LightScribe Burner

One of the keys to success in business is keeping up a professional appearance. It is not a good look to give things to clients that has been scrawled over with a marker pen, yet that is exactly what many businesses do when they send out discs to their clients. To make a burned CD or DVD look professional, you would normally apply a paper label or print the label directly using a special printer. A third option that does not require a printer is to use a LightScribe burner. It can read and write discs like any other burner, but it can also etch text and images on the top surface of a special LightScribe disc.

Paper labels are popular because they are cheap but it is best to avoid them if you can. They can be difficult to apply and tend to peel off after several months. When handled repeatedly, paper labels become worn and dirty. To apply a paper label quickly, a special plunger is needed to be bring the disc and label together in one action. Direct printing is a slower process but the label lasts much longer than a paper one. However, only discs with a special top surface can be printed with an inkjet printer, and the high cost of ink makes this a rather expensive option. A LightScribe burner is an attractive option because it uses no paper labels or expensive inks.

LightScribe technology is amazing because it etches the label with the same laser that burns the disc. The top surface of a LightScribe disc is coated with a reactive dye that becomes darker the more it is exposed to strong light. Detailed images can be printed in greyscale but color printing is not possible with this technology. To expose the top surface to the laser, the disc must be taken out of a LightScribe burner and flipped over. Another drawback is that the process can take up to thirty minutes for a dark label. Putting aside these minor annoyances, it is an effective and inexpensive means of creating professional looking CDs and DVDs.

Both internal and external burners are available, but the internal ones need to be installed by someone who knows what they are doing. The external models need a power adapter which can sometimes be a problem. The IDE interface has all but disappeared from hard drives but it continues to be used for most CD/DVD drives and burners. You will have to search around to find a LightScribe burner with a SATA interface. To minimize the risk of burning errors, choose a model that has underrun protection and a large buffer. Some burners have technology that reduces the noise of a spinning disc, but you are probably better off switching to another brand of disc if noise is a problem.

LightScribe discs cost about the same as regular discs, but they are only made by a few manufacturers and can be hard to find. They are available in a range of vibrant colors but most businesses prefer to use the plain ones. It is a good idea to store the discs away from strong light to prevent the dye changing. The dye gradually becomes darker the longer it is exposed to strong light, which reduces the contrast and makes the etched parts less defined. To create an etching, a template is loaded into the software supplied with a LightScribe burner. There are plenty of free templates available on the internet, so you don’t have to be a graphics designer to make an attractive etching.

Many burners have this technology built into them but not every one has it so check before buying. You may already have one if you bought an assembled computer instead of building one from parts. Have a look for the circular LightScribe logo on the face plate of the burner. You can get a LightScribe burner for nearly the same price as a regular burner now, so there really is little point in avoiding one just to save money. Even if you prefer to use other labeling methods, it makes a great backup in case you run out paper labels or printer ink, provided that you have some LightScribe discs handy.

This LightScribe Burner Review is Written/Updated on Nov 19th, 2010 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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