Red Dots vs Green Dots: Pros and Cons

The modern reflex sights usually comes with red or green illuminant reticle. Since many people don’t know that different dot colors are designed with unique advantages, they may wonder the difference between red dot and green dot sights and want to figure out the best red/green dot sight.

Well, the answer to the question “which is better, red dot or green dot laser” is quite personal. But among all optics, there is science behind red or green sights selection. This blog will help you decide which sight is best for your pistol or rifle by comparing the red dot vs green dot laser. Here you go!

The Visible Light Spectrum for Human Eyes

Scientifically speaking, sights are controlled by rods and cones, the two photoreceptors. There are cones in your eyes which absorb light, filter the wavelengths, and require much light to see color. There are three types of color vision — red, green, and blue. Because red is the most difficult color for human eyes to focus on, 60% of our retinal cones are red-sensing. While only 30% of our retinal cones are green-sensing and only 10% are blue-sensing.

Human Vision Spectrum (Source: Wikipedia)

Based on the wavelengths, lights that we can see are Visible Light Spectrum and color wavelengths within human eyes’ color vision are between 380 nm and 740 nm. The wavelength of a red laser dot is 625 – 720nm and that of a green laser dot is 520 – 565 nm.

Red Dot Pros & Cons


Red dots are classic in reflex and holographic sights. Even though there are also other colors, all of them are collectively named red dots. Why do red dots become dominant on earth? One reason behind that may be red doesn’t come in natural shade as often as green, blue, brown, and yellow.

Red Dot Sights Pros:

Better Visibility

Technically speaking, when targeting using a tiny laser dot, red catches your eyes more than other colors beside pure blue in short period of time. If you have some color-blindness or astigmatism, red dot may not be clean, easy, and crisp to see. But red contrasts well with blacks or blues, so red dot sight really provides high visibility at night or in low-light conditions.

Night Vision

Generally, red is compatible with night vision devices, but be careful when using a red dot on an night vision device. Since too bright red dot will ruin the night vision device, ensure the red dot sights support night vision as advertised and have at least two night vision settings on illumination.

Fast Acquisition

Because red rays features a high wavelength and a small frequency, red laser dot catch your eyes, image, and target faster than green laser dot.

Obvious in Complex Background

A red dot is far more conspicuous than a green dot in jungle or bushy environments for the green dot may completely blend into the green background environment. But some may argue that a red dot gets lost easily in urban surroundings that have vehicle or street lamps. However, I’ve never had this issue before.

Long-Lasting Battery Life

Red light consumes less energy than green light. Thus, a red dot sight will have a longer battery life than the green ones.

Bonus: the Best Universal Holster with Red Dot Position Ready

If you prefer a red dot sight for your pistol, then you can’t miss a universal holster Mega-Fit Holster Gen2 (Item No.: CY-UHFSG2). Compared with our first generation Mega-Fit holster (Item No.: CY-UHFS), It lowers down the thumb-index web incision to be compatible with red dots and increases the front sight space to support more than 150 full size and compact semi-automatic pistols around the world, such as G17 Gen5 MOS, G19 Gen5 MOS, Ruger Max-9, Sig Sauer P320 RX, Beretta 92, etc. It also fits for the original and foresight-refitted pistols.

Mega-Fit Holster Gen2

In addition to the two dominant improvements, Mega-Fit Holster Gen2 also upgrades the round release button to a rhombic one for better comfortability and quick index finger release. On top of that, Mega-Fit Holster Gen2 features what every universal holster with index finger releasing way has: 360 degrees wearing cant adjustment, tension adjustment, 10 available carrying platforms, military-grade polymer, right-hand and left-hand options, etc.

If you want to get more information about it, feel free to contact our sales team for more details.

Contact Sales Team

Red Dot Sights Cons:

  • Red dots are destructible
  • Red dots are less useful at close range due to the red light wavelength
  • Red dots may disappear in certain urban environment
  • Red dots may get distorted in refractive error conditions


Red dots are great for visibility than green dots in most cases when shooting in low-light environments or high brightness during daytime. Shooters without an eye issue can choose the red dot sights, which works great in most instances.

Green Dot Pros & Cons


Green dots don’t get a good reputation as red dots on account of a great deal of green dots knockoffs on the market. However, there are differences between red dot and green dot laser although both are great tactical choices in some cases.

Green Dot Sights Pros:

Counteract astigmatism

Have you ever looked down through a red dot sight but seen a red blurry mass instead of a clear red dot that is supposed to be? Or, do you remember the blurry stoplight while waiting for the green light on your way driving home? If yes, you may have developed astigmatism. Don’t worry. Astigmatism is not an inherently harmful situation and about 33% of the population have it. Nevertheless, a gun owner with astigmatism may find red dot blurry and distorted in vision due to a refractive error.

Although you can repair or minimize the astigmatism effects by conducting a vision corrective surgery, a more simple and risk-free option is to using a green dot sight or specialized glasses. The fact is that light waves of a green dot sight will less get distorted and flooded in your cones than a red dot sight. However, this is not the only merit.

High Visibility

The brightness of a dot sight may be affected by model setting, battery life, ambient light condition, etc. But when you count all these factors in, a green dot sight is still more brighter than a red dot sight on average. For example, if you are shooting in a desert or well-lit room, a green dot is the easiest sight on your cones.

That’s because the wavelength of green light effortlessly makes the green dot sights far more brighter than red dot sights and human eyes also notice green more easier and relaxing than red, which makes it brighter than it actually is.

Less Eye Strains

As mentioned above, human eyes see green light more easier and relaxing than red light. Therefore, the green dot sights put less strain on your eyes to focus on. When focusing on a target, you use your muscles and nerves in your eyes a lot. So, any excessive activity will tire it out.

The shorter wavelength and higher frequency of green light make your eyes less strenuous, so as to give older shooters with weaker vision a more pleasant shooting experience during long time shootings.

Night Vision

Green dots are sometimes used for night vision as green light shows up amazingly through your night vision devices. However, the green may not show up with ANVIS lenses at all. Hence, if you want to select a green dot sight with night vision functionality, tell the manufacturers your requirements.


Human eyes are far more sensitive to green light than red light for the green light stimulates two out of three types of cones in your eyes equally. On this regard, if you respectively use red and green dot with the same power level to target at something, the green dot appears much brighter than red. In other words, green dot saves power.

Green Dot Sights Cons:

  • Green dots are challenging to see in forest or bush.
  • Green dots are more expensive than red dots.
  • Green dots can’t always be used for night vision.
  • Green dots reduces battery runtime.
  • Too much contrast under low light conditions.


Green dots are easier to see during daytime and work well in bright conditions. However, it may not work well in an entirely-green background.

Other Color Dots

Besides red/green dot optics, are there any other options? Of course. There are blue and gold/amber reticles as well.

Blue dots are usually found in cheap airsoft quality reflexive sights. In game Call of Duty Warzone, blue dots are widely used; however, in real world, the demand for blue dots is not high since they are not as effective as red and green dots, but it can be used successfully.

Gold dots are designed for color-blind shooters to see more efficiently and Trijicon and Holosun optics have already found their way. Another merit of gold dots is that the gold and amber color are not commonly seen in nature. Thus, gold dots are not prone to be blended in the background. But gold and amber dots also have demerits. They are easily washed out in super bright light and the battery life is half of the red dots, which can be a big issue in bright environment.

Choose Your Color

Although red dots dominant the reflex sights, green is catching up quickly. Everything considered, your preference counts when deciding whether a red dot or green dot is better. As green dots mainly works well in daylight and red dots works well in low-light environment, you can always find one for your mission.

Anyway, you can now make a rational choice after reading this informative guide.