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Old May 15, 2008, 12:46 PM   #1
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Lighting with regard to HD

I've been thinking more and more about what I should/shouldn't do in the event of an intruder.

I don't really want to give a scenario because it the semantics seem to confuse the answers.

If an intruder is in your house, do you ever want to turn on the lights in your house, bedroom, room where the intruder is? Should one use a flashlight to approach the intruder? Do you go completely dark, no lights? What do you do?

Any opinions welcome.
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Old May 15, 2008, 02:23 PM   #2
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I'm of the general opinion that darkness is your friend. Also, in a place like your home that you know very well, you're going to have a definite advantage at moving around quickly and quietly in the dark, whereas walking around with a flashlight is going to advertise your presence.

That said, I think a lot depends on the scenario. If all the lights are off and your eyes are adapted to the dark, as if you were asleep and woken up by a noise, I'd probably leave everything dark until I had a better idea of what was happening. A strong flashlight is great for lighting up (and hopefully blinding) the intruder when the time comes, but you have to find him first.

On the other hand, if you're awake and have the lights on, turning them off would just leave you impaired, so there'd be more of an incentive to turn on the lights or use a flashlight as you check rooms.

In general I'd say as long as your night vision is functional, use it as much as you can.
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Old May 15, 2008, 02:46 PM   #3
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Consider where you might be if an intruder enters. At night you will probably be in your bedroom. You might consider rearranging your house wiring so a flick of a switch will light up every area but that one. Or one that will put a spotlight on at the top of the stairs while leaving the hall and bedroom dark.

Do you really want to go after an intruder in a dark house? Maybe not. You're just awake from a sound sleep. Have you had house-clearing/tactical training? After all, your job is to keep your family alive and remain alive yourself. Your posessions are replaceable. A lot of people have said to hole up in a barricadable room, call the cops, and wait it out. Get to where you can see and shoot him before he can see and shoot you and stay put. Get a good alarm (CPI, ADT) with a housewide speaker/monitor and panic button by your bed. If his entrance doesn't set it off, the buttom will and I'll bet he'll run.

NEVER hunt for an intruder with a flashlight on your gun or in your hand. Think what a target that presents!
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Old May 15, 2008, 02:49 PM   #4
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This is particular to my house. An intruder would have to come up a narrow stairway to get to my wife and I. He would have a small night light behind him. This would silouhette him while I waited in the dark. I think that is a good situation to be in...him lit up and me in the shadows.

If the BG is outside and may be looking in, you want to be in the dark. Even with small night lights, he will see you if you move about. I once had this happen. Armed robbers shot at a police officer right outside my house. They dumped their car there and fled out behind my house. That led to woods. I immediately turned off all the lights inside, and lit up the back with my floods. The officer was out by his cruiser waiting for back up, so my back lights did not expose him. I waited inside with my revolver in case they came around to take a shot at the officer. I could see everything outside, but I was (hopefully) not visible to the BG's.

No, I did not get a shot, but the officer told me that he appreciated the effort.
If you can't solve the problem with six shots, you probably can't solve the problem. - Jeff Cooper
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Old May 15, 2008, 04:35 PM   #5
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I'm a fan of keeping the lights off as long as you have a good flashlight and especially if you can not turn all your lights on at once. And, I mean a good flashlight, not the dollar store special with a couple of C batteries. A bright light shined into a bad guy's eyes has a positive effect. Surefire makes a great little flashlight (G2 nitrolon) that will run you $35 or so. There are a bunch of good ones out there. Make sure it is something that runs off of Lithium 123 batteries or is a quality rechargeable type like Streamlights.

The downside to you moving in a dark house with a flashlight is the light can give away your position but this can work in your favor if he is moving towards you with a light. Unless you are trained, I wouldn't search the house. Take up a position of cover, keep the lights off, get your gun in one hand and your light in the other. When you get the chance call 911 and wait for the trained response to arrive.
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Old May 16, 2008, 10:17 AM   #6
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This is some great advice!

We have a one story house, all the doors at one end in the living areas, then all the bedrooms at the other end of a narrow hallway. Our bedroom is at the end with a clear view of all internal doorways in the house. The living room is at the western end and our bedroom is at the eastern end of the hallway. A small night-light in the living room would do good to cast shadows and silhouettes of any intruders, while minimizing the light cast on myself. The intruder's form would actually block most of the light from hitting my end of the hallway.

Then I can send my rottweiler mix down the hall after him.
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Old May 16, 2008, 11:03 PM   #7
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I would rather have as many lights on as possible. Having lights come on just might cause him (them) to run off. A flashlight beam may not be wide enough to see one guy's face and his weapon let alone more than one. And I'd want to be darn sure who I'm shooting at if I ever needed to pull the trigger inside my own house like that.

I may be completely up in the night but my gut votes for lights.
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Old May 19, 2008, 01:56 PM   #8
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My vote is for dark ... and to stay where you are if you don't need to round up your family. It's just my wife and I, one story, our bedroom at one end of the house with a door to the back patio ... I'd tend to keep the bedroom door locked, set up against a wall with my Surefire and 1911, call 911 and wait for reinforcements. If somebody broke into the bedroom, blast them with the light and shoot them ... Nobody belongs in my house but us, but I'm not going to get killed over a TV or computer ... If our lives are truly threatened, all bets are off ...
"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants." Albert Camus
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