When you get your first proper set of camping equipment, you will be bothered by the problem that all high-end flashlights have some type of red filter. Many people assume that the red lights and the red filters are either for emergencies or out of their use.
Red lights are used by campers primarily to preserve their night vision, seeing in the dark without their pupils constricting. The red light won’t disturb anyone sleeping and will provide enough light for you to see anything around you.
You will need to know when exactly you should use your red flashlight, with many people assuming that the red lights are for emergencies. Knowing when and how to use your red lights or filters will easily allow you to look like an expert at any campsite you decide to visit.
Why Do You Use A Red At Night?
Red lights are not used during the day unless you are in a dark room for photography, as they are not bright enough to cast any light. However, you will not need to use these lights during normal conditions, and it is not recommended to use these when traveling through dense foliage.
Red lights are used at night when you have woken up or walked through the night, and your eyes are adjusted to the dark. This is to ensure that when you stop using the red lights, you will still see things, especially on nights that have full moons.
From orange to purple, other types of light will cause your pupils to constrict, requiring that your eyes need to dilate again. This process can easily take up to 10 minutes, causing you to be a bit more blind than you would want when working or walking in the dead of night.
How Do You Use A Red Flashlight?
Unlike an ordinary flashlight that you would point at whatever you are looking at, red flashlights usually cast broader beams. This lights up a wide area around you for a short distance, which is why you need only to hold the light in one hand and ensure that you are lighting everything ahead of you.
Many people naturally want to lift light and point it at whatever they are looking at, and unless you are using a filter over a standard light, this won’t benefit you. This is because the light does not increase in intensity, like using a regular white or blue-tinted light.
This is why many people that have learned how to effectively use red lights only ever have them near their head level and walk closer to see things. As the light casts an equal amount of light over a specific area, campers use red lights learning to walk slowly or be surprised by sudden trees.
What Is The Best Type Of Red Flashlights To Use?
You need to ensure that you buy the best type for your camping needs, not that you know more or less why you will need to use a red flashlight. Many campers make the mistake of assuming that any red light will do, which is not true as specific red lights have specific functions.
Generally, there are four red lights that we would recommend you consider when buying your next flashlight. Each one has its advantages and allows you to learn how to use your red light properly in situations that you may find yourself in.
This is the most common type of red light that you will find in shops as they are a standard attachment for the equipment. Most headlights have one or two extra functions above the normal light they originally made for, which are the traditional light.
It should be noted that while these are perfect for having a red light that is equal to your eyesight, they will not cast as wide a beam as other lights. This limits their usefulness as only emergency lights will allow you to see when you need something in your tent or campsite.
Erroneously many people make the mistake of thinking that a simple red cover for your flashlight will be the best. Many people that have not had experienced proper red lights in use thinking that their covers are the best as they can easily see everything ahead of them.
Flashlight covers filter out most of the other light produced by your flashlight and cast a solid red light that allows you to see everything. However, most of the light is not filtered out, and you will have bright spots of white light that escape the cover that affects your eyesight.
Red LED Flashlights
Apart from using tinted halogen lights, the purest red lights you can find in the modern world are red LED lights. These lights only cast light in the red wavelengths and allow you to comfortably see everything you want to see without damaging your night vision.
These flashlights are usually slightly more pricey than specialized ones; however, you can get them in several different styles. With purpose-built red headlights, flashlights, and several other types of lights, you can use them for almost any situation you can think of.
These are the most popular red lights that you can find worldwide, with many people buying a large flashlight that unexpectedly has this function. As the technology of LED lights has improved, and flashlights have become more robust, their abilities have greatly improved.
As such, many people who first buy a flashlight for camping will buy something capable of doing several things at a time. Usually, with the main flashlight, a secondary emergency light, and then the red light, these red lights are not emergency lights but black or low light conditions.
How Far Does Red Light Travel At Night?
Out of all the light frequencies that humans can see, red light has the longest wavelength, which means that they travel a lot worse than the other colors. Further, as the wavelength is so long, it can be easier to stop with even atmospheric changes preventing the light from traveling.
There are specific light colors that human eyes can see from a lot further away because of their wavelengths. Human eyes can see green light almost three times further than most other light colors, which is why most lights that must be seen from a distance are in this color spectrum.
At night, even in the darkest times of the month, you will notice that if you look at the red light from cars from a distance, you will notice they quickly disappear. However, the lights from the front of a car or even the green lights on top of radio towers can be seen at seemingly impossible distances.
Why Is Red Light Better for Night Vision?
Your eyes are not sensitive to red light when adjusted to seeing in the dark; knowing why can be a detailed list of things to consider. It might be because our eyes are better adapted to use the blueish light from a full moon, or it can simply be because our eyes are not receptive to red.
Whichever it may be, our eyes, when fully dilated, are not sensitive in the same manner that they would be to green, white, or blue light; our eyes can stay fully dilated. Allowing us to have whole night vision and seeing almost as well as in daylight when everything is lit up with a red light.
However, it should be noted that if you look directly into a red light, your eyes will still constrict, and you will lose your night vision. Our night vision will only stay intact if we use a red light to light the area around us, not when looking directly at possibly the brightest light around.
A red flashlight will easily and comfortably provide you enough light to do anything around your tent or campsite, even in the dead of night. The red light won’t bother other campers or even anyone else who might be sleeping in your tent.