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Why People Use Red Flashlights – Top 3 Reasons

Why People Use Red Flashlights – Top 3 Reasons

Everyone knows what a flashlight is and how useful it is in power failures and of course outdoors at night.

Most flashlights are just white light, however, although there are many colors of bulbs.

The bulbs are what give off the colors and different colors provide different methods of output and protection. 

In the outdoors, and in the military, red flashlights are typical as they give off a much wider beam of light, and they prevent other individuals from spotting a white beam (and for hunters, this also is important while hunting as animals also cannot spot the red color.  

The scope on rifles may even have a red beam, and of course, signaling with a red flashlight has special meanings in military usage.

The easy answer then as to usage is that red flashlights throw a deeper beam while remaining undetectable many times, and enhance safety and security. 


Why Do People Use Red Flashlights?

People use red flashlights as they have a softer glow, making it easier on the eyes. Another reason why people use red flashlights is that they don’t attract bugs. Lastly, animals, and even people, don’t notice the red light coming off the flashlights.

Why Do People Use Red Flashlights?
Why Do People Use Red Flashlights?


3 Common Reasons Why People Use Red Flashlights


1. A softer glow that is easier on the eyes

This is especially true for those individuals who work at night outdoors as the white lights allow blue light which is harmful to the eyes to pass through to the pupils.

The white beam of a flashlight is harmful to use compared to red flashlights as they allow blue light to through the pupils
The white beam of a flashlight is harmful to use compared to red flashlights as they allow blue light to through the pupils

Blue light rays are not noticeable as blue and can have adverse health effects according to WebMD. (1) 

There also is some research that shows that those who suffer migraines benefit from a blue light filtering type color such as red, rose, pink, gray, or amber. 


2. Red flashlights do not attract bugs

White light is warm and casts a broad beam which makes bugs notice it and be drawn to it.

Red flashlights are more amenable to use when camping outdoors as they don't attract bugs compared to white light
Red flashlights are more amenable to use when camping outdoors as they don’t attract bugs compared to white light

Campers turn to red flashlights to deter bugs from invading them as they walk through the campsite. 


3. The beam of a red flashlight is not noticeable to others or animals

If you are a survivalist or a hunter doing “night spotting” of deer or other prey this is a crucial element.

Compared to red flashlights, white light from a flashlight can be seen by animals when you're out hunting at night
Compared to red flashlights, white light from a flashlight can be seen by animals when you’re out hunting at night

White light can be seen far and wide while a red flashlight puts a person in “stealth mode.” Of course, caution is needed as others will not see you either! 

In some states of the USA, night spotting is not legal as the dangers can be advanced when doing this.

Stealth mode using red flashlights and other red lighting can assist though in conducting construction or renovation of highways while the public is mostly asleep. 


History of Why People Use Red Flashlights

Although many individuals believe that LED (Light Emitting Diodes), which are the standard for illumination are components of the 21st century this is not the case.

The colors of LED bulbs first appeared in 1927, with the red LED taking on preference for many reasons. 

Out of the LED colors that appeared in 1927, the red LED is the one that is most preferred
Out of the LED colors that appeared in 1927, the red LED is the one that is most preferred

Red lightbulbs in flashlights also improve night vision and are easier on the eyes for those that work at night.

Some jobs outdoors require individuals to read or do data entry in the dark and using a red light bulb cuts back on the eyestrain. 

Even indoors, the study has been ongoing on the effects of blue light blocking via special rose or brown eyeglasses from computer screens as blue light can cause CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome). 

Any display device, however, can cause CVS, especially when used in the dark while camping or working outdoors.

Another bonus of red light flashlights is that bugs are less drawn to this lower diode color than bright white light and of course, most campers welcome fewer mosquitoes when enjoying the outdoors! 

Bugs are attracted to higher lumens of light, and bright white bulbs are high on the lumen scale, while red and orange are not, followed by blue and green.

Just turn on your back porch or patio light at night if a white bulb is used and see how many bugs flock immediately to it. 

The lumens produce not just light but heat and bugs are drawn to heat also.

Red light flashlights or bulbs produce better vision at night but do eliminate the heat and depth of the lumens.

A lumen flux is the quantity of light emitted continuously and quite frankly, simply short for the term “luminescence.” 


Frequently Asked Questions on Why People Use Red Flashlights 


I am going camping and want a red flashlight. Where do I purchase one? 

Most hardware stores in the USA, or outdoor stores do carry these in stock and they are easy enough to find. Online sales are also a possibility. 


I stumble when using a red flashlight. Why? 

The beam of light is not as broad and the only way to combat this is to point it downwards and take smaller steps. If you are out in the dark walking this is a good idea anyway. 


Is the flashlight bulb actually a red color? 

Just like Christmas lights, bulbs for flashlights come in a variety of colors with red and white being the most popular. 


Will a red flashlight come in handy when the power goes out at home? 

Unless you plan to work on a computer or go outside during an outage, it’s not necessary. A plain white bulb will do occasionally for outages usually. 


Do laser pointers use red small bulbs? 

The laser pointer industry produces pointers with red bulbs because these are cheaper to manufacture. White bulbs, with a higher concentration of light, are more costly. For general use, a red bulb in a pointer does the trick. Some brands offer red/white options at the flick of the switch. 


Summary — Why Do People Use Red Flashlights? 

People Use Red Flashlights for safety and health advantages of the eyes as the blue light is blocked, hunting, camping, hiking, and even working outdoors are enhanced by a red flashlight.

Pesky bugs are also deterred and at night outdoors no matter what is being done, bugs, especially mosquitoes can be a decision problem. 

Having a red flashlight on hand helps with a variety of issues and actually can be more efficient and cost-effective

While white bulbs come to mind most frequently, trying a red flashlight should be done as the benefits are worth the price of the extra flashlight. 

A bright white flashlight should most likely be kept also but the red light flashlights are also a good choice to have on hand. 

Saving money can occur with a red flashlight, increased safety, and of course, saving one’s eyes if working at night in the dark on monitors or computer screens.

There is hardware to prop up a flashlight on a computer or mobile. 

Some red flashlights are also compatible with strapping onto a helmet or hat and are a favorite with workers and hunters. 

About Me

Hi, this is Kent Walker. I am an outdoor enthusiast. I love fishing, hiking as well as kayaking. I write about my adventures in the wide open and what I learned about it.