A laser line level is used to display an accurately horizontal or vertical illuminated line on a surface the laser line level is laid against. Laser line levels are used wherever accurate verticals and horizontals are required, typically in the construction and cabinetry industries. Some models are inexpensive enough for do-it-yourself applications. The laser beam is fanned to produce a thin plane beam accurately horizontal or vertical, rather than a pinpoint beam. The axis of the laser is offset from the wall, so that a pinpoint beam would be parallel to and offset from the wall, and would not illuminate it; the fanned beam will intersect the wall, creating an accurately illuminated line along it.
A laser level is affixed to a tripod, leveled and then spun to illuminate a horizontal plane. The laser beam projector employs a rotating head with a mirror for sweeping the laser beam about a vertical axis. If the mirror is not self-leveling, it is provided with visually readable level vials and manually adjustable screws for orienting the projector. A staff carried by the operator is usually equipped with a movable sensor, which can detect the laser beam and gives a signal when the sensor is in line with the beam. The position of the sensor on the staff allows comparison of elevations between different points on the terrain.