I have two laser diodes but I have no idea where to begin building my own laser driver. I would prefer to make my own but I will buy one if that isn't a good idea.

Does anyone have a schematic of a basic driver with the required functionality to keep me from burning the diodes or does anyone have any suggestions on where to get one?

I have seen the basics for schematics on the internet but I have no idea what I need to do to adjust for a 2W laser.


2W 808nm (2.8 to 3v at 1.5A)

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Ask the manufacture of the laser diode. They may have either a supply or schematics. \$\endgroup\$ – Optionparty Dec 5 '13 at 0:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ On the scale of bad ideas, having a 2W laser is probably a worse idea than building your own 2W laser driver. The former could potentially make you and lots of other blind, while the latter wouldn't be much worse than a small controllable semi-expected fire. \$\endgroup\$ – Oskar Skog May 27 '17 at 20:27

You just need a current source able to supply enough current to drive your laser (at the voltage it requires).

Driver circuits for lower-powered lasers take special care to avoid even very short voltage or current transients and to provide very good ESD protection. While such things wouldn't hurt in your case, a 2 W laser is likely to be much more robust to those kinds of transients than a 1 mW laser.

Properly heat-sinking your laser, on the othe hand, is likely to be an interesting engineering exercise.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.