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The Night Switch Low Light/Night Fighting
Home Defense Rifle Not For Everyone

I sat down to consider a brand new product from Night Fision, the Night Switch, a Tritium filled selector switch for the AR / M4.

Night Fision Night Switch installed on Home Defense Rifle

Night Fision Night Switch installed on Home Defense Rifle

Keep in mind, not every new product is a good thing just because it is new. It is also true that some new products are so different that their value escapes the average consumer. Lastly, not every product or accessory is going to be useful for everyone. Just because you don’t have use for an item does not negate its value.

The Night Switch

Let’s pause for a quick background and history lesson. Night Fision is a Tritium Sight manufacturing company. While relatively new on the scene, the sister company of Night Fision is Cammenga. Cammenga has been manufacturing the official Tritium compass for the US Military for over 30 years.

In the United States, there are less than five companies that have all the Government licenses to manufacture, handle, store, and dispose of Tritium. Cammenga/Night Fision is one of those companies. Needless to say, they know Tritium very well.

The Night Switch is an AR/M4 selector lever that has a Tritium vial inserted into the paddle/switch part of the component. The vial is a bar, or short line, that runs the direction of the switch. So, in the dark, the little green line points the direction of setting; “Safe” or “Fire”.


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Low Light/Night Fighting

In firearms training, low light or night fighting is the most dangerous form of instruction from a friendly personnel point of view. Human beings take in somewhere from 85 to 90 percent of their total sensory input with their eyes. What do the eyes need to see? Light. Take away the light and the performance of the average person drops dramatically.

An inability to see, or at least to see well, is a stress inducer in people. Loss of available light creates depth perception issues as well. People run/bump into objects, door frames, and walls. Now, add to this scenario a deadly weapon and the hazard level goes up tremendously.

If you were to poll firearms trainers nationwide, Low Light or Night Training would come out on top as the most hazardous training they conduct. Low Light classes are listed as Advanced Training programs. Only after proving themselves in daylight are students allowed to take part in Low Light courses. What does all this have to do with the Night Switch?

When Night Fision recently released the Night Switch at a firearms trade show, the most enthusiastic potential customers were firearms trainers teaching low light shooting. The idea that an instructor in low light could glance at a student’s AR/M4 and see whether the selector is on Safe or Fire was an attractive notion. To professional firearms instructors, the Night Switch is a welcome addition to Low Light training.

Home Defense Rifle

As I am sure many of you do as well, I keep an AR-style rifle prepared and ready to go as a home defense gun. This rifle, chambered in .223 Remington, has a white light mounted to the front rail and an Aimpoint red dot optic on top. I chose the Aimpoint because they have a tremendous track record for quality. The optic in question has a 4-year battery lifespan.

Recently, I added one more feature to my home defense AR; the Night Switch. Allow me a moment to elaborate.

It is not that I am afraid I will not know what positions the safety lever is at when I am holding the gun. I have considerable training with the AR and confidence in my abilities. However, a home defense gun is for the defense of the household, is it not? That means that it is not just me who might have to grab the rifle and stop and intruder. It could be my wife. It could be one of my adult children. My wife is a competent shooter, but she does not do it for fun or enjoyment as I do. Could the Night Switch make things easier for her? Perhaps so.

I stage our home defense AR so that the Tritium Night Switch is facing out. Even in a completely darkened room, I can glance over and verify the gun’s presence and condition, so can my wife. Does the ability to see and verify the HD gun give my wife comfort? Possibly.

A brand new Night Switch getting ready to be installed.

A brand new Night Switch getting ready to be installed.

Not for Everyone

As I mentioned at the outset, not every new product is for everyone. If you have no use or desire for a product like the Night Switch, so be it. Don’t buy one. Yet, the fact remains that there are those who do have a use for such a device. Make your own decisions.

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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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