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Flashlights (Brighter the better?)

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Tactics, Techniques and Procedures

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Old March 1st, 2016, 00:59   #1
Flaming Salami
 
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Flashlights (Brighter the better?)

Here's my 2 cents on flashlights. Can they blind and disorient people? Yes. Do they give your position away? Absolutely. For all the people saying the noise of the gun gives away your position also, well that's just not always true. Airsoft guns are not very loud and don't give off any muzzle flash. It can be hard to directly pinpoint where shots are coming from as soon as you hear someone open up. When some guy has a 1500 lumen flashlight and is shining it at your friend from far away, it totally gives away the position. I use a 120 lumen flashlight and it is bright enough for me. It allows me to light up areas if and when I every do decide to use it, which I usually don't.

I see that a lot of airsoft players I have encountered have this notion that the brighter the flashlight, the better it will work. From my personal experience, white light is ridiculous to use at night. I've never understood why a lot of players spend thousands on NVGs and then wind up using their white light at the same time. It makes no sense to me. White light seriously fucks up both your natural and NVG night vision. It is much more sensible to use red light if you need to see where you're going (because it doesn't wreck your natural night vision) and shoot from the darkness without exposing yourself.

If I'm in a wooded area at night and start taking pot shots at people I see, I can guarantee it will be more difficult for them to find me then if I shine a 1500 lumen flashlight on them and open up. I totally understand that you can blind and surprise a few guys in your crosshairs, but at the same time you have alerted all other enemy players of your location, when you could have shot from the darkness and had a better chance at remaining hidden.

NVGs and natural night vision make sense to me. Same with white light at indoor, CQB games. But I cannot wrap my head around why everyone uses such bright white lights at night. Anyways, that's just my opinion on the matter. I'm pretty sure Travis Haley did a video on why brighter isn't better, but I could be mistaken. Let me know what you think!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V78tH6aVpuM

Last edited by Flaming Salami; March 1st, 2016 at 01:08.. Reason: Found the Haley Strategic video I mentioned!
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Old March 1st, 2016, 06:41   #2
Splinter
 
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IMO nvgs are just Gucci kit for Airsoft.. In Airsoft nvg is not needed because you can pretty much hear/see any targets you will engage.. Useing white light or any light other then (low red map lighs) will kill your natural night vision even using a bright light once it will take your eyes time to adjust back to the bush.

I think that on milsim ex only time your in the clear to use higher lumen light source is either inside a building or outside trying to give position away for an ambush.. Only other time I can see is defending a position identifying targets at range ( holding a simulated FOB or things of that nature where the enemy already knows your location)

If you let your eyes adjust you'd be very surprised how well your natural vision is at night with help of moonlight. By the looks of your sig your CF if you have completed your DP1A you should know the answer to the question lol.. People that use million lumen lights at night simply because they are not trained not too..

Last edited by Splinter; March 1st, 2016 at 06:51..
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Old March 1st, 2016, 08:56   #3
AnthonyG
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Given that I've been looking at flashlights lately, I'm curious how many Lumens people are using. I have a fenix PD35, and although it goes up to 960lm it has 5 lower settings. I usually use the 460lm setting. I see a lot of surefires in the 100-200lm range which seems low to me?

Using benchmarks for architectural lighting, 800-900lm is a standard lightbulb, 50lm is minimum for reading anything without straining to see.

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Old March 1st, 2016, 09:16   #4
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This has been gone over a few times. Just search lumens.
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Old March 4th, 2016, 11:19   #5
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"Quantity has a quality all its own"

One of my strategies is, if I'm defending a point and it's dark, is to sprinkle a few cheap Canadian Tire lights, and maybe one of those tripod flashlights on the ground, randomly facing out. Especially on the exterior perimeter of whatever we're defending.

It's only a minor 'spotlight' factor compared to your ultra lumen lights, but it messes up the enemy's ability to gauge depth. Also bonus the enemy just ends up shooting couple feet above them assuming there's a dude there... even if the light hasn't moved for a half hour.

Not 100% sure of it's use as a strategy against NVG owners but I don't think there's any major differences.
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Old March 15th, 2016, 16:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
Given that I've been looking at flashlights lately, I'm curious how many Lumens people are using. I have a fenix PD35, and although it goes up to 960lm it has 5 lower settings. I usually use the 460lm setting. I see a lot of surefires in the 100-200lm range which seems low to me?

Using benchmarks for architectural lighting, 800-900lm is a standard lightbulb, 50lm is minimum for reading anything without straining to see.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

Those benchmarks don't quite apply, here. 1-200lm is fine for fighting and nav. I personally mount two lights, one in the 1-200lm range and one 500lm+. One is for actually illuminating things, the other is used offensively for CQB suppression and area denial.
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Old July 5th, 2016, 17:37   #7
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I see the advantage of using high lumens when you are trying to blind a specific person, and I don't think that it would give away your position because you would only use it in a situation where you either need to blind someone or you need to see where someone is in a case where a red light might not be enough such as if they are 60 feet+. Personally I edc the fenix tk16 which is 1000 lumens, I also use it for security. It's not only blinding people though it's knowing exactly what is around you, if you use a lower lumens flashlight you might miss important details that could keep you out of harms way. I understand the use of red light, but I also see the advantage of a high lumens light.

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Old July 5th, 2016, 18:04   #8
ThunderCactus
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Keep in mind, a certain amount of luxes can permanently damage peoples vision.
1500 lumen from 300ft is no problem. But if you light someone up 5ft away in a building, it could do more than just temporarily blind them.

Ive used a 300 lumen red flashlight before, works crazy well. Interferes with their vision while not affecting your own.
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Old July 5th, 2016, 18:41   #9
Burger
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderCactus View Post
Keep in mind, a certain amount of luxes can permanently damage peoples vision.
1500 lumen from 300ft is no problem. But if you light someone up 5ft away in a building, it could do more than just temporarily blind them.

Ive used a 300 lumen red flashlight before, works crazy well. Interferes with their vision while not affecting your own.
When I put my light on a wall beside me at 1000 lumens it makes me feel sick.

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Old July 5th, 2016, 18:50   #10
AnthonyG
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I'd make a guess that you feeling sick is due to colour rendering (is your flashlight bluish light?), Could also be the refresh rate or glare caused by the narrow beam of the LED bulb. Unlike incandescent bulbs, LEDs modulate on and off at a very high frequency.

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Old November 18th, 2017, 14:39   #11
ThunderCactus
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Bringing this thread back from the dead, eh?
Well I guess I'll add in that, for the love of airsoft, DO NOT USE AN EXCESSIVELY BRIGHT FLASHLIGHT.
There's really no need for anything past 300 lumens.

At just about every night game now, there's at least 1 person running a 2000 lumen light because they think brighter is better.
1. They have no idea how to use a flashlight tactically in the first place, so they shine it all over the damn place (probably because they can't see anything in the dark afterwards), then end up using it as a nav light to find their way back to spawn.
2. The only person you're fucking over with the excessive brightness is your own team. It's so damn bright that it just ends up backlighting the whole field. It immobilizes people behind cover, and even the indirect weak backlighting from 800ft away makes people stand out real well with NV.

Obviously NV is better than a white light, but that's $2000 vs $100. Natural night vision is arguable. You're depending on biology, some people just have really shitty vision at night.
But if you have to have a tac light, honestly red is best. It's enough effect to temporarily blind your target, but won't affect you nearly as bad as a white light.
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Old November 18th, 2017, 16:01   #12
Desmodus
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This should hopefully answer your questions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V78tH6aVpuM
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Old December 15th, 2017, 19:39   #13
alchemy
 
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Nitecore makes some good ones that aren't too expensive, readily available on Amazon have multiple power settings (the one I have does 1000lm, 400lm, 60lm and 1lm) Plus strobe so very versatile. Love the 1lm setting.
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