How to Use a Laser Level for Surveying

A laser level is an efficient device used in the Surveying and Construction industry for aligning and leveling. It keeps finishing surfaces flat and buildings solid when a project is finalized! Are you working on a construction project and are stuck on how to use a laser level, especially for surveying?

We have put together a guide that will walk you through the process of using laser level for different aspects of surveying. First, let’s highlight the best types of laser for surveying!

What Are the Best Types of Laser Levels To Use in Surveying?

Because of the abundance of laser levels, identifying the best ones might be challenging. When choosing a laser for surveying, you shouldn’t only be concerned about its application alone. It is essential to think about its ability to make the layout fast. There are four main types of laser to choose from. These are:

1. Dot or Plumb Lasers:

These lasers project single or multiple dots onto the work surface on which the laser is focused. They are great for ensuring a wall is perfectly vertical(plumb), and pipes running from one floor are also perfectly vertical.

2. Rotary Lasers

Rotary lasers are slightly bigger and are placed on steady surveying tripods. They Can be used on many construction projects, ranging from grade work to masonry. Rotary lasers spin a laser around the room at 360 degrees. To the human eye, the rotation of a single laser gives an illusion of seeing a line around the room. For this reason, it was named rotary laser.

3.  Line Level Lasers

Line level lasers are also called Laser Line Generators. They are the laser that produces a level line onto a wall or workspace in one direction. Line level lasers are small handheld types of lasers best used indoors. They can be positioned on a desk, ladder, or sawhorse or mounted on a laser platform that stretches from floor to ceiling.

4. Combination Lasers:

It emits both spots and dots independently or simultaneously, making it an excellent choice if you intend to work on numerous projects.

Ways Laser Levels Are Used in Construction

There are different ways to use a laser level in construction. Some of them include:

  • Leveling floors
  • Plumbing and aligning walls.
  • Installing wainscoting and chair rails
  • Masonry alignment
  • Drop ceiling installations.
  • Checking window or door heights.
  • Aligning shelves, cabinets, and trims.
  • Basic surveying.
  • Site layout.
  • Leveling beams and posts on porches, decks, and fences.

How to Use a Laser-Level:

  • Step 1: Set the laser level on a flat surface or a tripod if you have one.
  • Step 2: Ensure the bubble vials indicate the level if it is a manual level. Locate the small screws close to the vial. Keep adjusting them till the bubbles vials show level.
  • Step 3: Switch on the laser level.
  • Step 4: If the model is a self-leveling one, allow it to self-level.
  • Step 5: The unit will produce a beam showing level on the surface you are working on. The laser can be a dot, multiple lines, or a combination of both, depending on the type of laser. 
  • Step 6: You can use a laser detector to interrupt the laser if there’s no wall to bounce off (Typically outdoors).
  • Step 7: Link the detector to a measuring rod.
  • Step 8: Move the detector rod in an upward and downward motion until you hear a beeping sound. This means it has found the beam. 
  • Step 9: When you’ve found the level, fasten the detector to the rod and make the required measurements.

   How to Use a Laser-Level Outdoors

  • Step 1: You will need to put on goggles that came with your laser-level kit for an outdoor setting. 
  • Step 2: Erect the laser level on a tripod and switch it on.
  • Step 3: Point the laser level where you intend to take a reading. When you locate it, fasten the laser level into position.
  • Step 4: Take the laser receiver to the position in which you want to take a reading. Either make use of the magnet alongside the laser receiver or put it on a leveled surface at the exact height as the laser level. You can use an additional tripod here.
  • Step 5: Turn the laser receiver slowly until it captures the laser coming from the level. Upon locating the laser, fasten the laser receiver into it’s position on the tripod or keep it steady on a flat surface.
  • Step 6: Use the receiver and level to find your desired state of level or alignment.

How to Use a Laser-Level to Level Ground

  • Step 1: Assemble the laser level on a tripod on steady ground.
  • Step 2: Switch on the laser level. 
  • Step 3: If it is a self-leveling model, allow it to level itself
  • Step 4: Locate a point on the ground at your preferred height.
  • Step 5: Fasten the laser detector to a measuring rod and put the rod at a selected point.
  • Step 6: Move the laser detector in an upward and downward motion. With a beeping sound, it means you have located level.
  • Step 7: Fasten the detector to the pole.
  • Step 8: The bottom of the pole is your preferred ground height.
  • Step 9: Locate another spot on the ground and determine the height where the detector crosses the laser.
  • Step 10: Make a mark on a stick to mark the height. You can also mark the height by making a mark on a stick or gathering a pile of dirt up to the preferred height.
  • Step 11: Repeat this process until you have adequate reference points to fill the area.

How to Set Grade With a Laser-Level

  • Step 1: Assemble the laser level on a tripod on steady ground. 
  • Step 2: Switch on the laser level and allow it to self-level.
  • Step 3: Locate the first height. From here, the pitch of the grade slopes down.
  • Step 4: Place the laser level rod at the height you desire.
  • Step 5: Move the detector in an upward and downward motion until a beeping sound is heard.
  • Step 6: Fasten the detector.
  • Step 7: Locate the preferred amount of falls from the top to the bottom of the grade. 
  • Step 8: Move the laser detector up the rod 10 inches and fasten it.
  • Step 9: Walk to the position where the bottom of the grade will be. Lift the rod to locate the level with the laser detector. Depending on your workspace, you can dig into the ground to discover the level.
  • Step 10: The bottom of the leveling rod is also the bottom of the grade.
  • Step 11: Insert a stick into the ground to mark the spot and display the preferred height.

How to Make Use of a Laser-Level to Hang Pictures

  • Step 1: Choose the preferred height for the picture frame.
  • Step 2: Mark a position at this height.
  • Step 3: Switch on the laser level and align the laser horizontally with the previously marked position along the wall.
  • Step 4: Adjust the level, so the bubble settles between the black lines on the vial by swerving around the spot where the laser and the mark meet.
  • Step 5: When the laser is leveled and passes through the mark, secure it to the wall firmly. The level may use suction or putty cups.
  • Step 6: Now measure the length from the top of the picture frame to its hanging mechanism(s).
  • Step 7: Measure the distance from the laser to the point where the mechanism converges with the wall.
  • Step 8: Mark a point.
  • Step 9: Hit a nail into the marled wall.
  • Step 10: Hang the picture frame on the nail and align the top of the picture frame with the laser.

Additional Note

  • We recommend you thoroughly review the different types of laser level specifications, like the range of the laser and its accuracy. Using a construction laser level can save time and effort while increasing the rate of accuracy. 
  • Suppose your project requires you to use your laser indoors. You don’t necessarily need to use a laser detector, as no direct sunlight affects the laser beam’s visibility. Many people often go for a green laser level for outdoor projects as they can be easily seen in daylight.
  • Manual laser levels are cheaper than self-leveling lasers. While manual laser levels are more affordable, they can be challenging. For self-leveling lasers, they are easy to set up and more accurate. 
  • The best way to check for accuracy is to try out the laser level on a surface you already have readings for.

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