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Monday, March 16, 2009

Ramblings on Green and Red lasers...

Green Laser vs. RedLaser in a darkened room

Sometimes you try something that is full of hype and find out the claims are not entirely true and in the process of testing it you find something out you never knew...

I have been very interested in the claims of the highly visible Green Lasers on the market that claim they work well in ALL lighting conditions. The green lasers are notably brighter than their red counterparts but does it justify that extra money???

First of all, this is not a criticism of LaserMax products as I find they are extremely well made lasers. It is a unbiased totally unscientific test. I used my eyes as the testing equipment and that was my only basis for the test. If it looked brighter to me then it looked brighter to me... nuff said.

The green laser is noticeably brighter when you can see it. I don't care what the claims are, the green laser washes out in bright sunlight and is not easy to pick up even at close ranges IN BRIGHT SUNLIGHT.

My only succesful shot capturing the green laser at 25 yards in shade

I tried many different takes to capture an image of the green laser in bright sunlight, but they did not turn out. The only one that turned out was the one above when I aimed the laser in an old shed that provided enough shade to see the green dot. This was walked off to about 25 yards. It shows up well in the shade.

Now you take away that bright sunlight and change it to overcast/dusk/dawn and it becomes visible at significantly longer ranges.

Red laser left, Green laser Right

At night, the green laser has an extremely bright dot and visible beam and is very easy to pick up. As you can barely see (about 50 yards away) the green laser is brighter that the red laser. Both will get the job done! The camera obviously does not do this any justice... but I tried!

So in my testing, the green laser beats out the red laser in brightness and all the photos support this...except for the ones taken through a Night Vision Device!!!

Red laser left, green laser right through NVG

The red laser is the one that shows the trail on the left. The green laser would not show up unless it was reflecting on a close object. To get the picture I had to aim the green laser on a tree about 50 yards away.

I suspect that this has a bunch to do with the green image as seen through the Night Vision Device... but still I thought light was light!!!

Red Laser only

Above is the red laser by itself. It won in the Night Vision contest so it deserves its own picture!

This really shocked me as I had expected BOTH to do well about equally.

In summary... the green laser IS brighter in all lighting conditions, but is still wiped out in bright sunlight. If you can't get an IR (infra red) laser for your weapon and you want it to show up through through a Night Vision Device then go with red!

Also, before anyone gets all upset and tells me what a dummy I am for using a VISIBLE laser with a Night Vision Device... I know that one can see the laser beam and KNOW exactly where it is coming from. This was purely a test and I thought the results were very interesting... at least to me!

Finally, I think LaserMax Uni-Max Green Laser deserves a little attention so I will throw in a quick review and comments...

LaserMax Laser unit side view

I do not understand why these folks who make tactical lights/laser combo's put the laser underneath the flashlight??? Maybe I don't understand technology or engineering, but would you not rather have the laser CLOSER to the bore of the weapon, rather than far away???

I liked the concept of the laser/light combo, but I could never get over the laser being on the bottom...

LaserMax front view

Then one day I saw the Uni-max which will attach to ANY picatinny rail and it ALSO has a rail below the laser to attach a light. Now the light can be attached to the bottom... where I thought it should be :)

Laser Max unit mounted to a CX4 Storm

I obviously got the green LaserMax Uni-Max for this test and found it to be a nice and easy to use unit. I tested it on a pistol rail as well as a Carbine rail... This little laser performs BIG!!!

I also have a Streamlight TLR-1 LED weapon light that I mounted below the laser! Very nice setup IMHO.

I will be doing a review of the TLR-1 and Glock Light in the future so stay tuned.

I hope you have found this blog entry interesting and imformative tonight. As always, thanks for reading!!!



PJ said...

Once again...excellent stuff!

Thanks for taking the time to test this and post your findings.

fantsycruize733 said...

The reason the red laser shows up better with the night vision device is because the red is closer to the wavelength of IR which your night vision picks up. An IR laser would be even brighter. The green laser has an IR filter, but your eyes are more sensitive to green light so it appears brighter despite them both being 5mW lasers.

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