- Quality of Life & Wellness
Powerful LED Compact Flashlight May Be All You Need For Self-Defense!
Use LED Tactical Light For Self-Defense
The use of super bright LED light to disorient or temporarily blind an attacker is a non-lethal, inexpensive, and easy to learn technique by anyone, and it works. One major flashlight manufacturer, SureLight, writes “Strobe warning: exposure to strobing lights may cause dizziness, disorientation, and nausea.”
The LED (Light Emitting Diode) named the Incapacitator flashlight was devised by a California research and design company Intelligent Optical Systems, with funding from the US Department of Homeland Security in 2007. It was a large prototype that emits bright pulses of light at rapidly changing wavelengths that cause disorientation, temporary blindness, nausea, and even vomiting.
Now, similar technology is not only affordable but readily available in a small handheld size flashlight.
The majority of serious defense type flashlight users are hand gunners, which I will discuss in a later writing, but this article will focus on a person walking to their car in a dark parking lot or driveway and using the flashlight with the same level of logic and reasoning that the FBI and I teach. Once you become comfortable with using the flashlight in the following manner, it will be identical for using it with a handgun, if you so desire.
These small, affordable, powerful, and lightweight flashlights can easily be carried in a purse or pocket, and are not considered a licensed weapon by law enforcement. Therefore you do not need a permit, just some simple instructions on the correct way to hold and use your new self-defense device, and what kind to buy. The new LED flashlights can be purchased in various light strengths, measured in lumens. The higher the lumen number, the brighter the light. I recommend an LED light with a minimum of 150 lumens and a disorientating strobe function that flashes at the highest lumen level. My personal flashlight is rated at 300 lumens. Even without the strobe function, shining a 300 lumen LED light into a human eye will cause temporary blindness.
Military and law enforcement agencies have embraced this bright light technology, and flashlights are held in various ways based on the intended function.
How should you hold the flashlight for self-defense?
Everything you do, in self-defense or walking into an unknown circumstance is focused on efficiency of movement. This is the core and the power of Martial Arts, and the vital training for law enforcement facing dangerous situations. I always default to this logic and holding a flashlight should be simple yet highly effective.
Therefore, hold your flashlight in your left hand (if you are right handed), thumb on the rear on/off button, and beam facing forward at about head height (like a dagger). Hold the light away from the left side of your head, slightly in front of your body (just outside the shoulder area) and use your wrist to swivel or change the angle of the beam. There are several reasons to hold the light this way.
· This holding method is an original FBI standard, simply because, if your assailant is armed and shoots at you, he or she will most likely shoot at the source of the light. Holding the light in the center of your body or next to your head is a sure way to offer a perfect kill target. You do not want to provide a target and you do not want to illuminate your body.
· Holding a flashlight next to or under your handgun seems logical, but again, provides a perfect target and a position that does not allow you to move the light at will.
· While temporarily blinding your subject, by pointing the light directly into the eyes, the subject may lunge at the source of the light, and you will want that directed toward the left arm and not your body. The lunge is rare because of the temporary blindness, but again, why take the chance as a target?
· Holding the flashlight as I recommend, assures that your left arm is up in a defensive ready position to either block an attack, protect your face, or strike. The flashlight I recommend will have hard points on the end that will serve as a striking weapon if needed and inflicts more shock and pain than the bare hand.
· Most importantly, your favored arm and hand (the right hand in this illustration), is free to do whatever you need to do, while the left hand is illuminating the subject. This could be as simple as holding your keys, or drawing a handgun from a holster. I would advise ladies to carry their handbags with a “cross-the-body” strap (best), or if using short straps, hook them onto your left elbow (the flashlight arm). Always keep your favored arm free if possible.
Every time you pick up a flashlight, hold it as recommended above. At first it will feel awkward, but soon your muscle memory will get in tune with always picking up your new flashlight in this manner. You will feel a great sense of accomplishment when your “non-favored” left side comes to life and is extremely useful to you.
Have your light with you as much as possible, even during the day to look for things in closets, under seats, and when getting up at night to check on the kids or an odd noise. Always keep your arm up with the light and use your legs to move up and down, keep your weight centered.
There are literally thousands of LED flashlights for sale, but for the purpose of temporarily blinding someone or disorienting them, you must buy a dependable quality light that has the high lumens (at least 150), and optionally the disorientating strobe feature. Not just a flashing strobe feature but a disorientating strobe feature, as we want our subject to become severely confused and blind to give us time to retreat to safety or get in the car and lock the door.
SureFire, LLC is one of the best manufacturers of tactical and self-defense LED flashlights, and is worth the hefty cost. In the SureFire line, I recommend the Z2-S LED CombatLight http://www.surefire.com/Z2-S-LED
This light costs about $145.00 and features 160 lumens and strobe.
There are many high lumen flashlights without the strobe feature that by simply pointing the light into a subject’s eyes will cause confusion and temporary blindness. A 300 lumen (or more) LED light will do the job nicely for less money, without the strobe feature.
In summary, it is important to always have a high lumen, dependable flashlight with you at all times, and practice holding the light correctly with your non-favored hand. Buy a flashlight that has a thumb activated button for all functions, therefore allowing you to operate the light with one hand, leaving the other hand free. At night, walk to your car with the light on to be sure there is not someone lurking underneath, or nearby. If approached, control your subject by pointing your light directly into the subject’s eyes (causing temporary blindness and pain), and then escape to safety. You may want to point your flashlight from the inside of the car, through the closed window, continuing your blinding effect on the assailant.