Night Vision Goggles | All you need to know about real night vision goggles!

USMC Sniper Team with Night Vision Scope

Spy and military movie characters are known to commonly use night vision goggles in their operations to see in the dark.  However, this is not just a fantasy found in movies. In real life they help military and law enforcement see and clearly identify objects up to 200 yards away in low and no-light conditions.

The effectiveness of night vision devices depends on the technology used.


From basic physics, you should know that not all light is visible. Our naked eyes cannot see infrared and ultraviolet light. To enable a person to see in the dark, these infrared light are enhanced.

The ability to see in the dark is anchored on the fact that even when it seems completely dark, some amount of light still exists.



The equipment is designed to make the most use of this light.

These devices collect the little light visible that exists and enhances it to create images.  This is called image enhancement.

Thermal imaging is another technology that is used in thermal vision monoculars. It captures the heat signature of an object and transforms it into an image.

Thermal Image of Dog

A heat signature is infrared rays that each object emits at a certain temperature.

The principle used in thermal imaging is that warmer bodies emit more infrared light than cooler bodies. It is therefore possible to differentiate between objects with minute temperature differences.

What To Consider When Buying Night Vision Goggles

Infrared goggles and other night vision gadgets come with multiple specifications. This is likely to confuse a buyer who might end up buying a device that does not meet your needs. Here are important considerations to make when buying gadgets for night vision.

  • Environment of use – why do you need the night vision gadgets? Between the night vision binoculars and night vision monoculars, which will work best in your case? Will you be walking or standing still?  Consider the distance you need to view, the constant or most common weather, and the need for clarity. These factors are influenced by the generation or technology of the devices. Generation 1 produces slightly blurred images and the distance of view is short. The distance and clarity improve as you upgrade into Gen 2 and 3.
  • The Gain – different monoculars and binoculars have unique gain which will affect clarity and distance. Gain refers to the level or quantity of light you see when using these devices. If the magnification is greater, the quality of image reduces. Hunters require medium gain night goggles when trekking through the woods but a higher gain for their night vision scope.
  • Quality of image – everyone wants to achieve a better image quality. It is possible to get this quality, but you have to pay more for it, naturally. This quality will be affected by the technology used and the environment. If the situation does not require the highest level of clarity, do not waste money on advanced devices.  Read reviews so you know what you’re getting.

The complex specifications are likely to cause you confusion when buying a night vision scope, night vision goggles, and other imaging devices.

Check the specifications to be certain about the technology and performance of your device. You don’t need to spend a fortune when a less expensive or even cheap night vision device can suffice.