Red or Green which colour laser level is best for you?

Nov 5, 2015
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Rotating Laser red or green lasers which is best

Red or Green Laser levels which colour is best for you

Red or green laser which is best for you.  Traditional red beam laser levels have been around for quite a number of years now, in recent years green beam laser levels have become available.  But which colour laser is best for you?

Green beam lasers operate at a different light frequency to red and they generally have a greater class 3r output wattage 5mW compared to a standard class 2 red beam of under 1mW.  Note you can also get class 3r red beam also with a sub 5mW output.  So, producing the same power output as a class 3r green beam.  The human eye is more sensitive to the colour green compared to red but this not necessarily mean that a green laser will appear brighter for you.  When comparing red and green lasers of the same power which appears brighter is largely determined by the colour and texture of the surface the laser is shining on to.  Also, some people with colour blind symptoms will see one colour better than the other.

Using lasers Outdoors

Outdoors in full sun, you cannot really see either red or green beam lasers more than a handful of meters.  For outdoor use, you need an electronic laser receiver to see the laser for you.  So, the colour will not particularly make any difference in this situation, unless, range with the receiver is different.

Cost difference

What about the cost? To produce a green laser beam a green laser diode is used, these diodes are currently substantially more expensive than the more common red variety (although the cost is coming down). For rotating lasers typically only one diode is used so the additional cost for green is relatively small. In multiline lasers, there can sometimes be in excess of 6 diodes so to make an all green beam multi-line laser can be double the overall cost compared to the red beam version.

Red or Green Laser Reliability

Green diodes also tend to suffer more from effects from heat, this being when the diode gets too hot, e.g. when in full sun, the intensity dims down, all diodes do this but green diodes tend to dim down at lower temperatures.  Note that once the ambient temperature drops the diode will normally return to its previous intensity.  Green diodes also tend to use more power but this does vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

There have also been questions raised about the longevity or lifespan of green diodes to red.  From my experience, I have found green diodes tend to fail at a slightly higher rate than red beam diodes.


So going back to the opening statement “which colour laser is best for you?” the answer is when you want to use your Laser indoors visibly without the receiver then green is worth considering.  Ideally, before you purchase a laser for indoor installation its best to try a few different models and colours of laser.   Then, you can see for your self which is better for you.  For outdoor work, there is very little advantage in going green.  It’s worth noting that many machine mounted receivers for rotating lasers will only work with red beam.

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