Red vs. Green Laser Level: Is There a Difference in Accuracy

Any room or home remodeling project will call for the use of a laser level guide. These ingenious little devices help by shooting a perfectly parallel laser relative to the floor, giving you a guide on where to place tiles, drill holes, attach joists, and so on.

Form the numerous laser guides available, finding the right one for the job is quite the challenge. And to add to the mounting pile of confusion regarding how to purchase the right laser level, there are two different laser colors to choose from: red and green.

So what’s up with this Christmas-y lightsDoes one do a better job than the other in the outdoorsAnd why do green-light laser guides cost more than redThese are just a few questions that we’re going to answer in this guide. So if you’re in the market for a laser level guide, you may want to know the differences between the green lasers and red.

Accuracy

All laser levels are accurate to within a fraction of an inch, making them the ideal tool to have for large-scale construction projects. However, comparing the accuracy rating of red and green lasers is almost impossible since it comes down to how well the laser levels are built.

There are several things that can impact the precision of laser levels, regardless of their accuracy margins of error. Thing factors are almost always beyond the control of the user and tool – e.g. fog, surface, lighting – so it’d be better to have a good idea of what sort of environment you’re working in before deciding on a red or green laser level.

Visibility

When it comes to laser guides, visibility is everything. You’ll only be able to keep construction as straight and parallel or perpendicular as possible with a bright, visible laser.

For the most part, you may not even notice a tremendous difference between red and green lasers. However, from a technical standpoint, green lights are much more visible than red lights in most scenarios. This is caused by the difference in each of these colors’ wavelengths. Red lights typically have a 650-nm wavelength, whereas green is around 532 nm. The human eye can only perceive a maximum of 550 nm, so any color close to that number is easier to spot.

What you need to understand is that visibility is affected by several factors, including but not limited to ambient light, the surface on which the laser is pointed at, as well as remaining battery power. That being said, if shining a red and green laser level in identical settings, green will always be more visible.

Range

The maximum range of red and green lasers differs vastly, but like visibility, the range is affected by numerous factors, such as dispersion, refraction, and scattering. Furthermore, the maximum range output of red and green lasers depends on whether the laser guide is designed for indoor or outdoor use.

In indoor settings, red laser guides can typically reach a maximum distance of 30 feet, whereas green lasers can go beyond 50 feet. Of course, each laser guide has its own minuscule margin of error, but the margin can widen the farther away the laser level is from the laser-receiving surface. But red laser levels can come with detectors which extend the range by up to several hundreds of feet. This will come in handy in large construction projects in wide-open spaces.

As for outdoor construction work, green lasers are much more capable of piercing through ambient lights and fog. We’re not saying that red lasers are incapable outdoors, but with so many variables that could reduce the laser’s visibility, the superior wavelength of green lasers makes it the much better choice. Green lasers for outdoor use are capable of reaching beyond 60 feet.

Power Consumption

If you’re working on a tight schedule, then you should know that green lasers consume more power compared to red lasers. This has a lot to do with the visibility of the light – to make the laser easier to spot from a distance. The tool needs to spend more battery power in shooting the green light.

The good news is that with technological advancements in construction tools, the power efficiency of green laser guides is almost identical to red lasers, though it will have to spend more time recharging over time.

Cost

Another area where red and green laser guides differ is price. Generally speaking, a green laser level with the same range capacity and range rating as a red laser level will cost about twice as much. The high price tag of green laser levels is due to the rarity of green diodes.

Green diodes aren’t exactly scarce, but there is a limited number of suppliers out there that can deliver. This, of course, forces laser level manufacturers to pay top dollar for green diodes, and their expenses are then distributed to their customers.

So is it worth splurging on a green laser level when you could get a red one for less than half the priceIn some cases, yes, especially when visibility is a top priority.

Red vs. Green Laser Level – Which should I get?

In conclusion, when it comes to accuracy, there’s no significant difference between red and green laser levels. When put head-to-head in identical situations, the accuracy of both laser level colors will be affected just the same.

The main thing to take away from this article is that the benefits of green lasers can outweigh the literal cost of purchasing one. Since they have brighter beams and are easier to see, even from distances beyond 60 feet, green laser levels are the more practical choice for large construction projects.

Depending on the make and model, red lasers are not bad at all. In fact, except for the reduced visibility in extremely foggy settings, a red laser level is the more cost-efficient solution for ensuring a perfect job. The cheaper price tag combined with its almost perfect accuracy (margin of error, remember?) is what draws professional contract workers to red laser levels.

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Red vs. Green Laser Level

Red Laser Level
Green Laser Level

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