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Is there a reason flashlights are black?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by el_murdoque, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    If you have only one color option on what I feel is 99% of all flashlights, it'll be black.
    Sometimes, they come in copper or titanium versions for people that like the grunty look of aged copper or the slick elegance of titanium - but usually, black it is.

    Now when I happen to find myself in a situation where I need a flashlight, It usually is dark. Too dark to see properly. That is when I reach into my pocket and search for my trusty EDC light, pull out the hand, fumble, drop it - and have to look for a black flashlight on the floor of a room to dark to see properly in.

    That is what got me thinking - there has to be a reason why they are black. Is black somehow the cheapest option for building one? Is the black color of a use I can't think of? Something to do with the light itself blending in with the dark? Something entirely different?
     
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  2. A.B.

    A.B. Loaded Pockets

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    Probably because a pink flashlight doesn't look cool.

    Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-G950F met Tapatalk
     
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  3. Blackheart

    Blackheart Loaded Pockets

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    Yes. Thank you. I've been saying the exact same thing for MANY years now.

    Flashlights are black because that is the color that most people will buy, period.

    I've mentioned in other threads that one of my favorite, all-around, utilitarian lights is the Streamlight 4xAA Luxeon ProPoly. It's no coincidence that it also comes in yellow.

    Bought a watch somewhat recently from ArmourLite. Color options were black or silver. There was some back and forth between their rep and myself. I'd say "This particular watch would look so good in gold PVD" and he'd say "The people we sell to (law enforcement, EMTs, fire protection, etc.) don't buy them." Wound up with black.
     
  4. Naddy

    Naddy Empty Pockets

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    for aluminum lights black is the only true type III hard anozidation
     
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  5. Blackheart

    Blackheart Loaded Pockets

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    I'm not an expert, but I remember reading that the hard anodizing process alone produces a dark gray color, mostly. Dye has to be added to get black. Similarly, other color dyes can be used. I could be mistaken.
     
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  6. BklynBoy

    BklynBoy Loaded Pockets

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    Not all lights are black. Streamlight makes a number of yellow lights. The one I have in my junk drawer in the kitchen is easy to find. Firefighters and EMT's are more prone to buy brightly colored lights because they are not trying to convince anyone they are tactical, they just want a light that is easier to find and harder to lose
     
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  7. Blackheart

    Blackheart Loaded Pockets

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    Good point. Guess I just assumed the OP was referring to aluminum-bodied lights.
     
  8. landwire
    • In Omnia Paratus

    landwire Loaded Pockets

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    I would totally dig a GITD or a safety orange flashlight. You could find that light anywhere.
     
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  9. indigo_wolf

    indigo_wolf AKA Breezy

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    ATB,
    Sam
     
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  10. McNasty

    McNasty Loaded Pockets

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  11. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    Man, that just looks 'Nasty'! ROFL

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  12. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    I think we can 'thank' the 'mall ninja' mindset. For the same reason so many backpacks, knife handles, G shock watches, etc etc etc are black.

    Or maybe it is embedded in the culture going back to Henry Ford and his dictum '...any color they want as long as its black!'

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  13. indigo_wolf

    indigo_wolf AKA Breezy

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    Maybe not the "mall ninja" so much as the fact the earlier high performance LED lights were essentially trickle down technology from Military and Law Enforcement which skews everything to "tactical colors" Leaving out "clear coat" metal finishings the more readily available colors are Black, Desert Tan, Foliage Green, etc.

    Of course, this is then co-opted by the "mall ninja" but that doesn't stray from the pre-existing pre-existing mil-spec fetish.

    ATB,
    Sam
     
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  14. Highway9
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    Highway9 Loaded Pockets

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    greatest single question i have read on this forum.
    You are right - it is completely counter-productive to have a black flashlight. It should be a hi-viz color like the ones surefire made for emt/fire personnel in the last couple of years (can't find them on the site currently) so that you can locate it quickly when you need it!
     
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  15. indigo_wolf

    indigo_wolf AKA Breezy

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    They only seem to be listing the colors in stock for order on the product page for the SUREFIRE G2X Pro, currently Black and Foliage/Forest Green. However, if you look at some of the retailers, they list the other available colors:

    Tan is the other discreet color. Then you have:
    • Yellow
    • Hi-Vis Yellow
    • Orange
    ATB,
    Sam
     
    #15 indigo_wolf, Jan 30, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
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  16. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    On the other hand if they thought they could sell them they would already be on the market I think.
     
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  17. huntnow

    huntnow Loaded Pockets

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    I'm guessing black is the cheapest color available, making for better profits. It's also cool, and tactical, and not gender specific, etc, but mostly for profit
     
  18. Weko

    Weko Loaded Pockets

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    Bottom line is that black sells and the other colors don't
     
  19. Daveho

    Daveho Loaded Pockets

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    It’s easier if you don’t by torches for operationally operative operators.
    There are several torches out there that are not black but if you like the look of the tactical weapon mountable options or torches inspired by that style then it’s kinda par for the course.
     
  20. choombak

    choombak Loaded Pockets

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    Black is the color of night, making the flashlight invisible when off. Significant advantage I can see for law enforcement and military. Surefire mostly makes lights for military so the color choice is obvious.

    There are non-black lights targeted at civilians, and other purposes.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
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