Laser 303, 50 mW, 2.4 mrad
This is a Class 3B laser. It is moderately hazardous at 50 mW power. (Here are the four main laser classifications.)
NOTE: "Laser 303" refers to a style of handheld laser. This page is specifically for a "Laser 303" with the following parameters:
Max. output power for safety calculations: 50 milliwatts
Wavelength: 532 nanometers (green)
Min. divergence for safety calculations: 2.4 milliradians
Output: Continuous Wave
Type: Handheld laser
Manufacturer/distributor/seller: Varies (sold and distributed under many different names and models)
INFORMATION LABELS FOR USE ON THE LASER
QR code for this webpage (the one you are on)
Data Matrix code for this webpage
More information about QR and Data Matrix codes
This "Laser 303" is about 6-1/4" long (16 cm).
Use of laser protective eyewear is suggested or recommended (depending on the laser's power level), as discussed elsewhere on this page.
This laser laser can be a distraction, glare or flashblindness hazard for pilots and drivers. NEVER aim any laser towards an aircraft or vehicle that is in motion. This is unsafe and is illegal -- you could be arrested and jailed.
Always be aware of the beam location. Keep it away from people's eyes and heads. Watch out for reflected beams from glass and shiny surfaces. When outdoors, you must avoid aiming at or near aircraft.
This is not a toy. Children should not be permitted to use this laser.
Any teenager using this laser should be continuously supervised by a responsible adult. A number of teenagers have caused eye injuries to themselves or others by misusing Class 3B and Class 4 lasers. (This is a Class 3B laser.)
This laser is too powerful to be used as a pointer for normal indoor pointing situations, like in classrooms or for presentations. It may be useful outdoors during the daytime for pointing out objects, or at night to aim towards stars (NEVER aircraft!) for group star-finding/astronomy club situations.
The hazard distances listed below are intended only as general guidance. This is because 1) your laser may vary from the parameters (power, divergence) listed below, and 2) information on labels or marketing materials may not always be correct. For example, studies have shown that some laser pointers may be falsely labeled to avoid regulations -- the actual power may be 10 times or more what the label indicates.
Always err on the side of safety. If your laser has not been measured by a knowledgeable and trained Laser Safety Officer, assume it is more hazardous than the label or marketing materials would indicate.
This laser's light is hazardous for direct eye exposure. The intense light can cause burns to the retina. • This 50 mW laser poses a moderate risk of eye injury. It is unlikely that a handheld beam aimed from more than a few dozen feet away would cause injury -- laser light could not stay on one spot on the retina long enough for heat to build up to injurious levels. However, the risk is increased if the beam is held steady or if the laser is relatively close to the eye (a few feet or yards).
Avoid all eye exposure to the beam from this laser. This includes unintentional or accidental exposures -- be careful to keep the beam away from eyes and faces.
Also, remember that reflections off mirrors, glass, and shiny surfaces can be just as hazardous as the direct beam. Avoid reflected beams the same way you would avoid the direct beam.
- The Nominal Ocular Hazard Distance (NOHD) for this 50 mW visible-beam laser with a 2.4 milliradian beam spread (divergence) is 68 ft (21 m).
Color indicates the relative hazard: Red = potential injury, green = unlikely injury. Beyond the Nominal Ocular Hazard Distance, the chance of injury is “vanishingly small” according to safety experts.
The scattered light from the laser "dot" as viewed on a surface, normally is not an eye hazard. However, avoid staring at the laser dot at close range, for more than a few seconds. The light is too bright if you see a sustained afterimage, lasting more than about 10 seconds.
If you must be within this close range for more than a few seconds, use protective eyewear.
Do not deliberately attempt to burn skin. This can be very painful, can take long to heal, and can leave a permanent scar.
NEVER aim any laser towards an aircraft or vehicle that is in motion. The bright light can flashblind, cause glare, or distract the pilot or driver. This is why aiming any laser towards an aircraft is illegal.
- This 50 milliwatt, 2.4 milliradian divergence laser beam can temporarily flashblind a pilot or driver, causing afterimages, within 325 ft (100 m) of the laser.
- It can cause glare, blocking a pilot or driver's vision, within 1,450 ft (440 m) of the laser.
- It can cause distraction, being brighter than surrounding lights, within 14,500 ft / 2.7 miles (4.4 km) of the laser.
Visual interference distances for other Class 3B lasers are listed in the Laser hazard distance chart.
Never aim a laser at or near aircraft or vehicles, no matter what its color or power.
In the U.S., aiming a laser at or near the flight path of an aircraft is a federal felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000. Other countries, and U.S. states have similar laws for interfering with safety; such laws may be used to arrest, fine or imprison a person for aiming at aircraft and vehicles.
The power of the laser does not matter. Even if a laser's power is relatively weak, aiming ANY laser beam at an aircraft or vehicle is illegal.
Persons aiming higher-powered beams are especially likely to be caught, because the beam is very visible from the air. It is easy for police helicopters to trace the beam back to the perpetrator's location.
See this page for a selected list of the many persons who have been jailed and/or fined for aiming lasers at aircraft.
Glasses should be selected to protect against the laser's power and wavelength.
The eyewear should not block out all of the laser's light. This is because it is necessary to see where the laser "dot" is, to safely work with the laser. Because the eyewear is blocking some or perhaps all of the laser's light (for example, a hazardous reflection) you still should use caution even when using laser protective eyewear.
As you use the laser, any other persons in the area should also have the same type of laser protective eyewear as you.
Sunglasses are NOT laser protective eyewear. They are not rated (e.g., with Optical Density) to ensure light-attenuating protection. Most sunglasses will not block enough laser light to significantly reduce hazardous exposures.
Any device that can focus the dot to be sharper, or the beam to be tighter than its normal width, will increase the hazard range and the risk of injury. Use extra caution when the beam is focused.
Scanning the laser beam, by moving it quickly in various patterns such as lines or circles, does NOT significantly reduce hazards.
Do not aim this laser projector directly at any person or audience area. Deliberate scanning onto an audience with a Class 3B or 4 laser is inherently hazardous.
Because the labels on consumer lasers may give incorrect information -- the wrong Class or the wrong power -- do NOT rely on the label for any safety-critical calculations. Any laser aimed into an audience-accessible area must be measured with appropriate equipment by a qualified Laser Safety Officer. The LSO will determine the laser's Nominal Ocular Hazard Distance. The audience must be further than this distance. The LSO will also determine any other safety measures to be taken; for example, continuous supervision of the area, emergency stop buttons, etc.
In addition, in the U.S. and many countries and venues, special permission is required before ANY human access to Class 3B or 4 laser beams is allowed -- even if the audience is further than the NOHD. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires submission and FDA approval of an audience scanning variance, before any public performance can take place.
Lasers used for demonstrations, shows, displays and entertainment are highly regulated in the U.S. Both the laser projection device and the way in which it is used (the laser show) must be certified to the Food and Drug Administration. This is for ANY laser show even if the laser beam is kept away from audience areas. Generally, shows in a private home with friends and family are not covered but all other demonstrations, shows, displays, etc. done with a Class 3B or 4 laser would require the user to submit a variance, and get FDA approval in advance before the show can proceed.
Do not perform any public demonstration, show, display or entertainment with this laser projector, without having a variance from FDA. More information is available from FDA or the International Laser Display Association.
In addition to federal laws, some states and jurisdictions also regulate laser equipment and/or usage. Contact information for state agencies is available from Rockwell Laser Industries.
At the national level, laser show safety advice is given by Public Health England, formerly the Health Protection Agency. On their website they give the following guidance (as of 27 March 2014):
The NRPB, now the Radiation Protection Division of the Health Protection Agency, has undertaken considerable research into the use of lasers in the entertainment industry. Some situations have given cause for concern, mainly because the potential or actual exposure of people, including the audience, has not been properly assessed. The use of lasers may be covered by conditions on the premises under the Licensing Act, which is enforced by the local council (district, unitary or other authority). HPA advice to such councils is that a risk assessment should be carried out to demonstrate that people are not exposed to unacceptable risks. Assessment of laser display effects used for intentionally scanning the audience is time-consuming and complex. HPA experience is that such assessments are rarely satisfactorily undertaken and the practice should not routinely take place.
Many other countries and jurisdictions have regulations regarding laser show and display usage. Venues such as concert halls may have their own requirements.
Contact all appropriate authorities to ensure your laser show meets venue and government requirements.