850nm or 940nm? The best wavelength for night vision!

850nm or 940nm? The best wavelength for night vision!

A very important aspect of night vision optics is the wavelength of the infrared (IR) light.
These are mainly found in the wavelengths 850nm, 940nm or even higher.

But what do those numbers mean? And which one do you need? We'll discuss that!

How do night vision optics work?
Well, this is a wide topic and since we focus on pest control and hunting, we will not discuss high-end analog NVD's.

The most important thing you need to know is that these viewers see light in the infrared spectrum (IR).
We cannot see the light in this spectrum, but the optic converts it into an image that we can perceive.

Most digital night vision optics require support form an infrared light.
This IR light shines with light that we do not see, but the optic does. Clear so far?

When you buy a night vision scope, this light is often included. You can also get these illuminators separately.
You can usually find the wavelength in the specifications. This is usually 850nm or 940nm.


850nm VS. 940nm

It's actually all very simple. Each has its pros and cons and it depends on the intended use.
The lower the wavelength, the further it reaches. But it is also more visible to other animals.

850nm for example, it reaches further than 940. But this wavelength is visible to animals such as boars, some deer and rats.
In some cases you, as a human, can even see the red glow of the source.

850nm summed up:

+Reaches far.
+Very sharp light over long distances.
-Visible to some animals.
-Can overexpose the optic at very short distances.

940nm reaches less far (still a few hundred meters), but is completely invisible and does not show a red glow.

940nm summed up:

+Completely invisible.
+Still reaches far enough for close range hunting.
-Looses sharpness and brightness at very long distances

Because many night vision scopes are made for normal game hunting, they come standard with an 850nm lamp.
But for example, these would therefore be unsuitable for hunting rats.


So now I have to buy another light?

Are you now obliged to immediately buy a new lamp if the included light is the wrong one?
No, feel free to try with the original.
How much the light stands out, how far it reaches and the strength varies greatly from brand to brand.
So it may well be that the 850nm will work fine with your method of hunting and environment.

Do you see a rat? Wave your lamp around and see if it responds.


Do you have questions about night vision and all the technology surrounding it?
Please feel free to contact us with your questions!


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