What Does Laser Mean on a Radar Detector

Pulled over one too many times or maybe that 25 Mph Speed limit was designed as a speed trap. Whatever your reasoning for owning (or wanting) a radar detector, there are burning questions you may have, such as: What does Laser Mean on a Radar Detector?

A LIDAR gun (Light Detection and Ranging) is commonly used radar among police. A burst of infrared laser light is emitted toward a vehicle, reflects, and returns to the gun. This then gives the Officer a speed-reading of your vehicle by seeing how the device calculated the ‘roundtrip’; bouncing off your vehicle before being returned to sender.

Your first step would be to own a radar detector or be in the market for one. Knowing what to look up is just as paramount as knowing what you’ll be using the item for. If a radar detector’s description mentions both radar and laser know that that means that it both detects radio waves (from a radar gun) and light waves emitted from a LIDAR gun. 

The meaning behind the laser on a radar detector is that it is also able to (as stated above) to pick up light waves sent out by the LIDAR gun, but is it a worthy investment? That depends entirely on how and where you drive.

If you drive mostly in urbanized areas (city districts with lots of traffic lights) then having that added laser detection on your radar detector will be moot. Police in those areas are more often than not going to be using a radar due to certain limitations of a LIDAR gun. 

A LIDAR gun can only be used when stationary in low-lit areas, so if you find yourself commuting from home on a highway, it is a worthy investment. 

Usual radar detection emits frequencies that are able to come into contact of a police radar, thus pinging you, and allowing you the option to adjust your traveling speed to not acquire a speeding ticket.

Most radar detectors do have laser detectors built into them, with a catch—they are usually useless. Unless you have a top of the line laser detector that is able to process K-wave frequencies of the car ahead, by the time your detector notifies you that you’ve been pinged, law enforcement already knows the speed of your car.

Check Out: Are all radar detectors the same

Laser detectors also have a strong deterrent by design. Since LIDAR guns are best used in low-lit areas, the same goes for detectors. It’s possible that you may get plenty of false positives ranging from the headlights of some modern vehicles, to even a strong reflection from the sun. It’s all based on where you are at.

The best use you will have for a laser detector is during the winter months, when dusk is more often and days go by quicker. This will nullify the possibility of false positives, but know that having that added laser feature may not even be necessary. 

Find Out: Do cops know if you have a radar detector

Most police reside in metropolitan areas or along highways. Unless you’re trapped in a rural suburbia with a commute of forty minutes any which way you go, a usual radar detector will be all that you need. Radars are the most common form of speed-tracking Police use, and getting the notification that you’ve been dinged could be enough to save you from a ticket. 

Be weary of your immediate surroundings as a driver. Utilize defensive driving techniques as well as always travel the speed limit (even going five over is fine). Since a police radar cannot detect more than one vehicle at once, know that the person who is speeding ahead of you is more likely to get the ding than yourself.

Laser detection while being a nice added feature to any radar detector, has enough problems on its own that making a recommendation for one is hard to do unless certain parameters are met. Your usual radar detector will be more than enough to get the job done and keep you from getting any extra tickets (or nosey traffic stops).


Recent Posts