The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Gear and Accessories

Thread Tools
Old July 25, 2010, 11:00 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: October 26, 2009
Posts: 276
Tactical lights

When I see advertisements saying this flashlight has brilliant 100 lumen power I shake my head and move on.

But I sit up and my jaw drops when I find gun writers saying something like, "My 60 lumen light will blind him instantly."

I'd really like to see some comments on this subject. I got a "tactical" flashlight for $25 that was 150 lumens. True, it was brighter than an LED light from your nearest grocery store, but not by that much. Shining them on a wall, it put out about half what my 2 D cell incandescent Maglite put out.

More recently I turned down the opportunity to buy a 200 lumen light but bought a tactical flashlight that was not only _MUCH_ simpler to use than my first one, but at its highest setting put out 700 lumens (I never admit how much I paid for it). When I made the mistake of looking into it I really saw a blind spot for hours afterward. It is far brighter than my 3 D cell incandescent Maglite. At night I can see it hitting treetops a quarter mile away and it's not much longer than the 150 light and smaller in the middle (CR123 batteries).

Anybody out there have any blindingly brilliant 60 or 100 lumen lights?
Sue Walmart and Kmart for selling millions of inferior brains.

JimL is offline  
Old July 25, 2010, 11:09 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: June 24, 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 769
I have a 235 lumen LED light I got from Gander Mountain for like $35 (just looked it up, seems the price went up). One of the best purchases from them I ever made (had a gift card, made it even better). My only complaint is that the switch is on the side, not the back. When I first got it I also made the mistake of shining it in my eyes. Not only the blind spot but I had a huge headache the rest of the day. I can't imagine what 700 lumens would be like. Mine also takes CR123s.

I think when someone says that a 60 lumen light will blind an attacker, they may be referring to an attack at night or in the dark. It won't take much to activate all the rods and cones in a person's retina and cause that "flashbang" effect if their pupil is wide open gathering all the light it can. The much brighter lights, like ours, create such a huge blast of light that it could temporarily stun the attacker if they are looking directly into it. Even if they aren't looking into it, they can't look at it at all, giving you an advantage. I carry mine to school because I can't carry my firearm on campus
gtalk:renfes steamID: Sefner
Sefner is offline  
Old July 25, 2010, 01:15 PM   #3
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
Posts: 10,226
I wish flashlight makers like Surefire would quit advertising their lights as weapons. They aren't light sabers or lasers, just lights.

The whole notion of lumens seems to be a bit screwy in terms of how many equals what seen brightness. I have a 230 lumen LED light that is only slighty brighter than a 100 lumen LED light, but it has a greater throw. It is considerably brighter than my 120 lumen xenon light, however (all tested with fresh batteries)

By the same claims, I have a little 50 cent keychain LED light that runs on a coin battery that will blind you at interview distance. I have a $2 laser that will do real eye damage at 100 yards.

So you can "blind" somebody with your flashlight. What does that mean? Not a whole lot as near as I can tell. On some, it may slow them down if they are not determined. Those that are determined will go for the light since the light is attached to you, either shooting toward the light or attacking toward the light. Being "blinded" by the light is not the same thing as being incapacitated, but reading the advertisements and claims by some of the manufacturers, you would think that their little 1-3 celled CR123 battery lights worked well enough to replace tasers.

Based on my experience, a realy bright flashlight doesn't stop a charging dog. It may mess up his aim a bit, but that gets corrected once he runs into you.

Yep, in the old days, the P60 xenon lamp module (60 lumens) was the bees' knees in self defense and Surefire was the go-to brand. Now lights regularly report being 150 lumens or more and are made by numerous manufacturers and are of very good quality for much less cost. Now that they have gone to circuit regulated power and LED lights, the amount of light remains uniform longer, generates less heat, and often runs for a longer period of time with the bulbs not burning out...not before most of us have otherwise lost or damaged our lights.
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher."
-- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
Double Naught Spy is offline  
Old July 25, 2010, 01:33 PM   #4
Join Date: February 5, 2007
Posts: 40
I just got an Insight 80 lumen LED light for pictinny rails (spelling?) and I mounted it on my shotgun. It is blinding so I have to say if you were hit with that in the eyes at any distance in a house it would blind you and then allow me to see you better.

Unless you had one pointed at me.

But I am very happy with it and it cost $99 at my local gunshop. It says its unbreakable. That is another test for another day.
cybor462 is offline  
Old July 25, 2010, 01:38 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Posts: 2,098
I ordered a few of these Klutch flashlights with Cree bulb a few months ago. I'm very pleased with it. It is every bit as bright as my Sure Fire Z2 Combatlight (with LED lamp) and it doesn't eat CR123 batteries like M&M's....

Not bad for $50
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." -Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights.
jgcoastie is offline  
Old July 25, 2010, 02:59 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: October 26, 2009
Posts: 276
The whole notion of lumens seems to be a bit screwy in terms of how many equals what seen brightness.
None of the methods I've seen for reporting light brightness is foolproof, because there are too many scientific variables. Like percentage of reflectance and angle (broad or narrow) of reflectance - even whether there _is_ a reflector. There is also the matter of whether you measure intensity at a point or over a relatively broad area. A light with a super bright point might not light an overall area worth a toot.

But it makes it even worse when different makers use different reporting methods with different degrees of correctness - even considering variables.

Those that are determined will go for the light since the light is attached to you, either shooting toward the light or attacking toward the light.
A recent post elsewhere told of a nasty encounter in which the homeowner took a .40 in the side. An interesting side to me on that was that he was against one wall of the hall, switched off his light, moved to the other side of the hall, switched it on again and took out (another) BG permanently. I had never come across the idea of turning it on and off before, but it makes sense. (He didn't even know when he took the bullet.)

Edit: Turning a light on and off gets into the whole game of how the switching is set up.
Sue Walmart and Kmart for selling millions of inferior brains.


Last edited by JimL; July 25, 2010 at 03:04 PM.
JimL is offline  
Old July 25, 2010, 03:08 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: October 26, 2009
Posts: 276
it doesn't eat CR123 batteries like M&M's....
The newest circuits mentioned earlier make a huge difference in that. I've put a lot of time on mine, usually on low or medium (it's great to have 3 settings), and it shows no sign of quitting.
Sue Walmart and Kmart for selling millions of inferior brains.

JimL is offline  
Old July 25, 2010, 03:41 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: July 21, 2010
Posts: 240
I have a (3) plain ole Surefire P60 (60 lumens) & it works just fine for me. I have used it in combat, for camping, fishing, hunting...nothing wrong with them & best of all, they were free to me...thanks to the USMC. They are plenty bright enough to obstrut the vision of a person & plenty bright enough to light up an are when clearing it out. I'm know that there is brighter ones out there, but I don't need it.
Hoskins is offline  
Old July 26, 2010, 04:36 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: February 7, 2007
Location: The South
Posts: 4,239
Originally Posted by Jiml
Anybody out there have any blindingly brilliant 60 or 100 lumen lights?
One of my latest upgrades is my Surefire G2 upgraded to a Cree R5 LED with about 240 lumen's. My favorite light for throw (long distance spot) is my Streamlight Ultra Stinger upgraded to a TerraLux LED that gives 300 lumen's.

Here is the deal. The flashlight world was pretty stable for many years, now with the advent of the really bright LED's things have changed. It's hard to keep up with the new lights coming out. One thing is clear, incandescent bulbs in the ranges up to 500 lumen's are about dead. Consider this, the old standby Mag 3D incan light is about 40 lumens, now you can easily get 200 lumen lights that will fit in the palm of your hand.

Now the latest is that you can get high lumen lights that use AAA, AA, or C cells instead of CR123.

Will 200 lumens or so blind the BG? I don't know, but if it's dark, then it will put up a wall of light that he has a hard time seeing through. And that could be a critical advantage.

Added: If you want the wow range, then consider some of the new HID (high intensity discharge) lights. Now you are talking hand held with several thousand lumens. Did I mention they cost a lot.

Last edited by madmag; July 26, 2010 at 04:41 PM.
madmag is offline  
Old July 26, 2010, 07:08 PM   #10
Join Date: February 22, 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 38
I just picked up a couple of LED gun lights, a 240 Lumen Compact Tactical Pistol Light Quick Release and it is for one of my Sigs (either 220 or 226) and you do not want that thing shining on ya, it is not pleasant in the day. Another is CREE Q5 270 lumens max high power LED for my 18 1/2" 12 gauge. And just for fun a 2-MODE 300L Q4 CREE LED FLASHLIGHT LAMP (for a little over $10).
I went into the living room for 5 minutes and then walked into the bedroom and had my wife turn on the Compact light just for a second, and let me tell ya, I could not see anything except light spots for quite a while. This would have done two things, allowed me to fire (and I already know my room layout quite well and where someone would be) and as a bad guy it would have been almost impossible for me to have reacted in a threat manner, except to "pull" the hell out of my trigger at that moment no matter where I was pointing! And I have been in a jungle during rock and roll moments. Showed me that they can be an aid, but the real solution, no.

Last edited by a1bigtuna; July 27, 2010 at 12:26 AM.
a1bigtuna is offline  
Old July 27, 2010, 10:39 AM   #11
Junior member
Join Date: March 13, 2008
Location: AZ
Posts: 1,129
I've been buying Solarforce lights from

The guys at Candlepowerforums call them the legos of flashlights. For 30-50 bucks you can get a very bright Cree 1 mode light (I hate multi mode lights for tactical applications) that is pretty awesome.... hand held or weapon mounted...

demigod is offline  

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:55 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09588 seconds with 9 queries