How Do I Choose the Best Green Laser Pointer?

Alex Tree

You can choose the best green laser pointer by determining what case you want, knowing how to test for defects, and making sure to get a warranty or guarantee on the product. In addition, depending on what you plan to use a green laser pointer for, it may be beneficial to find out how much power is necessary to complete the job. For example, star gazing with a pointer takes a lot more power than pointing at a presentation board in the same room.

Shorter, thicker laser pointers that hang from key chains might be used by hobbyists.
Shorter, thicker laser pointers that hang from key chains might be used by hobbyists.

Determine what appearance the green laser pointer should have. Some pointers come in cases similar to pens, complete with a clip to secure to a shirt pocket. Other green laser pointers are shorter and thicker and usually meant to hang on keychain. In general, these pointers look less professional and more like a pointer meant for a hobbyist. A green laser pointer that resembles a fancy pen might even come with a case to further fool other people.

Laser pointers designed like pens may make for a more professional presentation.
Laser pointers designed like pens may make for a more professional presentation.

Testing for defects is potentially useful when selecting a pointer. If possible, test the laser pointer to look for behaviors indicative of poor quality or broken parts. When testing a laser pointer, do so in the dark and look for a solid round point with no abnormalities in the light display. Light should not leak from the circular point of a laser pointer; otherwise, it can indicate low quality. When testing a laser pointer, keep track of its color and watch for changes, because fluctuations can indicate a problem with the light-emitting diode.

Pointers can be expensive, so research into the quality of the warranty should be part of choosing one. Like most electronics, green laser pointers can sometimes be received dead on arrival (DOA). Make sure to get a warranty or at least a money-back guarantee to easily solve this problem. With money-back guarantees, look into whom is expected to pay shipping costs or restocking fees in addition to how long you have to return the pointer.

Green laser pointers are often used by astronomers and stargazers to direct other people’s attention to a celestial body. These laser pointers can be used manually but are sometimes mounted to a telescope to make it obvious what the device is pointing to. The main factor that makes one laser pointer good for stargazing and another bad is power. A low-powered laser pointer meant for indoor use usually is not powerful enough to project far into the night sky.

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Discussion Comments


How do I distinguish a genuine 532nm green laser pointer?


When I took astronomy in college, I think a green laser pointer would have really been helpful for our astronomy class and our astronomy teacher.

My teacher was actually cool enough to have a special astronomy class at night, so he could show us the different constellations he was teaching us about in class.

We learned a lot that night about the constellations. We probably would have learned even more if our teacher would have had a green laser pointer to point exactly at the particular star in the sky or object in the sky that he wanted to teach us about.

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