Rig for red lights at night is bad now.

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Not a blunder at all, scientific fact. The complaint in the article isn't with the science of rods and cones and red light, it's just complaining that color coded charts aren't readily readable in incident red light as the reds tend to disappear - which is true. This in no way diminishes the fact that red light preserves night vision better than white light, even at low levels. There are many papers studying this, all with the same conclusion. If you are primarily staring at printed charts at night rather than out at the water in front of you then OK. Just don't expect to be able to see that log as well as someone using red light.

But who uses printed charts anymore? A chart displayed on a chart plotter does not depend on incident light, they are backlit and emissive, not reflective. You will see all the colors, with red incident light, white incident light, or no light whatsoever. That makes the premise of the article out of date.
 
“Recreational and commercial mariners should consider the advantages of using low-level white light on the bridge at night…When charts and displays need to be viewed, low-level white lighting greatly surpasses red lighting in supporting good color discrimination and, therefore, accurate reading of charts and displays.”
 
https://www.passagemaker.com/technical/dim-white-at-night-red-night-lights-a-scientific-blunder
Was a proven scientific blunder begun in WWII, like an old wives tale today.
I never fell for it, never had any red lights on the boat.


It wasn't necessarily a blunder, but I think more of an issue with changing environments and priorities. Dim red light will protect night vision more than dim white. The issue is what are the advantages and disadvantages of each. If you are operating with black and white paper charts and steering via compass heading rather than backlit colored displays, have a young crew and are operating in an environment where quickly recovering night vision is critical, then dim red would be a reasonable choice. OTOH, if you are operating in an environment where everyone is using colored backlit displays, older crew etc... then dim red has disadvantages that outweigh the small improvement in night vision recovery. So again, maybe not so much a blunder or wives tale, but a change in the operating environments.


What is silly, is the use of bright red lights on the bridge. It provides no real benefit and all of the disadvantages. My boat has a red LED in the PH. Not helpful at all. Being an LED it is really bright and wipes out the night vision. Add to that the difficulties in color perception. I also spend most of the time steering by true heading as given on the MFD. So my night vision recovery is determined by the brightness of the display. When I operate at night, all lights are turned off in the PH and my displays are turned down as much as they can be.
 
Too bright city lights blind you from seeing marker lights. That is modern lighting tragedy, the big change. Boating and flying as well as driving. Color of cockpit lighting won't help anymore. Many people have a form of insanity when it comes to bright lights.

My personal theory is that it is the same "self-destruct gene" responsible for addiction, fear of success, emotional arguments, more is better mentality, emotional decision making, hormonal driving, etc.
 
Too bright city lights blind you from seeing marker lights. That is modern lighting tragedy, the big change. Boating and flying as well as driving. Color of cockpit lighting won't help anymore. Many people have a form of insanity when it comes to bright lights.


So true. City lights are an issue of course, but what bothers me when operating at night are the very bright lights on other boats. Unnecessary and you would think that other boaters would be aware of it. It would be the same as if pilots flew around with landing lights on all the time.
 
I have LEDs in the Salon, where my lower helm is. They are dual (White or Red). The white mode uses 7 LED's. The red mode uses 1 LED. They are perfect for our needs. No, I cannot read txt or a chart, but I can see objects on water while I'm operating. I can dim my display way down, though I have to remind myself to increase brightness when I shutdown, or else I won't be able to see the display during daylight.

The real mistake was the choice to use red lights on buoys for navigation. The green can be seen much farther than the red IMHO.
 
When I as still flying in the USCG,vthey were toying with blue and green night lighting, but I retired before any became official.

Also one of the reasons flight suits and to thermal
wet gear became blue versus orange for reflected light in the cockpit.

Wonder where that study went?
 
Of COURSE white light has better discrimination. It contains many wavelengths of light. If you illuminate with only red light, you will only see red. Blues, green, etc will disappear. Paper will only reflect what hits it, unless it has florescent properties, and a NOAA chart does not.
 
The real mistake was the choice to use red lights on buoys for navigation. The green can be seen much farther than the red IMHO.

True with your eye, but using Gen III NVG, then the reverse is true.
 
Actually, the red made the magenta color disappear the most which was pretty critical on the older air nav charts.
 
I have red lights in the pilot house for running at night. When switching to LED emitters, I purposely chose very low light level ones. While I might be better with them turned off, I have stumbled more than once when moving around the boat in the dark. While you might think the MFDs put out more than enough light, little of it illuminates the dark floor.

Ted
 
Vague memory of a toy or an experiment with different color glasses that made different colors disappear. Maybe you saw different pictures or messages depending on which color glasses. Would work the same with different color lights.

Mix all of the colors of light and you get white light. Mix all of the colors of paint, you get a toxic mess and a hazardous waste citation.
 
When I as still flying in the USCG,vthey were toying with blue and green night lighting, but I retired before any became official.

Also one of the reasons flight suits and to thermal
wet gear became blue versus orange for reflected light in the cockpit.

Wonder where that study went?

I worked with a different DoD agency on lighting. And, they were not generally airborne, so they had a different perspective. The USCG and the USAF, when wearing NVG, I suppose would have to "look under" the NVG to read the instruments, correct??; in order to avoid having to refocus from INF. So, the cockpit lighting issue is what color to pick to avoid a lot of NVG gain, while allowing rapid and accurate analysis of the instruments. I'm thinking that would be a drive for green, or even blue backlit instruments, so as not to bloom the NVG, while allowing them bright enough to be seen with the naked eye. Gen III has about no gain with blue, and very little with green.
 
Last I heard IIRC, they were focusing one lens for the instruments and one for outside...no looking under them
 
Last I heard IIRC, they were focusing one lens for the instruments and one for outside...no looking under them

That could well be. I think that is called "monovision" where one eye is set up for distance and the other for close.
Reminds me of an incident I had years ago. Flying solo into PBI and I lost a contact mid flight from the Bahamas. I have like 20:200 uncorrected. So, I had to land with basically one eye. Didn't really favor that set up. :nonono:
 
So true. City lights are an issue of course, but what bothers me when operating at night are the very bright lights on other boats.

This is a huge problem in our area now. The recreational fishermen see the big, steel commercial boats go around lit up like a baseball stadium, so they've all gone out and bought massive LED banks. They run around at night with these things blasting. They live in their little bubble of light, can see nothing outside the bubble, and blind every other boat they get near.

Maybe they're compensating for something?

Sort of like the guys who run around all winter with their yellow flashing light bars on their pickups, even when they're not plowing snow.
 
But who uses printed charts anymore?

I do. "No mariner shall rely on one single source of navigation". Plenty of stories here of chart plotters getting people into trouble.

A little LOW LEVEL white light is ok. You recover quickly. In fact, I find all those plotters and other screens a lot more interfering with my situational awareness at night than when we didn't have ANY of that. I've been known to put towels over them except for the occasional peek.
 
I do. "No mariner shall rely on one single source of navigation". Plenty of stories here of chart plotters getting people into trouble.

A little LOW LEVEL white light is ok. You recover quickly. In fact, I find all those plotters and other screens a lot more interfering with my situational awareness at night than when we didn't have ANY of that. I've been known to put towels over them except for the occasional peek.

My chart plotter is OpenCPN and it adjusts for 3 levels of brightness, it does get set to a pretty low level of light at night on the monitor.

I am switching to dimmable LED for the overhead cabin lights and ordered a PWM controller to allow me to dim them and I can turn them all on and off together from it's remote. Plan is to dim them all 10 of them together.
I am keeping the fixtures, just replacing with G4 bulbs.
If you need a bright light, various interior spaces have AC lights. I can see how a depth plotter could be too bright, and mine is not automatic for dimming, has to be manually set, but the color screen is real small, like 3 by 5 inches.
 
I do. "No mariner shall rely on one single source of navigation". Plenty of stories here of chart plotters getting people into trouble.



A little LOW LEVEL white light is ok. You recover quickly. In fact, I find all those plotters and other screens a lot more interfering with my situational awareness at night than when we didn't have ANY of that. I've been known to put towels over them except for the occasional peek.



The key being low level as you highlighted. I have Raymarine MFDs. At night I turn down the brightness to as low as it will go, 10%.

I also agree with Oscar on printed charts. This summer I had a short time where my plotters crapped out. I was in unfamiliar waters with hidden rocks, no plotter and no GPS. I was very happy to have paper charts and a compass at hand.
 
I do. "No mariner shall rely on one single source of navigation". Plenty of stories here of chart plotters getting people into trouble.
Almost no one uses printed charts as their primary source of navigation in 2018. Yes I have them onboard, and actually prefer a hand drawn chart to an electronic vector chart. However I routinely use only computer screen rendered versions and almost never look at an actual piece of paper. I think nearly everyone does the same. Hence my question "who uses paper charts?"

A NOAA or CHS raster chart rendered on a computer monitor is perfectly readable, including the magenta lines, under red light or in total darkness. Again, these displays do not depend on incident light, they create there own. The ambient light makes no difference unless there is too much of it (bright sunlight).
 
Have a builder-installed map light. It contains several white bulbs with the option of a single red. Since I haven't sailed/boated at night with any interior lights, I've no further comment.
 
A little history... In 1965 the destroyer Frank Knox ran aground on Pratas Reef. The story I heard in the navy, the Knox was running at night and someone plotted a course across the reef, not seeing the red markings in the red night lights. Red and magenta marks and lines on the charts of the time don't show in red lights. It took 35 days and several tugs and salvage ships to get the Knox off the reef. They used expanding foam to force out the water and seal the hull. The machinery spaces were flooded. Musta been a job to get the foam out. The ship served 6 more years, was sold or given to Greece and served another 20 years.
 

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The US Navy submarine force stopped "rigging for red" in the control room before coming up to periscope depth at night about 30 years ago. Shifted to low level lighting in 88 or 89.

The OOD would wear red glasses in the control room prior to rigging for red to adjust his eyes even more.
 
Hi,


The article found the same thing that had been known for decades, because of the red light due to wave frequency, color separation is not the best possible, This is taught here for children at school.


There is nothing to change how the human eye's wrists allow a night vision and other than the red frequencies in the light give impulse and you lose at least a part of the twilight of your sight.


Nautical charts are at least here, therefore, in addition to color, the symbols of the Direction of cardinal signs and lateral references, so there is no need to distinguish them with colors. There is really nothing new in this article or a scientific reference to a new research result on the subject. Red sing only electric line, pipe line etc.

iu


NBs
 
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So my question would be, if we knew about the issues with not being able to see red markings on charts several decades ago, why haven't they changed the standard coloration for charts so that it does not include red? Wouldn't that be the easy/cheap way to solve this whole issues!?!
 
All of my interior red lights are on dimmers.
I use them primarily for making the steps known.
 
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