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What eye damage can a flashlight do?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by TrackJack, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. TrackJack

    TrackJack Loaded Pockets

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    Yeh simple question, but as i have just recently gotten into flashlights i came to wonder.

    What would happen if i looked into my 400 lumen flashlights beam? And no, i'm not planning to have an evening alone with my flashlight looking into it's shinny beam. But as i fumble around and do my every day stuff i have dropped it more than once, hence this thread. I also use this light at night when walking my dog and would feel really bad if i was to hurt it in any way.
     
  2. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Probably not a lot. Granted, I'm not a doctor, or even an eye doctor (no, I'm not going to try and spell "ophthalmologist" correctly), but highly infrequent exposure won't lead to damage.

    I say this based on the fact that there are much brighter lights out there - and lights that aren't as bright, but have much more focused beams - and there are not reports of eye injuries or damage. And I'm pretty sure flashlight-specific forums like CPF or Budgetlights would be all over any such reports.

    Likewise, I don't know of any reports of injury to animals from casual exposure.
     
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  3. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Now, if you take a 1,000+ lumen light, hold it up to your eyeball and push the button...let us know how it works for you. :frantic:
     
  4. TrackJack

    TrackJack Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks tmedina :)
     
  5. TrackJack

    TrackJack Loaded Pockets

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    Haha! If i did own one, a day would come where i was stupid enough to drop it and end up with a focused beam right in my face. Will let you know when that day comes ;)
     
  6. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    *grin* I was mostly being funny. Even in the hypothetical were you drop your pocket spotlight, you would get (at best) very brief exposure to the full effect. And you'd be seeing spots for a minute or two.

    But that isn't the same as pressing the lens to your eye and turning it on for an extended period. And even that isn't the same as something substantial, like a laser beam of some sort.

    Honestly, I'd be more worried about constant sun exposure to my eyes rather than the highly infrequent possibility of a really bright flashlight.
     
  7. Blerv

    Blerv Loaded Pockets

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    Almost every flashlight maker will warn against staring into a LED. Mainly this is a disclaimer as there aren't many sob stories out there from people who have gone blind from a drunken Quark shining. :p

    Also not a doctor, I believe you are going to do damage mainly with heat and duration. This can be from intense hotspot and short distance (eg shining a DEFT into your eye) or heat (eg heat lamping your sockets with an incan or UV). I've "flashed" myself before with about 2500 OTF lumens and mostly just temporary blindness and a mild headache. Stare at it for 10 minutes and who knows what recovery will be like.

    PS: I had an old martial arts instructor aim my Dereelight aspherical a foott from his eyes and click the switch. I warned him not to. He was doing eye exercises 20 minutes later :rolleyes_revamped:.
     
  8. gooseman1991

    gooseman1991 Loaded Pockets

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    Don't do it intentionally but no more than you will be exposed occasionally I doubt it would do any damage but I guess we don't really know. Even still I try not to shine lights right in my dogs eyes because of that. I know dogs can see way better than humans so who knows how it affects them.
     
  9. barlas

    barlas Loaded Pockets

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    Just in case you are not satisfied with the results and do try to experiment, let us know how it goes (or ask someone else to let us know, in case you can't...) :p
     
  10. Aleister

    Aleister Loaded Pockets

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    I don't know if it's possible to hurt the eyes with a typical flashlight but I can share some experiments I made.

    Human - 500 lumens flashlight for ~2 seconds = takes some minutes to the eye to see again correctly, various colors spots, decreased perception of brightness (you see everything darker than it is) and blurs.

    Dog (angry) - 500 lumens for ~30 seconds (it "froze" while staring at the light) = Crying and shaking all night, next day it was frightened and didn't eat, day after that it was fine.

    Dog, same dog a year later - 350 lumens for ~20 seconds = Froze for some seconds but then took the courage to continue barking and attacking even while looking into the light, finally turned its back and left, didn't cry, next day it was fine.

    Never happened to be attacked by a dog while carrying a more than 500lumens flashlight and wouldn't try staring for more than a split second to more than 500 lumens to see what happens.
     
  11. mayhem

    mayhem Empty Pockets

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    4Sevens XM18, 15,000.. yes thousand lumens :)
    If that doesn't blind you nothing will..

    Thankfully it has a lock out + WARNING sound before it comes on :)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Terscry001

    Terscry001 Loaded Pockets

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    I suggest never do that, it will definitely harm your eyes, and may cause some unforseen sequela.
     
  13. Mumbojumboo
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    Mumbojumboo EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I've never seen any results with flashlights and animals. They don't seem to care. Pepper Spray.
     
  14. 6_String_Jams
    • In Omnia Paratus

    6_String_Jams Loaded Pockets

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    I've always actually wondered this same thing...I will let my ( almost) 2 year old daughter play with my preon 1 occasionally......I'm sure a lot of you know the first thing a toddler does when you tell them not to do something.....
     
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  15. scaru

    scaru Loaded Pockets

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    Come on guys, a thousand lumens can't really hurt you. I've looked into lights with around 2500 lumens and I still have perfectly fine vision.
     
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  16. Blood

    Blood Empty Pockets

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    It made a very large circle in my vision that lasted about a minute. 1300 lumens.
     
  17. FLbeachbum

    FLbeachbum Loaded Pockets

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    Don't know why anyone would want to try that but it can cause permanent vision problems.

    I had a coworker several years ago in TN who was trying to cross over from correctional officer to deputy at the local sheriff's office. A couple of the male officers didn't want a female deputy and did their best to intimidate her and run her off. One night they walked up to her while she was sitting in her car and stood over her with their flashlights directly in her eyes. She was determined not to be intimidated and instead of looking away or closing her eyes she sat there starring right back at them for several minutes. That was over 15 years ago. Last I heard she was still having problems.
     
  18. earthman

    earthman EDC Junkie!!!

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    I'm intrigued about the dog, you say the same one, are you the owner or is it say a neighbors? Why is it so angry and trying to attack you??