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View Poll Results: Do you use Stobe or SOS modes on your LED flashlights?

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  • Yes, I use both strobe and SOS modes.

    21 7.53%
  • No, but I would use both strobe and SOS modes if I liked the way the interface was done.

    14 5.02%
  • Yes, I use strobe modes.

    71 25.45%
  • No, but I would use strobe modes if I liked the way the interface was done.

    17 6.09%
  • Yes, I use SOS modes.

    3 1.08%
  • No, but I would use SOS modes if I liked the way the interface was done.

    6 2.15%
  • I would not ever use blinky modes, no matter the interface, but I don't mind if they are there.

    37 13.26%
  • I would not ever use blinky modes, no matter the interface, and I don't even want them on my light.

    117 41.94%
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Thread: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

  1. #31
    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    I use strobe to get my cousin's attention when we meet somewhere in town - once or twice a year. I also occasionally use it to annoy coworkers at work or while stopped at a red light when leaving work (only if we're stopped side by side or one behind he other).

    Edit: Almost forgot that I also use a red strobe for a backlight on my bicycle if I have to be on it at night.
    Last edited by Cataract; 03-26-2012 at 12:51 PM.
    Cataract,

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  2. #32
    Enlightened tychoseven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    I wonder how Strobe/SOS became so prevalent on LED flashlights, since most of us seem to agree they're useful, but hardly necessary. Does "The Market" really demand these features from manufacturers? I see strobe on most brand-name headlamps these days as well.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    Quote Originally Posted by kj2 View Post
    Of to signal to a car, if he/she doesn't turn-off his/her hi-beam.
    A perfect example of when not to use a strobe, and it's illegal too. Posters, please refrain from such comments. Infraction of CPF Rule 11 also. Also. when commenting on the use of strobe as a defense/offensive tool please identify yourselves as proficient in such a use, such as a LEO trained to use strobe, etc.

    Bill


  4. #34

    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    These strobe lights on some flashlights work wonders! I had to experience this weekend when one of my friends was trying his out! It BLINDS you and disorients you like crazy

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    Agreed Bullzeyebill,

    ONLY for emergency use, definately not self defense. I think of my "tactical" lights more as tools, and an aid in use completing a task. My primary and side arm are a last resort in accordance with escalation of force for anything after that. On the civilian side, I have used strobe while my vehicle had blown a tire on the highway at night, and my sweetheart wife had to come pick me up late and had NO PROBLEM in identifying where I was with my mini LED maglite. Ir definately served its purpose in locating me. And yes my wife has SERIOUSLY DIRECTIONALLY CHALLENGED ISSUESZZZ..

  6. #36
    Flashaholic DIΩDΣ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullzeyebill View Post
    A perfect example of when not to use a strobe, and it's illegal too. Posters, please refrain from such comments.
    As I stated earlier I use strobe on the road while jogging along with thousands of others runners/bikers. So I am strobing motorists regardless of if they forgot to dim their high beams or not. Is that really illegal? I suppose that could be a problem if you light is brighter than say the low beam of a car, but I'm only talking my ZL H51w which is 172L tops. Its pretty common place if you ask me.

    I like the ZL interface also, it allows you to set the strobe as the secondary high (you need to be in high and then double click) or take it out of the mode selection entirely. So it wont be accidentally activated.

  7. #37
    Flashaholic LedTed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    I've used the instant shortcut to strobe on my D10 three times. First time was to let a bicyclist know that he was blinding traffic with the strobe on his bike. Second was to "remind" my brother not to steal my stuff. Third was to get a hungry raccoon to back off for a moment while I went into the house.
    Enjoy the light show - LedTed

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    I've posted this in other threads but I recently had to use a strobe at an accident scene.

    I tried flares but drivers ignored them.
    I tried using the flashlight aimed a little bit below the windshield but drivers ignored it.
    I aimed the flashlight at windshields but drivers ignored it.

    Only the strobe got attention.

    The flares were good and bright. The light has 220+ ANSI lumens. By ignoring them several drivers spun out on ice. At least two drivers hit a concrete retaining wall on the passenger side of their cars which I'd guess resulted in at least $1,000 damage to each car. Neither car bothered to stop. Like I said only the strobe got attention.

    Heck yeah, I like the strobe feature.
    "Show them a light, and they'll follow it anywhere..."

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    chmsam,

    all I gotta say is.. dang you knocked that point outta the ball park!!!!! WHAT HE SAID & +1 for the proper usage of strobbing and "GRABBING" the attention, of passerby drivers in an outright stated emergency. Who's to say in a worse case scenario, the road banked into an iced turn which overlooked a 500 ft drop from a cliff at the scene of the first accident, and you as a cop are trying at all possible to stop further traffic from advancing right on the spot. Makes sense in the free world to have that extra strobe function.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    Thanks but once again I'll say that I'm not a LEO or first responder. My friends and I just happened on the scene but luckily we have a bunch of training & experience that most folks don't have. I'm also a low budget gearhead and EDC a lot of crap. Sure did come in handy.

    As for the scenario you described, well it wasn't a 500' drop off.

    It was an overpass ramp that is curved and banked, and it was covered in black ice. There are concrete protective walls about waist high. The other side of the wall is a drop off onto a multi-lane expressway below. It isn't a place for rookies and I would have been a lot happier somewhere else. It was good that I knew I was capable of doing the job long enough for the deputies to arrive. That took more than 5 minutes from the time we arrived -- that's a long time under the circumstances and a lot can (and did) happen in that time.

    Even though it was at night there was enough traffic to make it interesting. Added to that was the recommended speed on the ramp is about 40, the speed limit in the area is 55, and so of course most folks do about 60 - 65 mph or a little better. While I wasn't really scared I will say that I was very attentive to the surroundings. Woof!

    I am not tooting my own horn. This is just to show how important that light was in that situation and at that time. Also it's a good example of why people without training should probably not stop in a situation like that. No one likes to write up more paperwork and the ME's don't like messy scenes. I'm experienced and I knew what I could and also could not do. I knew the risks. I'm not a hero. I just tried to keep things from getting worse.

    It's good to be prepared and better to realize your limitations.

    So, yeah I will say again that I like having a strobe feature. In that case that one was the right amount of brightness and fast enough of a strobe to really do the job. Of course everyone's mileage may vary but there are a lot of choices of lights out there so choose the one that's right for you but consider that a strobe feature adds no size or weight to a flashlight and could become a very useful tool.
    Last edited by chmsam; 03-30-2012 at 11:25 AM.
    "Show them a light, and they'll follow it anywhere..."

  11. #41
    Flashaholic* djans1397's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    I know many others whine and moan about the strobe function on lights, but I find that they have a legitimate purpose for me. For one, strobe works great at getting ones attention either in a crowd or from a distance, both which I have done on more than one occasion. I also would use it as opposed to high mode should I need to temporarily disorient another; I know that this is only a temporary measure just as high mode is.

    I have several lights that I prefer single mode function on as well as tri modes only without strobe. Depending what I'll be doing with the light or where I'll be going... backpacking in the mountains, EDC house light or late night dog walking light, dictates which light I grab. Hidden function lights with strobe and SOS seem to appease the antistrobe crowds, but I find that this negates it's usefulness... at least for me. My ideal "tactical" light has been ones with high and strobe functions only with a forward clicky switch. I don't think that there are any lights currnetly made that please every flashaholics wishes and there probably will never be. It boils down to personal preference. Like in the gun world... the never ending debate of 9mm vs 40S&W vs 45cal.
    For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (Ephesians 5:8 NIV)

  12. #42
    Flashaholic* mrlysle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    I appreciate having strobe and sos functions on some of my lights. I also like the locator beacon on my HDS lights. When going out in the woods, wilderness, whatever, the active locator beacon could prove very useful if you dropped your light unknowingly, and went looking for it. Also, in my job, we often are flying in a helicopter cross country, sometimes with houses very few and far between. I've often wondered what we would do if we had to ditch in one of these more remote areas. Well, if I was physically able, and of the mind, I'd definitely put one of my lights in sos mode, and prop it where it could be seen from the air, hopefully to get someones attention. Batteries would last a long time if only operating a light in locator beacon or sos mode. I also like the idea of being able to more easily grab someones attention with a strobe if needed. Obviously they aren't modes I use regularly, but I'm glad they are there. My HDS rotary is programmed for the rotary control, sos, and the tac strobe. All available in just a couple clicks if needed.
    Jeff

  13. #43
    Flashaholic* LightWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    If my car breaks down on a busy street, I want to have strobe available, especially if the lights on the car aren't working.
    I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. Jesus Christ - John 12:46

  14. #44

    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    Most people choose "I would not ever use blinky modes, no matter the interface, and I don't even want them on my light. " This just reflect that many people don't want blinky modes. some people choose "Yes, I use strobe modes. " just like my choice.

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    I would like to have a strobe option if it was tucked away since it can come in handy but not very often.

    I also feel that strobe mode would be a better option for any situation that would require SOS mode.

  16. #46

    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    SOS - Most these days likely don't even know the pattern. You can catch attention much easier with strobe or other motions. Strobe - Party trick...drunk kryptonite, attention grabber off of street signs...raves....what's not to love.

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    Even though there are fewer and fewer people who understand what an SOS signal is, I'd consider it just because it is different.

    Strobes might be perceived as a regular, rhythmic pattern and that tends to blend into the background. For example a strobe could be seen as just a tower marker or the like.

    Because an SOS is unusual it might stand a better chance of being noticed. For the dwindling number of folks who know even that little bit of Morse code it would be instantly recognized.

    Again, this is a feature that weighs nothing and takes up no space. Many lights have strobe and SOS features that are less obtrusive to the regular functions of the light as well. While I wouldn't want either feature to be #1 on the controls for a flashlight I don't mind them being there in the background.

    Then again I do know people who take the spare tire out of their vehicle 'cause it takes up too much space when they go on road trips (especially to the outlet malls). Their logic is that they haven't had a flat... yet.

    Ain't that the definition of "the kiss of death?" And these are the same sort of people who call for help and then get ticked off at you because your spare doesn't fit their vehicle.

    Better to have it and not need it maybe?
    Last edited by chmsam; 04-01-2012 at 10:53 AM.
    "Show them a light, and they'll follow it anywhere..."

  18. #48
    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    Quote Originally Posted by chmsam View Post
    [...]
    Then again I do know people who take the spare tire out of their vehicle 'cause it takes up too much space when they go on road trips (especially to the outlet malls). Their logic is that they haven't had a flat... yet.

    Ain't that the definition of "the kiss of death?" And these are the same sort of people who call for help and then get ticked off at you because your spare doesn't fit their vehicle.

    Better to have it and not need it maybe?


    My ex boss once started cursing at the emergency kit that "what do we have this for? we never used it". The afternoon of the same day I saw him use it because he cut himself. The next day it had been completely updated and upgraded. Maybe everyone sould be taken through emergency situations just to get the idea of preparedness into their skull.

    That said, I can easily do without an SOS mode if I have momentary. Then again, if I had to do it 10 hours in a row, I'd rather have an SOS mode and sit back enjoying a coconut.
    Cataract,

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  19. #49

    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    No disco for me.

  20. #50

    Default Re: Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

    As a diver, I would like beacon, SOS, readily available but not in regular cycle. As an mtber, no blinky modes at all, the best light to be seen by is one that allows you to SEE REALLY FAR. I like the drivers that allow access to the different mode groups via switching vs soldering as I don't usually bring my iron along on night dives.
    Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

  21. #51
    Enlightened rlichter's Avatar
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    Default Strobe, anyone?

    Perhaps I should begin this with a question: for what use is the virtually ubiquitous "strobe" function really intended? Is there background evidence from military or police practice? My understanding is that a strobe light is a survival tool that will disorient an attacker allowing one time to run away or counter-attack. I've read comments that there is actually some danger in the effect a strobe may have. On the other hand, I've also read comments that a fixed frequency strobe does very little to disorient, while a variable frequency strobe does more but still won't stop an attacker. What is the straight dope on this topic? Does anyone have empirical information of how to use a strobe effectively in a dangerous situation and what effect it has? Or is it just as likely to accomplish nothing but the escalation of an already dangerous situation? One wouldn't want to rely on a tool that in an emergency does not accomplish what one expects: the temporary disabling of an attacker.

  22. #52
    Flashaholic* GordoJones88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strobe, anyone?

    I've used it to great effect chasing my cats around the yard and out into the woods. I've used it for raves in my closet. I've even used it to disable myself.

  23. #53
    Flashaholic TweakMDS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strobe, anyone?

    In my opinion it's absolutely useless for any personal defense purposes. Best case scenario you'll inflict some heavy blinking and confusion which might give you a few extra seconds to turn and run.

    However, for signalling and warning it's great. If I'd drive my car in a ditch because of ice on the roads (quite common this winter), I'd prefer to have a flashlight with a strobe to alert other drivers.
    I also use it in fire drills to communicate with the team outside (a continuous strobing light would mean "help me" in that scenario).

  24. #54

    Default Re: Strobe, anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by GordoJones88 View Post
    I've even used it to disable myself.
    Probably the best use posted here so far, LOL

    Cheers

  25. #55

    Default Re: Strobe, anyone?

    I have never had a reason for it other than annoying the wife.

  26. #56
    Flashaholic* madecov's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strobe, anyone?

    I have used strobe often on duty while directing traffic. I have also used it effectively to disorient intoxicated ppersons and take them into custody. It doesn't work well in general use and every situation is different. I have also used to signal other officers and ambulances.
    In god we trust.........all others are suspects
    There are no problems in life that can not be solved with high explosives or small arms
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  27. #57

    Default Re: Strobe, anyone?

    Post deleted, see rule #11 which states in part: You agree, through your use of this BB, that you will not post any material which is illegal or which promotes activity that is illegal or could reasonably be foreseen to threaten any person's safety. - Norm
    Last edited by Norm; 01-26-2013 at 12:49 AM.

  28. #58

    Default Re: Strobe, anyone?

    Strobe does work for that what it is intended for, disorientation.
    It will not STOP an attacker, but it does disorientate.
    When You are trained to use that short moment of disorientation, It helps to control the opponent faster. That's all.
    Take all the advantages to Your side, or create advantages. (that's what the word "tactical" is all about)
    We especially use it in non weapon situations, where the use of pepperspary is not advisable.
    A good strobe takes the visibility away for a short moment and disorientates enough to work with.

    We worked at our Police Academy with over 400 students with tactical light training and did a survey about their findings. (with or without strobe and what kind of strobe)
    Most students (in the role of opponent) had much more difficulty's to defend when the strobe was used. Especially when both officers used the Strobe during the arrest.
    (Standing in a V on both sides of the opponent at 2 to 3 Yards) Some of them even felt a bit nausea after a vew seconds.

    We also found, that it was very hard/impossible, to even find the strobe mode under high stress levels, even during training sessions.
    So We had our Tactical Lights produced in a way that the lights ALWAYS start-up in Strobe.
    When they want to use the tactical light for reading or searching, just hold the tail switch 2 sec. Then the other modes can be used.

    We also found that the strobe was more effective in lights with more throw and less flood. (more Lux in the eyes)
    The strobe frequency was more disorienting above 10hz and was less effective above 22hz. (best around 20hz, but that was more general feeling then hard proof)

    This is only what we found during training and research in the last 5 Years. These latest results are from 2012.
    Newer test will be conducted in 2013 with other lights and different situations.
    We are developing the use of Tactical Lights during work and training in hand to hand combat since 2008.

    You don't want to know how hard it was to find a manufactor that "saw the light", and said;
    OK, tell us what You want, We'll see if we can build it.
    Great spirits have always encountered vigorous opposition from mediocre minds.(Ursus arctos horribilis)

  29. #59

    Default Re: Strobe, anyone?

    ^ Great post. Which shows why Fenix's, and similar UI lights, strobe is a joke for defense. Especially for their TK series, it's ridiculous to not have an instantly accessible strobe. To strobe with the average Fenix. Do you think this can all happen in time as somebody surprise attacks you while you're out walking?

    1). Turn on light at tailcap, usually in a cigar hand syle.
    2) Re-orient your hand so you can press the mode button.
    3) Click and hold the mode button.

    or even if you already have the light out and on, you still need to find the tiny mode rubber button and hold it down. If you have gloves on, forget about it.



    "We also found, that it was very hard/impossible, to even find the strobe mode under high stress levels, even during training sessions."
    Last edited by TK41; 01-25-2013 at 10:36 AM.

  30. #60
    Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strobe, anyone?

    delete.
    Last edited by kj2; 01-26-2013 at 09:19 AM.
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