Are laser sights affected by temperature? Read comment below

Discussion in 'Optics, Mounts, and Sights' started by Oldironsides, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Oldironsides

    Oldironsides New Member

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    I was thinking of buying a green laser sight for my SIG556 to mount on the lower rail. Then I spotted this comment on the one I was thinking of buying on Amazon.com and got to wondering if it applies to all lasers.

    "The last page of the manual states that the unit may not operate properly at temperatures below 54 degrees or above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Nearly all our hunting is done in ambient temperatures that may range from 40 degrees down to zero (at night, of course) -- typical of Indiana raccoon seasons."

    If temperature DOES affect the performance, can anyone explain how or what the affect is?
  2. SkyPup

    SkyPup Active Member

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    Re: Are laser sights affected by temperature? Read comment b

    It affects whether or not they work at all, if the temp is too low, they do not work.
  3. Oldironsides

    Oldironsides New Member

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    Re: Are laser sights affected by temperature? Read comment b

    Is that 55 degree low temperature accurate for all lasers, then? Can't imagine how they could be considered useful if they don't work at all in cooler temperatures.
  4. SkyPup

    SkyPup Active Member

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    Re: Are laser sights affected by temperature? Read comment b

    Depends on the what wavelength the laser operates on.

    Green lasers are the most sensitive to low temperature operation, red lasers are much better at low temps. Some electronic circuits can be modified at great expense to operate at lower temperatures, however then they draw more power as well, it is a simple matter of physics....

    Green 532nm lasers operate using a diode which is actually an infrared one shining through a set of crystals. These crystals operate less efficiently at high or low temperatures.
    Think of it as an enzyme in a human - at low temperatures it works slowly and can almost stop, at high temperatures it dies, the enzyme only operates efficiently at normal body temperature of 98*F....
  5. SpeedQuest

    SpeedQuest Member

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    Re: Are laser sights affected by temperature? Read comment b

    I have the Laser Genetics ND3X50 SubZero which I use for night hunting and spotting. It is a laser, but it is collimated to make the beam much broader. In essence, it's like having night vision wherever I point the laser. At it's tightest collimation, the beam is about 2-1/2" diameter at about 3 feet from the light. The further away from the light obviously, the larger the beam area. I have used it to see things as far as 650 yards with no problem. Probably not exactly what you are looking for since this is not a laser pointer/aiming device, but the technology within is EXACTLY the same sans the collimator.

    They sell a standard version, and the SubZero version, which I purchased. Apparently, the SubZero is insulated and is supposed to work better in temps below 45 degrees. I have put it in the refrigerator for several hours, pulled it out, and it does work. So in answer to your question, if a green laser is properly insulated, it can work (although it may have reduced efficiency) at temperatures below 50 degrees.

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