Inexpensive motion activated gun safe light that won’t hurt your night vision

| March 18, 2015 | 2 Comments

We keep all of our firearms either under our direct control or locked up. One of the small problems we had to solve was being able to see inside our gun safe when it was dark.

After attending several low light live fire and force on force training classes, we’ve learned how difficult it is for your eyes to adjust to the darkness — especially as you age (cough). We see the best with bright, white light. However, this also ruins our night vision and presents other problems such as illuminating where you are.

So, the challenge was to provide enough light for us to see in the gun safe, but not so much that it hurt our night vision.

I purchased inexpensive motion activated LED lights from Amazon. They were under $12 for a pair, delivered via Amazon Prime. As expected, the light was bright and white and totally messed with my night vision.

I purchased some red translucent cellophane and wrapped the light in it. The final outcome is not exactly what I wanted, but it’s good enough for now.


This 10-LED light made by ADX is battery operated. It is 3″x3″ and runs off of 3 AA batteries.

I bought some (allegedly) red cellophane for $5 delivered from

I cut along the folded line of the cellophane. This gave me an approximately 6″ x 22″ strip, which I folded three times to cover the LED light.


For proof of concept purposes, I used a rubber band to secure the cellophane around the light. The She Shepherd has suggested spray adhesive, you could also use tape. The rubber band works fine, however.


As you can see in the picture, the cellophane isn’t really red. It’s more of a pink color. While I was hoping for a deep, dark red the result is more of a purplish-pink.


The LED light is effective, bright, and white. Great for finding stuff, terrible for my night vision.


The light is more pink and less purple in real life. It’s still too white, but it does knock out enough of the white spectrum to preserve more of my night vision. If I got a deep, dark, true red I am sure this would be better.

I tested the effects by turning off all of the lights on the area and waited 10 minutes. I opened the gun safe, and the light came on. I did my best to not look directly at the light. This concept needs improvement, but it’s still¬†way¬†better than just the plain light.

It isn’t perfect, but I feel like I’m on to something.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

2 Comments on "Inexpensive motion activated gun safe light that won’t hurt your night vision"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Tom says:

    I have this light, I must try this trick!

  2. BUB says:

    I have modified some of these, I replaced all the white LEDs with red.
    I have one for you if you want to try (I had to buy 6 so …)
    If you have contact info email me and I’ll send you one to try… If no for op-sec reasons well I understand.

Post a Comment