How does a Laser Tape Measure work? 

 November 3, 2022

Laser tape measures have been on the market for a number of years now and are becoming increasingly common and easy to purchase online or at DIY stores at very affordable prices.

What exactly is a laser tape measure?

A laser tape measure performs the same function as a standard tape measure, but makes use of a laser in order to measure distances rather than the traditional steel or fibre. Laser tape measures make use of the same tech that can also be found in reflector-less total stations, emitting a beam of light and then measuring the time taken for that light to be reflected back from the surface. This allows the laser tape measure to accurately determine the distance.

Do they work?

Laser tape measures not only work, they work with a tremendous degree of accuracy and can be extremely useful when measuring longer lengths or remote features that would be difficult to cover with a traditional tape measure, such as when measuring a room’s internal dimensions.

Advantages of a laser tape measure

One of the primary advantages of laser tape measures over traditional tape measures is the ability to measure distances to inaccessible or remote objects. However another important advantage of laser tape measures is being able to use them to measure the distance to an object that the user would rather not touch, such as overhead power lines.

The laser light is able to measure directly between the tape measure and the reflected surface, which ensures the shortest measurement and removing any potential errors from those measurements.

The distance a laser tape measure can reach

Basic laser tape measures can usually measure around 40 metres, but this distance can be extended to as much as nearly 300 metres with more powerful and expensive devices. The surface that is to be measured will also play a part in this figure.

A particular amount of laser light to be reflected is required by the laser tape measure in order to achieve an accurate measurement. Basic tape measures can struggle to measure with particular surfaces but this would not be the case for longer range laser tape measures. Dark surfaces and ones that are unable to reflect the laser light frequency can also cause problems.

Laser tape measures are usually very simple to use. Just press a button and the device will record the measurement and display the result on a screen. The majority of laser tape measures can measure from the back of the device, with the laser dot visible on the surface of the object that is being measured and the total distance being shown on the screen.

User skill is important when using a laser tape measure and will have a major effect on the accuracy of the recorded measurements. Basic measurements are relatively simple and straightforward though additional care will be required to ensure maximum accuracy when using the measurements for the calculation of areas or volumes.

Laser tape measures are in increasingly common usage by professionals and amateurs alike. Check out a range of options at RS.

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