A tactical flashlight is a flashlight that uses 3-volt 123A lithium ion batteries or is a rechargeable flashlight capable of producing at least 300 lumens of light. Some can light the darkness with up to 600 lumens. A 100 watt light bulb produces 1500 lumens but it won’t seem as bright as a small 500 lumens flahslight emitted in a tight beam from a light emitting diode (LED). It’s called a tactical flashlight because when shined in the eyes of a criminal attacker in low light situations it will temporarily deprive the attacker of his nightvision, allowing you time to escape and/or present your lawfully carried concealed firearm for your defense. You should never stand your ground; you should move as you maneuver your response so that when the attacker’s vision returns you won’t be where he last saw you.
So what exactly happens when you shine brilliant white light in an attacker’s eyes? We animals of the mammalia Class of Taxonomic ranking have light-sensitive receptor proteins on the rods of our retina. It’s what enables us to see in low light, even somewhat in darkness. These proteins are a biological pigment called Rhodopsin. Our dogs or cats have more of it than we do and that’s why their night vision is so much better than ours. They have always needed it because they’re nocturnal. We are not nocturnal (we are diurnal, meaning we sleep at night) so we never needed as much. We needed some, however. Most caves aren’t equipped with steel security doors.
It is the character of Rhodopsin that gives us a tactical edge against a criminal if we have one of the modern LED tactical flashlights such as those made by Surefire or Streamlight. When Rhodopsin is exposed to light, it immediately photobleaches. In humans, it regenerates in about 30 minutes; after which the rods in our retina are fully sensitive again. But near total night blindness only lasts about 30 seconds. That’s gives you a very long time to find a way to effectively respond to a criminal’s attack by either fleeing, summoning help, and/or employing your preferred method of force in self defense.
A tactical flashlight and a cell phone are important tools for your self defense. The flashlight pictured at the top of this post puts out 600 lumens of blinding light, will project a narrow beam of light for an amazing distance, is 5.6 inches long, 1.125 inches diameter, weighs 4.2 ounces and has a run time of 2.25 hours. Notice the serrated edges surrounding the front housing of the light source. Also around the opposite end, the base. On mine these are very sharp, but I’ve never cut myself. You ususally don’t grab the flashlight is such a way for that to happen. The belt clip is a nice touch. This is the ultimate in tactical flashlights and it’s price of $265 reflects that. You don’t need one this expensive nor this powerful. You can find several for under $100 that will work just fine.