All ILDA Members must affirm that they have read, understand and acknowledge ILDA’s document Basic Principles of Lasershow Safety.
These principles state that the Member is ultimately responsible for the laser safety. He or she will follow safety standards and guidelines. Deliberate audience scanning will not be done without special knowledge and measuring instruments, and will be done only with legal permission. Finally, the Member will not illuminate aircraft.
If you hire laser companies for your events, be sure they have the proper national, state/provincial and local approvals. This can be complex. Too often, low-budget or unprofessional companies do illegal laser shows using incorrect or nonexistent approvals.
ILDA Members are required to perform legal shows with approved equipment, in a safe manner.
While ILDA does not monitor Members’ shows, if there is a safety concern, anyone can file an Ethics Complaint against a member. We have removed Members in the past who violated basic safety laws.
• All Members have FREE online access to SKYZAN™ laser safety software. This $299 program developed by Rockwell Laser Industries calculates eye and skin hazards, plus FAA visual interference distances. (Thank you to Roberta McHatton of Laser Safety Services for sponsoring this for the Nov 2019-Nov 2023 period.)
• ILDA offers a Laser Safety Officer course for U.S. laser lightshows. As of May 2023, 321 persons have successfully passed ILDA's LSO test and have received a Certificate of Completion.
• ILDA Members receive a discount on the ANSI Z136 series of laser safety standards. This includes the Z136.1 (general), Z136.4 (measurement procedures) and Z136.6 (outdoor laser safety). These standards are widely used by regulators and laser safety officers.
• ILDA hosts the website LasershowSafety.info. This is a one-stop source for links and articles about laser show safety.
• ILDA has information about the safety of laser shows, and especially about safe audience scanning.
• ILDA has written a 31-page scientific paper with details about “Scanning Audiences at Laser Shows.” It discusses the very low number of claimed injuries from CW lightshow lasers, and explores reasons why.
• As of May 2023, ILDA is working on a draft standard for laser show safety. More information is on the Category A Laser Show Standard page.
ILDA requires its Members to perform safe and legal laser shows, and to acknowledge basic principles of laser show safety.
Beginning with the 2014 Awards, all entrants submitting videos have explicitly certified that their laser effects depicted met safety standards, as well as all applicable laser safety laws and regulations (including laws for audience scanning) in the location where the show was performed.
• Entries filmed in a studio, with no audience, can use any power and can scan anywhere, even if the original show was intended for an audience.
• However, if the video depicts an audience watching the laser show, or has lasers near performers, then the show must be safe for the audience and performers, and must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Documentation must be provided to ILDA about the show’s irradiance at the point of closest audience access, and any other safety measures that were implemented.
• The above documentation is also required if an entry depicts beams in an area where an audience might be, such as an empty tradeshow floor or an empty auditorium. This is because a video of unsafe beams in an audience area gives an impression that the same show would be run with an audience present.
Since 2014, ILDA has reviewed every entry for any potential safety issues.
ILDA has the right to remove or disqualify an entry if, in our sole opinion, 1) the show violates or appears to violate safety standards, laws and/or regulations, and/or 2) the show does not have sufficient documentation of safety and legal compliance.
Note that despite ILDA’s review process, ILDA cannot absolutely certify that an Awards entry is safe and legal. This is ultimately the responsibility of the entrant.
IMPORTANT: If you have a laser or a laser projector, do NOT attempt to perform the type of audience-scanning effects seen in ILDA Award-winning videos 1) without qualified expert safety planning and supervision and 2) without prior written permission from appropriate authorities. These authorities may include federal, state and local laser safety regulators, venue operators, and insurance companies.
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