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Reason for different colors:

Red: Historically used for preserving night vision, red light, due to its wavelength, does not cause your pupils to constrict. As a result, your peripheral vision is greater and your eyes do not need to re-adjust when the red light is turned off.

White: A white light allows perfect color distinction, but can cause pupils to dilate, making it more difficult to see outside of the shining light and causing a longer re-adjustment period once the light source is extinguished.

Yellow: A yellow light offers benefits of the red and white lights. While providing reasonable color distinction, it allows decent night vision. Another benefit of the yellow light is reduced bounce-back and glare when reading, leading to less eye strain.

Green: Like red, green light preserves night vision, but offers additional benefits, including: 1) night vision equipment does not easily detect green light, 2) ability to distinguish colors such as yellow and red on a map or chart, and 3) the human eye detects light in the green spectrum at a lower brightness compared to a red light.

Blue: Blue is also used to read maps and is preferred by EMT's and military personnel. Also, this color has a little wider angle beam than the other colors.

Blue/Green: Similar night vision benefits to the green light and the blue light. Some users prefer the blue/green light to either of these.

Infra-Red: For use in conjunction with night vision equipment. Non visible without the aid of this equipment.