LIGHT CARE 101

Tactical World - - Special Section -

Work­ing in en­vi­ron­ments that of­fer lit­tle-to-no light means that you have to be adap­tive with your gear, specif­i­cally when it comes to lights. For me, the abil­ity to have the most amount of light with me dur­ing an event is paramount. When Sure­fire re­leased a hand­held and a weapon light that pro­duced 1,500 lu­mens, I knew what I’d soon be us­ing on pa­trol. That said, there are some items and thoughts that will al­ways be with me or in my head when us­ing lights, re­gard­less of the num­ber of lu­mens.

Bat­ter­ies:

Al­ways have ex­tra bat­ter­ies! If you think you may be okay with one ex­tra set, keep two or three ex­tra sets with you or in your kit. Bat­ter­ies can start dim­ming at the most in­op­por­tune times—plan ahead for this to hap­pen. With the new dual-fuel lights, you can keep both the 18650 recharge­able bat­ter­ies and/or the SF123A lithium bat­ter­ies with you for on-the-go changes. Re­gard­less of what light you are us­ing, have the abil­ity to change out bat­ter­ies when your light dims past the point you need to con­duct your pa­trolling or search­ing.

Clean Lens:

Hav­ing a clean lens keeps your lu­mens in check. You’re us­ing a tool that of­fers a high out­put of light, and you need that light for one rea­son or an­other, so keep your lens clean. A dirty lens will throw light dif­fer­ently than a clean lens, so keep your lens as clean as pos­si­ble. Think about your dirty wind­shield on your ve­hi­cle—once it gets too dirty you clean it, as it’s not safe to look through. Same goes with the lens of your light. I use non-toxic weapon cleaner and a soft, non-abra­sive wipe for clean­ing and clean of­ten.

Beams:

Know your beams and fig­ure out what is best for you and your given en­vi­ron­ment. The Maxvi­sion Beam will give you a solid and seam­less wall that is great for up-close type work, where close sit­u­a­tional aware­ness is needed. The To­tal In­ter­nal Re­flec­tion (TIR) Beam, on the other hand, gives the user a bright cen­ter that goes out and into a tightly shaped cone pat­tern. The TIR gives off a good beam and is great for a long-reach­ing search. TW

“SINCE THE TIME OF THE FIRST SURE­FIRE HAND­HELD LIGHT, TECH­NOL­OGY AND EN­GI­NEER­ING HAVE BOUNDED SEEM­INGLY LIGHT YEARS AHEAD, WHEN IT COMES TO THE IN­CREASE IN BRIGHT­NESS AND LU­MENS.”

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