Products that use laser energy come in many sizes, shapes and forms. What they have in common is a laser which stores energy from a source, such as, an electrical discharge, chemical reaction or powerful optical illumination that releases the energy as light.
Laser stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. One basic type of laser consists of a sealed tube, containing a pair of mirrors, and a laser medium that is excited by some form of energy to produce visible light, or invisible ultraviolet or infrared radiation.
LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are different from laser diodes and are not subject to the Federal laser product performance standard.
An ordinary source of visible light, like the sun or a light bulb, emits a mixture of invisible and visible light like waves. These waves have varying lengths and move in all directions. These differing “wavelengths” produce different types of light, such as ultraviolet, violet, blue, green, red and infrared.
Unlike ordinary light, laser light has a specific wavelength and amplification of this specific wavelength results in a focused narrow beam of light that can be emitted in one direction. The amplification, focus, and directionality of this light concentrated in a small area can create a very high intensity light even at large distances from the laser.
- Components of audio, video and computer equipment such as CD, DVD, Blue Ray, HD (High Definition), or other optical disk players and recorders
- Many bar code readers
- Printers, copiers, FAX machines
- Laser pointers and pens commonly used for presentations, surveying, and positioning
- Fiber optic systems for telephone, video, and computer networks.
- Applied to material processing operations such as cutting, welding, engraving, or marking systems.
- Applications in laboratories for research, measurements, and optical sources.
- Lasers specifically designed for use in medical procedures.
- Lasers specifically designed and promoted for laser light shows, entertainment, advertising, etc.
Laser products improve the quality, precision, accuracy, security and reliability of many forms of products, materials, communications and data handling. In order to realize the benefits of lasers, the risks of laser exposure must be managed.