Beginner - settings for LM2 15W

I saw someplace a suggestion to not run an LM2 15W at 100% power, because it would burn out.

Is that correct?

I know that power level will depend on many factors, but what is the best maximum power level to use if one wishes to ensure a long life?

Just getting started using the LM2. Got it around Christmas, but have too many other project on the go. Main push is to finish the cart I am building - the base is done, but needs a hood so that the laser can work without requiring everyone to be wearing safety glasses. I drag it out once in a while to burn something small and lock myself in the garage until done.

They all burn out eventually but to help to prolong the life of it, try not to use it
over 90%, if for some reason you do need more burn just drop the speed a bit to make up.
I’m sure different people will have their own thoughts on how they try to prolong the life of theirs…(this how i try to prolong mine) :slightly_smiling_face:

The lower power you can get away with and get a great picture the better.

Chris - thanks for the advice!

They all burn out eventually? That is interesting. Given the price, I am not surprised, these are hardly heavy duty industrial units. Is there a general consensus on the expected lifetime of a diode laser?

Yep, and the “general consensus” depends on where you read. Our members here have been known to be vocal, so you should get some interesting feedback on this question. :wink:

Even the “heavy duty industrial units”. They all burn out eventually. This 15w Blue diode head currently retails for just under $2500.00 USD. “The newest addition to our family of industrial cutting and engraving laser heads… - …an ideal choice for high-volume industrial applications and demanding individual users alike.”

They say, “Longer Lifetime – Blue laser diodes have longer lifetimes because they don’t suffer from random failure and age more slowly at higher temperatures. The typical lifetime of the laser’s blue laser diodes is equal to 20,000 hours.”

Ortur ‘pump’ a ~5W diode to give you 15W. They spew some marketing nonsense about ‘drain vs optical power’, which means they don’t want to tell you the real diode rating. Nobody in the electronics industry rates a diode on overall power draw, except Chinese/Russian marketing companies looking to pull the wool over the eyes of the naive.

Voltage pumping significantly degrades the lifetime of the diode.

The most powerful diode in existence is from Nichia in Japan at ~7.5W true power. Run within power specs they last upwards of 100,000 hours. A Nichia NUBM44 is around US$100 for the diode itself in a holder with lens.

https://www.amazon.com/Nichia-NUBM44-450nm-Laser-Module/dp/B07P8L792J

Barnett Unlimited is a reputable US vendor of all things laser diode related.

Chinese/Russian diodes, even run in spec, last significantly less and I have seen pumped diodes last as little as 20-100 hours.

TANSTAAFL (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch - in other words, you push something outside its design spec and it will not last).

Love the Heinlien reference Bonjour, he is my favourite author in the genre. :slight_smile:

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Pretty much the same in life, the better you take care of something the longer it lasts. :slightly_smiling_face:
I guess mine will be quitting soon… :thinking:

Is there a general consensus as to power level? Or a pattern?

What does everyone run their laser at?