Green Laser Eye Protection In The Wild

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 8 months ago

We’ve all seen that Antifa/BLM has blinded the border patrol agents sent to protect federal property in Portland.  Andy Ngo has been directly attacked with a green laser, and he points out that the threat is expanding (via WiscoDave).

After #antifa were dispersed by police following the attack on the East Precinct, they tried to blind a woman at her home with lasers and attacked her.

This is remarkable video.  The communists have found an effective weapon short of using firearms.  So the question is necessarily posed, what can you do about this threat?  The answer isn’t easy or clear short of deadly force (and this in fact may be the best option, but it may be difficult to effect that end for reasons we’ll discuss below).

Most of this post will be the result of studying I did on laser safety for a very specific examination, and it has been a long time since that study, so some of it will be incomplete, and some may be inaccurate.  As readers stumble on better data, knowledge and analysis, feel free to post it here.  I make no claims as to the complete accuracy of everything in this post.  I offer it up as a starting point.  I can follow it up with more information, but I’ll need reader assistance to do that.

To begin with, you need to understand the concept of optical density (OD) calculations.  According the ANSI Z136.1-2007, a class IIIa laser is visible and limited to 1-5 mW.  Nothing more powerful can be sold in the U.S. without special licensing (if the communists in Portland are using lasers more powerful than 5 mW, then this poses a special and expanded problem, even worse than I am assuming).

I could post calculations of OD, but it’s best simply to watch this short video if you want to pursue it (for folks who have an aversion to math, here is an online application that will do these OD calculations for you).  Now listen carefully.  He credits the blink, or aversion, reflex in his calculations.  The blink reflex is 0.25 seconds.  The blink reflex is also credited in laser protection eyewear for green light lasers (532 nM).

The ANSI Z136.1 Standard bases the “blink reflex” MPE on an exposure on 0.25 second exposure. This yields an MPE of 2.5 mW/cm2. When this irradiance is spread over a “worst case” 7mm pupil opening (0.4 cm2), the total power entering the eye can be then computed as follows: Power = (2.5 mW/cm2) x (0.4 cm2) = 1.0 mW. This suggests that laser pointer type devices might be limited to an output of 1 mW (Class II).

In some darkly lit environments, and at some wavelengths, a 1 mW pointer power is perhaps an option, but in rooms with a high ambient light level and if operation is at the longer 670 nm wavelength, 1 mW is just marginal for visibility and, therefore, 3-5 mW is generally required for better visibility. Note that if the exposure is raised to a maximum of 5 mW (Class IIIA), then an eye filter with an optical density of 0.7 would be required for protection in the event of an intrabeam exposure of 0.25 seconds. This suggests that caution is needed when the pointer emits near the 5 mW power level!

When they speak of optical density, remember that lasers emit radiation, and just like radiation emitted from the nucleus of an atom (laser wavelengths are emitted from the electron shell), it is attenuated exponentially (or in this case, log base 10 will describe the effectiveness of eyewear).  You don’t stop it – you just attenuate it.

OD1+ = 10% gets through

OD2+ = 1% gets through

OD3+ = .1% gets through

OD4+ = ..01% gets through

This video shows you how poor the cheap eye protection purchased from EBay and Amazon might behave.

It’s up to you.  You can opt for the cheaper stuff being marketed to military and law enforcement, or you can purchase ANSI Z136.1 rated and tested eye protection marketed for industrial laser safety use.  Either way, remember that in all cases of which I’m aware, no eye protection can enable you to stare directly into a laser nonstop with no aversion response (or maybe a better way of saying it is that the OD calculations would show an extreme level of protection that no one sells to be able to look at a laser nonstop).  All eye protection design assumes the blink reflex of 0.25 seconds.

Also, it may be that wearing this eye protection isn’t conducive to good vision at night and in a threatening environment where you need all of your faculties and senses.  In the case Andy Ngo links above, the lady under threat has perhaps dozens of green light lasers pointed at her, little time to respond, and the communists are gleefully taking video of the suffering of the innocent.

The best bet in case of threat from visible lasers is to not be around those who would threaten you.  If you do happen to be in proximity of those threats, then remember that looking into an array of lasers in order to try to effect self defense isn’t advised, even if you are wearing eye protection.  Blink.  Be averse to this threat.  Get away from it.

This is a serious threat folks.  Being tactically careless or thoughtless in dealing with the threat isn’t recommended.

As time permits, I may update this brief post.

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  1. On August 9, 2020 at 9:22 pm, Danny said:

    So, Captain thanks for the info and prolly will add laser eyepro to the kit. That said, short of meeting the horde at the entry street to the hood with the NPT. Me thinks we will be sniping said horde from the hedges – shoot and move. Yet, food for thought, thanks again for the h/t

  2. On August 9, 2020 at 11:20 pm, Ron said:

    Just thoughts, no research yet.

    Attacking a person’s eyesight with a weapon from a distance is very much like throwing acid or bleach in someone’s face.

    Personally, I think I would respond with deadly force if someone attempts to blind me with ANY means.

    If all I can see is the laser through industrial strength protective goggles, I’d have to say I was trying to stop the attack.

  3. On August 9, 2020 at 11:25 pm, Ned said:

    Really great info on another threat by the bolshevik filth. Thanks Herschel.

    FWIW, here’s the glasses the FPS is now using for laser and ballistic protection.

  4. On August 10, 2020 at 3:47 am, Nosmo said:

    Use of lasers as offensive weaponry constitutes an escalation. I suspect we’re not done with the escalation process, on either side. I would expect to see counter-offense against laser use if the Left persists in maintaining their escalation or increases it.

    My suggestion would be that the Left immediately forego the measure because when our side counters it will be with total and complete disregard for whatever negative consequences the Left may suffer, and, in fact, the counter may be structured to maximize such consequences; we know how to do that and not only can I not conjure circumstances under which anyone on our side would care, I am confident a fair number would deliberately exercise reciprocity in such a manner as to maximize the Left’s consequences.

  5. On August 10, 2020 at 5:21 am, 41mag said:

    The commie Occupy folks will be “laying siege” to the White House from the 50-day mark to the election, so I’m assuming lasers will be extensively used there.

  6. On August 10, 2020 at 6:46 am, Mike O'Brien said:

    What about a cap with a hand mirror to reflect the laser back into the attacking mob?

  7. On August 10, 2020 at 7:00 am, Matt Bracken said:

    The rules of engagement need to change.

    Intentionally maiming or blinding LE or civilians using a laser should be made a felony immediately. Where are Republican congressmen and senators? What are they waiting for?

    Even short of intentional maiming, (which will be hard to prove considering that the perpetrators are dressed all in black at night while hiding in crowds), simple possession of a laser above a certain power threshold during a declared riot should be made a felony with a minimum ten-year prison sentence.

    And as far as I’m concerned, the ROE should allow LE counter-snipers to shoot criminals attempting to blind LE. Period. Nobody gets a free pass to blind somebody, any more than to stab or shoot or club them.

  8. On August 10, 2020 at 7:10 am, ragman said:

    But they DO get a free pass in many of the communist run cities. The Pubbies are busy doing what they usually do: nothing(with a few exceptions).

  9. On August 10, 2020 at 7:18 am, Jon said:

    I worked in the optical thin film industry for a little while and it is just a matter of how much do you want to pay because you can filter out any wavelength of light you want. It’s not exactly “easy” as the coating has to be designed(think multiple layers of different materials all optical quality and then applied in a vacuum chamber) I’ve seen some 25 plus layer coatings made that went into the field to be used by individuals. It’s just a matter of if you can see when the particular wavelength is filtered(look up fabry Perot filters which are loosly band pass filters for light)and if the substrate/coating can reflect/transmit away all the wavelengths you don’t want to go through.

  10. On August 10, 2020 at 7:42 am, GenEarly said:

    War is war. Lawfare is how the ProgreSSives Control Patriots currently. Being ProgreSSive requires more and more Escalation on their part. When their lawyers, political enablers, and Prog Polezi can be dealt with as the Insurgent Seditionists they are then TSHTF.
    The Proggies only terrorize democRat ruled areas because of this mutual support Network.
    Electing Marxist democRats ensures their coup continues into Our Areas eventually. Pre-pare continually, this could last for years.

  11. On August 10, 2020 at 8:18 am, Herschel Smith said:

    As an update to this post:

    “The deputy director of the Department of Homeland Security says federal officers in Portland suffered 113 eye injuries while guarding a courthouse from activists armed with powerful lasers.

    The usually green beams produce uncomfortable heat, unlike common small red pointers, Ken Cuccinelli said Tuesday at a Senate subcommittee hearing on the clashes in Oregon.

    “We’ve had a number of officers who have days-long blindness. So far they’ve all kind of come back, if you will,” Cuccinelli said. “But you also get what’s called flash blindness. Think of it as the old Kodak cameras where you get that blue spot and you can’t quite see your entire field of vision for a period.”

    [ … ]

    The Homeland Security leader, a lawyer who has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, said, “For those of you who are engineers like me, it’s a square function. So if you’re twice as far away, it’s a quarter of the energy.”


    He’s saying that lasers behave according to Gauss’s law, and being collimated, they don’t.

  12. On August 10, 2020 at 8:50 am, Nosmo said:

    Continuing on Mr. Bracken’s comment, first, severe and non-negotiable penalties need to be implemented for laser use, down to “possession of a laser is a WP (without parole or release from custody pending trial) 10-year felony sentence” at a mass activity or at action(s) involving a laser(s) directed at individuals.

    Second, the ROE for countering lasers needs to specify that collateral damage(s) is unavoidable and necessarily constitutes legitimate counter action against laser use. In a mass of people it should be expected that countering laser action(s) will unavoidably result in adacent personnel suffering wounds up to and including lethal wounds.

    The alternative to these steps dealing with individuals is the application of “area control” devices, e.g., fragmenting air burst munitions to deal with small groups.

  13. On August 10, 2020 at 8:59 am, Dirk Williams said:

    Good stuff. Their can be zero rules. Deadly force HAS been warranted on a daily basis, in Portland other cities…………. That the police you. Soooooo hate Hershel, haven’t smoked these pukes is a tribute to their professionalism.

    I’m honored to know many of these guys, have personally spoken with them in the past few weeks. Their down, yet keep on keeping on. ALL literally told us that it was Ted Wheeler, and Council whom are the their enemy.

    The solution is wayyyyyy beyond the ballot box!.

    Tic Toc!


  14. On August 10, 2020 at 9:31 am, blake said:

    Scum like the ones in the video show up on my lawn, they get one warning to leave.

    After that, there will be body bags.

    Those lasers require a fairly steady hand in order to do damage and a few rounds downrange is probably enough to make these criminals scatter like cockroaches.

  15. On August 10, 2020 at 9:33 am, Foot in the Forest said:

    Try to blind me with a laser, I will try to blow a hole thru you, any one else in your crowd who gets hit is just collateral damage. Play stupid games win stupid prizes. It is time to realize folks that the commies are serious and will do what ever it takes to win. Replying to them with overwhelming superior force is the only way.

  16. On August 10, 2020 at 9:52 am, Bad Attitude said:

    A few years ago, the green lasers powered by the18650 lithium batteries coming out of China had a measured power output of around 100 mW. I have a friend who has a laser power meter, and we measured the power output from several of those lasers, and that is what we measured.

    Also, those Chinese green lasers also emit a significant IR component.

  17. On August 10, 2020 at 10:31 am, omega-man said:

    Memory request: I remember that NASA put a mirror on the surface of the moon that had the property of reflecting laser light back to its source no matter the angle the laser hit the mirror…..can anyone remember the mirror’s name? would be a dandy addition to a police helmet.

  18. On August 10, 2020 at 10:35 am, omega-man said:

    “corner mirrors” or “retro-reflector arrays” or something like that

  19. On August 10, 2020 at 10:40 am, Chris said:

    In Texas, where I live, it is a felony to maim someone. Isn’t this exactly that. And in Texas the use of deadly force is an acceptable response to such an attack.

  20. On August 10, 2020 at 11:54 am, Bad_Brad said:

    Great info. This place is quickly becoming my morning favorite. Keep up the great work.

  21. On August 10, 2020 at 11:58 am, Matt said:

    Like Chris @ 10:40 I’m in Texas. I think deadly force would be legitimate here.

  22. On August 10, 2020 at 12:17 pm, Bad_Brad said:

    Deadly force would even be legal in California. Most Penal codes regarding deadly force are fairly similar state to state. Most read like this:

    “California law allows use of force in self-defense or defense of others when you reasonably believe that you or they are in imminent danger of physical harm, and that force is necessary to stop the danger. However, you may only use the degree of force reasonably necessary under the circumstances.”

    What force would I need to use to stop a laser attack. They are a mob after all.

  23. On August 10, 2020 at 12:48 pm, durabo said:

    A blinding agent is just like a gun, edged weapon, blunt force weapon, ERc or chemical agent, all of which will incapacitate an LEO. Scene commanders should post designated riflemen with clear ROE to neutralize and man or woman trainig a laser of LEOs. Let a few tangos drop to the pavement, and their comrades may get the message. Do it “pour encourager les autres.”

  24. On August 10, 2020 at 3:23 pm, Randolph Scott said:

    ^^^ Right answer.^^^
    Kill them all, God will sort them out. We all know what makes a good Commie, a dead Commie.

    All of this bulls*it should have been stopped within the first week.

  25. On August 10, 2020 at 7:12 pm, Henry said:

    Cops need to announce loudly that any use of lasers (intent to inflict blindness, which is legally severe bodily injury) will be subject to immediate lethal force in return, and that people remaining in the vicinity of other people who are handicapping police marksmen by employing lasers are hereby warned that they are placing their own lives in jeopardy for obvious reasons.

  26. On August 10, 2020 at 7:14 pm, Henry said:

    “That the police you. Soooooo hate Hershel, haven’t smoked these pukes is a tribute to their professionalism.”

    No, it’s a tribute to the commies in their city halls who are hobbling them.

  27. On August 10, 2020 at 7:39 pm, Ben Bow said:

    blinding lasers are outlawed for use in international warfare

    Shoot the bastards

  28. On August 10, 2020 at 8:32 pm, Danny said:

    I humbly submit most are behind the curve on this. I am not a fan of LEOs more inclined towards Constitooshunl Sherfs but mine is a LEO – full stop. That said, its not about the LEOs, its about you and your WestCiv tradAm worldview. If you wait until they show up, in force, 200-300 hundred strong in your vinyl siding 2×4 subdivision – you have already lost unless as many neighbors spill into the streets to stop them. Yeh, Karen and Ken that dutifully wear their WuFlu muzzles riding in their 2019 Lexus? Puhleez. I am not saying it cant be done – just doubtful depending on your AO and what YOU have done to build the NPT. Dont wait on the Vet down the street, the Almighty living God calls you to protect your fan and the innocent around you. Get off your ass, push away from the computer keyboard and DO something. I saw a vid today from northern CO where the citizens and the horsemounted sherfs frog marched the hooligans out of town right down main st – I got a chubby watching it.

    No, it is time to take the fight to them. I am not saying burn them alive in their homes but yes, lets follow them home from the rallys. Lets use the same 4GW attacks they are using on us. If your 24/7 posture is not now CW2, you are woefully behind the curve. Come on! Lets win! Yahweh is on our side!

  29. On August 11, 2020 at 6:21 pm, Randall said:

    Here in flyover country there are people that will sit for hours waiting to shoot an animal.
    Not with some net boy laser pointer either. A high powered rifle that have been practicing for years.

  30. On August 11, 2020 at 7:58 pm, Danny said:

    Riffing off the NPT theme, you will not defeat the horde standing in front of your domicile. Members of a NPT can operate in unison, one or two from different angles with high lumen spots to blind (especially if the spots have a strobe function) while other members of the team engage with weapons (as an obvious last resort) or with our own lasers. But blind with spots and lasers briefly and then move. Blind again from a different vantage point and move again, from the flank, the rear, etc. The goal is to spook the mob and sow fear and uncertainty. Just throwing it out there, how about blanks fired, again to sow uncertainty and hopefully a stampede of the mob. We should all have a considerable advantage regarding terrain, cover, lanes of ingress/egress in our own neighborhoods. I am not not could play a bona fide operator on TV. But I do have a very thorough knowledge of my AO in daylight or dark, can maneuver undetected, understand camo have NV and thermal to assist. Certainly YMMV and simply posit the above as a thought experiment hopefully with refinement from folks with more practical experience in hostile situations.

  31. On August 11, 2020 at 8:04 pm, Danny said:

    Oh, and pop up flares could be used as well. Much easier to launch w/o ones position being detected. Can we not also throw frozen water bottles, fireworks, wrist rocket projectiles arrows with small game tips instead of broadheads from the cover or darkness to sow fear and confusion? PCP air rifles might be a tactic when plunking them off the ANTIFA shields or helmets or vehicles (some of the recent reports of the incursions have mention support vehicles for the mob). Tire bang strips to disable the mob support vehicles? Paint balls on the windshields to limit visibility? All part of sowing doubt that your neighbor is the place to cause mayhem?

  32. On August 12, 2020 at 5:05 pm, ensitue said:

    $200 for a pair of laser safe fashion eye wear that doe not block IR may be the bees knees for some Operator operating operationally but I’ll stick to the $50 version

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You are currently reading "Green Laser Eye Protection In The Wild", entry #25116 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Weapons and Tactics and was published August 9th, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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