Pat and I are taking a course on viewing the Night Sky.  A 12 lecture series that will cover recognizing the stars and constellations in the night sky. 

We have been issued a device which many would refer to as a sky chart, but is properly called a Planisphere.  It has a dial that allows you to set the time and date and if you aim it correctly you can pick out every major constellation.  You have to go out on a clear dark night to appreciate the views. 

If you look at the picture of the Planisphere it says you must use a red filtered light to read the chart while checking the star.

Now why a red filtered light?  Apparently when you are in the dark if you see any light your pupils in the eyes dilate.  Except for red light. 

If you watch movies about submarines they all switch to red light in the control room so the captain can look into the scope and see the enemy.  If you are out at night looking at the sky and want to check the chart and you use a normal flashlight you blind yourself for several minutes.

With this off-hand reference in the course that we needed a red lens flashlight it took me on a must buy adventure. 

Seems trivial but even on E Bay I was looking at $30 for a proper flashlight.  I went to the ultimate of source in the valley, Canadian Tire, and while they did have a red lens flashlight for night vision, it was $40. 

So I am thinking how hard can this be.  I must have a dozen flashlights at home all I need is a red lens.  Where can I find red clear plastic with optical qualities?  In the automotive section I find replacement red lenses for trailer tailights that have been broken.  4 inch lens but only $2

I bring it home and grind it down to the right diameter to fit one of my flashlights and lo and behold I have a red lens flashlight. 

As they say “If women don’t find you handsome they better find you handy”  It is great to be both.

PlanisphereRed Lens Flashlight