National Physical Laboratory

Laser power and energy

Laser Power & Energy Measurements

The accurate measurement of laser power and energy is important in many fields of science, technology and medicine, where lasers are widely used. Traceable measurement standards are essential both for users to have confidence in their measurements and to support quality assurance in the manufacture of lasers and laser systems. Because lasers present a potential safety hazard, it is also important to have measurement standards to satisfy nationally and internationally agreed safety limits. NPL has established facilities for calibrating many types of meter used to measure laser power and energy. The main calibration services have been audited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The calibrations are fully traceable to UK national standards.

Calibration Services

We provide UKAS accredited calibration services for laser power and energy meters:

  • CW power meters at , 0.532 µm, 0.633 µm, 1.053 µm, 1.550 - 1.565 µm and 10.6 µm
  • Pulsed energy meters (calorimeters, pyroelectrics, photodiodes etc) at 0.266 µm,0.355 µm, 0.532 µm, 1.064 µm and 10.6 µm

We can also issue NPL Certificates for some types of custom calibrations or measurements.

For measurements under 10 mW please contact the Optical Radiation Measurements Group and for fibre optic power meters measurements please contact Photonics.

Technology Transfer

We are a founder member of the Association of Industrial Laser Users (AILU).

AILU was founded in November 1995 with a DTI 'kick start grant'. It was created to serve the needs and interests of the growing industrial laser community and to help users make the most of laser technology.

Metrology Consulting

  • Consultation service on aspects of Laser Power and Energy measurement
  • Prototype verification
  • Prototype laser devices can be characterised using our standard detectors

Special Facilities

Some of our laser/measurement systems are available for hire to third parties who wish to make measurements at NPL. This is normally under supervision and users must satisfy laser safety requirements.


Customer Service tel: +44 20 8943 6151

Last Updated: 25 Mar 2010
Created: 31 Jul 2007


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