What you need to know about Laser Levels
Laser Levels emit plane beams which project straight, exactly vertical or horizontal lines onto walls or other surfaces. They are used to aid in painting, laying tiles, wallpapering or other tasks in which precision is required. If necessary the beam can be angled manually, for instance in order to match the incline of a staircase. All Laser Levels include a built in spirit level or plumb bob. Some need to be adjusted by hand until the level indicates that they are set up correctly; others will do this automatically. Many Laser Levels come with an attachable tripod which allows them to be set up in the centre of a room; these can also be purchased independently
. If not fitted with a tripod, Laser Levels are fixed to or laid against a flat surface before use. Working ranges average between 10 & 20 meters, but models are available for use over distances as far as 50m. Most Laser Levels run off AA or AAA Batteries
There are several types of Laser Level to choose from. Line Laser Levels
project a single horizontal beam onto a wall or surface, whereas Cross Line Laser Levels
project both a horizontal and a vertical beam. Rotational Laser Levels
are able to project one or more beams in a 360 degree arc around the level. They can be placed in the centre of a room to ensure that fittings or decorations across multiple surfaces are symmetrical, for instance, when installing dado rails or a suspended ceiling. Tile Laser Levels
can either be screwed onto a wall or placed on the floor. They emit three line beams, two at right angles to each other, & another between them at a 45 degree angle to both. The outer beams delineate the border of the area to be tiled, & the central beam makes for accurate placement by diagonally bisecting the first tile placed (& each tile placed along that diagonal subsequently). Dot Laser Levels
are the simplest form of Laser Level, projecting a single line beam directly forwards or upwards from its point of placement. They are used to ensure that a given fitting is exactly symmetrical to one being installed on an opposing surface.
Safety when using your Laser Level
Commercial Laser Levels 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 looking directly at the level during use. Laser Safety Glasses
are available which provide added protection, & also improve visibility of the laser line in bright conditions or over long distances, effectively improving the range of your Laser Level.
Maintaining your Laser Level
Laser Levels use precisely calibrated prisms to refract beams prior to emission. Dropping or jarring your Laser Level is likely to damage these prisms & adversely effect the operation of your device. Carry in a suitable case & treat with care.