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Thread: Low Power (<1W) RGB Projector?

  1. #1
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    Default Low Power (<1W) RGB Projector?

    Hello there.

    I've recently been looking into the Wicked Lasers Lasercube, and it seems like a great buy especially considering its price and capabilities. However, that little thing is a Class IV laser and outputs wayyy too much power for my prospective applications. I was hoping to use it at home and in small clubs to add a bit of visual fun to my band's live shows. I'm in the US, Texas specifically, and the legal requirements to run such a powerful laser are also something I don't want to have to deal with, plus I don't want to accidentally blind my drummer or something of a similar tragedy. In fact, I'm not sure if the 1W version is even available to the US, since the US distributor linked on the official Lasercube website only sells the 2W version.

    My question to you, ever-knowledgable laser experts: What are some good, safer, low-powered RGB laser light show projectors that would be capable of doing what the Lasercube does from a visual standpoint? I realize that I wouldn't get the proprietary Lasercube software with anything else, but if I can get the same visual results from something else then I'm cool with it. I'm obviously not concerned with brightness, as long as it's visible on a lighted stage. 5mW might be too dim, but a whole-ass Watt is absolutely overkill and would do way more harm than good.

    Price is also another factor, as the Lasercube costs around $520 with lenses and other accessories included. If I can get something with similar capabilities, much less power output, at a similar price, then I would be a very happy camper.

    Your help is greatly appreciated!

    Edit: I've also seen a few posts here about building projectors, which I am also open to if cost permits!

  2. #2
    swamidog's Avatar
    swamidog is online now Jr. Woodchuckington Janitor III, Esq.
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    the x-laser mobile beat mirages are great little low power projectors.

    with any stand alone projector, you'll need a DAC and software to control it

    Quote Originally Posted by wheezyliam View Post
    Hello there.

    I've recently been looking into the Wicked Lasers Lasercube, and it seems like a great buy especially considering its price and capabilities. However, that little thing is a Class IV laser and outputs wayyy too much power for my prospective applications. I was hoping to use it at home and in small clubs to add a bit of visual fun to my band's live shows. I'm in the US, Texas specifically, and the legal requirements to run such a powerful laser are also something I don't want to have to deal with, plus I don't want to accidentally blind my drummer or something of a similar tragedy. In fact, I'm not sure if the 1W version is even available to the US, since the US distributor linked on the official Lasercube website only sells the 2W version.

    My question to you, ever-knowledgable laser experts: What are some good, safer, low-powered RGB laser light show projectors that would be capable of doing what the Lasercube does from a visual standpoint? I realize that I wouldn't get the proprietary Lasercube software with anything else, but if I can get the same visual results from something else then I'm cool with it. I'm obviously not concerned with brightness, as long as it's visible on a lighted stage. 5mW might be too dim, but a whole-ass Watt is absolutely overkill and would do way more harm than good.

    Price is also another factor, as the Lasercube costs around $520 with lenses and other accessories included. If I can get something with similar capabilities, much less power output, at a similar price, then I would be a very happy camper.

    Your help is greatly appreciated!

    Edit: I've also seen a few posts here about building projectors, which I am also open to if cost permits!
    suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

  3. #3
    Bradfo69's Avatar
    Bradfo69 is offline Pending BST Forum Purchases: $47,127,283.53
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    I don't know where you are in Texas but, there are several forum members around the state. I would HIGHLY suggest connecting with one of them and seeing if they'll bring a projector to a venue where your band plays to give you an in person, example of what it visually looks like. I think you may rethink your position on the necessary power needed to achieve what you want to do. You'll be surprised at how much other stage lighting will make your under 1 watt laser almost negligible. LED walls, moving heads wash lights and such are brighter than you think and while a laser cube or mirage may look great in a totally dark environment, rarely do bands play in a totally dark room.

    LaserCube is really nice for what it is. The Mirage is excellent. The brightness may appear even equal or brighter since the Mirage uses whats called single mode diodes. (Thinner beam so equal energy in a tighter beam is going to be brighter.) These days it's harder and harder to find low powered, capable laser projectors. Especially ones that are US legal. Most decent projectors are going to start at 2 watts and go up. At 3 watts, you have a whole lot of options and are probably regarded as "entry level". That two watt LaserCube may just be the best bang for the buck since you're getting the projector and the software to "make something interesting" for about $1299. The drawback is you're limited to simply what LaserOS, the software that comes with it is capable of. The LaserCube is proprietary so you'll never have anything else besides LaserOS available to you. (Except Chris Short's Radiator - the product made by the person who commented above.)

    If you go any other route, your software/DAC is going to be $500ish to get in the game and you haven't bought the projector yet. The Mirage is a little better than a grand. The next step up is a 2 watt Kvant Clubmax which will put you a little over 2 grand. So, it's $1299 with limited functionality or $1600 with plenty of control but lower power or... $2600+ for the most power and functionality.

    While yes... you could go the route of building your own - because you intend to use it commercially, that means it has to go though getting varianced by the FDA and you're looking at a long, complex, potentially expensive process. Yes it's rewarding and knowing how every aspect of your laser projector works is great knowledge to have but .... it's a bit like saying, "I want a flat screen tv with built in DVD player and, $900 is kind of expensive so, I'm going to read and have you guys help me figure out how to built my own. I know how to solder." Unless you regularly work with electronics, metal working, are good with legal paperwork and jargon and such, you may much prefer the purchasing route.

    Welcome to the insanity. :-) It's a lot of fun and there are some really amazing people in this craziness of lasers who are more than willing to help you.

    (I'll also mention I do lasers for a Pink Floyd Tribute band around the mid Atlantic area and, I don't put anything less than 3 watt projectors in my car, and that's just as back up if a primary projector has an issue. In the majority of places I'm using multiple 12 watt RGB's.)
    Last edited by Bradfo69; 07-01-2020 at 05:55.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradfo69 View Post
    The LaserCube is proprietary so you'll never have anything else besides LaserOS available to you. (Except Chris Short's Radiator - the product made by the person who commented above.)
    .)

    Lasercube, will also run LSX and modulaser. Brad if you have never used modulaser I highly recommend it as another tool.
    leading in trailing technology

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    Yikes, it looks like there's not much else out there in that price range with similar functionality. Guess adding a laser to a small club show is a bit of a tall order.

    Are there any resources available that detail optimal safe projector positioning? If I end up getting a Lasercube, I would want the projection to be large enough behind the band to make an impact, but if that means putting the unit somewhere on a tiny stage where someone might accidentally glance at it then it's honestly not worth it. For a Class IV system, looking at the diode area even when it's pointed away from your eyes could result in damage, right? If it's projecting near you but not directly at you and you glance at it, that could spell trouble?

    Maybe this is a bit much at the moment considering the safety and spatial constraints.

  6. #6
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    Here is a few resources to get you started.


    https://pangolin.com/blogs/education/creating-safe-laser-shows


    https://pangolin.com/blogs/education...how-compliance

    Q12: What are the basics of laser safety?
    A12: In general, the cardinal rule of operating high powered lasers is: Do not shoot lasers AT people. In the U.S., laserists are required to keep the lowest laser beams about 3 meters above the floor, so there is a few feet of clearance between a tall person and the bottom of the display. Laterally, a 2.5 meter clearance is observed.
    In addition, NEVER allow laser beams to enter airspace. Laser beams striking the windshield of aircraft (made with special glass) causes light flare and can blind pilots.
    Basically, lasers are “NOT FOR EYES, NOT FOR SKIES.”
    If you want to “crowd scan” or intentionally shoot lasers at people, different countries have different rules. Again, in general, there is a concept called MPE which is an amount of power under special conditions that it is safe for the human eye to absorb. Most of the world observes this standard, though enforcement is spotty. In the United States, limiting audience scanning to MPE levels is the law, and is enforced.
    Beyond that, US law requires, and best practices in the rest of the world dictate, that you have a reliable means of stopping the laser in case of emergency. This means that the laser operator has at least a base level of training to be able to run the laser safely, and that certain procedures for setup and alignment are observed.

    https://www.learnstagelighting.com/h...n-with-lasers/

    https://www.lasershowsafety.info/


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