What numbers to start with for speed and power

Hi, I’m new to the whole laser thing. I’ve already learned a lot from this forum! I’ve been messing around a little with trying to burn images/pictures and am having a hard time finding the right combination of power and speed. I’m currently burning onto white oak. Is there a better wood? Something softer? I know there are a lot of variables, but does anyone have any suggestions on rough numbers, please? So I can maybe have a starting point and fine tune it from there.



You need to provide much more information on what laser you have, and what you are trying to achieve. If we don’t know what you have, then we can not provide much help tailored to you.

As for the woods, hardwoods (white oak) take more power to burn then soft woods (Balsa, Basswood).

Thanks for the reply Tyler. Sorry for my ignorance. I’m brand new to this laser stuff. I have a Universal Engraver, 15w laser. I’m trying to burn my logo which is a black and white png file. I’m also wanting to burn photos. I have some scrap knotty alder that I’m going to practice on tonight. Hopefully it will work a little better than the white oak. Please let me know if you need any further info.

I have an Ortur Laser Master2 with a 15 watt module, so it should be fairly comparable to your settings.

Here is a piece I did on Red Alder. The lettering was 2600mm/min 60% power .1mm line interval one pass. Resulting in just over .5mm relief.

The picture of the leaf was 3000mm/min 45% power with .125mm line interval. I’m not very pleased with the image of the leaf, I would do more playing with the settings for this if I was going to make this for someone else, but it was more of a test for myself.

You can make an burn darker by slowing the speed down and lowering the power, or burn deeper by speeding up and increasing the power. Slowing down gives the wood more time to burn resulting in a deeper conversion to carbon, instead of ablating away and going up in smoke (the result of faster speeds with more power).

I do not have easy access to White Oak in this part of the country so I do not have any settings for that, but I would think it would take a little more power to get the same results. Red Alder is classified as a hardwood, but it is nowhere near as hard and dense as White Oak.

FYI - If you click the profile of a poster, you can see what they entered for the ‘Machine(s)’ they have entered when setting up their profile as you can see in the image below:

Thank you, I figured that out after I posted that one.

Never stop learning.

Thanks for the response Tyler! I’ll try those settings tonight! If I were to engrave a photo, what adjustments would I make to those numbers?

I would try slowing it down to increase the contrast. Also I may try decreasing the DPI slightly if just slowing the speed didn’t work. If that didn’t work I would try editing my photo to increase the contrast before bringing it into Lightburn.

That is what is so fun about lasers. There is (almost) always some other setting you can tweak.

I’ve been messing around with the laser and I’m getting closer. How do I get the clarity/definition in the lettering? What settings do I need to change? Attached are the image and the result.

It looks like you may have a loose belt on the X axis. There is not 2 peaks on the mountain in the image, but there is in your burn. I think that is why your letters appear to have poor definition.

For this kind of problem I will do a test with very moderate speed and equivalent power.
It’s not just the mountains that are double, everything in your picture has a “Ghost” engraving. Your focus may not be quite optimal either.

Hello Joe,

I had a little time on my hands and thought I would help out a fellow Lightburn user. I think the main issue to resolve first is the image you shared. The image is Very pixilated and you won’t get any acceptable results with this file. I cleaned and sharpened your file in Pixlr.com and then used my Ortur 15w laser to engrave onto some balsa wood. The result is okay, could be better but the source file is the issue.

Settings on the Ortur speed 1500 power 30% obviously the focus is critical.

Thanks Tyler, you were correct. The belt on the x axis was off of the gear a little. Here’s the result I got after that. Maybe not perfect yet, but much better, I feel! It’s also on white oak, (because the alder I brought home was too think to fit under the laser) so I’m pretty happy with it. Thanks for your help!

It helps to attach the result!

Oh, and I also enlarged it. I think the image I was trying to do initially was too small.

Hi Martin, thanks for helping me out! I’m gonna check out pixlr.com. One of my problems, as Tyler pointed out, was that my x-axis belt was off the gear and loose a little. I adjusted that and also enlarged the image. I think initially it was too small and couldn’t do the detail in Wegner? Attached is the result. I’m fairly happy with it. I also did the Broncos logo for practice and feel that turned out pretty well, also. I did these on white oak. The settings for the Broncos logo were 3800 speed, 15 power and DPI of 225 which gave me an interval of .113. Thanks again for your help!!

Just kidding! Wrong attachment for my logo! Too much crap on my desktop! Here is the correct one!

That looks good, Glad we could help.

Hi Tyler, this is probably a stupid question but I feel like no matter what I change the numbers to, it’s always dark. The Broncos logo I posted earlier was 3800 speed and 15% power. Do I need to save my numbers before I start the laser?



No need to save the numbers before cutting, whatever number you have set when you hit start will be used.

If you set a low percentage (~0.25%) and hit fire in the move window, do you get a dim spot or does it burn full strength?

It seems pretty strong. If I leave it in one spot it starts burning the wood.