It takes 20 to 30 minutes to get your eyes dark-adapted and only one second of white light to put your eyes back to the original state. So getting the best red flashlight for astronomy is such a valuable tool to have in your astronomy toolbox.
So now we know this it’s not a simple as pulling your phone flashlight out and searching for an item. To keep your eyes in the most dark-adapted state, we need to use a red astronomy flashlight as they will not affect your night vision.
We have compiled 4 of the best astronomy flashlights that are available on the market. People don’t always want to wait outside to get their eyes dark-adapted, so we have an item to help you out.
1. Orion RedBeam Mini LED Flashlight
If you are looking for a handy little flashlight that is not going to get in the way, then the Orion 5768 RedBeam Mini is the perfect choice this can hang off your keys with the handy key ring. What you could do with this one as small is attach it to your telescope, so it’s always on hand.
It has aluminum housing with rubber on/off button, so not a lot to go wrong with this handy little flashlight. Batteries are included; once they go, you will need 3 button LR44 batteries.
The only negative with the Orion 5768 RedBeam Mini is that it’s not very bright, but for a lot of people, it serves the purpose of always being to hand.Check Latest Price
2. Celestron Astro Night Vision Flashlight
If you are looking for a small and compact little flashlight, then the Celestron Astro Night Vision Flashlight is well worth considering.
Coming from a brand in Celestron, you know you’re going to get quality, it has 2 LED lights to give an even illumination. The good thing about this flashlight is that you can adjust the brightness with the simple thumbwheel on top.
A round flashlight tends to roll away from you, making them easier to lose, but with the square design stops this from happening.
This Celestron Flashlight comes with an included battery and a corded string lanyard so you can carry it around with you. The battery is 9V for when you come to change it.
Don’t expect too much light from this little flashlight, but it will allow you to read a star chart.Check Latest Price
3. Orion Motion Sensing Led Motion Sensing Headlamp, RedBeam
If you want to keep your hands free and never want to lose your flashlight, then putting one on your head is the solution. As the name suggests, this is a motion-sensing flashlight, and to activate the light, you wave your hand in front to turn it on.
The light will only activate if something (your hand) moves within 4″ of the sensor so you shouldn’t have too many unwanted light-ups.
There are 4 different brightness levels with the lowest for reading sky charts, with the strongest enabling you to move about in complete darkness.
The brightest setting shocks just how bright it is; people haven’t reported that it effects there night vision.
This red headlamp doesn’t come with any batteries, so you will need to purchase three AAA batteries.Check Latest Price
4. Orion DualBeam 2600mAH LED Waterproof Astro Lantern
If you light to set up an astronomy station were you keep all your equipment, then the Orion DualBeam may be what you want.
Putting this on your table to keep a constant light will give your Astro station the perfect light, with the added benefit of being able to change your phone with the included USB charging port.
Two magnetic clips so you can easily attach this lamp to your telescope, this is perfect if you are at a busy astronomy club so people can see your telescope.
No batteries included with this one as they are not needed, it has a rechargeable lithium battery that you charge with the included USB cable.
Four different red brightness’s for different times throughout the night stargazing. Also, there is a white light setting, but you don’t want to use this unless you are done stargazing for the night.Check Latest Price
5. Make Your Own Red Flashlight with Gel Filters
If you already have a flashlight, you can turn this into a red flashlight, which will be the cheapest option on the list.
What you would need to buy is some gel filters witch are relativity cheap, this will filter all the wavelengths and only allow the red light to pass through.
At times you may find if you have an extremely bright white flashlight, you will need to put more than one gel filter.
There are negatives to using gel filters; if you don’t cover the full lens, you will get light leakage, which will ruin your night vision.
The other problem will come if you don’t securely attach the gel filter. If you don’t and it comes off in the middle of a stargazing session, say goodbye to your night vision for 20/30 minutes.Check Latest Price
6. Orion AstroGoggles – Dark Adjust Eyes Indoors
Now, I must say this was a new one on me, yes, they may look a little silly, but do they have a place in an astronomy kit?
It depends as some people don’t like waiting outside for 30 minutes for their eyes to light adjust. If this sounds like you, then I would say these are a must-have in your Astro toolbox.
Wearing these for 30 minutes will get your eyes dark adapted so you can get straight into stargazing as soon as you get outside.
If you wear glasses, these are big so they will fit over your glasses, two air vents will stop your glasses from fogging up.
I tried to find negatives from other people, and the only thing I could find was they are a little expensive. I couldn’t find another pair of red goggles, so I suspect they are capitalizing on us stargazers. However, as this is a one-off purchase and the price isn’t overly high, its something I can live with.Check Latest Price
Best Red Flashlight Buying Guide
We have pointed you in the right direction of some of the best astronomy flashlights; we are now going to put a mini buying guide to help you pinpoint the perfect red flashlight for you and your needs.
What’s it needed for?
The first thing you need to consider is what you want to use a red flashlight for as not all flashlights are the same.
People think any old red flashlight will do, but there are differences between an astronomy ref flashlight and a red hunting flashlight, for instance. If you only ever need a flashlight for reading a star map or quickly finding something, then something small like the Celestron 93588 Astro Night Vision Flashlight will be a perfect choice.
Looking to read star maps, light up an astronomy table, and then navigate back to your car, then you’re going to want something like the Orion DualBeam 2600mAH LED Waterproof Astro Lantern. This will give you all this and enable you to switch to a bright white like to help you navigate back; you’re your car.
An astronomy flashlight that is adjustable in bigness is excellent if you want to do different things. For example, the Orion Motion Sensing Led Headlamp is excellent for reading star maps, and at its brightest setting, you can find your way back to the car but with the benefit of keeping your eyes dark adapted.
Even though red light doesn’t stop your eyes from being dark-adapted, something overly bright may have a small effect, but nothing like a white light would.
There are not a lot of attachments for a flashlight, but some necessary attachments can give you many more uses.
For instance, a keychain ring means you can attach a flashlight to your keys, so you always have a red light to hand. The same goes for a lanyard; this allows you to hand it around your neck, so the flashlight is always on you.
A headband attachment will allow you to have your flashlight on your head and keep your hands free to read maps.
Most astronomy flashlights need batteries to operate them, and they must last a long time, so you don’t need to change them in the middle of a stargazing session.
All our recommendations have a very long life in them on one set of batteries.
A rechargeable flashlight is excellent, but you won’t have the option of changing the battery on the night, so it’s essential to make sure it’s fully charged before you head out.
Multiple colored lights
I am seeing more and more of this on the market today, and I would avoid a flashlight with multiple colored lights.
They often come with four different color choices Red, green, blue, and white but a change to any of the colors other than red, and your eyes are no longer dark adapted.
We do have the Orion DualBeam on our best list that has a white light. However, it’s made by a reputable brand in Orion who has made it hard to turn the white light on accidentally.
I hope my Best Red Flashlight for astronomy guide has helped you pick out a flashlight that will meet all your needs for the next time you head out for a night under the stars.
There is no one size fits all, and that’s the main reason I give a few different options to choose from.
I’m a little bit of a gadget freak, so if I were suggesting what to buy, I would go with the Orion AstroGoggles. This will get my eyes dark-adapted indoors, but I would also get an Orion Headlamp for when I’m under the stars.
There is no right or wrong light, and we all have different needs, but I would say buying Red Flashlight has been one of my best purchases after my Best Beginner Telescope. I no longer lose the ability to pick faint objects out in the night sky after searching for something with white light.