Poll: Do You Use Strobe/SOS Modes?

Do you use Stobe or SOS modes on your LED flashlights?

  • Yes, I use both strobe and SOS modes.

    Votes: 21 7.5%
  • No, but I would use both strobe and SOS modes if I liked the way the interface was done.

    Votes: 14 5.0%
  • Yes, I use strobe modes.

    Votes: 70 25.1%
  • No, but I would use strobe modes if I liked the way the interface was done.

    Votes: 18 6.5%
  • Yes, I use SOS modes.

    Votes: 3 1.1%
  • No, but I would use SOS modes if I liked the way the interface was done.

    Votes: 6 2.2%
  • I would not ever use blinky modes, no matter the interface, but I don't mind if they are there.

    Votes: 37 13.3%
  • I would not ever use blinky modes, no matter the interface, and I don't even want them on my light.

    Votes: 117 41.9%

  • Total voters
    279

Grizzlyb

Enlightened
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Aug 14, 2011
Messages
402
Location
Amsterdam
Re: Strobe, anyone?

Many of our LEO's are thinking practical, . . . . not tactical.

At start when they worked with those lights they asked how they could change the settings so it would start up in the:
"I want to read stuff in the dark mode"

It can't. Simple as that. The question itself was justification enough for us, that we had it made permanent. In any mode You switch it off, it ALWAYS starts-up in Strobe mode.

Police Officers tend to go for the most easy and practical way, not the tactical way. And that is understandable but not preferable.
 

TEEJ

Flashaholic
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
Messages
7,490
Location
NJ
Re: Strobe, anyone?

Grizzly and Madecov are in line with my experience as well.

Too many think its like a taser or something like that...and don't get its just a way to make a perp pause to figure out WTF is going on. It buys time you can use to take advantage of a situation. You can't strobe a guy for more than a few seconds before he figures out that he's being strobed...and takes some sort of action. A drunk on the other hand may stare at it like he's watching a campfire and day dreaming, you never know.

Unless a light is for a tactical purpose, really, strobes tend to just be annoying. I find that on the Klarus lights, such as the XT11, its a LOT easier to hit the strobe...it comes on in strobe even from OFF if you want it to.

Simply hitting a guy in the eyes with enough lux, and holding it there, does almost the same thing, especially if he's night adapted. Coming on in HIGH is therefore Plan A.

Sometimes you just need to see them, and then determine their threat level...and then do what makes sense. If going in, you already sense what that threat level is, you've already decided on what will make sense.

:D
 

Grizzlyb

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
402
Location
Amsterdam
Re: Strobe, anyone?

Good light, The Klarus XT11.
We tryed it. But where not happy with the dual switch. Many times under stress we hit the wrong button.
To choose between 2 small buttons under stress means using fine motor skills.
We experienced that it is not going to work, to many times the wrong switch.

High mode is perfectly blinding but not disorienting.
We use the Strobe also during day time. We experienced that its much harder to judge distances when using the right strobe at enough intensity.

Oh yeah, and try to take it from a velcro pouch/holster with 1 hand when going into a fighting situation. . . . .
So we came up with a special upside-down holster for 1-hand tactical pull, attached to a small spiral cord so You can drop it during arrest/both hands free situation.
 
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TEEJ

Flashaholic
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
Messages
7,490
Location
NJ
Re: Strobe, anyone?

Good light, The Klarus XT11.
We tryed it. But where not happy with the dual switch. Many times under stress we hit the wrong button.
To choose between 2 small buttons under stress means using fine motor skills.
We experienced that it is not going to work, to many times the wrong switch.

High mode is perfectly blinding but not disorienting.
We use the Strobe also during day time. We experienced that its much harder to judge distances when using the right strobe at enough intensity.

Oh yeah, and try to take it from a velcro pouch/holster with 1 hand when going into a fighting situation. . . . .
So we came up with a special upside-down holster for 1-hand tactical pull, attached to a small spiral cord so You can drop it during arrest/both hands free situation.

Nice.

:D
 

kj2

Flashaholic
Joined
May 22, 2010
Messages
8,065
Location
The Netherlands
Re: Strobe, anyone?

Good light, The Klarus XT11.
We tryed it. But where not happy with the dual switch. Many times under stress we hit the wrong button.
To choose between 2 small buttons under stress means using fine motor skills.
We experienced that it is not going to work, to many times the wrong switch.

High mode is perfectly blinding but not disorienting.
We use the Strobe also during day time. We experienced that its much harder to judge distances when using the right strobe at enough intensity.

Oh yeah, and try to take it from a velcro pouch/holster with 1 hand when going into a fighting situation. . . . .
So we came up with a special upside-down holster for 1-hand tactical pull, attached to a small spiral cord so You can drop it during arrest/both hands free situation.

So I assume that you are using a Eden TDL 20?
 

Photon

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Joined
Apr 24, 2001
Messages
184
Location
Plano, TX
Re: Strobe, anyone?

The foursevens.com site has a Lumen Tale (at bottom of page) about some guys who were beset upon by some large dogs.
...Thankfully, I was able to quickly and easily switch to the flashlight's strobe mode. The dogs suddenly froze in place and became very quiet...
 
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Grizzlyb

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
402
Location
Amsterdam
Re: Strobe, anyone?

About dogs we didn't test it yet, but we have a Horse department behind our training facility. Same thing happend to horses.
They froze. Didn't know what to do.
We'll have our Dog department test it more serious on dogs.
But, having sayd that.
We already know, that when a dogs is completely in attack mode, pepperspray won't work.
Adrinaline levels are probably to high.?


kj2 ,
Yep.
 

TEEJ

Flashaholic
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
Messages
7,490
Location
NJ
Re: Strobe, anyone?

I thinks dogs are never oriented in the first place, so you can't disorient them as easily (Some what facetious).

Anecdotally at least, I don't see strobes doing much to dogs and cats. Shining lights in their eyes just annoys them, and I haven't seen a difference, personally at least, between high lux and strobe on a dog. I also think if in attack mode, they will charge blindly, literally as well as figuratively. I have heard of others stopping dogs with strobe though, so, perhaps like people, some are more affected by it than others.
 

Grizzlyb

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Aug 14, 2011
Messages
402
Location
Amsterdam
Re: Strobe, anyone?

I don't see strobes doing much to dogs and cats. Shining lights in their eyes just annoys them, and I haven't seen a difference, personally at least, between high lux and strobe on a dog. I also think if in attack mode, they will charge blindly, literally as well as figuratively. I have heard of others stopping dogs with strobe though, so, perhaps like people, some are more affected by it than others.

Thats my opinion to. Probably in a pre- agressive fase it can more or less confuse a dog. But once in attack mode it stops for almost nothing.

We'll try to conduct the tests with the dogs as scientific as possible, but it will be mostly empirical research.
That department has a lot of dogs, so I expect a good general result. (all police trained, so not all kinds of dogs)
But it is an interesting line of "research".
 

braddy

Enlightened
Joined
Nov 24, 2011
Messages
516
Re: Strobe, anyone?

It can't. Simple as that. The question itself was justification enough for us, that we had it made permanent. In any mode You switch it off, it ALWAYS starts-up in Strobe mode.

Dutch cops must be engaged in some heavy stuff, I would think that non-combat uses would be the routine use of a light, for a policeman.

Tonight I came across an old camera flash that I used to carry with a knife, I only carried it for an emergency, not routine use for lighting, I would think that the Dutch police protest this weird flashlight issue that you describe.
 
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Al_D

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Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
159
Re: Strobe, anyone?

About dogs we didn't test it yet, but we have a Horse department behind our training facility. Same thing happend to horses.
They froze. Didn't know what to do.
We'll have our Dog department test it more serious on dogs.
But, having sayd that.
We already know, that when a dogs is completely in attack mode, pepperspray won't work.

Training mounted units is generally difficult. You're basically conditioning the animal to ignore/suppress instinctual 'flight' responses to 'dangerous stimuli'. Loud noises (pyrotechnic, traffic, crowd), light (vehicle strobes, camera flash), contact (crowd control, other equine); a short list of things to train against. As good as most training is for mounted units I doubt a handful of years of conditioning will really be rid of 55 million years of evolutionary response.
Your result doesn't surprise me much.

As for dogs, my experience is much in-line with yours. A docile canine with nominal temperament will wince at most, squint at least to exposure.
However, under defence/offence, especially canine breeds to have been bred with more defensive/aggressive traits, strobe/OC spray's efficacy is greatly mitigated, at least temporarily. At that extreme (unfortunately where public safety personnel are mostly to encounter issues with our furry friends) neuromuscular or trauma appear the only means effective.

It's been mentioned many times already: I consider stroboscopic modes to be useful for signaling. For actual defence it becomes a matter of training and, with that, having the proper tools to be employed.
 

P_A_S_1

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 1, 2010
Messages
1,271
Location
NYC
Re: Strobe, anyone?

My experiences with strobe is that it works well for signaling, annoying co workers, and traffic details. I watched someone use his strobe feature on a disorderly group at a sumner party and in a way it worked, they all started dancing, it was actually pretty funny. I see it that under the right circumstances it may distract someone for a second but it's far from a disorientating effect. I also find that the strobe frequency of many lights is too quick and it makes the light seem lower in output then it is.
 

Al_D

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Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
159
Re: Strobe, anyone?

I watched someone use his strobe feature on a disorderly group at a sumner party and in a way it worked, they all started dancing, it was actually pretty funny.

Connecting with today's youth. :]
 

jorn

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
2,502
Location
Norway
Re: Strobe, anyone?

I think that strobe is hyped up x10.
Police cars would not use their strobe lights in traffic if it was too blinding or disorientating.. Driving in high speeds between blind and disorientated pepole would be dangerous for everyone.
Strobe will grab your attention.

I use to stop cat fights with a 50k lux light. Both cats freezes in the middle of the fight and sloooowly back up from eachother. Looks really funny every time it happens :) I guess if you cant see, you wont fight. Strobe or not.
 

matt4350

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Joined
Sep 24, 2012
Messages
346
Location
Queensland, Australia
Re: Strobe, anyone?

I've used strobe to disorient annoying dogs, but if I was up against some canine and I feared imminent attack and injury, I'd be using a taser or gun. As for offenders, if you're going to use some type of force to effect an arrest, I'd suggest something more effective than a flashing light. GrizzlyB's posts are very interesting, but demonstrate to me that, without correct training and the right light your efforts may be ineffective. Where I work, we've been specifically told not to use torches as a "use of force" option as a general rule. Lack of research and testing has led to this. In an emergency, or "high stress" situation (as already mentioned above) I would agree the deterioration of fine motor skills would make cycling through modes impractical or impossible. I'm wary of claims a strobe would be effective for self defence, and a little concerned someone might come to grief if they rely on such a thing.
 
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Joe Talmadge

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 30, 2000
Messages
2,202
Location
Silicon Valley, CA
Re: Strobe, anyone?

This is actually a great thread on strobe. I sometimes do a facepalm when I see strobe threads. In the majority of cases, I think the manufacturers throw in strobe because they perceive consumers wanting it, and I think the whatever extent that's correct, much of that is walter mitty-ish. I have seen some use of strobe as an "I'm here" device... walking across a street on a dark night, etc. Hardly seems enough to warrant including it.

My experiences are very close to grizzlyb's in regards to the use of strobe in the situations he describes. When we trained this, we found that for a brief (as in, sub-second) moment, it created a little bit of hesitation. IF you were properly trained to use that hesitation, it could give you some advantage. If not, then it didn't. This metaphor breaks down quickly, but I compare it to a jab in boxing: usually, it creates the briefest moment where you can slip away to slow an attack, or a brief distraction for you to present a more effective offense. I know what to do after a jab because I've spent enough time in the ring figuring it out. IF you haven't trained, then it's harder to take advantage of it. One thing for sure, in the vast majority of cases, guys don't just fall down and give up from a jab, at best I have a moment to capitalize on.
 

Al_D

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Aug 28, 2012
Messages
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Re: Strobe, anyone?

God forbid any of us have an entertaining and informative discussion based on a well posed question. :)
 
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