What Do You Look for in a Thermal Monocular

What Do You Look for in a Thermal Monocular?

A thermal monocular magnifies objects, enabling you to have a clearer view of what you’re looking at.

What do you look for in a thermal monocular? This equipment provides a vivid picture of an object without the need to get too close.

What Do You Look for in a Thermal Monocular
What Do You Look for in a Thermal Monocular

Hence, it offers an extent of protection when the object is identified as a predator or something scary.

What is a thermal monocular used for?

Thermal monocular have the ability to detect heat radiations within 50° C to 2000° and thus, are used by firefighters to search for injured persons and rescue them from further harm.

These devices are also used extensively in hunting to detect prey and provide a level of security by protecting your property against random human or animal invasion.

In surveillance, military operations, weather satellite imaging, and energy assessment or analysis projects, thermal monoculars  are required since these fields are associated with heat signatures and working in unsightly areas.

What do you look for in a thermal monocular?

  • Durability
  • WiFi connectivity, streaming, and video recording capacity
  • Sensor resolution
  • Display resolution
  • Magnification
  • Eye relief and field of vision
  • Modes and color palette options
  • Dimensions
  • Battery life capacity


What is a heat signature?


Different spots of high and low temperatures can be identified with external temperature patterns around the object, person or space being viewed.

A visual representation of these patterns is known as a heat signature.

Creating a thermal image with heat signatures using a thermal imaging monocular requires focusing it on the object, person, or scene.

The device then absorbs infrared radiation from the source, causing it to heat up and resulting in a change in its electrical resistance.

An image is created with the measurement of this change in resistance that occurs.

As said earlier, with a heat signature ranging from -50C to 2000C, thermal monoculars are very useful in firefighting, hunting, surveillance, weather analysis, and energy assessment.


Thermal vision device and Night vision device

A proper thermal vision device or imager does not need light to create an image. It detects radiations and even the smallest changes in heat signatures.

Thermal vision devices also produce very clear images because they notice even the smallest changes in temperature.

However, they will not work well in bright conditions. If you work in the dark, this is an appropriate choice for you.

A night vision device on the other hand requires light to create an image. Any light bouncing off the object in view makes it visible to you in the device.

It is also less expensive and more durable than thermal vision devices. However, detection of objects is difficult at farther distances and this device will not work adequately in extremely dark conditions.

Hence, it is not a suitable choice for you if you work in the dark.

How long does thermal monocular last?

A device with excellent battery life is an important requirement. Thermal monoculars are designed with powerful batteries that can provide up to 10 hours of backup.

These devices are also a hundred percent shockproof and waterproof and therefore, can be used in extreme situations.

Thermal Imaging Cameras

Although thermal imagers are often called cameras, they are in fact, different and work as sensors.

Hence, your knowledge on how cameras make pictures will barely be beneficial in understanding how these devices work.

Pictures are made from heat rather than visible light when FLIRs are used. The electromagnetic spectrum obtained comprises both heat which may be infrared or thermal energy and light.

However, a camera designed to detect visible light will not be able to detect thermal energy and a camera designed to detect thermal energy will not be able to detect visible light.

Thermal cameras have not only been equipped to detect heat but also able to detect very small differences in heat.

These differences may be as little as 0.01°C and are usually displayed as shades of grey or other different colors.

This may be a confusing and difficult concept to understand but we’re here to help you out.

How do I choose the best thermal monocular?

Depending on what you wish to use this device for, these features should be considered.

Thermal sensor resolution

If you want clear and vivid images, then you must get a device with a sensor resolution of very good quality.

Since these devices detect heat signatures using their sensors, the minimum standard required is a high-resolution thermal scope with a detector that has 480 x 640 pixels.

Display resolution

To obtain an image that can be easily visualized, you must also consider the display resolution of the thermal monocular.

A device that is designed with a 480 x 460 pixel resolution will efficiently convert heat signatures into clear images and is thus, the minimum standard required in any kind of thermal imagery.

Refresh rate (Hz)

To obtain better details of the current status, scene or person under observation, your thermal monocular must be able to refresh images at a faster rate and therefore, you require a device with a high refresh rate.

A device with a refresh rate of above 30 Hz is considered to be appropriate.

Detection range

A thermal monocular with a detection range that can efficiently and effectively allow you to clearly detect objects, scenes or persons at a distance of about two hundred yards is a requirement if you plan on using this device for long distance imagery.

Operating temperature

The weather can be unstable and as such, you require a thermal monocular with a wider operating temperature range to ensure your activity is not disrupted by unforeseen changes in the weather.

Devices with an operating temperature ranging from -20°C to 50°C are optimum and are usually the temperatures you’ll be working with.

However, for extreme conditions, you may go from lower or higher ranges too.


The larger the optics of your device, the more vulnerable it becomes. Although you need powerful optics, it is required that you consider the effect of the size of the optics on the overall durability of your device.

Most monoculars are designed to be shockproof and waterproof. However, you should consider these features and more if you’re required to move around a lot with your device.

Color modes

Different color modes are available for different thermal monoculars. It is expected that you choose a device that comes with modes of your requirement and what you prefer.

Objects releasing lower amounts of energy are usually displayed in darker shades while objects releasing higher amounts of energy are displayed in brighter shades.

The availability of different color modes makes it easier for people who have difficulties seeing certain colors and make thermal monocular more exquisite for customers.

Battery life

Who doesn’t love a device with excellent battery life? As with most devices such as your phones, power banks, etc, larger battery life is an absolute necessity.

Unfortunately, Thermal monoculars are equipped with a wide array of features such as WiFi and Bluetooth which drain the battery extremely fast.

However, since these features are required, a battery that can reach at least, a minimum of 10 hours of backup time is recommended