Cold temperature comparison of a red and green laser -27

Cold temperature comparison of a red and green laser -27

This is a discussion on Cold temperature comparison of a red and green laser -27 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Well this is pretty informal. I took my wife out for a deluxe breakfast, and as I drove home from Krystal, it occurred to me ...

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Thread: Cold temperature comparison of a red and green laser -27

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    Cold temperature comparison of a red and green laser -27

    Well this is pretty informal. I took my wife out for a deluxe breakfast, and as I drove home from Krystal, it occurred to me that it's 27 and that would be a good temperature to compare the performance of a red and green laser.

    Lighting is daylight; not full sunlight, but plenty bright. The distance from the lasers to the target is about 10 feet. The lasers and target were located in the shade so sunlight would not be heating anything up.

    Since this was a spur of the moment thing, I set up a reference, i.e. a pic just as fast as I could move the lasers from room temperature to 27 - before they could cool down significantly. My car was parked about 8 feet from the lasers, so I used it's temperature reading. It too was in the shade so the sun wouldn't be heating things up.

    Here's the temp:



    And here's what the lasers look like before 'cold' soaking:



    I should have had the dots closer together, but since this was pretty ad hoc from the start and I was using the rounded lid of a trash can as a platform....


    Here's a pic at 15 minutes:



    I know, I should have had the dots closer and in the same orientation, but trying to beat the sun and temperature rise trumpted fiddling.


    30 min mark:




    a pic made @ 30 min, 10 feet from the target:




    45 min:




    1 hour:



    Well, it's pretty clear the green laser is dimmer than a red at 27. But, it didn't shut down. I didn't leave it on long enough to see if it would become sporadic, but I doubt it would because the longer it's on, the more heat generated by the powerful laser and that would offset ambient temps a bit.

    Anyway, kind of a preliminary test, FWIW.
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    I'm laser ignorant. Why was the green laser so affected by the cold? Was it battery draw?
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    Awww man I just realized I put this in the Defensive Carry Guns forum. I guess since we were discussing lasers with respect to carry guns....

    Anyway...

    atctimmy, I can't answer your question with technical specificity, manufacturers of green lasers, i.e. LaserMax, Viridian, state that the useable temperature range of a green laser is about 30-35 to 100-120 degrees F.

    Actually, there is no such thing as a green laser, well there is in the lab as I understand it, but green lasers used for gunsights use a laser diode that produces light invisible to the human eye. Filtering and some other techniques are used to extract the green wavelength. The laser diodes used are much more powerful than a 5mW red laser, but essentially all that extra power, and there is a lot of it, is simply wasted energy. Unfortunately the power source, the batteries, are drained much quicker by a green laser than a much more efficient red lases.

    As a part of all that, the green 'laser's performance is far more temperature sensitive than a red laser. The temperature extremes don't hurt the laser, it just won't work right at the extremes. As you can see in the pics, the green intensity diminishes significantly at 27.
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    Ok what brands and are they the same?? I have seen a Viridian with a green laser and light in colder weather , around 10* and it was fairly impressive to me. On one of our leos pistol. I ain't a laser guy but liked everthing about that model except price. I did try a lazermax, not remember the model but it was a reather small one on my wifes glock 17. Took it back . Did not seem that good in even marginal light, in the garage with the door up. Seen severial of the grip lasers too but have no interest in owning any if ever but that viridian if on sale.

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    The green was a Viridian C5L; the red a LaserMax Unimax. both LaserMax and Viridian make green lasers; in fact, Viridian makes only green lasers. I called both LaserMax and Viridian - both said about the same thing - Viridian said they don't recommend the use of their green lasers below about 30; LaserMax said not below 40.
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    Interesting... I use lasers for equipment alignment (think mills, lathes and boring machines) None are affected by temp. unless excessive. Like -20 or +120. Metal changes state with temp. but certainly not to this degree. Or atleast I have never experenced it to this degree anyway. That being said, I have had some significant issues with aiming in cryogenic systems where the beam is confused by the heat rising from one one point to another but this is in a -40+ environment.
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    Hmmmm...I had no idea that a green laser suffered so when its cold.

    Unless one keeps a gun in a vehicle I dont see it as a big deal. If one were to wear the gun on them, the gun will never see those temps.

    Even so, its good to know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diddle View Post
    Interesting... I use lasers for equipment alignment (think mills, lathes and boring machines) None are affected by temp. unless excessive. Like -20 or +120. Metal changes state with temp. but certainly not to this degree. Or atleast I have never experenced it to this degree anyway. That being said, I have had some significant issues with aiming in cryogenic systems where the beam is confused by the heat rising from one one point to another but this is in a -40+ environment.
    If you are not using a green laser, or if it is NOT a laser diode, but instead uses a laser tube, you may not see the problem.


    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Hmmmm...I had no idea that a green laser suffered so when its cold.

    Unless one keeps a gun in a vehicle I dont see it as a big deal. If one were to wear the gun on them, the gun will never see those temps.

    Even so, its good to know.
    Yeah, it is good to know. Although, I am a bit concerned about the temp response. There could be a couple of situations where it could be critical. E.g. the temperature in AZ can easily reach 105 - I've seen it that when I was at Gunsite. That's very near the upper temperature limits.

    My bigger concern is that LaserMax sets the limit at 40. It may be that it has significant intensity loss and perhaps one would be just as well off with a red laser.

    If I had my weapon in a gloved hand in near zero temps, the laser could cool to a critical point pretty quickly. It appears it dims with temperature rather than by a threshold effect. You can see a big difference between the reference pic and the 15 minute pic.

    I may have to try to actually measure intensity, or output power with respect to temperature.
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