Solar Red Dots

Red dots were invented in 1975, and since then, huge leaps have been made in their power, efficiency and availability. Perhaps their greatest innovation has been the inclusion of a solar panel, to reduce a device’s dependency on batteries. Now, passionate hunters, competitive 3-gunners and average, home-defense minded people are flocking to purchase the latest and greatest red dot technology.

As the jewels of the red dot industry, solar red dots have taken accurate, tactical shooting to the next level. However, with so many different red dots to choose from, consumers may often feel overwhelmed or confused by the sheer number of options. Here, we will analyze two of the most popular manufacturers of solar red dots and their key features:


Sightmark’s signature solar red dots is the Element. It has dual power abilities (solar and AAA batteries), and when combined, can provide a reticle bright enough to be visible during the daytime. It also boasts the Eclipse ELMS (Eclipse Light Management System) which automatically tunes the illumination from the bright outdoors to lower indoor settings, reducing interruptive adjustment time for the user.

If it seem a bit pricey, consider that battery-only red dots tend to have far fewer features, operating time and durability than Sightmark products.


Holosun’s signature solar red dot sight is the HS510C. This sight utilizes dual power: battery and solar. It has LED light sources, 2 MOA dots, 1x magnification. And 10 daylight brightness settings. The HS510C boasts the “shake-awake” feature that many users love, and its efficient light-emitting diodes allow it to work without a battery in certain lighting conditions.

Viewed objectively, these competing brands offer similar quality and value on their solar red dot devices. Holosun’s products offer quick reaction times with their Shake Awake Technology and multiple reticle systems.

Sightmark products offer greater hours of battery life, and the Eclipse Light Management System offer greater appeal to outdoorsman, who may face changing environmental conditions and more time away from the office. Sightmark’s Lifetime Warranty and dual-mount adaptability are a key differentiator, given their relatively lower prices than Holosun.

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