Chances are, if you own an AR-15, you have a lot of tactical needs in mind for your rifle. One of the most useful accessories to a weapon like this is a red or green AR-15 laser sight. It is useful in home defense, law enforcement, military purpose, and even target practice.
Thanks to my dad, I’ve handled over 177 firearms since I turned 21. That’s a good number, but the AR-15 remains my top pick. It’s a nifty baddie to use. However, with a few small accessories and you can achieve another level of shooting.
Below is a list of the best AR-15 laser sights that I’ll cover in this review:
|AT3 LEOS Red Dot Sight with Integrated Laser Sight|| ||$129 Shop NowClick to read my review|
Best Budget Buy
|Souforce Green Red Dot Laser Sight|| ||$44 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Holosun Visible & IR Laser Sight|| ||$769 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Streamlight TLR-4 Tac Light with Laser|| ||$136 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|TruGlo MICRO-Tac Tactical Micro Laser|| ||$61 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Viridian X5L Green Laser Sight and Tac Light|| ||$249 Shop NowClick to read my review|
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Which is the Better AR-15 Laser: Red or Green?
As you know, lasers come in two colors: red and green. Each laser color has its own strength. This often causes a lot of confusion for amateur and veteran shooters on which to pick. As such, how can we differentiate between the two?
Red lasers are more readily available in the market because they are cheaper. Of course, their cost reflects on the features they could offer to a user.
While they make excellent add-ons for night shooting, red lasers don’t do well in the daytime. You’ll notice that they aren’t very noticeable when used in broad daylight, especially from a distance. Despite the setbacks, red lasers win in terms of longer battery life.
Green laser beams come at a higher cost–and it’s all for good reasons. First, they let out stronger light glows. This makes it easier to spot them in bright and dark places alike. Though, this high brightness also shortens their battery life span.
AR-15 Laser: What To Look For
So you want to buy an AR-15 laser? There are several factors you should consider when picking the one for you.
- Usability. We need to know if a laser sight is easy to operate. As such, it should be simple for you to mount and use on your rifle. It’s never a good thing to struggle using your laser in situations like shootouts and burglaries.
- Size. A laser’s size has something to do with its weight. Thus, it could affect your shooting accuracy as a whole. Compact laser sights that weigh 20 ounces or less make better add-ons for your AR-15 rifle. Plus, it’s easier to store and carry them around anywhere you go.
- Price. AR-15 lasers vary in cost, ranging from around $25 to $1000. A product’s quality may reflect in its price. However, it doesn’t always mean that higher-priced lasers have better features. Get a laser sight that fits both your budget and shooting needs.
- Battery Strength. The higher a laser sight’s brightness, the shorter its battery life span. Green lasers offer more luminosity so they also suffer greater battery drainage. Meanwhile, red laser lights have lesser radiance and thus, a longer battery life. Weigh your options and see which suits you best.
- Compatibility with Other Accessories. Some shooters prefer using both a laser and a flashlight. If your AR-15 laser does not come with a light combo, check if it’s compatible to pair with other add-ons. There are many instances where you can’t see the laser projection because your flashlight’s glow is too bright.
- Environmental Considerations. Weather conditions play an important role when picking a laser. For example, red lasers perform better in extremely cold weather as it lets out warmer temperatures when used. This allows it to operate longer than green lasers.
The Best AR-15 Laser Lights
For this review, I picked six of the best AR-15 laser sights to buy this year. I included a personal favorite in the list, as well as a best-buy option. Now, on to the list.
AT3 LEOS Red Dot Sight with Integrated Laser Sight
This AR-15 laser is one made by AT3 Tactical. It has a 2 MOA red dot and an adjustable laser sight. The 6061 aluminum housing secures this add-on, making it waterproof in nature. It is made to last long, so you don’t have to worry about recoil beating it in the long run.
Like most lasers, the AT3 LEOS comes in both red and green light beams. The integrated laser is very bright, allowing you to line your shots in quick succession. Also, the red dot’s interior is fog-proof and is full of nitrogen to keep it that way.
Another thing to note about the AT3 LEOS is its battery strength. For instance, this laser accepts a CR321 battery for its power. This counts as one of the AT3 LEOS’ top attributes. You can keep this laser turned on for up to 50,000 hours of continuous use.
Moreover, the red dot has six separate brightness settings that you can adjust. But take note that higher brightness settings will reduce its battery life. To achieve its 50,000 hours of battery life, you need to configure its brightness to the lowest settings.
The AT3 LEOS has more parts that you can use for installation. This includes lens caps, tool-free windage, and riser mount housing. What’s even sweeter is that it comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer itself.
Overall, the AT3 LEOS is a laser sight with high durability. Using it lets you fire several easy shots that are right on target.
- Has a high impact resistance of 800Gs
- Battery life can last up to 50,000 hours
- Adjustable red dot brightness
- Great for home defense and tactical purposes
- Scratch-resistant lenses
- Six different brightness settings
- Comes either in red or green laser colors
- Weighs only 8 ounces
- Works with any firearm that has a Picatinny rail
- Includes lifetime AT3 warranty
- Sight is a bit difficult to calibrate
Souforce Green Red Dot Laser Sight
If you’re looking for a cheap yet superb green/ red dot laser, the Souforce Laser Sight will surely meet your standard. For starters, the body is made out of durable metal. Furthermore, it is resistant to elements such as water and shock. Also, this item weighs only 4.5 oz. Because of this, you are likely to feel less of a difference when it is on your weapon. Mounting it is also a quick job.
This sight emits a light glow of less than 5mw. With such brightness, this enables you to spot this laser both at night and day hours. Pretty useful for hunting and home defense, I should say.
Another thing worth mentioning about the Souforce Laser Sight is its reaching distance. Since it has around 5mw brightness, you can use this laser up to a distance range of 300 meters. You can tweak its windage and elevation adjustments to your liking and comfort. Not to mention, Souforce improved on its on/off cap switch which you can operate with just a press of your finger.
Like many AR-15 lasers, the Souforce Laser Sight uses a CR123A battery as its chief power source. This prolongs the laser’s battery life by up to 3 years amid modifications. You can enjoy all this laser’s high-quality features for only $49.00. This is the most affordable on this list.
- Available in red/green laser light colors
- Is water and shock-resistant
- Easy to carry and store
- Has a light glow of less than 5mw
- Can shine up to 300 m
- Excellent for hunting and home defense purposes
- Includes adjustable windage and elevation adjustments
- Easy to turn on/off
- Has long battery life
- Need to make a separate buy for the CR123A battery
Holosun Visible & IR Laser Sight
The Holosun IR is a high-performing laser for the AR-15 rifle. Aside from the laser, it also comes with infrared (IR) with night vision capability. This feature could aid you in scanning over dark places and corners. It’s also handy in shooting intruders and aggressive games.
Like the AT3 LEOS, the Holosun IR has a machined aluminum housing. This material protects the lasers from getting broken or scratched whenever mishandled. You can operate the aluminum with the use of a cable switch.
To add, the Holosun IR has elevation and windage adjustments which makes it a coaxial unit. Using these parts lets you change each laser to your liking. It also comes in two available colors of your choice: red and green.
This laser sight consists of a few helpful components. For instance, it uses a premium CR123 battery and a Torx tool. The latter helps adjust the tension screw on the QD mount. All mentioned parts make up this laser’s super strong and sturdy appearance. You can find Youtuber Craig Summers’ quick Holosun IR review in the review below:
Like most AR-15 lights, the Holosun IR also goes well with any Picatinny tail. The manufacturer also added a manual that’s simple to read and understand. Hence, shooters can attach this laser sight to their guns with less hassle.
- All-in-one visible and IR laser
- IR laser offers night vision capacity
- Has elevation and windage adjustments
- Uses a CR123 battery for longer battery life
- Machined aluminum housing makes it strong and sturdy to use
- Velcro tape needs improvement
- Remote quality is a bit flimsy
Streamlight TLR-4 Tac Light with Laser
Compact-sized laser lights make perfect accessories, and Streamlight produces the best few. One example is the Streamlight TLR-4. Like most lasers for the AR-15, this item has an all-black body. But what makes it unique from the others is its polymer material construction. This gives the Streamlight TLR-4 its smooth and slick finish. To add, this laser only weighs under 3 ounces.
One of the Streamlight TLR4’s highlights is its various light modes. You have three options to choose from: laser only, light only, or laser and light combo. This feature saves you a lot of money to buy a separate flashlight for your gun.
This laser sight’s on/off switch is ambidextrous, so you can use it with whichever hand you prefer. Below is an unboxing video of the Streamlight TLR-4 and how it works:
The Streamlight TLR-4 comes with a battery upon purchase. Its battery life could last up to one and a half hours of continuous use. Also, its compact size allows you to even attach it to compatible handguns like Glocks.
Mounting the laser is as easy as it is straightforward. To install, you only need to snap it in place and tighten it with a knob. What’s more, is that the C4 LED comes in 125 lumens. This can light up most walkways and trails.
- Very compact and lightweight
- Suitable for use on rifles and handguns
- Polymer material makes it look smooth and durable
- Has three light mode options available
- Has both light and laser parts
- Simple and easy installation
- Consists of an ambidextrous on and off switch
- A bit fragile to handle
- Only lasts up to 1.5 hours of continuous use
- Not suitable to use for long-distance shooting
TruGlo MICRO-Tac Tactical Micro Laser
Another contender for the best AR-15 laser lights is none other than TruGlo’s MICRO-Tac Laser. Like the Streamlight TLR-4, this compact item also fits as a pistol laser accessory. You can choose between red or green laser colors depending on your preferences. With a weight of only 1 ounce, this product is the lightest laser in this review.
Speaking of weight, the MICRO-Tac Laser’s best point lies in its small size. Because of this, it takes up very little rail space once mounted on your firearm. Its small structure allows you to mount other add-ons to your gun like flashlights. As with other lasers, you could attach this item to any Weaver or Picatinny rail.
Watch how the Youtube channel Firearmsguide unboxes and installs this little laser:
MICRO-Tac Laser’s push-button activation is ambidextrous by default. Again, it shares this feature with the Streamlight TLR-4. This makes it easy for anyone to operate, especially left-handed shooters. Also, its operation system consists of two modes: pulse and solid.
As for battery life, this laser sight has a battery-saving feature to prolong its usage. After five minutes of inactivity, the item would experience an automatic shutdown. This attribute is handy when you switch your laser light by accident. Not to mention, the MICRO-Tac Laser is also shock and water-resistant.
- Push-button activation is ambidextrous
- Could fit any Picatinny or Weaver-style gun
- Automatic 5-minute shutdown to prolong battery life
- Could pair with a wide variety of pistols, rifles, and other firearms
- Pulse and solid operation modes
- Has available red and green color options
- Shock- and water-resistant
- Only weighs 1 ounce
- Doesn’t emit the brightest laser glow
- Adjustment screws are a bit stiff to configure
- Overtightened steel mounting screws could scratch the aluminum body
- Hard to adjust on tall handguns
Viridian X5L Green Laser Sight and Tac Light
Viridian crafts a lot of high-quality gun accessories and the X5L is solid proof. The green laser comes with a high-intensity tac light. This light comes in 178 lumens that can also operate in strobe mode.
In the daytime, the light reaches up to 100 yards. This distance extends up to 2 miles during night hours. From this, I’d say that the X5L is a great laser and light combo for long-distance shooting in the dark. You can browse our best laser light combo article to see more available choices like this one.
The X5L’s construction consists of black-grade aluminum that gives it a heavy-duty appearance. Also, Viridian used Zytel polymer to craft the sight’s front and rear covers. This adds to the X5L’s scratch resistance, maintaining its pristine condition.
You can configure the windage and elevation adjustments of the X5L with either your right or left hand. The rail mount is also universal. As such, you can fit it in any railed pistol of your choosing. To see how it performs on the range, you can click on the video below:
To summarize, the X5L is one of the best AR-15 lasers to exist out there. The green laser’s light is strong and the body is pretty much sturdy. The incredible long-distance capacity is perfect for field and home defense use. The sight is also accurate and clear which fares well for precision shooting. Since it’s the second most expensive laser on this list, you might need to spare more bucks to get it. Still, the X5L is a fantastic buy for anyone who can afford it.
- High-intensity laser reaches up to 2 miles at night
- Black aluminum grade provides a sturdy body
- Zytel polymer protects sight covers from scratches
- Ambidextrous elevation and windage adjustments
- Could fit any railed pistol
- Perfect for long-distance shooting and home defense
- A bit expensive
- Needs constant readjustments after every shot
Using the AR-15 is smoother with some laser sights on it. For night vision, I recommend the Holosun Visible & IR Laser Sight. Talking from experience, its infrared feature is such a huge advantage when navigating the dark. But if you want a low-cost yet reliable option, then the Souforce Laser Sight is your best bet.
Do you prefer red or green lasers? Which lasers do you have or would you like to buy next? Share your thoughts by dropping your comments below!