Some leveling devices contain either a red or green laser. While red remains the most popular and most economical option, green laser levels might make you wonder if you’ve chosen the best product. What is the big difference between a red laser and a green laser? Read our brief guide below to better understand what sets these two types of light beams apart.
The main element that separates red and green laser levels is power. While a red laser level can reach 20-30 feet, a green laser level can be visible at 45 to 60 feet. This can be beneficial for large areas such as garages or roof lines. However, a green laser also sucks up more battery power and can be more harmful to the eye over long periods of exposure.
This boils down to economics. Red lasers are simpler to create. They require a diode (a current conductor), a lens, and some electronic manipulation to create. Red lasers are also versatile. They can be used for pocket pointers, levels, surveying, and medical equipment. Since they can be manufactured with low radiation, they are generally safe for diverse purposes.
Within the spectrum of visible light, green sits right in the middle. The human eye is, therefore, most sensitive to this color. Because of this, night vision goggles and computer screens were invented to display green images for ease of use. The same is true for a level. A green laser light is far easier to see than a red one, which means clearer edges and farther visibility. On the downside, you’ll also pay more for them, and they’ll eat through batteries much faster.
For construction projects, a green laser level is far superior to a red one. If you’ll be using it frequently, springing for the better technology is a good idea. Just be prepared to change the batteries more often, and opt for lithium batteries when available to get the most bang for your buck. If you need something more economical, a red laser is still perfectly functional and much more common. You’ll also spend less money on batteries, which can be helpful if you don’t want to keep them on hand. Either way, laser technology is a great way to augment your leveling needs.
Top image credit: Senior Airman Jimmie D. Pike
Ryan is a freelance writer from Arizona. When he's not blogging about his favorite hobbies, he's writing fiction, hiking or running in the great outdoors, and spending time with family.