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How Is A Tactical Flashlight Used: Self Defense and More

For the soldier and the student, whether you’re in a war or walking down the street, a tactical flashlight can be helpful in all situations and may even save your life one day. They may seem small, but they sure are mighty in their power.

Soldier With A Flashlight

Find out everything you need to know about tactical flashlights below.

What Is A Tactical Flashlight?

This type of flashlight isn’t your regular flashlight or a tactical flashlight ‘torch,’ as the British say. This type of flashlight is designed specifically for tactical use, such as for the military or police. However, regular citizens can find many uses from a tactical flashlight as well. 

According to Wikipedia, “A tactical flashlight is a flashlight used in conjunction with a firearm to aid low-light target identification, allowing the marksman, law enforcement officer or soldier to simultaneously aim a weapon and illuminate the target.”

What Makes A Flashlight Tactical?

Below is an explanation of things that make a flashlight tactical. If something below is missing from your flashlight, it’s likely to be considered a regular flashlight.

1. Lumens

Derived from the Latin word ‘lumen’ meaning ‘light’, lumens are the measure of the total amount of light that a light emits. There is a simple equation to understand how lumens work:

The higher the lumens, the brighter the flashlight.

But for a flashlight to be considered ‘tactical’, it needs to have a lumen range of 200-400. Why is this? Because it must be bright enough to disrupt another person’s vision to cause a distraction or buy some time. A tactical flashlight can have a range of lumens available, meaning you can adjust the brightness. But it needs to be within this range to be considered tactical. Nowadays, most tactical flashlights reach up to 1000 lumens.

2. The Design

A tactical flashlight has a specific design that must be followed to ensure it’s counted as a tactical flashlight. While each tactical flashlight may be visually different, the underlying designs are all following the same structure.

  • Lightweight. A tactical flashlight should not be big and bulky. Nowadays, tactical flashlights are smaller and more lightweight.
  • Tail cap button. Located at the bottom of the flashlight, this makes it easy to identify where the top and bottom of the flashlight are, especially if you’re in the dark and need access to the light easily. This is also useful when using the flashlight for self-defense.
  • Robust and durable. This includes a hard casing, being waterproof, and shockproof. Ensuring the tactical flashlight can survive in all situations is critical to ensuring it’s a tactical flashlight. In other words, it should be able to take a heavy beating and still come out in one piece!
  • Long-life battery. It should be able to withstand long shifts that law enforcement officers must undertake and have an option to recharge should it run out of life. Ideally, they should use LED bulbs as they’re the most energy-efficient and last much longer than incandescent bulbs.

A variety of settings. A tactical flashlight must have a momentary-on option and a constant-on option. It should also have a variety of brightness settings and perhaps the option for strobe or staggered pulse light settings.

tactical flashlight close up

How To Use A Tactical Flashlight – 3 Situations + Tips

1. Tactical Flashlight For Self Defense 

When you’re walking in the dark at night or even in the light, a tactical flashlight can be effective and prevent a potential attacker from carrying out their attack. You can identify who may be nearby, shine a bright light in their eyes to temporarily blind them, and even use the flashlight’s head as an improvised weapon because of its sturdy material. All of this may buy you time in the event of an attacker allowing you to get away or causing them to flee.

How To Use A Tactical Flashlight As A Weapon?

If you’re in danger and you have easy access to a tactical flashlight, there are some techniques you can follow to ensure it’s used as an effective self-defense tool.

  • Shine a beam of light directly onto the attackers/threats face
  • Try and escape once they become disoriented 
  • If you can’t escape at that point, use some physical contact such as with your hands, knees, or even with the flashlight to give yourself a break to escape.

2. For Illumination In A Dark Space

Using a tactical flashlight for self-defense doesn’t always need to result in a physical attack. If you learn how to use your flashlight correctly when you’re in a dark space, you can avoid a physical fight and get away quickly. This mainly applies if you sense that you’re in danger, such as you feel that you’re being followed, but you aren’t completely sure what is happening around you.

How To Use A Tactical Flashlight In A Dark Space?

If you’re in a dark space and believe you’re in danger, you can use a tactical flashlight to get free. Leaving it turned on the whole time may work against you as it reveals your position, making yourself an easy target. Rather, follow these steps:

  • Stand completely still
  • Turn the flashlight on bright enough to see around you
  • Scan the environment at 360 degrees and look for threats
  • Turn the light off
  • Move unpredictably
  • Repeat until you reach a safe place

3. For Everyday Usage

Everyday usage situations can be your car breaking down at night, the power going off in your house, needing to walk at night in the dark alone, or anything else that may require a powerful and reliable source of light at a moment’s notice. Your smartphone flashlight may not be as strong, reliable, or your phone may simply be out of battery. Having a tactical flashlight to hand is the best situation to ensure that you’re covered for all situations.

Everyday Usage Top Tip

To ensure you’re prepared for all situations, ensure that you have a tactical flashlight in your house and another one in your car at all times. This way, you don’t need to remember to take the flashlight in and out each time you drive somewhere.

tactical flashlight in a dark space

How To Stay Safe: High-Vis vs. Camouflage

One common theme in all the above situations is safety. Tactical flashlights are there to be a source of light should you need it in a safe situation and protect yourself in an unsafe situation. There are other ways to keep yourself safe in situations by either being completely camouflaged with the environment around you or standing out with high-vis equipment or clothing.

High Vis Bladder

For the night runs, cycles, walks, or even the odd camping weekend, SOURCE’s tactical high-vis hydration pack is extremely useful in making you both stand out while staying hydrated at the same time. Any time you feel the need to stand out to oncoming traffic or people while staying hydrated all at one time, this hydration pack is the answer for you.
It’s designed to keep your arms free while containing a 3L water bladder inside. You will stay hydrated, visible, and have arms free at all times. Safety is at the forefront of the design here, as it’s designed with hydration and safety in mind.

Camouflage Backpack / Hydration Pack

Or perhaps you don’t want to stand out. Perhaps you’re on a tactical mission, and you want to blend in with your surroundings. SOURCE has both tactical hydration packs and tactical backpacks that are camouflaged to your surroundings. You can wear the camouflage hydration pack alone for hydration, or you can insert it directly into your backpack. Designed with both safety and hydration, you will be sure to stay both hydrated and supported, hands-free while blending into your outdoor surroundings.

Tactical Backpack

Sum Up

The most important thing that you can learn from this article is that it’s always better to be prepared than to regret it later. Your safety comes first at all times. Ensuring you have a tactical flashlight to hand could save your life. If you must blend in with your environment, ensure your gear is all camouflaged. Or, if you must stand out from traffic, high-vis gear is a must.

Whatever the situation, be sure to research and learn what is best for you, so you’re prepared for every situation that might come your way.

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