190mW Green Portable Laser, retail $500 (No URL available)
Manufactured by CNI (
Last updated 04-16-13

(In reference to the package I received from a CPF member at 10:18am PST on 12-03-04):
{sung like the Foreigner song "Feels Like the First Time"}
Feels like a flaaaaaash-liiiight...feels like a FL

BREAK IN 24576


Let's try that soon as I saw the address on the package, I *knew* it wasn't a flashlight...

Feels like a laaaaaa-sssser...feels like a LAAAAA-aaaaa-ssser!!!
Feels like a laaaaaa-sssser...feels like a LAAAAA-aaaaa-ssser!!!

This is a green DPSS (diode pumped solid state) CNI brand portable laser that emits over 100mW (this particular unit comes in at 190mW). It comes in an aluminum body, and is equipped with several safety features that need to be present on a CDRH Class IIIb laser device.

This laser operates from two C cells which you provide.


Feed the portable laser two C cells (not included) (see below), and then you'll be ready to rock.

To use the portable laser, just turn the key switch on the barrel 90 or 180 degrees left or right from the position it was in when you inserted it, insert the interlock dongle in the tailcap, aim it at something you wish to point out, and press & release the blue plastic button on the barrel to turn the laser on for as long as you need the green laser spot. A red LED emission indicator above the switch will come on. Approximately two seconds later, the laser beam itself will come on. This turn-on delay is intentional, and is to help the unit comply with the rules for a CDRH Class IIIb laser device.

This laser emits a green beam at 532nm.

Press and release the blue plastic button again to turn the portable laser back off.

If the red emission LED above the switch comes on but no laser beam is emitted, check to see that the beam shutter at the front of the laser is not closed and blocking the beam. If it is, turn the bezel counterclockwise (as if unscrewing it) until it stops.

Turn the key switch off and remove the key, and remove the interlock dongle from the tailcap to prevent unwanted activation.

To change the batteries in your green portable laser, unscrew and remove the tailcap, dash it to the ground, and stomp on it with spiked golf shoes...O WAIT!!! YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set it aside instead.

Tip the two used C cells out of the barrel and into your hand, and dispose of, recycle, or recharge them as you see fit.

Insert two new C cells into the barrel, flat-end (-) negative first. This is the opposite of how batteries are installed in most flashlights, so please pay attention to polarity here.

Screw the tailcap back on, and be done with it.
Aren't you glad you didn't stomp on that tailcap now?

Current usage measures 796mA on Wallgreens Ultra alkaline cells that have had approximately two minutes use on them in this laser already.

This is a portable laser, not a flashlight. So I won't throw it against the wall, stomp on it, try to drown it in the toilet bowl, run over it, swing it against the corner of a concrete stair, or inflict upon it punishments that flashlights may have inflicted upon them. So this section of the laser's page will seem a bit more bare than this section of the page on a page about a flashlight.
This is also a loaner, so even if it were advertised to be waterproof and shockproof, I still would not inflict these punishments upon it.

Green diode lasers are a lot different than those common red lasers you see all the time.

In a 640nm red laser pointer, there's a red-emitting diode and a lens to collimate (focus) the beam.

In a 532nm green laser (pointer or larger size), there's a BIG infrared laser diode that generates laser light at 808nm, this is fired into a crystal containing the rare-earth element "neodymium". This crystal takes the 808nm infrared light and lases at 1064nm (yes, deeper in the infrared!). This 1064nm laser light comes out of the NdYV04 (neodymium yttrium vanadium oxide) crystal and is then shot into a second crystal (containing potassium, titanium, & phosphorus, usually called KTP) that doubles the frequency to 532nm - the bright green color you see. This light is then collimated (focused) by a lens and emerges out the laser's "business end". Just before the lens, there's a filter that removes any stray IR (infrared) rays from the pump diode and the neodymium crystal. You don't want that stuff in your green beam, trust me. :-)

This is why green diode lasers are so much more expensive than red ones. Lots of itty bitty parts, and they all need to be aligned by hand. If the polarisation is "off", one or both crystals need to be turned. With red diode lasers, you just slap in the diode and slap a lens in front of it.

VERY IMPORTANT!!! Output power is 190mW. This is NOT a toy, and you MUST NOT shine it into your eyes, other people's eyes, pets' eyes, for that matter, the eyes of any person or animal you encounter. Eye damage can occur faster than the blink reflex can protect them, regardless of what species' eyes you irradiate with this laser. So just don't do it.
This is a CDRH Class IIIb laser device. Treat it with respect, and it'll treat you with respect.

This laser is not water-resistant, so please be extra careful when using it around sinks, tubs, toilets, fishtanks, pet water bowls, or other places where water or water-like liquids might be found. And you'll probably want to cover it up or otherwise get rid of it (such as by putting it in a pocket or bag) if you need to carry it in rainy or snowy weather.

Since this is a high powered laser, I would recommend running it for no more than one or two minutes at a time, with at least a couple of minutes off to allow the "guts" inside to cool down. The manufacturer states a duty cycle of 100%, but why take the chance?.

One of the tests I was asked to perform was to try and burn my finger. So I fired the laser up, aimed it at my index finger, and within two seconds, an unpleasant stinging sensation was detected. The stinging was unpleasant enough that I turned the laser off at once and shook my hand in effort to reduce the pain. I smelled my finger afterwards to try and detect that characteristic odour of burned flesh, and did not detect that odour.
No lenses or other optics of any type were used to focus the beam for this experiment.

Another experiment I tried was burning holes in black electrical tape. Almost at once, smoke issued from the tape; within several seconds, a hole was made.

A photograph I was asked to provide, the laser beam illuminating overhead clouds at night, may or may not be possible. As the old saying goes, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
The tripod I use for stabilising the camera was left behind after a move approximately two months ago (10-11-04), so I have no handy way to hold the camera steady for this type of photograph.

This laser is, by far, the most powerful laser I have experimented with or otherwise used, at 190 milliwatts. The previous high power I've used was 59.09 milliwatts from a green DPSS portable laser in a pen-style case.

The beam produced by this laser appears "clean", with no speckling or other artifacts visible outside the main beam.
This laser appears to produce a TEM00 (transverse electromagnetic mode 00) beam with a gaussian power distribution. That is, it produces a single circular beam, brighter at the center than it is at the perimeter. Most laser users prefer a TEM00 beam, so this is not really an issue at all.

To the point I've used it, it appears stable during warmup. I used a lens to expand the beam and shoot it at a door during this test. It appears to stay in TEM00 during warmup, and the overall power output does not visibly fluctuate. The laser is very bright even with the lens expanding the beam, so it was a bit difficult to observe.
Let me put on those visible-blocking glasses I got on Ebay last month, and repeat the test...BRB...I saw no change. The beam stayed at TEM00 and there was no visible change in output as the laser warmed up.

Beam photograph at ~12".
Beam is not white like this photograph makes it appear.

Beam is also a lot smaller than it appears; the
beam image bloomed significantly when photographed.

Beam photograph at ~10'.
Beam is not white like this photograph makes it appear.

Beam is significantly smaller than it appears;
the beam image also bloomed when photographed.

Laser beam lighting tobacco.
This laser is too bright to actually show the smoke that was issuing from the ciggy butt.

Laser beam lighting a room with the spot itself ~16 feet away on the near wall.
Sunset in Seattle was at 4:18pm PST on 12-03, so it was truly dark when this photograph was taken.

Test unit was sent by a Candlepower Forums member as a loaner, and was received on 12-03-04.

UPDATE: 12-06-04
I have sent this laser back to the person who lent it to me, so I no longer have it to perform any additional tests, analyses, or experiments with it.

Durable, hefty casing
Natural, flashlight-like feel in the hand
Five safety features built in that don't seriously impede normal operation
LED emission indicator so you know if it's on even if the beam shutter is closed
Continuous operation available via the pushbutton switch
VERY, VERY bright!!!
Burns stuff
Beam is "clean", with no visible speckling or artifacts around it
Uses batteries that are common and relatively inexpensive

Not waterproof or submersible - but most portable lasers aren't. Will not figure into my rating
Consumes a lot of power, so you'll be going through batteries if you use it a lot
Can't use it in public without a variance
More delicate than directly-injected diode portable lasers
Beam shutter seems a bit on the loose side

    PRODUCT TYPE: Flashlight-style portable laser
    LAMP TYPE: DPSS diode laser/NdYVO4/KTP crystals
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Very narrow; it's a laser, remember? ;-)
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off on barrel
    BEZEL: Metal; has aperture (hole) for laser beam to emerge
    BATTERY: 2x C cells
    ACCESSORIES: Interlock dongle, interlock key
    WARRANTY: 6 months


    Star Rating

CNI PGL-III 190mW Green Portable Laser *

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