How far we have come. LED Lighting the way of the future
The old krypton bulbs have now been replaced by LED bulbs. LED bulbs have now have a life span of 50,000 hrs +. That is 2083.33333 days or 5.7 years of constantly being on. For those of you with 25 and out retirement plans. Let’s say you turned a light on the day you started. Left it on constantly you would be changing to your 5th and final bulb at 22.8 years Which is roughly 22 years and 9 months. Thinking back to the purchase of my first Sure fire 6P I realize how far we have come and how much power we now carry on our belts. It is amazing how much power a single flashlight can have in comparison to the old days.
Light Emitting Diodes = LED
I remember when I was a kid getting an LED clock radio and replacing my old clock radio that had numbers that spun around. LED lights have been around since I was a kid, and I am old. I had planned on going through an explanation of what an LED is until I came across this.
"A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor light source. LEDs are used as indicator lamps in many devices and are increasingly used for other lighting. Appearing as practical electronic components in 1962, early LEDs emitted low-intensity red light, but modern versions are available across the visible, ultraviolet, and infrared wavelengths, with very high brightness...."
However, my ADD kicked in. I realized you would be as bored with this as I was, and I would lose you. So, I am going to skip it and just go one to what I do know and understand. I will give you some technical stuff later in the blog. I do like what car companies have done with LEDs around headlights I think it makes the cars look amazing. These bulbs are now bright enough to replace daytime running lights. The brightness of LED bulbs has increased greatly since the days of my new clock radio. With the power of these new LED bulbs, you must be careful about shining them into people eyes.
How do you choose a light?
One of the best stories a customer has ever told me about flashlight starts with a foot chase. They chased some punks down a street and through some back yards. They caught them and after dealing with the arrest they went back through the yards looking for anything the suspects had dropped. He says he jumped over a fence and found two other Officers with their issued lights searching. He pulled out the new light he bought from us and hit the button. It was a 720 lumen Lumintop TD15X. His light lit up the entire back yard. The brought some WTF is that comments from the other two. Long story short within a couple days the other two Officers had purchased similar strength lights.
Do you Need 1000 Lumens?
I remember a Corrections Officer from Toronto South Detention Centre coming into our store (when it was open). We started talking about a flashlight he had purchased a month or so before. He said some of the Officers he worked with had given him a hard time about buying the light. A couple of them said "You don't need a flashlight in Corrections". He smiled when he told me that some of those Officers asked to use his light while searching units and cells. Even working indoors, a flashlight can be helpful.
So, do you need one 1000 lumens? You may. You need to be careful that you don't shine with high power flashlights into people’s eyes. Imagine pulling over a car with a family in it and you shine it into one of their eyes by accident. Are they going to be angry? YES. are they going to call your Sgt. MAYBE? That being said, my old instructors comment of flashing it in someone’s eyes who is trying to kill you comes back to me. If you have just finished chasing bad guys... or girls through backyards and need a light to light up large areas, then the answer is yes. If you work in or patrol remote areas, then your answer is yes.
If you work security on a construction site where there is no light other than what you are carrying the answer is yes. if you want one just in case you need to temporarily blind someone who is trying to hurt you the answer is yes. If you want to be the one with the coolest brightest light... DO IT. The good news is all new Tac lights come with different light modes, anything from shining the light into a car with a family in it to blinding that guy who is shooting at you.
A google search of Tactical flashlights returns many different manufacturers. One brand turns up turns up 12 different lights in their 500 to 999 lumens light section. The cheapest light is $79.99 at 600 lumens and the most expensive light is $172.99 at 800 lumens. In my world that $159.98 and $345.98 because I know I am going to lose one. Flashlights are used by many people in many different circumstances. Mechanics use them, Plumbers use them as do Doctors, Construction workers, Police Officers, Corrections Officers, Animal Control. Security Personnel, MLEO's, and most people in the Protection Services industry. Whether you’re protecting the public, property, issuing tickets, investigating accidents, homicides or saving animals at some point you will need a flashlight. So how do you choose which light you need? The answer is not simple. There are many factors you should look at.
1) Cost is more often the deciding factor. A cheap light is less expensive to replace.
2) What you do for a living and how the light will be used. Is it practical for you to carry a light with 800 lumens when one with 200 or 400 lumens may work?
3) Agency or company policy
4) Personal Preference
5) Will you need to light up large areas or small area?