If it were a nightmare, you could wake up and it would be over. But this is worse. It's real and it's just beginning. That noise that startled you from a sound sleep can mean only one thing. There's an intruder in your home. If you're smart, you have a plan for this kind of situation, like picking up the cell phone by your bed and calling the coppers. They're trained to handle this sort of thing.
Even so, with your family's well-being at stake, you feel an urgency to act--now. You reach for your trusty gun. But, there's another piece of defensive gear that's just as important--a tactical flashlight. Developed initially for Special Forces in the military and law enforcement, these lights, with their intensely bright beams, are also available to civilians. They offer protection by temporarily blinding an intruder. Unlike a room light or a conventional flashlight, which shows the bad guys where you are, tactical lights are designed to identify a target without turning you into one.
Tactical lights are designed specifically to be used either alongside a weapon (a handheld) or mounted on a long gun or handgun (a weapon light). There's little point in blinding an intruder to gain a momentary advantage if you can't follow up and get the drop on him. Bluffing is a dangerous game.
Handheld lights are compact, lightweight, and typically use a momentary switch in the tailcap. You grip the light as you would a hypodermic syringe, with your thumb on the switch. This grip helps you to interlock your hands to brace and aim your handgun, something you can't do with a larger flashlight. The momentary switch allows you to sweep a room with short, powerful bursts of light--a technique that makes it difficult for a bad guy to pick out your position.
Weapon lights, which usually can double as handhelds, attach to your gun by sliding into a rail mount that either comes as part of the gun package, or can be purchased separately. Remote switches on long-gun models let you activate the light while maintaining your grip on the gun.
Compared to conventional flashlights, tactical lights deliver more light from a more compact, lighter package. A conventional flashlight with two D batteries and a standard bulb puts out about 15 to 20 lumens. A tactical light cranks out a minimum of 60 lumens of solid beam with no holes or dark spots. It also can stand up to the shock and recoil of a firearm.
Tactical lights get their blinding ability from a high-pressure xenon-filled bulb with a tungsten filament. Power comes from a pair of 3-volt AA lithium batteries instead of conventional 1.5-volt cells. These batteries typically will give about an hour of continuous run time, and bulbs typically last 25 hours. The 6 volts of juice burns the filament hotter and whiter than that in a conventional flashlight. Precision tolerances between the bulb and reflector, and refractive coatings or finishes on the reflector, produce a solid, uniform beam of light.
Tactical lights come in an assortment of models and features – take a look at Klarus Light’s website to choose the perfect tactical flashlight!