We recently got a hold of the “CORE” green laser pointer from the folks over at Wicked Lasers and we’re quite impressed. It was probably the brightest laser pointer I had seen. According to Wicked Lasers, this model should be visible over 10,000 feet away (during a clear night). Green lasers are naturally over 50x brighter than red lasers since the human eye is more sensitive to it. The Core model outputs the green laser at 5mW (milliwatts), which is the maximum allowed under U.S. regulations. (100% Legal!)
As I mentioned, this was the closest thing I had seen to a true “laser beam”. When I tested it outdoors at night, a good portion of the beam was clearly visible due to moisture in the air. We compared it to another red laser of the same milliwatt output and close to nothing was visible. Although this is one of the least powerful green laser produced by Wicked Lasers, it is still quite dangerous. It is important to be cautious since direct exposure from close distances can permanently damage the eye. You will also find safety warnings on standard red laser pointers found in most office supply and electronic stores, but these aren’t nearly as dangerous or powerful.
If for some reason 5mW isn’t enough for you, Wicked Lasers sells green lasers with outputs reaching up to 300mW. (Once again ours was just 5mW) We wouldn’t recommend playing around with anything higher than the Core. If you purchase one handle it cautiously, don’t give it to children, or people unaware of its potential. If you want a better idea of how powerful these can get, the following are some examples of what each milliwatt range they can do: (So yes, they can burn and melt stuff!)
- 15-35mW: beam visible at night, in smoke, and in foggy areas.
- 55-75mW: 15 mile range, beam visible in lighted areas, melt trash bags, and stings skin
- 95-125mW: 50 mile range, pop air balloons, light matches, and melt plastic/rubber
- 200-300mW: 100 mile range, Tesla technology, and can even lights cigars
Getting back to the Core model, it runs on two standard AAA batteries for up to 90 minutes. The lifespan of the laser itself is expected to be somewhere around 5,000 hours of use. The one small drawback we noticed was the fact that using this pointer for over 3 minutes continuously could cause the insides to overheat therefore sacrificing the laser diode’s lifespan. Either way 3 minutes is a pretty long time to be pointing at something, plus it’s a great improvement over older lasers which were even shorter.
Red lasers are the most widely available, however green laser pointers are becoming much more common and cheaper. Just for a rough idea, just about 10 years ago a red laser would have cost nearly $100. As for the CORE by Wicked Lasers, it is available online for just $35. Wicked Lasers even provides a 12 month warranty with the unit and throw in a hard case, so there’s not much to worry about. Having a green laser for presentations can make things more interesting. If you wish to purchase other higher end models, prices reach over $500.