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Guide to Buying a Laser Light Show Projectors

by MIYA LASERS on Sep 18, 2023

Guide to Buying a Laser Light Show Projectors
In today's market, there exists a plethora of laser light show projectors and laser manufacturers. The task of identifying the most suitable brand, model, or type of laser light show projector can often induce stress, given that the constituents of your laser system play a pivotal role in determining the caliber of the shows you can produce.
Within this comprehensive laser light show projectors Buyer's Guide, we endeavor to furnish you with abundant information regarding laser lights specifications. This information aims to equip you with the knowledge necessary for making informed decisions when purchasing or evaluating laser light show projectors.

The Dynamics of Laser Energy and Their Interpretation

Guide to Selecting a Laser Light Show Projector
When considering the purchase of a laser light projector system, it's essential to recognize that these systems are available in a diverse range of power levels. The overall power output of a laser lights is a pivotal factor to weigh when determining the most suitable laser system for your specific application.
It's crucial to understand that "Wattage" alone doesn't provide the complete picture of a laser's perceived brightness. Laser powers are typically denoted in "Watts (W)" or "milli-watts (mW)."
For instance, 1W is equal to 1,000mW.
However, it's important to exercise caution when interpreting laser specifications because they can sometimes be misleading. To ensure you receive the actual output power you require and pay for, scrutinize the labeled rated power closely.
When assessing different laser light projector systems, manufacturers often refrain from disclosing the laser's output power at the output window, which represents the power you'll actually receive when using the laser, rather than the internal power within the laser device. This distinction is critical, especially if you intend to employ the laser for an audience-scanning laser light show.
Manufacturers tend to label their lazer lights in this manner as a somewhat gimmicky marketing strategy aimed at making their products appear more potent than they truly are. This practice compensates for the likelihood that their products are of inferior quality and wouldn't otherwise deliver the advertised power levels.
Here are some terms to be cautious of when comparing different lazer lights and brands:
1. Minimum/Maximum Output Power: The maximum laser power represents what is generated within the laser, not what you will obtain at the output window, as there is a slight power loss each time the laser interacts with an optic or mirror.
2. Apparent Brightness: This is a broad term and does not necessarily reflect the laser's labeled power. Some suppliers may claim their laser exhibits an "apparent brightness of 1W." However, this figure does not indicate the laser actually possesses 1W of power. Therefore, when a supplier utilizes apparent brightness as a method to specify the laser's power, it's imperative to request the actual output power of the lazer lights at the output window.
At MIYA LASER LIGHT , all laser light show projectors come with power specifications listed for the output window. This ensures that you receive the precise laser power specified and often even more than what's stated.

Selecting the Appropriate Laser Power

Determining the appropriate laser power can sometimes become a perplexing task due to the multitude of wattage options available. To alleviate this confusion, we've crafted a fundamental guide to help you choose the right power level for your specific application:
These lasers are ideally suited for indoor presentations, catering to venues like small to medium-sized clubs, home use, and most intimate gatherings and events.
Medium-powered laser lights find their sweet spot in larger indoor settings and can even extend to outdoor showcases, provided the laser output is 6W or higher. They excel in creating mesmerizing aerial displays and beam projections, primarily in nocturnal settings.
High-powered laser lights are the giants of the laser world, making them perfect for colossal indoor venues like stadiums and massive outdoor spectacles such as festivals. Their capabilities extend to long-distance aerial projections and the creation of expansive outdoor graphic displays, among other grand applications.

Laser Colors

Guide to Selecting a Laser Light Show Projector
Laser lights typically incorporate one to three laser modules, each responsible for a specific color component - red, green, and blue. However, international standards allow for up to six color channels, enabling control of as many as six distinct color laser modules.
The color of a laser module is determined by its wavelength, as measured in nanometers (Nm), and the laser diodes it houses. The following outlines the six colors in accordance with international standards:
1. Red
2. Green
3. Blue
4. Cyan
5. Magenta
6. Yellow
Nevertheless, the majority of laser light show projectors available in the market utilize a combination of three color sources, giving rise to what we commonly refer to as "RGB" laser lights. RGB-based laser lights have the remarkable capability to produce nearly any color in the visible spectrum.
When dealing with RGB lasers lights, it is of utmost importance to ensure a well-balanced composition of red, green, and blue laser sources within the system. This equilibrium is a pivotal factor enabling a broader range of colors to be generated by the laser lights.
A suitable ratio for the red, green, and blue components is typically in the range of 20-30% red, 30-40% green, and approximately 40-50% blue. Notably, green lasers are the most visually prominent, while blue lasers are typically the most cost-effective.
It is worth noting that some budget-conscious manufacturers may promote high-power lasers lights while heavily favoring blue. This practice is generally less desirable, as an overabundance of blue, despite the increased power, results in color imbalances.
In reality, a laser lights that maintains an even distribution of red, green, and blue, combined with a harmonious color blend, appears brighter to the human eye than a higher-power system with an uneven color mix. Thus, when assessing brightness, it is crucial to consider factors beyond sheer "power," as factors such as color balance, quality optics, and internal components carry equal significance in the overall performance of the laser lights.

Laser Analog and TTL Modulation Explained

When it comes to laser lights, there are two primary modulation types: "analog" and "TTL" systems. Without delving into excessive technical detail, employing an analog laser lights with robust linear modulation capabilities allows for the generation of a vast spectrum of color combinations. This system seamlessly facilitates the gradual transition between colors when crafting diverse laser effects.
Conversely, with a TTL-based laser, your palette is restricted to a mere seven colors, and the ability to smoothly transition between these colors is unavailable. Typically, laser lights at the budget or lower price range are TTL-based, while their more professional counterparts typically utilize analog modulation.

Modulation and Blankout Techniques

This phenomenon arises from an external influence, namely a variation in laser power. This variation serves the purpose of toggling the laser on and off, while also facilitating the gradual transition of colors.
Blanking, the practice of deactivating the laser output within specified regions during image projection, is a commonly employed technique when crafting laser animations. It serves to segregate individual components of an image, preventing them from being linked by a faint, low-power line.
For instance, consider the lazer lights of the word "TEXT." With a properly blanked laser, possessing analog response and impeccable linear balance, it would deactivate (reaching 0% power) between each letter of the word. This precision ensures that each letter in the laser lights image is distinctly visible.
Conversely, in less professional laser systems, you might observe a line or streak passing through a portion of the word, as illustrated in the "TEXT" example below.
This represents optimal performance (analog modulation, linear balance).
This, however, signifies suboptimal performance (inadequate modulation, visible blanking lines).

Comprehending Specifications for Optical Scanning

Guide To Selecting A Laser Light Show Projector
Many laser lights manufacturers use the term "KPPS," which stands for Kilo Points Per Second, to describe the optical scanning speeds of their devices. When you come across specifications like "20K, 30K, 40K, 60K," and so on while evaluating laser projectors, these numbers represent the speed at which the laser lights is scanner can operate.
Equally crucial to the scanning speed is the angle at which it's specified. The recommended scan angle for most laser lights is 8 degrees, a standard established by the International Laser Display Association (ILDA). This angle is generally the smallest practical scan angle for real-world applications.
For instance, you might encounter specifications like "30K @ 8°" or "40K @ 8°." However, it's essential to pay close attention to the specified angle, as it is just as critical as the KPPS speed. If you see a scan speed specified at less than 8 degrees or if no angle is specified, exercise caution.
Some sources may mention "30K @ 4°," but in such cases, it's important to be cautious. A 4-degree angle is not the correct measurement for scan speed. The ILDA test pattern, used to measure scan speeds, was designed for an 8-degree measurement.
Consequently, a specification like "30K @ 4°" does not accurately represent a laser lights with a 30K scan speed, as per international standards.
When assessing optical scanning systems on your laser show projector, consider the optical degrees it can project on both the X and Y axes. For instance, a specification of "+/- 60° optical on the X and Y axis" indicates the range within which you can project laser beams.
Here's an overview of optical scanning specifications and their corresponding effects:
- 30K @ 8° (+/- 60+° optical on the X and Y axis): Suitable for laser beam effects, basic laser graphics, text, and logo laser light projector. The wide +/- 60° optical range allows for broad laser light projector.
- 40K @ 8° (+/- 60+° optical on the X and Y axis): Ideal for laser beam effects and sharper-looking laser graphics, text, and logo laser light projector.
- 50K @ 8° (+/- 60+° optical on the X and Y axis): Excellent for laser beam effects and very sharp laser graphics, text, and logo laser light projector.
- 60K @ 8° (+/- 60+° optical on the X and Y axis): Versatile for various laser displays, although achieving this speed is challenging for most optical scanning systems.
Below, you'll find a list of reputable optical scanning systems known for accurately measured scan speed specifications:
- Compact-506: An affordable high-quality optical scanning system suitable for laser beam effects and good-quality laser text, graphics, and logos. Typically used in lasers ranging from 500mW to approximately 7 watts due to mirror size constraints.
- ScannerMAX Saturn 1: A top-tier optical scanning system capable of projecting beautiful laser beam effects and exceptionally crisp laser graphics, text, and logos. It's currently the fastest optical scanning system available, making it ideal for precise laser graphics on low to medium power laser lights, albeit at a higher cost. For most standard applications, the Compact-506 is a suitable alternative if such precision isn't necessary.
- ScannerMAX Saturn 5: A professional optical scanning system primarily used in high-power lasers (12W or more). It excels at projecting very precise laser graphics, text, or logos.
- ScannerMAX Saturn 9: A high-end optical scanning system well-suited for laser beam effects, laser graphics, text, and logos. Its notable advantage is the ability to drive a large mirror at a relatively fast scan speed, making it beneficial for higher power laser lights, as it reduces beam divergence over longer distances, resulting in a brighter and more visible beam profile.