BLUF: Maintain night vision and exercise flashlight technique to improve your capabilities in low-light environments.
Your retina has receptors called rods. Rods contain rhodopsin which allows you to see in the dark but it decreases when exposed to light. Avoid direct sight of bright lights to maintain rhodopsin. Use this against threats to decrease the night vision or temporarily blind them. Use light and lack of light to your advantage as it relates to daily tasks or overcoming a threat such as a criminal on the run or a home invasion intruder.
》Keep one eye closed or covered will allow it to retain night vision when transitioning from a lit area to a dark area. If you’re preparing to enter a known dark area, close both eyes. These options may not be appropriate when faced with threats.
》Don’t look directly at light sources (such as a flashlight’s center beam or an overhead lamp), use the indirect ambient light and your peripherals.
》Consider red-light sources as it lessens the loss of rhodopsin.
》Utilize and be aware of back-lighting. Being in front of a lit area illuminates you and leaves others in an advantageous position. Keep the light in front of you. Consider this at the home. Light entry hallways and downstairs so an intruder is back-lit and you’re in darkness.
》In near-no-light areas, shift your eyes to the side as you advance forward while using your peripherals to observe footing and threats.
》With a flashlight, “paint the walls” as you travel through alleyways and buildings using a random, slow back-&-forth and up-&-down motion. This prevents threats from identifying your depth-position while they lay-in-wait.
》When a threat is encountered, illuminate their hands (they hold weapons) or their face (blinds).
》Use intermittent or strobe light so that a threat cannot detect your exact location. Keep light off unless absolutely needed to find footing or illuminate a potential threat. Hold light out to the side of your body so a shooter targets the light and not your center-line body.
》Avoid flashlight use when in open areas, holding a perimeter, or crossing a fatal funnel.
》Avoid “backsplash” by controlling your flashlight and not lighting nearby columns or trees that could reflect and illuminate/blind you.
This article was originally written by the Grayman Briefing. Stay in the know, sign up for Intel and Situational Awareness alerts pushed to your phone on emerging threats and preparedness warnings. Click HERE to subscribe to the Grayman Briefing.