Laser diode modules are small units made up of mechanical, electrical, and optical components and a laser. These tiny diode modules are ideal for industrial, life science, instrumentation, laser line generation, laser cladding, and machine vision applications that require low power consumption, small sizes, and a long lifecycle.

HighLight D-Series As with other types of lasers, diode modules come with varying wavelengths, beam shapes, and output. Laser diodes with green laser beams typically provide better contrast on wood and metal surfaces while red lasers are often used in darker settings due to their visibility (Source: diode modules from Coherent). For example, green diode modules are often used in line generation and machine visioning applications thanks to their sharp contrast and the human eye’s sensitivity to green light.

The Difference Between Laser Diodes and Conventional Lasers

Though they contain a laser, diode modules are different than traditional lasers in that:

  • They are practically microscopic.
  • They typically weigh less than a gram and measure less than 1 millimeter across.
  • They require minimal power.
  • They are low intensity.
  • They produce a wide-angle laser beam.

Common Uses for Laser Diode Modules

  • Line Generation – Diode modules are often used to generate straight visible lines which are used by builders and carpenters.
  • Laser Measurement – Included in laser measurement tools, diode modules use laser beams to calculate distances between the tool and a surface.
  • Machine Visioning – Lasers can be used to guide manufacturing equipment.
  • Laser Scanning – From grocery store checkouts to handheld barcode scanners, diode modules make sense of UPC and barcodes.
  • Robot Vision – Have you ever seen an industrial robot hard at work and wondered how it “sees”? Laser diode modules are often used to guide robotic equipment.
  • Laser Printing / Scanning – Diode modules are used by laser printers and scanners.
  • CD / DVD Players – Small diode modules are used in CD and DVD players to read (and/or write) CDs and DVDs

Mark Williams is an expert in laser technology and has been an engineer for a number of years. He has collaborated with laser manufacturing companies like Coherent to test new industrial laser welding. To learn more about laser welding or laser cladding, visit this website: