Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13-08-2012, 05:05   #1
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2
Red or White at Night ?

I have recently bought a new marine dual output (red and white) LED torch (the X2) from Exposure Marine - Sailing Torches, finally a torch designed for purpose. I operate nearly all of the time under red light now. I realise that there has always been the debate over red and white and I just though I would see what people thought. I really feel that it has made my night voyages easier and safer, especially with the multiple modes, you can always use the minimum amount of light, red or white. It is also very good to know that when you need it the white light it almost as powerful as my car headlight, I can keep it in my pocket and it floats. LED technology really is changing these safety lights, no more, coiled wires/trip hazards.
__________________

__________________
britishcruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-08-2012, 07:59   #2
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,948
Images: 6
Re: Red or white at night?

There's been a lot of recent research done on this issue and the conclusions are pretty simple--keep the light as dim as possible. A dim red light is better than an equally dim white light, but a dim white light is better than a brighter red light.
__________________

__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-08-2012, 08:04   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Red or white at night?

I find that I can see better and have a shorter readjustment time using a dim white light vs. a red light. Every person is probably different. The calibration to use in judging is not equal brightness, but rather the brightness required of each to do the task. I find it very difficult to read, etc under red light unless it is fairly bright.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-08-2012, 08:31   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,130
Re: Red or white at night?

An old friend of mine, now sadly gone, sailed down the St. Lawrence without proper charts. He used a road map. Freaked him out, every time he went down below to check the map most of the lines on the map disappeared - yes, he had a red light over the chart table. He finally got it but the trip ended badly, with them running aground in a rocky bay which he entered at night, thinking the lights ahead were a small town but actually the lights were behind the hills in front of them. Don't see characters like that much anymore.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-08-2012, 09:08   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,909
Re: Red or white at night?

Found as I get older that it is harder to see details under dim red light -- now have to use a bit of white light.
__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-08-2012, 09:14   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Re: Red or white at night?

The pupil is less sensitive to restricting with lower frequency light for the same perceived brightness. White light is a combination of the visible spectrum.

We have had a big debate about this before. Opinions are all over the spectrum, if you will pardon the pun.

Expect to see a lot of posts with a lot of opinions.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-08-2012, 09:21   #7
Registered User
 
capn_billl's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Houston,Tx
Boat: Maxum 37'
Posts: 1,587
Re: Red or white at night?

There was a thread debating this that actualy posted some research on doiferent colored light, and it's effect on night vision. I don't remember the result, but most "night lights" are still red.
__________________
capn_billl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-08-2012, 14:09   #8
Registered User
 
Auspicious's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: HR 40
Posts: 1,793
Send a message via Skype™ to Auspicious
Re: Red or white at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
The pupil is less sensitive to restricting with lower frequency light for the same perceived brightness. White light is a combination of the visible spectrum.

We have had a big debate about this before. Opinions are all over the spectrum, if you will pardon the pun.

Expect to see a lot of posts with a lot of opinions.
There are lots of opinions. The facts however are clear. The US military has done a lot of work on this and dimmed white light wins out. The library at any university with a medical school should have the published papers available.
__________________
S/V Auspicious
AuspiciousWorks
Beware cut and paste sailors
Auspicious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-08-2012, 15:00   #9
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,618
Re: Red or white at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
There are lots of opinions. The facts however are clear. The US military has done a lot of work on this and dimmed white light wins out. The library at any university with a medical school should have the published papers available.
Dimmed white light won out for colour perception (as you would expect) which can be more important than absolute night vision. To preserve the best night vision dim red is best. This is due to the eyes physiology.

Red light is difficult to use, interferes with other equipment, and all colour perception is lost. There are times when these drawbacks means its not suitable, but if you want to preserve your best night vision (and once lost it takes a long time to recover) it is the only option for seeing reasonably fine detail, like instrument numbers, while at the same time preserving the best night vision in an eye.
__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2012, 06:40   #10
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,948
Images: 6
Re: Red or white at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
There are lots of opinions. The facts however are clear.
Exactly. There is no reason to rely on opinions. The subject has been thoroughly researched and the facts are available. You just need to be willing to go and find them. Of course, a lot of people will still insist that what they learned years and years ago is the gospel truth (no matter how wrong it might be).

If you don't want to find the facts for yourself, then read noelex's posting above. To summarize: Keeping the light as dim as possible, while still letting you see what you need to see, is the main thing. Red is better than white, but sometimes white is better when you need to be able to discern colors.

It really is that simple.
__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2012, 06:54   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 55
Re: Red or white at night?

As a pilot we are taught that it takes less time to recover your night vision if exposed to red lights, more for blue. It has something to do with rods, cones and the chemicals therein. Multicolor charts need white to read properly, but keep it dim and realize that your night vision has been compromised.
__________________
harmonytek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2012, 06:56   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 5,764
Re: Red or white at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harmonytek View Post
As a pilot we are taught that it takes less time to recover your night vision if exposed to red lights, more for blue. It has something to do with rods, cones and the chemicals therein. Multicolor charts need white to read properly, but keep it dim and realize that your night vision has been compromised.

Score one for the Bellingham black and white charts and a red light!!!
__________________
Sailmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2012, 07:19   #13
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,761
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Red or white at night?

i find in my antiquity that a dim yellowish tinged light is perfect for cabin and i can adjust easily. the light in my gps is too bright for accommodation,is WHITE, and is borderline on night settings.
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2012, 07:44   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cambridge MD
Boat: Carter offshore 35
Posts: 333
Re: Red or white at night?

Don't forget the new LED blue-white for night.
__________________
DeborahLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2012, 07:51   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kimberton PA
Boat: Cabo Rico 38 / Bayfield 32
Posts: 573
Images: 1
Re: Red or white at night?

I thought this was going to be about whether I preferred red or white wine at night. Guess I need to re-calibrate. For the record, red.
__________________

__________________
Saltyhog is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:21.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.