How Long Do Night Vision Goggles Last?

Last Updated on March 9, 2021

Night vision goggles come in a long way and currently available with multiple generations and models. Sometimes real night vision users or NVG enthusiasts ask various questions to us. One of the most common questions regarding NVG is how long do night vision goggles last. This is actually a tricky question and needs to be answered properly.

Check This Out
Grab The Latest Deals on Night Vision Goggles,  Scopes,  Rangefinders, or Hunting Lights!

The matter is pretty simple actually. It varies from generation to generation. Also, there are some external factors too that will affect the lifespan of NV goggles. So, keep reading to get the unbiased answer.

How Long Do Night Vision Goggles Last: Lifespan with Generations

How long do night vision goggles lastDifferent generations of night vision goggles use dissimilar intensifier tubes that naturally make their lifetime distinguishable. Usually, their life-period increases with the generations upgrading. Perhaps you are eagerly waiting for knowing NVGs lifespan, here’s it below according to their generations.

Gen 1 Night Vision Goggles Lifetime

Night vision goggles Gen 1 first starts using the passive intensifier tube. Typically, they opt for the S-20 photocathode in which photo-sensitivity is 180-200 mA/lm. They are characterized by geometric distortion, weak performance at low light conditions, and blooming. Their expected lifespan is approximately 1500 hours.

Gen 2 Night Vision Goggles Lifetime

Significant advancements of night vision goggles actually started from its 2nd generations devices. These NVGs use S-25 photocathode that gives photosensitivity of more than 240 mA/lm. They also introduce micro-channel-plate (MCP) to achieve gain. Night vision goggles of Gen 2 provide satisfactory images at low lights and display low distortion. Their expected lifespan is 2500 hours but few models also give an extended lifetime of 5000 hours.

Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles Lifetime

The 3rd generation night vision goggles use gallium arsenide for the photocathode and MCP for gain. They also use ion barrier film coating over the micro-channel-plate that extends the tube’s life. The photocathode used here produces 800 mA/lm photosensitivity. These NVGs are excellent in low-light levels. Usually, their expected lifespan is more than 10000 hours and a few model’s life extend up to 15000 hours.

In fact, this lifetime is huge compared to the older generations. If you use the goggles for 100 hours in a year then these NVGs would last for more than 100 years.

External Factors

There are some external factors that may cause damage to your night vision goggles. The weather may affect the device in a bad way and that can cause a decrease in the lifespan. That is why you need to protect the device from a harsh environment. Also, not taking proper care and maintenance of the device may cause harm in some cases.

Another very important thing is that you need to follow the manual and guideline of the device point by point without missing anything. It is of tremendous importance as the device won’t be having a good lifespan without the proper use of it according to the manufacturer guidelines. So, these important points need to be taken care of properly to have a good result.

How to Extend Night Vision Goggles Life

As night vision goggles are run by the I2 system so their lifespan becomes finite for the coatings of the tubes. The upgraded NVGs use ion barrier to make the coatings stable for long times. If you want to extend the NVGs life then put ut off when not in use.


So, you got the answer on how long do night vision goggles last. We always recommend purchasing the latest generations’ night vision goggles as they perform better and last for long. And never forget to turn off the device when not in function. That’s all for now, see you soon with more night vision questions with satisfactory answers.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Expert Night Vision