Post: Selecting Your Laser Safety Glasses: A Guide

Selecting Your Laser Safety Glasses: A Guide

If you work around lasers, you know just how imperative eye safety can be. Laser safety glasses are made for workers in many fields, including medical, military, and industrial laser applications. The beauty of laser safety glasses is that they are all designed to serve the same crucial function: protecting your eyes from damage caused by high-powered laser light. Of course, there are lots of laser safety products available, and selecting the correct pair for your laser is essential. Many considerations will affect which safety glasses you choose, so read on for more information.

The technology of lasers is constantly in flux, changing and advancing as research leads to new improvements. So, the first step in selecting a pair of safety glasses is to ensure you are comparing glasses that are updated and meet the highest possible standards. Luckily, Phillips Safety Products, Inc. utilizes the newest laser research and works with leading testing labs worldwide so that their eyewear always meets the ANSI Z136 standards for laser eye protection. That said, here’s a step-by-step guide detailing how to select the laser safety glasses that best suit your needs.


First and foremost, you will need to know as much about your laser’s operating system as possible. Before you purchase a pair of laser safety glasses, you must clearly understand the needs your laser dictates. Collect information about your laser’s specifications, focusing on the operating wavelength, power output, beam diameter, delivery system, and the industry you work in. The output and power are typically listed directly on the laser; most other information can be found in the operator’s manual. This data will help determine which laser glasses will block the appropriate wavelength range at the correct optical density (OD). If you cannot determine the operating parameters of your laser, consult with a Certified Laser Safety Officer (CLSO). If you do not have a CLSO on staff, please get in touch with Phillips Safety Products, Inc. for a free consultation and OD calculation.


The operating parameters of your laser will determine what wavelengths you’ll want to absorb or block and at what OD. Wavelength refers to the “spatial period” of a wave of light. The waves are measured from crest to crest or valley to valley and placed on an electromagnetic spectrum (known as the light spectrum) from shortest to longest. Certain waves are not part of the visible spectrum, and, in the case of lasers, these ultraviolet waves can be of great danger to our eyes. Thus, determining the wavelength output of your laser will determine what wavelengths you need to block. Optical density is more complex, but it is essentially a ratio that measures the absorbance of particular wavelengths. OD is essential because it will determine how effectively your safety glasses absorb the wavelengths from which you need protection. Once you understand your wavelength and OD needs, the next step is to consider your filter options.


Phillips Safety Products, Inc. has various filter lenses to meet every laser eyewear requirement. Lenses are either polycarbonate or glass and can be selected by wavelength (measured in nanometers) and OD level. All filters offer excellent visible light transmission, providing the best visual acuity possible. The polycarbonate lenses are more affordable than the glass, lightweight, and impact-resistant. These filters offer a variety of wavelength absorption. They are typically used for low- to mid-power density laser applications. Glass lenses are necessary for certain power levels and wavelengths, offering a degree of protection that polycarbonate cannot. These filters have a higher visible light transmission rate and can achieve higher OD levels with increased thickness.

Should you need an even more specialized pair of glasses, many standard pairs can also be fitted with prescription lenses. Though this is one of the last steps in the ordering process, if this is an essential factor, ensure you are searching for glasses marked “RX-Able.” Adding your prescription to your safety glasses is a fantastic advantage. You can see correctly, and your safety glasses can be properly situated on your face, unimpeded by a second pair of spectacles beneath.


Typically, your frame options are limited to what lens you have chosen, but there are plenty of options. As we said, style is hardly considered where laser safety glasses are concerned, but we have many designs. These designs vary in flexibility, adjustability, and how much of the outer eye area is covered. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about laser eyewear or need help choosing your perfect par. We are happy to help and can’t wait to meet all your safety needs.

If you still aren’t sure which laser glasses are right for you, it’s a good idea to give us a call at 1-866-575-1307 or talk to us through our chat or e-mail us at

Our experts will be able to tell you what you need for your application.


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