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Red and Green Lasers - What's the Difference and Which is Best?

Posted by Katy | Toolstop on 6th Feb 2024

When choosing a laser level, which should you go for? Green or red? There are many misconceptions when choosing a laser. This toolstop guide explains the real difference between green and red lasers and recommends some of our top sellers for purchase at Toolstop.

red vs green lasers
red vs green lasers

What's the difference between red and green lasers?

Besides the obvious difference in colour, what exactly differentiates a red laser from a green one? This Toolstop guide explains the reason why more people are switching from red to green lasers, and what this means for you!

Green vs red lasers

Lasers are used in many trades - construction, installation, surveying. They project vertical or horizontal (or sometimes both) lines (green or red) for fast and effortless exact, accurate measurements over long distances. But what is the difference between red and green lasers? Ultimately, it comes down to the application and your budget. There is absolutely no difference in the accuracy provided, the key differentiators are price, brightness, visibility range, and battery life.

Red Lasers

Red lasers used to be all the rave. But ever since green lasers came along and technology evolved, they seem to have fallen to the bottom of the spectrum. Red lasers still provide exact accuracy, so of course the laser you choose depends on the application you will be using it for. They don't produce as great a range as green lasers, though you can use a laser detector to improve and extend this. Benefits of owning a red laser is that they typically have a longer battery life than green lasers as they don't require as much power and are cheaper almost all the time. They are also compatible with most receivers. This is because most receivers can only detect red light, meaning they wont work alongside green lasers.  

"The human eye is far more sensitive to green than red. If you were to view a red and green laser of equal power side by side, the green laser would appear far brighter than the red one."

Green Lasers

Green lasers are visible in a much wider range of lightings than red allowing you to be able to work both accurately and precisely even under the worst conditions. This is extremely handy for work all year round, indoors and out, rain or shine. Did you know that a green laser light is ten to 50 times brighter than a red light laser? Green lasers are much more efficient and visible in areas of broad daylight and direct sunlight. They are also able to travel longer distances, which is why they are so popular on construction sites.

Bear in mind, though that green lasers are typically higher in cost than red. This is because they have more components and better laser diodes than red. But fear not, here at Toolstop we offer finance to help split the cost! Just because they are more visible and have a better range, doesn't always mean that they are better. It comes down to the individual and the application. Again, they have the exact same accuracy!

Green lasers are 4 times more visible to the human eye than red lasers of the same output power

Should you go for a green laser or red laser?

Though green lasers have a longer range than red, you can often purchase a red laser AND a laser detector for the same price, if not cheaper than a green one which will often allow you to achieve the same range.

Essentially, as is expected, it comes down to visibility. Green lasers, like the DCE089D1G are brighter and therefore have better visibility, especially when they’re used outdoors. And because of that, they’re a bit more expensive.

Red lasers, like the DCE089NR are still great, though, particularly if you use them with a detector, in which case you’ll significantly increase the range and the visibility.

Which is the best laser level?

Below we have put together a table with some of our bestselling and must have lasers available to shop at Toolstop. Take a look at their main features and benefits.

Dewalt DCE089D1G 10.8V Self Levelling Multi Line Green Laser


  • Projects bright horizontal and vertical lines

  • Full-time pulse mode allows use with a detector, maintaining full brightness for optimum visibility

  • 30m working range (50m with detector)

  • This self-levelling multi-line laser is accurate to ±0.3 mm/m in all levelling applications

  • IP65 rating and drop tested to 2 meters


  • Accuracy: +/-3mm@10m

  • Battery Voltage: 10.8

  • Battery Capacity: 2.0 Ah

For full spec and to shop this model, click here

(Video on this model below)

Dewalt DCE089D1G

Bosch GLL 3-50 Professional Red Line Laser


  • Complete solution for all levelling and transferring applications

  • Produces one horizontal line and two vertical lines

  • Working range of 10 meters without receiver, 50 meters with receiver

  • 360° rotational mounting base with manual fine adjustment for easy set-up and convenient viewing of laser point on the floor


  • Laser diode: 635 nm, < 1 mWLaser class: 2

  • Working range: 10 m

  • Working range with receiver: 50 m

  • Levelling accuracy: ± 0.3 mm/m

  • Self-levelling range: +/- 4°

  • Levelling time: 4s

  • Dust and splash protection: IP 54

  • Power supply: 4 x 1.5 V LR6 (AA)

  • Tripod thread: 1/4", 5/8"

  • Projection: 3 lines

  • Plumb point: accuracy ± 0.6 mm/m

For full spec and to shop this model, click here

Bosch GLL 3-50 Line Laser

Dewalt DW088K 2 Way Self-Levelling Ultra Bright Red Cross Line Laser


  • Projects horizontal, vertical and cross line

  • 15 meter range, though pulse mode allows for use with the DE0892 detector to increase the range to 50m

  • Self-levelling up to 4 degrees

  • IP54 rated with thick glass laser protection

  • Built-in magnetic pivot bracket mounts easily onto metal surfaces


  • Accuracy: +/-0.3 Mm / m

  • Number of rays: 2

  • Laser direction: vertical/level

  • Indoor visibility range: 15m

  • Self-leveling range: 4°

  • Power Supply: 4.5V - 3 x AA

  • Tripod Connection: ¼"

For full spec and to shop this model, click here

Dewalt DW088K Cross Line Laser

Ridgid 38758 Micro CL-100 Red Self-Levelling Cross-Line Laser


  • Single knob operation, very easy to use

  • Super bright projection of both vertical and horizontal lines

  • 30 meter range

  • IP54 rated with an integrated 360° swivel base


  • Projection: Horizontal and Vertical

  • Diode : 630-670nm

  • Range: 30m

For full spec and to shop this model, click here

Ridgid 38758 Micro CL-100 Laser

Check out this video on one of our bestselling lasers of all time, the Dewalt DCE089D1G 10.8V Self Levelling Multi Line Green Laser:

So to conclude, both lasers are just as accurate as eachother. What it ultimately comes down to is the visibility, price, range and application. What laser do you rely upon? Green or Red?

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