Written by Julie

Red vs green lasers in measuring equipment

You're out: you know which measuring device you are going to use for your job. You want to purchase it and suddenly see a model that has been released in 2 variants. Why are the lines of that one rotation laser or cross line laser green and of the other red? And which color laser do you use in which situation? On this page we explain the difference between the two color lasers.

The color of light

Light consists of waves with different lengths. We call the length of a wave wavelength. Visible light has a wavelength between 380 and 750 nanometers. In addition, the color violet has the shortest wavelength and red the longest wavelength. You could draw a single wave between these two extremes with all the colors of the rainbow in between. The height in the wave indicates how easy the light is visible to the human eye. The higher the spot in the wave, the better the light is visible to the human eye.

Red versus green

Red laser versus green laser

Red light goes with a wavelength of about 630 nanometers towards the end of the wave. Green light is close to the peak at around 530 nanometers. Green is therefore perceived better than red. To be precise, our retina green looks 12 times better and therefore it seems 6 times lighter than red. But when producing a green laser, more KTP crystals are required, which is therefore more expensive. This makes green lasers more expensive than the red variants.

Indoors and outdoors

Rotation laser with accessories

If you have bright lights inside, your laser line is harder to see. You can use colored laser glasses or a laser receiver to see the line better. The laser glasses increase the visibility of the beam and the receiver increases the range. Outdoors, you always need a receiver because of outside light interference. Both red and green laser lines are suitable for outdoor use.


You opt for a green laser if you:

  • You want a visible beam.
  • You want to pay extra for it.

You choose a red laser if you:

  • You can work just fine with a red laser.
  • Prefer not to pay extra.

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Article by:
Julie Tools Expert.

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