How do Night Vision Goggles Work

Night Vision Goggles

Night vision goggles are electronic devices that boost the poor night-time vision into a more compelling vision. Usually, human pupils become wider when observing dim lights. Still, they will not enlarge much to see clearly at night. The retinas do not have enough rods for clear vision at night. It is where the night vision goggles come into aid.

When inventing the glasses that help people to see at night, it is a must that light rays travel into the glasses at the frontage. The device should then capture the light, boost its strength, and then direct the light rays into the viewer’s eyes. In attracting and increasing the light, binoculars and telescopes will bring light to a focus but do not make it brighter.

The night vision goggles work using two different technologies:

1. Image-Enhancement


The tool utilizes what is available, and makes the most out of it. During the darkest hours, there are still some bits of light around. An example is an infrared light that you may not see with the natural eyes. Tools like binoculars will capture the light and enhance their focus. However, the night vision goggles use image-enhancement technology to gather every light available, which includes the infrared. It then amplifies the light so that you may see better, the happenings of the dark.

2. Thermal Imaging

Thermal Imaging

It is a technology that utilizes heat. Hot objects produce heat in the form of infrared. The night vision goggles use thermal imaging technology to capture the infrared light produced in the form of heat, by the objects located within the field of view. You can, therefore, manage to view the occurrences in the dark. How much you see depends on the amount of heat generation from different objects.

Thermal imaging works well when detecting people in the dark. Furthermore, it is suitable for conditions that approach total darkness. However, most night vision tools, including the night vision goggles, utilize the image-enhancement technology. Besides, the thermal-imaging types of binoculars enhance the night-time vision.

Night vision goggles, through the night vision technology contain many purposes. It is essential for military night wars, close night surveillance, navigation purposes, and also for animal watching and hunting during night time. Human eyes are receptive to green lights. Also, it is usually more comfortable for the eyes to stare at green images for more extended periods, than they can with black and white colors. It is the reason why the screens of the earliest computers seemed to appear green.

Therefore, the night goggles contain screens that produce green images. Such an aspect explains why a night vision representation usually has a green glow. Besides, whenever the glasses capture and amplify any available light found in the dark, it turns it into electronic information that passes on to the eyes. The electronic data is usually colorless. However, the night goggles will produce a green-lighted picture of the information.

How Night Vision Goggles Boosts a Dark Scene

Night Vision Goggles Working

  • Dimmed light that comes from a dark view enters the lens from the frontage. The light composes of particles of all colors (photons)
  • As the light particles pass through the goggles, they hit a light-responsive surface called photocathode. It resembles a defined solar panel. The photocathode then converts photons into electrons (micro sub-atomic particles that carry electrical energy around the circuit).
  • A photomultiplier (photoelectric cell type) usually amplifies the electrons. In return, every electron that passes through the photomultiplier results into more electrons leaving off.
  • The electrons that leave the photomultiplier strikes a phosphor screen, which resembles the screen of an old television.
  • As the electrons continue to strike the phosphor, they form tiny light flashes.
  • At this point, there are more photons than the first ones that passed through the goggles. The screen then produces a brighter light edition of the initial view.

Disclosure is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,, Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.