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Green vs Red Laser Level: What’s the Difference?

green vs red laser level

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 Difference Between Red & Green Laser Levels

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.

Why Are Most Laser Levels Red?

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.

What’s Up With Green Laser Levels?

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.

Which Type of Laser Level is Best For You?

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.

Pros of a Green Laser Level
  • Longer range
  • Clearer visibility
  • More power
Cons of Green Laser Level
  • More expensive
  • Requires more battery power
Pros of a Red Laser Level
  • More accessible
  • Less expensive
  • Requires less battery power
Cons of a Red Laser Level
  • Shorter range
  • Less visibility
  • Less power

Top image credit: Senior Airman Jimmie D. Pike

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