Whether you’re a handyman, a small scale operation or you handle major surveying and construction projects, the era in which laser technology might have been ignored is definitely over. The most relevant patent for laser level technology was actually granted at the end of the 90s, but the “light beam levelling device” was actually intended only for the monitoring of cardiac patients, because a pressure transducer needed to be strictly level with the tip of a catheter in the heart. Industry pioneers, however, immediately spotted the potential to implement the same concept simply to ensure that construction surfaces are dead flat, including foundations, site or property features and for drainage purposes – and more.
But although it pales into insignificance when compared with the clumsiness, perils and potential for error posed by conventional levels, and does much more than a mere laser line pointer is able to achieve, you’ll only get the most out of your laser level with fast, accurate and safe outcomes by knowing how to use it properly.
First, however, how does a laser level even work? It’s actually astonishingly simple, especially when considering that it is able to reduce the potential for levelling errors to as close to zero as would seem to be technologically possible – even over distances as long as a football field. And although the tech itself may be complex – and not explored here – the device itself is basically just a laser projector that shoots the beam along a horizontal axis so that it couldn’t be simpler to verify its perfect alignment.
As for the best tips for achieving the outcomes you demand, let’s get into it:
It goes without saying that shooting lasers into your eyes can result in permanent eye damage – including blindness. We recommend professional grade laser safety glasses or goggles, which give you some important protection against intrabeam exposure.
No matter the precision tool or device, calibration is always a must to ensure the results are accurate. It’s always wise to calibrate your laser level straight out of the box, and it’s done by following the instructions provided with your specific product. But the easiest way is simply to compare it with a second laser level product that has already been calibrated.
Before each usage, you’ll need to level or ‘zero’ the device, which is done simply by checking with the indicator marker whether you have properly positioned the laser level.
4. Beam colour
Laser levels shoot out lasers in either red or green. Red is the standard laser colour, which is most visible indoors. But a more complex green beam, although consuming more energy, may be needed for optimal outdoor visibility.
Once you’re ready to go, actually using your laser level couldn’t be simpler.
- Although a tripod isn’t necessary, we certainly recommend it for more professional setups – especially as your tripod itself can include its own levelling bubble.
- Turn the device on and identify a point on the ground at the desired height before projecting the beam. And that’s it!
The only thing left to do now is browse and buy! Remember, it’s critical to match your applications and requirements with the right product, because it’s a highly competitive and diverse market. But for first-time users, we recommend a self-levelling laser level that will also bundle other automated features for easy, error-free use, and for daily usage on tough construction sites, spend a little more to maximise durability. If you need a little guidance, don’t be shy to ask a question to our industry guides at RS. Happy levelling!