Laser F/X graphics

Diffraction Grating
Scanning System
Laser graphics
Laser Animations
Text Messaging




Laser F/X Rave/Party Specialists


Some of the terminology used in laser displays is quite technical and can be confusing. Here is an explanation of some of the basics:


Laser: "Laser" is an acronym derived from "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation".
A laser is a device which produces a coherent beam of light. The beam remains almost parallel for long distances and contains one or more extremely pure colours - Millions of colours can be synthesised by mixing the pure colours together in a full colour laser system.
Light show lasers are usually gas-filled tubes using high voltage current to ionise the gas (cause the gas to glow). Mirrors at each end of the tube help amplify a process called "stimulated emission". Most of the stimulated emission light travels between the two mirrors; between 1% and 4% comes out of one of the mirrors to create the beam of light that we see.  Gas lasers usually require high voltages and water cooling thus are complex to operate and maintain, and take a great deal of time and effort to set-up.

Interior of an Ion (gas) laser
Interior of an Ion (gas) laser

The new generating of solid state DPSS lasers are small, efficient and very reliable.  They are air-cooled and run from a regular wall outlet.  The most common type is the 532 nm DPSS laser that produce a bright lime green which has the advantage of being 3.5 times as bright to the eye as the same power of argon laser.  Thus a 250 mW DPSS 532 laser can appear as bright as the typical 1 watt argon laser system.
Laser F/X uses a DPSS laser for our touring system so as to provide a high apparent brightness show from a reliable solid state laser that runs off a wall outlet anywhere in the world.

Diffraction grating: A material containing microscopic lines (gratings) that breaks up light passing through it. They are used with lasers to create special beam or graphic effects. 

Machida Diffraction Effect with colour laser

The SpecScanDPSS-Pro projector can produce 4 different grating effects which can be rotated forward and reverse at variable speeds. The two most popular types that we use are the Wide Fan grating [picture above with a colour laser], which produces a flat ceiling of thousands of laser beamlets; and the Burst grating with produces a three dimensional burst of thousands of laser beamlets.

DPSS fan of scanned beams at a rave Scanning System: The scanning system consist of a pair if very tiny but precise mirrors driven by special servo controlled amplifiers.  This allows the mirrors to accurately deflect and position the laser beam.
When driven by the control system and graphics computer, they can produce sheets [see picture on left], cones, tunnels, blades and fans of light.  The scanning system also draws the complex 2D and 3D images for laser graphics and animations.
Laser Graphics: Graphics are words and logos, like your event or production company logo, that are projected using the laser system. The graphic is digitized in advance into a computer and stored like a hi-tech connect-the-dots drawing. When t is played back at the show, the points are output at such a high speed that the eye sees an image like the one in the photo on the right.
Graphics can be displayed with added effects such as rotations and modulation. Graphics help to personalize and customise your event and can be used to promote your image or advertise sponsors to the audience.
Laser graphics
Laser F/X Animations Laser Animations: Laser animations are done in the same way as cartoons on TV. A number of individual drawings are digitized and then played back in sequence at speeds between 15 and 25 FPS (Frames Per Second) to make a character move, walk or dance.
Laser F/X has a library of thousands of frames of laser animations and is a supplier of quality animations to other laser companies world-wide. Our AWARD WINNING work can be seen at clubs and other venues around the world.
NOTE: The sample animations on our site are animated .gif files and thus are not a realistic indication of image quality or speed of movement in the actual laser animations.
Text messaging: Allows you to type in short messages to be projected by the laser system like an LED signboard - ideal for promoting your next party or announcing the names of DJ’s.

Hazer: A Hazer is a s special kind of smoke machine that produces a fine haze with long ‘hang time’ that is ideal for laser shows. The hazer uses CO2 to force the fluid through the machine at high pressures and thus create a very fine haze than hangs in the air long after the larger smoke particles produced by the typical smoke machine have fallen to the floor.
Laser F/X provides an MDG MAX3000 hazer with our shows for the ideal haze to make the show look spectacular.

MDG Hazer
Laser warning sign Safety: All of our laserists operate the shows within international safety guidelines.
Static beams must remain separated 3 meters vertically from the dancers. Audience scanning effects are carefully controlled so as to project only safe levels of laser onto the dancers.
You can read a very detailed glossary of laser light show terminology on our main web site at


    ^ Back to Top



When you need a thrilling visual experience, call Laser F/X


E-mail address

Laser F/X International, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

© 1997-2003 Laser F/X International 905.523.7669 - All rights reserved.
Logos and trademarks are the property of their respective owners - used by permission.