how many lumens for a tactical flashlight?

This is a discussion on how many lumens for a tactical flashlight? within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Interested in a flashlight... how many lumens and such? Recommendations?...

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Thread: how many lumens for a tactical flashlight?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array cmb's Avatar
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    how many lumens for a tactical flashlight?

    Interested in a flashlight... how many lumens and such? Recommendations?

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    I have a Surefire 120 lumen light. It's plenty for insided the house but for outside, the beam angle is too wide to indentify a distant target very well. Mine works well for close up work.
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    Member Array ultra45's Avatar
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    Minimum is 80, 120 is better. I prefer Surefire and Streamlight.

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    Member Array titleist's Avatar
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    65 minimum. My 6p will give your eyes a hurtin' and still has enough throw to see deer at 100 yards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ultra45 View Post
    Minimum is 80, 120 is better. I prefer Surefire and Streamlight.
    The Surefire E2e is good, and the Surefire L4 Luma Max is 'blinding'.

    E2E Hard-Anodized or Satin Grey Flashlight from SureFire
    L4 LumaMax® from SureFire - 100 Lumen LED Flashlights

    I have both, but I usuallyh carry the L4...
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    Senior Member Array Jackle1886's Avatar
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    Fenix PD30. GREAT! I highly suggest it. I've had mine since the end of May and have yet to change the batteries. I use it daily. Low light for when you don't need much, and a whopping 220 Lumens for when you want to light up the world. Fenix's homepages
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    Member Array J Bowen's Avatar
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    throwing this out there
    I like the tac lights that have a strobe option.
    very disorienting
    swat entry teams use those some.

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    Member Array MBtech87's Avatar
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    I have a LED Lenser that produces (IIRC) 95lumens. I can be focused as a beam, or spread it open to clear a room/house. Pushbutton on/off switch. I like it a lot, and feel its significant enough to do the job. Also, its only 4.5-5.0"
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    Senior Member Array cuban11182's Avatar
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    Nitecore D10. 130 lumens down to 3 lumens. And it uses AA batteries which is a plug for me!

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    Senior Member Array kellyII's Avatar
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    I have to agree, minimum of 80 lums. They do tend to get pricy as the lums go up, but remember, you get what you pay for...

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    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    I like my Olight T10.1 CR123. 5 light levels (190lm(1hr), 85lm(3hrs), 38lm(8hrs), 15lm, 20hrs), 6lm(50hrs) SOS: 190lm for 3 hrs 17lm for 40 hrs ), strobe, SOS, comes on at the last level used, small enuf that I carry it everywhere. For $15 you can get a AA body for it.

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    Member Array SteveinNEPA's Avatar
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    Agreed on the 80lumen minimum - My EDC is 115 and I also have a streamlight that is 120 for the bedside.

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    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    For indoor use, between 50 and 200 (no more, probably no more than 120). For outdoor use in open areas, 120 to infinity. For general EDC, I like something in the 120 to 200 range, with the option of a lower mode around 40-60 lumens to extend battery life, and a really, REALLY low mode to preserve night vision (anywhere from 0.07 to 3 lumens depending on the light I have with me).

    More important than the amount of light is the shape of it - a 60 lumen beam focused into a tight spot may be a better searchlight than a 200 lumen flood beam, because it can project further. Most of my lights are biased toward good throw (a tight, bright spot) and sacrifice a bit on the spillbeam (dimmer peripheral vision illumination), but I just ordered a new Malkoff M60WF dropin for my Surefire C2, since they're on sale right now. That should give a nice, full room lighting wall of light (think a Surefire L4 on steroids, with the nice color of an incandescent).

    I can't wait!

    For what it's worth, here's a list of my current lights/EDC candidates:

    Ra Clicky Tactical - 140 lumens, strobe, multi level
    Ra Twisty - 85 lumens, red low, multi level - pretty much a backup, non-tactical light
    Surefire 6P with CREE XR-E R2 dropin - 200+ lumens, tight spot beam
    Surefire C2 with Malkoff M60WF dropin - 170 lumens, warm "wall of light" (floody beam)
    Bitz - 100 or so lumens, beautiful smooth flood with a large hotspot and upgraded warm emitter
    Nitecore D10 - 130 or so lumens, fully adjustable from 3 to 130 lumens
    Surefire/VTAC L4 - 120 lumens, slightly wider spot than R2 dropin but still very throwy

    Notice that all of these other than the Ra Twisty and Bitz have momentary capability, as well as a click or twist for constant on. Lights without a momentary function, such as the Ra Twisty and Bitz, as well as many lights from Fenix, Olight, 4Sevens, etc. (that are not marketed as the "tactical" models) have reverse clicky type switches. This means that when you click the switch to turn the light on, you do not get light until you release the switch. A forward clicky switch (like on the Surefire L4) gives light before the switch latches to constant on - letting you gently press on the switch for momentary light, and release the switch when you want to extinguish the light. This is a desirable trait in a "tactical" light, since leaving a light on constantly gives your position away.

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    Array MP45Man's Avatar
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    What makes these lights so expensive?

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    kpw
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP45Man View Post
    What makes these lights so expensive?
    Mostly the name but quality does have an impact. I have a number of Ultrafire and Cree brand chinese E-Bay lights (supposed 200+ lumens) that were all under $30. They are better than their price but maybe not the quality of Surefire or Streamlight. I have no complaints with them, they've held up very well and are stingy on battery use. They are much brighter than need be for indoor use but they are excellent outdoors with narrower intense beams. I also have a G2 and a 6P Surefires that I haven't converted yet. I like the wider beam and the 65 lumens for indoor use. I don't get any flash from walls and such. I usually carry my G2 for those reasons.
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