How far can a Flashing Beacon Light be seen

How far can a Flashing Beacon Adventure Light be seen is dependent on the power being supplied to it and the type of bulb emitting the light. With the new lithium batteries and the use of LEDs as the light source; many of the personal protective light beacons can be seen up to 3 miles away with an unobstructed view. 

On most of the flashing light beacons there is also a mode of steady on. The reason the flashing mode is preferred by rescue workers is that the actual flashing is seen more readily by them when looking for a lost person either in the woods, on the water or in the city. The flashing of the beacon light with the constantly changing pulse of light is noticed by the human eye, which is why it is the preference by rescuers over the steady mode which can go unnoticed.

Adventure Lights

When talking about how far the flashing light beacon can be seen, that is very different than how far of a beam is being projected that the wearer will be able to notice. As most know a beam from a flashlight or beacon only sheds a strong beam that the person holding can see for up to about 15 feet at best. This is what can be seen by the naked eye clearly. What has to be understood is that the light beam reaches farther out than what most expect. It’s not the actual beam that can be seen up to 3 miles but the source of the beam from the bulb which is visible. Shown to the right is a white Adventure Lights Beacon.

The color of the lens of the flashing beacon is another determining factor on just how far it can be seen. A white lens can be seen the farthest in all conditions. This includes the rain and snow. Other colors that are available include yellow, red, blue and green. While very fashionable for the child walking to school, the colored lenses hamper the ability of a rescue worker to spot a person in need of help. In the woods the green and yellow are light in color but have a tendency to blend in with the surroundings so the distance they will be seen is significantly shorter than white. 

The blue is a dark color and blends in with the water and should not be a choice for those who enjoy boating. As for red, that is the color the US Navy uses so it cannot be seen at a great distance. The Adventure Light beacons are very fashionable to wear, especially for children, but if you are planning an excursion in the woods or on the water, a white or red lens is highly recommended. 

When choosing a personal protective flashing beacon remember visibility is its main purpose and not a fashion statement. A white lens with a lithium battery that can last up to 10 days is what is recommended.

Nov 28th 2014 Douglas Gray

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