Laser levels: Level up your knowledge and help your customers
Used in surveying and construction to determine and set elevation, the laser level industry continues to increase its popularity with Aussie tradies and retailers.
Today’s laser level market provides a wider range of products than ever before, all which are designed specifically to ensure measuring is easier than ever to do and much more accurate also.
Whether users are measuring at home or on site, laser levels allow faster level operations, over a wider area, all via the operation of just one user.
Used internally or outside, lasers can be used not only for aligning points, but also for squaring application and checking the level of any structure.
Assisting your customers in choosing the right level is often easier said than done. If your customer wants to predominantly use the laser outside, then a laser layout tool is more accurate the outdoor environment. However, when using a laser indoors, there a several quality lasers to choose from which have been designed specifically for the DIYer when: hanging a picture frame, lining up electrical outlets around a room, building decks or measuring a room to see if new furniture, such as a new dining table, can fit comfortably within a certain area.
In the past laser levelling often saw two or three tradies, having to work together operating several devices, to ensure levelling was completed with accuracy. On-going consumer demand for increased measurement accuracy, particularly from surveyors and builders, is perhaps behind an increased demand of high-tech, user friendly lasers.
As laser levels continue to prove themselves through performance on site, they are being seen as not just a worthy investment, but as a necessary one. More and more tradies, such as plumbers, concreters and earthmovers, are also considering laser levels as a crucial tool required for their day-to-day operation.
Why laser levels?
When describing lasers in general terms, laser levels point or rotate to create a reference point, line, or plane. Just some of the wide range of laser levels include: rotary lasers, pipe lasers as well as dot and line lasers, which may be sold along with a variety of accessories including tripods, targets, and clamps.
When used outside, laser levels are almost always used with a receiver attached to a grade rod or mounted on heavy equipment for laser machine control. When used for inside work, a visible beam often guides construction activity, however a receiver may also be used for large work areas inside.
Which laser is right for your customer?
A rotary laser is an advanced laser level that consists of a prism which is driven around by a small motor. The motor is capable of spinning a beam of light so quickly that it throws the laser 360 degrees, across a vertical or horizontal plane. The prism is driven around by a small motor that throws a laser dot through 360 degrees, and if the rotational speed is fast enough indoors, you can see a line around the room. In simple terms, a dot laser is when you can see a visible dot on the surface opposite, while a line laser is when you can see a thin red line on the surface opposite.
Line laser levels
Also referred to as point to point levels, line laser levels project multiple horizontal and vertical laser lines over a distance of 20 to 30 metres. Although line laser levels may be occasionally used outside, they are predominantly designed for the indoors.
Single line lasers
Projecting one solid line, single line lasers often have a range of about three to six metres.
These spirit levels project a laser dot and may also feature a line generator which may be directed down in front of the beam.
Why should your customers invest in a laser?
Your customers need to remember that over the past decade the quality of laser levels has increased significantly. Just some of the improvements to devices include power use, accuracy and additional features, which have also become the norm when it comes to designing and producing the modern day laser.
When retailers consider the relatively small investment that is required by consumers to purchase these products in today’s market, the laser level has certainly become great value, in terms of the productivity which may be achieved for the small amount of investment required initially.
Laser level characteristics
Typical laser level characteristics have improved significantly in recent years and include:
- Auto-leveling: Most new laser levels automatically level when the instrument is set up within the auto-leveling range required. Auto laser levels make use of a compensator, which ensures that the line of sight is always horizontal regardless of whether or not the laser unit is level. This also saves a lot of time because the user does not have to continually readjust the laser to ensure that it is level. Some lasers also alert the user if the laser is out of calibration with a visual signal.
- Accuracy: Higher accuracy or a longer range, is the distance between the laser level and the surface on which the laser projected. A DIY’er would probably not need the accuracy and power required by a professional, but there are plenty of lasers on the market which would keep the home handyman more than happy. For indoor jobs ensure your customers choose a laser with a range of up to 15 metres, while indoor commercial should have a range up to 20 metres and outdoor jobs often require a range of up to 75 metres.
- Light source: Remember your customers also need to inform you if they need to use either a green or a red laser beam. Green lasers often appear to be much brighter to the human eye but are also much more expensive to produce. Green lasers are mostly used indoors on much larger scale projects, where contractors still want to see the laser line throughout a specific building project, rather than using a detector only.
- Operating temperature range: The pricier units have a broader temperature range which allows the unit to be used under more extreme temperature conditions.
- Case/enclosure ruggedness: A rugged enclosure is beneficial because it ensures the protection of the lighthouse, which includes the structure of the unit and also glass windows. Generally, the higher end laser levels have a higher integrity case and better lighthouse protection, while the higher quality internal components are dampened from the enclosure because they provide greater shock resistance, while also remaining protected from rain and dust.
- Power supply: Power supply to a unit is often either alkaline and/or rechargeable with rechargeable power often the preferred choice if the unit is used for extended periods of time.
- Safety: Your customers may also ask the very common question if looking into a laser can cause eye damage and blindness. Most lasers are completely safe, however there are some lasers on the international market that do not meet safety requirements so it is better to be safe than sorry and advise your customers to wear safety glasses and never look directly into the source of the laser beam.