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Why are red dots red?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Frye, Jun 24, 2013.

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  1. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    First of all you can get dots in any color you want as can be plainly seen:

    Dots.png

    Now looking back at the original post maybe some clarifications are in order:

    When we look at Aimpoint for example and look at what Aimpoint has to say:

    That Reflex part is important.

    Note at this point there is no mention of a LASER, only the lowly LED (Light Emitting Diode). The LED is merely a light source within the optics. The above quote was taken from here. The link is worth a read to understand how these animals work. Why Red? Considering that a Red, Green. Blue or Yellow LED have little difference in cost (the common red is less expensive) a Red LED does have less current draw on the battery and considering most optics like this use small coin cell batteries my guess is battery life is a prime consideration.

    LASER sighting systems are a totally different animal. LASER systems actually project a beam of light on the target, just like LASER pointers. Movie makers love these things. The bad guy looking down as a LASER dot sits on his body freaks them out. Pretty cool as where that spot is will be the point of impact of the bullet. Not that you can see a LASER spot between your eyes but you get the idea.

    Today's red low power LASER beams are created by LASER diodes not to be confused LEDs which are different animals. Red LASER diodes are cheap, green LASER diodes are not so cheap. It becomes a matter of how the light is created. I gave a link in an earlier post covering that.

    Anyway, red dot scopes as we call them are not LASER optics. Aimpoint optics do not use a LASER system. They use a red LED as a light source. The most logical for the choice of red is likely battery life in my opinion. Beyond current draw colors other than red, orange and yellow typically have higher working voltages adding to battery configuration problems.

    Just My Take
    Ron
     
  2. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Just to clarify, the Eotech uses a red diode laser and a diffraction grating to create a hologram of a red ring and diffraction-limited center dot in the window. The Aimpoint and other dot-type reflex sights use LED's, as described.
     
  3. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    That's not actually completely true. The Eotech, per the link I posted, does actually use a laser to create a holographic image for use as a reticle.

    I wonder though if part of the reason red is so commonly used in red dot scopes does not have to do with the fact that laser sighting systems were all also initially red. Really though I think it probably has most to do with the ability of the eye to quickly pick up red against most commonly encountered targets.
     
  4. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    Somebody's eye, not mine. Red sux.
     
  5. -v-

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    Always assumed its because red diodes and lasers use the least power out of the spectrum, thus giving these weapon sights the longest possible battery life.
     
  6. e3mrk

    e3mrk Member

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    Because it has a Red Light.
     
  7. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    My bad as I only focused on Aimpoint. Thank you all for pointing out Eotech uses a different method using a LASER.

    Thanks
    Ron
     
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