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  #1  
Old 12-12-2018, 01:12 PM
mark2734 mark2734 is offline
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How bright is too bright?

Rather then hijack a thread I figured I'd just start a new one.

Someone mentioned testing out a Surefire X300 1000 lumen weapon light.

I have a lot of experience using both weapon and handheld lights while searching for armed suspects. BUT my experience is largely limited to dense urban settings.

I've found too bright a light can sometimes be more of a hindrance then an aid. Inside small apartments or dense office/building spaces too bright a light is almost blinding.

So my question to everyone is what do you find to be too much, and under what conditions? Large scale manhunts for escaped convicts in upstate New York calls for different equipment then I've used so can someone share their thoughts and experience.

Last edited by mark2734; 12-12-2018 at 02:10 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-12-2018, 05:56 PM
sierra 223 sierra 223 is offline
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I just recently got a 1000 lumen light for my rifle, I have not found it to be blinding but rifle is not all the way up on sights unless a suspect is confronted while making search.
You may of been trained to search a different way. Some like all the lumens they can get, some don't. I am more of the all the lumens I can get.
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2018, 07:40 PM
DT Guy DT Guy is offline
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IMHO, training/practice will let you control the flashback from light vertical surfaces, which is the usual time a light is 'too bright'.

With more total light, you usually get more spill; practice lets you use that better, while the total output is handy once you ID a target.


But lots of folks agree with the idea that there's such a thing as 'too much' light, so that's just an opinion.

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  #4  
Old 12-12-2018, 07:51 PM
Hawkeye fan Hawkeye fan is offline
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I'm the one with the 1000 lumen X300U from the other thread. I took some pictures just inside using my X400U-G 600 lumen, X300U 1000 lumen, and Scout light 600 lumen on my SBR with can.

While nothing scientific I did stay approximately 5 yards from the target put the hot spot of each light on the target and then above the target. The white out on the target only showed up in the picture and was not there in real life.

I am in the camp of the more light the better. I've never had an issue of light bouncing back off a wall blinding me. Now, shine it into a mirror that's a different story but even had that problem with the X200 back in the day.

Even outdoors I've had zero issues and I want as much light as I can get. Most likely will be upgrading the SBR to Surefire's Dual fuel 1500 lumen Scout light.

In the end only the end user can decide what lumen light is best for them and their needs and of course train on that light. Hope that helps a little.

Lights on with X400U-G, laser only on target.


No light only X400U-G laser on target.


X400U-G light and laser on target.


X400U-G light and laser above target.


X300U 1000 lumens on target.


X300U 1000 lumens above target.


SBR, can and Scout light on target.


SBR, can and scout light above target.
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2018, 04:36 AM
bmur66 bmur66 is offline
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Not in LE but long story and I posted it here previously but I had an intruder on my porch. The million candlepower rechargeable spotlight I was shining in his eyes through the picture window prevented him from realizing he had .45 pointed at his head and pretty much blinded him until the police arrived. I live in the country and have no nearby neighbors. I had the light handy for spotting deer but since then I will always keep it charged and ready.

Last edited by bmur66; 12-13-2018 at 05:27 AM.
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2018, 05:56 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is online now
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Indoors I prefer 300-600 Lumens.

Outdoors 600-1000 Lumens, but I'm ok with a little less. I prefer longer battery life to an extreme amount of Lumens. Even outside at night my 325 Lumen Malkoff conversion Surefires will light up a tree line 100ft away. And do it for hours.

Nothing worse in the middle of something important than a light with only a 20 minute run time going down.
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2018, 08:03 AM
Philip A. Philip A. is offline
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I use handheld and weapon-mounted LED lights mostly outdoors. When looking for a shot, I find that the sweet spot is around 400 lumens, give or take 50. “Turbo” mode around 900-1000 lumens is too bright. Not blinding outdoors, but too bright, and the light doesn’t like to stay on at that setting for long. Lower modes, 150-200, don’t cut it.

Also, for weapon-mounted lights I prefer more throw than for handhelds. Having the light fixed in relation to the sights allows to use a more defined lighted area.
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2018, 09:24 AM
mark2734 mark2734 is offline
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Thanks for everyone's responses.
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2018, 02:30 PM
US1911 US1911 is offline
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My perspective is only that as a homeowner. I find this topic interesting, because thereís so many variables in play; individualís light sensitivity, lumens, type of lens (flood, standard), position of light source and even the type of paint and flooring within oneís home. Flat paint and carpet absorbs light, gloss paint and shiny tile reflects it.

Best approach (easier said than done), would be to get your hands on as many different products as you can, test them within your own home and make an informed decision based upon the results. The ideal indoor light source likely wonít be the optimum choice for an outdoor light and vice versa, some form of compromise could be in order.

Within my own home, Iíve tested a 300 lumens Streamlight TLR, 125 lumens Streamlight TLR4, 600 lumens Surefire X400 Ultra, 224 lumens Viridian X5L and 120 lumens (mint green light) Lasermax SPS. The Surefire (no surprise) is the brightest and has a more focused beam, but itís not necessarily the best choice for me. While I agree with Hawkeye that you wonít necessarily blind yourself with your own bright light, it can nevertheless be shocking to your eyes in the middle of the night. The shock isnít necessarily a bad thing either, because it can wake you up and heighten your senses, but again, that depends on the individual. But, as alluded to by Mark2734, the bright white light can be disturbing enough to consume part of the userís focus, so why go mega bright if you donít need to.

In the end, I chose the low lumens SPS for my bedside SBR, because it throws an adequate amount of widely dispersed mint green light that doesnít shock my eyes. But, make no mistake, this would absolutely be a very poor choice for an outdoor light or even an indoor light inside of a large structure.

I found that a suppressor further complicates the light options, because unless your light is at the end of the suppressor, there will be a comprise in determining how to best mount the light in order to minimize the heavy shadow. Best option would be to bury the suppressor inside the handguard and mount the light as far forward as possible.

Folks should get a few different lights as funds permit, select the best one for their defense weapon and either sell off the other ones or use them on a different host.

A few pics.

Xmas tree at night


TLR2


X400 Ultra


SPS top mount light, heavy shadow on bottom (my preference)


SPS bottom mount, heavey shadow on top (not my preference)


Outdoors in backyard at night


TLR2


X400 Ultra


SPS
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2018, 05:54 PM
tjpaxton tjpaxton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2734 View Post
Rather then hijack a thread I figured I'd just start a new one.

Someone mentioned testing out a Surefire X300 1000 lumen weapon light.

I have a lot of experience using both weapon and handheld lights while searching for armed suspects. BUT my experience is largely limited to dense urban settings.

I've found too bright a light can sometimes be more of a hindrance then an aid. Inside small apartments or dense office/building spaces too bright a light is almost blinding.

So my question to everyone is what do you find to be too much, and under what conditions? Large scale manhunts for escaped convicts in upstate New York calls for different equipment then I've used so can someone share their thoughts and experience.
I prefer as bright as possible, it can be used as a means to reduce the suspects ability to look at you when you shine it in their face. The brighter it is, the more it forces the bad guy to look away from the light (blinding them is good).
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  #11  
Old 12-18-2018, 04:09 PM
magazineman magazineman is online now
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My wife says I'm not too bright.
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  #12  
Old 12-18-2018, 10:25 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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I am in the more is better camp.

But I live out in the woods. Unless there is a good moon or a lot of starlight. It is pretty dark out where I live. Inside the house is a different environment entirely. And my security arrangements are not really light intensity dependent.

On the other hand, I am out far enough. Anytime someone is going to try to approach my house. They will need to have a light source. And this will work in my favor as well as I can see them without being seen. Everybody's situation is different.
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  #13  
Old 12-23-2018, 06:44 PM
ripper20 ripper20 is offline
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I used a TLR-HL for a long time and had no complaints. Just before I retired I acquired an OLIGHT PLII Valkyrie. 1200 lumens of ridiculousness. And the strobe was really fast. I could light up an entire warehouse or field with ease. In more confined areas like a house it wouldn’t affect me but the bad guy wasn’t too appreciative of it. I think you could never have enough light. Only down side is battery life sucked.
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  #14  
Old 12-23-2018, 08:58 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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The general consensus here on the forum is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magazineman View Post
My wife says I'm not too bright.
That she is likely correct in her appraisal.
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  #15  
Old 12-23-2018, 10:12 PM
SW CQB 45 SW CQB 45 is offline
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I am in the market for a high lumen light for my SBR. I have the 800 lumen light for a handgun. I mainly drive a desk these days or work hospital gigs.

Over 55 and my eyes have constant issues. One time a 180 lumen light flashed back at me (3 yds) on a FBI Q target at the range. It cost me a few seconds to get re-oriented. That was well over 10 years ago.

I normally have a 300 lumen light on my belt or a pen light as extreme back up on my shirt.

Overall, if I have to switch to a lower lumen light based on environment and my vision....they are on my person.
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  #16  
Old 09-16-2019, 05:23 PM
INV136 INV136 is offline
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I'm retired from federal law enforcement. Unfortunately, they didn't have 1,000 lumen surefire weapon lights when I was working, otherwise I would have had them. The Surefire X300 they had only output 600 lumens. I like as much light as I can get. Since I retired Surefire finally came out with 1,000 lumen weapon lights like the Scout 600 DF rifle light powered by a lithium 18650 battery (finally). It's a great rifle light and works great inside or outside.

I got one of the Streamlight (usually I prefer Surefire) TLR 2 HL G pistol lights that outputs 800 lumens as well as has a green laser. I prefer the Streamlight's spring loaded thumbscrew, which makes it a lot easier than the Surefire thumb screw to attach/remove from the pistol light rail. I also prefer the Streamlight's lever switch which is easier to activate than the Surefire. Back then the Streamlight at 800 lumens was more powerful than the Surefire at 600 lumens.

As far as how much is too bright? There isn't a light that is too bright. I have an old Elektrolumens LED flashlight that uses two lithium 18650 batteries and outputs 2,000 lumens. It is not too bright for use inside my house. For close up work (like inside cabinets) I keep an old Inova X5 LED light that outputs about 30 lumens and is great for those closeup and tight, small spaces where too much light washes out everything inside.
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  #17  
Old 09-16-2019, 05:31 PM
INV136 INV136 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SW CQB 45 View Post
I am in the market for a high lumen light for my SBR. I have the 800 lumen light for a handgun. I mainly drive a desk these days or work hospital gigs.

Over 55 and my eyes have constant issues. One time a 180 lumen light flashed back at me (3 yds) on a FBI Q target at the range. It cost me a few seconds to get re-oriented. That was well over 10 years ago.

I normally have a 300 lumen light on my belt or a pen light as extreme back up on my shirt.

Overall, if I have to switch to a lower lumen light based on environment and my vision....they are on my person.

Get one of these. They're Surefire's current best rifle light. LED light that is powered by a lithium 18650 rechargeable battery. 1,500 lumens. Mine came with a battery charger that plugged into a wall outlet.



http://https://www.bhphotovideo.com/...ight_dual.html
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  #18  
Old 09-16-2019, 05:40 PM
DWARREN123 DWARREN123 is offline
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  #19  
Old 09-16-2019, 06:30 PM
The War Wagon The War Wagon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2734 View Post
How bright is too bright?

If bacon starts sizzling in less than a minute, the light is too bright.
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  #20  
Old 09-16-2019, 06:45 PM
Mike 139 Mike 139 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INV136 View Post
I'm retired from federal law enforcement. Unfortunately, they didn't have 1,000 lumen surefire weapon lights when I was working, otherwise I would have hadi.

As far as how much is too bright? There isn't a light that is too bright. I have an old Elektrolumens LED flashlight that uses two lithium 18650 batteries and outputs 2,000 lumens. It is not too bright for use inside my house. For close up work (like inside cabinets) I keep an old Inova X5 LED light that outputs about 30 lumens and is great for those closeup and tight, small spaces where too much light washes out everything inside.

This. I started in the 70s with a Kel-lite 5 D Cell light... Early 80s went to a Maglite re-chargeable... Still works fine, recently replaced the Battery stick.

For pocket/ handhelds, The Family has Surefire lights... Stay Safe.
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  #21  
Old 09-16-2019, 06:55 PM
MichaelE MichaelE is offline
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I think it depends upon the distance you think you may be using the light in a defensive situation. You can be almost as blinded as the suspect in close quarters against a light or white colored wall for at least a few seconds ruining your vision for a few, possibly critical seconds.

A lower power setting of 500 to 600 lumens is still going to blind a suspect pointed directly at him, while possibly sparing you of light blindness at the same time. I wouldn't be against going down to between 300 and 500 either, pointed directly at a suspect.

A 1000+ lumens pointed at a white wall and a suspect 15 feet in front of you is going to blind you for a few seconds until your pupils close down enough to handle the light and your brain processes the info. After you can see again you might find a gun pointed at you.
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  #22  
Old 09-16-2019, 07:32 PM
STORM2 STORM2 is offline
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Interesting this came up. My input is not defense or gun related. In those cases I love all the horse power I can get. I have always carried some sort of flashlight on my person, I’m a pilot. Since sorta retirement, Mag Lights turned into dinosaurs and LEDs light the night. Back to the question. I own several varieties of Surefire twin cell CR123 powered pocket lights. The most recent G2X Maxvision running 800 in high gear is too bright in the middle of the night to read print up close. The 400 power G2X LE worked fine. So my take on the TOO MUCH is stick to 400 for reading Rx bottles and other such middle of the night missions that don’t involve bad guys...or gals. Other than that light that puppy. ps/ If you can find one of the previously offered Intellibeam ( the one with the auto beam dimmer) they are great for switching from paper reading to distance work. The dimmer really works.

Last edited by STORM2; 09-16-2019 at 07:36 PM.
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  #23  
Old 09-16-2019, 07:44 PM
MichaelE MichaelE is offline
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I always had two Maglights in my fight bag when I was flying. Usually with failing batteries, but both with red filters. So nice to have rechargables now days. About the only thing I ever used them for was a night pre-flight inspection and a fuel tap.
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  #24  
Old 09-25-2019, 06:35 PM
nikerret nikerret is offline
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We did a test with several different lights. When people don’t know what is what, they generally preferred 200-300 lumens over the super bright lights. This was most extreme in clearing residential houses with predominantly white walls. The bright lights tended to blind the user. The most important factor is the beam and batteries it runs off of.
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  #25  
Old 09-25-2019, 06:55 PM
MichaelE MichaelE is offline
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No one ever believes those tests until they are blinded themselves by their 'million lumen' powerhouse and then trying to find the target again...if they aren't shot first.
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