Night vision binoculars have been a staple of spy and action movie films for a very long time. There was a time when they were only available to the military, but those times are in the past now and night vision binoculars can be purchased by any enthusiast interested in seeing in the dark. Human beings do posses some night vision, but it takes a while for it to completely kick in and even then it’s not that great. Plus, it can be completely disabled by the flash of a light; it all has to do with how our eyes work and the fact that they evolved to see color not to see in the dark. Night vision binoculars on the other hand work on either one of the following two principals: they work through image enhancement or through thermal imaging.
The night vision binoculars that work through image enhancement do that by collecting all the available amounts of light including those not normally seen by the naked human eye; in this case, the infrared spectrum. After that, these traces of light are amplified to a level where humans can see it. The night vision binoculars that function thanks to thermal imaging technology operate also by observing the infrared spectrum, but these focus on the upper portion of the spectrum which is radiated by objects as heat. As it would be expected, warm bodies such as those of any mammal will emit more heat radiation than cooler objects surrounding them such as cars and buildings.
Night vision binoculars have such a plethora of uses in many civilian activities that it was only a matter of time till they would reach the civilian market. Such civilian activities that might require the aid of night vision capabilities are things like surveillance and security activities, but also things like hunting, fishing and camping.
The latter part being the crucial one when considering purchasing night vision binoculars; the activity that you’re involved with should directly influence the choice of night vision binoculars that you will be getting. While there are two different technologies involved in night vision binoculars, most if not all of the night vision binoculars available to the public at large are the ones that work with the light enhancement technology.
There are currently four generations of night vision binoculars each of them increasingly better suited to seeing in the dark. However, it has to be said that without any type of light source whatsoever, be it a few stars in the sky or some reflected light for some street lights, the first generation binoculars will have a difficult time seeing anything. Obviously the newer the generation is the pricier the night vision binoculars get. Even so, you get what you pay for and ideally you get a brand name with a good reputation in the field.
The fourth generation night vision binoculars are by far the best at what they do. Thanks to technological advancements in regards to battery power these devices display a considerably better image and can automatically adapt to the lighting conditions in the surrounding environment.
Unfortunately, these kinds of night vision devices are at the moment only manufactured for military and law enforcement agency use so it may be quite a while till the average civilian enthusiast can purchase one of these models. Finally, it is important to take into consideration all of these different factors when planning on purchasing night vision binoculars; the factors of which generation it belongs to coupled with what you need them for and their cost need to be carefully analyzed so that you make the best choice possible.