[This is a guest post by Craig Pearson from nightvision4less which does not carry an official endorsement of survivalize.com]
Night vision technology, like all technology, just keeps getting cheaper and more compact. It is for this reason that a night vision device should be part of any preparedness kit. For a few hundred dollars, you could give yourself an edge in any survival or home defense situation. With the relatively low cost and many benefits, there is almost no reason not to keep one around. So read on to learn why you should own a night vision device.
How They Work
In order to understand the benefits of night vision, you must first understand how it works in the first place. First of all, there are two types of technology that are known as “night vision”. There are light amplification devices and thermal imaging devices. Both work on infrared light (light that is below the wavelength viewable by the human eye), but in different ways. Light amplification devices, as their name suggest, amplify the existing light in an area, and display that area on a screen. These types of devices produce a greenish tinted picture that we associate with night vision. Thermal vision devices work by capturing the infrared light that is emitted by warm objects and display different temperatures as different colors on a screen. Lighter colors indicate warmer temperatures and darker color represent cooler objects such as background areas.
What They Can Do
Now that you know how night vision works, you will want to know what they can do. The performance you get out of your night vision device depends on how much you spend. There are four generations of night vision technology and each one comes greater clarity, better resolution, and a bigger price tag. The good news is that you can give yourself a great advantage in the dark with even the cheapest device. A cheap first generation night vision device will cost you anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a thousand or more. This type of device will have a lower resolution, a lower effective distance, and fewer features. A cheap device will be harder to focus, and may be less comfortable. However, if you can live with these issues, a cheap device is still a great way to see in the dark.
Thermal imaging devices are a bit more spendy, starting out at around a couple thousand dollars. The higher price tag is justified by the improved performance. For instance, thermal imaging can allow you do spot a person several hundred yards away and even tell you if they are armed or not, based on differing temperatures between the person and their weapon. This is of course a very valuable benefit of thermal imaging over standard night vision, and may make the extra cost worth it in the end.
With both types of night vision, a dual eyepiece device will provide better depth perception than a cheaper, single eyepiece model. Depth perception is quite lacking with night vision as it is, so the extra boost could be well worth it. For a home defense situation, head mounted goggles with dual eyepieces is probably the best option. This way you get the benefit of improved depth perception along with a device that is hands free as well. Couple this with later-generation automatic power switching (which turns the device off automatically in bright areas), which will prevent you from becoming “blinded”, and you have the ultimate night vision kit.
So if you have a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars laying around, consider purchasing a night vision device. It will give you peace of mind, the upper hand in a night home defense or survival situation, and a cool gadget to play with in the meantime.