I like light — lots of light.
I have weapon-mounted white lights on three pistols, a carbine and a shotgun — my entire home defense arsenal. I also keep a handheld Surefire 6P handy as backup.
I’ve searched hundreds of homes and businesses and learned one thing: The more lumens — the brighter the light — the better.
I’d like to clarify what’s become, in my opinion, a popular misconception. There are some who say they won’t use a white light at night because they don’t want the bad guys to “know their position.”
While there might be a small amount of validity to this if we were on a modern battlefield, for most armed citizens protecting their home, the premise is invalid and far outweighed by the benefits of sufficient illumination, (i.e. you realize the ‘threat’ is actually your spouse, your dog or your cat).
A good, powerful light of at least 120 lumens or more has other benefits. It can temporarily blind and disorient your assailant. They will see stars, not the home owner.
Here are my tactical flashlight tips:
1. Be judicious: Use quick bursts of light, rather than leaving the light switched on.
2. Move between bursts.
3. Don’t back-light family or friendlies.
4. A burst of light aimed at a white ceiling will illuminate a room enough to distinguish threats (a technique for handheld lights only, not weapon-mounted lights.)
5. Ask yourself if you really need light. No one knows the layout of your home better than you. Also, c0nsider when it’s more tactically prudent to flip on a light switch.
6. Manipulate the light’s toggle switch with your non-shooting thumb — never your trigger finger.
7. Practice shooting with a light. The first time you fire your pistol with a light should not be when there’s a bad guy in your home.
8. Check your batteries weekly. Have plenty of spares.
9. If you have a laser/light combo, know the setting. It should be left on light-only or light and laser, never laser-only.
10. Keep the lens clean. Shooting with a weapon-mounted light will deposit burned powder and gunk on the lens, significantly decreasing its output.
This is by no means a comprehensive list. If you have a tactical lighting tip, please let me know or add it to the comments section.