What is a Laser Rangefinder Sensor – Quick Guide

People often ask, what is a laser rangefinder sensor?

Let’s find out!

What Is a Laser Rangefinder Sensor?

A laser rangefinder sensor is a device that measures the distance to an object. It’s used in many different applications, including surveying and construction.

The laser rangefinder sensor works by projecting a beam of light onto the target and measuring how long it takes for the reflected light to return. This measurement can then be converted into a distance value.

Laser rangefinders are also known as “laser distance meters” or simply “distance meters.”

Types of Laser Rangefinder Sensors

They come in two main types: passive and active.

Passive sensors use no power source other than ambient light; they rely on the reflection of sunlight from objects to determine their distance.

Active sensors require a battery or other external power supply to operate.

What Are Some Uses for Laser Rangefinders?

Laser rangefinders are used in a variety of applications. They can be used to measure distances, find the position of objects and even detect obstacles. Here are some examples:

Measure Distance

A laser rangefinder is often used to measure the distance between two points. The device sends out a beam of light that reflects off an object or surface. It then measures how long it takes for the reflected beam to return to the sensor.

What is the time period called?

This time period is called the round trip time (RTT). Knowing the speed of light, you can calculate the distance from the point where the beam was sent out to the point where it returns.

Find Position 

Laser rangefinders can also be used to determine the position of objects. For example, they can be mounted on top of vehicles such as cars, trucks, boats, and planes.

These devices send out beams of light at different angles to create a map of the surrounding area. By measuring the angle of the returned beam, the device can determine its location.

Detect Obstacles

Some laser rangefinders have built-in obstacle detection systems. When these sensors detect an obstacle, they will stop sending out beams of light.

If there is no obstruction detected within a certain amount of time, the device will start sending out beams again.

How Does a Laser Rangefinder Work?

A laser rangefinder uses a laser diode to emit a beam of light. The emitted beam travels through space until it hits something.

As soon as it does, the reflected beam is received by the same or another laser diode and converted into an electrical signal that can be displayed on a screen or printed out.

What does the laser diode do?

The laser diode emits a beam of light in one direction only: forward. This means that if you look at the device from the front, the laser diode will always point towards the ground (or sky).

If you look at the device from the side, the laser diode may not face the ground but rather some other object, such as a wall. In this case, the laser diode would still send its beam of light forwards, but it would reflect off the wall instead of the ground.

What Is an Optic Lens?

An optic lens is a thin, transparent piece of glass or plastic that has been shaped to focus light. The most common type of lens used in eyeglasses and contact lenses is spherical lenses. Spherical lenses have the same curvature on both sides of their center point.

This means they can be made thinner than other types of lenses without losing any optical power. They also tend to be more durable because of fewer stress concentration points.

Toric Lens

A toric lens is one with an asymmetrical shape. It has two different radii of curvature at its center, which makes it possible for the wearer’s vision to remain clear even when looking down or up.

Toric lenses are usually thicker than spherical lenses but can still be very thin.

Aspheric Lens

Aspheric lenses are similar to toric lenses but have a single radius of curvature instead of two. Aspheric lenses are often used in multifocal lenses (lenses that provide multiple focal lengths) and progressive lenses (lenses that change from distance to near).

Ophthalmic Lens

Ophthalmic lenses may come in many different materials, including polycarbonate, acrylics, silicone, cellulose acetate, and others.

Some materials are better suited for certain applications, while others are designed to work well in specific environments such as water, air, or oil.

Polycarbonate Lens

Polycarbonate lenses are popular because they are lightweight and shatterproof. However, they are not as scratch resistant as some other materials. Polycarbonate lenses are commonly used in safety glasses and sports goggles.

what is a laser rangefinder sensor

What is a Laser Rangefinder Sensor?

What Is a Laser Scanning Device?

A laser scanning device is used to create 3D models of objects. It can be used for many different purposes, such as creating accurate maps and measuring the dimensions of an object. The process involves using a handheld scanner that emits a beam of light onto the surface of an object.

This beam bounces off the surface and then back into the scanner where it is captured by a camera or other sensor.

The data collected from this process is then processed to produce a 3D model of the scanned object. The quality of the final product depends on how well the scanner was calibrated before use.

If you are planning on buying one, make sure you do your research first, so you know what features you need and which ones you don’t.

What Is a LIDAR System?

A laser-based distance sensor is the most common type of 3D scanning technology. It works by projecting a beam of light onto an object and measuring how long it takes for that light to bounce back to the scanner.

The time taken for this return signal to reach the scanner can be used to calculate the distance between the scanner and the surface being scanned. This information can then be processed into a three-dimensional model of the scanned object.


  • It’s fast – you can scan large objects in seconds, rather than minutes or hours as with other methods.
  • You don’t need special lighting conditions – just direct sunlight will do.
  • It doesn’t require contact with the object being scanned.
  • It produces accurate results even if there are multiple surfaces on the object.


  • Laser scanners aren’t suitable for all types of materials. They work best with smooth, flat surfaces like glass, metal, and plastic. If your object has rough or textured surfaces, it may not produce reliable results.
  • They’re expensive – although they’re cheaper than many other forms of 3D scanning, they still cost several hundred dollars.
  • If you want to use them for commercial purposes, you’ll have to pay extra licensing fees.


Passive lasers are more accurate but less reliable than active ones.

Active lasers have a power source, which is usually an electric current or battery. Passive lasers do not require any external power source and can be used in many applications where the use of active lasers would be impractical. They are also much cheaper to produce.

We hope that this article was helpful. If you have any queries feel free to reach out in the comments section below.


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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