This entry was posted on September 4, 2013, by Kieran Hunt.
Do you need laser safety glasses for your YAG laser?
Clear Lenses in YAG Laser Safety Glasses
There are two different types of YAG lasers that are typically used – Nd YAG, which is the standard YAG laser operating at 1064nm; and YAG Harmonic (also called Double YAG), which is a laser that operates at 1064nm and at 532nm. The clarity of your lenses is largely dependent upon which type of YAG laser you use.
While the typical Nd YAG laser operates outside the visible spectrum of light (1064nm is in the infrared range), the 532nm beam emitted by a YAG Harmonic laser falls within the visible spectrum of light. In order to protect against a visible beam, the laser safety lens cannot be totally clear.
Here’s what you should know about YAG lasers and the clarity of your lenses:
- Nd YAG lasers (Nd stands for neodymium) operate at 1064nm, which is in the infrared range of light. This beam is invisible.
- Our AKG-5 laser safety glasses protect against Nd YAG lasers and are considered clear. They have a very light blue tint to them which does not inhibit their clarity.
- YAG Harmonic (also known as Double YAG) lasers operate at 1064nm and at 532nm. 532nm is within the visible spectrum of light, so no clear lens can block it.
- If you use a YAG Harmonic laser, our YAG laser safety glasses will protect you. They are a dark green color, and their darkness is similar to a pair of medium-darkness sunglasses (VLT is 58.7%).
- Technically, our YAG laser safety glasses will work for Nd YAG lasers, but AKG-5 is a much better choice because of its high Visible Light Transmission (VLT).
- The AKG-5 will not protect against YAG Harmonic lasers. If you are using a YAG Harmonic laser, you must choose a colored filter or you will not be protected from the 532nm beam.
Laser safety glasses are necessary to safely operate a YAG laser. Clarity is also very important to anybody’s work, but the inconvenience of a colored lens cannot be foregone at the expense of exposing your eyes to a hazardous beam.
If you are using a Nd YAG laser and do not need high VLT, you can go with our standard YAG laser safety glasses instead of the AKG-5, to save money. We do not recommend this, however, as VLT should never be sacrificed when it doesn’t have to be. Colored glasses can cause eye strain or difficult working conditions if they’re worn for long periods of time.
If you need laser safety glasses for a YAG laser and you have a question that wasn’t answered in this blog post, leave a comment below or give us a call! We’d love to hear from you. Thanks for reading, and stay safe!