Do Night Vision Goggles Work in Total Darkness?

There was a time, even just 100 years ago, when if you told someone that you could see in the dark using a special device, they would look at you as if you were talking like a crazy person. They may even have shouted that you were a witch. However, with night vision goggles, that’s the stage mankind is at. We can fly through the sky and see in the dark – things our ancestors could only have dreamed of.

Generally speaking, if you have ever used night-vision goggles, it’s normally at night or early morning when visibility is poor.

That raises the question noted in the heading – do night vision goggles work in total darkness? Before we get to the rather simple answer, you must understand first, how night vision goggles and other devices work and what total darkness actually means.

The Basics of Night Vision

Night vision devices and systems work by extracting the light from the surrounding area and increase its intensity, which essentially means you have better visibility even at times when there’s not a lot of light. This is why it is recommended you don’t look directly at bright sources of light through night-vision goggles or another similar device because not only will it dazzle you somewhat, it could also damage the device’s sensors.

There are even some devices that extract some infrared light from around you as well as the visible light they take. So, now you have a better idea about the basics of how night vision works, which leads us to the question we posed in the title and at the outset. First, though, you need to understand what total darkness means.

What is Total or Absolute Darkness?

The interesting thing is that even when you are in complete darkness and there appears to be a total absence of light, there will be still some light somewhere. Where there is visible light, there is also infrared light. So, even when it is pitch black and you think you are completely in the dark, you are not.

So, Can Night Vision Goggles Work in Complete Darkness?

As we are sure you probably understand by now, even when there are no signs of light, there is still a measure of light. Therefore, even on a moonless night, there is still sufficient light for you to get used to the night vision goggles or another device you are using. They may not work as effectively as they would if there were stronger sources of light, but still enough for you to see and get some use out of them.

In conclusion, if you are ever in a situation or place and there is a seemingly complete absence of light, but have a pair of night-vision goggles on you, you will be able to see enough to maneuver around until you find another source of light or when the sun rises and the night is over.

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