Infrared vein finders make one of the best tools for every nurse, phlebotomist, medical professional, and caregiver.
Because if you use a simple, portable vein finder light – you can save time, reduce waste of materials (needles, syringes, etc), and most importantly:
You can reduce the pain, stress, and trauma experienced by patients with hard-to-find veins – especially the elderly, the dark-skinned, children, and babies.
This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my affiliate policy.
After 5 full days of research, we’ve found the 4 BEST and most affordable portable vein finders (and the best paramedic vein glasses) – of 2021.
We’ve included everything you need to know about them, pros and cons, and where you can find them for the lowest price – to help you make the procedure safer and most comfortable for you and your patients.
👉 Jump to Review
|24 orange LEDs|
8 red LEDs
|Check Price on Amazon|
|Veinlite EMS Pro ||👉 Jump to Review||12 orange LEDs|
4 near infrared LEDs
|Check Price on Amazon|
|Wee Sight||Best for Babies/Kids|
👉 Jump to Review
|Infrared||Check Price on Amazon|
|Venoscope Transilluminator II ||Best Budget|
👉jump to Review
|Unknown number of LEDs||Check Price on Amazon|
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Vein Finder?
- 2 ✅The 4 Best Infrared Vein Finders (2021)
- 3 Vein Finder Glasses – Oxy-Iso Paramedic Glasses
- 4 Vein Finder Light Benefits
- 5 How to Choose a Vein Locator
- 6 Best Vein Finder Accessories
What is a Vein Finder?
How do you spot a vein?
While most people have visible veins, some people have veins that are difficult to see due to fatty tissue, dark complexion, etc.
A hospital-grade vein detector emits infrared rays via LED bulbs. Oxygen and hemoglobin molecules readily absorb infrared light (invisible to the human eye).
(You can see the research and history of vein illuminators– here)
Here’s a short demo for the popular Veinlite vein finder, see how you can easily detect hard-to-find veins:
✅The 4 Best Infrared Vein Finders (2021)
Infrared rays offer many more amazing health benefits and uses. IR technology is a safe, painless, and non-invasive therapy, that is also used inside forehead thermometers, and can also be used for pain relief, full body detox, natural weight loss, and much more.
Through our research (which included consulting with nurses), here are the 4 best vein illuminators for caregivers, nurses, doctors, paramedics, and anyone who needs to draw blood accurately and without unnecessary pain.
1. Veinlite EMS Pro – Adults and Children Best Value
Fit for: adults and children
The Veinlite Transilluminator was created to allow health care providers and EMS technicians to find veins in the limbs and scalp.
It is hand-held, portable, and can be used with both adults and children (comes with a specially designed adapter when needing to find veins in pediatric patients).
This device was proven to increase the quality of care in pediatric and neonatal cases.
The Pediatric Emergency Department of the Children’s Hospital in Boston verified that the Veinlite increased first attempt IV access.
To use the Veinlite, you simply dim the room lights, turn the unit on and apply it directly to the skin at a perpendicular angle. Scan the skin to find a darkened vein and map the surrounding area for networks and the best venipuncture site.
Use the Veinlite for:
- Mapping superficial veins
- Varicose veins imaging
- Identifying spider veins
Weight: 13.4 ounces
LED Bulbs: 12 orange, 4 red (near-infrared wavelength), 8 white (flashlight mode)
Batteries: two AA batteries (3.5 hours of continuous use) Inside Ring Diameter: 21mm
Dimensions: 15 x 55 x 21 mm
Added Accessories in the package:
- Light shield (eye protection for the caregiver)
- 50 disposable plastic covers (to prevent cross-contamination)
- Carrying case that attaches via a belt clip
- Lightweight, portable, and ready to use – hand-held device and comes with a carrying case
- Very easy to use
- Saves some money on sanitizing accessories (comes with disposable covers) and eye protection (comes with light shield)
- You don’t need a tourniquet.
- 5-year warranty
- Relatively low price (see today’s price on Amazon)
- Works great in low light situations
- No battery charger. However, even if you use it several times a day, batteries will last for at least 2 months.
- It May not work for dark skin with deep veins. The alternative (better but more expensive): Veinlite LEDX Adult Transilluminator Vein Finder
This one is only for adults but it’s the best in the market to use with people who are dark-skinned or obese.
The powerful LEDx has thirty-two bright LEDs embedded around its large opening.
There are 24 orange lights and 8 red. This color combination is very effective for seeing deeper veins even if the skin is thick or dark-colored.
2. Venoscope Transilluminator II Best Budget
Fit for: adults and children
The Venoscope II vein finder machine is a lightweight, portable LED vein light (near-infrared), with an FDA 510k approval. It works for both adults and children – without a pediatric adapter – and is effective for the obese and dark-skinned as well.
To use it, you prepare the patient (tourniquet, etc) and dim the light source a bit to a point the vein light performs best.
It works with 3 AA batteries (not included when you order).
- Lightweight – weighs less than 7 ounces
- Has a low battery light indicator so you know when to change them
- Doesn’t heat too much even after 15 minutes of continuous use
- 1-year warranty
- Can be cleaned with alcohol or bleach (but do not submerge it)
- Relatively affordable price
- No battery charger (but batteries will last a couple of months)
3. Wee Sight Best Pediatric
A pediatric vein transilluminator is an amazing tool to decrease babies’ and toddlers’ pain when drawing blood or starting IVs.
The Wee light tiny vein finder device is shaped so the clinician can easily position it around the baby’s tiny limbs, and can be seen in many pediatric care units.
The vein mapper wavelength: It uses high-intensity LED bulbs (infrared light – 629 nm) to illuminate the little ones’ veins.
It is made to lie flat on a surface to allow you to drape the baby’s arm or leg over it. It is Shaped to position easily around babies’ tiny limbs The LEDs do not heat up and will not hurt babies’ and toddlers’ tender skin.
Works with 2 AA batteries
Wee Sight Pros
- LEDs run for years with no problem
- Small enough to be used inside an incubator
- Lightweight – only 4 ounces
- The curved shape helps to stabilize the infant hand/foot
- can also be used for thin-skinned adults
- Works without a Tourniquet (See why a pediatric ER nurse fell in love with it – HERE) –
- Relatively pricey (for a small device) – but works as promised. See this page on Amazon to find today’s price.
Vein Finder Glasses – Oxy-Iso Paramedic Glasses
Our recommended Oxy-Iso Paramedic vein glasses look like a nice pair of sunglasses, and while they filter UV rays, most serve 2 major purposes:
- Enhancing veins
- Correcting color blindness (improving the ability to see greens and reds)
With these glasses, nurses and phlebotomists can clearly see superficial veins, detect blood oxygen levels, and even view rashes.
The specially tinted lenses filter light in a way that makes veins appear to fluoresce or glow and amplify the ability to see blood oxygenation by hindering the perception of blood concentration variations. This allows you to make the first sick – the only stick.
- You can wear them all day – without hurting your eyes
- Can be used effectively by colorblind caregivers and medical staff
- They won’t break – they are impact-resistant and have an anti-scratch coating (plus anti-fog and anti-static)
- Relatively low-cost, full money-back guarantee
- The large lenses protect from blood splatter
- Lightweight and comfortable
- The Oxy-Iso can only be used under bright sunlight or strong indoor light. If that’s not available, you may need a strong flashlight or a portable lamp.
- Not comfortable to use over prescription glasses. However, they have uncut Rx lenses that you take to your optometrist to be cut to your prescription.
Vein Finder Light Benefits
Any medical professional who performs venipuncture and cannulation – knows that some people have veins that are hard to detect.
Statistics published by hospitals show that without a vein light, at least 25% of all patients go through more sticks, which is painful, stressful, and reduces the safety of the procedure.
Here are the benefits of using a vein finder light:
- Proven Increased visibility of veins
- The infrared vein finer is noninvasive and painless
- Avoiding unnecessary pain and stress for the patient (and caregiver)
- Reducing waste of needles, syringes, PICC, and midline trays
How to Choose a Vein Locator
To choose the best vein finding light for your needs, consider these important questions:
Is the Vein Finder For Children/Babies or Adults?
Generally, most red light vein finders are effective for both children and adults. However, some are designed to use only with adults or babies.
Do You Need to Illuminate Facial Veins?
Some portable vein lights devices are not capable of detecting small facial veins. If you need to locate facial veins, this is a device that fits this purpose.
Best Vein Finder Accessories
If you intend to use a vein finder light on multiple patients, you may need a few accessories before performing venipuncture and cannulation:
1. Disposable Slip Covers
Most vein finders come with them in the package, but you can buy more from the manufacturer with no problem.
2. Gentle Germicide Wipes
Use these instead and follow cleaning instructions carefully.
3. Hand Sanitizer
After using and cleaning the device, you may want to use some hand sanitizer, to destroy any germs until you can wash your hands properly.
4. Disposable Tourniquets
In this guide, you’ve seen the best of both passive and active (infrared) vein detectors and where you can get them for an affordable price.
After days of research and consulting with nurses, we’ve found that Veinlite sells some of the best, most effective, and easiest to use on the market.
For babies and toddlers, we recommend the popular Wee Sight.
As for passive paramedic vein finders, we recommend the Oxy-Iso.
Any questions? comments? let us know in the comment section below.
To your health and happiness,
Pan CT, Francisco MD, Yen CK, Wang SY, Shiue YL. Vein Pattern Locating Technology for Cannulation: A Review of the Low-Cost Vein Finder Prototypes Utilizing near Infrared (NIR) Light to Improve Peripheral Subcutaneous Vein Selection for Phlebotomy. Sensors (Basel). 2019;19(16):3573. Published 2019 Aug 16. doi:10.3390/s19163573
Juric S, Flis V, Debevc M, Holzinger A, Zalik B. Towards a low-cost mobile subcutaneous vein detection solution using near-infrared spectroscopy. ScientificWorldJournal. 2014;2014:365902. doi:10.1155/2014/365902
N.J. Cuper, J.C. de Graaff, B.J. Hartman, R.M. Verdaasdonk, C.J. Kalkman, Difficult arterial cannulation in children: is a near-infrared vascular imaging system the answer?†, British Journal of Anaesthesia, Volume 109, Issue 3, 2012, https://doi.org/10.1093/bja/aes193