Is the Lucid HD7 Worth your money?

This is a guest post by Andrew BettsLucid HD7

Not long ago, you could either purchase a cheap, Chinese red dot sight for $30 or shell out $400 plus for a quality reflex from EoTech, Aimpoint, or Trijicon (we didn’t know yet that EoTech sights weren’t all they were cracked up to be). The expensive sights were tough, reliable, parallax free (more or less), waterproof, and even issued by the US military. But if you couldn’t afford to spend that much, you were stuck with Chinese crap. Their cheap sights were suitable only for range toys on rim fire or for airsoft. They broke easily, were not gas purged, sealed, or parallax free. The zero would wander and the battery would die quickly.

Over the last ten years, we have seen a series of mid-range sights come onto the market, though. These are still made in China, but they are made to more exacting standards. American companies have learned that Chinese factories are capable of making fairly decent products, so long as the contract language is airtight. The attraction of these sights is that they tend to be much more serviceable for normal use than the cheap, $30 sights, but they are much less expensive than the premium sights. The Lucid HD7 sits right in the middle with pricing at $186.99 from Optics Planet ( While that is a fraction of the cost of even an Aimpoint PRO, it is still a fair chunk of money for many of us. Is it worth it?

The first thing that you notice about the sight is that it is rather heavy. At 13 oz, it is half again as heavy as an Aimpoint Comp ML2 (7.8 oz). It is also pretty bulky. It might not be a great choice for a lightweight SBR build. That said, the Lucid HD7 has a feature set that is very attractive. Although we did not torture test it (you show me a standardized way for amateurs to test durability and I’ll start doing it), it has been durable and tolerated the normal bumps and knocks of rides to and from the range in the bed of my truck.

Unlike some other mid-range sights, it actually is waterproof. It has a built in bullet drop compensator and you can screw in a 2x magnifier and/or a killflash screen. You can also get a set of quick detach bolts for the built in mount. The controls are easy to operate and it has several reticle options. It even has an auto brightness setting.

Now, I think it is important to note that I have never found a sight with an auto adjusting reticle that worked well in all light conditions. That includes the Trijicon Reflex II. The problem is that, to get the dot to be the proper brightness in any conditions, you would need an image sensor that could meter light conditions at the point where the target is and a processor to perform some calculations to adjust brightness accordingly, which would add complexity (failure points), and weight. The reason is that, if you are standing indoors, or even in a shaded area (under a covered firing line at the range) and looking to outdoors, the sensors on these sights measure the light around you, not the light at the berm, 50 yards away.

The Lucid HD7 is no different. The light sensor is mounted on the top of the sight. It makes it useful enough for normal conditions, but if you try to use it at night with a weapon mounted light, or shooting from a dim area to a bright area, the reticle will wash out. Thankfully, the sight also has the ability to manually adjust the brightness and when it shuts off, it will come back on at whatever brightness level you last used.

The battery is the source of some more positives and negatives, if you’ll pardon the pun. On the one hand, it has a pretty short life. The sight powers off automatically after 2 hours with no button presses. I put a brand new, standard alkaline Energizer battery in it and left it sitting powered on, at the highest brightness setting until it turned off, then turned it back on. I was able to do this through three cycles of and then it would not turn on the fourth time. That means a maximum of 6 hours, but probably less, of battery life. Of course, it will last longer if you use a lithium battery and have the brightness set lower and turn it off manually when it’s not actually in use, but that is a relatively short battery life, compared to many other sights. Still, the fact that the battery is a standard, AAA means that replacing the battery is cheap and it is easy to find the type at any store that sells pretty much anything.

It is easy to be critical when you compare a mid-range sight to the higher end models, but if you compare the Lucid HD7 to other <$200 sights, it comes out way ahead. The only place it is particularly lacking is in weight and size, but that is the price you pay for it also being substantially more durable than its peers. If you have one multipurpose, home defense, hunting, range toy, zombie ‘pocylypse rifle, this is a solid choice. I would put it near the top of the list for that sort of application. Yes, if you can afford a better sight, you should pay more, but if you can’t, the HD7 is substantially better than irons only and should serve your needs in any normal use, so long as you don’t plan on kicking in doors in Kirkuk.


Andrew Betts served with the Arizona National Guard for over 12 years, including a tour to Afghanistan. Visit his YouTube Channel for more great shooting information.

Photo credit – Lucid Optics

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