With the advent of the free market, you have a lot of options available with just about every purchase you make. Sometimes, it might seem like you have too many options.
If you’re a gun owner, you might want a sight for your gun. When you decide you want a sight, you have to make another decision; red dot or green dot?
In this article, we will compare red dots and green dots to help you decide which sight is the best for you. Read on to find out your new favorite sight!
First, let’s cover green dot sights.
Pros of Green Dot Sights
Green Dot Sights Counteract Astigmatism
If you’ve held a gun before, the odds are high that you’ve encountered a red dot sight. Have you ever looked down through your red dot sight and seen a red, blurry mass instead of the crisp, clean red dot that’s supposed to be there?
Think about all the times you’ve sat at a stop light while driving home from work. Do you remember the stoplight looking like a blurry, smeared mass of red light?
If this sounds familiar, you may have a condition known as astigmatism. Astigmatism is not an inherently harmful condition; as many as 33% of the human population have it. However, a gun owner with astigmatism may find red dot sights functionally useless.
In Astigmatism, the cornea or lens of your eye has an imperfection that results in blurry vision and distorted light reception due to an error in refractive.
Astigmatism is not a permanent disorder, as corrective surgery or specialized glasses can help repair or minimize its effects.
However, a green dot sight can be a simple and surgery-free option for gun owners to minimize the effects of astigmatism in their life.
The light waves from a green dot sight will not flood your eye’s cones like those from a red dot, and as such will distort significantly less than a red dot sight.
However, minimizing the effects of astigmatism is not the only visual bonus that green dot sights offer over their red counterparts.
Full disclosure; the brightness of a dot sight can vary wildly. Several factors dictate the brightness of a dot sight, including model, battery life, ambient light level, and more.
However, when you factor in all of these elements, a green dot sight in good condition has a higher average brightness than a red dot sight in a similar state.
Due to the wavelength of the color green, green dot sights can get far brighter with less effort than their red counterparts. As humans, our eyes will also notice green easier than red, making it seem even more luminous than it is.
This brighter level of light means that green dot sights have a far better level of visibility than red dot sights.
If you’re frequently shooting in bright areas, such as a desert or a well-lit room, a green dot sight may be the easiest sight for you to see.
That’s not all. Not only are green dot sights easier for you to see, but they might be beneficial to your eyes, as well. Read on to learn how!
Easier On The Eyes
There’s no arguing that green is easier for humans to see than red. However, this increased level of visibility has another massive benefit you might not know about.
The human eye notices green far easier than red and finds it more relaxing to focus. As such, a green dot sight will provide far less eye strain than a red dot sight.
If you worry about the strain on your eyes, a green dot sight might be the right option for your gun.
However, green dot sights are not overwhelmingly better than their red counterparts; they have some downsides that may make you prefer red dot sights. Let’s take a look at those downsides.
Cons of Green Dot Sights
If you’re a hunter, green dot sights might not be the best option for you.
Green dot sights might be the best option for bright environments, including the outdoors during the daytime, but that does not carry on to every environment.
If you are a hunter who spends extended hours in the forest, you might face a challenge when trying to find the green dot in your sight.
After all, forests are full of trees, weeds, and grass. What do all of these leafy faunas have in common? The color green!
Most hunters will spend plenty of time in environments filled with various shades of green. A green dot sight can be difficult to find in an entirely-green environment.
This issue may not be significant to hunters with good eyesight or keen attention to detail, but it is worth noting if not solely to tamper expectations.
It would be lovely if we lived in a world where everything was free. However, that’s not the reality of this world; everything costs something, and dot sights are no exception.
Ultimately, green dot sights are more expensive than their red counterparts. However, a higher price does not necessarily mean a better-quality product- let’s see what red dot sights can do for you.
Pros of Red Dot Sight
Red light uses far less energy than green light. As such, a red dot sight will have a far longer shelf life than its green competitors. Some models can last for 3-4 years of continuous operation.
Bright red does not occur naturally in most prey animals, and as a bright color, most home intruders will avoid wearing red.
As such, red dot sights can draw your focus onto your target, whatever it may be.
Better Visibility In Low Light
Red dots are exponentially better than green dot sights in low-light conditions, such as nighttime and indoor areas.
Cons of Red Dot Sights
- Red dots are not indestructible
- Red dots can “disappear” if not viewed directly
- Red dots simply aren’t as useful at close range due to their wavelength
Green Dot Vs Red Dot
While the color red might draw the eye easier in low-light conditions due to contrast, green light is overall easier to see and less harmful for your eyes.
When it comes to visibility, green dot sights take the cake.
Refractive Eye Conditions
Our perception of each color is dictated by its wavelength. The wavelength of green is more accessible to eyes with refractive eye conditions such as astigmatism.
If you have an eye condition, green dot sights are the better choice once again.
Hunters have very specific requirements for their gear. Nobody wants to go hunting with subpar equipment, and as such, hunters are very picky.
When you’re hunting, you want an easily-visible, bright dot. In most cases, the green dot will serve you well.
However, if you hunt at dawn, dusk, or night, the contrast of red light and low brightness is preferable to prevent scaring your target.
Ultimately, there is no one better dot sight for hunting. It all depends on when you prefer to hunt.
If you hunt during the day and have no issues discerning shades of green, consider a green dot sight. If you hunt during hours with low light, consider a red dot sight.
Target shooting is in a similar position to hunting. Your preference, experience, and environment will dictate what color illumination is right for you.
Red light is better in low-light scenarios, but when using night vision, the superiority of red dot sights becomes even more evident.
As night vision primarily utilizes green lighting, a red reticle will stand out even more from the background.
AR-15 & Pistol
In conditions that require high speed, visibility, and maneuverability, a green dot sight goes a long way.
However, the reliable nature of a red dot sight- particularly newer models with additions such as motion sensor technology- means that they are particularly valuable to police officers or as home defense weapons.
Everybody wants more bang for their buck. Changing out batteries in any device can be a chore.
Thankfully, red dot sights make batteries functionally redundant. With a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours, a red dot sight is far better in terms of battery life than a green dot sight.
For many people, the final line and most important factor in which product they purchase is its cost. Ultimately, a red dot sight is far cheaper than any green dot sight.
Ultimately, there is not any single dot sight better than another. Your user experience will depend entirely upon your needs and preferences.
If you seek high visibility, a green dot sight may be your best bet. However, if you seek reliability and tactical ability, consider a red dot sight.