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Colored LED differences

Posted by Christian Fyffe on

Among the many flashlights you've found here in our store, there are a few that have a differently colored LED alongside the white ones. These have some purposes beyond looking fashionable, as has been stated in a few of our reviews. First, a baseline: Normal LEDs range from warm white to cool white to daytime, meaning how much color is in or around the center of the beam. It is a shade of light that comes before any filters are placed on or around it. These are the most common LEDs you will find.

An LED colored red does not become very hot, making the beam both not travel very far and be less taxing on a flashlight's body than a normal LED's use. While a color the human eye has a hard time perceiving in static places, a red LED is actually useful for keeping night vision high and looking through darkness for a short time. They're also the universal signal for caution and safety, so using a red LED to silently tell someone something is wrong would not be too out of place.

Green LEDs are more useful when reading maps in the dark, whether that's night time or absolute. They're also brighter than red LEDs, not only able to travel farther but more commonly associated with keeping night vision high. Green LEDs are also good for hunting, attracting some animals like deer, and not scaring away others like fish. A few of these are made specifically to keep night vision ready, but NVG LEDs are more primarily used by military personnel and pilots than civilians.

Blue LEDs are also good for reading maps in the case of not having a green one. Much better than red for this purpose, given more colors will be visible on the map with blue LEDs. They also make visible stains and other markings normally hidden from the naked eye. Blue LEDs are also known for having the only lights that can cut through fog, which is why they're a common piece of fog headlights.

Ultraviolet LEDs are better at identifying the authenticity of dollar bills and personal identification, making parts of the items put under them shine in ways normal blue light can't. Also, blue light may illuminate stains and some markings, but it won't make 'gifts' from rats and insects stand out the way UV does. As an extreme example, scorpions under UV light glow green. Geologists are also able to make use of ultraviolet light, as some strains of minerals can glow at different wavelengths under it.

Infrared light is completely invisible to the naked eye, needing special equipment to see what is being illuminated by it. This is not an LED especially useful to the common man, but if you have that equipment needed and feel like playing a prank, coordination with your friend will be key.

Armed with this knowledge, you will have a much better time determining just what sort of LED is good for you. Whether you need to walk in the dark for a while, read a map, find something, or just make someone's day bright, there's an LED for you in the flashlights you will find.


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