Construction & Surveying Lasers FAQs
What type of surveying jobs use surveying lasers?
We know that leveling is an essential component of your surveying job. If your level is off, it could ruin the integrity of your entire project. That is why it’s important to choose the right tool for the job. Laser levels point or rotate to create an easily visible reference point in the form of a beam of light. Some levels can even project a line or plane. Surveying lasers can be used for both indoor and outdoor construction projects. However, these tools are especially useful for leveling across large areas, making them ideal for larger work areas. Especially when multiple people are working on the same construction project, this level ensures accuracy and reliability.
How do you use a laser level?
Different laser levels work differently, but each laser level comprises two basic parts: the laser and the mount or base. First, you must adjust the base to project your line across the required height. If your level is manual, make sure the bubble vials show level. Next, simply turn on the laser level. If the level is self-leveling, give it a moment to level itself. Once the level projects the laser, you should be able to see it. If you are working outdoors, you may need a laser detector to determine where the projection is. If this is the case, connect the detector to the measuring rod and secure the detector to the rod to mark your measurements.
How does a laser level work?
A laser level consists of a laser beam projector that allows you to easily and accurately measure straight lines in your construction project. Some, typically more advanced laser levels, can be mounted on a tripod. The level emits a beam of light that may be used as a visual reference point. It is much simpler and more effective than traditional levels, as it can be used across larger distances. Some levels have different leveling mechanisms. Manual laser levels work in a traditional way, meaning the user has to line up a bubble inside a vial by re-positioning the level. Most electronic levels use a pendulum and magnets plus electronic sensors to ensure accuracy. These components typically work on their own.
How do you calibrate a rotary laser level?
First, set up the level at least 100 feet from your target. Adjust the tripod, making sure the legs are flat on the ground. If you haven’t already done so, affix the rotary level on top of the tripod. Next, turn your laser level toward the target. Then, turn on the laser level and walk to your target, bringing your laser detector with you. Mark your first target using the marking notch. Go back and rotate the laser at 180 degrees. Then, repeat the same process. Rotate the laser again, this time at 90 degrees. Repeat the previous process. This practice should calibrate your rotary laser level to ensure an accurate reading on the target. If not, reassess and re-adjust as needed.
Why Should I Use Construction Lasers for Leveling?
Whether you’re a professional surveyor or only use levels on occasion for your job, your main choice comes down to using a water level or a laser level.
Water levels are cheap and fairly accurate. A water level can be mounted to a line that wraps around obstacles, while a laser level needs a line of sight. However, in almost every other circumstance, you will get faster, more accurate results using lasers.
Setup times are shorter for survey equipment lasers, since all they require is calibration. A laser is also more accurate than eyeing the bubble in a water level. While air density changes can alter the path of laser light, the resulting errors are limited to fractions of an inch over several hundred feet. Lasers with temperature and vibration compensation offer the best accuracy of any level technology.
Lasers also make it possible to take readings in places that would be nearly impossible with a water level, such as the inside of pipes or from floors to ceilings. With rotary lasers, it’s possible to establish multiple level lines with one setup.
What’s the Difference Between Straight Line and Rotary Construction Lasers?
A straight line laser beams light in one direction. These lasers are mostly used for leveling and creating single straight lines using targets.
A rotary laser sends an arc of light 360 degrees around the device, covering every part of a room. The laser only needs to be set up once before using the light as a guide to mark positions around the room. This is handy for layered construction, such as installing trim boards or power outlets.
What Features Should I Look For in a Laser Level?
Purpose-specific lasers are easy to set up because they don’t have many adjustments. However, a universal laser can handle several jobs. These can be used by themselves, or as a supplement to other levels. That way, you always have a spare to complement your purpose-built levels.
Ground-leveling laser tools are available in single and dual slope. A dual-slope laser can mark off two different angles. These are mostly used to mark off trenches.
Vibration filters compensate for wobbling caused by using tall tripods and operating in windy or high-vibration environments. Filter-equipped levels are great for outdoor work and taking measurements near heavy equipment.
A remote lets the user make adjustments to the laser position without being at the level. This is helpful when positioning laser targets. They’re also handy for difficult-to-reach areas, like underground pipelines.
Should I Use Green Survey Lasers for Leveling or Red Lasers?
Green laser beams are more visible than red beams, especially when working over long distances or in bright areas. This makes them the better choice for outdoor work and large spaces. However, a laser receiver can extend the useful distance of any construction laser. This device senses light that may be too faint to see. You may still need a receiver to pick up green lasers in direct sunlight.
Laser visibility is higher when shined against a target, decreasing the advantages of green lasers. Targets must be made for the light color you’re using for the laser to show up properly.