Dot Laser Level Product Applications
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David Statza / Johnson Level & Tool
Today, the three most common types of laser levels are Rotary Laser Levels, Line Laser Levels (or Line Generators) and Dot Laser Levels (or Plumb or Multi-Point Laser Levels). This article focuses on Dot Laser Levels, indoor and outdoor leveling applications on the construction job site or in the home and what laser level accessories are need to maximize your laser's features.
An easy example to understand how a Dot Laser Level can be used is to imagine you want to install a chair rail around a room. The hard part about this job is making sure the chair rail is level and the same height from the floor on all four sides of the room. To do this job right, you will need to make several measurements and marks on the walls of both height and level with a tape measure and traditional bubble level (or spirit level).
With a three or five Dot Laser Level, you can place the Dot Laser Level in the center of room on a Tripod. When you turn on the Dot Laser Level, a beam of light comes out the front of the laser. You can then adjust the tripod to get the exact height you need (for chair rails this is typically 1/3 up the wall, or 32"-36" for an 8' ceiling). With the laser beam of light on you can rotate the laser housing on the tripod to the various points on the wall knowing that you can now effortless install your chair rail around the room with confidence it is perfect.
Other interior application example where a Dot Laser Level may be useful would be installing ceiling lights. Let's say you want to install the lights in five rows starting 3 feet from the wall. Each row of lights will include 10 lights and the rows will be five feet apart. Instead of going up on a ladder and trying to mark all the measurements on the ceiling, which may require two people, all the measurements and markings can be made on the floor. Then using a two, three or five Dot Laser, simply place the down laser beam on the mark on the floor. A perfectly plumb laser beam coming out the top of the Dot Laser will transfer the point on the floor to a point on the ceiling. You now know where to install your lights
As you stand in your house, look around. Anywhere you find surfaces that need to be level; you could use a Dot Laser Level to help you with the job. Of course, in many project applications, a traditional level will work, but what you may find is often, using a Dot Laser Level will turn a two-person job into one-person job and just make the job go a lot faster. And although Johnson bubble levels (or spirit levels) are extremely accurate, their accuracy depends on the person holding the level. With most Dot Laser Levels, the leveling is done automatically by the laser level, so you are guaranteed accuracy as long as your Dot Laser Level is calibrated correctly.
The most common accessories used with Dot Laser Levels indoors are tripods (for elevation), an Interior Laser Pole (to hold the laser on a perimeter such as installation of a chair rail) and a target (which has reflective tape to help you see the laser more easily). Outdoors, common accessories are tripods.
Applications for Dot Laser Levels are not limited to indoor projects; Dot Laser Levels are also useful outdoors. The biggest difference between working outside versus inside with a laser level is that outside, in sunlight; it is more difficult to see the laser beam of light. In some instances where a single dot is directed at an object, the dot may be visible, but not the path to the dot. When you are working outside with a laser level, you will need to use a laser level Target. The laser level Target will help detect the laser by reflecting the laser dot.
Let's take a simple outdoor application for a Dot Laser Level. Instead of a chair rail around a room, you are putting in deck in your backyard. The Dot Laser Level can be used to the side of the area for the deck and set up on a tripod to establish the height of the deck's floor. Once completed, the tripod can be elevated to build a level wall or rail around the deck.
Other outdoor applications for five Dot Laser Levels can be laying out forms that need to be level and at 90° to one another. Using the laser dot that comes out the front of the laser will give you a level reference point to set the form perfectly level. The dots that come out the side of the laser are set precisely at 90° to the front laser dot. By rotating the laser shell on the tripod, 90° angles can be laid out over the entire job site. Again, the key to using a Dot Laser Level is it takes only one person to operate and the job will get done faster.
When working outside with a Dot
Laser Level, the only accessories you may need is a tripod.