13 Cool Things to Do with a Laser Pointer
You may think that laser pointers are a one-use kind of tool, but there are so many fun and cool uses that you may not know about. Laser pointers can be utilized for casual, professional, or expert use, depending on your needs. Check out the 13 cool uses for laser pointers that you can try out below!
What are laser pointers used for?
1. Making presenting easier
Laser pointers are perhaps most known for their use during presentations. For this purpose, the laser pointers are small, easy to carry around, and relatively affordable. Most laser pointers used for presentation have a red beam and low wattage so they’re safe for indoor use.
People prefer to use laser pointers because it makes highlighting information on the screen much easier. It also allows the presenter to maintain a professional stance. This is because too much movement during a presentation can distract the audience. Using a laser pointer during a presentation is also useful for disabled people who don’t have as much mobility.
2. Keeping your pets entertained
Have you ever wondered why do cats chase laser pointers? The short answer is it heightens their natural predatory senses. The movement of the laser pointers mimics the movements of a prey out in the wild. The laser pointer light stimulates cats’ needs to stalk, chase, and pounce as if they were hunting in the wild.
You can use laser pointers to entertain your dogs as well. Playing with laser pointers to engage their predatory senses keep your pets active, healthy, and happy. It also keeps you entertained too!
3. Giving cool photography effects
You don’t need a professional photographer to capture cool photos with cool effects. In order to elevate your photos, you only need your camera and a laser pointer. Turn on the long exposure setting on your camera and move the laser pointer around. This is also known as light painting where the long exposure will capture different graphics and effects.
To make your pictures even more out-of-the-box, you can use multiple-colored laser pointers to make your effects. Put them on different backgrounds or include other items in your photoshoot. You’ll have professional-looking pictures in your collection in no time.
4. Pointing out the stars
Many people may not think of using laser pointers for astronomy purposes. Yet, given the right kind of laser pointer, this can be a fun activity to do. You can use a laser pointer to highlight constellations, distances of planets, stars, moons, and more when you’re stargazing.
Bear in mind that the laser pointers you would use for presentations or playing with your pets are not powerful enough for star pointing. You would need a laser pointer (usually with a green beam) that can reach far enough into the sky and be visible in the night sky.
5. Analyzing microscopic organism
This is another scientific use for your laser pointer where you can use it to see microscopic organisms. All you need are a wooden rod, a laser pointer, and some water. You can also inspect different types of liquid like tap, purified, distilled, or filtered water.
Wet the wooden rod and try to get a droplet to hang on the edge. Prop the wooden rod with the droplet in front of a plain wall and shine the laser beam through the droplet. You’ll then be able to see the microscopic organisms inside the water droplet projected on the wall.
6. Conducting science experiments
Aside from being useful for stargazing and analyzing microscopic organisms, you can do so many other cool science experiments using a laser pointer. One experiment you can do is shining a green laser pointer through olive oil where it will change its color to red. You can also point your laser pointer through different liquids to see how it’ll affect the beam.
Another experiment is to see how sound vibrations affect your laser pointer. Get a tin can and cut off the end, cover it with a balloon or rubber gloves. Place a mirror on the rubber end of the cylinder and your laser pointer inside the can. Have another person speak through the tin can and see how the laser beam reacts to the sound on the mirror.
7. Starting fires
A powerful laser pointer can easily start fires. This comes in handy when you’re out camping without your fire starter. To start a fire with a laser pointer, first, you need to find the laser’s focal point, or where the beam is the smallest. Place a match stick under the laser, wait for a few seconds and the match should start smoking.
Be very careful when trying to start a fire with a laser pointer. Wear safety goggles and gloves as well as remove flammable items from your surroundings when doing this.
Here's our list of quality laser goggles that can protect your eyes:
8. Helping out when you’re outdoors
Aside from being able to start fires, laser pointers can help you in many other ways while you’re out camping or doing outdoor activities. You can use a laser pointer as a temporary flashlight as it can brighten your surroundings with just the right amount of luminosity.
If you got lost in the woods while hiking, you could also opt to use a laser pointer as a makeshift signal. Be sure to use a laser pointer with a strong enough beam so other people can easily see your signal.
9. Securing your valuables
Ever watched an action movie where a character has to move around a laser security system to steal something of great value? You can do so as well in your own home with a specific kind of laser pointer.
You don’t have to get the intricate version like in movies. Just choose a simple laser security system that you know will be effective in keeping thieves away from your property or your valuable belongings. Make sure once the intruder hits the laser pointer, your alarms are all instantly activated to alert you on what’s happening.
10. Using it on your BB gun
Known as a laser sight, professional snipers and military officers use weapons with this feature for an added precision. The laser is used because the beam has a low divergence rate, so no matter how near or far your target is, the laser will only appear as a small dot.
You can increase your aim and precision by attaching a laser pointer to your BB gun, Nerf gun, or other toy guns and weapons of your choice. With your makeshift laser sight, the level of fun is guaranteed to increase as well.
11. Modifying it to turn into a laser burner
This activity might require a bit more expertise, but if you have all the necessary equipment and steps nailed down, you can carry this out seamlessly. Similar to how you’d light a match with a laser pointer, you’d use the laser’s focal point to burn other things bigger than a match stick.
You can modify it so that the laser pointer’s focal point is larger and more powerful so it can start bigger fires. You would need wires and tools to start modifying your laser pointer. Find out what kind of modification can increase the wattage so your laser pointer is strong enough to light things on fire.
12. Engraving gifts and art pieces
Another cool thing to do with a laser pointer is to engrave well wishes on gifts and make art on wood or other hard surfaces. This also requires a little bit more expertise but you won’t need to go as far as modifying your laser pointer in order to engrave and create artwork.
What you will need is a powerful laser pointer (not the one you use for presentation or play with your pets) and a safe surface to do the engraving. This can be a wooden table or a metal surface. Then, decide what items you want to engrave and use the laser pointer safely to create your message or art.
13. Studying the different kinds of laser pointers
The last, but not least, cool thing you can do with a laser pointer is to get more knowledge about it. There are so many different types of laser pointers in the market today. For instance, you can find laser pointers with a green beam, red beam, blue beam, and so on. They also have different visibility, wavelength, and watts.
Finding out more information about the different kinds allow you to choose the right model for all the cool things you can do with a laser pointer. You will also be more knowledgeable about their hazards and dangers so you can take more safety precautions before using the laser pointers.
3 UNCOOL Things to Do with a Laser Pointer
Pointing them at other people. Pointing a laser pointer at someone can obstruct their vision and can cause accidents or cause damage to one’s vision. Not only that, it can be quite frightening for someone to see a laser beam pointed towards themselves or into their property.
Pointing them towards an aircraft. Like mentioned above, pointing a laser pointer at someone else can distract them and obstruct their vision. Imagine pointing a laser pointer towards a plane whose pilots rely on their visions to operate the vehicle. It may cause major accidents and can put you in big trouble too.
Using it in an unsafe manner. If you’re planning to use laser pointers for science experiments, laser tag, or modification, make sure you always take safety precautions. This includes wearing safety goggles, gloves, putting your hair out of the way, and so on. Also, follow instructions to the tee and pay attention to every single step.