An infrared illuminator or an IR illuminator is a device that transmits light in the infrared spectrum. Infrared light which can also be known as infrared radiation has a longer wavelength than visible light hence it is experienced as heat.
When directly viewed, the infrared radiation is not visible to the human eye. But the infrared illuminator works like a flashlight when viewed through a night vision device.
For any night vision device to function, it needs a small amount of light. If you have a new generation device, it can work with the slightest amount of moonlight or starlight. But in case you have the most advanced night vision device, you would require an IR illuminator for it to function.
What Are The Different Types of Infrared Illuminators?
Many new devices have infrared illuminators built into the night vision device. Some first-generation devices have essential infrared lights built and illuminators built-in, which can help you while walking and traveling at night. Night vision devices which do not have built-in infrared lights have an option to attach external illuminators when required. These illuminators have their batteries and function independently.
Handheld infrared illuminators function like night vision flashlights. These devices have a more significant set of batteries, which helps them longer runtime and a possibility for more attachments.
Alongside these, even firearms are fitted with an infrared system. This fires a concentrated red beam of light, creating a small dot at the other end. These are mostly used to aim at targets or communicating with one another using night vision.
What Are Some Pros and Cons of Infrared Illuminators?
As we now know, infrared is not visible to the human eye, but with infrared illuminators installed night vision, anyone can view the light of IR frequency. That is why military and covert teams do not use infrared illuminators during their missions to communicate during extreme darkness.
Another problem with infrared illuminators is the amount of weight it ads along with the requirements of batteries.