May 2nd 2024

Mastering the Specs: A Deep Dive into Custom Night Vision Builds

Embarking on the journey of custom night vision with Armasight, offers an opportunity to tailor every aspect of your night vision experience. This customization ensures that your equipment perfectly aligns with your needs, whether for professional, recreational, or tactical purposes. Understanding the specifications you can choose from—and how they impact the device's performance—is crucial for making informed decisions. We unravel the complexities of night vision specs, providing a comprehensive guide to making the best choices for your custom-built night vision device.

Image Intensifier Tubes: The Heart of Night Vision

At the core of any night vision system is the image intensifier tube (IIT). This component amplifies available light (from stars, the moon, or ambient artificial light) to create a visible image. When customizing your device, the selection of an IIT is paramount, as it significantly affects the device's overall performance. The specs of these tubes—Halo, EBI, Resolution, FOM, and SNR—serve as key indicators of their capability.

Halo Effect

The halo effect refers to the bright ring that appears around light sources in the night vision image. It's an artifact of the light amplification process. A smaller halo indicates a more advanced tube technology, leading to clearer images with less distortion around light sources. This feature is particularly important in urban environments or any setting with artificial light sources.

Equivalent Background Illumination (EBI)

EBI measures the amount of "background noise" present in the image when no light is available. Lower EBI values are preferable, as they indicate a darker, clearer background, enhancing the visibility of objects and reducing the graininess of the image. This specification is crucial for operations in very dark conditions, where minimizing ambient noise can be the difference between detection and invisibility.


Resolution in night vision technology is measured in lines per millimeter (lp/mm) and indicates the level of detail the device can produce. Higher resolution means sharper, more detailed images, allowing for better identification and recognition of distant objects. This specification is vital for tasks requiring fine detail observation, such as navigation, reconnaissance, and wildlife observation.

Figure of Merit (FOM)

The Figure of Merit (FOM) is a formula used to compare the overall performance of night vision tubes, calculated by multiplying the tube's resolution by its signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Higher FOM values indicate a tube that offers better clarity and detail in a wider range of lighting conditions, representing a balance between sensitivity and resolution. This metric is a crucial consideration for those requiring top-tier performance under varying environmental conditions.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)

SNR measures the contrast between the actual image and the inherent "noise" or graininess produced by the tube. A higher SNR means a clearer, more detailed image, especially in low-light conditions. This specification is essential for ensuring that the night vision device provides crisp, clear images without excessive grain, facilitating better identification and engagement with targets or points of interest.

Housing Units: The Framework of Your Device

Choosing the right housing unit—such as the BNVD-40, BNVD-51, or PVS-14—is also crucial. The housing affects the device's ergonomics, durability, and compatibility with accessories. Considerations include weight, waterproofing, and the ability to mount the device on helmets or weapons. This choice will impact the overall user experience, balancing functionality with comfort and ease of use.

Customization: Crafting Your Perfect Night Vision System

By understanding and carefully selecting each of these specifications, you can create a night vision device that meets your precise needs. Whether prioritizing stealth and clarity in pitch-dark conditions or requiring detailed observation capabilities in varied environments, each component you select contributes to the device's overall performance and effectiveness.

Armasight's custom night vision platform empowers you to make these choices, supported by detailed descriptions and expert guidance. This process ensures that your night vision device is not merely a tool but a personalized extension of your capabilities, optimized for your specific nocturnal adventures.

In conclusion, the journey to customizing your night vision device is both intricate and rewarding. By delving into the specifics of each specification and understanding their impact on performance, you can craft a night vision system that not only meets but exceeds your expectations. Armasight is committed to providing the technology, expertise, and support needed to navigate this process, ensuring that your night vision experience is unparalleled.