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Thread: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

  1. #1

    Default How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    Of course I would not rely on a flashlight for defense, but just how many lumens does it take to really, painfully knock out somebody's night vision? I'm thinking of a 500lumen weapon light..got a 120lumen surefire that is not bright enough.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    If its relatively dark, any semi-bright light, even the lowly much maligned Minimag, if shined directly into the eyes of an attacker unexpectedly will effectively destroy their night vision long enough for you to cut and run, or use your primary line of self defense I think. One thing ot remember however, is to close your eyes prior to flashing, or it could also wreck your night vision also and you loose whatever tactical edge it gave. Of course the brighter the light the larger purple ballons they will see for a longer time period. If your 120 lumen surefire is not enough to do the job, something is wrong I say personally. Time to change batteries as that should be enough to disable any intruders night vision.

    All you should ever rely upon a light for is an edge, to make an escape or bring another more effective method of self defense into play.
    Last edited by Lee1959; 03-09-2006 at 02:56 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    If you are looking for wincing-pain-can't-even-look type reactions, you need more than the 225 lumens that my SureFire M3-CB puts out. It is starting to get there though. Maybe an M3T as a minimum (more intense spot).

    Scott

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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    You all are overlooking the most decisive thing:
    My understanding is that lumen is a measure of the overall light output. It should be clear that for your purpose only the light shining in one's eyes is what counts, so you will need -above all- a light with a good, tight focus. I have a SureFire E1L (KL1 head, new generation) which outputs only about 30 lumens but has a very narrow focus. I'm sure that at night it will make someone blind for quite some seconds! I also have an U2, which outputs about 4 times the lumens the E1L does, but since it has a wider focus I guess it would be "only" about as good as the E1L at blinding someone.
    Last edited by Ice; 03-09-2006 at 02:57 PM.

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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    It's all relative. Different people will react differently, and different amounts of ambient light will require different levels of lumens. A stock Minimag might be enough in total darkness. You also have to make sure to hit the guy on the first blast of light. If you're using a tight beam (like a SF M4 or M6) and the person you're trying to disorient is very far away, you might not hit him in the eyes right off, and he may have time to look away and/or shield his eyes. Never depend on any light as a reliable means of self-defense. Sometimes it might work like you intend, sometimes you might end up on the ground bleeding. Think of a flashlight as a tool, not a weapon.

    The real answer to the question "How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?" would be something along the lines of "how many lumens does the muzzle blast of a .45 handgun put out at night?"

    -Keith
    Last edited by NeonLights; 03-09-2006 at 02:53 PM.
    Ha ha, you fool!! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia; and only slightly less well known is this: Never go against a Sicilian, when death is on the line!

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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    @ NeonLights:
    Well, of course with a narrow beam it is more difficult to hit the eyes at first try (and also at close distances, since there the beam is still very small), that's true...
    Therefore I have been "target practicing" a little with my E1L, something I'm sure every flashaholic would enjoy doing as well!

  7. #7

    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    Sorry if this is a little off topic:

    When HIDs are described as "instant strike," how instant is "instant?" Can you get one up to power fast enough to use in a tactical setting?

    Think of 3500 lumens in 1/2 second or less. That would mess someone up good at close range (however many cp or lux that works out to).

    Scott

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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    One more time: It's not enough to talk only about how much lumens the light emits in general! That's just half of the story!
    (Well, at least as long as you don't really press the light directly on someones eyes! )

    @beezaur:
    That depends. But you should know, that one needs only some hundredth of a second to close the eyelids, so half a second is a very long time compared to that...

    Edit:
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a LED light generally better for blinding someone, since bulbs allways have to heat up the filament first (which takes a little time naturally)?!
    Last edited by Ice; 03-09-2006 at 03:14 PM.

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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    The blue tinted color of LED's is harsher.

    The effects vary greatly person to person. For example, don't ever try to predict how someone drunk will respond. From playing with lights and the pitiful level of low light hand to hand and shooting I've had, I just accept that I have lost my night vision, so I'm going to squint and try my best to follow the light and keep my self oriented in the best direction I can. On the other hand, I strobed a coworker with my Gladius and he kinda fell over and whined.

    It is going to depend on the ambient light conditions. Play around, get a big mirror and a dark room, or a buddy that doesn't think you are completely insane and play around. In bright sunlight, you are going to need a huge powerful light. On an overcast new moon night in the middle of a forest, you don't need much.
    Please stop throwing photons at me.

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    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    Although the amount of light plays a role, keep in mind that certain strobe frequencies can be effective at disorienting people (take the Gladius for example). At least one person I know of claims to get dizzy just by watching a regular PMW-powered LED waved before them

    Ice, filament warm up occurs so fast (fractions of a second), that for all practical purposes it's instantaneous.

    The only "instant" strike HID I've seen (SF mini-Beast) powers up "instantaneously".

  11. #11

    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ice
    @beezaur:
    That depends. But you should know, that one needs only some hundredth of a second to close the eyelids, so half a second is a very long time compared to that...
    Closing eyelids doesn't matter. If you are forcing someone to close their eyes, turn their head, shield their eyes, etc., you have totally overwhelmed their visual abilities. At that stage you have "really messed up an attacker" and have gained a tremendous advantage.

    Scott

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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    Closing eyelids doesn't matter. If you are forcing someone to close their eyes, turn their head, shield their eyes, etc., you have totally overwhelmed their visual abilities. At that stage you have "really messed up an attacker" and have gained a tremendous advantage.
    Very true if you want to attack him. If you however should decide to better run away it can come very handy if he doesn't see you for a few more seconds even though the light is not shining at him anymore...

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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    A simple spot light of 1,3, or 5 Million CP should do the trick.

    Now the Striker-VG has that annoying strobe and is roughly 200 lumens. But even on extremely weakened batteries, that strobe was annoying.

    It's not just lumens, it' strobe too.

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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    Here we go with another thread on BRIGHT lights to disorient dark adapted eyes—

    I've read on one of SureFire's catalog, that an "effective" Lumen output to temporarily disorient a person's dark/night adapted eyes starts around 65 Lumens then goes up from there. The 120 Lumens you have should be effective enough—temporarily—in TOTAL darkness. Otherwise, like what Lee1959 said.

    Of course Your Modus May Vary accordingly. Enjoy!
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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    For the sake of genuine reality, this question should be restated as follows:

    -->> "How many GRAINS does it take to really mess up an attacker?"

    -->> Answer: 230 grains of .45 ACP hollow-point... preferably placed in the center-mass boiler-room.

    Anything else is just a naive appeaser's fairy tale.

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    -- Col. Jeff Cooper, pistol-craft guru, author: "Principles of Personal Defense"

  16. #16

    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    I am a LEO and I use my Dominator 10X on the high setting to temporary blind are cause an adversery to look away. This has worked on numerous ocassions it's actually kinda funny to watch. When you hit them with 500+ lumens inside 20 feet they kinda make that Jagermeister going down the hatch face "so smooth". However I was at a call last week with several intoxicated good'ol boys outside there house. Long story short I hit both of the intoxicated males w/ 500+ lumens at point blank range and it didn't phase either of the drunks. Well the one Dumb*ss pushed a fellow a officer on scene who was attempting to stop him from attacking his drunk son. That resulted in instant OC to the face and a good old fashion pig pile beat down. I did chip my dominators pyrex lense on this drunks head however ..Oops.

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    Flashaholic* colubrid's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    I will agree to a test. I will put my boxing gloves on in complete darkness and someone shine there light into my eyes and see if I still knock you out.

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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    Ok, do I get to shoot you with my .45 ACP I draw or beat on you with my Irish Blackthorn walking stick while you are blinking and swinging at the spot I was in when I shined the light but have moved from?
    Last edited by Lee1959; 03-09-2006 at 05:28 PM.

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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    I've myself stared into my HDS U60XR at night, the only thing it did was to irritate me. (Not blind, but I did get flashing spots fora bit)

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    Flashaholic jwl's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    Shine a 6D Rop-Hi in their eyes and then . That should buy you some time.

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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    No offense to you at all, Ligament -- but is it just me, or are these "blind an attacker" threads getting annoying? They multiply like bunnies.
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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    Quote Originally Posted by beezaur
    .........If you are forcing someone to close their eyes, turn their head, shield their eyes, etc., you have totally overwhelmed their visual abilities. At that stage you have "really messed up an attacker" and have gained a tremendous advantage.

    Scott
    .......and if the attacker has a gun, he shoots at the light. Advantage attacker. If the attacker is close enough and aggitated enough, he lunges towards the person with the light (doesn't require much visual acuity) and tackles them, advantage attacker. If the attacker has a knife and can run faster the person with the light and a light in his face pisses him off, the person with the light gets stabbed. Advantage attacker.

    I'd invite anyone who thinks a light is a good self defense weapon to try and "mess me up with it" at a range of 20-30'. Assuming the flashlight in question isn't a Tigerlight or ASP batonlight, I'll bet good money I can mess up the person with the flashlight a whole lot more than 500+ lumens would mess me up.

    -Keith
    Ha ha, you fool!! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia; and only slightly less well known is this: Never go against a Sicilian, when death is on the line!

  23. #23

    Shrug Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    Quote Originally Posted by NeonLights
    .......and if the attacker has a gun, he shoots at the light. Advantage attacker. If the attacker is close enough and aggitated enough, he lunges towards the person with the light (doesn't require much visual acuity) and tackles them, advantage attacker. If the attacker has a knife and can run faster the person with the light and a light in his face pisses him off, the person with the light gets stabbed. Advantage attacker.

    I'd invite anyone who thinks a light is a good self defense weapon to try and "mess me up with it" at a range of 20-30'. Assuming the flashlight in question isn't a Tigerlight or ASP batonlight, I'll bet good money I can mess up the person with the flashlight a whole lot more than 500+ lumens would mess me up.

    -Keith
    Excellent points !!I've the exact same thing.
    a lot of very good points here. My pal "Radar", a 40 Kg Ger Shep has good night vision and can also smell and hear the location of an invading assailant murderer etc .His innate familaity of the domicile and his knowledge of likely paths of human movement are outstanding attributes as well! Two more things I like about Radar are that he doesn't drink (he'll never be too impared to react and use judgement)
    and he does not "go off" accidently!
    I've often wondered about lighting up or exposing the defender's position when watching an self illuminated Cop on TV etc walking thought a darkend warehouse etc etc. The thought of walking into a room, hallway, or down a staircase, telescoping my arrival and precise location,is then followed by thoughts of war film footage depicting bloody ambushes and unexcpected slaughter. it make sense that a hidden adversary would benefit from a easily visable target. OTOH is seems possible that enough brightness or power could blind or stun an attacker. I dont have any suggestions as to how this much power could be packaged, powered?
    It appears that something MUCH more powerful than 500 lumens would be needed. of course all bets are off if the adversary has eye protection in anticipation of such a counterstrike.
    I would think there could be much speculation and need? for this type of capability in places where "projectile based kinetic weaponry" is not allowed for the citizenry.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    I believe that this will do the job very nicely.

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...t=92396&page=1

    Of course, you'll want the optional tank that goes with it.

  25. #25

    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    i think a mag100 would do very nicely especially in a 4d host. i know from experiecne that the 1300L from my mag35 is impossible to look at from less than 10 feet. also the mag body makes a good impact weapon. just blinding an assailent is useless if you dont use your moment of opportunity to do somthing!

    "you carry an umbrella if there is a 50% chance of rain, right? Well, there's a 100% chance of darkness tonight." -saunterer

  26. #26

    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    This drives me nuts. Someone asks about the effects of lights, even states
    Of course I would not rely on a flashlight for defense . . .
    yet the answers always tend toward weapons.

    Some of the logic here. . . I think some opinions would change with the opportunity to try some of these theories in person.

    Scott
    Last edited by beezaur; 03-09-2006 at 11:24 PM.

  27. #27

    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    Can't contribute much in the "hard facts" department of this, but on new years eve, my wife flashed my KL1/VG combo at two drunks trying to blow up a mailbox!
    One of them looked away and was just suprised, while the other guy turned more or less blind and almost fell face down in the snow, trying to get away!
    Both of them ran, so it obviously worked and my wife was amused to say the least! Of course she swore her G2 would have been better!
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  28. #28

    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    Just flip the light switch and give your intruder the opportunity to see what is being pointed at them. Hopefully the lightbulb provides enough "lumens" for them to see the way out.

    .45 cal brightness, depends on powder type, length of barrel, porting... brightness might not register as other things will be racing through your mind at the time you pull the trigger in actual SD situation.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* Lunal_Tic's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    I was under the impression that the tactical effect of a light, particularly at close range, was the surprise element. If they look away for an instant the advantage is yours to use.

    IIRC size15s was taken down by a Surefire rep and a E1e and he's not small. The key would be surprise and immediate follow-up action IMO.

    -LT
    lunal tic (n)
    a distinctive behavioral trait or quirk directly related to or caused by light [15th cent. Latin lunaris. Ultimately from an IE word meaning “light,”] and [Early 19th cent. Italian ticchio.] see also: moon quirk

  30. #30
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    Default Re: How many lumens does it take to REALLY mess up an attacker?

    In my own personal tinkering with lights... I had to try looking into my thor... I set it accross the room on a chair- stepped back about 10 feet, and slowly lowered myself into the beam.

    My eyes were open while looking into the light, but not looking into the focsed light (just spillbeam, basically just looking into the filament from the side at 10 feet away)... so at this point my eyes were very adjusted for the bright light... I slowly lowered myself so that the beam would be on my face, and as I came close, I SHUT my eyes (on purpose, don't want to cause perminant damage), then moved in front of the beam.

    Even with my eyes shut, the light and heat going through my eyelids was extremally uncomfortable. The back of my eyelids were bright, when I tried to squint an eye open I had to move out of the beam.

    even having said that- I would not rely on even the thor to garantee any advantage in a combat senario. (it would still do more damage as an impact weapon).

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