, FAQ, Steele Industries Inc



Yes. We keep hard copies of orders starting in 2021. (If you ordered earlier than 2021, you can send your device in and we will be able to obtain the spec sheets.) To request copies of your paperwork, please email orders@steeleindinc.com with the following: First & Last Name, Email, Order #.


We do not have payment plans, but we do have financing options through Credova, as well as Sweetpay. You can find more information about both of those options here: https://steeleindustries.com/financing/


We recommend using lithium batteries for all of our night vision devices. DO NOT use rechargeable batteries. Please make sure batteries are taken out of the device when you are done using it.


We do offer active military, law enforcement, first responders, and medical professionals a discount. To receive the discount code, contact us via email at sales@steeleindinc.com using your work email or sending proof of status via ID card.


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees all infrared lasers, which are known as Class IIIb or IEC Class 3B Medical/Industrial Lasers. Class IIIb and IEC Class 3B lasers have output powers ranging from 5 to 500 mW. Only Image Intensifier Night Vision technology can see IR Lasers, which are invisible to the naked eye. IR lasers can cause serious damage to eyes if they are exposed to this, as well as the high intensity at which they operate. Bright light causes a natural aversion in human and animal eyes. The normal response to being exposed is to close or avert one’s eyes. There is no reflexive reaction to look away or near IR lasers because they are invisible to the naked eye. This suggests that the victim can be exposed without even realizing it, resulting in severe injury or permanent blindness. As a result, it’s easy to see why these devices aren’t available for purchase.

If a government or law enforcement department or organization decides to buy an IR laser unit, we will process the PO and send a disclosure form and letter signed by the Chief Law Enforcement Officer or CO to the manufacturer, who will then drop-ship the IR units to the department address. The IR laser systems do not fall into our possession from the manufacturer.


We offer financing through multiple providers. Please visit the “Financing” tab in the footer to view your options.


There are no limitations on civilians possessing Night Vision Image Intensifiers or Thermal Imaging Equipment imposed by the government. Individual manufacturers impose restrictions on our website as part of their own company policies, which we must follow. These limitations are normally imposed in response to high demand from the US Department of Defense, and there are simply insufficient units to meet the needs of the civilian sector as well.


Not without valid approval from the US State Department. It is a federal offense to do so without such permission, and you will be sentenced to a federal prison. This isn’t a joke, and claiming “ignorance” won’t help you in court. Night Vision Devices in the United States are highly sensitive goods whose sale is strictly controlled and enforced. The International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) applies to it, which states

Export of the commodities described herein is strictly prohibited without a valid export license issued by the U.S. Department of State Office of Defense Trade Controls prescribed in the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), Title 22 Code of Federal Regulation, Parts 120-130.

Full ITAR language can be found here: https://www.pmddtc.state.gov/regulations_laws/itar_official.html

Travel is included in the export of Night Vision Devices. This means that if you leave the country, you will be unable to take a night vision system with you. This means that it cannot be taken out of the country by plane (checked or carry-on luggage), train, cruise, or vehicle. You will be sentenced to a Federal Penitentiary if you do so in breach of ITAR. This applies to both civilians and law enforcement officers (in short, flashing a badge will only make you less popular at the Federal Penitentiary).

Allowing any non-U.S. resident to look through U.S. Gen3 night vision equipment is also a violation of ITAR (even on US Soil). They are also prohibited from having access to any operator’s manuals or documents related to US Gen 3 Night Vision Devices. This is a little-known yet real reality about ITAR and Night Vision Devices. The US State Department and major night vision manufacturers have verified this. At Steele Industries Inc, we take great care to ensure that our clients are well-informed about night vision laws and regulations.

This is serious business, ladies and gentlemen. Our Warfighters and Law Enforcement Professionals use night vision technology to help them combat America’s enemies and keep our communities and borders secure. At Steele Industries Inc, we do whatever we can to keep this technology in the United States, and we encourage our customers to do the same. Please help us secure this technology by owning and safely using it.



Allows the user to manually adjust the gain control ( basically like a dim control ) in varying light conditions. This feature sets the PVS-14 apart from other popular monoculars that do not offer this feature.


Also known as electronic noise. A faint, random, sparkling effect throughout the image area. Scintillation is a normal characteristic of Microchannel plate image intensifiers and is more pronounced under low-light-level conditions


A measure of the light signal reaching the eye divided by the perceived noise as seen by the eye. A tube’s SNR determines the low light resolution of the image tube; therefore, the higher the SNR, the better the ability of the tube to resolve objects with good contrast under low-light conditions. Because SNR is directly related to the photocathode’s sensitivity and also accounts for phosphor efficiency and MCP operating voltage, it is the best single indicator of an image intensifier’s performance


A metal-coated glass disk that multiplies the electrons produced by the photocathode. An MCP is found only in Gen 2 or Gen 3 systems. MCPs eliminate the distortion characteristic of Gen 0 and Gen 1 systems. The number of holes (channels) in an MCP is a major factor in determining resolution. ITT Industries’ MCPs have 10.6 million holes or channels compared to the previous standard of 3.14 million


Units used to measure image intensifier resolution. Usually determined from a 1951 U.S. Air Force Resolving Power Test Target. The target is a series of different-sized patterns composed of three horizontal and three vertical lines. A user must be able to distinguish all the horizontal and vertical lines and the spaces between them. Typically, the higher the line pair, the better the image resolution. Generation 3 tubes generally have a range of 64 – 72 lp/mm, although line pair measurement does not indicate the generation of the tube. Some Generation 2+ tubes measure 28-38 lp/mm, (Gen 2 SHP at 54-59 lp/mm typically), while a Generation 1+ tube may have measure at 40 lp/mm.


ITAR represents a set of US Government regulations that control the export of defense-related materials, articles, and services on the United States Munitions List. These regulations implement the provisions of the Arms Export Control Act, and are described in Title 22 (Foreign Relations), Chapter I (Department of State), Subchapter M of the Code of Federal Regulations. The Department of State Interprets and enforces ITAR. Its goal is to safeguard US National Security and further US Foreign Policy objectives. Basically, ITAR dictates that any defense related items (including Night Vision Equipment and IR Equipment) cannot be exported from the United States in any way, without express permission from the US Department of State. Failing to follow ITAR will result in felony charges which can lead to heavy fines and/or prison sentences.


Many night vision devices incorporate a built-in infrared (IR) diode that emits invisible light or the illuminator can be mounted on to it as a separate component. The unaided eye cannot see IR light; therefore, a night vision device is necessary to see this light. IR Illuminators provide supplemental infrared illumination of an appropriate wavelength, typically in a range of wavelengths (e.g. 730nm, 830nm, 920nm), and eliminate the variability of available ambient light, but also allow the observer to illuminate only specific areas of interest while eliminating shadows and enhancing image contrast.


The distance between the user’s pupils (eyeball centers). The 95th percentile of US military personnel falls within the 55 to 72mm range of IPD.


Halo is the circular region around a bright light that appears “brighter” – It’s caused by elastic collisions of electrons with the MCP surface which subsequently then bounce off and down another hole. Halo’s are the same size all over the screen and the size is dictated by the distance between the photocathode and the MCP. Basically, it’s the round circle around lights when you look at them with Night Vision and it’s generally used as an indication that you’re looking at something that’s too bright.


Two technologies are referenced as night vision; image intensification and thermal imaging (see definitions). Because of cost and the fact that image intensifier scenes are easier to interpret than thermal (thermal images show targets as black or white – depending upon temperature – making it more difficult to recognize objects), the most widely used night vision aid in law enforcement is image intensification (l²) equipment. To date, there have been four generations of l² devices, identified as Gen 0, Gen 1, Gen 2, and Gen 3. Developmental laboratory work is on going, and the U.S. military may designate the resulting as Gen 4. However, no definition for Gen 4 presently exists.


The semiconductor material used in manufacturing the Gen 3 photocathode. GaAs photocathodes have a very high photosensitivity in the spectral region of about 450 to 950 nanometers (visible and near-infrared region).


Also called brightness gain or luminance gain. This is the number of times a night vision device amplifies light input. It is usually measured as tube gain and system gain. Tube gain is measured as the light output (in fL) divided by the light input (in fc). This figure is usually expressed in values of tens of thousands. If tube gain is pushed too high, the tube will be “noisier” and the signal-to-noise ration many go down. U.S. military Gen 3 image tubes operate at gains of between 20,000 and 45,000. On the other hand, system gain is measured as the light output (fL) divided by the light input (also fL) and is what the user actually sees. System gain is usually seen in the thousands. U.S. military systems operate at 2,000 to 3,000. In any night vision system, the tube gain is reduced by the system’s lenses and is affected by the quality of the optics or any filters. Therefore, system gain is a more important measurement to the user.


Image Intensification tube specification designation, calculated on line pair per mm x signal to noise.


The diameter of the imaged area when viewed through an optic


A steady or fluctuating pinpoint of bright light in the image area that does not go away when all light is blocked from the objective lens. The position of an emission point within the field of view will not move. If an emission point disappears or is only faintly visible when viewing under brighter nighttime conditions, it is not indicative of a problem. If the emission point remains bright under all lighting conditions, the system needs to be repaired. Do not confuse an emission point with a point of light source in the scene being viewed.