What you need to know about Laser Distance Measurers
Laser Distance Measurers, also commonly referred to as Laser Rangefinders, are electronic devices designed to enable the quick & precise determination of distances. An averagely priced commercial Laser Distance Measurer is accurate up to around 50m, but more advanced models are available capable of measuring in excess of 200m. They are used regularly by general builders, estate agents, surveyors, renovators, construction workers & keen DIYers, allowing measurement without the aid of a flat surface, or of another individual (as is the case with tape measures above a couple of metres in length). More advanced models are also capable of computing area &/or volume measurements by collating multiple distance values. Other useful features built into some Laser Distance Measurers include memory, allowing you to store measurements for future reference, continuous measurement, giving you a varying reading as you move the measure around, & tilt sensors, which give you the degree of incline so that you can keep the measure level. Laser Distance Measurers with tilt sensors may also have Pythagoras Fuctionality, which usefully enables the measurement of heights when standing at an angle to the targeted point.
Laser Distance Measurers are held in one hand, & aimed towards a hard object or surface. The device works by timing how long it takes for the laser beam to be reflected back to a receiver in the measure. As the speed of light is a known constant, the distance that needs to be measured can be determined precisely by the time taken. The Laser Distance Measurer performs this calculation, presenting the user with a distance value in meters, usually to 3 decimal places (i.e. to the millimetre, though only high end models are accurate to this level. The average accuracy is more in the range of 3-4mm). Some Laser Distance Measurers are also able to give measurements in Imperial.
Laser Distance Measurers vary in hardiness, and in the conditions in which they are suitable for use. Larger, more solidly built Laser Distance Measurers capable of making longer measurements will be preferred by those working outdoors, for instance in the construction industry. Most distance finders run off AA or AAA Batteries
. Models powered by Lithium Ion Batteries
are also available, with much longer run times.
Safety when using your Laser Distance Measurer
Commercial Laser Distance Measurers are categorised as class 1 laser devices, & their beams do not pose a severe risk to the unprotected retina. Nevertheless, it is prudent to avoid directing the beam towards your eyes or those of others.