Tactical Flashlights: High performance LEDs Make the Difference

Police officers and military personnel need hand-held lighting equipment that is versatile and easy to use. This article describes why professionasl prefer flashlights that can dim or provide variation in light output.

Law enforcement officers and other emergency service providers need reliable equipment that can serve them well as they serve others. Many of the tools that officers use are becoming more flexible. They are able to operate in several different modes that can change as the situation warrants. When a police officer is writing a ticket at night, he is going to want different light from a flashlight than when she is chasing a criminal down a dark alley. Sometimes a high performance flashlight may have to stay lit for hours without being able to change the battery.

Police officers and rescue crews must take into consideration the amount of they can carry on any given day. They need to be prepared for any situation in which they might find themselves. This is another reason that having multifunction tools is so important. If one piece of equipment can do the job of three or four, it is going allow them to still perform all of their duties without being weighed down by a ton of equipment.

There are newer flashlights on the market which are leaps and bounds above flashlights of the past. In many of these cases, LED lights are the bulb of choice. There are several positives to LED lighting. In older flashlights and spotlights, an inefficient bulb is used. Some of these bulbs put off a great deal of heat, making them less efficient and very susceptible to breaking easily when they receive a sharp blow. An LED bulb is much different. It does not produce much heat at all, which means more of the energy used is converted to light. There is no filament surrounded by gas that produces the light, but a small diode that emits light when power is supplied. These diodes are much more resilient in the face of abuse and can stand up to some harsh treatment.

LED lights can also have variable light output, either by varying the number of bulbs, the amount of power applied or both. Light at higher lumens is very bright and can produce a lot of discomfort when it hits someone in the face. These lights are often used to momentarily blind and intimidate suspects. At lower lumens the light is going to be very soft. It may be used, for instance, to allow an officer to see their surroundings but not make them conspicuous to others. There are also going to be intermediate levels of light for writing a traffic ticket or helping a stranded motorist change a flat tire.

Lanier Pens

Another great feature to these new lights is the relationship of the bulb(s) to the reflector. In the new LED Lenser High Performance flashlight, you can twist a knob and adjust the beam size of the light. In other words, if you need a full floodlight, a twist of the knob will widen the beam of light as much as you need it to. Another twist will bring the light back down to spotlight proportions. Combine this feature with the adjustable light output, and you have a fantastic, high performance, multifunction light that can be used in a wide variety of tactical situations. It is flashlights with these types of new functionality that are finding their way to law enforcement, fire and rescue and other professional personnel.

~Ben Anton, 2008