LIGHT CARE 101
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.
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.
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.
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.”