The ordinary flashlight in itself has one commonly known use: shedding light in the darkness. However, there is a tougher flashlight designed for tactical purposes: the tactical flashlight. The word tactical is an adjective that is used to refer to and describe anything that is created to serve a specific purpose to enhance military and police efficiency. They are thus made of more durable material, and are designed to be more functional than the common flashlight. Tougher and versatile, that’s a simple way of describing the tactical flashlight.
Although ‘tactical’, tactical flashlights are slowly getting popularity among civilians as a tool that may come in handy for utility and self-defense. The tactical flashlight can be used in many ways in a common person’s everyday life. Having it around at all times could be more than handy for anyone. Ever wonder what other uses a tactical flashlight may have other than providing light? Here’s a complete guide on the wide array of tactical flashlight use in everyday life and survival:
The sections are divided into two larger groups of usage: enhancing the sense of sight and saving lives. The subtitles with red text are specifically for the self defense, while the rest of the subtitles are more on being more efficient in our daily tasks.
1. Enhancing our sense of sight: finding and seeing things
- A tactical flashlight could always come in handy for finding things, or simply allowing us to see better in our chores.
- Tactical flashlights, or flashlights generally, aren’t just useful at night. We encounter dark corners round the clock every day. You may be trying to find something lost, like that watch that you suspect to have fallen under your bed. Or you may simply need more light in fixing your car in the garage or your TV.
- Our sense of sight is important in most of our daily tasks. Seeing clearly under well-lighted conditions is a prerequisite to working efficiently. Seeing our tasks and environment clearly allows us to move with confidence and well-thought of strategies that we may not have if we don’t see what’s ahead of us clearly.
To maximize the use of a gadget, it is important to know what it is and is not capable of doing. Along segments of this article, some modifications and modes will be discussed to give a better understanding of a tactical flashlight’s functionality and limits.
Throw and Flood mode
A flashlight’s light can have two modes of spreading; each designed for a specific purpose. It can extend farther vertically, or spread wider around you. The longer ray of light that has a much defined beam is called “throw”, while the wider ray of light that illuminates your immediate surroundings but doesn’t reach too far is called “flood”. In general, flashlights with good flooding are good for seeing close-up and immediate objects, while throw is more useful in seeing objects that are more distant. Some tactical flashlights offer to have both options, with a knob or button for switching modes.
2. Enhancing our sense of sight: survival and sending signals
Emergencies are inevitable in our lives. We always face the danger of losing electricity at home, getting stuck at a place without electricity, or being a victim to natural disaster. We never know, but we must not let the fear of the unknown stop us from living. Tactical flashlights now often use led lights, are compact, and have long lasting batteries. They also have modes that are specially designed for survival.
S.O.S. and Beacon Mode
- In case of being in need for rescue, some tactical flashlights have flashing SOS and Beacon modes that flash a bright beam of light in definite time intervals. This gives off a message to rescuers of your need for rescue, and could even save you the burden of having to build up strength for shouting or moving.
- Furthermore, carrying a flashlight alone in one’s hand establishes a feeling of vigilance and awareness. To ensure survival in any emergency situation, keep flashlight within reach and hold on to it when in an unfamiliar or dangerous place. It won’t hurt to be ahead of the situation, rather than be caught off-guard.
3. Enhancing our sense of sight: in special situations [light filters]
Tactical flashlights could be equipped with different accessories that would make it well adapted to specialized situations. Tactical flashlight could be equipped with filters. Red filters allow for better night vision, while green filters are good for hunting since it doesn’t drive or scare animals away and it can’t be seen from the side. Some other filters like blue and yellow are mostly used for seeing blood for investigation purposes.
4. Enhancing our sense of sight: identifying the aggressor
- Dangerous elements often lurk in the dark.When we are faced with danger or simply uncertainty, light could be of great help. When in the dark, make sure to have a tactical flashlight held tightly on your fist. Shed light towards the direction that you will take. Being visually aware and holistically alert would always put you in an advantageous position in times of danger.
- Its use is not limited to pre-emptive action. Tactical flashlights are also useful in identifying an anonymous aggressor. It may be a living thing, another human, or simply a lump on the road that you may trip on.
- When being attacked, make sure to shed light on his or her face and other features. Knowing your attacker may come in handy in the future. Plus, it might make them more uncomfortable and cautious to move when they could clearly be seen. Seeing them would allow you to plan your offense and defense, and would give you an upper hand in the situation.
Aside from that, since you hold the light source, you can mostly control and can and can’t be seen. Shed the light and put it off with your advantages and your attacker’s disadvantage in mind.
5. Enhancing our sense of sight: closing in on target
As mentioned, the tactical flashlight could be used on identifying an aggressor and manipulating light conditions to your advantage. Aside from that, if the need arises for you to make your move, a tactical flashlight could be of help too. Some tactical flashlights come with built-in or detachable mounts to guns. But essentially, you can use it to close in on your target and attack given any weapon in hand.
6. Saving lives: blinding or distracting the aggressor
A very bright light could be used to either temporarily distract or blind an aggressor. This is why it is important to use your light wisely in the event of an attack.
A flashlight’s brightness could be measured in lumens. Tactical flashlights have higher lumens options due to their tactical purpose. The level of brightness that you possess can perform varied tasks. It is important to know how much brightness you need for the tasks that you imagine to have your tactical flashlight help you with.
Counting lumens levels to brighten up a space or damage an aggressor’s sense of sight
A tactical flashlight with lumens lower than 60 is enough to illuminate a small space indoors, but most likely would not spread so much light outdoors. This much lumens won’t be enough to temporarily blind a potential aggressor, but could still mess with a person’s night vision if the lumens go higher than 15.
Below 150 but higher than 60
This range is just right for exploring outdoors. This is enough lumens to provide ample lighting in an open space. Arguably, a lumens higher than 100 should be enough to temporarily blind an aggressor (provided that your aggressor’s eyes is adjusted to darkness and the lighting conditions are far from bright in any way). However, on slightly brighter conditions, the amount of lumens needed to blind a person would be higher. It is thus important to note that if you have a tactical flashlight with this lumens range, don’t let your aggressor’s eyes get used to the brightness level in the room before attempting to temporarily blind him or her. Get to it as early on as you may.
Below 300 but higher than 150
This range is much brighter. Lumens closer to 150 will be enough to blind a person temporarily in a lighted place at night. Lumens close to 300 would be enough to cause blindness in an indoor daylight condition. This light is enough to illuminate a large room, or a large outdoor space.
Higher than 300
These are pretty serious lumens right here. Most common flashlights would need a burst mode and specialty batteries to reach this level. With this much levels, it shouldn’t be hard to light up a football field. You should also be more careful in directing this to people’s eyes at any lighting situation. This level of lumens would unquestionably be able to do pretty serious damage to one’s seeing capabilities. Some people who are really particular with their lumens go with tactical flashlights that have a capacity higher than 700. This level is strategically used for rescue operations.
The Strobe mode
Some flashlights come with a Strobe mode. This mode is strategically made to disorient a potential aggressor. This mode is mostly used by police officers when they see the need for it. It sheds of a fast and very bright blinking light in varying patterns to confuse people.
7. Saving lives: striking
A tactical flashlight has different parts. The basic ones would be the body (battery compartment), the switch, the head (LED housing), the tail, and the bezel. As already established, tactical flashlights are utilized to put someone in an advantage in the case of an attack or emergency. The bezel is the tactical flashlight’s part that surrounds the light itself. Some may think that it is sometimes shaped in unique ways for aesthetic purposes. However, bezels are designed with tough and protruding crenulated edges to help break certain surfaces (windows) or even another man’s skull. Use this knowledge with caution though. Only attack and strike if there is a great need to do so. Usually, temporarily blinding a person would be enough to stage an escape and report the situation.
Also, if you want a tactical flashlight that could potentially be used for striking, make sure that you get one with a tough material. Although most tactical flashlights are made of anodized aluminum, stainless steel, or even titanium, there are still some that are made out of plastic to become lightweight. Make sure that you also get a shock-proof tactical flashlight to get the job done.
The key to making the most out of your tactical flashlight (whether you possess it now or you are about to buy a new one for yourself) is knowing the range of what it can and can’t do.
Also, you can’t make the most out of it if you keep it under your bedside table or at the trunk of your car. Keep it in your pocket and with you at all times like that Swiss knife. Unlike many self-defense tools, a tactical flashlight is one of the few (if not the only) ones that you can bring anywhere without it being confiscated. Again, keep it with you whenever possible and always be vigilant on your surroundings. A hidden tactical flashlight is no use for emergencies, but a tactical flashlight in hand can go as far as saving yourself or another precious life.
Invest in accessories that could make your tactical flashlight more portable and easy to carry and use. A case that could be attached to your belt or a belt clip could be purchased if your tactical flashlight won’t fit in your pockets. You can also consider checking the lumens capacity of your light body, and the modes that it has that you can use in case an emergency comes up.
An ideal tactical flashlight that will be your companion in daily life would generally have to be compact and portable, has an easily accessible on and off switch, is blindingly bright to a certain degree, and is sturdy. The rest of the features would depend on your needs, budget, and taste. Any tactical flashlight could be put to good use if you know its capability range and features. Stay safe!