structure with microstructures, that deflects or manipulates one laser beam hitting the optical component so that a special effect is generated. Optical effects are e.g. burst grating, line grating, shot beams, etc.
The advantage of optical effects in contrast to normal scanners is, that there is no flickering with optical effects and the deflection angle can be much wider than with scanners. Anyway, the flexibility of scanner systems can not be achieved, as the effeect is limited to the built-in optical effetcs.
Do I need special knowledge to operate a laser projector?
In general there is no deeper knowledge necessary to operate a laser projector in a physical sense. However, laser light may be quite dangerous if it is not properly used.
Due to the coherence of the laser light (same direction and wave characteristics of the light - different to normal light sources), the very sharp rays can be dangerous to human eye or immission sensors.
However, if you respect you local laser safety regulations, it is possible to make a safe laser show.
The regulation IEC 60825-1 is internationally valid and provides information about laser safety terms. Most countries refer to that regulation in context of laser safety.
However, some countries may have much more fear of the "laser mystery" and thus may have stricter regulations.
The responsibility for laser operation is with the actual operator. So being careful is most important.
Some things we recommend to respect:
- - never shoot single beams to the audience. You may shoot them above their heads (min height 3m) as strong as you like.
- - use a safety shut-off option (button etc.) to be able to switch of the system, e.g. if somebody tries to manipulate the lasers during operation or if somebody enters the laser safety area
- - keep people under age away from laser devices
- - familiarize yourself with laser safety prior to operation. Some countries (very few only) may need a Laser Safety Officer on site during operation
Laser projectors are not dangerous themselves - the danger always comes from improper operation.
Is your laser control software Mac / Apple compatible?
Pangolin Quickshow and Beyond do not run on MAC / Apple OSX. However, it is possible to operate all software products, that we offer, in a Windows emulated environment on Mac systems.
There are several technical limitations that make it tricky to just switch existing software solutions to Mac OS ( e.g. deep integration with DirectX or OpenGL and similar Windows APIs).
Do you sell any waterproof lasers?
Yes, MotionLasers offers a large number of waterproof lasers:
All Nano units are IP65 waterproof, meaning they can be used outdoor in the rain.
The Spectrum All-Weather and Low Divergence Series are rated to IP65 waterproof, perfect for outdoor touring applications.
The LightCube 851 models are rated to IP68, suitable for permanent outdoor solutions in a submersible shell.
I got a brand new laser, but it doesn't seem to work. What should I do?
Before calling your vendor our service line, please check the following points:
- - do you use the right operation voltage?- is the environmental temperature not below 10°C?
- - is the interlock connector plugged in (if there is an interlock connector, of course)?
- - is the key switch turned to "on"?- if there is a mechanical shutter: is it moved aside?
- - does the laser only not work in one operation mode (sound, auto, ILDA - as far as the options are available for your unit)?
- - if operated in ILDA mode: Do you operate your software properly? (Interface connected, cable properly attached, laser output activated in software, right interface selected for output in software?)
- - if operated in ILDA mode: Do you try to project a single beam or a very small pattern? Probably the scan fail safety blocks that (it only does if switched to full block mode! This is not the standard option.)... please try a larger pattern.
Why do we have condensation inside our laser device?
Professional laser systems usually have cooling/heating elements built inside the projector. Although these are meant for keeping the laser modules at operation temperature, the climate inside the laser device needs to be quite balanced.
If you place a laser projector next to a fog machine or next to the air condition outlet (or even to the normal ventilation system) there may be a condensation of water/liquid inside the housing due to the temperature difference. The effect is comparable to the situation if you come from a cold outside into a warm room and your glasses fog up.
That's why it is very important to place the laser system appropriately and to avoid any situation that may raise the risk of condensation.
Condensation inside a laser device may lead to short-circuiting of the unit and crash of laser diodes.
Please consider the operation temperature stated in the user manual of the laser system!
A Sealed Housing technology enclosure does not prevent condensation! Please head for an even more professional system that is rated IP54+ to reduce the condensation risk.