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How Many Lumens is a Laser Pointer? (E.G. 5mW)

A laser pointer is a hand-held device that uses battery power to produce light. This strong beam of light can then be used to highlight a specific object or point of interest. However, the brightness of laser points varies, meaning the lumens of a laser point vary too, which is why you may be curious to know, ‘how many lumens is a laser pointer?’

How Bright is a Laser Pointer?

Laser pointers can be found displaying different colored light beams. These include red, blue, green, and violet. The intensity or brightness of laser pointers can potentially make them dangerous. This is why direct exposure to a laser pointer can even burn the retina and lead to loss of vision.

colored laser beams

The average laser pointer is just a meagre 0.005 watts. Since laser pointers have a narrow path, if you point it towards someone even from arm’s length, the laser pointer would be 30 times brighter than the midday sun!

The laser pointer’s narrow beam will spread over long distances as well. From 100 meters away, a red laser pointer will be as bright as a 100-watt light bulb. When seen from an airplane on a clear day, a laser pointer will be as bright as the quarter moon. 

Due to this, much debate has been made about the safety of laser pointers. While some people are totally against it, others advocate for it, reasoning that laser pointers can be useful tools when used responsibly in activities like business presentations, etc. This brings us to the pertinent consideration of choosing a safe laser pointer and the question of whether such a thing exists at all.

How Many Lumens is a Laser Pointer?

Now you may be forced to wonder, how many lumens is a laser pointer? Lumen is the S.I. unit of the quantity of visible light emitted from a power source. In this case, it’s a laser pointer. 


Since lumens depend on the brightness of the laser pointer, the lumens differ from one laser pointer to the other, which is why there is no one definitive answer to the query ‘how many lumens is a laser pointer?’ 

But generally, the laser pointers we use are about 150 lumens of light, meaning they are brighter than most flashlights. Lumens indicate the brightness of a laser pointer. Imagine this: a laser pointer with a power output of 50,000 lumens would be able to turn a portion of the ground from night to day! 

Let’s shed some light on the brightness of the different classes of laser pointers. 

Class 1 Lasers

Class 1 laser pointers emit a 0.39mW beam. These lasers do not require any specific caution and pose no real threat to eyes or the skin. They are usually dubbed safe for long-term intentional viewing as well. Visible light is usually emitted when the laser beam is enclosed.  

Class 2 Lasers 

Class 2 lasers emit a visible light beam of less than 1mW which doesn’t require any caution but it is advised that you shouldn’t directly stare into it for more than ¼ seconds as that may cause eye damage.

Class 3 Lasers: 3R and 3B

Class 3R laser pointers emit a beam of between 1 and 4.99 mW, due to which you should avoid direct exposure. Unintentional eye exposure may not be particularly hazardous, but should be avoided. Class 3B lasers have a limit of 5mW as well, which requires you to avoid exposure to the beam. You should avoid staring at the laser dot for several seconds from a short distance. 


Class 4 Lasers

Class 4 laser pointers emit a powerful beam of 500 mW. These lasers can be dangerous for the eyes and skin. The light of class 4 laser pointers is too bright, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. You should avoid exposure to a direct or reflected laser beam.



How Bright is a 5mW Laser Pointer?

As we mentioned above, 5 mW is kept as the maximum laser pointer power limit in the U.S. and for good reason! Basically, a 5 mW laser pointer is pretty strong for your purposes, whatever they may be. They are very bright and capable of causing serious eye and skin damage if not used with care. A 5 mW laser pointer is so bright that it also has the potential of burning an object.

A 5 mW laser pointer is categorized as a class 3 laser pointer, either a class 3R or class 3B.  If you really want to get an idea of how bright a 5 mW laser pointer is, consider this. A 5mW can be used for astronomical purposes, as these things are very bright. So much so, that if someone is directly exposed to it at night, they may be temporarily blinded. 

How Many Lumens is a 5mW Laser Pointer?

If you’re wondering how many lumens is a laser pointer, we’ll give you an estimate with an example. A 5 mW laser pointer is around 200 lumens of light, which is a lot. While 5 mW of laser pointers are legally allowed, there are still some restrictions on its use due to its ability to cause extensive eye and skin damage not only to the user but to those around them. 

Long Range Green Beam High Power Laser Pointer
Click image for more info

To give you a better idea, this example will help. The 200 lumens of light emitted from a 5 mW laser pointer is sufficient to completely light up the inside of a tent. Given how strong this light is, it should be used very responsibly.


Laser pointers should be used carefully as they can cause permanent eye and skin damage. If you’re a first-timer, you should consider how many lumens is a laser pointer, and then choose one with low strength and intensity to avoid any serious repercussions.  

To make an informed decision, you should look at the different classes of laser pointers and then see the lumens each class of laser pointer is. This will provide insight into the brightness and potential for damage that the laser pointer has.

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