Laser show safety

Do your part,
help keep laser shows safe!

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Quick Overview

Laser safety is of paramount importance anytime you are working with laser systems. Here you can learn the basics and help do your part to keep laser displays safe for everyone to enjoy! If you haven’t already, we would highly suggest watching our Laser Safety Guide, which you can watch by clicking the image above.

General Safety Tips

These are some general guidelines you should always make sure to follow when operating a laser projector.

  • 1. Do not shine the laser beam into people’s eyes without the proper training certification. You might think this would be common sense, but not everyone has learned about the dangerous of laser projectors, so it’s very important to be cognizant of your surroundings and ensure that you’re projecting in a safe area.
  • 2. Watch out for reflective surfaces. Objects such as windows, mirrors, glass, artwork, or any surface that a laser beam could potentially reflect off of is considered a hazard, so it’s wise to do inspect the location you are planning on using a laser projector at to ensure your laser beams aren’t reflecting.
  • 3. The 3-Meter Rule. In the United States, it’s a federal law that any laser beams being projected must be at least 3 meters (or 10 feet) above the the highest point where the audience can, or might potentially stand. The only exception to this rule is during Audience Scanning shows, which are a specially designed type of laser show that allows lasers to safely project into the audience. However, there are a lot of extra steps that are required to perform an Audience Scanning laser show. If you’re interested in creating one yourself, click the Audience Scanning tab below to learn more.
  • 4. Do not project a laser into the sky without the proper clearance. It is extremely dangerous to project any sort of laser beams into the sky as you could potentially hit an aircraft. Unless you have gone through the proper steps to get clearance from the FDA, you will need to designate a zone for your laser to terminate on. An area to terminate a laser could be a tree, building, or essentially any object that allows you to safety terminate the beam ensuring safe operation during the show.
  • 5. Wear laser safety glasses during setup, servicing, or alignment. You never know when something could go wrong and the last thing you want to do is permanently damage your vision, so you should always make sure to wear laser safety glasses when working with a laser system.

Audience Scanning

Audience scanning is a very popular, and to many the pinnacle of laser show effects. While we agree that audience scanning is very beautiful, if not done right, can also be very dangerous. That’s why it’s important that you strictly follow all the guidelines to ensure that you are safely audience scanning, given that you already have all the required prerequisites.

If you’re interested in putting together your own audience scanning laser show and you are not sure where to start, we suggest looking at our audience scanning section, click the button below to get started.

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BAM (Beam Attenuation Map)

Beam Attenuation Map (or BAM for short), is our patented standard safety feature inside all of Pangolin’s software. The BAM allows you as a laser operator to define “safe zones” within your projection area. With the BAM, you can reduce laser output by a specified amount (that you decide) in areas that are deemed sensitive.

An example of this would be, you are running a laser show and there is a disco ball hanging from the ceiling and its within the area you’re going to be projecting. Using the BAM, you could reduce the lasers output from 0, to 100% when you are scanning over the disco ball.

The BAM is one of the tools that users have been utilizing to safely record their laser shows and not damage their camera’s sensor (click here to watch an example). This has given many laser artists the freedom to create beautifully crafted laser shows that they can film (in many ways) and share their art with the world.

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