This paper describes measurements and simulations related to power fluctuations of the laser light in the GEO 600 laser-interferometric gravitational wave detector. Measurements of the relative fluctuations of the light power at three different ports of the main interferometer are presented. In addition, measurements and simulations of the coupling transfer functions from power fluctuations at the input laser to these ports are shown. The transfer function from the input laser to the output port of the interferometer is found to be non-trivial. Despite this, the numerical simulation produces an excellent match to it and gives insight to the mechanisms leading to the complicated shape. Furthermore, the coupling transfer functions of power fluctuations to the main (heterodyne) detector outputs are measured and simulated. These are used to evaluate the level with which laser power fluctuations contribute to the overall noise level of the instrument. © 2008 IOP Publishing Ltd.