February 24, 2022

Rotary Laser Levels and Variations

A rotating laser level is a tool that rapidly spins a light beam to generate a 360-degree horizontal or vertical plane. They can be utilized domestically for fit-out projects or externally for groundworks – i.e., excavating down or building up – with the help of a laser receiver and crew.

Indoors, rotary laser levels send a 360-degree horizontal or vertical beam around a space. At the same time, they are employed with a laser detector and grade rod for excavation. Both are digging down and building up. You can pick from a range of rotational laser levels. Moreover, a rotating laser level is manually moved with an attached bubble level.

Rotary laser levels
Rotary Laser Levels And Variations 2

Rotation of a Rotary Laser Level

Rotary Laser Levels emit a 360-degree beam of light, allowing the user to create a horizontal or vertical plane. This light beam is a single dot of light that can rotate between 100 and 1,100 RPM, creating the appearance of a 360-degree chalk line.

A diode, which in this case is merely a semiconductor that produces light when current passes through it, produces the beam of light. On our CD players, PCs, and television remote controls, we see diodes all the time.

Method of Rotary Laser Leveling

There are three methods for leveling rotary laser levels.

  • The first is Manual Leveling, which entails adjusting the laser to bubble vials integrated into the laser by you, the operator. The level vial’s quality and the operator’s eye will determine accuracy. Although accuracy can be as low as 1/8th inch per 30 feet and setup takes longer owing to manual leveling, it is the most affordable laser level available.
  • The second approach for leveling a rotary laser is self-leveling, which involves using a pendulum and magnets to level the laser. Precision is typically 1/8th inch every 100 feet, superior to manual.
  • Electronic self-leveling, also known as Automatic Self-Leveling, is a third-level method. It uses a series of miniature servo-motors to level itself to the utmost accuracy of 1/16th inch per 100 feet.

Is it Red or Green (Laser Level Wavelength)?

The wavelength of the laser dictates the color, or the laser diode, which is measured in nanometers (nm). It is one-billionth of a meter due to its extremely short length. The visible color spectrum for the human eye ranges from 380 nm (purple) to 750 nm (yellow) (red). The laser is usually red (635 nm) or green (532 nm) in color towards the center of the visible spectrum. Therefore it is the most visible to the human eye.

The Level of Difficulty (Laser Level Classification)

The laser light power level, measured in milliwatts (MW), 0.001 determines the laser’s intensity. Lasers in Class I and II range in power from less than 0.4 mW to 1 mW. Laser levels are typically Class IIIA, ranging from 1 MW to 5 MW. The laser is safe if it catches your eye at these levels, but you should not look at it. The closer your laser comes to 5 MW, the brighter it is, but it also costs more. Class IIIB lasers, which range from 5 MW to 500 MW, require controls and Class IV lasers. It has high-power lasers exceeding 500 MW which is dangerous to look at in any condition for leveling equipment.

Accuracy of Rotary Laser Levels

A rotary laser level’s accuracy varies between +/- 1/16th and +/- 1/8th of an inch every 100 to 50 feet. Although the accuracy of a laser level is higher than that of a spirit level (or a bubble level), a spirit level cannot provide the distance that a laser level can.

Since 1967, Quinn Equipment has provided Rotary Laser Levels. If you’re seeking the best laser level, give us a call at 319-320-4982 or send us an email at [email protected]. Quinn Equipment is delighted to address any rotary level queries you may have. We also have a selection of laser levels for you to choose from, including the grade laser level and the spectra laser level.



Click to call Pat or Daly Quinn


Since 1967

Quinn Equipment, Inc. was founded in 1967 by Charles and Marjorie Quinn to represent manufacturers in the distribution of construction related products.
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Quinn Equipment
400 35th St.
Marion, IA 52302

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