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Thread: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

  1. #1

    Default Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    Hi all. Was recommended this forum by a couple of my gun forums and I must say this is a great and informative site. I have spent the last few hours searching and learning.

    Here's where I need help:

    I am looking for a strictly carry only, self defense flashlight that is small and concealable. This isn't going to be a work light, or utility light or what-not. I care most about intensity of the beam and being able to blind a criminal enough for me to make my escape or draw my weapons.

    I have been looking at SF models: C2: b/c of clip and P61 upgrade, E2E: lower output, has clip, but smaller, L4: has clip, extended batt time, costs more.

    I would like one with a clip, that way I have the option to clip it to my pocket, or take the clip off and keep it in my pocket.

    I need help with what is adequate for blinding someone sufficiently. Is 60-65 lumens good, or do I need to be above 100? I am assuming the average range would be from 5-30/40 ft.

    I've been reading the P60 vs P61 threads and see that there isn't much difference, other than a bigger pattern and lower batt time. So maybe I wouldn't want to do this, if it isn't going to increase intensity significantly. Also, with the L4 being LED, I have read briefly that they are not quite as intense and tend to disperse their light as distance increases. Is that accurate or BS?

    Price isn't a huge deal, but I don't really want to pay more than $150, unless the L4 is seriously worth it and has the same intensity as the C2 or E2E.

    I am also open to other suggestions that fit into my criteria.

    Thanks all for your info and advice.
    Last edited by Maveri9720; 08-07-2006 at 09:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* depusm12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    Streamlight TL-3 (3cell CR123) just as bright if not brighter that the SureFire 3 cell lights and cheaper. Around 50/60 dollars plus rechargable 17500 Li-Ion batteries from AW in the dealers forum. It is very bright ,pocketable and has a removeable pocket clip, guilt free lumens with the rechargable batteries. I carry one in my patrol bag as a backup to my SureFire.
    Last edited by depusm12; 08-07-2006 at 09:52 PM.
    James
    TigerLight Vers II, ASP Triad, SF Z2, M3, L6, A2, Inova T2,**9-11-01 "Let's Roll"**

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    I was hoping to stay around the 5" mark if possible. But 200 lumens is pretty impressive and it is only an 1 1/4" longer than what I was looking at. Something I will have to definitely consider.

    Thanks.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    The C2 and E2e are both good choices. Any similar light by other well known companies would probably work well, too. I often carry a Streamlight Strion, instead of my C2 or E2e because it is rechargeable and slightly brighter.

    The thing with the L4 is it isn't focused into as bright a beam as the others. For the purpose that you are describing, brightness is the top priority in my opinion. There are small, bright LED flashlights--Gladius, Pelican M6 LED, Surefire KL-3 LED head for the C2. Even the Surefire E2L is brighter. However, the beam is much narrower, which could also present a problem in some situations.

    Either the Strion or C2 with P61 lamp are what I use when brighter lights aren't handy.

    Check out flashlightreviews.com for throw ratings of various lights.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic Rando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    I've been looking at the Pila GL2. It's 120 lumens on lithium primaries at 5 inches. The GL3 is 1.5 inches longer and puts out 200 lumens. A local CPF dealer sells them at http://www.jsburlysflashlights.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    My intuition agrees with Lightraven: lux are more important than lumens. The SureFire E1L, for example, has a brighter spot than the L4, despite having half the output.

    How do you expect to use the flashlight during the remainder of the encounter? Will you use it with a weapon, or as a weapon itself? You mention buying time to draw other weapons; if you're prepared to fight, might you start with pepper spray, rather than a flashlight?

  7. #7
    Flashaholic Rando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    Quote Originally Posted by LSlugger
    ...if you're prepared to fight, might you start with pepper spray, rather than a flashlight?
    ...Or perhaps both? Of course, then you're up to 11 inches to carry around. You do get up to 375 lumens though.
    Last edited by Rando; 08-08-2006 at 09:28 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    Quote Originally Posted by LSlugger
    My intuition agrees with Lightraven: lux are more important than lumens. The SureFire E1L, for example, has a brighter spot than the L4, despite having half the output.

    How do you expect to use the flashlight during the remainder of the encounter? Will you use it with a weapon, or as a weapon itself? You mention buying time to draw other weapons; if you're prepared to fight, might you start with pepper spray, rather than a flashlight?
    Yea, don't get me started on that topic. I started a thread in one of my gun forums about why carry a flashlight for offensive reasons and why not deploy pepper spray instead and long story short, the majority of the forum was against me and then the thread was closed and then I got a reprimand from the owner for no reason other than I didn't agree with everyone else, so I was stupid, basically.

    Anyway, the flashlight will only be used as a means to distract and buy me time to flee or draw a weapon. I carry a knife that would be much better in contact range than a 5" aluminum flashlight and I also carry OC spray.

    I will definitely have to do more research into lux and all the other technical specs, b/c as you can see, I am very new when it comes to flashlights and their specifications.

    From what you are telling me, then the Lumens is not what I should be looking for. Very confusing, but hopefully tonight I will get some time and try to sort it all out.

    Can anyone tell me a minimum that I shouldn't go below, or maybe give me a range I should be in for what I want it to do? That would help me out selecting a good tact light.

    Thanks guys.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* depusm12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    I wouldn't go below 60-65 lumens minumum, more is better though. 100 + would be even better. Incandescents would be better for your purposes. Flashlightreviews.Com rates the TL-3 overall output at 100 x1.43= 143 lumens.
    Last edited by depusm12; 08-08-2006 at 01:32 PM.
    James
    TigerLight Vers II, ASP Triad, SF Z2, M3, L6, A2, Inova T2,**9-11-01 "Let's Roll"**

  10. #10

    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    Ha-ha. I'm not surprised a thread about self-defense turned into internet flame war and got closed. Something about this topic. . .

    Nobody has all the answers, because fights are pretty rare, all things considered. Who knows for sure what will work? And something that works once, may not work the next time.

    The intensity of the central beam created by the reflector or lens is what impacts someone's retinas and gives you the maximum amount of visual information about the potential threat. A 60 watt light bulb puts out something like 2000 lumens, but isn't what I'd call bright because the light isn't focused into a beam.

    In my simple tests at a shooting range with the lights off, I found that an E2e was bright enough to identify a person and all of their physical characteristics AND see that the person was holding a black handgun in 3/4 profile at 25 yards. The Inova X5 was not bright enough. So, the E2e is still my minimum baseline for threat ID from a relatively long distance for encounters. This translates to a throw of 36 on Quickbeam's chart on flashlight reviews.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* iced_theater's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    You should look at LedLogic Stiker-VG. It's an LED that would suit you good I believe. Has a bright focused beam and also has a strobe feature to disorient the attacker.

  12. #12
    Enlightened chocho's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Maveri9720
    From what you are telling me, then the Lumens is not what I should be looking for. Very confusing, but hopefully tonight I will get some time and try to sort it all out.
    Thanks guys.

    Think of the water analogy. Say I wanted to fend you off and all I had was water. I could:

    A. Put 5 gallons into a 5 gallon bucket and pour it over you.
    (higher total volume [lumens] - low pressure [throw/lux])

    OR

    B. Put 1 gallon into a compressor and shoot it directly at your face through a high pressure hose and nozzle.
    (lower total volume [lumens] - MUCH higher pressure [throw/lux])

    Which is going to cause more discomfort?


    The lux is directly correlated to how well the reflector/optics in your flashlight can focus or concentrate the available light coming out of the emitter/bulb.

    Granted, you do need lumens too. You can pressurize an eyedropper full of water all you want - but it probably isn't going to do much damage.

    -C

  13. #13

    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    I'm with James! The SL TL-3 is an awesome light especially with the modified Carly bulbs. Myself though, I would never ever depend on a flashlight for self defense purposes.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    So the higher the throw, the farther out the light will reach, correct? And the Lux rating is almost the same isn't it? It will tell me how good the light will project over a distance, but doesn't tell me how bright it will be. But I assume this is good for telling me the intensity of the light.


    Well, like I previously said, I should be in the 30-60 ft range when using the light, I'm guessing on average, so what numbers do I need to be looking at for this range? Will a 65 lumen suffice at blinding someone, or do I need to step up to 100+? How high a Lux rating should I be looking at? I'm sure there is a line where most flashlights will be shining the same intensity out to "x" number of feet before they start dropping off. And this is what I am inquiring about mostly. If I can get a decent flashlight that can blind sufficiently out to 60'-75', then I will be happy. I don't need to spend a billion dollars on a light that will shine out 200'+. I just need to know what will work for the distances I need them to work in.

    I'm trying to learn, but again it is very confusing to try and cram all this in, in a couple hours.

    I really do appreciate everyone's help.

    Thanks.

  15. #15
    Enlightened chocho's Avatar
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    Popcorn Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    Also try:

    http://www.flashlightreviews.com

    http://www.ledmuseum.org

    For excellent, independent, honest reviews.

    -Chris

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* iced_theater's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    The Wolf-Eyes Rattlesnake M90X might be slightly big for what you want, but I bet it would blind someone for a few seconds, especially if their eye's are dark adjusted. Has good throw and unbelievable overall output.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic MikeHunt79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    It depends if thier eyes are adjusted to day or night... I bet a mag85 adjusted to a narrow beam would be pretty blinding tho

  18. #18

    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    The first part is correct. Throw is brightness, by my definition, and is measured in lux (metric) or candela/candlepower (English).

    If you are trying to knock out someone's night vision, the brighter the light in lux, the more effective it will be at all distances. Therefore, you are left with the main consideration of how big a light are you willing to tote around?

    When I was looking for some bad guys, I pulled out my Costco HID spotlight, the brightest light I know of. They were probably effectively night blind for half an hour after getting beamed with it. I have seen one rancher patrolling his property with a Thor spotlight.

    When I get a runner, I switch to my Surefire M6. If that goes down, then the M3. Off duty, it's the Strion or C2. If I don't feel like having those in my pocket, something smaller, like my EDC 60.

    Since the initial post indicated willingness to carry a C2 sized light (and associated features), that would probably be the best choice at that size. Just make sure if you light up bad guys that you are prepared to deal with their reaction.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Pokerstud's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    Quote Originally Posted by iced_theater
    The Wolf-Eyes Rattlesnake M90X might be slightly big for what you want, but I bet it would blind someone for a few seconds, especially if their eye's are dark adjusted. Has good throw and unbelievable overall output.
    I agree with this whole heartedly, as I have the M90X. Rated at 300 Lumens, it's a hell of a torch, but a little big for your needs. However, the Wolf-eyes 9AX, rated at 200 Lumens, is smaller ( 5.7" ), and extremely bright. Then you have the 6AX, rated at 120 Lumens, that is the smallest model at around 5". CPF members get about a 10% discount ( I think that was my savings ) when you email Mike at Pacific Tactical Supply to create an account. I love the Surefire's, but the best bang for the buck are the Wolf-eyes ( this is'nt an advertisement, just helping out like was done for me ). I carry a Surefire E2D to work with me every day, wearing business casual, because of its size ( 4.8" ), brightness ( 60 lumen ), and skull cracking bezel and tailcap. I've been babbling long enough, good luck in your choice ( you need several lights anyway ).
    I AM THIRD

  20. #20

    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    Thank you everyone for your help and info. I had severe trouble getting on here most of last night, so I couldn't read or post anything on this forum, until this morning.


    I did alot of research last night and decided that my best bet would be the Streamlight TL-3 that was recommended. So I ordered it last night. I am sure it won't be the last flashlight I order either. But you have to start somewhere.

    Thanks again for the help and advice, it was much appreciated.

    I will come back and let you know how I feel about the TL-3.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    Hi, I personally keep a detachable flash unit off an old camera which runs on two AA batteries.
    As do 99% of home owners I know my house well enough to find my way around it in the dark, my idea is to get close to the intruder, close my eyes, let rip with the flash unit then whack them with weapon of choice!
    Hope this helps.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    Quote Originally Posted by bird6610 View Post
    Hi, I personally keep a detachable flash unit off an old camera which runs on two AA batteries.
    As do 99% of home owners I know my house well enough to find my way around it in the dark, my idea is to get close to the intruder, close my eyes, let rip with the flash unit then whack them with weapon of choice!
    Hope this helps.
    Brb bumping 4 year old threads and recommending a camera flash as a self defence flashlight.......

  23. #23
    Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Need help with Self Defense Flashlight choice

    Closed.
    Resistance is futile...

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