How did the Bat-Signal work on cloudless and moonless nights?

Bat signal

  • 6
    On a clear night, did the crime rate go up? Sep 3, 2012 at 3:05
  • 5
    They used the telephone.
    – Xantec
    Sep 3, 2012 at 3:13
  • 1
    Its a Bat-Tech, man!
    – user931
    Sep 3, 2012 at 4:02
  • 12
    It’s Gotham. It’s always cloudy. Apr 21, 2013 at 10:36
  • 1
    Not so well. (Take that @Paul)
    – Möoz
    Apr 6, 2016 at 5:01

1 Answer 1


Because the Bat-signal (being a searchlight, or, in the newer iterations, a laser system) works off of light, it technically couldn't be visible without something to diffuse the light (like clouds or smoke) or reflect the light (like a solid surface). When it is visible without clouds (usually in the animated series), it's simply movie magic.

But the Bat-signal wasn't necessary to contact Batman: when the Bat-signal was otherwise unavailable, the Bat-phone was used:

This was obviously updated for later iterations of Batman, as Wikipedia describes:

In the modern Batman comic book continuity, the Batphone made its debut in Detective Comics #786 (November, 2003), in the form of an encrypted cellphone that allowed Gordon to securely contact Batman, as well as allowing other calls just like a normal cellphone. It also carries a tracking device in case of trouble. Unlike the original Batphone, the device is not red and looks like a regular cellphone.

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