Uncover the danger on your covert IR patch


Are you using an IR patch to protect yourself against friendly fire?

It is important for you to know, not all IR Patches are built the same.

Even though the packaging says, “provides IR protection,” you must do some homework to find out if your patch has the IR protection you expect. 

Unknowingly, you could be putting yourself and others in danger. With just a little bit a due diligence you can discover the quality of your IR patch.

Your goal is to wear an IR patch that works to protect you. 

And how does your patch work to protect you?

  1. Your patch resists white light reflection. 
  2. Your patch will glow up to 700m.

Understanding how an IR patch protects 

Let me simplify how an IR patch works.

An item you are more familiar with is a bike reflector. A bike reflector uses reflective materials.  When  you are riding your bike in the dark and the headlight of the car hits your bike reflector, the light bounces back from the bike reflector to the driver. The driver can now see you on the bike and avoids hitting you.  

The bike “reflects” the light and you are safe.

An IR patch works much the same way.  By reflecting light from the patch back to the light source.  

An IR patch is built with similar reflective film. The reflective film on a covert IR patch selectively reflects ONLY infrared energy from a night vision device (NVD). The infrared energy (illuminator) from a NVD hits your patch, reflects back to NVD and you are detected.  The user of the NVD is able to determine if you are friend or foe.  

Why danger arises 

The danger arises when your patch is advertised as covert IR protection but in addition to detection from a NVD your patch reflects white light.  You do not want your covert IR patch to reflect light from a car, flashlight or the moon!  

This problem stems from manufacturers who take short cuts and don’t properly cover the reflective film.  

If the film is not properly built your position could be exposed and your life threatened.  

While you think your patch will protect you against a white light detection, it may not be the case and you don’t want to find out too late. 

We recommend before deploying on a covert mission, test your IR patches against any white light reflection. 


Low glow will leave you susceptible 

The other potential danger is a low glow radius from your patch.  If the glow on the patch is dull and can’t be seen at a distance of 700m (with PVS-14) you are at risk.  

Be sure to double check the glow radius on your IR patch with a Night Vision device before deployment. 


Be confident your patch is battle ready

How do we know faulty IR patches exist?

Because we answer the calls and hear the complaints from Military and Law Enforcement personnel who have experienced these problems.   

After much research and testing, we introduced a proprietary process, SandStorm Technology™ on all our IR patches.

SandStorm Technology™ assures you can confidently do your job without fear of your IR patch reflecting white light or failing to glow.

Not only will this proprietary process protect you against white light reflection and glow bright, but won’t fall apart when exposed to crazy rain and sand. 

We realize others make quality IR patches but we want you to know we stand by our IR patches and all our ID products with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. 

Yes, I want a safe covert IR patch

 The Author

Tom Boyer profile picture

Tom founded IR.Tools™ in 2006. He has embraced manufacturing premium IR patches, panels, thermal markers, and thermal targets to better protect and train the military and law enforcement communities. Always the innovator, he is always thinking out of the box. Currently he has 21 awarded patents, and 14 patents pending. Tom received his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the Univ. of MD, College Park and his MBA from Regents Univ.