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Old July 28, 2012, 10:00 AM   #26
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A bright flashlight will not blind anyone for an extended period of time, at least not the current technology. With regard to car headlights, one must keep in mind that it is a wide beam and when aimed properly is directed toward the pavement.

Highbeams on the other hand are just that, brighter headlights aimed further up. If everyone drove with their highbeams on, I guarantee you that there would be a heck of a lot more accidents at night. I'm sure some of us can remember back in the days in their misspent yewth, they used to do just that - flash highbeams and blind people on dark roads. Never me of course!

A 200+ lumen flashlight with a highly focused beam will blind a person if it is night-time dark (keyword dark when one's pupils are dilated) even if it is only for a few seconds. Precious seconds that count if you're trying to get away or shoot them.
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Old July 28, 2012, 02:59 PM   #27
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The light output range I provided encompasses both typical highbeams and lowbeams. I've been hit in the eyes many times with highbeams when driving at night and have never been temporarily blinded, nor had my vision temporarily knocked out.

I do agree that a very bright light shined in a dark-adapted person's eyes might buy you a second or two under ideal conditions, but even at close range I think it's an exaggeration to say that person would be temporarily blinded.

I've tested my various bright flashlights (100-850 lumens) in the dark by shining them at myself in a mirror, and while it's obviously unpleasant and does cause some level of visual impairment when trying to look directly at the beam (some pretty nasty, but small, washed out spots in your vision), I've never experienced anything I would equate with being temporarily blinded.
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Old July 28, 2012, 04:51 PM   #28
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It depends on your dark adaptation state. If you were truly in the dark for 30 minutes, a Surefire in the face close up will make you wince.

But - the movie theatres with a show on are not total dark adaptation. A significant distance and it is just a bright spot.

I've been an opponent in very dark venue and guys with Surefire type flashlights are easy to pick off, esp. if they aren't aimed directly at you. Even if they are, you can shoot right at them. This is at large room distances.
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Old July 29, 2012, 02:16 AM   #29
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My Surefire is 200 Lumen's, I think as it is sitting lens down in a Glock 9mm mag-pouch, very assessable.

Fairly close up, I think it would temp. blind a person, the stream of 9mm 147g non Plus P WW Hollow Points, following that flash of light, might do the trick.

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Old July 29, 2012, 02:06 PM   #30
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I have seen a dozen threads on "tactical" flashlights.

Most posters don't think these lights are of much use, but most also agree they will disorient you or impact your vision for only "a few seconds".

Yet; in other threads on quick draw or a knife attack from 21 feet they make a lot over tenths of a second.

If you are in a armed fight with me and give me a few tenths of a second, that's an advantage. If you give me "a few seconds", you're dead before it starts.

If I'm armed only with a light and get those same "few seconds", I'm not there when you recover. You may have weathered the "minor annoyance" but I get to go home alive.

My 500 lumen light weighs about 2 ounces, and fits in any pocket. It's a worthy addition to any arsonal.
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Old July 29, 2012, 02:13 PM   #31
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Care to share the info on a 500 lumen pocket light?

I would be very much interested in one myself.


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Old July 29, 2012, 03:27 PM   #32
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I don't know, in a situation where somebody is shooting indiscriminately, pointing a flashlight at him is like yelling "I'm here, shoot this way!". If I had a gun, illuminating him for a moment to sight better will be a good idea, if I'm unarmed, I don't want to attract any more attention to myself than necessary.
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Old July 29, 2012, 03:53 PM   #33
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Subject is a bit of a stretch. In that situation, I am on the ground headed for the door. You can try to be a hero and deter him, but more than likely its going to end badly for you.
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Old July 29, 2012, 07:38 PM   #34
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Thoughts on this light?

900 lumens advertised, $16?

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Old July 29, 2012, 08:10 PM   #35
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The link has several reviews, and the reviewers seem to like the light but several mentioned that based on comparison with other lights they owned they thought it was closer to 500 lumens than 900. That's still pretty impressive.

Make sure you can readily get batteries for it.
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Old July 30, 2012, 02:49 AM   #36
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kraigwy,Sorry I am slow to get back.Mines a Surefire G2 something.Search Surefire 200 lumen

FWIW,the OP was "non lethal when you are not carrying"and"I am not going into the theatre shooting"

Y'all write about whatever you want,no problem.My comments on the flashlight apply to the OP.I'm saying,no,I don't want to shine my flashlight at somebody who is shooting.

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Old July 30, 2012, 06:08 PM   #37
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It's a SolarForce L-2. I picked it up with the weapons grade hardened bezel at a gunshow for $50.


If I start shining it around the movie theater, I'm gonna get nailed.
Same thing if you start blasting everywhere with a gun. Wait for the right shot.

But, if the BG gets up too close, I point it right in his face and give a 1/2 second burst. Then I'm gone with the wind.

If he doesn't see me, I won't gve myself away.

As with any tactical tool, tactics are everything.
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Old July 30, 2012, 08:11 PM   #38
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Thanks for the link on the FDA regulation of lasers, Glenn. This would effect commercial availability of industrial/professional-class laser products (controlled products/substances). 'Demonstration' lasers seem to be the class (exempt) of lasers you see in the store(s). The only federal criminal provision I found was analogous to the State crime of interference with operation of aircraft. Regardless, tort liability and potential criminal charges as well as the compromise of one's grounds for self-defense (with use of a laser to blind), would be enough caution against.

The Surefire's a little less than I remembered for a 200 lumens light, and 500 lumens doesn't seem a terrible stretch anymore. Cost for CR123A batteries seem to be getting less, as well. Thanks for the links, guys.
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Old July 30, 2012, 09:04 PM   #39
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try 1600 lumens

think that will blind you for a few seconds.

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Old August 1, 2012, 12:04 AM   #40
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white lights/flash lights; Italian cruise ship incident(2011)...

I didn't read all the forum posts but wanted to add a few remarks.

The "tactical flashlight" & "white light" product line has greatly improved in the last 5-10 years. Strobe features, LEDs, IR-red light formats, Li battery designs, lenses, etc offer a lot to the armed citizen or officer(police, security, corrections).
I've even seen new "distraction" methods where you can toss bright white lights or strobes to distort an attacker(s).
Some common sense & proper method(skill training) should be included when using a small white light. I highly doubt a Surefire or 5.11/Blackhawk type unit would prevent a CO movie theater type assault but in a rapid, CQB(close quarters) type attack, a strobe or bright flash may give you time to flee or access another(better) weapon; a pistol, OC spray, Taser, etc.
In early 2012, I spoke to a former cruise line employee/entertainer who worked on a ship that was in the same area as the big ship disaster off the coast in Italy. I remarked how I'd tote a small white light to aid me if needed on a ship. White lights(flash lights) can be used for more than just defense.


PS: Gun writer & use of force instructor, Massad Ayoob has pointed out that flash lights can be toted with ease & do not have to be concealed.
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Old August 7, 2012, 05:48 PM   #41
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500 Lumen light

Olight M20S-X Warrior 500 Lumen LED Flashlight

5.5 inches long, push on - push off switch on end
Strobe switch on side, so you can always get the mode you want easily

I got one here:

for $90
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Old August 11, 2012, 10:51 PM   #42
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I'm a BRAND new guy here so please be forgiving if I ask something that's already been answered.

I'm a strong proponent of flashlights as a tool in lieu of or in support of a handgun. However, I've got a problem that many of you probably share. Read on.

I've had, for 3 years, a Surefire 6P in the pocket on the door of my truck. It stays there. I'm worried when it's not there. I carry it in my jacket pocket when weather requires a jacket. I finally moved into the 21st century and bought an LED conversion for it and I love it even more. It's a little big, and a little heavy, for pocket carry. And, my wife is also interested in a bright light that she could carry on her keychain.

The surefire has really spoiled me with the "on/off" tail cap. I'd love to have a single cell CR123A battery light that'd fit in my pocket and would be light enough for her to carry on a keychain.

However, for her, I think push button on/off is a MUST. Scenario: walking out of the big box store, plastic bags dangling from one hand, keys in the other...

I can't find a light over about 20-25 lumens that fits the bill. I think the streamlight is actually 10 lumens. As a defensive weapon, I feel that brightness and push button are mandatory. I've read lots of amazon reviews and most lights that rate well aren't being used defensively.

Suggestions? Thoughts?

Thanks, New guy,

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Old August 12, 2012, 05:42 PM   #43
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Fenix makes some single AA models that provide up around 100 lumens with a tailcap pushbutton.
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Old August 12, 2012, 06:01 PM   #44
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I carry this, and it works pretty well for me.
I have it set so it puts out 20 lumens - nice for finding the remote under the couch etc - and if you twist the bezel 1/2 rotation it ups to the 200 lumens.
I had a very bright streamlight for awhile, but I found that 90% of what I wanted a light for the brightness was distracting - and it burned through batteries too fast.
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Old August 13, 2012, 09:13 AM   #45
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Thanks. Will check out fenix and I did check out the link. Wish it had a keychain hook.
I want something REALLY bright, but to make sure she carries it requires that it be easy. She doesn't like guns (doesn't care that I do and understands) and I want it to be both a tool and a defensive weapon.
Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old August 13, 2012, 09:19 PM   #46
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This notion of blinding people is very interesting for the Aurora theater situation. Going through the Terminator, Clint Smith explained to us how his champion groundskeeper (who happened to be a fine shooter) would single-handedly take out SWAT and other tactical teams and sometimes survive, but against 1 and 2 man situations, virtually never lost...all during night ops, him with a pistol and the tactical folks with their pistols, or even semi-auto or selectfire long guns (simunitions). Being "blinded" wasn't a problem despite not having the benefit of a giant screen playing a movie to illuminate the Terminator for him and he didn't use a light.

People talk about disorienting strobes. Great. I have strobes on a few lights. I hate them. The really good ones make for a stop action animation that can make it difficult for me to track moving targets. As for the affect on people, sure, it may bother some, but most folks really aren't bothered. My kids used to take my lights to use the for their dancing. They liked the effect.

So you are in the theater and you breakout our your mini tactical light to blind and disorient the shooter, but you are still in the middle of the seats and your egress is based on the people to either side of you getting out first, maybe those in front of you if you opt to go over the seats. The gunman sees the light because it is in his face. Where will he be shooting? Sure you can protect yourself. Hold the light high and off to the side, FBI style. That way you draw fire to the people behind and off to the side of you. Great job. If I am behind you and I see you doing that, because I can't stop the shooter as a regular patron there, then I am stopping you from your stupid tactic of holding a light up in front of me that may get me killed.

You want to blind the guy for a few seconds, but you are in a theater full of people for a new movie opening who have managed to panic their way into disorder, trampling, and general lack of control. He already knows where the exits are and being "blinded" won't keep him from seeing the EXIT signs and just shooting a few feet below the signs. The light hasn't stopped his finger from pulling the trigger. On top of that, the movie screen is going to be putting out a lot of light from time to time, maybe during the current scene. He will see a lot more than you think. This isn't a one-on-one situation where you throw down your magician's instand smoke and disappear in a flash and puff of smoke.

In a less than lethal situation, a powerful LED light in somebody's eyes does a good job of disrupting their OODA loop.
You think he will stop pulling the trigger because he is afraid of hurting somebody that he can't see? No, he will just respond to the threat and shoot at it.

Remember, the light can't be counted on as a weapon and the gunman can't be counted on to respond like a deer in headlights.

The notion isn't too far from Dan McKown who is credited with "stopping" the Tacoma Mall shooter by yelling at him. Sure, the shooter was distracted and stopped shooting other people and then pumped 3 or 5 rounds into McKown and then retired to a music store. McKown is a cripple for life. Words or a flashlight does not stop physically stop people from being able to pull the trigger.

Having a flashlight is a good thing as you are apt to be able to use one several times a day and you may need it to save yourself in some situations, but question its effectivity of being able to be used as a light weapon and understand the rammifications of the various results that may occur, including drawing all fire toward you.
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Old August 13, 2012, 10:55 PM   #47
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I carry a 200 lumen streamlight.If you do not believe it will help,go to a store the sells 200 lumen lights,point it in your own eyes at arms length,and take a shot.You will be quite visually impaired.
From my experience, the answer is "Not really". It's at most a distraction and you darn well better have something else up your sleeve.

I used to deliver newspapers when I was younger. Plenty of high output lights on motion sensors. 150 watt halogen lights put out 2400 lumens, some people had dual 200s, and even when I wasn't expecting one they would barely phase me as I went from near total darkness to fully bathed in light. Sure, it was a bit uncomfortable, but hardly something one is unfamiliar with. I just kept on going with what i was doing. Human eyes adjust very quickly going from dim light to bright light, with the caveat that the eyes need to re-focus to see fine detail. That is only a problem at longer distances though. For the person 3' in front of you you're still going to see them well enough.

People always have an internal mental map of their surroundings. I can close my eyes and walk to my bathroom without hitting anything. Even for the situation being discussed, a split second is not enough, they will still have the mental map of their surroundings and for the split second they cannot see it will be perfectly adequate to continue the attack. I once navigated out of an an unfamiliar and pitch black electrical room without serious difficulty. There was a large power surge followed by a power outage and, among the dozens of alarms going off, I heard what I THOUGHT was the inert gas fire suppression system alarm. It turned out that it WAS, but it was the fault alarm, not the 30 second countdown timer, though I didn't hang around in that room to figure that out. I like my oxygen at 21%.

Not to mention that by you using an arm to flash them, you leave yourself open to counterattack.

Such a strategy seems to be only useful if you are not in physical contact with the BG and wish to destroy their night vision, as that takes 20-30 minutes to recover.

By all means, flashlights are very useful things to have, but their effectiveness is quite limited in this case.

/My $.02
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Old August 14, 2012, 10:29 AM   #48
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I would disagree that a light will useful blind opponents in most conditions. As I said before, in most situations you are not full dark adaptation.

As an experiment, I went into our large bathroom in the dark for a couple of minutes - so I was still in cone operating range - not anywhere near full dark adaptation of rods. At about 5 feet from a large mirror, I could hold various lights - several Surefires and a Gladius next to my head with one hand. I could look right into the light and draw (an unloaded gun) and dryfire it without a flinch or a problem - straight at the light.

I also waited 7 minutes in the dark - full cone dark adaptation - and could look right into the Gladius and dry fire.

So that's about 10 feet - in a theatre or room, that's not a bad distance.

Remember your opponent may be even farther away and the light off axis to their eyes. They will probably not be in full dark adaptation. Certainly not in most urban environments.

At full 30 minute dark adapation, I did find a Surefire 9P to be disconcerting. Or if I use the light straight into my eyes at arms length at most light conditions. But that probably won't happen.

In an exercise through darkened rooms when I was the bad guy, I found the folks using flashlights easy to spot and 'shoot'.

Given a gun with an unknown number of 'rounds', I did hit a dummy in the head with a Surefire when out of ammo.

BTW, I have never found the strobes disconcerting at all. Perhaps, if John Travolta appeared and started to dance, I might be taken aback. I can look right into them. So could my daughter and her boyfriend. Never lost balance and/or felt nausea. Some people are sensitive to such.

One last thing, when you flash the light - I noticed a brief period of crappy vision for a second or two when the light ended - probably a Type A visual mask. That would screw up the light user.

In conclusion, the idea that in a theatre with a very bright movie, not full scotopic adaptation, variable distance and no guaranteed direct line on an axis to the opponent's eyes - you will blind the opponent is just not reliable.

As Tom Given's pointed out, most fights have enough ambient light that you don't need a flashlight. Not that you shouldn't carry one.

DNS is on the money. In an exercise where I was behind cover, the good guy used his light in the room to sweep it. So I used mine on him and 'shot' him.
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Old August 14, 2012, 10:39 AM   #49
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Many years ago, when this "blinding concept" was first discussed, I was teaching an instructor development course for some LE instructors, and we tested the concept. We turned off the lights on the indoor range, put a 6P through the head of the target and aimed it at the shooter. Then, the shooter, at 5 yards was to draw and fire at the center of the target. Did the flashlight blind him, so he could not get his hits? Nope. Of course, these were good shooters, and they just point shot the target.
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Old August 14, 2012, 08:34 PM   #50
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an option

just like using a .22 for defense against bears, a bright light could be used against aggressors.

Using the .22 against bears, you shoot the guy next you you in the knee and out run him.

Using the flashlight, hand it to the person next to you and say "light him up".

Personally I prefer to have a much larger firearm in both cases and duel it out. Long gun if I have a choice.

sorry, just adding a bit of humor to the conversation.
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