Safety of laser products - Part 3: Guidance for laser displays and shows

IEC TR 60825-3:2022 gives guidance on the planning and design, set-up and conduct of laser displays and shows that make use of high power lasers emitting output between 380 nm and 780 nm.
This document is a code of practice for the design, installation, operation and evaluation of the safety of laser light shows and displays, and the equipment employed in their production. This document is also intended for persons who modify laser display installations or equipment.
The laser power needed to produce visually effective theatrical or artistic displays in large spaces such as theatres, arenas, or architectural sites is great enough to pose a severe accidental exposure hazard, even when personal exposure is very brief. For this reason, IEC TR 60825-14 states that only laser products that are Class 1, Class 2 or visible-beam Class 3R should be used for demonstration, display or entertainment purposes in unsupervised areas. Only under carefully controlled conditions and under the control of a trained experienced operator can laser products of higher classes be used for visual entertainment.
This document expands upon the principles considered in IEC TR 60825-14, providing specific technical guidance appropriate for the safe use of laser products used for the purposes of visual entertainment.

General Information

Status
Published
Publication Date
12-Jul-2022
Current Stage
PPUB - Publication issued
Completion Date
13-Jul-2022
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IEC TR 60825-3
Edition 3.0 2022-07
TECHNICAL
REPORT
colour
inside
Safety of laser products –
Part 3: Guidance for laser displays and shows
IEC TR 60825-3:2022-07(en)
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
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---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
IEC TR 60825-3
Edition 3.0 2022-07
TECHNICAL
REPORT
colour
inside
Safety of laser products –
Part 3: Guidance for laser displays and shows
INTERNATIONAL
ELECTROTECHNICAL
COMMISSION
ICS 31.260 ISBN 978-2-8322-3925-4

Warning! Make sure that you obtained this publication from an authorized distributor.

® Registered trademark of the International Electrotechnical Commission
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
– 2 – IEC TR 60825-3:2022 © IEC 2022
CONTENTS

FOREWORD ........................................................................................................................... 4

INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................... 6

1 Scope .............................................................................................................................. 7

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................... 8

3 Terms and definitions ...................................................................................................... 8

4 Exposure hazards and biological effects ........................................................................ 15

4.1 Laser projector classification and hazards............................................................. 15

4.2 Biological effects on the eye ................................................................................. 15

4.3 Biological effects on skin ...................................................................................... 16

5 Zone limits and maximum permissible exposures (MPE) for laser effects ....................... 16

5.1 Compliance with maximum permissible exposure (MPE) ....................................... 16

5.2 Spectator zone MPE ............................................................................................. 17

5.3 Performer zone (controlled location) MPE ............................................................. 17

5.4 At-risk ancillary personnel MPE ............................................................................ 17

6 Safety criteria for equipment and installations ................................................................ 18

7 Responsibilities of designers, installers, operators and performers ................................ 22

7.1 Training ................................................................................................................ 22

7.2 Planning by designers, installers and operators .................................................... 22

7.3 Set-up and alignment ............................................................................................ 24

7.4 Operation .............................................................................................................. 25

7.5 Display safety record (DSR) .................................................................................. 26

7.6 Contingency planning............................................................................................ 27

7.6.1 General ......................................................................................................... 27

7.6.2 Dealing with an actual eye injury ................................................................... 27

7.6.3 Dealing with an actual skin injury ................................................................... 27

7.6.4 Dealing with a suspected eye injury ............................................................... 27

7.7 Incident reporting and accident investigation ......................................................... 27

8 Laser display risk management ..................................................................................... 28

8.1 Laser effect exposure risk ..................................................................................... 28

8.2 Laser display risk factors and controls .................................................................. 28

9 Exposure assessment .................................................................................................... 30

9.1 Recommendation .................................................................................................. 30

9.2 Guidance .............................................................................................................. 30

9.3 Difficulties ............................................................................................................. 30

9.4 Evaluation considerations ..................................................................................... 32

9.5 Measurement considerations ................................................................................ 32

9.6 Scan-fail safeguard ............................................................................................... 33

10 Special considerations ................................................................................................... 35

10.1 Holographic displays ............................................................................................. 35

10.2 Ultraviolet and blue-light laser beams ................................................................... 36

Bibliography .......................................................................................................................... 37

Figure 1 – Human eye ........................................................................................................... 16

Figure 2 – Audience/spectator separation auditorium scenario with operator in control ......... 19

Figure 3 – Audience/spectator separation nightclub scenario with operator in control ........... 20

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IEC TR 60825-3:2022 © IEC 2022 – 3 –

Figure 4 – Audience/spectator separation near a balcony with operator in control ................. 21

Figure 5 – Audience/spectator separation from unattended beams........................................ 22

Figure 6 – Laser hazard warning signage .............................................................................. 29

Figure 7 – Effective pulse duration ........................................................................................ 31

Figure 8 – Apparent pulse train at the measurement device highlighting the differences

between measurement results for average power as measured by a standard power

meter and peak power as measured by a specialized meter .................................................. 31

Figure 9 – Time for a scan-fail safeguard to be effective after having been triggered ............ 34

Table 1 – Summary of MPE selection criteria ........................................................................ 18

Table 2 – Laser effect category ............................................................................................. 28

Table 3 – Ocular MPE and equivalent power through a 7 mm diameter aperture ................... 35

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– 4 – IEC TR 60825-3:2022 © IEC 2022
INTERNATIONAL ELECTROTECHNICAL COMMISSION
____________
SAFETY OF LASER PRODUCTS –
Part 3: Guidance for laser displays and shows
FOREWORD

1) The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is a worldwide organization for standardization comprising

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8) Attention is drawn to the Normative references cited in this publication. Use of the referenced publications is

indispensable for the correct application of this publication.

9) Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this IEC Publication may be the subject of patent

rights. IEC shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

IEC TR 60825-3 has been prepared by IEC technical committee 76: Optical radiation safety and

laser equipment. It is a Technical Report.

This third edition cancels and replaces the second edition published in 2008. This edition

constitutes a technical revision.

This edition includes the following significant technical changes with respect to the previous

edition:

a) updates and provides additional terms and definitions relating to laser displays and shows;

b) adds information on exposure hazards and biological effects;

c) updates and provides additional safety criteria from a technical perspective of equipment

and installations;

d) updates and provides additional safety management guidance for designers, installers,

operators and performers;

e) adds guidance on identifying and managing laser display risk, including laser effect

exposure risk categories to aid management;
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IEC TR 60825-3:2022 © IEC 2022 – 5 –
f) adds guidance on the management of incidents and accidents;
g) adds guidance on exposure assessment, highlighting evaluation and measurement
difficulties, and providing guidance on undertaking measurements.
The text of this Technical Report is based on the following documents:
Draft Report on voting
76/662/DTR 76/692/RVDTR

Full information on the voting for its approval can be found in the report on voting indicated in

the above table.
The language used for the development of this Technical Report is English.

A list of all parts in the IEC 60825 series, published under the general title Safety of laser

products, can be found on the IEC website.

This document was drafted in accordance with ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2, and developed in

accordance with ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1 and ISO/IEC Directives, IEC Supplement, available

at www.iec.ch/members_experts/refdocs. The main document types developed by IEC are

described in greater detail at www.iec.ch/standardsdev/publications.

The committee has decided that the contents of this document will remain unchanged until the

stability date indicated on the IEC website under webstore.iec.ch in the data related to the

specific document. At this date, the document will be
• reconfirmed,
• withdrawn,
• replaced by a revised edition, or
• amended.

IMPORTANT – The 'colour inside' logo on the cover page of this publication indicates

that it contains colours which are considered to be useful for the correct understanding

of its contents. Users should therefore print this document using a colour printer.

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– 6 – IEC TR 60825-3:2022 © IEC 2022
INTRODUCTION

Laser products are used to create visual lighting effects for the purposes of entertainment.

IEC 60825-1 considers the hazard classification and engineering requirements of laser products,

while IEC TR 60825-14 provides general user guidance for the safe use of laser products.

The laser power needed to produce visually effective theatrical or artistic displays in large

spaces such as theatres, arenas, or architectural sites is great enough to pose a severe

accidental exposure hazard, even when personal exposure is very brief. For this reason,

IEC TR 60825-14 states that only laser products that are Class 1, Class 2 or visible-beam

Class 3R should be used for demonstration, display or entertainment purposes in unsupervised

areas. Only under carefully controlled conditions and under the control of a trained experienced

operator can laser products of higher classes be used for visual entertainment.

This document expands upon the principles considered in IEC TR 60825-14, providing specific

technical guidance appropriate for the safe use of laser products used for the purposes of visual

entertainment.
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IEC TR 60825-3:2022 © IEC 2022 – 7 –
SAFETY OF LASER PRODUCTS –
Part 3: Guidance for laser displays and shows
1 Scope

This part of IEC 60825, which is a Technical Report, gives guidance on the planning and design,

set-up and conduct of laser displays and shows that make use of high power lasers emitting

output between 380 nm and 780 nm.

This document does not include the display or demonstration of scientific, medical or industrial

laser products that can be used in an exhibition environment for example. However, several of

the principles in this document could be relevant. This document provides recommendations for

safety for those laser displays or demonstrations that are shows, artistic displays, advertising

or light sculptures, or museum pieces used to demonstrate optical principles, etc.

Laser products available for use in a domestic environment or for use by people who cannot be

expected to have received a suitable level of training are typically limited to Class 1, Class 2 or

visible-beam Class 3R. Therefore, the use of such equipment is outside the scope of this

document.

Image projectors that were assigned a Risk Group in accordance with IEC 62471-5 [1] or laser

illuminated luminaires employing lamps meeting the criteria of 4.4 of IEC 60825-1:2014, are not

within the scope of this document.

This document contains safety criteria for the protection of the public or persons in the vicinity

of laser displays in the course of their employment.
This document is intended to be used by those who:

– design, manufacture, assemble, install or operate laser products that are Class 4, Class 3B,

or non-visible beam Class 3R for display and entertainment purposes;

– operate arenas, theatres, music festivals, TV studios, planetaria, discotheques or other

places where such laser products are installed and operated; or

– are responsible for reviewing the safety of such equipment, installations or displays.

This document is a code of practice for the design, installation, operation and evaluation of the

safety of laser light shows and displays, and the equipment employed in their production. This

document is also intended for persons who modify laser display installations or equipment.

In some countries, there are specific requirements, such as government permissions or

notifications of shows, or prohibitions, such as against laser scanning of spectators.

___________
Numbers in square brackets refer to the Bibliography.
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– 8 – IEC TR 60825-3:2022 © IEC 2022
2 Normative references

The following documents are referred to in the text in such a way that some or all of their content

constitutes requirements of this document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies.

For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any

amendments) applies.

lEC 60825-1, Safety of laser products – Part 1: Equipment classification and requirements

3 Terms and definitions

For the purposes of this document, the terms and definitions given in IEC 60825-1 and the

following apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following

addresses:
• ISO Online browsing platform: available at https://www.iso.org/obp
• IEC Electropedia: available at http://www.electropedia.org/
3.1
aversion response

reflex avoidance action (closing the eyes and turning away) when a person is suddenly exposed

to a bright light source

Note 1 to entry: Through this action the duration of an accidental exposure to a visible beam is normally considered

to be 0,25 s. However, alcohol or narcotic substances can have a detrimental effect on the aversion response, and

even without such influences spectators can be inclined to override this response to continue viewing the

performance.
3.2
Amsler grid

visual tool used to detect vision problems resulting from damage to the macula, the part of the

eye used to detect central vision detail
3.3
ancillary personnel

backstage workers, ushers, security guards, technicians, food and beverage suppliers, etc.,

who are working at the venue or facility at which a laser display or show is being set up or

presented, but who are not directly involved with the laser display or show

Note 1 to entry: Ancillary personnel can have access to areas from which spectators are excluded.

3.4
aperture

opening in the protective housing of a laser product through which laser radiation is emitted,

thereby allowing human access to such radiation

Note 1 to entry: The aperture is of limited size so that only the intended laser effect can emit from laser projector.

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IEC TR 60825-3:2022 © IEC 2022 – 9 –
3.5
audience illumination

laser lighting effect that is intentionally accessible, allowing direct illumination of the area

occupied by spectators
Note 1 to entry: Common techniques used to produce this type of effect include:

– direct scanning of the laser beam, using electromechanical devices, such as galvanometers, to deflect the beam

position, typically, in a dynamic fashion;
– diffraction effect (3.12) using diffractive optic elements;

– high inertia scanning effects, such as rotating polygon mirror and mirror ball beam deflection;

– solid-state beam deflection techniques, using devices such as acousto-optic modulators and

microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

Note 2 to entry: The varying characteristics associated with each different effect type influence the degree of hazard

present and how it can be managed. Factors include differing maximum peak irradiance, exposure duration potential,

time available for effective scan-fail detection and mitigation.
3.6
barrier

device to separate spectators from zones where potentially hazardous laser radiation exists

Note 1 to entry: It is important that barriers are robust and not capable of being readily displaced or traversed by

spectators.
Note 2 to entry: A barrier can be a wall, a fence, stage front, etc.

Note 3 to entry: Less substantial barriers such as stanchions or ropes can be considered to be adequate barriers if

the entire protected area is visible to and monitored by the laser operator or other safety and security personnel

during the laser display.
3.7
bounce mirror
mirror located remotely from the laser projector used to target a static beam

Note 1 to entry: Bounce mirrors are often used in multiples to create the appearance of multiple networks of beams.

3.8
control signal

means by which the laser projector is controlled by the laser operator or a pre-programmed

control system

Note 1 to entry: The resilience of the control signal to interference from other of sources within the environment is

important. For this reason, the use of wireless control signals is discouraged.
3.9
controlled location

area inaccessible except to authorized, trained persons that have received sufficient training or

instruction about laser safety

Note 1 to entry: Controlled locations typically include the performer zone, but can also encompass restricted areas

where laser beams are accessible. They also include restricted areas in which ancillary personnel can be present or

to which ancillary personnel have access.
3.10
designer

person who determines the visual effects to be produced, the planning of the projections, and

the locations of the equipment to be used

Note 1 to entry: The designer can, in addition, act as installer or operator and be considered to be a manufacturer

(3.27) or supplier.
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– 10 – IEC TR 60825-3:2022 © IEC 2022
3.11
display safety record
DSR

written record of safety information relevant to a specific laser display or show

3.12
diffraction effect

type of laser effect produced by the interaction of a laser beam with a diffractive optical element

(DOE) or diffraction grating

Note 1 to entry: The laser beam interaction causes the original beam to split and form a geometric pattern, such as

a grid or line of beams. The appearance of the emergent pattern is predominantly determined by the characteristics

of the DOE. The substrate containing the DOE is usually rotated during use to create the appearance of movement.

Note 2 to entry: Diffraction effects can be produced either by using a reflective substrate which behaves like a

mirror, with pattern being formed as a reflection, or by using a transmissive substrate, where the beam passes

through the DOE and the pattern is formed at the beam exit. Reflective diffraction effects are often used in similar

fashion to bounce mirrors. Transmissive laser effects are typically created within the laser projector itself, with the

DOE being moved into the path of a stationary laser beam or scanning output.
Note 3 to entry: Diffraction effects normally contain a zero order (3.46) beam.
3.13
effective pulse duration
time taken for a moving beam to traverse the 7 mm limiting aperture of the eye

Note 1 to entry: Often used for evaluating the exposure created by a scan pattern or moving effect, where in most

instances the exposure experienced by a person is independent of the, often CW, laser source output characteristics.

Note 2 to entry: This duration can be estimated by considering the leading and trailing edges of a top-hat scanning

beam profile passing over the pupil.
3.14
emergency stop control
e-stop
reliable method of terminating the output of a laser projector system

Note 1 to entry: It is important the emergency stop control functions independently of the laser system's control

signal, which can become unstable in the case of a fault occurring. This is particularly important as common lighting

and laser effect control protocols generally have no or little fault tolerance.
3.15
engineering control

mechanical or electrical safety measure intended to continuously protect people from exposure

to a hazard, usually characterized by being in addition to the system and not relying on specific

human action to be effective

Note 1 to entry: Common examples include key operated controls, warning indicators, and physical masking.

3.16
errant laser effect
laser beam that deviates from a defined or intended beam path

Note 1 to entry: Such beams include unwanted reflections in the projection area, or movement of the laser projector

or remote optical target causing laser beams to appear outside of the intended projection area.

3.17
inaccessible location

area that can be accessed only using specialized equipment, additional equipment, or both

Note 1 to entry: Access equipment typically includes mobile lifts, ladders, ropes, scaffolding, etc.

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IEC TR 60825-3:2022 © IEC 2022 – 11 –
3.18
intentionally accessible effect

laser effect category that by design and implementation permits beams to be readily accessible

to persons

Note 1 to entry: An example of this category of effect is audience illumination, but could equally apply to others,

such as performers and ancillary personnel illumination. In each instance it is important that any exposure is not in

excess of the applicable MPE.
3.19
installer

person who places the equipment in the designated locations and participates in the adjustment

and alignment to produce the desired effects

Note 1 to entry: An installer may also be a manufacturer (3.27) or supplier if the installation activities result in

modification of the display laser product effects.
3.20
laser classification

indication of the potential risk of harm of a laser, where the higher the class number indicates

a greater hazard from exposure to the laser beam emitted by the product

Note 1 to entry: IEC 60825-1 defines eight distinct laser hazard classes that identify the general risk posed by a

laser product and mandates the required safety features that the laser product is to have based on its accessible

laser radiation.

Note 2 to entry: The majority of laser projectors used to create laser effects are Class 3B and Class 4 laser products

that emit beam(s) posing a risk to eyes and skin, and can act as a source of fire ignition.

3.21
laser display or show

activity where at least one laser beam is projected onto a surface or made visible in the air, for

purposes such as entertainment or art, and usually intended to be viewed by a non-specialist

audience
Note 1 to entry: This definition includes
...

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