If you are anything like me, you think that laser pointers pretty much begin and end with the dinky little red-light pointers low-level execs buy for twenty bucks at the local electronics store. Oh how wrong I was.
Wicked Lasers is one of the world’s leading makers of laser pointers. Their laser pointers are the real deal. When I first heard about Wicked Lasers, I just thought “cool, a new toy.” My “new toy” arrived in a velvet-lined case. Fancy. The sleek, shiny metal case of the laser is roughly the size of a ballpoint pen and runs off two AAA batteries. Of course, upon receiving a new toy, I just had to play. I waved the laser pointer around a bit, marveling at the intense green beam (but never looking directly into the light).
Then I did my research and realized this was no toy. I have the Elite 125, which is one of the most powerful lasers Wicked Lasers offers. According to the Web site, this model falls just at the edge of the range that can melt rubber and plastics, burn dark fabrics, etch dark plastics and leathers, sting bare skin, pop dark colored balloons, and ignite matches. Ok, definitely not a toy. After an initial “damn, this is kinda scary,” I immediately wanted to set something on fire.
I donned the red-lensed safety glasses (which fit easily over my prescription glasses) and dug out the matches.
I held the match right up to the tip of the laser pointer. Nothing. I held the match about a foot or so away. It didn’t even smoke. I tried a different match, from a different book, with a different colored head. Still nothing. I had no dark trash bags, balloons, or fabric I could burn, but I did point it at my bare skin for a few seconds. It did not sting, which I was happy about and did not push it further.
So it would seem that the Elite 125 is a little too powerful for standard boardroom use, but not powerful enough to cause much damage. Retail on this model is $599.00.
Some tech specs for you, direct from the website:
Transverse Mode: TEM00
Output Power: 100mW – 200mW
Beam Divergence: 0.8mRad – 1.2mRad