You know that experience you have when you first turn the light off and everything goes pitch black. Then slowly, over a period of time, your eyes adjust. This process is called night adaptation. It takes roughly 8 mins to half adapt to darkness and around 30 mins to get full night adaption.

Once our eyes are adjusted. We can walk around with very little light as though it was daylight. We get used to walking around in the dark, and the night feels very bright.

Suddenly someone flashes a bright white light towards our eyes for less than a second. In that second our night adaptation is destroy completely and it will take a further 30 mins to completely restore it. We start fumbling around in the darkness again, wishing it were really daylight.

I took this photo yesterday morning. The bright light is not the sun, it is a street lamp that illuminates small exposed patches in its vicinity, while still casting deep shadows into the darkness. Dawn is breaking in the background. Daylight is coming.

Here’s the point. How bright a light will I be to the people around me? Will I be a bright white light that has significant radical impact? Or will I be like the streetlight, an artificial light that illuminates small patches while leaving deep shadows?