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Jul 12, 2021 | 11:37 am 119 0

Infrared illumination for night vision devices


Infrared illumination for night vision devices

When you first acquire a night vision device, it starts to seem to you that you have received real superpowers. And this feeling will not leave you soon. It is quite obvious that you are difficult to judge for these feelings. There are no more limits for you, and a whole new world is waiting for you. After all, the night will reveal all its secrets.

Regardless of what you are passionate about, new experiences will overwhelm you with an irresistible wave. For hunters, the ability to see in darkness allows trailing completely different animals spices. For military and services guys, it is a priceless instrument to ensure the safety of themselves and their brothers in arms. For wildlife and bird watchers, this is an opportunity to see the nightlife of various species and some of the active nocturnal species for the first time. Even for an ordinary person, whose interests are in no way connected with high-tech NV optics, such a device can captivate for a long time. Each of us will be happy to have such an incredible toy at our disposal for at least a couple of hours.

Such a wide range of possibilities can turn your head a little. But let's see, is everything so good? And are there any hidden nuances that may upset you?

How does night vision technology works?

It doesn't matter how expensive the NV device is. You are buying. Also, it makes no difference what specific device you are going to buy: night vision glasses, NV scope, night-vision binocular, or NV monocular. All these devices are high-tech, unique, and compact. And they all work on the same technology.

This technology has been the dream of the military since the beginning of the war, that is, the entire history of humankind. But, she got a chance to be born only after the appearance of scientific opportunities. This happened in the 30s of the twentieth century when the first-night vision devices for air defense of London appeared. Further events developed rapidly. World War II, which engulfed the world, rapidly accelerated technological take-off. Including a powerful boost received the development of everything associated with gaining an advantage over the enemy at night.

The phenomenal development of the Nazis allowed them to dominate the communists already in 1943. After the end of the war, all sides focused on night vision technology. The United States has been the most successful at this. During the Vietnam campaign, it was already impossible to imagine the American army without night vision devices.

In general, since then, the very method of operation of the devices has not changed. Even today, all-night vision manufacturers use the same general blueprint. Its essence lies in a complex scientific solution, thanks to which the light is amplified many times over. The result of this electronic-chemical process is an image that is amplified many times for the observer.

Thus, you can see the details of the object of observation that are not visible in the dark. Usually, night vision is green, sometimes - white. It all depends on the mechanism and the chemical composition of the device. But the result remains the same - you do not become blind in the dark.

Infrared illumination.

As you can imagine from the previous section, NOD are ultimate instruments for the real superhero, at the first glace. Just like Superman, these devices also have their own kryptonite.

The fact is that light is the key to success. It is due to the amplification of light that the image is processed. But, do not take the concept of "light" too literally. The devices are extremely sensitive. A weak reflection is enough for them. Accordingly, if these conditions are not met, then the device will become useless.

With this turn of events, you have to find a new light source to provide your device with the necessary conditions. But not so that your location is visible for miles around. This is why invisible light exists - ir light. This is exactly the light source that will significantly increase the image's quality while avoiding the danger of being noticed.

Infrared light. Myth and reality.

The human eye is a weak and unreliable device from an evolutionary point of view. But our brain is the perfect tool that allows us to overcome any shortcomings of evolutionary development. And not only him.

Therefore, a significant drawback of night vision devices in the form of the inability to use them with a lack of light was leveled by another invention. The fact is that the human eye, just like the eye of warm-blooded animals, cannot recognize the glow in the infrared range. Such capabilities not only allow you to operate in low light conditions effectively. The use of an infrared flashlight, ir floodlight, or solar-powered IR illuminator can greatly enhance the capabilities of even powerful generation 3 night vision devices. Therefore, it will be useful for a real hunter to have such a device in his arsenal.

Despite the apparent simplicity of their design, ir flashlights are just as sensitive as night vision devices. Therefore, do not believe someone who says they do not need special care and careful storage, including moisture protection and battery care.

Also, a common misconception is that IR light is completely invisible. But this is not the case. And the military and police know about it best of all. After all, the infrared range becomes visible when using other similar equipment. Such a mistake can be costly because a careless observer easily unmasks himself. Some species of cold-blooded animals also see this radiation through protein channels.


If you want to understand the real importance of IR light in modern security and weapons infrastructure, let's say one thing: many manufacturers of military equipment spend a lot of money to develop a fabric that allows you to absorb IR illumination. Namely, ir resistant clothing.

With the right gear that you can collect, you literally turn into Superman. And, although you cannot use it to lift cars into the air or find your Lois Lane, you can see without difficulty in the dark.

You can read a few more interesting topics here:
How can night vision save your life in case of a natural disaster
How to choose night vision devices for airsoft
Top things you should consider before buying night vision goggles

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