Craft your own laser Christmas lights, the safe way

christmas-laser-lightsYou have always heard stories about how you might get blind when looking into a laser and how a plane may crush because of your strong laser Christmas display. You don’t know which story is true and you sit on a fence as you can’t decide how big you can go with this Christmas laser lights display.

We begin with the technical info and we remind you (or tell you for the very first time) that the United States National Consensus Standard for laser safety actually exists and it’s responsible for creating and controlling the ANSI. ANSI is in fact American National Standards Institute, which is empowered to make our US market place get stronger, while providing safety and health of consumers and protecting the environment at the same time. So the next time you go shopping for laser Christmas lights, keep in mind that these regulations set the rules for the use of your lasers inside your house and in your backyard also.

The basics

Lasers divide in various classes, depending on their intended purpose. You may use lasers to boost up your party and you may also use them to… get some hair removal.

Class II is a regular, quite popular choice to go with for your next Christmas laser projector, which means there are little to any injuries from exposers to Class II level of lasers.

For a better understanding of your laser Christmas lights, think of them as some flashlights. If you point a standard flashlight or some strong Mag lights into your eyes, you might see some bright spots for a minute, but your eyes don’t get burn or anything dramatic like that. So, in the case of the Christmas laser lights it’s just the same: not very safe to stare straight into them, but not as damaging as you thought until now.

You might worry about how your laser Christmas lights may also interfere with airplanes. This depends on how much your laser lights travel around, which is typically 100 to 200 feet into the sky. They dissipate afterwards, thanks to the divergence of the laser. As the average flight altitude is around 20,000 feet (a little under a 100 times the distance that your Christmas laser lights may travel), we’d say you’re quite safe for the planes also.

As you can see, typically the laser Christmas lights are safe to use and there are institutions that apply and regulate the manufacturing of these lights. Get over the drama you hear around, and think of it this way: it’s safe, as long as you don’t overdo it…

Accidents do happen…

Sometimes, some of us get carried away and you must have heard about how a laser project shined directly into the cockpit of a coast guard plane, making the news.

Laser beams (imagine that even a small pen-shaped light might do it!) may momentarily blind a pilot and you can only imagine the tragic consequences.

Green is the brightest and the most dangerous color and you may, as a pilot, experience a flash blindness at times. Apart from the eye discomfort, there is also some pain that might distract you for a second or totally ruin your ability to fly the plane.

So, in order to avoid that, you need to pay attention and to not project the lights at or within the flight path of an aircraft within ten nautical miles of an airport. Your laser Christmas lights may be nice to watch, but don’t point them towards the sky- just as you don’t do it with a single pen light laser, as they might be just as destructive. Always point your Christmas laser lights directly at your home and never do it towards the sky.

You may end up with some prison time and quite some dollars in fines. And, as much as you like Christmas, you may be enjoying your freedom and a full pocket a lot more… 🙂