What is a good red led light for edc?

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thiswayup

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You might want to try a green/turquoise. There's tons of posts about the difference, but I think it boils down to -- it takes less turq light for the same amount of definition that red gives, but gives better detail and color perception. So about the same disturbance of night vision.

There is some controversy, but the standard view is to disagree:

http://www.flashlightreviews.com/qa/nightvision.htm

The back of our eye, called the "retina" detects light and allows us to "see". The retina is made of of 2 types of structures, cones and rods.
The cones are responsible for our normal daytime vision. Cones detect both the wavelength (color) and intensity (brightness) of light that goes into our eyes and passes that information to our brain.


The rods are responsible for our "night adapted vision". Rods do not detect wavelength (no color), but are very sensitive to intensity (brightness) of light. They pass on only shades of gray to our brain. They only work at very low light intensities (dim light), are most sensitive to light at about 500nm (turquoise/cyan), and are blind to red light (around 620nm).


When our eyes are fully night adapted, we are using our rods. The rods cannot detect red light, but our cones can. So if we use a red light flashlight we can see what is around us using our cones. The rods in our eye can't see the red light and our night adapted vision is unaffected. Turn off the red light and you can go right back to looking at the stars in the same detail as before without having to wait another 1/2 hour for our rods to work again....

But you said our rods are most sensitive to Cyan light! Can't I use a Cyan LED light to look around and still preserve my night vision?

Yes, our rods are most sensitive to 500nm (cyan/turquoise) light. Remember though, that the rods are very, very, very sensitive to intensity. A bright light of any color (except red) will ruin your night adapted vision. So cyan is actually the WORST to use when you need a brighter light to see the environment around you since this light wavelength is what the rods pick up best. Cyan light has to be kept very, very dim to keep it from ruining night adapted vision.

Alternate view:
http://stlplaces.com/night_vision_red_myth/
http://www.astromax.org/kniffen2.htm
 
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thiswayup

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Just to clarify an Inova X5 uses 2 CR123s. Inova in their infinite wisdom only made a very short run of X1s in red.

No, it varies with LED colour. I think they were just too lazy to produce a short bodied red X5, so it's the standard length but it only uses a single cell. Otoh greens are 2 cell, I *think*.
 
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scottaw

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When i was hunting for a red led, everyone who recommended the X5 had a 1 cell, as is mine. Lighthound also lists it as 1 cell, i've never seen a 2 cell, and i HIGHLY recommend the X5. Great price, tank solid, and good beam/color.

I CANNOT recommend the L1-RD, i had one for 3 days and couldn't stand it, beam was terrible, and it was way too expensive when great red lights can be had much cheaper. (NOTE: this is no way surefire bashing, i have 3 white L1's that i LOVE, the red just doesn't play well with the TIR optic)
 
BIGIRON

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That's why I started my post as I did.

I have low vision so my case is not typical. A lower brightness in cyan/turq gives me better vision than the same or greater in red. I can tell no difference in night adaptation after using the lights.

I use a cyan Peak and a red Infinity for comparison. My green Infinity is much brighter than the Peak so that it's not a reasonable comparison. Just my
experience, not book learnin'.

There's tons of good posts on the subject, most suporting the "red is best" theory.
 
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Nyctophiliac

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I am sure that a nice deep red led like the INOVA or L1 have, will be very pleasing and fulfil the 'not disturbing night adapted eyes' thought. But I have recently tried out the Fenix red filter on my L1D CE and I'm kinda impressed.

Not as red as any of my led reds, lux or 5mm, more a kind of pinky red. But when used in isolation it works fine - saving your night vision and you only have to pull the filter off to get good old white light, should you need it. This makes it a one torch check the house at night EDC, for any eventuality - works great on the P3D too.

That said, I intend to order an INOVA X5, just for completists sake :naughty:.

Because I AM a Flashaholic!


Be lucky...
 
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Wyeast

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No, it varies with LED colour. I think they were just too lazy to produce a short bodied red X5, so it's the standard length but it only uses a single cell. Otoh greens are 2 cell, I *think*.
I can confirm the greens are 2-cell, like the one sitting in my drawer. Pretty sure the reds were the only 1-cell X5 model.
 
RebelXTNC

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I'll add +1 for the red X5, but I also like the Safe-Light Superbright in red that comes with the purchase of a white one at EDC Depot.
While at first glance it isn't your typical EDC body style, it does have a removable, pivoting magnetic belt clip and also fits easily in a pocket without the clip. This red has very few artifacts and I was suprised how bright the high level is. It also has low level, and very dim level (lasts a year), as well as slow strobe. Nice UI too, you can either skip modes back to a resting state (OFF or Very Dim) or progress through modes regardless of how long it's been on.
 
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thiswayup

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Another coffee break, another google search - if you check Google Books, "Astronomy Hacks" has quite a bit about this subject on about p83-86. The authors go with red-is-best, on the grounds that it doesn't break down the rhodopsin used in the low light vision receptors (something the cyan-light camp fails to address).

What's very interesting, but not that surprising, is their warning about red filters for white lights - these look red, but usually still let through enough light at other frequencies to ruin night adaptation. If you're serious about night version, you need a pure source of deep red light - 630nm plus.
 
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OceanView

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The authors go with red-is-best, on the grounds that it doesn't break down the rhodopsin used in the low light vision receptors (something the cyan-light camp fails to address).
Physiologically, this is true, but practically speaking, few of us use true scotopic night vision so the color distinction isn't that important. For average situations, it's the intensity that matters more than the color. A brighter light will dazzle our eyes when nature calls in the middle of the night and we switch on a flashlight, so less light would be preferable. If I read his post correctly, Bigiron's point is that since our eyes are most sensitive to cyan, he needs less cyan light to see well, compared to using red. And when he switches off his cyan light, his dark adaptation (not necessarily true scotopic vision) is the same as after using a red light (in his experience). That's perfectly valid. Other people find using a dim amber works well for them in low light situations. A deep red light is not that pleasant to see with even if technically, it spares the rhodopsin in our receptors. Besides, most red LED's aren't even the right kind of red anyway. They are too red-orange to truly spare the rhodopsin.
 
Sgt. LED

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I use my old original CMG Infinity with a green LED. 41 hours of vision protecting low light goodness on 1 AA cell. Very tough as well.
 
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BrokenR1

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What's very interesting, but not that surprising, is their warning about red filters for white lights - these look red, but usually still let through enough light at other frequencies to ruin night adaptation. If you're serious about night version, you need a pure source of deep red light - 630nm plus.

What do the red X5's rate? And what led lights would be 630nm or so?
 
BIGIRON

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To clarify my post further, just so I don't seem any more lame than usual--- my retinas are all screwed up which means my experience should be considerd very atypical. And should not detract from thiswayup's post.

Bottom line - whatever works for you.

I'm considering ordering one of Streamlights 123 lights with white incan and switchable red led's. Anyone have experience with them. Seem kind of gimmicky, but we've all got a lot of respect for SL. Actually, that light kind of fits in this thread.

Edit - that Streamlight is the Night Commander. Lighthound has them on sale for $22.99.
 
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quatra2008

quatra2008

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i went with the inova x5 as it was recomended most. It also seems to be nearly unbreakable and runs batteries totally dead which is a plus since i have a ton after using them in my fenix p1d ce and p3d q5. Thanks for all the help guys!
 
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BrokenR1

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What kind of stores carry the X5's I haven't seen any locally but haven't been paying attention either. I'd prefer to buy one locally than online for now.
 
nosuchagency

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frys usually carries a decent selection of inovas.
 
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thiswayup

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To clarify my post further, just so I don't seem any more lame than usual--- my retinas are all screwed up which means my experience should be considerd very atypical.

OUCH! But even without this, the matter is controversial. All we should really do some experiments on the forum.
 
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BrokenR1

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Well walmart doesn't have any, doesn't Target usually carry these?
 
RebelXTNC

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Target carries Inova, but the only red I've seen there is the Microlight II. I'm not even sure they carry those anymore or was the clearance pricing just temporary to move some of them along?
They really should make the X1 in red and with an LED that has low artifacts. The green X1 is a nice light but I had to diffuse mine, terrible beam.
 
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GreySave

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Unless you have a store that carries speciality flashlights the Red X5 will probably need to be an online purchase. I doubt that it would sell well enough for regular retailers to carry it.
 
Marduke

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Target and Academy Sports carry Inovas, but only white (except for the Microlights)
 

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