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Defensive Flashlights- What is bright enough?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Ben86, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Ben86

    Ben86 Well-Known Member

    I'm looking to buy a compact defensive flashlight for daily carry/ home usage and I want to know how many lumens should I be looking for? Is 75 decent? What brands are recommended?
  2. make sure it is bright enough to cook whatever you point it at.
  3. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Well-Known Member

    I'd say at least 150-300 Lumens. Oh, and I define a defensive flashlight as one that can be used as a bludgeon and/or has a sharp bezel.


    I got a Solarforce last week. Very good quality and blindingly bright at 300 Lumens.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  4. TehK1w1

    TehK1w1 Well-Known Member

    Lumens, Lux, etc can be very deceptive as every company seems to have a different way of measuring the light output. Additionally, it does not tell you anything about the shape of the beam, which is much more important than sheer output. A 120 lumen light that only has a 10 degree cone of usable output is useless except for throw, for example. As for brands, Surefire and Streamlight are 2 of the "name brands" Inova and Fenix are examples of brands that are less expensive but very good as well. Check out candlepowerforums.com for really in-depth info.
  5. D-Day

    D-Day Well-Known Member

    I carry a Surefire L4 Digital Lumamax. Handy size, bright as hell.
  6. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...defensive flashlight..." What do you plan on defending against with a flashlight?
  7. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

    Keep it simple. Shine it in your eyes. If you can't see very well, buy that one.
  8. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Well-Known Member

    I have found 100 lumens a minimum to blind -- and the effects of the light extend past removal of light source for a few precious moments
  9. Ben86

    Ben86 Well-Known Member

    I have to check those brands out. I was thinking about buying a coleman at my local walmart, but I'd better not. Not if I want a flashlight for serious use. I didn't think about the size of the usable beam, good point.

    What do I want it to defend against? The dark of course, and all the creatures therein.

    Wow, those are some mean spikes on that light cannonball!
  10. Hoppy590

    Hoppy590 Well-Known Member

    120+ Lumens.
  11. Otis

    Otis Well-Known Member

  12. Boba Fett

    Boba Fett Well-Known Member

    Reviews by Nutnfancy

    Watch the reviews by Nutnfancy on YouTube:


    Very very informative, sometimes very long videos, but he doesn't just give good reviews. If there is something he doesn't like about a knife, gun, flashlight, etc., he'll say it.

    I've found a number of his vids very helpful in making decisions and knowing what to look for.

    Watcher beware...there are a lot of videos...your entire day can spontaneously disappear. :D
  13. heron

    heron Well-Known Member

    You want the one that recoils in your hand when you turn it on.
  14. Defense Minister

    Defense Minister Well-Known Member

    I have a Fenix PD30 that puts out 220 lumens, and has a strobe mode as well as three lower output modes for non "defensive" use. It is small and light, has a strike bezel, and can be had for about $60 on eBay. And, you're right, for serious defensive use, you don't want a Coleman.

    This is a great place to start:

  15. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

    At least we wont have any throw-weight versus velocity debates.

    But capacity can be an issue. If it can take four "D" cells, you've pretty much got a lighthouse in your hands; a single "AA" cell? Good for peeking into the eaves and ceiling tiles or for picking your way back to your car in a pitch black moonless, starless night, but not for serious carry.

    Now, a spotlight for coyote hunting will handle just about any emergency situation. Throws a boatload of photons downrange.
  16. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    I have a Surefire G3 LED (80 lumens) and I'm not sure I'd want anything much brighter for indoor use. Any brighter and it would start dazzling me (my house has white walls). Mine is weapon mounted, though, so I'm not using it as a standalone defensive tool.
  17. Geneseo1911

    Geneseo1911 Well-Known Member

    I would suggest a Surefire 6P or G2 to start out. I have the standard lamp which is only rated at 65 Lumens, but it will blind you for a few seconds if shined in your eyes. They aren't terribly expensive and are very handy. I keep mine with my HD gun, but I go get it & use it about every day.

    They run on 2 CR123A lithium batteries, which makes for a very nice size to use in conjunction with a handgun or on its own. The LED version costs a little more, but they throw a slightly whiter light and batteries last much longer.

    The thing that amazed me the most when I got my first SF light was the beam pattern. It is perfect. Perfectly round, perfectly even, with the perfect balance of the bright spot in the center and the slightly less bright fringe. After using Maglights for years, I couldn't believe the difference in brightness and pattern, and that such a superior light could come in so much a smaller package. Well worth the money.
  18. Gamera

    Gamera Well-Known Member

    :eek: :p

    I have one of those giant maglights that takes four D batteries. It's bright and heavy enough to crack a skull, but it's not really practical for carrying around. (It's my bedside light)
  19. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Well-Known Member

    When I buy a light, I usually look for runtime and then lumens. But then again I dont plan on trying to blind somebody with my flashlight either.

    Surefire makes some great lights, and I have a few, but when the power goes out, I am doing a search and rescue, or turning on the light on my fire helmet, I prefer a light that will stay on for at least several hours, if not all night.

    As far as a defensive flashlight goes though, if Im to the point that I need to defend myself with a flashlight then I have bigger things to worry about...
  20. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Somehow, some folks have gotten the idea that a bright enough light will blind an opponent and save the day. Just throw away your guns, a flashlight is all you need for self defence, it says here.

    Maybe, if you are lucky enough to know where a BG is and to be able to direct the beam in his eyes first try.

    If you don't, then the nice bright light makes a nice bright target and anyone holding the light directly in front of his body is dumb - dead dumb.


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