Visible and invisible laser radiation - Problems in laser safety terminology

David H. Sliney, David J. Lund, Wesley J. Marshal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The spectral band between 400 and 700 nm is termed "visible" in laser safety standards, this is not the full extent of the visible spectrum. Light, or visible radiation, is that which is perceived by the human eye, and the spectral bandwidth for vision is really larger, extending into what some refer to as ultraviolet and infrared. This is important to recognize when speaking of visual effects such as after-images and glare. Several important questions arise with regard to this issue. The 400-700 nm spectral band was initially established as the extent of the spectral range for class 2 lasers, hut should this spectral band be reconsidered? Indeed what laser wavelengths should be considered visible and what should be considered "invisible?".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-263
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Laser Applications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Aversion response
  • Class 2
  • Laser
  • Visibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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