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The Importance of a Quality Fighting Light
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The Importance of a Quality Fighting Light

Quality Fighting Lights

If you've ever perused the tactical gear forums, a common question you'll come across almost daily is "will my rifle handle the concussion from my muzzle brake?", or some variation of that question. At my last night shoot in December, I saw two lights fail (one pistol light, and one rifle light) - I won't say what brand the lights were, but they WEREN'T from Surefire, Modlite, Cloud Defensive, or HRT. Without going too in-depth into candela, lumens, runtime, color temperature, battery selection, thermal management, etc., I will say that shopping for a light is a confusing process, and there are a lot of words that mean a lot of different things. A quick rundown of this potentially new vocabulary for you is below: 

  • Candela: The amount of light emitted by a lighting source in a particular direction. One candela = approximately one candle.
  • Lumens: The total amount of light a lighting apparatus emits. The higher the lumens, the greater the area it emits.
  • Runtime: How long the light will run at a certain setting, utilizing a certain battery source. Some lights have a long "runtime", but their power may quickly fall off after a few minutes. 
  • Color Temperature: A parameter to describe the color of a visible light source. You want this as close to the color temperature of the daylight, generally. 
  • Thermal Management: How the internal system manages the heat coming off the light and being generated within the unit. 

Depending on your usage, you'll generally want a combination of high candela and lumens, you'll want some good throw and a bright enough light to illuminate your objects. If your light is strictly being used for something such as a home defense rifle or pistol, you may want to be on one end of the spectrum rather than the other (again, this is sort of a personal selection). There is benefits to both - namely, an extremely high candela weapon light may have a "blinding effect" on what you're defending against, though may also wash out your target some, or even disrupt your own vision from reflections and whatnot. A high lumens weapon light will provide a great area of vision, illuminating not just your target, but other things within your home, property, or wherever the defensive situation may be occurring. I'd recommend doing some thinking and figuring out the scenarios you may be facing. 

Now that we've got the "basics" discussed, back to the original question - "can my light handle the concussion from my muzzle device?!" - the answer is generally yes, if you see the light in this picture, you will see that it's definitely got some carbon built up from a muzzle brake (a Surefire Warcomp) for a few thousand rounds. Now, will your O-light, or cheap Chinese sweatshop $25 light off Amazon hold up to the abuse of concussion, being banged on barriers or walls, carbon build up, overheating, etc.? I'd say that is a very unlikely scenario. Spend the money on a good light! There are a handful of great companies that I have used personally and would feel confident recommending: 

My final thoughts on this matter - spend some money on a nice, quality light - it will serve you well for many many years. If anything ever happens, all of these companies would surely get you squared away in the customer service department as well.  Also, this is not an all-inclusive light list of quality lights, there are other companies that surely may fit your use-case. 


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