Lights For Ccw And Law Enforcement
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  1. Lights For Ccw And Law Enforcement

    LIGHTS FOR CCW AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

    Hi guys,
    I have about 200 lights between flashlights and tactical lights, and also this idea of taking beam shots, so members can compare between them.

    First, lets take a look at some lights that are used by police for traffic stops, search and even clearing houses.
    These are not for CCW, but good to have in the car or truck to take care of big illumination needs.



    This post will try to show how different lights used in law enforcement compare with each other, and will clarify the difference between the lumen ratings used in Luxeon (LED) lights and incandescent lights.
    In short, I will show (through pictures) how Luxeons lack definition when used at increased distances.

    I have maintained for a long time that LED Luxeons donít have the range over the incandescent to really be helpful for law enforcement. They are excellent lights to use inside the house; their beams are very clean, white and with substantial flood, and in the average house, that is all you need. However, when taken outside to the backyard, woods, or large structure and the distance to the target is 25 yards or more, they lack definition (as they lack the red spectrum of light), and their poor penetration of fog or rain makes them inefficient to clearly identify what you are seeing at that distance.
    Moreover, when the subject being illuminated is an animal with a light-drinking fur (depth of texture), the blending effect of the LEDís (against the background) will cause the observer to lose perspective.

    LOW LIGHT FOR WRITING

    As I am in contact with police officers that tell me what they really need to perform their functions at night, I think that I know more than the average guy what is needed for those officers.
    What those experienced officers want are three lights that will cover specific illumination chores.
    First, when writing a ticket at night, or looking for a dropped pencil in the floor of their own car or any other close up chore, they want a flood light in LED form: small and with an output of 20 lumens or less (LED lumens), and preferably with a clip incorporated to free both hands for holding the pad and writing.

    LEOís that have used the Fenix LOP (1 AAA) consider this light ideal (except for the lack of a clip). Another favorite is the ARC AAA. These lights can be held in the mouth without any discomfort.

    Fenix has put out a bigger light (1 AA) with two stages output, and the lower output will be also ideal for these chores.

    THE BELT LIGHT

    Those same officers want to have a good light on their belt. Some prefer the two cell 123ís lights like the Surefire 6P, G2, or C-2 for their better flood beam over the more tightly focused Streamlight Scorpion, TL-2 and Night Fighter II (it is important for them to be able to cover an average room with the light, without the need of panning it).
    They look for a run time of one hour and an output of 65 lumens.
    Some opt for more intense lights like the Surefire 9P or the C-3 with their 105 lumens and one hour run time.
    The Streamlight TL-3 is a little too tightly focused for clearing rooms, but it will do fine in an average backyard.
    In LED form (Luxeon V), the Surefire L-4 is a good contender due to the excellent flood light that it puts out at medium range inside a house.

    The main thing is that the officers want to avoid losing precious seconds by panning a light when entering a room. That is why the Surefires are preferred over the tightly focused others brands.

    HERE IS A PICTURE OF SOME OF THE CONTENDERS, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT; THE MAGCHARGER 200 LUMENS AND 6 VOLTS BATTERY STICK, THE STREAMLIGHT ULTRA STINGER 295 LUMENS AND 6 VOLTS BATTERY STICK AND THE BOREALIS 1050 LUMENS (TWO MILLION CANDLEPOWER) AND ROLLS ROYCE BATTERY CARRIER WITH 12 VOLTS SYSTEM







    THE CAR LIGHT

    These police officers wear a light holder in their belt (a plastic and leather ring). On exiting their cars, they slip in the ring one of the powerful rechargeable lights, most commonly the Magcharger (200 lumens) or the Ultra Stinger (295 lumens) and sometimes a BOREALIS 1050 lumens.

    Those are ideal lights for search, clearing houses, backyards, warehouses etc. Being rechargeable, they are always used with a maximum run time (taken out of the charger at start of the shift), a thing that you can not do with 123 batteries unless you are willing to dump half-used batteries at the start of a shift.

    Their large diameter (2 inches) reflectors put more light at a longer distance than any of the belt lights. Even though some of the belt lights approach 200 lumens, they do it with reduced run time and much reduced throw, due to their small diameter reflectors.
    A Magcharger will put a spot of light at 150 yards, as will the Ultra Stinger and a BOREALIS, which has the capability of illuminating the whole road for 250 yards.

    Those lights are ideal for traffic stops, accident sites and the ones with major lumen output can even illuminate through heavily tinted windows, which makes them ideal carís lights or for using in an emergency situation.


    Lets start with the popular Surefire G-2 (or 6 P) at 65 lumens, the target is the 8 by 12 tool shed at 30 yards.
    We are going to pit the Surefire G-2 65 lumens $35.00 against the Surefire Digital Lumamax L-4 (also 65 lumens and with a price tag of $160.00).

    Surefire G-2 65 lumens



    Surefire L-4 Luxeon V, LED, 65 lumens



    And now we are going to pit the Surefire 6 P with the P-61 120 lumen lamp (20 minutes run time) against the best Luxeon LED thrower that I have (similar to the cree LED).
    This is a Mc Gizmo PR T head with a TWOJ bin Luxeon doing 120 plus lumens.

    Surefire Centurion C-2 (same as the 6P) with the P-61 lamp, 120 lumens.



    And the PR T with TWOJ bin Luxeon, (LED) @ 120 lumens



    And now we are going to show a belt light of 200 lumens (The Surefire Centurion III with the P-91 lamp, 200 lumens, 20 minutes run) and three cars' lights of 200 lumens plus and beyond.

    Surefire Centurion C-III, 200 lumens P-91 lamp.



    And here the Magcharger also 200 lumens, with its bigger reflector and tighter focus will throw the light at 150 yards, while the Centurion III range will stop at 45 or 50 yards.

    Magcharger 200 lumens (40,000 candlepowers)





    And here is the Ultra Stinger, the most powerful of the Stingers rechargeables from Streamlight with 295 lumens and 75,000 candlepower, although this figure is largely inflated when you consider that is about ďbulbĒ lumens and not torch or ďrealĒ lumens.





    And now the BOREALIS, with the format of a 3 D (12 1/2 inches long) outputting 1050 lumens (two million candlepower) for 50 minutes.




    Do I need to say anything about the importance of a powerful light for police use when clearing a backyard or wooded area?
    As you well can see the capabilities of each light from these pictures.


    Best regards,
    Watchmaker

  2.   
  3. #2
    Good read...thanks for this!

  4. MORE LIGHTS FOR CCW AND LAW ENFORCEMENT



    As a continuation of the first post and for whatever value it has, I am going to do some more shoot outs of a mix of popular Luxeon lights and incandescent ones.

    The first order of things is to change the target area, to make it a little more interesting to my viewers.
    Consequently I replaced the tool shed target with a deer and bear mount.
    The deer head mounted on the tree is exactly 26 yards from my second story window from where the lights are shinning.
    The bear head in the fence is only six more feet further away from the tree.

    In the summer I have plenty of bushy cover in the area, but this time I had to be creative and cut and nailed to the tree and fence, some branches from a pine tree, not to hide the animals from view, just to provide a natural blending effect, like they were coming from a natural habitat.

    The camera was placed twelve foot away from the tree (and eighteen feet from the bear) in a solid tripod, and the night camera mode used (this mode shows in pictures the same light values that I am seeing with my own eyes).

    The close proximity of the camera is for the viewer to see the target with clarity; if I were to place the camera 26 yards away the target will be awfully small.

    Here it is the target area and how it looks in daylight.



    And here are the contenders, but before I describe them, let me voice my opinion that some manufacturers of Luxeon lights label the output in lumens in quite a wild way.




    From left to right: # 1 Fenix L1P at about 40 lumens, # 2 Nuwaii Q III at 75 lumens (yes, sure!) # 3 Surefire L-4 Digital Lumamax at 65 lumens (this is a Luxeon V which is quite a flood light but with little throw).

    # 4 Streamlight Task-Light 2 L (two Lithium 3 volts batteries, high and low output,
    Cost is about $77.00) This is billed at a High Flux Luxeon III. With 75 lumens, which I think is about right.

    # 5 is the Streamlight Pro Polymer 4 AA with a Luxeon I, billed as 40 lumens (3,500 candlepower according to the advertising) which I think is quite wrong, as it appears to me to have about 70 lumens or more, this light has a bigger and deeper reflector than the others lights and the beam is concentrated more than the others. This is a great light for the price of about $40.00

    # 6, this is a PR T Luxeon III head done for me by master modder McGizmo, it is set on a Surefire E2e body and I am using two rechargeable 123ís with a voltage of 4.2 volts in it.
    This light is my best Luxeon III light and up to two years ago it was pretty HOT STUFF, today the cree LEDís are approaching it in intensity, although it has not been overpower by any other Luxeon, yet.
    My friends told me I have two of the Integrated Sphere Spectotometers just above my nose, those spheres are telling me that this light makes 120 to 130 ďrealĒ lumens.

    # 7, this is A Surefire Centurion II in black with the P-60 lamp (65 lumens) this represents all the others Surefires lights that use this lamp, G-2, 6P. Z-2. etc.

    # 8, this is another Surefire Centurion II, but in Hard anodized, it wears the HOLA lamp. The P-61 with the output of 120 lumens for 20 minutes.

    # 9 this is a Surefire Centurion III (3 cells) this is usually sold with the P-90 lamp that makes 105 lumens for one hour, but in this case is set up with the P-91 lamp for 200 lumens for 20 minutes, as you will see in the picture later, the floodlight effect is great at 26 yards. All those Pís lamps start to lose range at about 45 to 50 yards, this is because the reflectors are fabricated to produce a good flood so police officers can clear houses with them.
    I took this particular light out of my Remington 742 rifle, where it sits in the special quick detach mount in a Picattiny rail.

    # 10, this is the BEAR CUB, this light weights 13 oz and measures 9 inches long, it works with two Lithium Ion computer batteries, and produces 220 plus lumens for 90 minutes. Thanks to the big and deep 2 inch mirror-like reflector, this light concentrates the beam like a laser and has a throw of 120 to 150 yards.
    So the 26 yards distance is like child play for the Bear Cub and the light is so intense at the target that they had to close their eyes!

    # 11, (last on the left lying in horizontal position next to the Bear Cub) this light is a KL-1 head Luxeon I of three years ago, it is set up in a Surefire Outdoorsman body and the lumens output is no more than 20, consequently I decided to strike it out from the competition, there is no room in my stable for weaklings and I will present it to my nephew on his birthday quite soon.

    And now letís go to the pictures:

    Fenix L1P (40 lumens) Luxeon I



    Nuwaii Q III (advertised at 75 lumens in a website, which I donít believe) Luxeon III.




    Surefire L-4 Digital Lumamax (65 lumens) this is very flood light and the lumens spread in a very wide area, so it cannot be expected to have a good throw at 26 yards. (Luxeon V ~which are 4 of the one watt together)




    Streamlight Task Light 2 L about 75 lumens on high, works on two 123ís batteries and has two levels of illumination. High Flux Luxeon III. About $77.00



    Streamlight Poly Pro 4 AA Luxeon. This light has a deep and bigger reflector, the Luxeon is I, according to the manufacturer, is listed at 40 lumens, but to my eyes is doing about 75 lumens.
    For the price of $40.00 this is a great light, and very battery friendly as it uses regulars AA.
    I feed this light, rechargeable Nimhs AA of high current (Powerex 2700 mah) that hovers around 1.4 volts for weeks consequently it costs me nothing to operate it.





    Mc Gizmo PR T head on Surefire body, Luxeon III, TWOJ bin,
    My best Luxeon light putting out 120 to 130 lumens. This is a collectorís item and was state of the art, less than two years ago.
    I have found nothing new that can approach its power, except the new cree 7090 that is getting close.



    Surefire Centurion II in black with the P-60 lamp (65 lumens for one hour)





    Surefire Centurion II in Hard anodized with the P-61 lamp (120 lumens for 20 minutes)



    Surefire Centurion III in hard anodized, with the P-91 lamp (200 lumens for 20 minutes) as you can see it is a great flood at 26 yards.





    BEAR CUB running for 90 minutes on two computer Lithium Ion batteries, driving a Xenon Magnum Star bulb for 5 cells pretty hard at 8.4 volts at 220 lumens (which make it a very white light) with a reach of 120 to 150 yards, even surpassing the Ultra Stinger.



    Best regards
    Watchmaker

  5. #4
    Hey this is great information. I don't know much about flashlights. I have a 3 cell mag light, a AA mag light and a cheap LED light. I have been considering getting something like a surefire. I appreciate your post. It will give me some other things to consider.

    thanks!
    David

    The only person available to protect you 24 hours a day is you.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    East of Cleveland.... FAR East !
    Posts
    215
    Thanks for all the time and effort placed into this. It was "illuminating" to coin a phrase. When the time comes to purchase anothe, smaller light, I will definately come back to this. For now I am using a 2 million cp Dorcy spotbeam. That works well to illuminate the backyard lookin' for critters before I release the hounds. But, it CAN get rather cumbersome in the situations up top. It was well worth the read. Thanks again ! .... mot

  7. THE ASP TAC LITE

    This is another very popular tactical light in the law enforcement circles, it is five inches long and one inch in diameter. As with the other tactical lights, it works for about an hour on two of the 123ís disposable batteries.



    This is the bulb of the ASP light, with a shock absorbing material wrapped around the base



    The ASP line of batons is very famous for quality and craftsmanship; this light can be coupled to an ASP baton if you so desire.

    Quality foam insulates the middle of the light and is a very welcome addition in the winter months when all metal lights are too cold to handle.
    The Company states 7,000 candlepower for this light
    . Candlepower in this light are high because the beam is quite concentrated. The ASP TAC LITE is famous for having a far-throwing beam.
    The reason for it is the smooth-mirror polished reflector and the shape of the filament of the bulb, which forms an arc, as it is quite short, the light is emitted from a smaller filament than those of others lights.

    A light that reaches far is of dubious utility in the tactical field for clearing houses and the like, when its long throw hinders the flood capabilities of the instrument.
    Although the light features an internal capability to make it throw more flood, it is internal and is based on repositioning the bulb in the reflector, which introduces a series of artifacts into the beam.
    Surefireís with P-60 or P-61 lamps are well established as the ones that everybody likes as far as beam throw and amount of side spill; after all, most gun fights in low light situations happen inside of a few yards, and a tight beam is more of a liability than of an asset.

    However I see this light as a good contender to install it in an AR type rifle, where illumination at longer distances is needed and desired.

    The tail-cap houses a nice electronic switch that is quite responsive to the touch of your thumb, the switch button is recessed and the light can be used on candle mode if the operator wishes to do so.
    However none of the additional features so desirable in a tactical light are present here. There is no anti-roll bezel to stop the light from rolling of a table or inclined surface, there is no fluted cap so light can escape if the flashlight is set on a table head down, and no grommet or stop to position the light in the Rogers-Surefire position.

    As always the bear is set up at 18 feet from the camera and the deer at 12 feet and the light of the ASP Tac Lite is coming from the second story window from 26 yards away.

    For comparison here is the beam shot of the Surefire G-2 with the 65 lumens (P-60) lamp



    And here is the beam shot of the ASP TAC LITE, notice how the concentrate light is brighter at the target than the G-2



    Kind regards
    Watchmaker

  8. #7
    A lot of work there Watchmaker, thanks for all the interesting information. Now I have something else that I need to buy. But this one will be easy to get spouse head nod on, after all it's just a flash light.

  9. Thank you guys.

    This is a post I did for another forum, a couple of years ago. It just list the most popular positions for shooting with a pistol.


    Shooting in low light


    I am going to explain how to employ the useful techniques of using a flashlight with a pistol, especially useful for those flashlights that have a tactical switch.

    As many of the members already have a Surefire of two or three batteries with a tactical switch or a similar one of another brand, going from 60 to 200 lumens, I am going to explain the two most popular techniques. One is the Harries which I have already explained in the previous post in conjunction with the Borealis 1050 lumens light.

    The Harries technique





    Michael Harries invented this position and it is considered one of the first positions ever that coordinates the use of the flashlight using the two hands.
    For using with tactical switch lights (with a switch in the tail), the flashlight is grasped with the left hand around the body and the thumb will activate the switch.
    For lights with switch on the top (as the Magcharger, Stinger and Borealis) the index finger is used to press the switch down without clicking it on (if you drop your light you donít want it to illuminate you)
    The back of the hands are pressed together and maintain an isometric tension to help control the recoil of the gun. Your wrists will be crossed and the light will be parallel or close to the muzzle of the gun.

    The Roger-Surefire




    Holster maker, ex FBI agent, and competition shooter Bill Rogers teamed up with Surefire to adapt a rubber grommet or washer to the Surefire 6 Z (now available in most combat models of Surefire and copied by others light makers).
    The position is also called the cigar position, as you grasp the body of the flashlight like a cigar, with the index and middle finger. The tail cap is resting on the fleshy part below your thumb and a little pressure back on the rubber ring will activate the light (the tail cap button resting in that part below your thumb will switch the light on).
    That position will let you grasp the hand shooting the pistol with three fingers of the left hand, and it is the only position that let you use a two-handed grip on the gun

    The Chapman technique




    Ray Chapman was the first IPSC world champion. He invented his position for use with the Kel-Lites of the 1970ís (probably the first high quality Police Flashlight) that have a sliding switch on top of the barrel. It is still a great position to use for those that donít want to cross the wrists as in the Harries position when using a big flashlight.
    It is well suited for the Maglites or Stingers and for the modification of the Maglite like the Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight.

    You just grasp the flashlight as you usually do, with your thumb in the switch and your fingers circling the barrel and you bring it up to index your fingernails with the fingernails of the shooting hand.

    In my other post I have mentioned the old FBI technique which is to separate the flashlight high and away from you in order to confuse you opponent about your position, however it will not work on hallways and narrow places, so is better to have knowledge of all the positions to fit them to each particular situation.

    Another technique that doesnít offer any support to the shooting hand but it can be very useful when using a pistol with lousy sights (original 1911, Luger, etc) is the one I used more than 40 years ago when I started combat shooting.
    It indexes the light on top of my head, letting the light fall on a line from the sights to the target. Even the minuscule back up .380 or the Baby Browning sights gets illuminated using this ridiculous position.

    In closing, I would like to say that in my opinion lights with less than 60 lumens are out of the new low light fighting techniques.
    For my belt light I will prefer to have a minimum of 200 lumens, using the Surefire C-3 and the P-91 lamp as my favorite if in civilian clothing and a Bear Cub if in uniform (as the bigger head of the Bear Cub is not easy to conceal.

    But if I have to clear a big room, warehouse or backyard, I prefer a light with more power. My Surefire M-6 with the 500 lumens lamp will do, but I prefer even more lumens to really blind, disorient, and roast my opponent. That is when I use the Borealis 1050 lumens light.

    These positions I have shown here will work with big lights too (except for the cigar position), the thing you will have to remember is that when you need a light in a hairy situation you need it badly and that two is better than one, so a big light in your hand to blind you opponent and another smaller light in your belt as a back up is better than only one. (Two is one and one is none).

    Cheers
    Watchmaker

  10. #9
    Thanks for this info! Very useful.
    Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain't so.

    -Mark Twain

  11. Looks like 2 of those lights could cook them on the hoof. Thank you. Lets put this in the archies for future use

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