Below are answers to common questions concerning infrared (IR) flashlights.
How far will your infrared flashlight work? This depends on
- The IR frequency of the light
- The sensitivity of your camera or Night Vision Device (NVD) to that IR frequency
- The power of the light
- The size of the beam
What is the difference between the frequencies? IR ranges from 725nm to 1700nm for the Near IR (NIR) range. Lights fitted with a low-cut IR filter, like a 715nm, will pass 715nm through 1200nm. Lights fitted with a high cut filter, like a 1000nm, will pass 1000nm through 1200nm. A 715nm light will emit a slight red glow when you look directly into the light. A light with a 1000nm filter will look completely black when on. However, a 1000nm filter will make the light less powerful since it is only allowing a smaller portion of light through.
This brings up a very important point. The lower you go, the better the light will illuminate, but it will be more visible. As you go to higher frequencies, the power of the light will drop.
What is best for my camera or NVD? You want to chose the lowest frequency possible while still maintaining the covertness you require. Lower frequencies will work better but won't be as covert.
- Typical consumer camcorders with NiteShot can see to about 1200nm.
- Typical Night Vision Devices (NVD) can only see to about 880nm. Don't get a 1000nm IR flashlight unless you know specifically that your NVD can see that high. Most can't!
Can you give me an idea of the different frequencies and covertness?
|715nm||Light gives a cherry red glow when looking into beam. Slight visible red light projected|
|780nm||Light gives a dull cherry red glow. Very slight visible light projected|
|830nm||Light looks black unless very close to front. No visible light projected.|
|850nm||Light looks black. No visible light projected|
|1000nm||Light looks black. No visible light projected. Above range of most NVD's. Most covert beam|
Typical Light Distance Ranges
|Type Of Light||Camcorder||Typical NVD (this varies)|
|715nm, 2 AA battery||25 feet||30 feet|
|715nm, XNiteFlashSTG||50 feet||100 feet|
|880nm Single LED||5 feet||10 feet|
|940nm Single LED||4 feet||0 feet|
|715nm 2,000,000 candle power||300 feet||300 feet +|
|830nm 2,000,000 candle power||250 feet||300 feet +|
|1000nm 2,000,000 candle power||150 feet||200 feet (because of power, NVD still sees some of this light)|