Laser or LED go go dancing Cage

Hi There,

Im tryin to build a laser go go dancing cage for a big theatre production. Iv done basic wiring of LED's but never worked with lasers before. After  lot of scanning the net it seems it might be easiest to just buy a bulk load of laser pointers off aliexpress (or somewhere else?) and try to wire them into a circuit so i can turn them all on at the same time. I want the effect of the bars of light as seen in the pics below. I have been asking around with electricians and they don't seem to either want or know how to help me....

I would LOVE any help or direction anyone can give me!!! if anyone can help answer any of the following questions id GREATLY appreciate it!

1. from what iv read it seems 5mW might be best for this purpose as more powerful lasers may burn the skin (i definitely don't want to be responsible for burning the building down!) Does anyone have any thoughts on what mW i should be using for this?
2. Ideally i would like the laser cage to be able to be seen without the use of a fog machine (i will use this for effect in certain parts of the show- but would like it to still be visible when its not there) Is this possible, or would i need a stronger laser that would be too dangerous?
3. i don't really know anything about calculating the voltage or what power battery i would need once i had say 50 lasers together in a circuit. Does anyone have any links for working this out? I'm not sure if it is specific or different for lasers?
4. I read that i would need a driver, is that true? any links for that would be great!
5. are there insanely high powered LED's that could have a strong focussed beam that would be better/easier to use and i should forget about lasers all together?
6. do you have a totally different idea of how i should go about this that would be a lot easier??

Thanks!!!
Andea Darling

****it won't seem to upload the reference pics so heres a couple of links to give you the idea - 
http://www.qratio.com/2013/10/gotta-dance-just-find-your-rythym.html
http://www.telovation.com/articles/ipod-laser-dance-cage.html

Kiteman2 years ago

Don't use lasers.

If they're bright enough to show up, they're bright enough to cause a law-suite from an audience member.

Consider:

> Cords soaked in UV reactive paint, and lit with a black-light as required.

> Reflective (hi-viz) tape under a spot-light.

> Lengths of EL wire.

> Torches in a frame, some above, some below (that would require a fog machine, though).

Don't do it, simple as!

If you do it you are liable if something happens - lasers are no toys.

Even a 1mW laser can cause eye damage if you look right into it - like you might do when getting down from the cage or talkting to someone.

And if you link let's say 40 laserpointers together you also need a decent 3V power supply for them, plus most are not rated for continous use.

Proper laser modules of low power or a high power laser with beam splitters and fibre optic cables for the output should be used.

Making your project on a buget is never a good idea.

caitlinsdad2 years ago

1. Don't go with lasers which might be hazardous to the performers or the audience.

2. May I suggest the low-tech approach. Use a technique from projection bombing or projection mapping. Create an open frame for your dance cage. For the walls, string up columns upon columns of black yarn - could be any dark color. Just have parallel rows of taut yarn with a thin open space between them. You could have the back wall hinged so the performer can get inside. Use a projector or have someone move the spotlight up and down or in whatever pattern to light up the individual threads. You get a cool effect like lasers. You will have to figure out where to position the lights though. Mock it up with a small open picture frame and play around with a flashlight to see it work. More advanced is to project a video masked specifically to the strung up yarn so the excess light is not there. Good luck.