Seeing With Infrared Binoculars

Many things go bump in the night and it is often difficult to see what those things are. This inability of our vision to see in the darkness is based on the biological fact that the human eye can only see a portion of the entire light spectrum.

A quick lesson on light reveals that light is comprised of waves of energy. The length of the light wave is in direct proportion to the energy of that wave. The longer the wave the less energy it has. Therefore the shorter the wave, the more energy that wave contains.

Additionally, colors can be defined as light waves. The color representing the most energy, shortest wave length, is violet. The energy level of colors decreases in the following order: indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red being the least energy wave, longest, of the color spectrum.

Added to the mix are even lower light waves of energy that are not visible to the human eye. Infrared is one such wave of energy and is even further divided in three levels. Those levels are near infrared, mid-infrared and thermal infrared.

Infrared binoculars take these facts surrounding the energy of the infrared light wave and combine the magnification of binoculars with infrared capability to help aid in night-time viewing. How this infrared technology works and what to look for in infrared binoculars would be helpful to discuss.

How Infrared Binoculars Work

Most infrared binoculars incorporate a special illuminator that emits a powerful bean of infrared light. This light is not visible to the human eye and yet provides a light source that allows for objects to be seen at night. The captured reflected image, caused by the infrared light, is focused back through the lens into a specially constructed electronic tube. The resulting process transforms a weak reflected image into a stronger one.

Eventually, through a conversion process that involves photons and electrons, a greenish image is seen through the infrared binoculars. This greenish image is a reflection of the image that is being seen.


Different makes and models of infrared binoculars are equipped with different features. Depending upon the intended use of these binoculars equates to what features you would wish your infrared binoculars to include.

Probably the most important feature of binoculars is the magnification. The magnification you choose is contingent upon their use. A magnification of 5.0 will help the observer to see beyond 200 yards away from the view point. Magnification less than 5.0 will decrease the range of yardage that can be seen from your vantage point.

Other factors to consider when considering a pair of infrared binoculars includes the weight, its durability, ease of accessing the controls, battery life and a diopter. Handling a lighter weight set of binoculars and ease of use will allow for better experiences in utilizing the infrared binoculars.