It will not be possible to erect building objects evenly without measuring instruments. Previously, bubble and thread structures were used to determine the vertical and horizontal. Recently, an improved device has appeared on the construction market – a laser level. Let’s take a closer look at how the device works and what it consists of. Let’s outline the criteria that you need to pay attention to when choosing a suitable product.
What is a laser level?
The tool is used for both domestic and professional needs. A laser level or level is a device that helps to create a perfectly flat vertical or horizontal plane. Line boundaries are displayed with a red or green light beam. The device is used in the construction of buildings and in interior decoration. A person using a laser level can save time on work.
Users who are far from construction can cope with the device. In the instructions for the device, the algorithm for controlling it is simply and clearly stated. All devices are characterized by a high level of accuracy and are able to speed up the construction time. Not every user can afford professional models, but for simple work, you can use simple laser levels, the price of which is much less.
laser beam device
The device consists of several elements. The level has an outer housing that protects the internal parts of the mechanism from damage, dirt and moisture. Other elements that make up the laser level:
- a light source through which rays are generated;
- optical system represented by lenses and prisms;
- the installation mechanism, represented by screws, a tripod and a tripod;
- power system in the form of batteries or nickel-cadmium batteries.
The laser level is able to work up to 10 hours without recharging. The instrument control panel is represented by buttons. Each of them performs certain functions. The device is equipped with indicator lights that provide information about the battery status and other important parameters. The beams generated by the device are visible at a distance of several tens of meters. Models with prisms transform the flow of light into clear lines.
The principle of operation of the laser level
The functioning of the device is based on the interaction of 2 or 3 beams. In professional models, there can be up to 9 pcs. How a laser level works depends on the type of construction. The light beam in the device passes through a special focusing system and is transformed into a straight line, plane or point. According to it, the necessary markings are applied to the measured surface and construction work is performed with a high level of accuracy.
Characteristics of laser levels
There are a large number of models on the construction market. To understand how each of them works and what capabilities it has, you need to familiarize yourself with its technical characteristics. These include:
- Measurement range. Some types of professional devices operate at a distance of 300 m, but for most devices this parameter does not exceed 20 m. The higher the indicator, the more opportunities the device has.
- Number of beams. The standard number for all devices is 5, but it may vary depending on the technical specifications. The more beams an optical level generates, the more difficult conditions it can work in.
- Type of alignment and the ability to disable it. In some models, the parameter must be aligned manually, in others it is adjusted automatically. In the latter case, the device will make more accurate measurements. Manually adjusting the level is not always convenient and there is a risk of error.
- Measurement accuracy. Depending on the parameter, all devices are divided into household, semi-household and professional. The first allow an error of up to 8 mm per 10 m, the second up to 5 mm, the third – up to 3 mm.
- Power type. Levels work from the accumulator and from batteries. The first type of models is able to work without recharging longer – up to 20 hours.
Types of laser level
All devices are divided into 3 groups depending on the design and method of generating light rays. The laser level is:
Dot laser level
This type of construction is the simplest. The point level does not have a rotational emitter, so the light beam is projected onto the surface as a point. The range of such a device can reach from 70 m (without a catcher) to 400 m. Using a laser building level, you can make clear marks in various planes of the room: on the walls, ceiling or floor. The device is used for marking in large industrial premises, in warehouses, in shopping centers.
This laser level is called linear. It is very popular with users because it gives accurate measurement results and is inexpensive. On the surface, the laser beam of the device is transformed into one clear line. On some models, 2 perpendicular lines or additional points are displayed. The range of the crossliner is 30 m. This distance is enough to perform installation and construction work. An important feature that many devices are equipped with is self-leveling.
Rotary laser level
These devices are capable of performing more tasks. Rotary level – professional type level. The design feature of the device is the presence of a rotating emitter. The luminous flux covers an area within a radius of 360 ° and is able to build a line at a distance of up to 400 m. In addition to building lines, a rotary level is capable of performing other tasks:
- calculate the distance from one point to another;
- make markings of large construction objects;
- be used in assembly work.
How to choose a laser level?
The choice of a particular model depends on what functionality the buyer will need. It makes no sense to overpay for additional options if they are not used during operation. Features to look out for before buying:
- Accuracy of measurements. Laser professional level gives an error of no more than 0.2 mm per 1 m. It is recommended to purchase it for construction work in large rooms. A device with an error of 0.3 mm is an option for which laser level to choose for your home.
- Temperature regime. If you have to work in the cold season on the street, then it is better to choose models that have temperatures. Under normal conditions, the range from +5 to +40 ° C is enough.
- Beam range. For the home, levels with an indicator not exceeding 50 m are used. Devices with a beam range greater than this number are optimal for working in large areas or in open areas.
- beam color. The laser level emits red and green beams. Models of the first type are cheaper. A green beam laser level produces a clearer image and is energy intensive.
- Functionality. Some models are equipped with additional options: self-leveling, automatic shutdown and so on. It is optimal to buy them only if you have to work often and a lot with laser levels.
Functions of laser levels
If the device is used infrequently, then you need to choose models with the simplest functionality. With the help of a standard fixture, you can perform high-quality installation of shelves or wallpapering. For such work, self-leveling functions are not required. Simple devices generate one weak beam, but it can be used in natural light and outdoors.
The choice of a laser level for laying tiles and building premises must be taken more seriously. For complex work, standard models are not suitable. You will have to spend money on a device that can generate 2 lines at once – horizontal and vertical. If construction and repair are daily activities of a person, then he should choose models with powerful beam generation and additional functionality: self-levelling, shutdown, and so on.
Tripod for laser level
The stand for the level is represented by a base and a tripod head. Budget tripods have, as a rule, a non-separable structure. Professional equipment includes additional removable elements. The laser level is attached to the tripod with a screw. The main distinguishing feature of the stand for the device is the ability to change height. Thanks to this property, the device can be used on uneven surfaces and even on steps.
Laser level rating
The best devices are those that optimally meet the “price-quality” criterion. Rating of the most popular laser levels:
- Control Unix – A professional grade level. The device gives a minimum risk of error due to the high-frequency pendulum compensator. The bright laser beam of the device can cover areas with a radius of up to 80 m. The average cost of a level is $140.
- ADA Ultraliner – laser professional level. The device is equipped with almost all additional functions and is ideal for marking surfaces. A bright laser beam is capable of capturing a distance of up to 70 m. The price of the device is $210.
- Bosch laser level. The instrument can simultaneously project horizontal and vertical planes. It is used when installing stretch ceilings, laying pipes and other works. The maximum measurement range of the level is 50 m, so it is recommended to use it in small spaces. The average cost of a product is $280.
How to check the laser level for accuracy?
The device must be periodically monitored during operation. It is easy to check the “verticality” of the device. To do this, pull the plumb line and project the laser strictly on it. The laser level or level may stray horizontally. It will be more difficult to check the device according to this criterion. It is necessary to attach the paper to the door jamb and direct a beam at it so that it is reflected on the sheet to the left and right. Marks are made on the sheet, and the level is moved 180 °. The beam readings in this position must match at least one of the notches.
How to use the laser level?
It is easy to work with the device. The algorithm depends on what actions are performed. A green beam laser level can be used for any kind of work, because it gives a clear image and does not discharge for a long time. Those who use the device for the first time should consult with professionals or carefully read the instructions for the device. To better understand what a laser level is for and how to work with it, consider a few examples:
- tiling. For high-quality work, the level is transferred to the sacral projection mode. It will be easy for workers to navigate the mark in the form of a cross. In a similar way, tile is laid on the floor.
- Wallpapering. The level helps to focus on the vertical plane and correctly position the first strip. When wallpapering, the laser level is turned on in the vertical plane mode.
- Installation of partitions. The level is set parallel to the wall or floor where the partition is mounted. Markings are drawn on the light beam. At this level, guides for partitions are installed.
DIY laser level
You can make the device yourself. To do this, you need a wooden block, a cardboard pipe, a glue gun and a laser pointer. The latter can be purchased at household stores or ordered online. Algorithm, how to make a green laser level:
- Take a wooden block 20 cm long and 3 mm thick and glue a cardboard tube to it with a glue gun. It is selected so that the pointer is tightly fixed in it.
- A small motor is glued to the end of the tube (you can take it from a children’s car). To power it, a mini switch is soldered to the terminal wire.
- A battery is glued to the bar.
- Pick up a suitable length of wire to solder it from the switch to the engine.
- Draw a transverse line on a small mirror and glue a rod from a pen or a lollipop stick onto it. The built-in tube is mounted on the motor of a homemade laser level.