Laser Info > Laser Features

Brightline Laser Features & Application Notes

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Features
Economy
Adjustable Focus
Parallel
TTL Modulation Ready
Water Resistant
Wide Operating Temperature Range
Application Notes
Color Options
Output Power
Mounting Angle

Features

Laserglow's Brightline series of alignment lasers are available with a wide variety of features and options. Each of these features is described below.

Economy

The Economy series of Brightline lasers offer a low-cost solution for basic alignment or indication needs. They lack the more advanced features of the other models, such as adjustable focus or water resistance, but this is made up for in affordability. They are also the most compact lasers in the Brightline lineup, making them perfect for applications demanding the smallest possible alignment solution. Note that the Economy Brightline lasers are not compatible with some accessories, including the optical attenuator and waterproof housing.

Adjustable Focus

The Adjustable Focus feature for the Brightline series of alignment lasers is important where maximum precision is desired. Without the ability to adjust the laser focus, the lines or dots that make up the projection will be several millimeters wide, making precise alignment difficult and reducing the visibility of the projection. With adjustable focus, the thickness of the lines or dots that make up the projection can be adjusted. The minimum achievable projection thickness will be much better than an equivalent laser without adjustable focus, and if the target surface is relatively close (less than 3 meters or 9 feet), the thickness of the projection can easily be reduced to less than 1 millimeter.

Poor Focus Better Focus Best Focus
Poor Focus Better Focus Best Focus

Parallel

Brightline lasers with Parallel Beam Output are ideal for applications involving the alignment of rotating fixtures or equipment. In a normal laser, manufacturing tolerances can stack, causing the laser beam to be emitted from the device at a slight angle. In most applications this is not a problem, as the position of the laser can be adjusted to compensate. However, in some applications the laser body position cannot be adjusted and so the laser beam must be perfectly parallel with the body. Lasers with the Parallel Beam Output feature have adjustment set screws that can be used to adjust or "steer" the laser beam. Using these adjustments, a parallel beam can be achieved.

Without Parallel Beam Output (effect is exaggerated) With Parallel Beam Output

Without Parallel Beam Output
(effect is exaggerated)

With Parallel Beam Output

TTL Modulation Ready

TTL (Transistor-Transisitor Logic) Modulation is an optional way to control your Brightline laser remotely using a 5V signal. By connecting a signal source to the modulation input of the laser and applying a 5 volt DC signal, the laser will turn on. When a 0 volt DC signal is applied (effectively shorting the terminals), the laser will turn off. The TTL circuit draws almost no power, making it the preferred way of turning the lasers on and off rapidly and/or automatically. This allows the Brightline laser to be easily controlled by PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) on industrial equipment or assembly lines without the need of switching the power supply. This feature is also often used in machine vision applications where only a short pulse of light is required.

Water Resistant

While most industrial alignment lasers will be damaged if exposed to water or excess moisture, Brightlines with the Water Resistant feature are IP67 rated for use in wet environments. They can be splashed, hosed, rained on, or even submerged in shallow water for up to 30 minutes without issue. These Brightlines come with water-resistant power connectors standard, and a variety of water-resistant cabling options are available as well. In addition, they are also fully dustproof, enabling them to be used in nearly any industrial environment imaginable.

Wide Operating Temperature Range

While the Brightline Standard and Pro series have an operating temperature range of 10° to 35° Celsius (50° to 95° Fahrenheit), this limits them to indoor applications only. Lasers with the Wide Operating Temperature Range feature, can be used in temperatures ranging from -20° to 50° degrees Celsius (-4° to 122° Fahrenheit). This allows them to be permanently installed outdoors in most climates, greatly expanding their flexibility.

Application Notes

While the Brightline series of industrial alignment lasers are a popular and effective solution for hundreds of alignment and indication applications, there are some aspects to laser projections that are not intuitive or obvious. Below are some application notes and explanations that will help to inform your purchasing decision and maximize the effectiveness of your Brightline laser.

Color Options

Brightline alignment lasers are available in a variety of color options. While colors play an important role in conveying meaning (for example, green meaning go or safe while red means stop or danger), the color of your laser will have a strong impact on the visibility of the projection. The human eye is five times more sensitive to green light than it is to red light. This means that a green laser will be significantly easier to see compared to an equivalent red laser. It is for this reason that Laserglow recommends using green Brightlines lasers wherever high visibility is a priority. Other colors, like blue and violet, are also available, but their visibility is much lower than red or green, and are generally only used for machine vision applications.

Output Power

Output power refers to the amount of light output that the laser produces. While most lighting applications will use a photometric unit like Lux, Lumens, or Foot-Candles, lasers are normally specified by their output power. There are too many variables involved to easily convert output power into Lux or Lumens, however the Brightline laser selection tool will calculate these values automatically for you in the near future. But in short, more output power produces more light, increasing the brightness and visibility of the projection. If the laser is being used at close range (less than 2 meters or 6 feet) or in a dimly lit environment, a low output power will suffice. But at longer distances, especially in brightly lit environments, a large amount of output power will be required to maintain visibility, as the laser must be brighter than the ambient lighting to produce a visible projection. Laserglow recommends getting as much output power as possible within your budget in order to maximize visibility.

Mounting Angle

Mounting Angle refers to the angle at which your laser is mounted with respect to the target surface. Ideally, the laser will be mounted directly perpendicular to the target surface. If your target surface is the floor, for example, the laser would be mounted directly above the center of the projection and aimed straight down. However, this is not always possible, and so often the laser will be mounted at an angle. Dot and line projecting lasers will have no problem with this (although the length of a line may be affected depending on orientation), but other projections will become distorted.

A cross projecting laser will work fine if mounted at an angle so long as one of the lines that makes up the cross is parallel with the laser and the other is perpendicular. However, the length of the line runing parallel with the laser will be increased.

Perpendicular laser, no distortion Small mounting angle, no distortion 45 degree mounting angle, no distortion
Perpendicular laser, no distortion Small mounting angle, some length distortion 45 degree mounting angle, extreme length distortion

If the cross is rotated in any other orientation, the lines will no longer remain at 90 degree angles to one another.

Perpendicular laser, no distortion Small mounting angle, some distortion 45 degree mounting angle, extreme distortion
Perpendicular laser, no distortion Small mounting angle, some distortion 45 degree mounting angle, extreme distortion

All other complex patterns will become distorted if the laser is mounted at an angle. The further the laser is from being perpendicular to the target surface, the worse the distortion will become.

Perpendicular laser, no distortion Small mounting angle, some distortion 45 degree mounting angle, extreme distortion
Perpendicular laser, no distortion Small mounting angle, some distortion 45 degree mounting angle, extreme distortion

Laserglow recommends mounting your Brightline alignment laser directly above the target surface wherever possible to minimize distortion.