Laser cutters have greatly eased the engraving process. For example, engraving rocks and metals can take up to several hours of tireless work, but it only requires a few minutes with a laser cutter.
However, modern technology comes with its consequences. The laser diode emits radiation that sometimes leaks out of the protection chamber. This laser light radiation can severely damage human eyes and may even lead to permanent blindness.
Therefore, it is recommended that everyone should follow some basic laser engraver safety rules to avoid such mishaps. In this regard, infrared light laser engraver safety glasses are a must-have protection gadget for every workshop.
Why Laser Safety Glasses?
The laser engraver cuts through hard material using a powerful laser beam. This beam emits radiation that can be fatal for the human body. According to experts, a slight leak in the laser chamber can set an object on fire placed in the other corner of the room.
So, imagine the damage it can cause to your eyes from direct or reflected contact. Electromagnetic waves and human vision are closely related topics. The laser diode emits light in the electromagnetic spectrum.
Thus, even a single contact with the laser can prove to be very dangerous for your eyes. Thus, you need to wear laser cutter safety glasses whenever working on a project to protect yourself and others from the harmful effects of laser technology.
What Makes Lasers Dangerous?
The laser diode of an engraver emits light that lies between the visible and infrared laser light spectrum. You might have noticed that your body triggers the blink reflex whenever you are exposed to bright light. It is because the human eye can suffer from permanent blindness if continuously exposed to a bright light beam.
As you know, the light intensity is inversely proportional to the radius of the light. The laser technology works on the same principle where a powerful light beam is focused on a single point with the help of a lens.
Thus, the eye can’t resist the energy of the laser light. Some lasers can even reduce the light spot to a few micrometers (~ 10 µm) which is extremely dangerous for your body. The human blink reflex can defend you against up to 1mW of laser power. However, a red beam of light wavelength 700 nm packs much more energy that travels faster than your blink reaction.
As a result, the beam can penetrate your defense mechanism and cause fatal retinal injuries. In other words, a laser beam can be very dangerous for your health if you don’t take the necessary safety precautions.
Is Laser Engraving Eye Protection Necessary?
Eye protection is the number one priority for anyone who uses a laser engraver. Exposure to a laser beam in any form, i.e., direct, reflected, or scattered, can seriously damage your eyes. For instance, a 1mW laser beam from an engraver is up to three times more powerful than the sun radiation. The beam quickly enters your eye before you get a chance to blink. As a result, even contact for a few milliseconds can seriously injure your cornea, retina, or eye lens.
In this regard, safety goggles are your best chance for protection—the glasses from a protective barrier between your eyes and the laser beam. Thus, the laser light’s dangerous rays never penetrate the glasses, and only the harmless light beams come in contact with your eyes. The laser engraver safety glasses are covered with special chemicals and materials that filter out the harmful laser radiations. Moreover, you can even use safety glasses when working on other projects.
Even though only a few people are affected by a laser beam every year, it is best to use safety glasses to avoid including yourself in that list.
Types of Laser Radiations:
A single laser beam can affect you in many different ways. In this regard, laser beams are classified based on their path. A laser beam can be direct, scattered, or reflected. Each type has different potential energy, speed, refractive index, and intensity. Thus, it is important to know which type of laser hits you when diagnosing a problem. These types are:
The radiation that originates directly from the light source is known as direct radiation. It conveys the maximum amount of light energy and is the most dangerous one. This type of radiation has the maximum laser light wavelength and can cause severe damage to your eyes. The radiation can either be in the visible or invisible spectrum. However, it has the potential to burn or denature the eye proteins and photochemical trigger reactions in the eye tissues.
The radiation that originates from the source but travels towards you through a reflection medium is called reflect radiation. It doesn’t contain as much energy or intensity as direct radiation. However, even a fraction of the laser beam has enough potential to damage your cornea, pupil, and eye lens. Moreover, prolonged exposure to reflected radiation can have the same impact as direct radiation.
The radiation beam that passes through a different medium before reaching you is called scattered radiation. Its properties are very similar to a reflected beam; however, the beam doesn’t carry as much energy. One example of scattered light is a flashlight. When you turn on the flashlight in a dark room, the light rays are scattered in different directions to illuminate the whole room.
Similarly, scattered radiation is when the laser radiation leaks from the work area and scatters everywhere. The scattered radiation is not as harmful as the first two; still, it can severely damage unprotected eyes.
Top 3 Picks for Laser Safety Glasses:
Wearing safety glasses for laser engraving adds a layer of protection between your eyes and the harmful radiations. Thus, it is a good idea to purchase your glasses along with the laser engraver so that your eyes are never unprotected.
However, the market is full of safety glasses, but not all of them are suitable for powerful laser beams. Therefore, here I have shortlisted my top 3 picks for laser safety glasses to help you choose only the best:
1. TIPL 200nm-2000nm Laser Safety Glasses:
- Anti-fog coating
- Broad-spectrum protection
- Visible light transmission
- Wavelength: 200nm-2000nm
- Daylight Transmission (VLT)
IPL safety glasses are perfect for professional laser engraving projects. It protects your eyes from the lowest to the highest radiation wavelength without any problems. For instance, broad-spectrum protection protects your eyes even from the low power radiation as prolonged exposure can do fatal damage to your eyes.
However, you won’t face any vision problems when wearing these glasses. The advanced VLT technology ensures that the maximum amount of safe, visible light is allowed to pass through the goggles. Similarly, the glasses are made from the highest-grade plastic for long service life, and the product comes with a protective case in the box. So, if you are looking for cheap glasses that protect from lasers, I suggest that you check this one out.
- VLT technology
- Durable build
- Affordable price
- Blocks all radiation wavelengths
- Protects from green laser light wavelength
- It doesn’t work well with fiber laser radiation
2. FreeMascot OD 6+ 190nm-550nm:
- Wavelength: 190 nm-550 nm / 800nm-1100nm
- Professional grade glasses
- UV-protection coating
- 35% visible light transmission
- OD6+ optical density
FreeMascot is among the top-rated brands for laser safety gadgets. The OD6+ is better than any class 4 laser engraver safety glasses that you can find in the market. Therefore, it is widely used by most professionals who spend several hours operating a laser cutter. So, it won’t be wrong to say that OD6+ is the perfect safety gadget for every small and large business setup.
The glasses are highly durable and can withstand impact damage as well as environmental hazards. The UV-protective coating ensures that no radiation penetrates the glasses, and the coat doesn’t fade over time. Similarly, the product offers broad wavelength absorbance ranging from the lowest diode lasers to the most powerful fiber laser radiation. Lastly, it offers up to 35% visible light transmission for perfect vision even in broad daylight.
- 35% VLT
- Professional quality
- Commercial safety glasses
- Durable frame
- UV-protection coating
- Comparatively expensive than others
3. ANZESER Laser Safety Glasses:
- Adjustable temple
- Polycarbonate lens
- Military-grade protection
- High optical density
- 90% VLT
- Blocks 450nm laser
ANZESER is the go-to brand for several military and industrial users. Their products have a wide range of applications in all fields, including industries, businesses, and medical facilities. Thus, it won’t be wrong to expect a little extra from their products. In this regard, their laser safety glasses offer high-end eye protection against the most powerful CO2 laser beams at an affordable price.
Firstly, it is one of the few laser safety glasses with up to 90% visible light transmission. It means that you won’t face any vision difficulties even in low-light conditions. Similarly, the polycarbonate red lens protects you from the most common laser light radiations like the 450 nm wavelength of CO2 lasers. So, it is the perfect choice for both professionals and home users.
- 90% VLT
- Durable build quality
- Comfortable wear
- Adjustable temple
- Blocks all radiation wavelengths
- The glasses aren’t UV-400 rated
Frequently Asked Questions:
How to select laser safety glasses?
Different types of lasers emit different radiation wavelengths. Thus, it is important to understand the problem at hand before purchasing any product. For example, you need safety glasses that can block 450 nm radiation for common CO2 laser engravers.
Is infrared light safe for the eyes?
No! infrared light belongs to the low-powered light spectrum. Initially, it doesn’t have much impact on your eyes. However, prolonged exposure can lead to several retinal diseases and visual disabilities.
How to see a laser beam in daylight?
The visibility of any laser light depends on the color and beam intensity. Usually, a red laser has a maximum of 15-120 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. So, it is only visible for up to 30-yards. On the contrary, green light is more powerful and thus easily visible even in daylight. In any case, it isn’t a good idea to look directly at a laser without wearing safety glasses.
Laser engravers use a powerful laser beam to melt the topmost surface of the material. However, the laser also emits a large amount of radiation that can severely affect the human eye.
Even if your laser engraver comes with advanced safety features, it is still beneficial to wear safety glasses when using it. Therefore, this article provides all the information that you need about laser engraver safety glasses and their benefits.