Everyone that has or wants to have a night sight system must come to terms with the limitations of that system. Shooting in darkness, or less than convenient lighting, could involve a thermal imaging system, tritiums, or our Firefly upgrade. Whatever your darkened condition sighting choice, one must maintain a plan for its use, or at least think through when and how you would deploy it, given the limitations of a particular system.
Thermal imaging devices can be cumbersome, take up more space, and require some prep, before use. Tritiums are limited to a useable half-life and, therefore, come with their own set of considerations: There is a point in the continuously dimming life of 3-dot tritium sights where one becomes sidetracked from the realities of the target or threat and is compelled to stare at the dots that are now too dim to see and align quickly. There is also the “never-never” land in the life of tritiums where they become dim enough to be annoying but not so much to induce a need to buy new ones. That interim may be rather short for some or may last for many months for others, before the decision to pony up for a new pair. The Fireflies will maintain the same set of limitations from day one and forever in the future. You need to charge them about every eight hours or so. Given the limitations of each system, one needs to formulate a plan. Until the Firefly was conceptualized, I was never a fan of a sight that glowed in the dark. I've always thought, and still so think, that they are more of a psychological comfort than a true advantage -- a comforting beacon of light, a candle in the darkness or, one even might say, a security blanket. I think there is a lot of evidence to support this. However, all that being said, I now hypocritically sport Fireflies on the majority of my guns.
My reasons for doing so make sense to me and may also to others: 1) First of all, the Firefly front sight insert, though the exact same dimensions as our nylon inserts, are all one color and appear very large. For me, this makes sight acquisition even quicker. I've found that with the large appearing Firefly front sight insert, I was faster and could score good hits more quickly at USPSA matches, where the run-gun portions of a stage were closer. 2) The large glowing ember of the Firefly allows me to locate it quickly in a dark bedroom. 3) I could never imagine shooting at a target I couldn't identify -- it's not my dog, my wife or my child. In a dimly lit situation where the target is identifiable, I do have an ambient light sensitive florescent rear sight insert and a large glowing Firefly front sight -- an orange mountain with a glowing green top, if you will. And, in the event of a truly pitch black situation where a known adversary is at arm's length or not far beyond, I'd just need to cover that shadowy target with a large glowing Firefly ember.
The Firefly then becomes the unpracticed point shooting helper. Point-shooting is certainly a good skill to acquire and maintain. However, point-shooting ability is kind of like shooting hoops from the free-throw line on a basketball court. If you practice a lot, you can get pretty good at it; take a couple of months off and your skill level declines. The Firefly, then, becomes a way to cheat at point shooting. Just cover the target with a big glow and do what needs to be done. In the end, unlike other systems, the limitations of the Fireflies are unvarying. They will always be the same and if you learn to operate within their limitations and utilize well their glow duration and quick charge time characteristics, you will have a reliable day and night sight that lasts forever.