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Glow Dot Technology

Glow Dot Technology

Posted by XS Sights on Feb 17th 2021

In defensive shooting situations, some light is almost always present, and most do not take place in complete darkness. They happen somewhere in between the spectrum of bright to low light. Our Glow Dot Technology uses all surrounding light, absorbs it, and provides a highly visible, more illuminated front sight.

Our DXT2, F8, and R3D front sights come equipped with our patent-pending Glow Dots. In bright light, the dot has a high-contrast color; options include green, yellow, and orange. When exposed to light, the dot absorbs and stores energy. In low light, the photoluminescent properties will cause the dot to glow for many hours -- providing a bigger, brighter front sight.

When paired with tritium, the light produced from the lamp will slightly charge the dot. Even in pitch black darkness, the dot will be illuminated somewhat. This combination ensures that the front sight will always glow brighter than the rear and help prevent confusion when shooting under stress. Common examples of this situation include home defense pistols stored in a safe and in turn, are not exposed to any ambient light.

Our Ember Glow Dots have three different color options to choose from with mixed availability between our sight systems. Optic Yellow absorbs the most light waves and is our brightest glowing color. Orange contrasts the best in bright light and glows second best to Optic Yellow. Green is now available for our R3D night sights, which glows brightly, but offers a bright daylight color option.

Our Glow Dot Technology absorbs all ambient light waves. The photoluminescent properties will produce different results based on the light wave intensity. The time of exposure is less of a factor when exciting the photoluminescent properties.

High lumen exposure will provide a glow intensity comparable to the image above. High lumen light sources need under 1 second of exposure for a peak charge and will glow from 1 to 4 hours.

Below are some samples of high lumen options.

  • Sunlight
  • Tactical flashlights that rated at 500 lumens or higher (After 500 the peak charge brightness will not increase)
  • 60 Watt Light Bulb

Low lumen exposure is more realistic for most scenarios and will glow comparably to the image above. Low lumen sources give a less potent charge due to the shorter light wave length. The glow dot will need to be exposed to these sources for 5 to 30 seconds to get a good dose.

Below are some samples of low lumen light options.

  • Fluorescent and LED office lighting
  • Incandescent 60-watt bulbs
  • 50 to 120-lumen flashlights

The super charged brightness factor can be miss leading. In low light environments, our eyes are sensitive to light; think about waking up at night and turning the bedroom lights on. Everything turns blurry for a few seconds, and it takes a few minutes in some cases to focus on fine details. In these environments, you do not want a bright flashlight on the end of your muzzle. Our goal is to illuminate the dots ring enough to attract your eye, not distract you from the threat downrange.

The super charged brightness of glow dots helps in rapidly changing light settings, commonly experienced by law enforcement personnel. When conducting building clearing, the bright glow intensity of the dot can help overpower back lighting and front lighting issues presented by overhead lighting. In most cases, the dot is already charged because officers are exposed to UV light before entering the building. The supper charged aspect also aids when shooting in competitions where some stages may be undercover.

The glow duration will vary and is dependent on light-wave exposure and, to a lesser degree, length of exposure. After two hours, the human eye will still be able to see the dot glow, but the tritium's glow will be more predominant by that time. Glow dots help make the front sight brighter when time is short, and shot placement is critical.

Understanding the benefits of our Ember Glow dot technology along with the benefits of the different color options, will help you in picking the right sight for your eyes. For more information about the importance of front sight focus and the ways your eyes react under stress, check out our "What makes a good set of defensive tritium night sights?" blog post.

About the Author

XS Sights manufactures the fastest sights in any light. From concept and design to creation, XS utilizes tritium, photoluminescent materials, and 20+ years of sight manufacturing expertise to create highly visible and durable sights for personal defense, military, and hunting applications. Proudly made in the U.S.A.