The Science Behind Using a Green Light LED Flashlight for Hunting

The Science Behind Using a Green Light LED Flashlight for Hunting

Posted by Alice Jones Webb on May 20th 2019

Hunting after sunset presents a unique set of challenges. Whether you’re hunting predators, raccoons, or wild hogs, the ability to spot game without alarming them is the key to nighttime hunting success. Believe it or not, the color of your flashlight can have a huge impact on the outcome of your hunt.

A bright flashlight with a white light beam is often the first option that comes to mind. While standard white light LEDs (LED stands for “Light Emitting Diode”) are generally effective for brightening up your nighttime surroundings, hunters have considerations beyond their own ability to see in the dark. Hunters must also consider how their hunting light will affect game animals, and standard white light can send nocturnal animals stampeding for safety.

This is why most hunters turn to a green light LED for nighttime hunting.

The Science Behind Using a Green Light LED Flashlight for Hunting

The average human can see a broad spectrum of color. This is because humans and other primates have something called trichromatic vision. The human retina contains three types of color receptors (called cone cells). These three types of cone cells can each absorb and process different light spectra. As these receptors blend colors together, it allows us to distinguish a vast number of color shades.

Most mammals, however, only have dichromatic vision, meaning they have only two pigment cones to blend together colors. As a result, most non-human animals lack the ability to separate green and red wavelengths of light. This isn’t a dysfunction, however. Scientists hypothesize mammals evolved dichromatic vision due to their nocturnal nature. Dichromatic vision actually allows these animals to better detect low light wavelengths, giving them much better night vision than humans and other primates.

Key Advantages of Green Light LEDs
Many seasoned hunters have strong opinions about which LED to use when hunting coyotes, hogs, and other nocturnal game. Red light LED is the traditional go-to light color for most seasoned hunters. However, the green light LED is gaining popularity, especially for hunting feral hogs, and for good reason.

  • Provides a near perfect balance of intensity and brightness.
  • Produces sharp and vivid contrast, making it easier for the human eye to perceive shapes.
  • Allows hunters to see further distances than they can with a red light LED.
  • Green light LEDs are more effective at illuminating the dark bodies of wild hogs and other animals with dark hides.
  • Wild hogs specifically have more difficulty detecting green light as opposed to red light.
  • Helps preserve a hunter’s valuable night vision.
  • Attracts fewer mosquitoes and other flying insects, providing a more comfortable and enjoyable hunting experience.
  • A green light LED is easier for other hunters to see, increasing your safety.
  • Can also be used for hunting coyotes, raccoons, foxes, bobcats, and small mammals.
  • Using a green light LED while traveling to your deer stand before dawn prevents the unnecessary spooking of game.

Types of Green LED Lights for Hunting
There are several different types of lights you can use for hunting, each with a specific purpose. The best type depends on your specific hunting style.

Standard Handheld Flashlight
A handheld flashlight has plenty of limitations but can be useful for getting to and from your hunting location.

Rail-Mounted Gun Light
Specifically designed to mount directly onto your rail system, these lights are completely hands-free. These devices illuminate the area directly in front of your firearm. They may come with adapter brackets or have an integrated mount. Some high end models offer beam width and elevation adjustments. Monstrum Tactical carries a variety of green led flashlights that have removable mounts and can be found here.

Hybrid Flashlights
These hybrids provide the best of both worlds. While the hybrid flashlight mounts to your rifle scope, it can also easily transitions to a handheld flashlight.

LED headlamps fit right on top of your head, allowing complete hands-free movement and providing illumination wherever you turn your head. These devices are great for walking long distances through the woods and are a particular favorite of coon hunters who need to juggle dog leashes, calls, and other hunting equipment. Headlight from image above can be found here.

Usually providing a higher-power light beam, spotlights can be handy for spotting deer feeding in fields or elusive coons hiding in treetops. However, high-powered spotlights often spook animals even if they use a green light LED bulb due to the intensity of the beam. Spotlights can be carried in your hunting pack or mounted to your truck or ATV. Some have long-life battery packs while others can hook up to your vehicle’s cigarette lighter receptacle.

With so many advantages, every hunter should add a green light LED to their hunting arsenal. Monstrum offers several compact, lightweight green light LED flashlights that mount right to your rail. All are constructed from sturdy aircraft grade aluminum, making them tough enough to handle the roughest hunting conditions.