Author Topic: Silly question about light colors  (Read 14138 times)

Offline Lance Dean

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Silly question about light colors
« on: January 08, 2009, 09:37:05 AM »
Ok, I know that white lights are just so you could see inside the submarine.  Red lights are for helping your eyes adjust for night vision and keeping your night vision somewhat intact, and the red lights were harder to see from a distance if your hatches were open.

But what about blue lights?  I don't think the old diesel subs had any blue lights, but I assume this was something that came along later?  What do the blue lights mean?  Ready to fire?  K-Mart special?

Offline Mark Sarsfield

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Re: Silly question about light colors
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 11:12:46 AM »
Older sugar boats (S-48 and older) and probably R boats used blue lights for night vision onboard the boats before they discovered that red lights actually helped you adjust better to the dark.  I think starting with the "New S" class (i.e. Salmon, Sargo, etc.) they went to using red lights.

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Offline Lance Dean

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Re: Silly question about light colors
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 12:05:52 PM »
Well that makes sense, thanks.

Here's what's bugging me.  There is a movie (yes it's just a movie) that shows the crew in the torpedo room switching the lights to blue.  I think it's Crimson Tide, but I'm not sure.  Any idea?

Offline Mark Sarsfield

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Re: Silly question about light colors
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2009, 12:27:34 PM »
I wasn't aware of the Navy going back to blue lights. Darrin would be your best source for new attack boats.  Of course Crimson Tide was about a boomer boat and I thought the whole premise of the movie was stupid, but I digress.

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Offline Gil Bohannon

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Re: Silly question about light colors
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2009, 06:15:59 PM »
On board many of the surface ships I have been aboard, the CIC has blue combat lighting - not sure what the subs are using these days.

Gil

Offline Darrin

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Re: Silly question about light colors
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2009, 07:41:49 PM »
As far as I know they are still using RED lights on 688's and newer classes..

Hey Crimson Tide was fun to laugh at (I got out of the Navy a few months prior to it coming out) Honestly I like that movie, even knowing that that situation would NEVER happen it was always fun to watch a movie about submarines.. Besides how MANY other WWII submarine movies have gone completely off course about what happened that it was sickening ;)

Offline Lance Dean

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Re: Silly question about light colors
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2009, 07:52:40 PM »
Well, whatever movie this was had clear, red, and blue lights.  I just seem to recall the torpedo room switching to blue light after they were ready to fire and were awaiting the command.  Hmmm

Offline JTheotonio

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Re: Silly question about light colors
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2009, 10:34:51 PM »
I think Mark is right - blue lights were used early before people knew much about night vision.  However, blue lights may be used topside on targets (ok surface ships) on the cat walks.  Blue light is harder to see at "sea" than red.  Red is easier on your eyes to adjust to night vision.
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Offline Paul Farace

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Re: Silly question about light colors
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2009, 08:51:28 PM »
correct on the red, with one exception... the NAVY didn't discover the problem with blue lights until well into WWII !!  USS COD, built in 1943, has night light sockets with the word "BLUE" cast into them.  Because when they were built, that is the color the Navy thought would preserve night vision... The realization they were wrong may have been early in 1943!   :buck2:


Aboard USS COD, when we go to battle stations, surfaced or submerged, I turn on the rotating DISCO BALL in the FTR... then everyone knows it's time to GET DOWN and GET FUNKY!!!
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Offline JTheotonio

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Re: Silly question about light colors
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2009, 10:09:29 PM »
Thanks Mark - that is so cool.  8)  I never knew that.  The study of night vision was never a problem before WWII I see now.  Because - well no one really knew much about the affect of the color of lights on our eyes.

Many years later and nothing to do with the Navy, we find that as we get older we have more trouble  seeing certain colors clearly. I found this out when I was writing up specification for a wall map of a portion of the power grid.  :crazy2:
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Offline Darrin

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Re: Silly question about light colors
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2009, 12:39:16 PM »
Yes we still use blue lights in submarines today... I had to call a shipmate of mine whom just left the boats and sadly dropped his retirement packet (and was approved last week) for confirmation, while I couldn't remember using blue lights in SONAR he informed me that that is the only place that they are used now on US Submarines.

Hey John, the study of colors by the Navy has a very unique distinction for the USS COD.. She once had PINK periscopes :2funny:

I'm gonna let Paul tell you the story of his pink periscope and why it is in the FTR

Offline JTheotonio

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Re: Silly question about light colors
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2009, 12:57:08 PM »
Pink like this> :crazy2:

Now Paul please explain all of this - I never heard of it... ???
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 12:59:13 PM by JTheotonio »
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Offline Darrin

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Re: Silly question about light colors
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2009, 01:14:46 PM »
That is the PINK periscope or what is left of it :knuppel2:  and I am going to leave Paul to the story of what is left of it and why it was painted pink ;)

Offline Paul Farace

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Re: Silly question about light colors
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2009, 01:21:33 AM »
For a time during the war periscope heads were painted pink... it's been mentioned in some of the literature. The bellies of some aircraft were also painted pink for the same reason. From what I understand, it was a commonly held belief (not scientifically tested) that the human eye couldn't detect pink at great ranges (something about red blood cells I think)... anyway, it was discovered to be not true.  The Navy later in the war adpoted the gray tube with black splotches we use today.  When I made the periscope display I thought I'd grab the visitor's attention with the story of pink periscopes.  Remember, there is some elemeent of education as well as entertainment in what we do!

 :laugh:

And besides, all those queers from REQUIN, TORSK, BECUNA, BATFISH, and SILVERSIDES just love the color pink!

........  hauling ass for verrrrry deeeeeeeeeeeeeeep water!   :D
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Offline Darrin

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Re: Silly question about light colors
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2009, 05:24:05 PM »
Well Paul, thanks for answering half of the question about your periscope.. SO I will hopefully get this story right that you explained to me during Thanksgiving..

The COD's PINK periscope was on full display outside (complete scope) so that the tourist's could see a full sized operational scope and rotate it and look through it until one night a woman lost control of her car and wiped it out bending the scope too bad to be saved in one piece. Kolmergren got the base and other parts and was able to save the tip of the scope and returned that back to the COD for display, it truly is a unique piece of history and until I went on COD I don't think that I had ever heard the story of pink periscopes on submarines.

And those of us on Torsk have no one claiming to be "MARTHA" so Paul who's a little light in the loafers here???  and our pink curtain put up in SONAR was taken down right after the pic was taken and that was put up by one of our FEMALE vol's as a joke to our sonarmen.
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