Buyers Guide |  How to Choose Your Laser Safety Glasses

Buyers Guide | How to Choose Your Laser Safety Glasses

Published by The Laser Safety Experts | Laser Safety Industry on Jun 7th 2020

Typically, to determine what type of Laser Safety glasses or goggles to buy, the following is needed:

1) Wavelength of the laser

2) Find out what protection level is needed premised on your laser's output.  Do this by looking for the recommended Optical Density (OD), asking your Laser Safety Officer, or feel free to give us a call at 1-888-752-7370 and we can assist.

Optical Density: Refers to the amount of light absorbed by a lens and ultimately let through to hit the eye.  Different lasers (and corresponding wavelengths) have different impact on the human eye (the ANSI has created standards and published them based on research).  If you are having trouble knowing the appropriate optical density needed for your glasses or laser safety protection, please give us all call at 1-888-752-7370 or 952-405-6947.  We have included a diagram to aide a buyer in common industry notation.  Please note, some assumptions have been made (the photons depicted are not drawn to scale, and finally please be sure to reach out if there is any uncertainty).

Optical Density Explained

Visibility Light Transmission (“VLT”) – Color and visibility of specific color ranges often are significantly affected by laser glasses and goggles. Think distortion when wearing sunglasses to block the sun, (often less expensive) sun glasses do an effective job of blocking the sun, however everything is much more difficult to see because not a lot of light generally is coming through. Other times with (typically more expensive) sunglasses, the sun is blocked and everything else looks very similar to how it would without the glasses.  The image below is a relative comparison of visual light transmission. 

Higher VLT Lower VLT

Visible Light Transmission (VLT) Explained

Comfort and Price – weight, shape of the frames, and size of the glasses may affect your decision. These parameters are in large dependent on the type of material used.  Click here to view our  Laser Safety Glasses.


Below is a table to display generalize trade-offs of different laser safety glasses and goggles:

Polycarbonate Glass Dielectric Coating

Polycarbonate Laser Safety Glasses

Glass Laser Safety Glasses

Dielectric Coated Laser Safety Glasses

Weight Lighter Heavier Heavier
Price Lower Depends Higher
Optical Density[1] Lower Higher Higher


[1] Optical Density refers to a general trend, and when selecting should look at the specifications of the eyewear before purchasing