How to Choose an IR Laser Aiming Device for Night Vision

March 7, 2023
How to Choose an IR Laser Aiming Device for Night Vision, Steele Industries Inc

When expanding your firearm use to include night vision, the IR laser can provide a powerful opportunity to improve weapon accuracy. Much like a visible laser, an IR light device uses an invisible beam to aid your sight and accuracy when using NVD devices. A little information will go a long way when choosing from a list of the best IR lasers.

Basic Use for Night Vision and IR Lasers

Different IR lasers are available, with legal civilian versions labeled Class 1 and safe for the eye because of the lower laser output. Class 3 devices are generally for the military and law enforcement and have the potential to blind someone if the laser is aimed at the naked eye.

Need for an IR Laser Illuminator with a Night Vision Device

You can enhance the utility of an IR device when you combine it with an illuminator. Just what it sounds like, an IR illuminator is like a flashlight, emitting a small beam to improve the light conditions.

Key Features of an IR illuminator

When you are ready to purchase an IR laser and illuminator, there are several things to consider. Devices should be chosen according to the intended use, such as for civilian or military use. Still, there are only a couple of instances where a Class 3 laser is necessary. You should also consider your budget, as a device with all the features could cost thousands.

Simple Operation

The laser needs to turn on and turn off, but you can enhance its performance by having a high/low power switch. An actuation button is all that is needed for use, but controlling the function is helpful for adapting to situations.

Easy Mount

The IR laser should be easily mounted, either to a Picatinny rail or headgear. In addition to its mount, consider the weight of the unit. When worn on the head, weight becomes a big deal.


When considering how you plan to use the unit, you need an illuminator to adapt to your situation. A short-range unit often has certain limitations in that objects outside the ring of focus become even darker. A short/wide-range combination unit can solve this problem.


The features added to your laser can bring a considerable advantage. Being able to adjust the laser beam to account for ambient light challenges improves visibility and accuracy.

Challenges When Using an IR Illuminator

Knowing the concerns of using lasers, apart from how eye safe the unit is, also helps you direct your choice. There are two primary drawbacks to adding rifle hunting with a laser.

Reduced Stealth

Unfortunately, the IR beam is visible to both friend and foe. The IR illuminator is the release of an IR beam, which makes it easier to see when using your night vision unit. This can make it harder to conceal your position from others.

Laser Power Limitations

Without the proper lighting behind the laser, the ability to accurately engage a target at a longer distance decreases. To see further down the range, units need greater technology to power the illuminators. This generally increases the size of the house since the illuminator needs to be larger.

Purchasing the Best Equipment on the Market

If you need help working through which IR laser or illuminator to choose, Steele Industries can help. Some of the leading devices available include:

  • Holosin LS321G with Class IIIA visible red laser, Class 2M IR laser, and IR Illuminator
  • DBAL A3 Civilian release with lightweight, dual beam quick tap application
  • Wilcox Raid-Xe-Ruggedized Aiming Laser with Bluetooth interface, custom programming, and adjustable beam divergence

Shop the selection of illuminators and lasers at Steele Industries to enhance your firearm performance. See the difference quality night vision accessories can make.