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Lumens and the self defense flashlight

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by dmattaponi, May 1, 2017.

  1. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    Over the last couple of years it seems that people have come to think that a so called tactical flashlight that may be used for defense need have hundreds of lumens to be a good candidate. I remember when I was a first time buyer in this market, Surefire was touting 60-65 lumens as being the threshold for the purpose. After seeing how even 100-200 lumens are disparaged today I began questioning if I was remembering wrong. Then I stumbled on to these old online ads. For your viewing pleasure...[​IMG]IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I guess those early 21st century old timers were just more capable people :)

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  2. turbo6

    turbo6 Loaded Pockets

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    Technically any light can be classified as a self defense light? I mean if it can identify a possible threat, allowing you to defend yourself that allows for a pretty broad use in light marketing.

    Personally, I think the only light for self defense would be a big Maglite..and not for its lumen capability.
     
  3. Holliday

    Holliday Loaded Pockets

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    A hundred lumens or so, would definitely briefly disorient someone in close quarters, and in relative darkness. However, if there is any ambient light and/or any kind of distance between you and the person, 65-100 lumens isn't going to have anywhere near the same punch.

    Perhaps even more important is the candela....
     
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  4. baccar-3

    baccar-3 Loaded Pockets

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    I personally would not think of a flashlight as a self defense tool (The light from it anyway)
    My concern would be that if I shined a light on someone doing something they shouldn't be doing is that they would pull their firearm and shoot my light out.
     
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  5. twoisone
    • In Omnia Paratus

    twoisone EDC Junkie!!!

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    As long as it lights the path ahead of me when I am running like heck from danger, that's a good defensive light! :)
     
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  6. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    Agree...with all of you :)

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  7. Slumber

    Slumber Loaded Pockets

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    I agree that 65 lumens 10 years ago is as bright as 65 lumens today, however, I think the big gain is that you can do more from greater distances with the higher outputs available these days. Tools evolve and so do the uses for them.
     
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  8. Weko

    Weko Loaded Pockets

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    And in the 80s, the mini maglite was being pushed as the ideal defensive light for women...as a kubotan
     
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  9. thatotherguy

    thatotherguy EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    For which purpose it would still work admirably, plus you can carry them anywhere without a bat of an eye...

    I wouldn't want to rely on light disorientation as a defensive tactic, regardless of how bright the light is. Of course, the best defense is situational awareness and removal of oneself from a threatening situation before defense is needed, but should the need arise and should the only tool I have be a flashlight, id be swinging the thing, not shining it in the perp's face.

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  10. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    Today I'm content with anything over 180 lumens for a high, a 10-20 lumen low, a 70ish lumen medium, and a sub lumen moonlight.

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  11. HardToHandle

    HardToHandle Loaded Pockets

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    Short Barrel Shepherd provided his thoughts on the query here....
    http://shortbarrelshepherd.com/force-on-force-flashlights/

    My assessment is more lumens is better. Also agree with Turbo6 that a flashlight is a tactical option, not much of an actual self defense tool.
     
  12. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks very much for the link. I look forward to reading.

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  13. Slumber

    Slumber Loaded Pockets

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  14. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    With the addition of these video links, this thread has become quite informative, and I have to say that after watching the videos, I don't have much faith in the idea of a flashlight being of much use as a defensive tool (other than to identify a threat). I hope to stick to more traditional uses for the flashlight. If I was pressed to use one for defensive purposes my go to flashlights in the home will have either 500 or 1150 lumens. My EDC only has a max of 200 which after watching the videos doesn't seem like enough to be of much use in warding off an aggressor. (light wise)

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    #14 dmattaponi, May 12, 2017
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
  15. Jeremybiv

    Jeremybiv Loaded Pockets

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    Thank you for posting the article. It completely changed my perspective.


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  16. Dingle1911

    Dingle1911 Loaded Pockets

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    I think there isn't a one size fits all answer for defensive light use. For example a large warehouse or open area may require a higher lumen light with beam throw, but working in a small tight quarters environment would not benefit from the same light. A 1,000 lumen light on a white wall 3 feet away will ruin your night adapted vision.
     
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  17. Water-Rat

    Water-Rat Loaded Pockets

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    That short barrel shepherd article was very informative, thanks for posting that. Slumber's video was really good too.

    In my opinion, while I have used lights that are around 100 lumens for night time defense/navigation type purposes, 200-300 is much better. I don't have any lights that are brighter than that right now and haven't quite seen the need for that at the moment as I'm mostly in smaller areas where I don't need as much brightness or throw. For up close things you don't need too much light, but for anything more than a few feet, you need a lot more light.

    Having a momentary switch is a big thing also. I've pressed twisty lights and standard clicky switch lights into service from time to time, but they're just more difficult to use.
     
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  18. smokingfish

    smokingfish Loaded Pockets

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    I carry a pocket knife, but rather not cut an attacker.
    So I got a pocket light with 1150 lumens, should be pretty bright.

    My lives near the beach and there's a lot of homeless and drug addicts wandering her apartment complex and had to shine my toolvn (600 lumens) on a person who looked VERY high on something, he was near some windows looking in, he had the deer in the headlights look for sure.

    I will be giving her the toolvn since she can clip it to her purse.
     
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  19. thatotherguy

    thatotherguy EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I've gotta say that while I have an Elzetta that puts out 625 lumens on high and lights up a room beautifully, I'd still rely more on impact than incandescence for defensive flashlight use.
    Honestly even 625 lumens is too much for most all of my use. I don't think I would ever need a 1000+ lumen light for practical purposes. Maybe if I needed a monster thrower but my usage calls for a wall of light at 100 lumens or less more often than not. Usually I can get by fine with 20.

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  20. smokingfish

    smokingfish Loaded Pockets

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    Most of my flashlight that are 500+ lumens start off at moon setting and get brighter with each click.
    It's just nice having a small flashlight that can reach 500+ bit still have a few useful modes.

    My 1150 lumen light can easily fit in the back pocket for camping or night use.

    My AAA flashlight is 500 to 700 lumen. It's tiny.
    Starts at 1 lumen I believe, which is perfect for most applications.
     
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