Much has been written on the various burn times and power output of Tactical Flashlights, that is not what this is about. This is about the necessity of the Tactical Flashlight in general and the LED Flashlights in particular. Just what role do these devices have in your own Self-defense Kit...
Volumes of material have been written on the Maglite and all others like it, on its use as a Tactical Light and an Impact Weapon. All of that is valid and when I need alot of light that wonít cost me an arm and a leg, more light than an LED Flashlight will put out, I grab a Multi-"D" or "C" Cell Maglite. Iíve used them to blind/dazzle people and then as an Impact Weapon to put them down. They are incredibly valuable.
As times goes on, and Lawyers begin to chip away at the legitimate Police use of the Maglite and others like it, you will begin to see that Officers will look at a large aluminum flashlight in a totally different way soon. As more of them are prohibited from carrying it, they will begin to confiscate them as weapons regardless of intent, and possibly begin charging people for having them. Itís not a stretch to see that happening soon.
"Well, if I canít carry THAT, you sure as hell are not going to carry it either..."
Some of them donít like the idea that a regular "Citizen" is chunking around the equivalent of a very bright club right now, some have never liked it but there was little they could do. Rest assured, if the heat comes down on a Department in the area where you live and the Police become restricted to what type of light they can carry, and a Politician or Law Enforcement Administrator considers them to be a weapon, well, youíre going to be in for an interesting time.
Make no mistake, if you run into one of these people, it does not matter what your intent will be. In the minds of some, you can have a plastic EverReady Flashlight or something...you have no "need" for something that they can or cannot carry. Not to bash them all...Iím being very selective and honest.
Some of them will say, "Uh...thatís a nice flashlight..." But as Police become more and more politicized...watch out.
But this little article is not about big flashlights, this is about smaller flashlights. Sure, a MiniMaglite or a Maglite Solitaire will do in a pinch as surely as a Pelican MityLite. But the LED lights are far more easy for carry. So easy that several can be carried. Stashed about the car as well. Around the house on chains or cords if your area is prone to blackouts from storms, etc. (You do think about things like that, right? Extra flashlight batteries, emergency long burning candles and Cyalume Lightsticks...)
I have included a picture (below) of a long carried SureFire 9P for size comparison and other tactical considerations, using light as a distracting weapon itself, to gain the advantage and destroy the attackerís night vision, etc. But this is really about the tiny lights.
Darkness can be your greatest ally or your worst enemy, it all depends on the particular situation you find yourself in. If you wish to hide from an attacker, darkness can be a Godsend as not that many criminals are carrying flashlights (that does not mean you should be surprised to find the one that does carry one either).
You have to take that cover away from the attacker, you have to eliminate his use of darkness as a weapon. This is why carrying some form of reliable flashlight is so necessary for your defense. Even the tiny LED lights can give you the edge to see someone hiding in the shadows that you would not normally see...
Streetlights can be knocked out on purpose, or just wear out, etc., and you always want the ability to see what an attacker does not want you to see, namely, the attacker.
Never look directly at the light or you rob yourself of some degree of night vision as well. When confronted with someone who tries to flash/dazzle your eyesight, close your strong eye completely and use your weak eye...this preserves some of your night vision.
Try to use your peripheral vision at night to view a suspicious area or object, do not look directly at it. Try this in your training time to prove to yourself that it works and concentrate on making that second nature when you are out and about.
This is just an overview of the concept. Not really a tutorial, just to show people what is available and this will expand as I try out new lights. If you wish to have a review of various LED lights, I suggest you type in "LED flashlight review" in a Search Engine and you should come up with alot of information. This is just to give you an idea of why they are so valuable and some of the types I have tried out and use on a regular basis.