Full Power IR Lasers: Are they worth it?
- December 22, 2021
- By Jared Daub
The topic of full power lasers vs consumer class lasers is…lively. Our mission is to help you choose which route is best for you. Give the blog a read, check out the YouTube video and make sure to share with your friends! Also take a second to let us know which laser you are using and why you chose that laser.
The entire month of December 2021 has been devoted to putting out quality night vision content and information for you. We want to help YOU make good decisions with your hard earned money.
Full Power Infrared Lasers: What’s the deal?
It is extremely trendy to brag about full power laser ownership. You find these lasers, along with tons of other gucci kit, mostly on guns that aren’t used for training. OK we are judging there and we shouldn’t do that. Let me put it differently: We see people spending TOO much time debating full power vs neutered lasers and not enough time training.
Lasers for some time have been limited in power to “eye safe” levels in consumer laser aiming devices. You CAN purchase full power IR lasers, but it is very difficult and they are extremely costly. Ultimately our position is simple: We care less about the laser and care more about the illuminator. Having a very powerful illuminator will be much more helpful than a full power laser. If you are lucky enough to have both, great! If you can’t find or can’t afford a full power laser, we don’t think you should be concerned. Full power lasers do have some negatives against them.
Downsides to Full power IR Lasers:
Full power IR lasers are extremely dangerous to your night vision units AND your eyes. Users have to operate these lasers with a high level of professionalism and respect for the units. Operators of these lasers can quickly and easily destroy their night vision intensifier tubes if the laser passes over another night vision unit. They are also not eye safe meaning hitting someone in the eyes with a FP laser is disastrous.
Full power lasers also “bloom” on targets and terrain. When full power lasers are used on low power settings users will still experience “bloom”. This is not the end of the world, but consumer class lasers often feature less of this bloom and have a more “defined” dot. This can be helpful for more precise laser aiming.
Consumer Class Lasers:
Consumer class IR lasers have their place. We use these lasers more than full power lasers. The downside of a consumer class IR laser device is often the onboard IR illuminator. That is a topic for another blog post, but often consumer laser devices, like the DBAL-A3, have a weak illuminator.
This is why we often make the argument that a good, high powered IR illuminator, is more important than the consumer class IR laser pointer. IR illuminators like the KIJI allow end users to have better lighting/illumination while running lasers like the Holosun LS117IR.
Ultimately the most important aspect of choosing your laser and illumination device is sticking within your budget and then focusing on training. Training will always be the most important aspect of ALL of these conversations.
For a full video discussing lasers and a comparison showing them with our full spectrum converted camera, click the video below.
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