Green vs Red Beam Laser Level – What one is Best?

green vs red laser level

Have you noticed the number of people switching from red to green beam laser levels? If so, ever wondered the reason for that?

Up until a few years ago, red was the king as far as laser levels were concerned. Whether you were working on construction, electrical installation, air conditioning installation or even heating equipment, red beam laser levels were a must-have.

Why it is, then, that more and more people are now choosing green laser levels? Surely these levels would have their fair share of shortcomings, or won’t they?

To answer all these – and many more questions – this article comes into play.

Green Vs Red Beam Laser Level

Below mentioned are the reasons why you should – and shouldn’t – choose both red and green beam laser levels.


Ask any professional tradesman, and he’d tell you that green laser levels are more expensive than their red counterparts. On average, a green beam laser level costs at least 20% to 25% more than its red counterpart. That’s because, the parts behind green levels – which makes their laser more powerful – doesn’t come cheap. So, if you’re short on money, green levels are simply a NO-GO area.


Inside a laser level beam

Why is a green laser more expensive than a red?

The above diagram is a clear picture to your query. Green lasers are not cheap they have extra parts like a 808 diode, a frequency-doubling crystal and a second infrared laser crystal. This is why they are time consuming to build and expensive.

Winner: Red Laser Level


The distance covered by the light depends upon various factors like reflection, refraction, polarization, scattering, dispersion, wave length etc.  So we can’t conclude that distance covered are only dependent upon wave length. However as a layman, we can conclude green lasers can be viewed from a longer range than red lasers.

In Indoor: 

Taking all other metrics same for both lasers, while working in indoors red lasers will have a range of 20-30 ft and green lasers will have a range of 50-60ft – according to PLS, a leading manufacturer of laser levels. Green laser level is leading here.

But here a twist, without purchasing green laser level you can opt for red laser level with a detector. Funny part is red laser level with detector will cost less than green laser level.


Cost (Green  Laser Level) < Cost (Red Laser Level) + Cost (Laser level detector)

In outdoor:

While working in outdoor i.e working beyond 60ft, green laser level is a clear winner.  Thats why this laser levels are getting popular in electrical industry and construction.

Winner: Draw


One of the reasons why green beam lasers have become so popular is their power, which allows them to boast an extended visibility range. That factor, however, is a double-edged sword; for their batteries do not last as long per charge as that of their red counterparts.

Also low battery in green laser levels can affect the visibility of green beams. So wen can conclude green one drains more battery than red one.

Winner: Red Laser Level


For jobs that are done under ambient light conditions – like pavements, working with drywall, round constructions and plumbing – green beam laser levels are miles ahead of any other laser level. Why? Because their green diode allows them to emit greater power, hence making the green beam more visible even under the light.

In case you are wondering, it is the wavelength and power output of a laser level which determines its visibility. Provided power output is kept constant, wavelengths closed to 555nm are considered as brighter for eyes, which means green levels with wavelength ~ 560–520 nm shine the brightest, providing 4 times as much light as the red levels.

Green Vs Red Beam Laser Level

However the Visibility depends upon the,

  1. Ambient light: Both red and green laser level works nice in indoor but in out door green beam out-performs.
  2. Type of surface: If the surface is a poor reflector of laser beam then it will be difficult for human eye to detect.
  3. Battery strength: The luminance of green laser too depends upon the battery. The visibility will be better with new batteries.

Winner : Green Beam Laser


Green laser levels are Compatible with Machine Control Receivers. That’s right, green beam laser levels are NOT compatible with machine control receivers. That is, because, a majority of these receivers come with pre-installed red beam detectors, which can only detect red light. So, for earthmoving applications, red beam levels are needed.

If you need to perform a DIY or home task, don’t want to pay over the odds on a tool and want it to be compatible with most receivers as well, you should go for a red laser level.

Bottom Line:

Green laser levels provide better visibility, boast long range and are best for working outdoors. Provided you can afford to spend a little bit over the odds, go for them.

Our comparison of green vs red beam laser levels tells you all you need to know about both of them. Remember, both of them will work best provided you know where to use them. That means if your work is outdoors or bright ambient light conditions, green laser levels are worth a shot. Conversely, you can stick with the age-old and inexpensive red laser levels for indoors.

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