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Thread: RFI: Defensive Use of Light

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Poconnor View Post
    Does anybody really believe a bright light will deter a determined attacker? Flash blindness? Incapacitate a suspect? I would not expect any light to incapacitate a suspect. Affect their vision? Yes. Stop a assault? No!! Twenty years ago a bright flash light would make street rats run for cover, not because of the bright light but because a flashlight that bright meant ”Police”. I did a range drill at night once with flashlights pointing back towards the shooters. Did it stop my firing? No. It slowed it down some. Before white lights mounted weapons were a thing we were trained to illuminate, identify, fire if needed , light off then move. Nobody wanted a mounted light because they felt that the light made them a target. (The bad guy will shoot at the light) everybody ignored that the bad guy can see you in the day time. Don’t forget that a super bright light will splash back indoors affecting you own vision but so do muzzle flashes. Today I want a light on everything but I would never rely on a light to stop an attack.
    No one is advocating this is a thing. Can a very high amount of lumens hurt the eyes of a person in very low/no light/complete darkness to the point they may not want any further issues? Yeah, I've personally seen it.

    If you want a demonstration for yourself, purchase an OKW modlite head, sit in a dark room for 30 minutes and shine yourself in the face until you have to close your eyes, you'll likely see what I'm talking about. It hurts.

    The game is changing, as it always does. The output of the modlight OKW in a handheld or weapon light setup cannot be compared to anything 20 years ago. They are literally in different universes.

    As with all things, this isn't a stand alone concept or application, you need to know and be capable of other tactics. Flash Blindness is a thing, I've used it (previous to the circumstances I posted previously about), it can be replicated with consistent results once the concepts are understood.
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  2. #22
    Marginally Relevant NH Shooter's Avatar
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    It's not the lumens, it's the candela (luminous intensity). Here are some beam shots of the Modlite OKW, which is rated at 680 lumens/69,000 candela, which is mighty impressive for a 6P size light;




    The Modlite PLH is rated at 1,500 lumens/29,000 candela, the SF M600DF at 1,500 lumens but no candela rating on the SF website. It is obviously less than the PLH.

    Anecdotal LE evidence has shown that 750 lumens/19,000 candela being capable of "encouraging" suspect compliance. There will be more evidence coming on a light rated at 1,700 lumens/75,000 candela. Based on my own observations of reflecting light into my eyes from a mirror, the improved effects of the 75k candela light should prove noteworthy.

    Beam shot of the 19K candela light;



    Beam shot of the 75K candela light;



    Though not as carry-friendly as the OKW, it rides comfortably in a vertical or horizontal belt carrier (OAL = 6-3/4");



    Lights like these open the door to more effective use of light for SD purposes.

  3. #23
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    Something that I've noticed over my LE career (more so over the last 5-10 years as the lumens have increased) is lighting someone up with a handheld light produces their hands to their face. This makes it extremely quick and easy to see if anything is in their hands.

  4. #24
    Not to "make light" of this issue, but anyone who's seen Hitchcock's movie "Rear Window" - - - the scene where Raymond Burr is trying to get Jimmy Stewart while he's confined to a wheelchair with a broken leg - - - has seen how effective a photographer's flash bulbs can be when used in a dark room against an adversary.

    No special effects employed, of course . . .

    Looking forward to your findings!

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrodr View Post
    Looking forward to your findings!
    There are now at least two LE members of P-F ( including @voodoo_man ) who are actively engaged with using lights this way. Their firsthand observations will undoubtedly shed much light on the subject (I'm obviously no @blues).

    The best I can do as a civilian is experiment on myself using a mirror, perhaps coaxing a few others to "shoot themselves" in the same manner. I will perhaps reach out to the nearby Sig Academy to see if the instructors there might be game to conduct some evaluations.

    The end result of this effort may not be definitive, but I believe it will be useful in determining if these high-output lights are more effective for SD use and if so, how much of an edge they might provide.

  6. #26
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    The research and experimentation continues.

    Since my last post I have purchased a Malkoff E2 Hyper Throw head, that is rated at 500 lumens/35,000 candela. I posted some information on it (including beam shots) here.

    Additionally, I'll be getting some feedback on first-hand use of the Modlite OKW handheld in the coming months. That light is rated at 680 lumens/69,000 candela.

    One thing is for certain: modern light technology (even over the last few years) is proving to be a game-changer: what we once thought were the limitations on the use of light for LE and self-defensive use need to be redressed. With that, I'll leave you with the following video - be sure to catch the commentary at the end;


  7. #27
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    @HALO51 has now spent some time with the Modlite OKW. Not to take undue liberty but I think it's OK for me to state that (1) this light has proven very effective at defeating photonic barriers and (2) its appears to have substantially greater impact on those whose faces are illuminated with it. For interior illumination the use of walls and/or ceilings for bouncing the narrow beam into broader area lighting is a viable technique. I'll leave it to HALO51 to add any further detail he sees fit.

    My own observations continue as well. The light I am using has been tweaked and I'm finding it is now configured exactly the way I want it. Though it remains a specialized light, the tightly-focused beam provides the reach to see further, or more intensely illuminate objects that are closer. One obvious benefit of this is the greater contrast between sights and target, which I find especially useful for target-focused shooting. For general interior illumination using the "umbrella technique" the high-candela light gives up nothing to lights with broader beams and much higher lumen ratings.

    At this point I think it's safe to conclude that these high-intensity lights offer some distinct advantages, and with proper technique provide opportunity that previously was not viable. The uncertainty (and doubt) of these advantages is understandable but is quickly put to rest once such a light is put to use.

  8. #28
    Marginally Relevant NH Shooter's Avatar
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    Another experiment ran.

    We had the interior of the house dimly lit, so that we could still navigate but definitely a low-light situation that might be representative of the light level used for criminal activity. I let my eyesight acclimate for about five minutes and then had my wife illuminate my face with the Malkoff E2HT (500 lumens/35,000 candela). I instructed her to light me up for a count of two from about 10 feet away, me looking straight at her when she lit me up. I was determined to hold as long as I could.

    First there was the "sting" that you feel when turning on normal interior lighting from a dead sleep in the middle of the night. But unlike that situation where you can squint and immediately make out your surroundings, I was totally blinded with the light in my face.

    The effect I saw can best be described as a star burst that totally overwhelmed my vision - a total photonic barrier. I was able to hold for a fraction of a second before I had to look away. It was obvious to me that if the person holding the light on me was a typical P-F member who deemed me a deadly threat, they could have easily drawn and shot me without me seeing them doing so. Even if I was armed myself, I would have been unable to respond from the initial shock of the light to defend myself in time. Of course, I knew the light was coming - someone who did not would be at an even larger disadvantage.

    The next observation was that my eyesight returned very quickly, even though the star burst remained as an after image. If the person had ran, I believe I would have been able to pursue, though I cannot say with certainty that I would have been motivated to do so. For someone caught by surprise by the blinding light, I can see how it would be a potent demotivator.

    My take away from this brief experiment is that light this blinding can provide more than enough of a window to defend with deadly force (or even non-lethal force) with no chance of an assailant being able to see what's happening, much less respond in time. But the light has to be blinding enough to make the assailant turn away.

    Is the light you carry blinding enough? Try it yourself in a large mirror and see if you're able to still see your silhouette in the mirror, or if you need to look away entirely. I'm finding a 750 lumen/20,000 candela light bright enough to make me turn away, but not a 1,000 lumen/8,000 candela light. At 35,000 candela in a low light environment, the person with the light is entirely "cloaked" behind the photonic barrier. The person could be the Playmate of the Month in the nude but I would be wholly deprived of witnessing that fine sight.

    My next experiment with be with a buddy of mine who I will instruct to illuminate my face from 20 feet away and I will attempt to charge and tag him. I will instruct him to turn off the light when I charge and move to evade my tag, using the light in short bursts to (theoretically) keep me at bay. If he's game I'll do the same to him...we'll see how that goes and what unarmed tactics might come from it.

    I hope you're gleaning some useful info out of this, or at least some chuckles out of this silly flashlight shit I'm doing. Hopefully I don't end up like Ray Charles because I don't play the piano.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Shooter View Post
    The research and experimentation continues.

    Since my last post I have purchased a Malkoff E2 Hyper Throw head, that is rated at 500 lumens/35,000 candela. I posted some information on it (including beam shots) here.

    Additionally, I'll be getting some feedback on first-hand use of the Modlite OKW handheld in the coming months. That light is rated at 680 lumens/69,000 candela.

    One thing is for certain: modern light technology (even over the last few years) is proving to be a game-changer: what we once thought were the limitations on the use of light for LE and self-defensive use need to be redressed. With that, I'll leave you with the following video - be sure to catch the commentary at the end;

    I think it's interesting that the OWL was universally described as the most uncomfortable light from the participants. I've always thought that warmer lights are less "painful," but they all claimed the OWL was worse than the OKW.
    Last edited by joshs; 02-27-2020 at 09:42 AM.

  10. #30
    Marginally Relevant NH Shooter's Avatar
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    The OWL has a wider beam, so perhaps it has to do with beam alignment to the eyes. Notice how they scanned back and forth during the test.

    Speculating, holding the beam on target may have yielded different feedback.

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