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Defensive Flashlights- What is bright enough?

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

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  1. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    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. ThrottleJockey

    ThrottleJockey member

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    make sure it is bright enough to cook whatever you point it at.
     
  3. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    TehK1w1 Member

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    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 Member

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

    Sunray Member

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

    freakshow10mm member

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

    10-Ring Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    120+ Lumens.
     
  11. Otis

    Otis Member

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  12. Boba Fett

    Boba Fett Member

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    Reviews by Nutnfancy

    Watch the reviews by Nutnfancy on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/nutnfancy

    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 Member

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

    Defense Minister Member

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    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:

    http://flashlightreviews.com/index1.html
     
  15. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    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

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    :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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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.

    Jim
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have this Nuwai light. It is very bright and floods a room. It will light a place up big time. Bright enough to make someone hesitate a bit, or more, which is all you should need to neutralize them. It was much cheaper back when I bought it.
     
  22. XD9WBT

    XD9WBT member

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    A lot of us have pocket size flashlignhts that can be used to blind and then be used as a bludgeon, to harden the fist, or to cut. In fact there is an entire martial arts developed around using a flashlight as a fghting weapon.
    So as you see they can be useful.
    On having one on your gun. If you go to a sight called lightfighters and ask them about having a light on your gun you might change your mind. I did.
     
  23. Geneseo1911

    Geneseo1911 Member

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    I'll tell you this. I've had my wife shine my SF into my eyes to see what it'd be like, and with a light that bright, it's hard to tell where it's coming from, let alone aim at it. That little 6P throws a beam large enough to cover the entire wall at 5 ft., with the most intense portion being 2 ft. in diameter. Assuming I'm not being robbed by Verne Troyer or Yao Ming, I'll be close enough.

    My plan isn't to blind someone into submission, it's to flash the light at them to identify them, and if they are ID'd as a threat, disorient them long enough to take the shot. I really see no need to have a pointy light, my gun is a better bludgeon if things go that bad.

    It is foolish to have an HD gun without some kind of white light, be it handheld or weapon mounted. The brighter the better IMO, so long as it's small enough to have handy and not be encumbering when handling the weapon.

    fireman- the SF I have with an LED head has probably 5 hours of runtime on the original batteries (still going), although not all at one time. They claim 11 hours.

    I know I sound like a SF salesman here, but once you try one, you never go back. I would assume any of the major brands like Streamlight would be equally good, but I haven't used their products outside of the big lanterns and 4AA helmet lights we have at the FD.
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep, gotta know when to use it. :)
     
  25. kb2zya

    kb2zya Member

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    i seen on TV "the best defense " the right and wrong way to use a light.the main thing is you need a on/off at the end of the light.never keep the light on.use non direct light .. lots of cool point's maybe some one will put it on youtube
     
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