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Thread: Best light to cut through smoke

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* hyperloop's Avatar
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    Default Best light to cut through smoke

    Hi all, not having been in any fires before, I was wondering what light would be the best for cutting through smokey environments? Any fire fighters out there can advise??

    Thanks
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    Enlightened tobushomme's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best light to cut through smoke

    Hi Hyperloop,

    one of my bothers is a firefighter and he carries a streamlight survivor LED (and a polystinger luxeon - I don't know wheter he still carries that one). As backup and searchlight he also carries a Fenix TK 10.

    The streamlights - especially the survivor - have an extremely tight spot and little spill. Little spill is most important, cause if u illuminate the smoke, you won't see anything. Big buttons, good grip and ugly as the night :-) 90 ° ...

    Recently he told me he'd prefere incan for his next ligthts, cause the effect of blinding spill is stronger with LED. Haven't seen this myself, but thats what he told me. Think he is after a BigEd (thats Peli I think)

    regards

    Tobus

  3. #3

    Default Re: Best light to cut through smoke

    I would think typically what lights work best for fog would work similarly for smoke. The idea is to get under the smoke if possible and avoid blinding yourself. yellowish orange color may be better perhaps too. Incans are more yellowish than LEDs usually are. Probably something with a tight optic... I haven't seen the UKled zoom model but from what I have heard it is tight and has two levels which a lower light level may actually be better in some cases to blind you less.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Best light to cut through smoke

    pelican
    recoil led

  5. #5
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Best light to cut through smoke

    Not to be the guy that just posts a link for a response, but...

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/....php?p=2653045

    There were some pretty good responses over in that thread, hopefully you'll find something helpful there. I posted a reply over there comparing using your brights in a foggy situation to using a too bright light in smoke. Someone once used that to explain it to me and I think it is a good comparison. Anyhow, good luck and let us know what you decide!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Best light to cut through smoke

    I have a Streamlight Survivor LED on my gear. Its got my vote of anything I have used so far.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* hyperloop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best light to cut through smoke

    Thanks for the replies guys, reason i asked was because there was a fire nearby and it was the first real fire that i have seen, man, the smoke was incredibly black and thick and i was wondering to myself if this happened, whether during the day or during the night, what light would be used to navigate to safety?

    I'm not addressing the smoke inhalation issue yet. Would be incredibly sad if all the lights you owned couldn't help you escape.

    Seems like the majority of the firefighters here are using LEDs with good throw and less spill, think i might want to consider getting an aspherical set up on a 3D Mag (KD modules) purely for this emergency purpose. It would be fun to play with too
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  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best light to cut through smoke

    Narrow beam and lower color tempreature seem to be the two main things to help cut through smoke.

    So maybe a warm white Cree behind the Aspherical lens.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best light to cut through smoke

    Quote Originally Posted by hyperloop View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys, reason i asked was because there was a fire nearby and it was the first real fire that i have seen, man, the smoke was incredibly black and thick and i was wondering to myself if this happened, whether during the day or during the night, what light would be used to navigate to safety?

    I'm not addressing the smoke inhalation issue yet. Would be incredibly sad if all the lights you owned couldn't help you escape.

    Seems like the majority of the firefighters here are using LEDs with good throw and less spill, think i might want to consider getting an aspherical set up on a 3D Mag (KD modules) purely for this emergency purpose. It would be fun to play with too
    You're worried about this fire in a building in which you live? I think a better plan would be to know that you will be able to get yourself out of the building by feel. No flashlight will be able to pass light through petrochemical smoke.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Best light to cut through smoke

    Yeah, the cold hard truth is that in most fires, there isn't anything to be seen because it is pitch black. In fact, in rookie school they didn't even let us carry lights, and to this day when my dept. trains we blackout our masks. Get low and go baby go!

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    Default Re: Best light to cut through smoke

    "I read somewhere" (hate that line) that the redder the better for penetrating airborne particulate matter. Longer wavelengths "wrap around" the bits of floating crap, much like longer radio waves go over mountains and around trees and don't need to be used line-of-sight.

    So a very red filter attached to any light would probably work.

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    Default Re: Best light to cut through smoke

    Quote Originally Posted by Shore08 View Post
    Yeah, the cold hard truth is that in most fires, there isn't anything to be seen because it is pitch black. In fact, in rookie school they didn't even let us carry lights, and to this day when my dept. trains we blackout our masks. Get low and go baby go!
    I knew a volunteer firefighter who said his first fire was so shocking because it was utterly pitch black and roaring loud inside. Terrifying.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* hyperloop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best light to cut through smoke

    Quote Originally Posted by LukeA View Post
    You're worried about this fire in a building in which you live? I think a better plan would be to know that you will be able to get yourself out of the building by feel. No flashlight will be able to pass light through petrochemical smoke.
    Well, it would probably be more an electrical fire than anything else, doubt that there would be any petrol fires where i live
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  14. #14
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best light to cut through smoke

    Quote Originally Posted by hyperloop View Post
    Well, it would probably be more an electrical fire than anything else, doubt that there would be any petrol fires where i live
    Petrochemical smoke. Most of the items you own have petroleum-derived compounds in them. Those compounds don't combust very cleanly. That's where the black smoke comes from. A fire in a home sparked by electricity will create just as much smoke as a fire started during cooking.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Best light to cut through smoke

    Great news! Streamlight has upgraded the led in the Survivor to what they say is a C4 (either a Cree or K2 TFFC)and puts out 100 lumens on high. Try finding one of these guys.
    What kind of self respecting nocturnal being cannot see in the dark, one way or another?

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