•   ILDA laser safety courses  


ILDA offers four courses covering laser safety for laser lightshows.

  • The Laser Safety Officer course takes about eight hours; those who pass a test at the end will receive a Certificate of Completion.
  • We also have shorter courses for operators of laser show equipment, for those advanced persons interested in doing audience scanning, and for persons inspecting lasershows in live productions.
Details on each course are listed below.

The course material is specific to laser light shows, so these courses are NOT suitable for persons working with industrial, research, medical, scientific, etc. lasers.

The safety information is useful in all countries. Material on specific regulations and laws only covers the United States.


Laser Safety Officer (LSO) - Lasershows course

ILDA’s Laser Safety Officer - Lasershows course is ILDA's main laser safety course.

It is for persons working in the field of laser light displays, who are responsible for the overall safety of a show. It comprehensively covers lasershow-specific content and safety requirements.

We suggest that LSO - Lasershows students have real-world experience working with light show lasers, and/or have already taken ILDA’s Laser Operator Safety course.

The course instruction takes about six hours, followed by a test which you have up to two hours to complete.
     • If you pass the test, you receive a Certificate of Completion stating that you attended the LSO - Lasershows course and passed the test. The certificate states that it is for U.S. laser light shows and displays, since the material about laws and regulations is U.S specific.
     • If you do not pass the test, you can re-take the course one subsequent time, within 12 months, at a lower fee. (The re-take fee amount varies depending on location.) Notify ILDA when you are ready to re-take the course.

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Laser Operator Safety course

ILDA’s Laser Operator Safety course provides a basic overview of laser safety, for those who are operating laser show equipment, or are working around laser shows. It goes over laser safety basics and why it is important to follow procedures set up by the Laser Safety Officer.

The course takes about four hours; there is no test at the end. Attendees receive a Certificate of Completion.

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Photo courtesy Mike Gould


Audience Scanning Safety course

ILDA’s Laser Operator Safety course covers how to do deliberate audience scanning legally in the U.S., and safely in any jurisdiction.

It is an advanced class. Students should have already taken, and successfully passed, ILDA’s LSO - Lightshows course. If you have not, contact ILDA in advance to see if your prior experience and knowledge qualifies you for the class.

Due to the course requirements, it is not taught online — it is only taught in person. Usually this is given once per year at the annual ILDA Conference. However, it may be given at other times/locations depending on the instructor's schedule, and can be given as a custom course as well.

The course takes about four hours; there is no test at the end. Attendees receive a Certificate of Completion.

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Lasershow Safety Inspector

ILDA’s Lasershow Safety Inspector course is intended for persons working in live production environment, including concerts, theatrical productions, corporate shows, and special effects. The person is reviewing a laser light display created by another party, to help determine if the show is safe and legal.

We suggest that Lasershow Safety Inspector students have real-world experience working with live productions. This course will tell you what the legal and safety requirements are for laser light displays, and what you need to look for to help ensure these requirements are met.

The course instruction takes about six hours, followed by a test which you have up to two hours to complete.
     • If you pass the test, you receive a Certificate of Completion stating that you attended the Lasershow Safety Inspector course and passed the test.
     • If you do not pass the test, you can re-take the course one subsequent time, within 12 months, at a lower fee. (The re-take fee amount varies depending on location.) Notify ILDA when you are ready to re-take the course.

Persons who take this course will NOT be qualified to independently take measurements to determine whether audience scanning is safe. This requires specialized equipment and knowledge which is covered in ILDA's Audience Scanning Safety course. However, the Lasershow Safety Inspector course will discuss the basics of audience scanning safety, including the U.S. regulatory and documentation requirements with which the laser show company must comply.

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Top photo: October 17, 2018 LSO class at the LDI trade show in Las Vegas. Photo by Erin Collopy.