If you are a fireman, policeman, in the military, a survivalist or hunter, you’ll understand the importance of having a high quality, reliable light. For activities and duties such as the mentioned professions, a simple household flashlight is not adequate.
It needs to be powerful, water resistant, have a reliable and rechargeable battery and it needs to be sturdy.
They are llife-saving tools.
This guide covers a wide price range of flashlights (for example: SUNJACK LIGHTSTICK ) If you’re #1 concern is finding the brightest flashlight in the world, regardless of the price, we recommend you read this guide. It only reviews the brightest LED flashlights on the market.
What Does Tactical Mean?
Tactical refers to military tactics; the science and art of implementing techniques to organize a military force, as well as techniques for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle, using weapons and military units.
Before great technological advances were made, military forces used their knowledge of land; heights, swamps, rivers, valleys and so on, in order to gain a tactical advantage over their enemy.
Practices of assault, skirmishing, engagement, creating and using obstacles and defenses and ambushes have not changed much however. Specialized tactics such as these still exist in situations such as securing a room or building by military forces, police and fire departments alike.
Parts of the Flashlight
The bezel is the head of the flashlight. It’s an extremely important part, though it might seem like a minor or inferior aspect of the light. It holds the head of the light onto the body. This means it keeps the window of the flashlight in places and heightens the brightness of the light by way of keeping the microscopic lens firmly attached. Beneath the lens you’ll find the torch, and depending on the model, the batteries and everything else that makes the light work.
The lens is more than just a cover for the torch. It heightens the brightness and reach of the already powerful torch. A lens on a tactical flashlight is very important for a number of reasons.
It is used to protect the torch beneath, but also it is used to illuminate the area in a number of colors; red, green, blue or clear are generally the colors chosen by military groups. The different colors enhance or alter visibility in specific situations.
For example, a red lens will help to preserve night vision; blue helps in the tracking of blood trails; and green can enhance vision in light conditions.
LED (the Bulb)
LED bulbs generally are capable of about 50,000 hours of continuous use, which amounts to roughly 5 years.
They also have no filament, which makes them more shock resistant. These qualities make LED bulbs arguably the most reliable bulbs around, which is exactly what is needed for military, police, or any other user of military tactics.
LED lighting will provide the best possible vision no matter what the conditions are. The best LED flashlights are chargeable as well, meaning there is no need to carry a box of batteries around with you.
The reflector has a parabolic shape and concentrates the light from the LED bulb, creating a direct beam. The reflector is a very important component as it enhances the power emitted from an already powerful bulb.
Many brands allow for the adjustment of the reflector to create a wider or narrower scope.
This is useful for moving in large areas of darkness, such as forestry or open land, as well as using it in more confined spaces such as a building.
Generally they are made of polished metal, glass or aluminized plastic. Some manufacturers also use a pebbled finish on the reflector to give uniformity to the beam that is being omitted.
The tail switch is essentially the button that turns on the light. Its location is not just random placement. It is specifically placed at the butt to allow for optimum control over the direction in which you are aiming the beam.
By holding the flashlight with your arm in an upright position, in a so-called “icepick” grip, you can direct the beam with the twist of your wrist as opposed to your entire arm. This is useful for stealth operations when the beam is necessary one moment and detrimental the next. Being able to switch between high visibility and no visibility at the quick push of a thumb has aided stealth operations for decades now.
When stealthily moving through a building or forest, there comes a time when you need to put the light away for fear of being detected, or to open a door, or any other time you might need your hand to be available.
The lanyard attachment allows you to keep your torch at the ready when your hands are free. It allows you to easily clip it to a belt or buckle and hang by your waist or around your neck, where you can easily reach for it again when needed.
It’s just a simple clip located at the base of the light alongside the tail switch: a simple but effective and necessary accessory.
The Pocket Clip
The pocket clip holds a similar function to the lanyard clip. It’s a piece of metal that runs down the body that allows you to easily clip the light onto the exterior of your pocket.
This is probably more useful, in terms of easy access, than the lanyard attachment. In a situation of high intensity when you’ll need your flashlight, you don’t want to be fumbling with a lanyard clip.
With the pocket clip, you can easily grab the flashlight in one hand and bring it to your aid immediately. The only downside is that if you’re moving a lot, jumping or sliding down steep trenches, the flashlight could slip from your pocket grip and fall to the ground without you noticing. This is why both pocket clips and lanyard clips are necessary.
The battery compartment is generally found mid way up the body of the flashlight. As the name suggests, it’s where the batteries are stored to power the flashlight.
Many modern tactical flashlight brands won’t have a battery compartment as they are chargeable, meaning they can be attached by way of a USB port to a power system and charged when not needed.
However, tactical flashlight brands with a battery port are more desirable by way of the virtue of not having to carry additional equipment, such as a USB charger.
Most tactical flashlights with a battery compartment will get a significant lifespan out of batteries, making the load a lot lighter, which is what you would want if on a long excursion.
The tail cap offers grip at the tail of the flashlight when it is being held in the aforementioned “icepick” grip. Grip at this part of the flashlight body is incredibly important, as one false move and a dropped flashlight could lead to a heightened intensity situation and or death. The tail cap also secures the battery compartment adequately to the body of the flashlight in order to power it. Again, it may seem like a moderately irrelevant component of the tactical flashlight, but it’s a very important one. Grip and control are essential in high intensity situations and the tail cap offers extra grip and control, thus making it an essential component.
The Head or LED Housing
The head, or LED housing, is the compartment in which the LED flashlight bulb is stored. This is an important component of the tactical flashlight as it provides protection to the bulb.
With tactical flashlights, the head will be exceptionally sturdy in order to give optimum protection for the high intensity activities that security.