By Sebastiaan, 8 may 2024

Night vision advice

Night vision and thermal imaging advice for hunting and pest control

There is a huge choice of night vision and thermal image devices for hunting and pest control. In this practical blog we will take you through the various options and give you advice in which situation which night vision and thermal device will work best. At SEM Hunting & Shooting sports  we have a wide range of thermal and night vision devices, feel free to come by to view and try out the different models.

Thermal or infrared

A frequently asked question in our store: Which choice is the best? Should I go for a thermal (thermal imaging) or an infrared model? Much depends on expectations, in which scenarios the equipment will be used and of course the budget also plays a role. Thermal imaging binoculars are better at detecting game or varmint at long distances than night vision devices, we often recommend using a thermal imaging binocular (handheld) to spot or detect game and a night vision device (rifle scope) on your rifle.

Thermal equipment is generally more expensive than night vision equipment, on average a thermal model is 3 x more expensive than a comparable night vision model. A high-quality thermal riflescope costs between €3500 and €4000. A night vision rifle scope model in combination with an infrared lamp costs between €750 and €1250. The technology used in a thermal imaging device is different from a night vision device. Thermal image viewers are able to capture heat that objects, people or animals radiate and convert it into images. Night vision devices work with residual light from, for example, the moon, stars or artificial light from an infrared lamp. Each technique has its advantages and disadvantages.

Nightvision devices

Modern night vision devices have a day and night mode, the day mode is displayed in full color. The image quality of the latest models is displayed in 4K resolution, such as the HikMicro Alpex 4K.

Night vision devices can therefore be used both during the day and at night, the digital night vision rifle scope models can completely replace a traditional optical rifle scope. The image quality of these devices has increased enormously in recent years, and various models are available that are suitable for hunting and damage control. In combination with a powerful infrared lamp, game or varmint can be targeted from up to 200 meters with digital night vision rifle scope. A 940nm infrared lamp is not visible to the human eye or to game.

Thermal devices

Thermal scopes can only be used at night, so during the day you will have to use an optical rifle scope. A thermal device is able to display the heat that an object radiates, so you are not dependent on residual light and you do not need an additional infrared lamp. With a thermal scope you can also see animals when they are in dense cover or in fog or rain. Spotting game is therefore preferably done with a thermal binoculars. A disadvantage of thermal binoculars is that they cannot 'see' through glass; detecting game from the car with closed windows is not possible with a thermal device.


Type of night vision and thermal devices

Er zijn verschillende soorten nachtzicht en thermische kijkers, in sommige kijkers is thermische en nachtzicht technologie gecombineerd zoals in het verrekijker model Habrok van HikMicro. Wij hebben alle verschillende modellen op voorraad in onze winkel zodat je deze kunt uitproberen. 


Handhelds are used for spotting and detecting game and are available in both thermal and night vision versions. The thermal models are the most popular because the range of a thermal handheld goes much further than a night vision model and it can see through cover.



Clip-on models are clamped to an existing rifle scope using an adapter, with an eyepiece a clip-on model can also be used as a handheld. A commonly used clip-on model is the thermal Thunder 2.0 from Hikmicro.



Nightvision riflescopes

The developments of night vision rifle scope models are moving very quickly. The Hikmicro Alpex 4K is a good example of this, this riflescope has a very clear image.


The most modern binoculars offer a combination of night vision and thermal technology and merge them into one image. The big advantage of this is that the binoculars can be used during the day and at night you can choose between a thermal image or infrared night vision image.


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