Many tactical flashlight owners wish to know what light is best to preserve their night vision. They don’t want to give away their position at all times, but simply using their lights means pausing to allow their night vision to recover before moving on.
So, what colour light affects your night vision the least? Well, the answer is: It depends.
Let’s look at the science behind this answer…
For years, red was thought to be the very best light for the preservation of night vision. In fact, our car taillights are red for that very reason. This decision was made largely based on the fact that red lights were used in darkrooms to develop film.
However, there is science behind red light being a good preserver of night vision – if not quite as conclusive as once thought.
The rods – the portion of the human eye that allows us to see in low light – are not as sensitive to light in the red portion of the colour spectrum as they are to others. So, it follows that red cones – the portion of the eye that sees the colour red – could pick up red light without sacrificing night vision.
It’s a logical conclusion, but it doesn’t quite work that way.
Regardless of the colour used, whether it is blue, red or green, the chemical in the eye that allows night vision – rhodopsin – is quickly broken down. The issue rather than colour is brightness. So, in order to preserve your night vision colour is less important than intensity.
But relying strictly on your night vision has its drawbacks such as:
- Not being able to see directly in front of the eye.
- Not being able to distinguish colour.
- Reduced detail recognition.
So, what is the answer? You need a tactical flashlight that can cycle through the various colours in the spectrum and allow you to vary intensity as needed.
Fortunately, the Klarus XTQ1 can offer you that capability. By adding the colour filters you can cycle through white, green, red and blue. Allowing you to alter the intensity – the most important aspect to retaining night vision.
Klarus Light designs and manufactures some of the most exciting, practical and innovative LED torches on the planet with ultra-high Lumen output.