From active duty personnel who rely on a flashlight while in harm’s way, to search and rescue teams that rely on flashlights to save lives, the advantage of having a brighter light has never been more apparent.
This is because having a higher brighter light at your disposal in critical situations will give you more information and options. This is absolutely crucial in confrontations when a few feet—or fractions of a second—can mean the difference between life and death. In search and rescue, the availability of light greatly affects the outcome of any low light rescue mission, where visibility is of utmost importance in searching for survivors.
All Nitecore illumination tools produce at least 50 lumens of light, enough to temporarily blind the dark-adapted vision of an aggressor in close quarters. That said, there’s a huge difference between a 50-lumen burst of light versus a 500-lumen blast. The greater light output is more overwhelming initially, and it takes an aggressor’s dark-adapted vision longer to recover, giving you more time to take the necessary action needed to prevail.
It also provides you with an increased ability to identify a potential threat, to assess the situation, and to make an informed decision as to whether or not to use lethal force. Our law enforcement, military, and civilian customers continually let us know how overwhelming light frequently proves to be a game-changer—in most cases it actually keeps a bad situation from getting worse.
More light also means the ability to identify threats, or non-threats, from farther away. This is no small consideration. This fact provides more time and physical space to decide on the best course of action. You need to be able to identify the object of your attention as far out as possible, as the sooner you can identify something as a threat, the sooner you can incorporate a number of different methods to deal with it. Or if you determine that it’s not a threat, you can simply de-escalate the situation. In an actual confrontation, more output means the ability to overwhelm an aggressor’s dark-adapted vision from a greater distance, where a lower-output light might fall short.
Is there such a thing where too much light becomes a disadvantage? Yes. For close up work, for stealth, and for situations where low visibility is a must. That’s why all our lights have variable output modes. But in most missions, it’s better to have more rather than less light available, because you will simply have more options. So consider choosing a tactical light with as much available light as possible when yours, or other lives depend on it.