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Can A Laser Pointer Be Used To Shoot Down A Drone?

Can A Laser Pointer Be Used To Shoot Down A Drone?

A suspicious drone is hovering over my house, is there anything I can do to stop it and get rid of it? A laser pointer, is that possible? Can a laser pointer be used to shoot down a drone?

Surveillance drones that have no regard for other people's privacy are so annoying, but can I shoot down one with a laser pointer?

The answer is possible. High-power laser pointers are not drone jammers in the traditional sense, but they also have the potential to shoot down drones. 

laser pointers

Laser rays generate heat and can cause the drone's outer shell to melt and damage the drone's internal wiring. Standard laser pointers can interfere with a drone's sensors and emit a bright light, which can blind the camera and thus obstruct the operator's view, potentially causing a crash.

Laser pointers are pen-like devices that project a narrow beam of light. All projected light waves have similar wavelengths, and they travel together in the same phase. The laser doesn't spread too much but concentrates the energy on a small area. This concentration of light is responsible for the aforementioned heating and visual disturbances.

This situation will also be encountered in some large-scale performances or events. When you're preparing to capture a live event, a red dot always appears on your phone's lens, which means you're being illuminated by a laser pointer. Prolonged exposure to high-power laser pointers can damage the camera sensor.

Why can laser pointers shoot down drones?

laser pointers shoot down drones

If the drone is within your visual distance, shining a laser pointer on the drone may cause some damage to it.

The first is the drone shell. The drone shell is usually made of lightweight plastic material to reduce weight and wind resistance. Prolonged laser irradiation may burn through the shell and further affect the wires and sensors inside the drone fuselage, causing the drone to lose control.

The second is the drone camera sensor. As an optical element, the camera sensor is easily burned and damaged by high-heat lasers, interfering with the camera's field of view, further causing the pilot to lose control of the drone, leading to a collision or crash.

Finally, there are the drone body sensors. Drones are usually covered with obstacle avoidance sensors on the outside of the fuselage. If the obstacle avoidance sensors are damaged, it will affect the drone's landing and obstacle avoidance functions, leading to a crash.

Is it illegal to shoot down a drone with a laser?

Yes. Shooting down drones with lasers is illegal under FAA and state laws. You may be imprisoned or fined. Because using a laser pointer can interfere with the drone pilot’s ability to fly and the drone’s communication system. This can damage other people's property, but can also lead to other potentially harmful events, such as crash landing people or property.


Laser pointers can shoot down drones, especially high-performance drones. They can heat the drone, damage its wiring system, and interfere with the pilot's vision. However, using a laser pointer to interfere with a drone is illegal and you could be jailed or pay a hefty fine for the crime. Therefore, it is not wise to use a laser pointer on a drone.

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