This is a discussion on Are siglite night sights tritium? within the SIG Sauer Pistols forums, part of the SIG Sauer Forum category; Or are they just glow in the dark? Thanks!...
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|08-07-2012, 10:09 PM||#6|
Join Date: Oct 2010
|08-08-2012, 03:40 AM||#7|
Join Date: Jul 2012
current SiG Lights are made by Meprolight...in the past they were Trijicons...my 1999 P245 and 1994 P220 are both Trijicon lamped SiG Lights...you can tell Trijicon lamped night sights by the silver colored aluminum ring (tube) used to hold the Tritium gas...those are my two oldest night sights and they still glow albeit dimly...good enough for Government work at night however...Trijicon will relamp for a fee that is less than new sights...
|08-08-2012, 04:47 AM||#8|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Quebec Canada
Too bad the sight manufacturers haven't switched from Tritium to Luminova like many of the wristwatch manufacturers have. It's brighter and lasts longer.
|08-08-2012, 06:31 AM||#9|
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Columbus, OH
Luminova is used in many applications but firearms manufactures have chosen not to use it.
|11-12-2016, 08:22 PM||#11|
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: South Florida
While both are relatively new products that replace older technology that was similar, tritium and the "Superlumanova" (or just "luminova - I believe Seiko has a patent on the name "SUPERlumanova")... Tritium is a radioactive approach that has replaced the use of radium which was taken out of production in wrist watches about 50 years ago for being too toxic for constant exposure. The "luminova" has replaced the similar, but less effective fluorescing paint that most of us (over the age of 30 or so) have had on their glow in the dark watch hands for many years - and that glow had to be a result of the paint being "charged" by exposure to natural or electrical light sources. Those charges didn't last long, and while the "luminova" paint does last longer and seems to be brighter than the older paint it replaced fairly recently, it will still go dark after a relatively short time (hours at best)
The older paints would generally go dark after a matter of minutes - or get so dim, the remaining glow was useless in a short time. The radioactive Tritium, on the other hand doesn't need a "charging" with other light at all....you can take a tritium watch (or tritium night sights on a modern firearm equipped with tritium night sights) out of a dark drawer or a lightproof safe after YEARS and it will still emit light for at least 10 years or so that is adequate and still far brighter than any "luminova" paint can emit after less than 10 hours (in general).
The upside to the "luminova" paint is that it will glow more brightly initially after being exposed to light - the tritium will glow at the same level of intensity without any noticeable change in brightness in times measured in years rather than in minutes.
Maybe the best alternative for reliable brightness would be battery powered light sources like on many (if not most) LED or LCD digital watches. Those battery powered lights are consistently bright until you need to replace the batteries. Another downside beside running down the watch batteries is that you need to push a button to get the watch face to light up...if it were lit constantly, a battery would probably need to be replaced constantly.
Almost all tritium is made by one company in Switzerland (I think I have read there's another smaller company now in Canada, and of course in China, but the Chinese tritium like so many other products made in China is sold as being made in Swiss labs...
The Swiss company now is selling two levels of tritium tubes (chemical is sealed in small glass tubes and the decay of the radioactive material "excites" the paint covering the inside of the glass tube - which is why tritium can be offered in several different colors. I haven't heard anything about the stronger tritium tubes being used in night sights yet, only on watches. (???).
Anyway, there's no fair way to compare two such different technologies. They both have their advantages and their disadvantages. And both can be either replaced entirely, or in the case of the "luminova" it can be repainted - the tritium tubes can be replaced without needing to entirely replace the watch hands or the night gun sights.
Hope this helped to explain the most basic differences.
Oh - I think I forgot to mention that the tritium, while still radioactive, is not nearly as toxic as the radium it has replaced. It's said that one can injest the contents of a full vial of the tritium gas every day and get less radiation than eating a banana every day. So that's a big step forward in the search for a safe but effective "glow in the dark" substance that will last for years and need no external power (light) or internal power (batteries).
I hope my explanation was clear enough for most to understand why I feel it's ridiculous to compare the "apples and oranges" with so much difference between the two products.
Neither is perfect and neither is inadequate for most uses - who is looking at their watch in the dark for more than the length of a movie (for one instance I can think of). Or at night sights for more than a few seconds?
It might be important for a sniper to be able to use his or her sights for extended periods of time, but they have the military paying thousands of dollars for night vision scopes. So their rifles generally don't even have "iron sights" (or night sights) at all. They not only need visible sights, but they need magnification, so their scopes are heavy and can truly "see in the dark", but they don't have the concerns of light weight that someone would care about on a watch that has 10 pounds (maybe more?) of heavy optics and batteries on a sniper rifle with support legs.
There are also night vision scopes that use infrared and others that can magnify the dimmest of natural light (I remember the original night scopes were called "starlight scopes" - they were big and heavy and could magnify star light thousands of times. The case they came in required one person just to carry the thing. Technology of the 1960s has come a very long way!!
This is a gun forum - I can't see any use for "lumnova" in night sights - tritium would seem to have every advantage.
A robber comes into your bedroom at night - you reach for your gun on it's nightstand..then what? You asked nicely if the robber would mind if you turned on your bedside reading lamp for a few minutes so you can charge up your "luminova" night sights???? LOL
Last edited by Delija; 11-12-2016 at 08:26 PM.
|11-13-2016, 06:15 AM||#12|
Join Date: Jan 2016
|01-19-2017, 01:38 AM||#13|
Join Date: Jan 2017
Thanks for that awesome information, dude. Definitely answered all my questions on tritium and night sights
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