Best Flashlight for Firemen....

cqbdude

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Jan 13, 2006
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Kalifornia
Im a member of a Volunteer Dept. and the city gave us permission to train on 3 houses that are going to be demolished .

One of the excercise was to do a search in a smoked filled house .
Of course being a flashaholic , decided to try my flashlights to see if they will help.

235513522.jpg

The smoke was really thick, but what the heck, I have a Quad Cree Mag that might be up to the challenge....

235513527.jpg

Ok, maybe not...

235513529.jpg

Definitely not, the flashlight didnt really help beyond 3 feet..it was really scary..

235513516.jpg


I even took a video inside , but I need to find a place to host it...

Anyways, any solutions?? Maybe do a mod on a mag to make it work in smoke filled house...

Thanks...
 

supes

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GA,USA
Cool pics. I suggest something powerful that is an incandescent because LEDs can't cut through smoke and fog as well as the yellow light. But even with a lot of light, its going to be hard to cut through that amount of smoke. Maybe Surefire M6? :D Or ROP high?

BTW, you can host the video on www.youtube.com? or www.photobucket.com?
 

Tjin

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Mine experians with white led's are that they don't work in smoke. The whiteness causes the light to reflect on the smoke. Causing a beam that is very visible, but doens't show me whats behind the smoke.

A good old, incan with moderate output seems to work best. Pelican makes good ones, which also has a ATEX certification (explosion safe, gives you a safer feeling when the LEL meter starts peeping and flashling)
 

cqbdude

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I even tried my Magcharger with a FiveMega battery Mod , I think it boosted the voltage to 7.2 volts and it didnt really do any better...
 

Timson

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Nice shots.........

We used to have to do enclosed compartment firefighting as part of our training when I was in the Navy.
In my experience when dealing with a truly smoke filled room - the only use for a personal flashlight would be so that you could tell that the person holding it was standing directly next to you.

If you could actually make that person out you would be within touching distance of them anyway !

A powerful flashlight just lights up the smoke and makes things worse...Think putting your high beams on in the car when driving in fog.

Your brain gets even more confused when it thinks it should be able to see and it can't...Best bet is to close your eyes and go by sense of touch....Seriously.


Tim
 

Lobo

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Tjin said:
Mine experians with white led's are that they don't work in smoke. The whiteness causes the light to reflect on the smoke. Causing a beam that is very visible, but doens't show me whats behind the smoke.

This is my experience also, but oddly enough, Streamlight Survivor LED (and I'm not aware of a incan version) is geared to firefighters and to cut through smoke, fog etc. Dont know why they didnt use an incan, or if there's a way to make LEDs to actually cut through smoke and fog.
 

roadie

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basically, u need to find a waterproof, metal housing, capable of high beam (more than 200 lumens) light .......

worse to worse, u can always get a modamag here .......

:)
 

ghostguy6

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Pelican lights are engineered more towards industial applications. The local fire department here uses stealth lights mounted to their helmets and carry Big D's (3850). I have a M8 8030 that I sometimes carry when im working in a bar that has a smoke machine running and it cuts through the smoke pretty good. StealthLite™ 2400 Photoluminescent (http://pelican.com/lights_detail.php?recordID=2400PL) might be a great choice for you as it has a glow in the dark shroud around the head so you can see it even when the light isnt on, it uses AA sized batteries and is fairly bright.
 

cqbdude

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I have a pelican that I forgot to bring, so I didnt get to try it out. I have been checking out the Pelican website as well for the other models, but I would love to build one for this type of application...
 

beezaur

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I did some experiments with visibility through smoke a while back. I put some smoldering material at one end of a small pipe and looked through it at a target past the other end,

White light, whether from a bulb or an LED, was really bad.

A flashlight with a red LED (LuxIII) was only "pretty bad." I have since gotten a couple of lights made with amber LuxIIIs, and tried them in thick fog. They are a little better, since you eyes are more sensitive to amber, but still pretty bad.

The problem with all of them was backscatter. Wavelength helps some (amber being best) but they all produced a lot of backscatter.

I think it is the beam tightness than the wavelength that makes the most difference. It helps a lot to get the light "off axis" to reduce the backscatter.

The best luck I have had cutting through smoke or fog is to get a very narrow beam and hold it as far from my eyes as possible.

Scott
 

CLHC

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As ghostguy6 mentioned above regarding the Pelican BIG D, there's also the Pelican BIG ED and the Survivor to take a look at.

Hope you find what you're looking for and Enjoy!
 

JohnK

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I've got a lot of fire fighter friends.

I have loaned a BUNCH of lights to them.

Conclusion: LEDs bluish light "scatters" too much. Yellowish incandescents do better.

A lot of "spill" is bad ! Even a large corona is not good.

The most liked light was a 2C Mag I had modded to take 3/CR123s, and with a very tight focus.

One fire fighter said it was the best he had ever seen.

BUT: the dept wouldn't buy them batteries for the lights.
 

carbine15

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Firefighters need a plastic housing (so they dont get burned picking up a dropped light) around a white laser. More throw, no spill to penetrate the smoke. Color of the light probably doesnt matter so much but a yellow beam is less likely to be reflected off the smoke than a smoke colored light. I imagine that if all the smoke was yellow that this would not hold true.
 

cqbdude

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I guess I will have to try one of them Seoul P4 emitter and put them on a Mag....

I had a Mag with quad cree that didnt workout too well..
 

coontai

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People only use the big ed and survivor at my station. I have heard no complaints except when they have to buy a new battery and there are only NICADS availiable...
 

cqbdude

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Kalifornia
Thank You all for recommending the Pelican lights...there are a few in my group that carries the Big Ed and the smaller lights..

Im hoping to see if I can build something mo better......you know...mod something...
 

jumpstat

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Interesting. Would other coloured led fare better? like infrared or blue, green etc. Maybe a test with high incan, hid etc. Probably flooder better suited than a thrower.......God forbid if there is an emergency like the above, at least some preparations are in order. Thanks for the insight....
 
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