How to Use a Laser Level

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Laser levels are one of the most important tools you need to have in your toolbox. If you are doing anything to do with building or installing anything from scratch, this tool is for you. It is literally the one tool that can help guarantee anything you build, stands, fits perfectly, or is overall functional. This is a comprehensive guide on how to use a laser level. 

A close up of a man using a laser level

How to Use a Laser Level 

There are different types of laser levels, also known as construction levels. They are made to accommodate different types of jobs. But what unifies each one is their responsibility to give you an accurate measurement to level a surface.

For example, you need to level a shelf. You want to make sure it has an even weight to counter gravity so it does not fall or tilt in any way. To get a clearer idea of what laser levels do, here’s a list of when you’ll need a laser level to work with. 

When Do You Need a Laser Level

It’s important to know the best type of laser level you’ll need for certain types of jobs before you choose to invest in one. This is a list explains when you’ll need a laser level, and what type of laser level will be most effective for the specified project. 

  • To create a point for reference on a surface: If you want to identify the point on a surface, where it is level to the ground, then you can use a Dot Laser (Plumb Laser). This is perfect for establishing the height of certain structures against a wall or a surface. 
  • To create a level line across the entire room: This is where a Rotary Laser Level will be used. This type of laser level can create a level line throughout an entire room, to give you an accurate measurement of the same level points at any part of the space. 
  • To create a straight level line across a surface: This is the most common laser level. It is the one that creates a laser line across a wall or a flat surface. It can either balanced on something or on a tripod. This will give you an accurate guide for a level line on that surface. 
  • To create both a horizontal and vertical level line: For this, you’ll need a Cross Line Laser Level.

These are the four most common situations when you will need a laser level. All types of laser levels will give accurate measurements necessary to have a well-built product. 

How Does a Laser Level Work

A laser level works by using the light of a laser to be a visual guide for a level point or a level line. Or in other words, it is a guide to help you see where a surface is flat and even.

It is a guide to determine where no part of a surface is higher or lower than the other, in relation to another surface.  The light of a laser level is what helps you determine if something is level, or if your measurements are accurately level to the floor or ceiling. 

Step by Step Process

You can use a laser level indoors or outdoors. This is how you use a laser level for any type of environment. 

  1. Find a flat surface or a tripod to set up your laser level on: It’s important that you find a flat, and even surface, where you can put your laser level. This will be even more accurate on a tripod as you can guarantee that your tripod is level too. 
  2. Check the bubble vials: The bubble vials should show that the bubble is in the middle or center of the vial. This confirms that your leveling tool is level. 
  3. Turn the laser level on: You can now turn on your laser level. If this is a self-leveling tool, you’ll need to give it some time to accurately level itself on the surface that it is on. 
  4. Make sure there is a surface where the laser can project on: For you to see the accurate line of the laser level, it needs to hit a wall or a surface. If this is done outdoors, and there are no surfaces for the laser to hit, make one with any type of fabric or material that can stand on its own. 
  5. Mark the laser guides on your surface: Once you have an accurate idea of where the level line is, it’s time to make a mark on the surface you want to mark or make the appropriate measurements you need to make. 

This can be done with every type of laser leveling tool. In addition, you can also invest in a laser detector. This is a tool that can accurately detect where a laser line is, even if you can’t the laser line yourself. 

Using a Laser Level Outdoors

In a lot of cases, you’ll be doing your projects outdoors. These are helpful tips to help you use your laser level outdoors.

Use a tripod

To get an accurate reading, you’ll need to be able to use a tripod. A tripod has three legs that can be adjusted. The laser device needs to be level to the ground, even when the tripod is standing on an uneven or rough surface.

A yellow tripod holding a surveying instrument

It’s important to use a tripod to make sure your level measurement is correct, even if the floor you’re working on isn’t. 

Use a green laser level

When you’re measuring outdoors, it can be difficult to see a red laser level with bright natural light. A green laser level will be perfect for working outdoors. It’ll be easier to see and can work effectively even when covering wider areas.

Use a laser detector

A laser detector is really effective as you will be able to accurately lock in the measurements of the position of the laser. This is the best way to do your measurements if you need to cover a large surface area/distance, and it is a bright day. 

Make sure the laser light isn’t directly pointing at areas where there can be people

The laser light can be damaging to your eyes or blinding to drivers. Make sure that when you are setting up your laser level, you are not pointing the laser light where there can be people or cars driving by. This can be extremely dangerous. 

Avoid windy or rainy days

You won’t be able to get an accurate reading if it is either really windy or if it is raining. Make sure you use your laser level outdoors at a time where there’s good weather you can work with. 

These are great tips. They will help you make sure you get accurate measurements in the right and safest way possible when using your laser light outdoors. 

Using a Laser Level Indoors

Using a laser level indoors is a lot different than using it outdoors. There are certain things to consider when you are using this inside the house or a closed space. These are additional tips to know what you need to do when using a laser level indoors.

Use protective eyewear goggles

The laser light can be damaging to your eyes. And if it is used indoors, it is a lot brighter, thus, more damaging if it directly hits your eyes. Use protective eyewear goggles that shield your eyes from the laser light. 

Most laser levels come with these protective goggles, but you can easily buy them at your local hardware store or online. 

A woman wearing glasses as protection from laser levels

Keep away from kids or pets

This may seem like a fun toy to play with, but it is not a good idea to have your kids or pets around your powerful laser tool as they will be tempted to look at the light. This is extremely damaging to their eyes

Use chalk to mark your measurements

So not to damage any of the surfaces inside your house, it’s easiest to use colored or white chalk. Mark the measurements of your laser level before carrying on with your project.

This will also help you avoid accidentally looking into your laser level. You won’t lose your measurement, as you will have a permanent mark on your surface. Then, you will be able to turn the laser light off. 

These tips will help guarantee that you get the best results from your use of your laser level inside your home or inside a closed space. It is also extremely important to be safe when working with your laser level indoors.

Laser Level Maintenance Tips

You want to get the best results and the most accurate measurements from your laser level. In addition, you want it to last you a long time. Follow these effective laser level maintenance tips. 

  • Never shake your device: A laser level has specific components inside it that should never move if you want accurate measurements. And shaking your device will definitely jeopardize the accuracy of your laser level. Never shake your device.
  • Store your laser level in a cool and dry place: Being near or stored in a hot and moist area or space for a long period of time can damage the laser level and affect its accuracy. It’ll also shorten its life. 
  • Always dry it off if it gets wet: Even if a laser level is advertised as waterproof, it is always a good idea to dry it off immediately after it gets wet. This will prevent any water from entering and damaging the inside of the laser level. 
  • Remove batteries when not in use: Having the batteries inside your laser level when it is not in use is dangerous. The deteriorating battery can damage the inside of your device. Remove this every time you are not using your tool. 

These tips will guarantee that your device will last you years after you buy it. Follow these tips, and you will always have a working and accurate laser level to use for many years to come. These are the perfect tips to really know how to use a laser level.  

A man uses a laser level on a home interior wall

Green vs Red Laser Level

In recent years, we have seen laser level developers using a green light as opposed to a red laser. This is because a green laser light is a lot brighter and it is more visible than a red laser light in certain circumstances.

When it comes to choosing which one to use or buy for yourself, it all boils down to preference.

Factors to consider when choosing between a green vs red laser level:

  • Battery life: A green laser level uses up a lot more power than a red laser level as its light is a lot brighter. If you’ll need your laser level for long periods of time, it’s best to invest in a red laser level. 
  • Brightness: The green laser was created to be a lot brighter, and thus, more visible than a red laser in most circumstances. This is the better choice if you need a laser light that’s brighter for your job. 
  • Price: You’ll also need to consider the price. A green laser level is considered to be around 20% more expensive than a red laser level. 
  • Maintenance: Green laser levels require a lot more maintenance than a red laser level simply because it has a more complicated system. This will require more of a process to maintain its quality, than that of a red laser level. 

Before choosing to buy a red or a green laser level, first consider these factors, to understand which one will be most useful to you. It has to be a tool that you’ll get the most out of. Choose the color that will help you the most with the type of projects you need to do. 

Conclusion

Once you know how to use a laser level, the right maintenance for it, and these helpful tips, you can make the most out of one of the most useful tools you’ll find in your toolbox. Once you’ve grown accustomed to using your laser level, you wouldn’t ever feel comfortable doing any type of home improvement or construction without it.