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Old September 14, 2013, 03:25 PM   #1
Jim March
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What exactly happens when you hit somebody with over 1,000lumens at night?

It turns out flashlights have become more powerful of late. My fiancee is dragging me all over Europe in a couple of months including flying in and out of London (ug) so...a flashlight seems to be the only practical answer. You can now get something the size of a 16oz soda can that packs 3,800 lumens. A typical "tactical" flashlight like a Streamlight with two 3v lithium CR123s puts out around 200 lumens, more than enough to blind somebody briefly. 3,800 lumens to the face...well...yikes, right?

What IS the effect of 2,000+ lumens to the face in dim lighting?

Limitations: I have to be able to disable it completely in the luggage or it could set the dang plane on fire in the middle of the Atlantic. That means removable batteries. And it has to avoid looking like a weapon - at all.

The kings of this type of thing are the appropriately named "Tiny Monster" series from Nitecore:

http://www.amazon.com/Nitecore-TM11-...e+tiny+monster

http://www.amazon.com/Nitecore-TM15-...e+tiny+monster

http://www.amazon.com/Nitecore-TM11-...e+tiny+monster

These are powered by either eight CR123s or four 18650 longer LiIon rechargeable critters.

On a more limited budget, this thing at 2700 lumens runs on three 18650s or six CR123s making it a bit more compact:

http://www.lightjunction.com/Eagleta...ashlights.html

I think that's the one I'm going to go for - no "aggressive smashing front ring" that can get it labeled a weapon, also doesn't have the length that makes it look like a bludgeon.

It does of course have a full-powered strobe function on a random pattern, the latest in "so you're not epileptic, eh? We'll see about THAT!" technology.

Anybody used anything in this class personally? Any idea what would happen if I strobe a knife-armed mugger with this kind of thing?

I plan to also carry a smaller light, my normal carry dual-CR123 160lumen piece worth $40 or so...THAT is what I'd bludgeon somebody with, not a $100-plus critter . I'll keep that on their eyes...

Thoughts? Known effects of this class of light in either continious or strobe modes?
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Old September 14, 2013, 10:00 PM   #2
raimius
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You are going to carry one of those in a pocket?
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Old September 14, 2013, 10:16 PM   #3
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I can almost guarantee that customs, especially in England, will demand you prove it is not a weapon of some kind, and then want to know why you need such a powerful flashlight. Is it a laser? Are you a burglar? A terrorist? Are you going to blind the driver of a VIP's car or an airplane pilot? Interfere with aircraft?

Answers?

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Old September 14, 2013, 10:18 PM   #4
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If you are take it to England, remember they DO NOT have 60 cycle power. You will need to get an adapter to recharge them. Or take a lot of extra batteries with.

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Old September 14, 2013, 10:20 PM   #5
Jim March
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Well the one with six CR123s and 2,700 lumens isn't that bad. Still not pocket carry material(!) but a small belt rig, no problem. It's a lot smaller than Maurice that will be left back stateside .

I think having it engraved "ChavChaser 9000" is probably a bad idea .

Anyways. Question remains, what happens when you hit somebody with this class of light at night?
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Old September 14, 2013, 10:23 PM   #6
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There are dozens of flashlight companies doing absolutely amazing things with current generation LED and battery technology.

How about this... just a pinch bigger than a chapstick. I've got one, goes with me everywhere, nothing brighter for the size:
http://www.eagletac.com/html/d25crc/index.html
You can use a 3.7v RCR123A battery in this torch to direct drive the LED and get 750 lumens. You only get about 5 minutes at that brightness before it reaches a thermal cut... but plenty of time to escape.
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Old September 14, 2013, 10:28 PM   #7
Jim March
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James K: I think this model in particular has a good chance of going un-noticed:

http://www.lightjunction.com/Eagleta...ashlights.html

I plan on packing it with no batteries installed, carry batteries in factory sealed packs. I can get pairs of Surefire CR123s at $5 a pop at Lowes so $30 worth of batteries should supply me for the whole trip, solving the voltage thing. This also means that turning it on in customs will be something they probably won't even consider. At that point it's just a flashlight - one that lacks any kind of "bludgeon length/heft", and doesn't have an aggressive toothy smashing end (either end). So, yeah, I don't see a huge issue here.

Size really isn't that bad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_oAkmsPWFo

There's no laser, no ability to attack aircraft. About the only thing that might give them pause is the random strobe mode and I don't plan on packing the manual that shows how to get to it! So even if they get to a point of unpacking the batteries and loading it up, I can set it so the initial turn-on (single button, light touch) is to one of the lower-power modes .

On the other hand, two "deep clicks" and it's in "holy crap!" mode .
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Old September 15, 2013, 12:21 AM   #8
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If you’re looking for self defense I suspect one of the small 200 lumen models will serve you pretty well and also fit discreetly in your bag or pocket. Just a word of caution even when aiming these away the glare can be disorienting when the subject is fairly close to you.
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Old September 15, 2013, 12:44 AM   #9
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I have a light that is only 950 lumen and it will blind anyone you light up with it.

I can shine the 950 on my hand for a few seconds and it gets pretty hot. The fact that it will temporarily blind someone makes it a defensive weapon.

I'd say you wouldn't need quite as much as 2700 lumen, about half that would probably work to blind an attacker in dim light. My 950 will make the room brighter even in the daytime, if your eyes are dilated at all it's def. going to blind you for a bit.

Something else you could use is a camera flash, if you can find one of the flash attachments that go on high end cameras, those will blind you in low light for sure, and they make a cool whining noise while they're recharging, would probably make an attacker think his ears are ringing and that you shot him between the eyes.
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Old September 15, 2013, 08:30 AM   #10
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There's lots of things that can be used for a defensive weapon, that can be acquired on the other side.
Having a hassle at customs or borders is no fun.
One drawback to depending on a bright light for a weapon is that thugs generally travel in packs.
And getting an accurate shot at even one guy's eyes is iffy.
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Old September 15, 2013, 08:48 AM   #11
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A strobe can be an excellent defense, particularly an intense flashlight.
We had used strobes as an optical defense in the past, and they are incredibly disorienting. A bright flashlight with a 15-20 Hz strobe makes about 90% of the people have to look away, and causes seizures in about 5%. Most strobes are slower than this, but a few speciality units designed to grab attention use these frequencies.

DHS also had a high profile program few years ago but it was quietly shelved, possibly because of the potential for inducing epileptic seizures.

Good luck, have a safe trip.
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Old September 15, 2013, 09:28 AM   #12
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I like the idea of those super bright little flash lights, I don't know about traveling abroad, but.

A bit off topic. In my Lady SD classes I always get asked about going to places where guns aren't allowed? How about pepper spray, mace, etc.

I discourage pepper spray & mace. Sure they work, but most places where you can't carry a gun, pepper spray/mace are also illegal.

BUT, I've never heard of a place where hair spray is considered illegal. No one thinks it's odd for a lady to carry hair spray. Hair spray to the face is just about as effective as pepper spray. It will disable a bandit long enough for you to de lai the area.
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Old September 15, 2013, 09:54 AM   #13
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I am a pseudo expert on these lights because I have quite a few which I use for work and personal use. Here are some points to consider:

- Whenever there was a big storm around here about to hit the only batteries left in the store were AA. Even if there were no batteries left the most likely battery to be found around the house is AA. The last few storms knocked the power out for over a week so I made it a point to have quite a few flashlights/lanterns which operate on AA along with a small supply of CR123.

- CR123 batteries are made with lithium which is not as stable as alkaline. There have been a few stories of fires and small explosions with lithium. We only get our CR123 direct from Surefire because its too much of a risk getting it elsewhere. Lets say you buy some duracell off of Amazon then there is a chance it will be fake.

- There are restrictions on lithium batteries on airplanes. No idea what they might be because Ive never had to deal with them, but there are regulations.

- The security at foreign airports can be greater then at US airports. I remember at one airport in Mexico they wouldnt let me go aboard with some nail clippers which had a small file on it. A large menacing flashlight might be a no-go.

- A blinding light might make a self defense situation go either way. It could make it better or worse.

When I travel I carry a small 1 AA Fenix led light on my key ring.. Its more powerful then a standard 2 cell flashlight and very compact. When traveling you will not need more light then what it provides.

Last edited by johnelmore; September 15, 2013 at 10:01 AM.
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Old September 15, 2013, 10:03 AM   #14
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I have no idea what kind of permanent damage can bee done to someone with these, but I'm pretty sure customs would have no reason to question you on the light especially if it is out of its packaging, I mean how could they possibly know how powerful it is? just pack it in the suitcase if you are worried.
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Old September 15, 2013, 10:18 AM   #15
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I just looked and my travel light is the Fenix LD15 and the light I use for work is the Fenix PD35. The PD35 is 850 lumens and uses 2 CR123. It is pocketable. The LD15 is 115 lumens and uses 1 AA battery.

The LD15 is a great go around light. It will provide enough illumination to get through a dark area. The PD35 is a beast. It can be used easily for searching an area. The strobe is as bright as the lighting on a police car. You can see the strobe from a few football fields away in daylight.

The better lights in my opinion are the AA based because of the supply issues.
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Old September 15, 2013, 10:23 AM   #16
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Jim,

Get a flashlight that has variable output.

Get it so it CAN go to 3000 Lumen. but it can be toned down to 200 or so.

That way you can show them the low setting and how you use it and the higher setting is if there is an emergency where extra lighting is needed.

BUT DO NOT SAY IT'S TO DEFEND YOURSELF WITH.

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Old September 15, 2013, 10:47 AM   #17
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Quote:
I can almost guarantee that customs, especially in England, will demand you prove it is not a weapon of some kind---
Seriously, is it that bad? (I haven't traveled internationally since forever so I don't have any experience.)

I mean, don't they sell these high power flashlights in England anyway? Since a guy could go into an English store and just buy one after they got off the plane why would customs get bent out of shape seeing one in your luggage?

One note about carrying a lot of batteries. In the dark ages of film cameras if you carried a lot of film customs let you off easier if the film was NOT in the factory boxes. In the factory boxes they thought you might be going to sell it on their economy, outside the boxes the film was much less saleable. That might apply to the batteries too - I don't know where you could check on this..
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Old September 15, 2013, 12:33 PM   #18
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YES. It is this bad. They might search you to the point where you will be angry.

For example...I flew from Saint Martin to JFK. I was searched once as I walked into the airport then there was another search point then came US customs where they pulled me into the secondary inspection area for no reason. Once all my bags were thoroughly xrayed and my personal items dumped everywhere I went on my way. Then right as it was time to get on the plane these guards come out with folding tables to do yet another search. Again my belongings dumped on the jetway for me to pick up.

The Philippines...we pull into the airport with a taxi and before we get to the terminal they stop us at a checkpoint with armed dudes going through my bag. Next as we enter the terminal there is a checkpoint where all my stuff is dumped and a dog barking at everyone. Then comes customs and yet another belonging dump. Finally another third checkpoint through a detector and everyone gets frisked.

Need I go on. Dont take anything the least bit questionable overseas.
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Old September 15, 2013, 01:53 PM   #19
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The OP would also do well to check the latest TSA rules on the transporting of batteries, especially lithium batteries. The last time I looked lithium batteries could not be transported in checked baggage.
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Old September 15, 2013, 01:56 PM   #20
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Saw an interesting safety video of thermal runaway in a laptop's lithium battery; I suspect Frank is correct, and they will be carry-on only. (I don't know if those batteries would be easily purchased in the UK, but that could be another option.)
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Old September 15, 2013, 02:51 PM   #21
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What exactly happens when you hit somebody with over 1,000lumens at night?

I'd personally carry it on without any concern. I am talking about the one that does not have a glass smashing face ring on it.

If you get questioned don't be all informed like you know everything about it. Be another dumb American. "Uhh, its a flashlight guys, I use it to find things in the dark." That's all you know about it.
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Old September 15, 2013, 03:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
(I don't know if those batteries would be easily purchased in the UK, but that could be another option.)
You can certainly get CR123a batteries in England with no problem. At worst, you would just need to go to a camera shop. You can find 18650s there online just like here.
http://www.flashaholics.co.uk/batter...batteries.html
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Old September 15, 2013, 04:04 PM   #23
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Re: What exactly happens when you hit somebody with over 1,000lumens at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnelmore View Post
YES. It is this bad. They might search you to the point where you will be angry.

For example...I flew from Saint Martin to JFK. I was searched once as I walked into the airport then there was another search point then came US customs where they pulled me into the secondary inspection area for no reason. Once all my bags were thoroughly xrayed and my personal items dumped everywhere I went on my way. Then right as it was time to get on the plane these guards come out with folding tables to do yet another search. Again my belongings dumped on the jetway for me to pick up.

The Philippines...we pull into the airport with a taxi and before we get to the terminal they stop us at a checkpoint with armed dudes going through my bag. Next as we enter the terminal there is a checkpoint where all my stuff is dumped and a dog barking at everyone. Then comes customs and yet another belonging dump. Finally another third checkpoint through a detector and everyone gets frisked.

Need I go on. Dont take anything the least bit questionable overseas.
Wow, sound like you have had some bad luck cases.

I've been on a bunch of international flight and I never have issues. Maybe you do something that makes yourself look suspicious? It would be impossible for you to tell, since it's your natural behavior.. The only thing I have ever had was a quick pat down, finger testing for bomb material or going through my carry on if I forgot to take out a liquid.

Btw, look into getting the new global access and precheck program. It will be make both your customs and tsa line experiences much more pleasant.
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Old September 15, 2013, 04:30 PM   #24
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No it was not my behavior. On flights out of Central, South America and the islands its common for them to come out with folding tables to search everyone boarding the plane especially in flights into New York. At every foreign airport, especially ones in third world countries, they sometimes have 2-3 searches before you get on the plane. Some foreign terminals wont let you in the terminal itself without a search.

As a general rule, if you are checking the internet wondering whether or not you should take it aboard...you probably should leave it at home.
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Old September 15, 2013, 04:46 PM   #25
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What exactly happens when you hit somebody with over 1,000lumens at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnelmore View Post
As a general rule, if you are checking the internet wondering whether or not you should take it aboard...you probably should leave it at home.
I would typically agree with you but we are talking about a flashlight here.

To answer the OP I have no clue what putting 2700 lumens into someone's retina in a dark environment would do.

Look up the lumens on a genuine "club" strobe light. Those suckers are bright and people look into them. You see spots for a couple minutes but no noticeable permanent damage.
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