Let there be light, 200 lumens of light.


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Rexster
September 19, 2010, 02:03 PM
From my reply to a thread elsewhere in THR, on intervening in domestic violence:


An option short of intervening with force is to hit the altercation with a powerful beam of light, from a safe distance, if the situation is occurring in low light. It is amazing what 100 to 200 lumens, from a well-focused beam, in someone's face, will accomplish. My Surefire LX2 Lumamax is more important to me than a handgun, even when I am on duty. (I work night-shift big-city police patrol.) I recently broke up a family altercation involving a knife, being held in reverse grip, with a sudden full application of 200 lumens right into a disturbed man's face. He had no idea I was there, before the light hit him, and he relaxed his grip on the knife. His adult daughters were holding each of his arms, in a mighty struggle, and the light not only disarmed him, but took all the fight out of him. In this case, I knew the people involved, so the successful outcome has a special meaning. I own no stock in Surefire, nor have any financial interest in any Surefire dealer. I am just a satisfied and very grateful customer, who has used everything from 6P and 6Z to the M2 Centurion, M3 Millenium, and various Weaponlights. When I can afford the near-$200 price of a second LX2, I will buy a spare.
__________________

I wanted to share this with this sub-forum. As I know the folks involved in this incident, very well, it is especially gratifying that the incident ended without injury. This was part of a much longer reply, and I spent so much time composing it, I wanted to get added value. I did tweak it a bit, so it could stand alone as an informative post.

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conw
September 19, 2010, 10:01 PM
That's great that you were able to literally end an altercation with a light but I think that's by far the exception to the normal trend. If you ask me Surefire really spreads this lore of the "effectiveness" of lights in combat. I imagine if I were a crazed knife wielding lunatic my first reaction to a light being shined into my eyes would be to charge knife-first. I'd never attempt to use a light in quite that fashion for that reason, because I feel it is simply unreliable as a means of deterrence.

Now, that said, the light + cop voice tactic is great for people approaching suspiciously and quickly in the dark, to disrupt their OODA loop. Someone disturbs your sense of safety and/or approaches you in a dark parking lot, you shine a bright light at them from 10 yards and say "Stop right there. What do you want?" or similar. That should buy you some time to get in the car and leave, or draw if you see that they ARE armed. But simply shining a light in an overtly dangerous situation, with no accompanying firearm strategy, as advocated by Surefire through their "True Stories," is a poor idea.

sniper5
September 19, 2010, 10:41 PM
I keep the Fenix TK12 on my shotgun set to strobe. Shot it at the indoor range with the lights out on a regular basis. Doesn't bother me from the sending end (no different than watching an old black and white movie, but having been hit by the beam when it's off the gun it's like being in the room with a flash-bang. Almost dizzying. And steady 240 Lumen beam is only a half turn away.

BRad704
September 20, 2010, 10:57 AM
conwict, I am pretty sure being an officer, that he had his other hand on his weapon already, or at least a plan to get there... My first reaction to any overly bright light is to put a hand up to shade my eyes, and take a half step back. In many situations, this would allow enough time as you said to assess the situation, reach for your own weapon or possibly get that extra half second of a jump on disarming someone.

I guess now I need to ditch the cheapo LED's and LED Maglites and get a "real" light...

TimboKhan
September 20, 2010, 01:17 PM
Lights are a very important part of anyones home or personal or professional defense plan. Current light technology is fabulous and can be part of the reason that someone makes it through a situation.

Part of the reason.

Part.

If you think for even a second that a light alone is going to save you in most situations, you are deeply disturbed. I don't think anyone here was saying that, and I agree with Conwict. While I would never argue that a light isn't important, Surefire is a business that sells 200 dollar flashlights. They want to sell as many of those as they can, so they are going to push the importance of their lights as much as they can.

It's all common sense.

Demitrios
September 22, 2010, 05:35 AM
%70 of information that a human being takes in is visual (sources pending). All sight is is light reflecting off of objects, entering the eye and being interpereted by the brain. Overwhelm the sense of sight and you've crippled your attacker.

I have a Surefire E2D and at "only" 60 lumens it's bright enough to momentarily blind someone even if their eyes are close. As a bouncer for almost 10 years and I carry it to this day, not only because of it being a legal "weapon" but because it's incredibly effective.

Double Naught Spy
September 22, 2010, 08:13 AM
That's great that you were able to literally end an altercation with a light but I think that's by far the exception to the normal trend.

Right. Stern words have managed the same feat in the past as well. Having a good light is important and can be very helpful, but counting on it working as a weapon is very risky.

TimboKhan
September 22, 2010, 09:02 AM
Overwhelm the sense of sight and you've crippled your attacker.

Just remember, "crippled" is a long way away from "stopped". I have tested this at home with my own lights. Yes, it is disorienting and a pain, but in no way is it a deterrant to a determined attack. Either I am going to start shooting, or I am going to rush the light swinging blindly and hoping for the best.

Double Naught Spy
September 22, 2010, 02:15 PM
Yes, it is disorienting and a pain, but in no way is it a deterrant to a determined attack. Either I am going to start shooting, or I am going to rush the light swinging blindly and hoping for the best.

Clint Smith, while still in Texas, liked to brag about his range helper, Tran, who was used as a bad guy for simunitions training in the Terminator with LEO and military training. Tran would be armed with a pistol and would regularly overwhelm individuals, couples, and sometimes "teams" tasked to find him. His great strategies were simple...use of cover and aiming at the lights. Maybe he could not see much else after being "blinded" by the first light, supposedly, but he could see the light on every weapon or carried by hand that was pointed anywhere near him. He didn't always win and after repeated runs the teams sent to find him eventualy would get smart and Tran would eventually lose, but even then often with taking out multiple opponents first.

So sure, one could say the light was crippling to his vision, but he wasn't ever actually blind and the light never succeeded in stopping him.

Its a light, not a death ray.

Rexster
September 22, 2010, 06:35 PM
Indeed, the words "safe distance" were in my opening post for a reason. Safe distance will vary, depending upon the enemy's armament. Light can indeed work against you; I am the guy who gets stones thrown at me when I mention that the tritium in night sights can betray your position, so I obviously am aware a flashlight can do the same. Light discipline is important.

Moreover, I don't buy the entire Surefire package of kool-aid regarding the effectiveness of light, but I have used light to my advantage countless times, and one reason I am still on night shift patrol, by choice, after nearly 27 years of service, is that I still consider darkness to be my friend. Light is a friend, too, but to be used intelligently.

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