Night vision binoculars were first used by the German Army in the 1940s. Most people would recognize night vision goggles from your favorite action movies. However, with improvement in technology and decreasing prices, night vision goggles have been widely taken up for use outside of military applications.
Whether you are a keen hunter or outdoors person, or want to use night vision devices to use in dark condition when you might be walking outside, taking photos of wildlife as camera or carrying out general exploration.
To help you find your affordable night vision google, we bring you a night vision goggles review for the top night vision goggles under 500.
- Top 5 Recommended Night Vision Goggles Under 500
- Night Vision Goggles – FAQs
- The Verdicts
Top 5 Recommended Night Vision Goggles Under 500
|Product Name||Battery Lifetime |
|Weight (Ounce)||Field of Vision (FOV)|
|Night Owl Pro Nexgen||40hrs||38 (w/o Batteries)||30 Degrees|
1.7m @ 66m
|Sightmark SM15070 Ghost Hunter||20hrs||15 (w/o Batteries)||30 Degrees|
5.4m @ 100m
|Yukon NVMT||15hrs||13.4 (w/o Batteries)||30 Degrees|
1.7m @ 80m
|EyeClops Night Vision||20hrs||19 (With 5 AA Batteries)||30 Degrees|
1m @ 17m
|Nightfox Widescreen Digital||6hrs||22 (w/o Batteries)||30 Degrees|
1.2m @ 100m
1. Night Owl Pro Nexgen – Night Vision Binocular For Professional
The Nightowl Pro is one of the most advanced night vision goggle binoculars with price less than $500 in this class. It is designed for those who demand the highest performance technology.
Its 40 hours of battery life with Infra-Red on, makes it best in class for battery life. The wide field of vision and reasonable range at up to 60m, means you get an excellent panoramic view.
Using Generation 1 optics technology, the ocular lenses have proprietary technology which means the lenses always stay over the eyes. The thermoplastic lens housing and construction mean the goggles are durable, reliable and waterproof. A central focusing wheel gives you up to 5 times focus.
These lightweight and durable night vision goggles can be considered the best in class for a tactical series of infrared illuminator digital binoculars, which can be used for hunting, severe recreational use for airsoft or paintball in low light, or as an aid for professional wildlife photography.
One of the primary reasons you should buy this gadget is that it is made in such a way that it enables user to see everything even in the most challenging conditions. This affordable night vision goggles are truly designed for severe professional users in mind.
2. Sightmark SM15070 Ghost Hunter – Entry Level Night Vision Goggle under $500
The Sightmark Ghost Hunter is another dual tube Generation 1 system like the Nightowl. These night vision binocular goggles don’t come with a zoom built in, meaning it is better suited for producing brighter images which are closer to hand. However, the Hunter 1 x 24 vision field is up to 100m which makes it joint best in class with the Nightfox.
The 1 x 24-night vision goggle is made from a durable polymer which makes them well suited to outdoor use. Also, it has a handy auto shut-off feature, which means it the goggles encounter a bright light they automatically shut down.
If you see a bright flash while wearing night vision goggles, this could temporarily impair or even damage your vision. This feature is typically seen higher end models.
The Sightmark is the second lightest in class coming in at just under half a kilogram. Weight is an important consideration if you plan on wearing a pair of night vision goggles for an extended time. Too much weight will strain your neck muscles.
Also though the battery life is less than the NightOwl, it is still a highly respectable 20 hours with Infrared in use. These goggles are a great entry-level model for professional users.
The most significant benefit of buying is that it is a lightweight and durable night vision gadget. Potential buyers do not need to worry about the high costing as the device comes with a warranty on its housing. It is also important to note that the gadget’s engineering meets the highest standards and requirements of any severe night vision user.
3. Yukon NVMT Head Mount Kit – Affordable Night Vision Monocular
The Yukon NVMT Head Mount Kit is also among the best night vision goggles with price tag under 500 dollars that a serious buyer must consider.
Yukon has been a market leader in night vision goggles and advanced optics for 20 years, so they are a recognized brand name producing quality products which stand the test of time.
The Yukon is a monocular using a single tube generation 1 system which can be mounted on headgear or held in hand. Monoculars are very versatile and allow the user to use them either as a scope, head mounted or just to be used by hand.
With a battery that can life of 15 hours or less with Infrared, it may strain under heavy use of say a weekend camping trip. The Yukon is best in class for weight coming in at under 400g which means you won’t even notice it’s there, and it produces vision with the help of its infrared laser sight of up to 80m away, which makes it ideal for spotting wildlife before launching in pursuit.
The kit comes with head mount included and using a monocular means you get the choice to switch eyes. However, like the Sightmark the Yukon has no zoom capability.
With this affordable price, this night vision can be a good choice for recreational users or those on a budget.
4. EyeClops – Best For Kids and Recreational Users
The Eyeclops is the only pair of night vision goggles which is specifically marketed for kids and recreational users. Its design is therefore much more quirky and less functional the rest of the class. The plastic casing would probably not be as durable if used regularly, as the design is more for style than being rugged.
The design is quite bulky and pretty impractical for anything other than fun. The EyeClops cannot be mounted on headgear and must be held in hand. But it is an ideal choice for cheap night vision.
The goggles offer the lowest range for a field of vision at 17 meters. Which means it would only really be suitable for recreational games in the dark, as well as air-soft and paintball in low light.
However, for the price, it represents excellent value for money, particularly for those on a tight budget. The battery life is respectable at 20 hours, and the weight is similar to the Nightowl at a kilogram.
The goggles incorporate working infrared technology, which brings a perfectly dark environment into clarity. Interestingly, within the rage of about 50 feet, the goggle’s high contrast dual eye LCD offers extremely clear pictures
This goggle is great for kids and recreational users who want to use night vision now and then.
The Nightfox Widescreen Digital Night Vision Infrared Binocular is a night vision goggle that will sort out your night operations at a friendly price.
The Nightfox is unique in class for using a single widescreen view, mean its comfortable to use even if you wear glasses. This overcomes a common problem with a lot of night vision in that they must be worn directly to the eye. The large screen makes this an ideal night vision goggle set to use watching wildlife after dark.
The range is best in class at up to 100m just like the Sightmark, which means you will be able to view from a long distance away and with great clarity. As you can imagine the infrared and wide viewing screen do harm battery life, which is only 6 hours, and that is using 8 x AA batteries.
Though, the Nightfox is the only other night vision goggle that comes with a zoom function, up to 6 times which is again best in class. Zooms are rare for night vision goggles, and to have both a manual and digital zoom is a luxury for models which are not high end.
This makes the Nightfox even more desirable who wish to use it to view wildlife after dark. An excellent entry-level model for recreational users who want more power, and professional users on a budget.
Night Vision Goggles – FAQs
Essentially a night vision goggle works by taking the light from a dark image and amplifying the light to give you a picture. The highest specification lightweight and tough night vision goggles use a ruggedized optical engine which produces very crisp tracker night vision.
It is normal that this type technology can be confusing especially for beginners, and here are some frequently asked questions regarding the night vision google:
Do night vision goggles work in total darkness?
Even on the darkest nights, there is always a small amount of light which can be magnified. Most night vision goggle also has a built-in infrared.
This built-in IR illuminator projects light into the darkness, which can then be amplified using the intensifier tube, allowing you to see in total darkness
What is the best color for night vision?
A red light was traditionally best for your night optics. However, most image screen in the military night vision you see on TV are green. This is to retain maximum quality in your digital night vision.
Your eyes are more receptive to green light, which also allows an easier differentiation of colors than red, increasing your recognition range.
What is the difference between night vision and thermal imaging?
A night vision device takes small amounts of light and amplifies it whereas a thermal imaging device is a sensor which detects heat and then converts that pattern of colors into an image.
They are mostly 2 different types of images, which is why you won’t come across thermal night vision. One device uses ambient light, and the other uses visible heat.
Getting a night vision goggle binocular kit is a significant investment, and unless you are a professional hunter or wildlife photographer, you will want to invest in something that can provide excellent image quality, a field of view of image intensification at the best value for money.
That honor goes to the Nightfox. Though the battery life could be better, 6 hours is more than enough time for you to enjoy them, with an easy to use wide view lens which suits all head sizes and a zoom of up to 6 x for ultra-night vision. It is a perfect blend of usability, functionality and all at a reasonable price.