The purpose of this paper is to review the subject of night vision and to present the cardinal principles which govern man's ability to perceive light and discriminate detail in the dark. The bulk of the literature on lighting and on the effect of light on the eye deals with conditions which exist at optimal intensities of illumination, at which maximal ease of seeing is provided. Relatively little attention has been paid to ocular function at minimal intensities of illumination, at which seeing is barely sustained, such as prevail under black-out lighting conditions. The intelligent coordination of lighting principles with fundamental ophthalmologic concepts is of importance in wartime, especially in localities where black-outs or dim-outs are a military necessity.
The ability of the eye to function at low brightnesses depends on the integrity of the retinal rods and is called scotopic vision. Subjectively the sensation that accompanies this
HOLMES WJ. NIGHT VISION. Arch Ophthalmol. 1943;30(2):267–277. doi:10.1001/archopht.1943.00880200115018
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