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Aug 15, 2023 | 01:13 am 2702 0

Why are night vision goggles so expensive?

Why are night vision goggles so expensive?

Modern night optics are often practical but not always convenient in operation. It must be carried in your bag and held with at least one hand during use. This creates discomfort and does not allow you to perform other work simultaneously. To solve this problem, NV goggles were made. These NVDs are free from the critical disadvantages of binoculars and monoculars, so they are always comfortable to use. They are easily fixed on the user's head and do not interfere with the hands to perform any action. The only disadvantage of such optics is its high cost. Why do you have to pay so much for NV goggles? Let's figure it out in our guide.

What are NV goggles?

Among the wide variety of types of night optics, NV goggles deserve special attention. These NVDs are unique works of art and are considered the most convenient devices. Today, many companies produce NV goggles based on IIT, digital and thermal imaging models. The first option is in demand, as it costs less than competitors and is ideal for any task.

The principle of operation of this optics is simple and understandable to everyone. The glasses' lens collects all available light from natural sources (various space objects) or receives the reflected light of IR illumination. The rays obtained in this way are focused and enter the electron-optical converter. Its photocathode converts photons of light into a stream of electrons. Next comes the photomultiplier. It amplifies the flow of particles hundreds of times. Similar tasks are performed by more modern microchannel plates and particular elements based on gallium arsenide (installed on new models). The enhanced electron flow inevitably hits the luminescent anode. It is exposed to an electric current, so photons are knocked out. They are assembled and repeat the original image but already multiplied. Next, the photons enter the eyepieces, and a picture of the examined area appears before the user's eyes.

NV goggles are versatile optics suitable for both simple and complex tasks. They are in demand among soldiers of various units and are no less popular among the civilian population. Thanks to their capabilities, multiple types of work become available that cannot be performed with other night optics.

Applications for NV goggles:

  • military industry (carrying out various operations at night, reconnaissance activities, safe movement, and control of military equipment);
  • search and rescue operations (search for missing people in the dark, inspection of the area after a natural disaster for the presence of survivors, various types of night rescue operations);
  • security activities (review of the protected area, identification of unauthorized persons, capture of offenders);
  • driving (improving visibility on a poorly lit road, recognizing various obstacles on the way, and increasing the safety of the driver and passengers);
  • aviation (takeoff and landing of air transport, search for landmarks during a night flight at low altitude, safe control of a helicopter and an airplane);
  • science (study of nocturnal animals, observation of wildlife in conditions of lack of lighting);
  • tourism (hiking at night, searching for the necessary direction of movement, setting up a camp, surveying the territory for dangers);
  • hunting and fishing (searching for animals in the dark, improving shooting accuracy, simplifying the choice of the best place for night fishing, watching gear);
  • construction (carrying out various works in the dark, ensuring the safety of builders);
  • entertainment (competitions in paintball, airsoft, and other types of military tactical games).

This variety of NV goggles applications is due to many factors. The main one is the vast number of advantages of these devices in comparison with other models of night optics. NV goggles also have several significant drawbacks. All of them can hurt the user's opinion about this device.

Key benefits:

  • simplicity of operation;
  • variety of applications;
  • a large selection of available models;
  • efficiency in case of lack of light;
  • compactness;
  • lightweight;
  • fixation on the user's head;
  • possibility of simultaneous use with other NVDs;
  • excellent functionality (available to owners of most models);
  • reliability of modern models;
  • a long period of work without breakdowns;
  • protection from various external factors;
  • lots of good reviews from users.

Key disadvantages:

  • uselessness in the complete absence of lighting;
  • lack of magnification (do not allow visually bringing the user closer to the object in question);
  • very high cost.

What is the price of NV goggles for different generations?

For many NV buyers, price is a crucial selection criterion. For NV goggles, it is much higher than for monoculars and binoculars with similar characteristics. This feature only allows the glasses to partially replace other night optics and become indispensable NVDs for all possible use cases. Despite the inflated cost, the need for NV goggles is growing as fast as possible. Today, these NVDs are actively integrated into the military industry and are gradually being introduced into various fields of activity of ordinary people. This becomes available due to the versatility of modern models, compactness, and ease of operation. These and many other qualities save even poor buyers money for NV goggles. Each cent collected and allocated for purchasing these optics will not be a waste of money but a good investment in the future of NV technology.

Dozens of factors influence the exact cost of different eyewear models. Due to their large number, the price begins to vary in an extensive range, sometimes becoming excessively high. One of the critical parameters is the generation of NVDs. Today, Gen I models can still be found in specialized stores, but they will only be binoculars and monoculars. NV goggles appeared much later than them, so they skipped this stage, and in our time, it is unlikely that anyone will take up the production of glasses based on the first-generation image intensifier tube. In this regard, the simplest and cheapest are the NV goggles of the Gen II generation. Most often, their cost can range from $ 2500 to $ 3000. Universal models of this version are more expensive, so you will have to find at least $3,500 to own them. Many models of such night optics are the best choice for ordinary users who will use them to solve problems of low and medium complexity. These NVDs provide optimal image quality through increased resolution, multiple amplification capabilities, and improved photocathode sensitivity. Also among their advantages include small size, lightweight, and ease of management.

Another popular option is the NV goggles Gen III. They are designed to perform absolutely any task, including complex ones. Such optics always cost at least $4,000. In demanded models, which people buy more often than others, the cost is 8-9 thousand US dollars. The best Gen III generation NV goggles are premium NVDs, so those wishing to purchase them must prepare around $15,000. Models from each price category have their characteristics and functions. What unites them is the ability to cope well with their tasks and ensure that a clear image with good detail appears before the user's eyes.

There are also more valuable NV goggles in operation. They belong exclusively to military models, so finding them for sale to civilians is almost impossible. Nevertheless, these devices are real masterpieces of engineering art. The process of their creation involves the introduction of unique technologies and the installation of high-precision equipment. In their production, innovative materials with improved characteristics are used. The above in a complex allows you to create almost perfect NV goggles that make a clear and detailed image. This optics is often complemented by many unique features needed by the soldiers of a particular unit. To purchase military NV goggles, you must have a six-figure amount in US dollars in your bank account.

Justification for the high price of optics

The cost, which is high for most buyers, is familiar with any NV goggles. Even slightly outdated models will often cost more than other types of night optics with the same functionality and similar characteristics. Simple economic calculations can explain this phenomenon. In them, manufacturers consider many factors that significantly change the figure prescribed on the price tag. It always turns out to be high, often scaring away potential buyers. To address this issue, manufacturers of NVDs have made price reductions their top development priority for the coming years.

Reasons why NV goggles are expensive:

  1. Implementation of unique developments. The active story of NV technologies continues every minute, so interesting innovations appear every year that make the operation of devices more efficient. Their presence forces manufacturers of NV goggles to regularly implement such developments, trying to improve their optics constantly. This requires significant cash injections and sometimes a revision of the entire production methodology.
  2. Economic factor. No one wants to work at a loss, including the NV goggles makers. However, various events of the last decade have caused all firms to fail to make good profits. This is explained by the fact that the manufacturers of NV optics have valid 5-10 year contracts with certain roams of troops. According to them, the companies must supply NV goggles all this time at a price agreed upon on the day the cooperation agreement was signed. However, the documents did not indicate the factor of the rise in the price of individual components and the entire production. This was why firms were forced to cover debts by increasing the cost of other products for sale to ordinary people. Another critical component was the sharp drop in demand for glasses and other night optics during the years of the Covid-19 invasion (at that time, there were numerous bans). It also made it mandatory to raise prices to compensate for losses.
  3. Increased costs. In itself, the process of creating glasses is an expensive undertaking. The assembly and testing of these optics require unique, expensive equipment, most of which is custom-made. Another critical component is the need to use innovative materials. They are costly, and building a separate enterprise is often necessary to obtain them. An alternative could be the purchase of materials, but their cost will be even higher in this case. Also, significant losses include payments to employees involved in the manufacture and assembly of NVDs. This industry employs exclusively highly qualified specialists, who can only be attracted to the enterprise by high wages.
  4. Little demand for NV goggles. Modern NVDs are reliable devices that can work efficiently and not break down for several years. In this regard, people who use them, on average, buy optics every 3-5 years. Combined with the as-yet unobserved excessive popularity of glasses, this leads to a higher demand for this technique. In the coming years, the situation will change for the better. However, manufacturers are trying to compensate the small market for the exorbitant points cost. Setting lower prices is unacceptable for companies since, in this case, they will have nothing to pay wages to employees.
  5. Restrictions in-laws. In many countries, various night optics are strictly regulated by law. This circumstance resulted from the more frequent illegal exploitation of NV goggles and other similar devices (for example, shooting many animals on a hunt, robbing passers-by in poorly lit alleys, etc.). Under most laws, owners of NVDs can only use them in predetermined locations, which severely restricts users. Because of such laws, many people refuse entirely to buy night optics or purchase the simplest classical models (monoculars, binoculars). All this negatively affects the volume of glasses sold, and a decrease in demand inevitably entails the need to revise the pricing policy of the manufacturing company. Moreover, in dozens of countries, there are limits on the volume of issued points. This is why manufacturers must comply with established laws and conduct economic calculations depending on them.
  6. Complicated logistics. NV goggles produce several companies that have driven out competitors and created a collective monopoly. Their production facilities are almost always located in Asian countries, with access to cheap labor. Due to the location of the enterprises, the final price is greatly influenced by the difficulty of delivering finished products to the USA, South America, and Western European countries. Often it is expensive, which is reflected in the price tag. If, due to complex logistics, delivery is carried out by 2-3 modes of transport, then the cost may even increase several times compared to the original one.
  7. Safety of people. Glasses for the night are sold openly in many stores. This makes them available not only to decent citizens but also to criminals. Using the capabilities of optics, they commit various crimes, which is why they almost always go unpunished. To reduce the likelihood of such misconduct, some governments, in coordination with the police, have developed guidelines for night technology manufacturers to comply with. The main thing in them was the minimum price limit, which companies do not have the right to violate. Otherwise, they will face a hefty fine, threatening substantial financial losses and complete bankruptcy of the enterprise. According to the recommendations, manufacturers do not have the right to lower the price below the established mark. This, according to the police, will make NVDs inaccessible to most criminals, which will improve the safety of people.
  8. Wide functionality. Most often, glasses are multifunctional NVDs. Their manufacturers must install additional components inside the case to achieve this result. Each must be compact so that the device's dimensions remain unchanged. In connection with this feature, the complexity of manufacturing such parts increases, which inevitably increases the optics cost. If manufacturers refuse to supplement their devices with valuable functions, such products will become uncompetitive, and selling them will be as difficult as possible.
  9. Reliability and durability of optics. All manufacturers of modern models of NV goggles often name reliability and durability as the main advantages of their products. This is achieved through modern technologies and high-quality components, as well as thorough testing of all models before being sent for sale. These additional actions require significant financial costs, negatively affecting the final price. Another critical point is that the frequency of its purchase reduces the reliability and durability of optics. Because of this, all producers lose a sure profit and increase the price to compensate for this shortcoming.
  10. The fame of the manufacturing company. Most of the companies involved in the production of NV goggles are world-famous brands. They order various marketing research to popularize their products and conduct numerous advertising campaigns. All this costs money, so the cost of NV goggles is skyrocketing. In addition, the mere presence of the logo of a well-known company on the body of the optics inevitably leads to its rise in price.

In the world of night optics, there is nothing better than NV goggles. These devices have the basic capabilities of other NVDs and give the user complete freedom of action. They create a high-quality image in front of a person’s eyes and do not interfere with several tasks simultaneously. The only thing I don't like about NV goggles is their high price. It is much larger than other types of night optics. At the same time, significant financial costs are almost always forgotten after the first use of such NVDs. They give users a sense of comfort and make it easy to handle many complex tasks.

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