How to Use a Laser Level?

Learn the best and most simplest method to use a laser level.
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Laser levels are mainstream devices mainly used in construction, survey, and renovation works. Since they entered the market, laser levels have quickly replaced several common leveling instruments at the bubble level. It is a multipurpose device that greatly eases any project and cuts off the time required for taking measurements.

Currently, there are four types of laser levels in the market. The automatic 360 laser levels allow you to survey any area without the need for an assistant. However, people are often confused about how to use a laser level? Well, this article is here to help you get started with all your projects.

What is a Laser Level?

What is a Laser Level

A laser level is a special tool used by DIYers and construction workers to maintain perfect alignment throughout the job site. The device emits a straight laser beam in the horizontal and vertical directions, forming a virtual plane. Moreover, the 3-point laser levels also emit a laser in the third axis to form a 3D plane. Workers can use this laser plane to reference construction, surveying, and renovation projects. 

Modern laser levels are very different from the first products. For instance, the first laser levels were bulky devices that required up to two people to operate them. Furthermore, these units were very expensive, and only the high-end companies could afford them. However, you can also find a laser level for home use at an affordable price nowadays. 

What is a Laser Level Used For?

Laser levels have become necessary for projects requiring a straight reference plane over a large distance. The laser plane acts as a virtual chalk line to guide you in perfectly aligning all the objects. Moreover, its use is not limited to professional workers only, and anyone can use them in indoor and outdoor projects

You can use a laser level for common tasks like hanging pictures, fitting dado rails, and hanging curtains in your home. Similarly, the auto-leveling laser levels are used for outdoor projects like excavation, foundation works, and grading. Some automatic laser levels come with a tripod for outdoor stability. In short, laser levels are versatile devices that you can use across different projects according to your needs.

Types of Laser Level:

Laser levels are classified based on their use and the color of the laser beam. Generally, two types of laser levels are available based on the laser color, i.e., red and green. Similarly, there are four types of laser levels based on their usage and laser plane, they are:

  • Cross-line laser level
  • Dot/Point laser level
  • Rotary laser level
  • Tile laser level

Cross-Line Laser Level:

Cross-line laser level

Line laser levels are the most advanced and common lasers used by professionals. These devices emit a laser beam in vertical and horizontal directions to form a 2D plane. The laser comes in handy when working on an elevated structure such as a wall. The line laser level is usually used for indoor projects by mounting it on a tripod stand. However, you can also use it for referencing the outside walls of a structure.


  • Carpeting
  • Handrails
  • Hanging pictures
  • Indoor projects

Dot/Point Laser Level:

DotPoint laser level

The dot or point laser level is commonly known as a plumb laser level. It is the simplest laser device that you can find in the market. The device is mainly used to check the alignment of various objects and plumbing the walls. Moreover, a dot laser level is also the cheapest laser device that you can purchase.


  • Installing power outlets
  • Installing light switches
  • Foundation works
  • Measurement
  • Installation of heating and ventilation system
  • Wall construction

Rotary Laser Level:

Rotary laser level

The rotary laser levels are also the most advanced type of laser device in the world. Contractors and surveyors usually use them before starting any construction project. The best thing about these laser levels is that they are highly accurate over long distances. The best 360 laser levels have an accuracy of 1/16-inch for up to 50 feet. A rotary laser emits a straight laser line while rotating incredibly fast; thus, it forms a constant laser plane in every direction.


  • Best laser level for builders
  • Construction grading
  • Foundation works
  • Surveying
  • Interior designing
  • Landscaping works

Tile Laser Level:

Tile laser level

A tile laser level is not very different from a point laser level. The only difference is that it emits a straight laser plane at floor level. Interior design workers mostly use it to install tiles and other flooring types. However, it is also used for outdoor projects that require perfect ground alignment. The good thing about tile laser levels is that you don’t need a tripod stand to use them.


  • Tiling
  • Installation of flooring
  • Carpeting
  • Carpentry works
  • Pipe installation

How to Choose a Laser Level?

Choosing the right laser level for the project is extremely important for professionals. There are many different types of laser levels in the market; each has its set of applications. Therefore, you must consider these factors before finalizing your purchase:

  • For indoor projects: All laser levels are suitable for indoor projects but with different applications. For example, you need a cross-line laser level for carpeting and hanging objects on the wall. Similarly, the dot or point is the best laser level for electricians and interior designers. Lastly, a tile laser level is perfect for flooring works.
  • For outdoor construction: You need the best laser level for daylight when working outside. A typical red laser is almost invisible beyond a few feet, while a powerful green laser is visible for up to 60 feet. Similarly, you will also need to use a laser level detector to establish reference points throughout the site.
  • For survey: Laser levels are perfect for surveying and construction grading. The laser forms a reference plane to help you with landscaping works. However, it is recommended to use a green laser level and a laser detector to avoid time wastage.

How to Use a Laser Level?

  1. Mount the laser level on a tripod stand if you use one; otherwise, skip this step.
  2. Calibrate the device’s level by adjusting the tripod’s clamps till the bubble is stabilized in the center of the circle. However, a self-leveling laser level doesn’t require this step; give it time to adjust itself.
  3. Adjust the laser height by aiming it at a reference point. Alternatively, you can also manually input the laser plane adjustments if you know the measurement.
  4. Turn on the laser level and take the laser detector to the point where you want to take a reading.
  5. The laser level will beep twice as soon as it detects the laser detector, so take your time.
  6. Similarly, all you need is to turn on the laser level to form a virtual laser plane when working on indoor projects.


The laser beam packs an immense amount of energy. So, it is best to wear safety goggles when working to avoid any eye damage.

How to Use a Laser Level? (infographic)

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to use a laser level to hang pictures?

1. Use a measuring tape to determine the height of the picture frame.
2. Calibrate the device’s level by stabilizing the bubble inside the circle.
3. Turn on the laser level and aim it at the initial point.
4. Press the laser button to form a laser plane on the wall/walls.
5. Hammer a nail on the wall and hang your pictures.

How to use a laser level for grading?

1. Set up the laser level on a tripod stand on firm ground.
2. Calibrate the device’s level or give it a moment to self-adjust.
3. Identify the initial height of the grade and pitch grade slopes from there.
4. Take the laser detector to the desired area and adjust it till you hear a beeping sound.
5. Measure the grade difference between the original height and the graded height.
6. Excavate the area if the grade is below the ground or fill the area if it is above the ground.

How does a laser level work?

A laser level is an advanced device that emits a laser beam on the wall. The beam forms a virtual laser plane that you can use as a reference for aligning various objects.


Laser levels are gradually replacing different types of leveling tools. They are used in construction projects, renovation works, and surveying. Moreover, you can also use a laser level for DIY projects. However, people are often confused about how to use a laser level. If you are also wondering the same, this article will surely help you a lot.

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