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My Technology Can...Help Preserve Your Night Vision

By using Spectrum Technologies Orion Display Filters and Eyewear, law enforcement officers working at night on computers can see better when they have to step out of their vehicles into the dark.

Spectrum Technologies Orion Night Vision Display Screen Filters coupled with our battle-tested Orion Optical Eyewear Filters allow law enforcement officers, other first responders, and warfighters to develop and maintain natural dark adaption during rapidly changing light conditions. These products are patented for their ability to improve human vision under extreme light conditions—day and night.

Located in the western suburbs of Chicago, Spectrum Technologies International Ltd. ( is an established optical company that developed, manufactured, and delivered the original Rapid Dark Adapting Vision Technologies for U.S. Special Operation Command and law enforcement.

Viewing a bright computer screen can cause night blindness. An Orion Over-the-Screen Filter prevents this problem.Viewing a bright computer screen can cause night blindness. An Orion Over-the-Screen Filter prevents this problem. Photo: Spectrum Technologies

The Problem

Healthy eyes require approximately 10 to 30 minutes to achieve full dark adaption. From a law enforcement perspective, “night vision blindness” is generally defined as the inability of an officer to quickly see outside the squad car when it’s dark and especially during rapidly changing light conditions. In medical terms, night blindness (nyctalopia) is also the inability see into poorly lighted environments or develop/retain dark adaption. This type of night blindness is not a disease and is a normal human visual response, but even so it may present dangerous challenges for officers.

Common causes of night blindness include viewing an unfiltered computer screen or any electronic display, or being exposed to any type of white light. These real-world causes may become life-threatening for law enforcement officers who have to read their in-car computer displays at night and then leave their cars and go into action.

The Solution

Spectrum Technologies offers two immediate solutions that deliver rapid dark adapting solutions: the new Orion Over-the-Screen Filters and the battle-tested Orion Optical Eyewear Filters. The Orion Optical Eyewear Filters have been used successfully by warfighters under the most challenging of conditions.

These solutions have also been proven to be effective in law enforcement operations. Officers who view an Orion filtered screen or use the Orion Eyewear Filters can quickly look outside of a squad car into dimly lit environments with acquired dark adaption that is also retained.

Because of their similar optical properties, Orion eyewear and Orion screen filters can be used interchangeably during quickly changing light conditions.  And because they deliver greatly enhanced vision capabilities, Orion eyewear is designated as Optical Eyewear Filters. The eyewear even comes with instructions so that officers can achieve maximum viewing benefits. The Orions are mil-spec ballistic certified, and although worn like traditional sunglasses, their optically superior performance cannot be compared with conventional dark lens eyewear.

Orion performance claims are verified by formal and independent research conducted by the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force. Additional research confirms that Orion eyewear provides a 5- to 10-minute “dark adaption head start” when compared to an unfiltered eye. This can be a life-saving advantage during law enforcement tactical entries or room clearing operations that should be executed within 30 to 60 seconds. It can also make great difference during patrol actions.

A formal Orion white paper prepared by a Ph.D.-level optical physicist and research scientist says: “The human eye’s wide dynamic range employs two different physiological mechanisms: photopic vision (high light) and scotopic (low light levels).” The structures of the eye responsible for photopic vision are cone cells, which have superior acuity [sharpness] and color distinction. Rod cells provide scotopic vision in low light, but have poor color distinction.

The white paper continues: “The novel [Orion] filter material is designed to reduce a portion of the…spectrum that inhibits scotopic vision and thus dark adaptation time is reduced.” In addition: “…visual acuity is maintained through a careful balance of scotopic and photopic vision” [and both] “…are tuned to provide optimum acuity for tablet, PDA, and computer displays.”

The white paper summary says: “When the [Orion] Dark Adaption Display Screen Filter is added to the display screens of tablets and laptops, the user has the visual acuity required to comfortably view the image display and [the] dark adaption required when looking away from the device.”

The physicist also affirms that careful consideration of these differences and the interaction of these two vision processes generated patents for Spectrum’s Orion Night Vision Filters, Orion Optical Eyewear Filters, and the new Orion Display Screen Filters.

Case Studies

As the president, founder, and sole owner of Spectrum Technologies and the innovator of Orion Vision, I hear great stories about our products.

Following the introduction of my original night vision technologies, I received powerful narratives from warfighters and law enforcement officers using Orion Optical Eyewear Filters and Orion Filters mounted on their night vision goggles.

For example, an active duty Seal Team-6 Operator said, “The biggest advantage I notice [with Orion Eyewear] is being able to walk from direct sunlight into a dimly lit hallway and being able to see as if I had been inside the whole time. This is an awesome advantage in my line of work.”

An FBI Special Field Agent in Afghanistan using Orion Eyewear said, “Thanks for keeping us in the fight by keeping us safe… life, limb, and eyesight. Glad you’re part of the Team.”

Another Navy Seal told me, “…[Orion Night Vision Filter] saved my life. Thank you.”

Our innovative Orion computer display screen filters are part of the newest generation of night vision products being introduced to law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Military.

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Spectrum Technologies’ initial rollout focuses on the now-available Orion over-the-screen dark adapting filters for the Panasonic Toughbook CF-30 and CF31 ruggedized computers used by both law enforcement and military commands. These filters are not touch screen compatible and the computer keyboard still controls all screen functions. However, in the very near future, I anticipate Orion dark adapting filter technology will be incorporated into select touch-screen displays that embody our enhanced night vision capabilities. These proven technologies will become important vision assets for every type and size of electronic display.

Our Orion dark adapting filters will be mandated by those who require safe and rapid night vision during extreme light conditions. I believe this technology will soon be incorporated into law enforcement vehicles, fire and rescue vehicles, aircraft, military and civilian land vehicles, and watercraft of all sizes.

Tomorrow’s advanced Orion Vision and rapid dark adapting solutions are now available, and their future applications are limited only by our personal imaginations.

Kirk Kreutzig is president, founder, and sole owner of Spectrum Technologies International Ltd.

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