Night Vision Explained

Night vision allows you to see your target, or other items, even when it is completely dark outside.  How do these devices work?  They gather any existing light in their surroundings including starlight, moonlight and infra-red light and filter it through their front lens.  This light goes through a complicated process in the device which uses it and then amplifies it back into visible light through the eyepiece that you use.  You'll be able to see the scene you wanted to see through a green-hued light.

Four Types of Night Vision

There are four main types of night vision devices, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.  They are called 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation units.  What these names mean is that they each have a different type of tube in them that intensifies the light, and this makes all the difference for night vision devices.

1st Generation Night Vision

This is the most popular type of night vision used around the world at the moment.  What it does is amplify any existing light in its surroundings several thousand times, ensuring that you can see in the dark.  The reason that these units are so popular is that they manage, without costing a lot, to provide the user with a bright and clear image.  They work great in many settings, whether you are hunting, boating or hiking.  A few problems with these units are that they do give off a high-pitched whine when they are first turned on; the image you see through them is, at times, slighting blurry on the edges; and, the night vision piece may continue to glow green for awhile after it's turned off.

2nd Generation Night Vision

These devices are generally used by law enforcement professionals and others using them for professional purposes.  These units cost a good deal more than the 1st generation units.  Their cost is due to the fact that they have a micro-channel plate, or MCP, in them. This feature creates a brighter and clearer image than does the 1st generation device. 

3rd Generation Night Vision

The 3rd generation night vision device is a step-up from the 2nd generation variety.  It has an even brighter and sharper image and is easier to use in situations where there is very little light.  In addition to the sharper image, the 3rd generation piece also has an ion barrier film which increases the tube life and makes the device more durable and longer lasting.

4th Generation Night Vision

This is the top of the line in night vision at the moment.  These devices have the best resolution of any night vision devices and they are the best to use in extremely low light locations.  They represent a number of technological breakthroughs recently, and have created a product that creates a much clearer image in situations with much less available light. 

Night vision scopes and goggles provide an amazing technology for the night-time consumer.  Whether you are trying to protect your home, enjoying a camping trip, or hunting game, you'll find these products offer a great image enhancement over the naked eye.  Enjoy your time outdoors more with the help of night vision!