Rigel Systems Starlite II - Red/White LED Compact Flashlight
Rigel is originator of the adjustable brightness dual red LED (Light Emitting Diode) flashlight for the amateur astronomy community. The "Starlite" is a handheld flashlight ideally suited to the needs of astronomers, or anyone who must work in low light while preserving their night (scotopic) vision.
Rigel developed Starlite, the original adjustable brightness dual red LED (Light Emitting Diode) flashlight and since then its more versatile cousin the Skylite, and now the current Skylite (since it is such a notable evolution we refer to the new model as the Skylite II. Company Seven was first introduced to the Starlite when it was selected by Celestron International for distibution, replacing inferior offerings. Most Company Seven employees came to choose the Starlite, and since the newer dual Red and White LED Skylite and Skylite II. Since the introduction of the original Rigel Starlite, Celestron was acquired by Tasco and their management began programs that included cutting costs of several accessories by going to Asian countries to source accessories, several of which are obvious mimicks of the U.S. or Japan made originals. Some who used to distribute the Starlite have since arranged to sell imported inexpensive knock offs of the original Rigel product. This has eroded respect for the management of such companies and Company Seven has since elected to discontinue selling the cheaper made imports and offer our support to the innovator in this field - Rigel; after all, we perceive "profit is the reward for a job well done".
The human eye responds to low light levels by dilating (opening) the Iris diaphragm to permit a greater area of cones and rods in the Fovea of the eye to become stimulated. If the eye is exposed to common white light, then the Iris will constrict thereby reducing the eye's sensitivity to seeing faint objects. To see how this works, walk into a room and turn off the lights - notice how over time you will be able to see more and more fine details in the dark room as your eye adapts to this. Scotopic vision has been understood for some time, this is why military vessels switch to red light when operating at night. And this is why astronomers avoid white light sources when trying to attain and preserve their night vision.
As with many other night time use flashlights, the Starlite provides an adjustable bightness red light. However, while many other flashlights employ incandescent bulbs with a red filter or painted lens to dim the light and provide the dark red color, the Starlite employs two red Light Emitting Diodes (LED's) arranged side by side. The Starlite incorporates a on-off switch with a variable intensity potentiometer to permit the user to vary the brightness of the LED's. The circuitry regulates the power so that as a battery voltage drops the illumination will not fade. The LED's are durable and almost never burn out, and their uniform brightness (unlike that pattern produced by a focused conventional light bulb) can be lowered across a wider degree than most incandescent sources. Furthermore, since the Starlite has two Red LED's side by side, and a rectangular housing, then the light pattern is more uniform and better suited to the study of charts and common documents.
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