Lightsticks for the Army

The use of Cyalume products during training or in the theater of operations is defined and described in many doctrines or protocols, in military procedures specific to each country or NATO type organization.

It means that the ChemLight lightsticks and other Cyalume products are used millions of times every year by the biggest armed forces in the world, addressing the needs of the fighter in the field. They are an integral part of the basic equipment of the soldier today.

Thanks to their easy use, durability, lightness and speed of implementation, lightsticks in various colors or with IR capability may address a variety of demands encountered in the field

Cyalume used for training

Cyalume lightsticks are used for training infantrymen in the battlefield and in urban situations. They can be deployed as personal or collective protection equipment.

Choose infrared or red/green marking to identify a battlefield during practice or night firing exercises.

Natural supports, obstacles and equipment in the field can also be marked using Cyalume products.

Honeycomb rolls and patches known as CyFlect that have retro-reflective and photoluminescent properties are also used to identify personnel during training or combat operations. They are available as belts (PT-Belt in various colors) or as bands to be cut, sewn-on or affixed.

These belts can be used to identify soldiers during marches and running at night.

Cyalume used for IFF (Identification Friend or Foe)

When combined with the use of night vision equipment, the Cyalume infrared lightsticks and infrared bands and patches ensure the marking and identification of combatants in hostile terrain.

Because the units are better identified by the IR lightsticks or patches, the risks of friendly fire are decreased considerably. When visibility is low, Cyalume lightsticks can be used for personnel marking during assaults in order to avoid friendly firing..

Other products come from the CyFlect range (retro-reflective and photoluminescent products), also allowing easy identification of friendly forces. These can be retro-reflective and photoluminescent letter or figure patches to be affixed to helmets or used as shoulder patches. These patches are sewn on or secured with Velcro.

Flags and other markings are also available as patches, reflecting only in infrared light. They are available in gloss and mat versions.

Lightsticks for health and survival – Medical triage


Cyalume lightsticks can be used for marking out routes, or zones and are also useful in preparing for emergency signaling for sanitary evacuations (EVASAN) ou medical evacuations (MEDEVAC).

  • Emergency medical triage: use Flexbands, LightShape or VisiPad products to identify the various categories to be evacuated and give ambulance operators information (visible or IR).
  • Emergency lighting in field hospitals: affix LightShape circular markers or VisiPad rectangular markers to the tent entry flaps and use 40cm white lightsticks in the operating areas when there is a power cut; use the SEE Systems for fixed sites.

Lightsticks for logistics and vehicle convoy marking

Cyalume lightsticks can be used for discrete map reading, for instance using a Mini lightstick attached to the tip of the index finger or with ChemLight 15 cm units mounted to a magnetic base. Cyalume lightsticks can also use a system of color codes to identify units on maneuvers and the presence of camps in the field (visibility of armored vehicles, personnel safety).

Using a khaki directional case also makes it possible to control the amount of light given off by the lightstick, by emitting from the entirety or just part of its lighted surface.

During tactical movements of convoys, circular (Lightshape) markers or rectangular (VisiPad) markers can be used to identify vehicles by an appropriate color code during convoy movements. The lightsticks are used for marking out routes to guarantee the safety of the convoy.

  • Route marking/critical point marking: turns identified by a color code, defiles, refueling areas and mechanical maintenance zones, mustering points on a route, indication of distance to a rallying point etc. The US military police use red lights to direct convoys to their rallying point at night.
  • Machine guidance: the 15, 25 or 40 cm lightsticks used with directional handles optimize night visibility distances.
  • Marking out units and leader: Put the lightsticks at the tops of antennas, on vehicles using magnetic bases, or on trailers, identification of the different types of vehicles (tankers etc.) by any color code.

Cyalume for illumination of the battlefield, emergency plans, building markings

Cyalume lightsticks are used in the theater of operations to illuminate the battlefield, to identify the zones and codify the advancing of the troops. The more intensely a zone is marked, lighted and illuminated, the easier identification will be and troop progress will be facilitated. This becomes increasingly important during fighting in urban areas.

For battlefield marking, Non-IMPACT 40cm visible lightsticks are often used to mark out the left and right limits of the field of fire.

Cyalume lightsticks are often used for emergency signaling in hostile areas. They are practical and easy to use for marking out zones or routes for emergency evacuation. The various available colors can also provide a means of codifying markings in the dark (red = dangerous area/green = clear area).

SOS distress signals can be used as an emergency evacuation signal. This consists of discrete progression position signals indicating an advance in hostile terrain. It replaces the need for a radio signal or a signal flare to indicate a position. It leaves no evidence on the ground and offers greater discretion. It is particularly practical for marking out an area to prepare for evacuation at night or by air.

Cyalume lightsticks are also used for the following artillery applications:

  • Identification on impact on the ground of a zone to be explored.
  • Assisting with progression visibility in areas affected by smoke (the product are still visible behind a smokescreen), or in demolished areas.
  • In the Impact auto-activating version, enables intervention forces to find their way through a dark room to locate an immediate hazard (street fighting) without any risk of explosion.

The products in the CyFlect range are also used for marking out corridors, stairs, emergency exits or various parts of the soldier’s equipment (helmet, shield …)

Regulation marking of buildings with lightsticks

For outdoor markings, there is a regulation marking system relating to building surveillance, underground progression (training for fighting in urban zones).

A badge pre-placed at the entry of a zone to be controlled is activated on exit from it. The color code will indicate the type of monitoring:

  • red marking: for a building under surveillance, the red color must appear as a mandatory point of entry.
  • green marking: for a surveilled building which has been inspected.
  • blue marking: to indicate the presence of a trap or an obstacle in the building.
  • yellow marking: to indicate that sanitary evacuation (EVASAN) or medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) is required for somebody injured in the building.

Color combinations are also possible except for red and green which cannot be combined.

For these different types of marking, Cyalume lightsticks in various sizes can be used, as well as lighted patches / markers whether circular (LightShape) or rectangular(VisiPad). The advantage of these patches is that they can be written on using a permanent marker. The color marking can be completed by an interior marking indicating a Point of Entry, Cleared room, Prisoner of war point, Injured person point, EVASAN required, Trap, Munitions and/or obstacle in the room, engineer required.

Cyalume sticks for identification of devices and persons

Visible and infrared lightsticks can be used to define a color code for tank firing, to mark the end of tank firing, and to denote tanks that are unable to fire (jammed weapon).

Cyalume light sticks can be used for identifying personnel having color codes identifying safety officers, tank commanding officers, specific missions on practice operations, medical personnel etc…

Cyalume products are also used for identifying firing stages. A color code is used to identify: towers, ambulances, ammunition storage, spent ammunition, briefing points, visitor tents, latrines …

Lightsticks used for marking points of passage/fording

  • Night signals used as semaphore.
  • Construction of a bridge: Attach a Personnel Marker Light (PML) to save the lives of men engaged in this action.
  • Bridge / crossing: For faster crossing identification at the center, on the left and on the right by color code on the bridge or on the bank.
  • Display of antenna cable array at night by attaching a 15cm light stick or a VisiPad marker to it.
  • Obstacle marking: marking up checked out obstacles, obstacles marked visibly or by IR.
  • Identification of the presence of mines on the ground during progression.
  • Marking of barbed wire: Use Flexbands to avoid soldiers on exercise injuring themselves.
  • Refueling a vehicle in the dark, without any danger.

Light sticks used for United Nations peacekeeping

To identify the blue berets, a variety of blue Cyalume 15cm and 40cm lightsticks are used to mark the personnel, equipment or checkpoints.

Cyalume lightsticks are also used for marking mines and dangerous zones to avoid accidents. The perimeters of dangerous zones are marked with chemiluminescent lights in this instance.

Use of Cyalume sticks to deal with NRBC risks

During operations in an NRBC environment, Flexbands which are pliable, rugged and non-toxic are used in the visible and infrared versions to mark personnel or fixed supports.

Target marking

Several Cyalume products are recommended and in great demand to mark targets during night firing.

  • VisiPad rectangular or Lightshape circular adhesive patches in the infrared version can be attached easily to a target. They can be used with ease and speed. Several IR patches can be used to define the contour of a target. If the patch is hit by a round, it continues to operate. It is also possible to place several IR patches behind the target to create a halo of light.
  • Cyalume 6’’ (15cm) or 15’’ (40cm) lightsticks placed directly below and in front of the target are also used. They can be implemented quickly and easily.
  • Reflective infrared bands on the target can be set out to mark the contour of the target. These bands support being hit by rounds without their properties and effect suffering.

Cyalume lightstick applications for artillery

  • For target illumination a lightstick can be attached to a target at night to ensure visibility.
  • To facilitate vision, a Cyalume 4, 5 or 8 cm lightstick is attached to the view of the target to ensure the right azimuth.
  • To illuminate a firing center, a 40 cm lightstick can be used if there is an inadvertent power cut.
  • To identify the units or a leader, a color code can be attached to the back of a helmet by means of a mini lightstick (visible or IR).
  • For the lighting of a command post (CP), the Cyalume lightstick can be used as a temporary source of lighting to avoid having to use generators constantly (with 40cm white or yellow lightsticks).
  • For any type of signal during firing practice, a variety of sizes, shapes and colors from the Cyalume range do the job.

Other examples of how to use Cyalume lightsticks coming from the U.S. Army doctrine

  • Rallying points: Chemlights are used for night marches or in low visibility conditions by guides leading troops to rallying points. Guides of subunits using a color code therefore locate each other with sections / squads, helping them to prepare the rallying zones. Men, vehicles, teams or positions of units are identified by Cyalume lightsticks.
  • As suggested in the field manual: officers ensure that guides on the ground have flashlights with colored lenses or Cyalume lightsticks for use in the dark. Cyalume lightsticks can be used to mark out equipment locations in rallying zones.
  • Rallying zones: to facilitate movements to a rallying zone, the access routes from the rallying point to the grouping zone are clearly indicated by Cyalume lightsticks, in the same way as the entry and exit zones.
  • Night positions of mortar squads represent specific issues regarding command and control. Limited visibility makes almost any task difficult. Cyalume lightsticks are particularly useful and their employment must be standardized and controlled by a procedure put in place on the spot.

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