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True Brightness of Tritium Vials

How Bright Are Tritium Vials?

Describing the brightness of tritium can be difficult. People observe the luminescence differently and have differing opinions comparatively. So how can I genuinely share the luminosity of tritium vials and rank them? 

Below I will showcase my findings using different techniques to put things into perspective. First things first, let's recognize the charting available today; maybe you have seen these or some variation of them:

These images are well over 10 years old and have several variants, some poorly photoshopped floating around. Let's make it our objective to reinvent this chart. Essential to take note, the charts above mostly agree on one thing, the ranking of 'output/yield' compared to each other by color.

Spoil Warning, my results don't align with the common consensus listed above. 

Take Amazing Photos of Tritium:

Looking to purchase tritium?

I authored a "Tritium Buyers Guide" to educate people new to purchasing tritium and what to look out for, namely scams and overpricing. The tritium in this study was purchased from as it is the most reliable source for getting new tritium vials. 

Modern tools for measurement:

Adafruit VEML7700 Lux Sensor - I2C Light Sensor

Breakout Board - 

Python Code - 

An excellent Lux sensor with fantastic support! There is ama amazing opensource lib for easy implementation and configuration.

Adafruit AS7341 10-Channel Light / Color Sensor Breakout - STEMMA QT / Qwiic

Breakout Board - 

Pyhton Code - 

An amazing Spectrometer with fantastic support! There is ama amazing opensource lib for easy implementation and configuration.

Raspberry Pi Setup:

A 3D printed dark box with both sensors (VEML7700, AS7341) mounted on each side. Suspended in the middle is a tritium vial 2mm apart from each sensor. 3D models available here:

Take Measurements:

Using the code here, we take 264 measurements on each tritium vial. All possible combinations of:
  • VEML7700 - integration_time
    • veml7700.ALS_25MS
    • veml7700.ALS_50MS
    • veml7700.ALS_100MS
    • veml7700.ALS_200MS
    • veml7700.ALS_400MS
    • veml7700.ALS_800MS
  • VEML7700 - gain
    • veml7700.ALS_GAIN_2
    • veml7700.ALS_GAIN_1
    • veml7700.ALS_GAIN_1_4
    • veml7700.ALS_GAIN_1_8
  • AS7341 - gain
    • 1-10
And save to this format:

    "0": {
        "vial_color": "blue",
        "vial_age_years": "0",
        "unix_time_ns": {
            "$numberLong": "1640915326615343918"
        "lux": 0,
        "target_wavelengths": {
            "415": {
                "color_name": "Violet",
                "color_intensity": 0
            "445": {
                "color_name": "Indigo",
                "color_intensity": 0
            "480": {
                "color_name": "Blue",
                "color_intensity": 0
            "515": {
                "color_name": "Cyan",
                "color_intensity": 0
            "555": {
                "color_name": "Green",
                "color_intensity": 0
            "590": {
                "color_name": "Yellow",
                "color_intensity": 0
            "630": {
                "color_name": "Orange",
                "color_intensity": 0
            "680": {
                "color_name": "Red",
                "color_intensity": 0
        "special_measurements": {
            "Clear": {
                "color_name": "Clear",
                "color_intensity": 0
            "NIR": {
                "color_name": "Near-IR",
                "color_intensity": 0
        "sensor_configs": {
            "adafruit_VEML7700": {
                "integration_time_value": 25,
                "gain_value": 2
            "adafruit_AS7341": {
                "gain": 0


Analyzed here: Python Notebook
(read-only creds provided to the MongoDB)

Full Results:

Click to Expand

Lux Measurements:

The actual brightness sequence from most bright to least bright is:

Yes, this is contradictory to the common consensus. I agree with the results I have rendered, being a tritium collector and having been exposed to the brightness of tritium for 10+ years, and having a fresh set of 9 vials in front of me.

Support HobbyTimeWith.Me: 

Polygon Mainnet Tokens Accepted: 

Spectrometer Measurements:

The actual spectral color relative to each other is:

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