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Thread: Flashligt for self defense ?

  1. #1

    Default Flashligt for self defense ?

    I was lurking around for quite a while, and today I decided to join CPF.
    I'm quite excited about the many options one has when looking for a quality flashlight.

    But this also makes it hard to decide which one actually to get !
    (And I'm not yet in the stage of "getting them both" :-) )

    So, I was wondering if a flashlight could be useful for self defense or not.

    First, it has to be with me when I need it. So it should be small to fit in my pocket.
    Currently I have an Inova X5T there, and it's size is OK (maybe a slight little bit too long).

    Second, it has to be bright.
    On it's website, Surefire says about flashlights which have an output of about 60 Lumen: "When a light this bright is directed to the eyes of a potential attacker, it is a powerful deterrent."
    I would think that the distance to that person is of great importance. Flashlights with more throw would be effective at a greater distance then flashlights with the same Lumen output which have a broader beam.

    This leads to the question if an L4 with 65 Lumen has the same effect as a G2 or 6P with 65 Lumen.
    Lets say at a distance of about 3-5 m (10-15 foot ?)

    Does somebody have experience with this, or is it irrelevant and EDC flashlights are not capable of irritating a determined badguy anyway ?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    Can't say I've ever wanted to irritate anyone in self defense, but momentarily blinding them would surely help get in those first hits, stabs, shots, whatever, or steps in the other direction, for that matter.
    Actually, irritate is dead-on, though. Some posts about "tactical lights" would make the reader think an assailant was rendered helpless by the beam of a flashlight [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif[/img]


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    Something like a Streamlight Scorpion comes to mind, or a Brinkmann Legend LX. They are about the same, but the Scorpion comes with an extra bulb, and seems to me to be just a little bit brighter. It would definitely temporarily blind someone.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    So, I was wondering if a flashlight could be useful for self defense or not.>>>>>>>>>>>&g t;>>>>>>

    Only if the second "light" is .357 caliber.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    There is much to learn on this subject here and on other sites like Strategos.com. The short version is:

    1) A bright flashlight may (or may not) create a brief or momentary startle/hesitation/distraction reaction in an attacker or threatening individual.

    2) This modality must be backed up by lethal/less-lethal means or by escape.

    3) Failure to have a backup AND backup plan along with proper training in the use of both your flashlight and your weapon or less lethal device along with focused and frequent practice of this plan could result in injury or worse.

    This may sound rather extreme to the uninitiated, but please heed this advice and research this subject thoroughly.

    Brightnorm

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    Can we say AFTERIMAGE. If you DO catch the full blown 50-120 lumens in nice dark adapted eyes, you WILL be momentarily, perhaps MANY seconds blinded. That's a big if......

    That said, it's a most useful tool in combination with other defensive tactics.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    As said above a good tool to use (bright flashlight.)

    I have shined a Tigerlight in my eyes and gosh, I was seeing spots for a good 10 seconds.

    www.tigerlight.net I have the 8 inch non OC one, but plan on getting the OC one in a few months. A good tool to have.

    Then there should be a back-up if all that fails. Proper low light/no light shooting classes and a 45 ACP might do the trick.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    A 6 D-cell Maglight makes a pretty good club.

    Self defense rules from the common sense school of martial arts:
    Be polite.
    Stay away from trouble.
    Learn to run.

    This last advice I heard from a old boxer when someone asked about how he handles bar fights. He said he stays in shape by running. In case of trouble he runs. He said most people tire after a few blocks and give up.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    if you're aiming to blind them, you could try a laser pointer or perhaps an ultraviolet flashlight, but knowing america as it exists today he'll sue you for damaging his eyes and win.

    With that said, you can always get a Mag 6C or 5D modded with a 3-5 watt luxeons for a combination of blind and blunt, but the easier way would simply to get some pepper spray off of ebay... which can be had for dirt cheap and combine it with a good 3 or 5 watt luxeon bulb with a couple 123 batteries.

    Many of the el cheapo pepper sprays will identify the person using ultraviolet light, perfect for those UV LED Flashlights [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    Welcome to CPF, absolite !

    A small, powerful flashlight is a very good supplement to a firearm for self-defense at night. But, in and of itself, it has little defensive value against someone at close range who wants to attack you.

    It may interfere with their vision significantly enough for you to get away.

    The G2 measures 4000 Lux at beam center compared to the L4's 580 Lux. The L4's output is not concentrated into a comparitively narrow beam like the G2's.

    From the last line in your originating post it sounds to me like you have a healthy skepticism of advertising copy, and that's good. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

    BC




  11. #11
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    Hello mporter,

    I like that last bit of advice...

    Tom

  12. #12

    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    [ QUOTE ]
    stockwiz said:
    if you're aiming to blind them, you could try a laser pointer...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    stocwiz,

    Even if legal a laser pointer's narow beam would require pinpoint accuracy, something very difficult to achieve in a brief adrenaline filled moment.


    [ QUOTE ]
    .... the easier way would simply to get some pepper spray off of ebay... which can be had for dirt cheap... ..Many of the el cheapo pepper sprays will identify the person using ultraviolet light, perfect for those UV LED Flashlights [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Many of the el cheapo OC sprays may have minimal effect on a determined assailant. Your OC should have the highest possible SHU rating which is why most experienced officers recommend Fox OC at 5,200,000 SHU. (Scofield Heat Units). You should choose your OC as thoughtfully as you would choose any weapon.

    Brightnorm




  13. #13

    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    Thank you for your comments so far, it seems to me that the self defense value (especially in small lights which fit in a pocket for EDC) is not as high as sometimes advertised.
    It also requires a good deal of training, luck and some backup plan as stated here and in other threads.

    Maybe I should concentrate more on the lighting abilities of my would-be flashlight and how they correlate with my intended use of the light.

    That would be in my case:
    1. small enough for EDC. Max. the length of the X5T, diameter could be slightly more.
    2. long runtime, starting from at least one hour, preferably more
    3. wide beam. I think it should be possible to run with the light in complete darkness.
    4. ability to reach as far as 10 m (30 foot)
    5. durable. That includes the light source as well. I don't ever want to replace the bulb.
    6. 123 batteries to avoid leakage, because I suppose the light will be used no more than twice a week
    7. It should look COOL <- Is this the first sign of flashaholism ? Or am I already doomed ? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grinser2.gif[/img]

    The above statement would rule out incandescent lights , wouldn't they ?
    I would appreciate some recommendations, also on the usefulness of my requirements.

    PS: Is it advisable to start another thread, because the topic now changed from self defense to flashlight recommendation ?

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* chamenos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    sounds like you want either a surefire L4 or L5 [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    Or take a look at an A2. When I understand well you can buy and have OC's in the States? Here in Holland you're not even allowed to have blue paint mini-spray. It's not even a deterent. but few people here have heard of the blinding effects of a flashlight. I've lived for 10 years in a downtown area which had quite some problems: with 10.000 people anything between 10 en 25 murders/manslaughter a year there are a lot of other incidents not ending in a casualty. Because I worked in shifts I often had to walk through the area at odd times. A 6P with a P61 light (120 lumen) has stop a lot of trouble before there was any trouble. When 3 or 4 agressive looking people are walking at you from a dark alleyway and you light up the alley, it shows them they are up to someone who is aware of it's surrounding. Of course this also has an downside: you show them it could be though. If they still continue it is best to run. Even if they don't have a gun (which tend to be scares and expensive here), a knife is as leathel as a club or any other thing which can be used as a weapon.
    But it has helped me several times to scare of people in an early stage and stay out of trouble.

    This situation can vary form country to country and times change as well: after the Balkan war in Yougoslavia, we see more (cheap) firearms and even handgranades (one was even trown at a police station a while ago). When they have a gun you could easily annoy them and they could shoot you just because u look like a threat to them.

    So the question you first could ask yourself is: "can I use a flashlight as a deterent, or are the additional riscs to great?"

    I moved to a more secure area and now I use just a EDC which has 50 lumen and leds (A2) because the risc and threat is smaller.
    See or the A2 fits youre list of demands:
    1. small enough for EDC.
    yep, or at least it is for me.
    2. long runtime,
    the 50 lumen has a runtime of 60 min, the leds 20 hours
    3. wide beam.
    Mmmh, running on the led beam I would not reconmend but it is possible the incandecent beam is to narrow.
    4. ability to reach as far as 10 m (30 foot)
    It does easily throw 10 m.
    5. durable.
    I thought it was Size15s, he got 45 sets of batteries empty whith his first bulb.
    6. 123 batteries to avoid leakage,
    it does use those.
    7. It should look COOL
    You're addicted, that's for sure. I think it looks cool. But well, it's personal I guess so take a look at a store, feel it and you've already bought one.

    Wow, it has become a lot of text. I hope it helped. A little at least.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    Last week here in Australia was Schoolies Week, where most of the High School Leavers from around the country go to the Gold Coast to massive party for a week. I happen to be a High School Leaver and was in attendance. Security at Schoolies is becoming worse and worse every year.

    Being cautious and a newbie flashaholic, I carried my G2 Nitrolon with P61 120 lumen HOLA (I normally carry my Leatherman Micra and Wave but since there's metal detectors everywhere, I chose my Surefire). I carried it with the possible intention of saving my own life and saving others' lives. Fortunately, I didn't run into any trouble. However, just for fun, from the apartment (10th floor), I shone the beam around at the pedestrians below (mostly drunk) and even from that distance, it startled them all, some screaming and covering their eyes.

    Anyway, I think that I've gone on a complete tangent.

    Bottom line is that Surefires with Xenon bulbs will disrupt vision. I've used many LED torches and accidently shone many into my own eyes. The pure white light (usually with blue tinge) is extremely noticeable when your eyes are night vision adapted but will not disrupt vision like a well focused 120 lumen beam will.

    I can't even remember what the question was, I'm not even sure if this post is even relevant. Oh well, I spent the time writing it, might as well post it.

    Jeff

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    Given your stated requirements, I would go with the Surefire L4 for its brightness and the Inova X5T White LEDs for the longer runtime. Both use 2 x CR123A. Both would fill a variety of needs beyond the immediate tactical portion.

    As to number 7, thou art already doomed. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    I would also recommend the CMG Infinity Ultra, as it can use NiMH, Alkaline, or Lithium AA, and would fill another set of close in needs, besides using a common battery type. The Arc AA would do the same thing, although the the Ultra may be easier for you to get.

    The self defense use of light, is to give you enough time to successfully evade, or, take other action, depending on circumstances and laws.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* chamenos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    alecgold: i agree completely with you....the A2 is my EDC for the same reasons you stated [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] the possibility of the bulb breaking if the light is dropped does bother me though, so i'm extra careful with my A2 [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    I brought a 5D Mag with a 5W Cyan to Iraq with me. The 30mm optics were perfect to give a bright hotspot but wide enough to be useful. The response of my test subjects was similar, cover the eyes and bend over a little.
    The next step would to give them 5D cells over the skull... if that did not work... the M-16 would work.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    BentHead, might that not also work for "sushi scull" to get rid of her cauliflower and pomegranate syndrome? ROFLOL

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* hotbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    White LED light will disorientate the assailant much better than an incandescent of the same lux output. Givent the size you require (X5T size), the best bet would be a SF L5/L6. Althought the L6 would be bigger than your desired size. Also a modded Pelican M6 with a 5w should be considered.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    [ QUOTE ]
    JohnK said:
    So, I was wondering if a flashlight could be useful for self defense or not.>>>>>>>>>>>&g t;>>>>>>

    Only if the second "light" is .357 caliber.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    dammit, I almost had to wipe coffee off the computer screen... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hahaha.gif[/img]

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    [ QUOTE ]
    stockwiz said:

    Many of the el cheapo pepper sprays will identify the person using ultraviolet light, perfect for those UV LED Flashlights [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The only thing ya gotta remember with pepper sprays is that
    you have to position the attacker downwind from you! Otherwise, that could hurt. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img]

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    I got a sf e2, I put the tid on it, it's excellent self defense light. Check it out
    http://www.gggaz.com/products/tid.php

  25. #25

    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    [ QUOTE ]
    hotbeam said:
    White LED light will disorientate the assailant much better than an incandescent of the same lux output.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    In an other reply quite the opposite was stated, namely that an incandescent flashlight was more effective for blinding than a LED light. Does somebody have some more information on that matter ?

    In a self test I shined an Inova X5T directly in my open eyes, and did the same with an UKE 4AA. For me it seemed that the UKE was more blinding (my eyes even hurt somewhat while looking into the light).

    But given that the UKE does have more light output than the Inova, the test was somewhat misleading.
    Currently I have no two lights with equal output for testing [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

    Nevertheless, both tests did not impair my ability to see immediately after switching off the light. Surely the output of both lights is too small.


  26. #26

    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    [ QUOTE ]

    White LED light will disorientate the assailant much better than an incandescent of the same lux output...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thinking.gif[/img]

    I didn't see the SF L5 up on Quickbeam's Overall Output vs Throw Chart, so I substituted the SF L4. The incandescent light I found that had the same Lux reading was the Mini-Maglite 2xAA.

    SF L4: 580 Lux 5800 QUPS
    M-Mag: 580 Lux 1000 QUPS

    At close range, I think the SF L4 would be much more effective than a stock MiniMag. However, as the distance opens I think the Lux reading of the L4's beam center will drop off rather steeply.

    Restricting the choice of incandescents to models whose Lux at beam center is no greater than an LED's, severely biases the comparison in favor of the LED.

    It would be more realistic to compare lights that have the same battery type and number, as well as overall size and weight. Maybe a couple other things, too. For instance the SF A2 (incandescent) and SF G2 (P60):

    SF A2 2300 Lux 5750 QUPS
    SF G2 5200 Lux 4000 QUPS

    At very close range (say, 0-3 feet), when my eyes are adjusted to the dark, even the modest beam from an Arc AA is way too bright for me to look at.

    When the distance is opened up to 5, 10, 15 feet and more, a substantially greater amount of light in the more tightly cohesed beam of a 6 volt incandescent light like the G2, PM6, or even the A2 gets into my eyeball compared to 1 and 5 watt LEDs. For the most part.

    However, the use of modified Pelican reflectors, Fraen LP and 30mm collimating optics, along with the single die, Luxeon III LEDs, is narrowing the gap. It sounds like Surefire's L5 and L6 reflectors are getting similar results.

    I haven't checked them out at night outside, looking into the center of the beam from distances in excess of 10 feet, but my McLux 917ma Lux III and Mr. Bulk 3xAA Lux III Fraen LP SLGI are definitely powerful enough for disorienting a boogieman inside my place...to distract them just long enough for me to pop them out of their socks. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/xyxgun.gif[/img]

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] heh heh, I've been waiting to use that combo.
    BC


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    Another thing to remember...in a fight for your life...use anything you can get your hands on...I'm a lifelong student of tae kwon do, and for example, if getting grabbed from behind, use your flashlight's bezel/head and ram it into thier throat or neck. The head of my SF G2 is hard enough to make an impact, and would not be a fun experience to get nailed with it in a jabbing motion in the groin, face, or chest. Go for the main vital areas. In a lot of areas, it's illegal to carry a gun or knife, but I know of no law prohibiting a little flashlight. I had a Brinkman Legend LX on me and holding it the right way, in a close quarters situation, could be used as an effective tool. Blind them, and then hit em with it, in a striking motion, not an overhead swing like you would a bottle or bigger maglite. This may break your flashlight head/bulb/lens but it could possibly save your life.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    jbroker83, good point. But as tempting as it might be to swing the Maglite club-style, don't overlook using it in exactly the same way as you would a Surefire, in a jabbing, spear-like move. The extra heft/reach may be rewarding. No one thinks to use a bat like this for sudden, close range tactics; one always goes for the full windup, giving your opponenet way too much time to react. One smack of the end of a baseball bat (or, say, a 3D Maglite) stiffly in the face can cause a variety of damage. What's important here is to get the time needed to wield the weapon down for close range. When they get close, drop the pike and use the short sword!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Flashligt for self defense ?

    Yes, there are definately times to employ both tactics of self-defense with the flashlight. Mainly, it depends on which you have available.

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