When it comes to lighting options that double as personal protection and self-defense, tactical flashlights are a great option. If you’re a camper, rider, night jogger, or hiker, you know the importance of having a good flashlight. Now imagine if that light could also give you the peace of mind that if you absolutely had to, you could defend yourself against an attack.
A tactical flashlight is an effective tool for self-defense. It can produce light powerful enough to deter an attacker, optically disorient them, or be used as a blunt force self-defense weapon. They are commonly used as an everyday carry or mounted to a gun to light up a target.
Originally designed as apermanent fixture on a gun, they are still extremely effective as a weapon-mounted light.
What Is a Tactical Flashlight?
A tactical flashlight is more than just the ordinary flashlight you keep in your kitchen and reach for during a blackout. Tactical flashlights are specifically designed and intended to be used by people of service like the military, police, search and rescue and any other type of security or law enforcement agencies.
One of the major differences between a tactical flashlight and a regular flashlight is the high-durability, damage-resistant metal housing. They are more compact and made of sturdy, military-grade materials to ensure maximum durability. Tactical flashlights are not just meant for shining a light in the dark; they are also ultra-bright and have longer battery life.
Even if you’re not in the military or police, and don’t own a handgun or pocket knife, a tactical flashlight can be your first line of defense. They are perfectly legal and can be carried into places like theaters, offices, airplanes, and other places where guns are not allowed. Let’s get more into how you can use tactical flashlights, armed or unarmed.
What are Tactical Flashlights Used For?
As stated previously, the use of a tactical flashlight is way beyond just simple illumination. Tactical flashlights have a range of uses in all different kinds of situations.
When tactical flashlights were first designed, they were meant to be attached to rifles, pistols, and shotguns for easy identification of targets during low-lit shooting applications.
A tactical flashlight allows the shooter to aim the weapon and illuminate the pathway to target without using a separate flashlight.
With a tactical flashlight, marksmen, soldiers, and law enforcement officers were able to concentrate a powerful light beam to disorient almost blinding their enemies.
A tactical flashlight goes beyond military use and serves several other functions. Here are some of them:
Tactical flashlights are sometimes overlooked when it comes to self-defense, but they can be very effective depending on how they are used. Darkness aids in the advantage of attackers/enemies and increases their chances of successfully carrying out their acts.
With a flashlight, you can easily identify whoever is lurking in the shadows and eliminate that advantage. In most cases, simply shining a powerful light on the attacker will surprise them and cause them to flee, which is the main objective in self-defense.
However, if the sudden beam of light causes an attacker to lunge towards you, you can shine the powerful beam directly in their eyes,temporarily blinding and disorienting them. With your attacker struggling you have time to flee or defend yourself further.
Tactical flashlights are compact, so they can easily fit in your pocket, handbag, or backpack.
If you find yourself walking alone at night and sense you could be in danger, you can easily reach for your flashlight and illuminate the path you’re walking on. When a potential assailant sees such a bright light, their advantage has been compromised, and they will think twice before attacking you.
Besides helping to protect you from a potential attacker, a bright tactical flashlight will give you the advantage of seeing your environment clearer, perhaps preventing you from hitting your foot against a rock or falling into an unforeseen hole.
Usually, when the power goes out, the first thing we all reach for is a flashlight. Most times, it’s somewhere tucked away in the back of a kitchen cupboard, in a closet, or under the sink. If your car breaks down at night, or you’re involved in or witness a nighttime car accident, the first thing you would want to reach for is your flashlight.
While a regular flashlight is good in such situations, a tactical flashlight is even better. The powerful beam will help you navigate your way out of dangerous situations, signal for help, or enable you to escape safer.
For Signaling for Help
As mentioned earlier, a tactical flashlight can be very useful when signaling for help. If you find yourself in an emergency situation where you think you’re lost or need to ask for help from drivers on the road, the first thing that comes to your mind is to make sounds by yelling or movement by waving your hands.
A tactical flashlight can enhance or replace those functions when they become unusable at night. It used to be that if you wanted to signal someone over distances using a flashlight you would put your hand in front of the light and remove it to simulate an on/off for Morse code. These days that function is built right into a tactical flashlight by means of strobe and SOS functionality.
What Makes a Good Tactical Flashlight?
Ideally, your tactical flashlight should be compact, durable, have a better output, and run for longer periods. If it isn’t any of those things, it’s no different from an ordinary household flashlight.
Before considering a flashlight as tactical, here’s what you should look for:
Small and Compact. You want something small enough and convenient to carry with you just about anywhere. Your tactical flashlight should be able to fit in the palm of your hand. Your flashlight should be no bigger than the size of your palm.
Light output. For a tactical flashlight to be effective, it should produce enough light to disorient an attacker. You should aim for a flashlight with at least 120 lumens.
Waterproof. A tactical flashlight should be able to work in all kinds of weather. It should be waterproof so it doesn’t become damaged when used in the rain or other wet conditions.
Ruggedly constructed. Your tactical flashlight should be made of strong, durable materials that won't bend, break, or crack easily. Ideally, it should be made from aircraft-grade aluminum. It’s a tough yet light metal.
LED Bulb Type. LED bulbs are the absolute best option to use. Incandescent bulbs aren’t very energy efficient.LED bulbs last significantly longer than incandescent and cause less battery drain.Also, LEDs are stronger and built like a tank, unlike incandescent bulbs that break easily when dropped.
Light Modes. A good tactical flashlight should feature a strobe mode which allows you to flash the light very quickly at intervals. If the light is very bright, it can cause an irritating glare effect and disorient anyone in its path. You can also use it to signal for help by sending out codes.
Battery. The type of battery your flashlight uses can affect its runtime, light output, and overall performance. There are several types of batteries that are used with tactical flashlights, but Lithium-Ion is known to last longer than other batteries.
Tactical Flashlights - Weapons hiding in plain sight
Why not have a tactical flashlight when you know you are going to be in the dark anyway.
Have the upper hand when you are in low light.It might initially seem unnecessary because every time you have your flashlight on you probably won't go into stealth mode with your ninja skills ready to activate in a heartbeat. No one is usually ready to be attacked, but heaven knows it happens.
It happens when someone least expects it, especially when you are in less optimal conditions like the dark when you are more vulnerable. Why not help yourself have the upper hand in a situation where someone is already catching you off guard in the dark.
Event: Camping Situation: Went to pee in the woods at night and stumble upon a wild animal Uses:
Shine bright light at animals, stunning predator, being able to leave the situation
Animal tries biting and clawing you, you use the blunt of the light to defend yourself, you get away
You are hurt and can’t walk, but can light signal for help and someone can help get you medical attention
Event: Normal Bedtime Routine Situation: You are starting to drift off to sleep and hear a window shatter and an intruder breaks in. Uses:
You had your tactical flashlight in your bedside table, whip it out, turn it on, shine it their way, and deter a burglar. They flee with nothing missing.
You keep your light off, hide, and wait for your moment to physically defend yourself if necessary.
You go to your gun safe dial in your code and bust out your shot-gun with a tactical flashlight mounted and announce to them, “Get Out!”. Then, in the darkness you break the silence by cocking the shotgun, creating that even more ‘serious’ noise should help deter a very large percentage of would-be robbers. If you still need to engage, you have the upper hand with an extremely bright light that can be set to certain ‘modes’ depending on the light you want. In this scenario where you have the upper hand as far as knowing your surroundings, you could set the tactical flashlight to strobe mode which could help you disorient the intruders enough for you to make your next move, whether it is lethal or not.
There are thousands of different situations that a tactical light can become a lifesaver, having one puts you in a much better scenario and hopefully all you will have to use it for is lighting your way, but you never know.
A Simple All-Round Solution: B.A.M.F.F. Dual LED Tactical Flashlights
Only a few flashlights come close to this unique innovation bySTKR Concepts. TheB.A.M.F.F. Tactical Series is a range of powerful Dual LED flashlights that offers just about everything you want in a tactical flashlight.
If you’re wondering what B.A.M.F.F. stands for, it's Broad Array Multi Flood Flashlight. These Dual LED flashlights offer a spotlight feature for long-distance visibility and a floodlight option to light up a large close area effortlessly.
B.A.M.F.F. flashlights allow you to use these two features simultaneously or independently. You can cast a floodlight on the area around you, and at the same time, focus a spotlight into the far distance.
The B.A.M.F.F. Tactical Series can also be used in a wide range of situations, including camping, hiking, hunting, riding, night jogging, repair, and daily carry. Unlike your traditional flashlight and some so-called tactical flashlights, B.A.M.F.F. flashlights offer a broader range of light that increases your field of view.
The Dual LED Tactical Flashlights are available in different lumen ranges depending on your needs. There are currently six models you can choose from: the 2.0, 4.0, 4.0XL, 6.0, 8.0, and 10.0. Each model is equipped with the Dual LED head, built with durable aircraft-grade aluminum and waterproof body, removable belt clip, and S.O.S andstrobe modes.
A Word on Lumens
This is a measure of the total amount of light a flashlight emits. So, the higher the lumens, the brighter the flashlight. But how many lumens should be in a tactical flashlight? Until you get to the 200-400 lumen range, you’re not working with enough light to be considered tactical.
Lumen explanations and how brightness is calculated are some of the most complicated topics. We have so many resources here on this blog that if you would like more info on lumens specifically please check out our other article titled: “How Many Lumens Do You Need for a Work Light?”
How to Effectively Use Tactical Flashlights for Self-Defense
Using a tactical flashlight may seem obvious, but there are ways you can use it more effectively.
How to Use a Tactical Flashlight in a Dark Space
When you hear a strange noise in the dark and believe you’re in danger or something is wrong, your tactical flashlight may work against you if you leave it turned on in such situations. If you leave it turned, you’ll reveal your position and make yourself an easy target. Here’s how to use your flashlight in a dark space:
Turn the flashlight on.
Quickly scan the environment and look for threats.
Turn the light off.
An armed intruder will likely shoot at or attack where they last saw the light shining from. By quickly turning off your light and moving, you’ll keep a safe distance from where your threat is going to shoot or attack.
How to Use a Tactical Flashlight Unarmed
When you don’t have a gun, pocket-knife, or any other primary self-defense tool, your flashlight can still be an effective self-defense tool.
When you come in contact with a threat, point the shining beam squarely and directly on his face.
The bright light will temporarily blind and disorient him, giving you enough time to flee or engage your attacker. If you don’t have any unarmed combat training, your best option is to escape.
If you can engage your attacker, a quick, hard hit to the face should incapacitate him enough for you to escape. Sometimes the only thing you’ll need to do is to kick him as hard as possible in the groin or knees. He won’t know what’s coming as the light will cause him temporary pupil constriction.
Tactical Flashlight Techniques
There are several techniques you can use to hold your flashlight, depending on the situation. The most important thing is to find out what works best for you and your environment.
While these techniques are mostly used in combination with a handgun, you can still use them if you’re unarmed if you’re in a defensive stance or a possible attacker situation.
The FBI Technique
As the name suggests, the FBI technique was developed and is used by FBI agents to protect themselves from guns aimed at their searchlights.
You can use the FBI technique if you suspect someone is going to aim at you. The trick is to hold the flashlight some distance away from your body, out and up with your other hand. This technique is best suited for search situations because your gun’s muzzle flash will reveal your position as soon as you fire your shots.
Also, since your arm will be extended away from your body, you may not be in the most balanced shooting position.
Neck Index Position
This is an advancement from the FBI technique. In the FBI technique, you have to hold the flashlight out with one arm and shoot with the other. This isn’t so effective and it may affect your stability and accuracy.
With the neck index technique, you draw in the flashlight up to your chin as you take your shot. This allows you more stability and accuracy as you’ll be able to aim with two hands. It is easy to transition to other positions with this technique.
The Harries Technique
This technique involves simultaneously aiming the flashlight and shooting your gun. It gives you more stability as your firing hand will be on the hand aiming the flashlight. Ideally, you should aim your gun at the target with your strong hand.
The downside of this technique is that the attacker may shoot at the source of the light, which would be very close to your body.
No matter the technique you choose to use, it’s best to practice with it and ensure you’re good at it. It may just be what you need to survive in a dangerous situation.
A tactical flashlight can be a perfect addition to your self-defense tools. Not only does it provide the illumination you need during a dangerous situation, but it can also serve as the first line of defense against an assailant. And it does all this without coming off as a threat to others.
Tactical flashlights can also be used in a range of situations such as during emergencies, illumination at night, and when signaling for help. However, you need to know how to use them correctly, or they will work against you.
Also, your tactical flashlight should be small and compact, waterproof, feature different light modes, ruggedly constructed, and have powerful light output and long battery life. The Dual LED Tactical Flashlights from STKR Concepts feature just about everything listed above and is just the ideal flashlight you should have.
Anything can happen at any moment in time. Being prepared can make a major difference in how safe you remain during an emergency. It’s recommended that everyone has an emergency kit ready so that they are prepared anytime that the unthinkable happens.