Your opinion seems pretty valid to me; I can indeed see much more clearly without the red filter while the light is on. Many of my use cases, though, are not ones where I need to see with great clarity and detail, but rather be able to see sufficient detail without sacrificing my ability to see right after I turn the light off.
It's not just searching for mammals, although that is something I may use it quite a bit for. Some kind of red light will also let me see things like faint roads turning off (if they aren't too faint) rocks in shadows, snowdrifts, etc. Much of this involves seeing general outlines all the time rather than good detail some of the time.
If you are out at night driving or walking on trail and are interested in seeing wildlife at night, blue-green or dimmable white light will provide the best visual acuity and imaging to the human eye.
With trichromatic vision in humans, we have 3 type of cones (sensitive to blue, green, red light), and rods which are for low light vision and produce a gray scale. The main reason we see better at low light or for night visibility is that rods are most sensitive to a specific color frequency in our visible light spectrum – blue-green light.
I completely understand how the human eye can adjust to very low light conditions over time, but if you want to “see” more detail at night, with better acuity, including color, use a blue-green light source or a low intensity white light source.
Very true; my issue with blue/green or white is that my visual acuity is then greatly reduced in places where I'm not
shining it. And based on simple probability, these places that I can't see with the light on are likely more important than those that I can.
But.. your light is really cool looking on top of your cab!
Glad you like it... I could see myself taking the red filter off for certain uses say, looking for someone who is lost, or certain kinds of repair work on another vehicle. But I'd always wonder how many bears and mountain lions were in the shadows where I couldn't see them.
Most bears and mountain lions, of course, will avoid the light and people, except maybe the occasional one that is too used to humans. That one is the one that, if it is coming to casually check you out, you need to see as soon as possible, and it's not likely to obligingly step into your white light beam (the only place you can see).
Disclaimer: I've never, ever, met a mountain lion or bear at night, or even in the day. I have read stories of encounters, especially with ones that are habituated to people. I've also spent a significant amount of time walking alone or with small groups through known mountain lion country that also happens to contain vicious and territorial dogs. Based on these experiences, broad visibility for general movement trumps narrow visibility for detail.