Visible Light Laser Safety Glasses

Laser safety glasses can be used for visible and invisible light.

Visible Light Laser Safety Glasses

Visible Light Laser Safety GlassesIf you are trying to protect yourself from visible laser beams or other forms of hazardous visible light, visible light laser safety glasses are what you need.

Laser safety glasses that protect from invisible light are often clear or nearly clear, because they do not block wavelengths in the visible spectrum (roughly between 400 and 700nm wavelengths of light). Visible light laser safety glasses, on the other hand, provide protection from lasers that operate in the visible spectrum. Because of this, they cannot be completely clear and still be protective.

Okay, so maybe it’s obvious to you that laser glasses that block visible wavelengths of light can’t possibly be clear. But if you’re wondering what the correlation is between visible light laser safety glasses and the beams they protect from, here’s some helpful information:

  • Visible light laser safety glasses protect from laser beams within the visible spectrum, which is roughly between 400nm and 700nm wavelengths of light.
  • Visible light laser safety glasses are never clear, because if they were they wouldn’t be protecting from any visible beams!
  • Laser safety glasses for visible light are basically the opposite color of the beam they are protecting against. This is directly from the principles of what a “color” really is: if it reflects or transmits a certain color, it will appear to be that color. If it absorbs a color, that color will NOT appear through or reflected from the material.
  • Laser safety glasses that protect from blue light are generally red.
  • Laser safety glasses that protect from red light will generally be blue or green.
  • Laser safety glasses that protect from colors in the middle of the visible spectrum, such as yellow beams, will generally be dark purple or brown.
  • Visible light transmission (VLT) is correlated roughly with how much protection you have in the visible spectrum. The more wavelengths you’re protecting from, and the higher the optical density (OD), the darker the lenses.

Visible light laser safety glasses are usually the ones people associate with cool colors, lower VLT, and more “space-age” looks when they’re worn by technicians.

The fact of the matter is that, no matter how much intelligence a person has in relation to science and lasers, there will always be people looking for laser safety glasses with clear lenses and really high VLT that protect against visible light. Conversely, there will also be people who are wondering why there are no laser safety glasses that protect from everything between 400-700nm. Neither of these is possible; you can’t protect from visible light without blocking some visible light, and you can’t use a pair of glasses that blocks 400-700nm, because they’d be opaque!

Shop Laser Safety Glasses

If you have any questions about laser safety glasses or goggles, or visible light laser safety glasses, please leave us a comment below. We’d love to help you out.

Thanks for reading, and stay safe!

8 Responses to Visible Light Laser Safety Glasses
  1. Liam
    December 21, 2015 | 6:55 am

    I’m new into lasers and I know of the dangers of powerfull lasers, and I was wondering if the beam is visable when wearing goggles?

    • Bill Brown
      December 22, 2015 | 3:46 pm

      Firstly; One should NEVER look directly into the path of any laser. Laser glasses work by blocking specific wavelengths of energy. Light is visible energy moving at different wavelengths. Laser glasses are marked with OD ratings at specific wavelengths or ranges of wavelengths. Starting at OD 1 and going up to as high as OD 10. Glasses of OD’s greater than 2 usually will not allow enough of the energy to pass through in order to be seen by the naked eye. For example; glasses that have an OD of 5 from 600nm to 900nm will not allow you to see a red beam which runs between 620–750 nm,at the same time you should be able to see a green beam that runs from 495–570 nm. Very often a red beam is used for aiming or a green beam is used for measuring at low power. In these cases glasses may need to be worn for alignment purposes. These glasses usually have an OD between 1 and 2 at the necessary wavelengths. A word of caution, laser power can also be a factor. A higher power laser may need higher OD’s to be safe and visible at the same time. It is always best to consult your laser safety officer or a local expert to audit your particular configuration and to reccomend the proper eyewear to use.

  2. Daniel Hughey
    February 23, 2015 | 7:34 pm

    I bought a 5000mw blue laser.
    But the protection galsses that came with the are red in color. Shouldn’t the glasses be blue also?

    • Noah
      April 2, 2015 | 1:58 pm

      No, that is not how electromagnetic energy works. The color of the glasses is determined by what wavelengths it permits the transmission of. Blue glasses permit blue light to travel through them, so they would provide absolutely no protection from blue wavelengths. The same is applicable to reds, greens, yellows, oranges, and really any sort of EM Radiation. Buy the glasses that are NOT the color of the beam.

    • Bill Brown
      December 22, 2015 | 3:32 pm

      Noah is correct. It is the rule of complimentary colors. That is two colors which canmcel each other out when viewed together. See here:

  3. kiara
    September 23, 2014 | 9:42 pm

    Hi! I am very curious to know what happens when the laser light is reflected, as well as the reasons it is able to be reflected. Thanks!

  4. Art
    June 25, 2014 | 8:24 pm

    Does your company supply a pair of glasses to protect and block against the entire visible wavelength spectrum on a trial basis? Will appreciate it if we can test how well a pair of glasses work for our particular application.

    • Kieran Hunt
      July 5, 2014 | 3:59 pm

      Hi Art,

      Glasses that block against the entire visible spectrum are considered “block-outs” because you will be “blacked out” – unable to see anything. These are typically used for patients. Is this what you’re looking for?

      We do not do trial runs on glasses. However, if you order a non-prescription pair of eyewear and return it in the first 30 days in the condition you received it in, you can get a full refund on the order, less shipping.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions!

      Kieran Hunt
      Phillips Safety Products, Inc.

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