Is brighter better…or just another way to compensate for trouser-related deficit?
Around the time I bought my X300 Ultra I spoke to Alex from Ko-Tac to get some advice about ultra high-lumen tactical lights. Yeah, I watched some videos of people comparing various lights on YouTube, but I wanted independent advice from someone I trust.
If you haven’t already liked Ko-Tac on Facebook they are well worth checking out. They produce products which are in demonstrable, real world use; just check out their pics.
Alex has a highly professional attitude to his learning and development and has trained with some of the best instructors out there, as well as picking up tricks from LEOs and former mil personnel.
While Alex doesn’t consider himself an authority, I don’t know anyone else who has learned from such sagely mentors…
I was at a recent training event using UTMs in which I was entering a building. It was essentially a warehouse. I was #2 going in and upon my initial buttonhook I saw a figure at around 50+ yards and lit it up with my regular X300 mounted to the AR15 to ID the target. I couldn’t sufficiently ID if it was a threat or not, I assumed it was and engaged. I got lucky, and it was a “hostile”, but it really got me thinking more about lumens and keeping in perspective end use applications of it.
After testing more flashlights with differing degrees of lumens I now run a X300U on my long gun (at 12 o’clock in front of my front BUIS) and a regular X300 on my handgun. The X300U is still probably too bright for most close in work within 20 yards. But the reasoning behind behind my adopting it: the chances of me needing to ID and reach out past 50 yards are greatly increased with a rifle. Whereas with a pistol, while I’m capable of engaging steel at 50 yards, I’m less likely to engage at that yardage due to increased likelihood of liability rounds with a handgun. The downside to having higher lumens is obviously washout on possible targets and backsplash on white walls etc that will impact your Mk1 night vision (eyeballs). It’s simply something I need to keep in mind and train to work with, or, if the need should arise, consider switching to a handgun when entering interiors.
I really don’t know if there’s a right answer to this dilemma. If there wasn’t a greater need for higher lumens, companies wouldn’t keep making lights with them. If incandescent heads were more energy efficient and robust I’d use them since they have lumen for lumen better range and ability to cut through mist/fog. But their cons are too great. It all comes back to having the right tools for the application in question.
The gratuitous RS blaster pic at the top of this post is one of Alex’s blasters. Thanks for allowing me to publish the pic, Alex, and thanks once again for your advice 😀