So you bought Modulaser, you love it, and now your materialism is triggered enough to make you want to buy a laser! But where to start?
Information about lasers for beginners is scarce on the internet, and finding out what specifications are important is hard. We’ll try to help you with this guide.
Important!!! Lasers can be extremely dangerous! Never look directly to the laser when it’s on. Always be careful and cautious when operating a laser. Make sure people can’t look into a laser beam.
Also important; we do not have any kind of deal with laser shops or manufacturers. Our advice is based on our own experience, not on marketing.
If you just want something easy, plug & play, we can recommend the LaserCube. It works out-of-the-box with Modulaser, just plug the USB cable into your computer, start Modulaser and select LaserDock and you’re done. It has a battery so if you have a laptop you can even use it outside without power. It’s a perfect laser for house parties and experimenting, but not for bigger parties since it doesn’t have good mounting options.
If you want more freedom, you probably want to get a laser that has an ILDA input. We have good experiences with Laserworld lasers. A relatively cheap, quiet and small one with analog modulation is the Laserworld DS-1000RGB. Otherwise try to find a bargain that has ILDA and analog modulation in your area.
To send points from your computer to your laser, it needs a DAC (Digital Analog Converter). Some lasers have this already built in, like the LaserCube. The ones who don’t almost always have an ILDA input (check this to be sure!). In that case, you need to buy a DAC separately for which you need an ILDA cable to go from laser to DAC, and then a USB cable, to go from the DAC to your computer.
Modulaser currently supports the five most popular DACs:
If you’re just hobbying and just want something cheap, we recommend the Helios. Do note that you need to buy an ILDA cable separately!
Smoke machines make the laser beams visible. Without it, you’ll only see the laser projection on the wall you’ve pointed it at. This can be enough fun already, but to really get the wow effect we recommend a smoke machine. Or a haze machine, to be accurate. Hazers create a fine and subtle haze that "floats" in the room for a long time. You should buy a water-based hazer since these don’t leave any kind of residue on surfaces in the room. I have one in my living room and can confirm it doesn’t leave any kind of nasty stuff on my things.
You also need to buy smoke fluid, but note that a can of smoke fluid lasts very very long (I’m half-way on my first one, bought a year ago).
I can recommend the Stairville Hz-200.
We hope you have enough information to make a well-informed decision now. There is a lot more to lasers then what we’ve told you here, but this is a good point to start.
Remember to buy a DAC and an ILDA cable if you don’t go for the LaserCube!