How A Laser Level Works

A thinner beam allows a more accurate assessment, higher rotation speed makes the laser difficult to detect for the human eye, on the outside you need a laser beam detector. These are important features of the laser level that are good to know both if you want to buy one and if you already own it and want to use the device as well as possible. 


Laser levels are among the modern devices that technological evolution has made available to everyone, as alternatives to traditional tools. Accurate and easy to use, they are often preferred to classic models, especially by specialists. To better understand what such a device offers, we briefly explain how a level that uses laser beams works.


Laser beam and LED (Light Emitting Diode)

The beam you see coming out of an electronic level, and which you use to guide the measurements, is generated by a light-emitting diode (LED), amplified and focused in a certain direction. The size of the emitted laser beam depends on the size of the diode used in the construction of the level, and in general you need a beam as thin as possible to be able to accurately and quickly identify the equilibrium point. The wider the radius, the more likely you are to misdirect yourself.


Red or green light

If the laser levels inside are extremely easy to use, the rays being quite clear with the naked eye, when it comes to outdoor projects, you will need a special detector, because daylight makes it difficult to observe the light emitted by diodes. Most versions of the levels are equipped with red light. 




But there are also options with green light which is 400% more intense, so easier to observe in high light conditions. On the other hand, the generation of green rays requires, according to specialists, more energy than obtaining the red ones, so the battery life will be significantly shorter. These products are also a bit more expensive.


Popular applications

Inside, the most common projects in which laser levels prove their usefulness and efficiency include straightening walls and floors, checking the positioning of doors and windows, aligning shelves and cabinets, etc. And for the exterior it is a very useful tool, used for the alignment of terraces, railings and fences, checking the height of the ground, delimiting the edges of agricultural land or sewerage routes, etc.


Types of levels

Depending on the presentation of the laser beam created, the levels are divided into three product categories. The first includes lead or point type models , which project on the evaluated surface one or more points that you will use for guidance.

The linear laser level projects light in the form of a single line or two crossed lines. Most of the time, the versions in this category emit light in one direction and only on one wall, are small, easy to hold in hand and are used mainly indoors, supported on a ladder, a chair, a table or on any other type of support that ensures good stability.

The rotating levels emit a laser beam that is reflected throughout the room, at 360 degrees. They are usually slightly larger in design and are mounted on a tripod for optimal stability. Some of them can be placed on one side, to be used in order to obtain a vertical line. These technical options work very well indoors, but if you need to use them outdoors, you will need to have a laser detector at hand, because with the naked eye you will not be able to distinguish the radius at a distance of more than a few centimeters.


Level with rotating laser and rotation speed

This level model gives the impression that it generates a line that extends on all the walls of a room, because the beam rotates at a speed high enough for the light to seem continuous. There are variants that allow you to adjust the rotation speed and that help you better adapt to the environment in which you work. Thus, if you use a level of this type outside, you need a minimum of 600 rotations per minute, so that the laser detector can be used. 

For interior projects, a lower speed is required, which makes the beam more visible and more intense for the human eye. Obtaining a bright spot on the wall is equivalent to zero rotation speed.


The technology of obtaining the equilibrium position

The simplest levels are those with manual adjustment. Similar to the classics, they are provided with a vial of liquid and air bubble and some screws that allow you to tilt or straighten the level. The user manually turns the screws until the level is in a balanced position and then uses the laser beam to guide himself in arranging the furniture or any other operation he prepares.

Self-adjusting models usually include a pendulum on which they detect equilibrium on their own. Most of them need to be placed in a position close to the optimal one before activating. You know when the beam indicates your correct position, if the light no longer flashes, but has stabilized.


Levels with one and two laser beams

Many of the existing models on the market generate a single, horizontal laser beam. The best laser levels will also give you the opportunity to check the positioning of objects vertically, similar to the well-known lead wire. They generate two light lines: the usual one, horizontal, and a second one perpendicular to the first.


Laser detector

The laser wave detector is the complementary device you need if you want to use the level outside a building, because you will not be able to view the rays without it, at long distances. Most models include sound and visual signals, which tell you when you are approaching equilibrium and, respectively, when you have reached exactly where you need to be. They are used mounted on a rod that walks along the level, on the evaluated surface, until the correct position is identified.

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