I’ve reviewed other lasers, but recently, I got another green laser pointer in the mail. This one came from SKYlasers High Power Laser Pointers and it’s not like the others because it comes with a unique feature I haven’t seen on the other laser pointers that have come my way.
The extra mile
What makes this laser stand out from the others I’ve been sent is the lock and key. If you look at the bottom photos below, you’ll see on the left is the end of the laser pointer that the key fits into and on the right is the key in use. You’ll notice that there’s three positions: low, high, and off. The ability to turn the laser off when not is use is a big plus for me, because I definitely don’t want to have a laser like this on accidentally and not notice until it becomes a problem. More importantly, I can imagine what a selling point this might be for laser-happy parents. Kids will be kids, and it helps if you can just prevent them from being able to use the laser by just locking it.
The balloon test
So how well does this laser work? To begin with, I just had to put it through the balloon test. For those unfamiliar, a powerful enough laser pointer can pop a black balloon. It’s a fun way to test it, so I headed to the store and picked up a bag of black balloons. The first attempt at my office worked extremely well. The balloons were very still and I popped them from about three feet away. Unfortunately, that video got deleted, so I did it again from my house. This time, I did a big one and a smaller one, the fan was on, and I started from about six feet away. The results started without a bang, so to speak, but when I moved in to about three feet, both balloons popped without a lot of wait. That video is below.
Some laser art
In addition to the standard balloon test, I wanted to do something different for this review. In previous reviews, I lit up water, tested the distance by pointing it out into the night sky, and split the beam with diffraction gratings. With my new SKYlaser green laser pointer, I decided to try out some laser art.
To get this effect, I just set my camera on a tripod in fully manual mode and set the exposure to 30 seconds. Then I snapped a shot and “drew” with the laser by waving it around for those 30 seconds while the shutter was open. The result is what you see above and the rest of the photos I took.
While you should always be careful with the more powerful laser pointers like this one, they can be a lot of fun and can also be highly useful. Some colleagues are using lasers to map their robot’s surroundings on a virtual laser grid. Others have built laser harps, and the list goes on.
The laser pointer I was sent is truly too much for what I did (and will do) with it. At about $300, it’s not the one I would normally buy, especially since I don’t have any of my own advanced projects that require a 150 mW. If you do, this is a great laser. For the rest of us, this is not the only laser they sell. Skylasers offers a good variety of lasers from much less powerful laser pointers that start in the $40 range to some serious hardware upwards of $600. This laser seemed like it was good quality and it came on every time I tried it. Comparatively, it’s about $80 less than one competitor I previously reviewed and the same price as another. I’d rather have it black in exterior color, but for the price, I’d have to say the locking feature makes this one my favorite so far.