Tactical LED Flashlights - Part 1
My First Light
I can remember buying my first tactical flashlight. At the time (early 90's) I was working in Armored car and was a major gear hound. If it was cool, I had it on my belt. An instructor of mine had purchased a Sure fire 6P and when I got my hands on it, I had to have one. His theory for a high-powered light was if someone was shooting at you a blast from the light would blind the person allowing you to return fire, move, take cover or just get your ass out of there. So off I went to my local or not so local gear store and purchased a brand spanking new Sure fire 6P. I still have this light and its is used around the 911 gear office. I have also used it to look into my back yard at night. I knew I had animals in my yard under my shed. What I did not know was it was a family of skunks.
I do not remember exactly what my new sure fire 6P cost me but back in the early 90's it probably was not cheap. At the time I was making $10 or $11 an hour and I really didn't care because I wanted to be the first one "On the Road" with one. I was told it was 15,000 candle power which sounded like a lot and regardless I had to have one. I stopped in on my way to work and bought it. I could not wait for it to get dark so I could try it out. In those days the flashlights took a krypton bulb. LED lights were still in clock radio's not in flashlights. The krypton bulb had a short life span and the CR123 batteries at the time were about $11.00 EACH. I don’t remember what I paid for the light but working $10 or $11 an hour I know I worked quit a few hours to pay for it. So, I am out on the road and night came. When I hit that button, it lit up the whole area. It was cool having the strongest light on my shift. Never used it for anything spectacular but it was cool that’s for sure.
In those days there was not a whole lot of choice for tactical lights. Back then Mag Lites were the in thing. The joke was, even if it did not work it still made a fairly good weapon. I have a friend in New jersey who was indicted in the 80's for using a flashlight for something other than lighting up a darkened area. His indictment did not go anywhere but I wonder how many others were not so lucky and ended up indicted or charged and convicted under the Criminal Code of Canada or in the legal systems of other countries because of some advise from someone.
Within a year of purchasing the light I left it in a customer’s premises. I noticed it gone the next day when I started my shift. I called the bank, and no one had seen it. We went to the bank, and it was GONE. The first words out of my mouth contained an F, a U and you knows how that one ends. This was my lesson on expensive tactical gear. Think about it this way. if you spend $100 on a tactical light and lose it, you now must spend another $100 to get another one. That is a $200 light at that point. If that light had been a $40 light, a replacement would of cost me an additional $40. Its now an $80 light with $120 still in my pocket.