Which color LED is best for reading?

Posted by Best Light on

A conversation started up on Reddit about which color was best for reading in the dark. Everyone has been told red but my experience has proven otherwise. I thought it would be a good idea to show which color was best. To test out the theories I grabbed my trusty SRT-7 and locked myself in a dark room with a good book.

Red LED aimed directly at the page

This is the red LED pointed directly at the page. The letters are unreadable, the image is barely recognizable. This was true both to the eye and on camera. However, the area was significantly darker. If you don't need to see much detail and want to keep your night vision, red is the way to go.

Green LED pointed directly at the page

This is the green LED pointed directly at the page. As you can see the map is very visible, the letters are easy to read. If you need to see details this is the light color you want. The room seemed to be brighter overall. If you are trying to hide from people, green might not be the color you want to use. If you are trying to read a map, green is most definitely the color you want.

Blue LED pointing directly at the page

The blue LED was readable to the naked eye but got fuzzy on camera. However blue performed much better when not shining the light directly on the page. The map and text was readable under the blue light, but not as easy as the green.

We also took some indirectly lit images just to see if that made a difference. It did not. Green was still the champ. If you need to see details in the dark and don't want white then you definitely want green. If you want to maintain your night vision then you want to use red. I have been told that blood is easy to see in blue light, so the hunters will want to use blue.

To see all of the images on this checkout our color album on imgur.

There are several lights that have all of these colors (white, red, green and blue): Fenix LD75C, Fenix TK32, Jetbeam RRT-26 and of course the Nitecore SRT-7. However, there are many lights with just red, or just blue or just green that are available. Thanks to Flashlight community on Reddit for starting this conversation! We will continue this discussion on Reddit.

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