Can Hogs See Infrared Light?

While hunting, light is very important and has a huge influence on your catch at the end of the day. Lighting does not only improve your chances of spotting a Hog from a distance, it’s also the hunter’s guide to where to go and where not to because it shines on the path of the hunter.



There are varieties of light for hunting and a hunter needs to determine the best light suitable for a particular hunting type before embarking on it. These varieties of light will lead us to the question if Hogs see infrared light or not.

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Before we go further to know these varieties of light for hunting and the suitable time to make use of them, let’s first know if Hogs can see infrared lights.

Can Hogs see infrared light?

Hogs cannot see infrared lights because of the number of cones present in their retina. Cone possession differs between humans and some animals. While human beings possess three cones which enable them to identify all colors, some animals like Hogs possess two cones which enable them to see and identify some color but not others. The three cones possessed by man enable him to see and identify all colors and colors of light.

In humans, when they cannot identify all colors, it means there’s a defect in one of the cones. This results in partial blindness. And when there’s a defect in the three cones, it results in total color blindness. Now, it is right to say that some animals such as Hogs have partial color blindness. They can see some colors like white and blue but can’t see others like red. Because of the two cones possessed by Hogs, they are said to be dichromatic.


Infrared light is any light whose wavelength is 700 nanometers and more. Lights are measured in nanometers, thus, Hogs do not see these lights because they start to go colorblind once the wavelength reaches 520 –540 nanometers. The wavelength of green light is 540 nanometers while that of red light is 620 nanometers. 

From the analysis above, it’s clear that red light is more difficult to identify by Hogs because it has more wavelengths than green light. Other colors that can be seen by Hogs have a lower wavelength, thus, the reason they can see it.

If you’re considering going hog hunting, you have to know the different types of lights to be able to use a suitable one for the type of hunting you want. 

Different types of hunting Light


These are lights that tend to go a very far distance. These lights can be mounted on a pole or the side of a building. Because spotlights see wide and far, they consume a lot of energy, thus, they need a strong and large battery capacity to last for a long time.


Headlamps as the name implies are portable lights that can be fixed on a hunter’s hat or head. Headlamps are awesome because most of them come with varieties of color that you can adjust to, depending on your needs.

Feeder lights

Studies show that Hogs are attracted to white lights if it’s not shone directly to their face. When light appears directly to a Hog’s face,  it will be scared and the next option will be to run away. A few lights are attached to a feeder which attracts the Hogs to feed under the light. With that, Hogs are perfectly hunted. 



These are the best kind of lights for hunting because of the variety of options it offers. They come in different sizes and can be fixed to your weapon.

Now, you know the kind of light to use but another thing is how to use them effectively to achieve a positive result. A Hog will run away if a light appears directly to their face. Avoid turning on and off the light at short intervals.  

Using a light will require you to know how to fix the light either to the weapon, hunter’s hat, a pole or you go hunting with someone who knows how to fix it. When the light is sorted out, remain quiet and attentive, if Hogs are approaching you will know by their sound they make.

Having known different types of light and that red lights are best for Hog hunting, buying a red light is not enough. Before buying a hunting light, there are things to consider.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Hunting Light

Consider the battery’s lifespan

Hunting is a night-long engagement and as such, you will need a light with a good battery that can last you throughout the night, or for as long as you want to stay out hunting. A light without a good battery will leave you stranded in the forest or result in a failed hunting attempt. You can’t afford to hunt in the dark because, as a matter of fact, most of these animals see better in the dark.

Choose an easy-to-use light

As a hunter, you need a light that won’t give you stress using it. It has to be easy to mount on your hat or weapon so you don’t have to struggle with balancing a light when all you need to do is aim and shoot.

Use a light that you can zoom in and out

Choose a light that will allow you to zoom in and out when necessary.

A portable light is preferable

Some lights are big enough to inconvenience you more than the purpose it’s meant to serve. Choose a portable light that can easily fit into your bag and not too big to handle when you need to use it.

Choose a durable light

You can’t afford to keep visiting a light store after each hunting. Go for a strong light that won’t break down when it is faced with difficulty.

There is no one-size-fits-all kind of light specially designed for hunters. Keeping this in mind, hunters need to have varieties of light so they can easily pick the suitable one for a particular hunt. While getting these lights, one should consider and assess a light to ensure it contains the above characteristics. Battery capacity being the most important thing while other factors like durability, portability, etc are important too.


Red light and green lights are both good for Hog hunting, but red lights are better than green lights because red lights have higher wavelengths than green lights. Good red light has a wavelength of about 620 nanometers while a green light has about 540 nanometers. You can see the difference is clear. The higher the wavelength, the higher the color blindness experienced by these animals.

People who go Hog hunting and professionals use red light because Hogs do not see it. Even if they do see it, they don’t see it as red. It appears as gray because they do not have a third cone which would have enabled them to see red lights. They are blind to red lights.

Hogs get scared off by lights with a lower wavelength of which red is not among. Red contains high wavelengths which they do not see because they are naturally blind to lights with higher wavelengths. Hogs do not feel the presence of red lights, so it doesn’t scare them.


A hog is a wild pig whose eye’s retina contains only two cones. They are colorblind to red and green colors because of the absence of a third cone. Hogs see red and green lights but it appears gray to them. When it appears gray, they do not feel the presence of a little because it is more like seeing in the dark. Bright lights such as white lights are intense with a high chance of startling the Hog. The more intense light is, the more scared they become.

Hogs like and enjoy the full moonlight because it allows them to see very well. The hunter can save their light and take advantage of this opportunity. Lights are needed by a hunter, not just to spot animals or to guide their way but also as a blind to Hogs and other animals. The light also serves as a protection to a hunter

When a hunter flashes their light, the Hugs see or any other animals see the light and not the hunter.

All types of lights are relevant in different scenarios. They serve the same purpose-–to track down a Hog. Though red and green lights are the best for Hog hunting because of the high wavelength, they cannot serve the purpose of other lights. For instance, if a hunter wants to sight a Hog from a far distance, he will need a distant light like a sports light. Red light cannot be used for far distance sightings; only a white light can go that far.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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