Even if you are a first-time buyer, you already know that investing in a pair of laser safety glasses isn’t the same as purchasing some generic sunglasses or even a pair of high-end outdoor activity eyewear. When you’ve never had experience buying laser safety glasses, it can certainly feel like an overwhelming process. Alternatively, when you are equipped with the right information to make your search easier and more successful, you will have greater peace of mind knowing that you picked the right laser safety glasses to meet your needs. In this post, we will take a look at a few things you should keep in mind when buying your laser safety glasses.
What are the 6 things to keep in mind when purchasing laser safety glasses?
- Your Viewing Conditions: Typically, there are two types of viewing conditions in regard to laser exposure and you want to know what type of viewing condition you work with before investing in a particular pair of laser safety glasses. If you work in a laser environment where radiation is scattered, you’ll only need to be protected from these scattered elements. This is known as diffuse viewing. And if you work in a laser environment where there aren’t any specific, preventative measures established to protect yourself from accidental exposure to the laser beam (whether that is partial or full exposure), this is known as direct viewing. Determining what laser environment you are exposed to will help you find the appropriate safety eyewear.
- Your Field of View: The second important factor to take into consideration is your field of view. You can get extra protection by investing in a pair of laser safety glasses that have strong side shields. The only downside to this extra protection is that it could end up limiting your field of view, therefore putting your safety at risk in other ways. Naturally, you will want to purchase laser safety glasses that allow you to see as much as possible when working in a dangerous environment. The type of work you do and the laser environment you are exposed to should give you a better sense of how necessary a less restricted field of view will be.
- Level of Comfort: While comfort might not seem like one of the highest priorities when it comes to investing in a pair of laser safety glasses, it should be noted that the glasses you pick will quickly play a big role in your comfort level. If you have to work for several hours in a laser environment, you want to wear something that fits well, does not irritate your nose or eyes, and allows you to work comfortably and without distraction. Some factors to consider in regards to the comfort of your laser safety glasses include weight, shape, and fit as all of these things play a role in how the glasses will feel. In general, it isn’t difficult to find laser safety glasses that offer a one-size-fits-all benefit and are also able to easily be adjusted. If you are looking for an eyewear safety option that is affordable, lightweight and comes with lowers OD’s, look into purchasing a pair of poly-carbonate laser glasses. The only downside to this option is that you may experience lower visibility. If you need another option, consider glasses with coated filters to experience impeccable visibility, high OD’s, and a more lightweight feel. Lastly, glass filters also make a nice option for anyone looking for excellent visibility and higher OD’s (however, the glass material will make the eyewear a bit heavier).
- Wavelength: Nanometers and micrometers are the two factors that makeup wavelength. And for a laser, there are usually two different wavelengths: the operating wavelength and the aiming beam wavelength. In most cases, the operating beam is the beam from which you need to protect your eyes while the aiming beam wavelength is usually safer. Therefore, you will want to invest in a pair of laser safety glasses that prioritize protection from operating beam wavelengths. If you discover that your eyes need protection from multiple wavelengths, you will either need multiple forms of eyewear or a custom-designed pair of laser safety glasses.
- Visibility of Color: When you are wearing laser safety glasses or goggles, there is a very good chance that your ability to see all colors correctly will be greatly affected. Essentially, this means that if you are wearing laser safety glasses designed to offer you optimal visibility, but the wavelengths work outside of the laser beam, you will need to be able to notice visible transmissions (also known as VLT%). The VLT% is regarded as the average amount of light that can be seen across the entire visibility spectrum.
- The Power (or Energy) of The Laser Beam: You don’t want to buy just any pair of safety glasses without first knowing the power of the laser beam that you are exposed to on a regular basis. Find out if the laser operates on a pulsed system or a wave system. If you work around a multi-pulsed laser or a single laser, you will have to consider the repetition rate, pulse length, and energy when buying laser safety glasses. If you work around a continuous wave, you’ll need to keep in mind the power of the laser.
Looking for more advice on finding the highest quality laser safety glasses to meet your safety eyewear needs? Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or for more information.