Defensive tools: Flashlights

Flashlight with lanyard 2A flashlight can be an important defensive tool both day and night.

In the day time it can be used as an impact tool to strike an assailant’s soft tissue and nerve pressure points. With a lanyard attached it can lengthen your reach, striking speed and impact.

At night, the ability to see where someone could be lurking is essential to your security. A high lumen flashlight, one outputting at least 200 lumens, can also have a debilitating effect on whoever you shine it on, a tactic well known to police officers and discussed in this article on “It’s difficult to discern even who’s holding the light because you can’t see behind it,” says Ray Sharrah, CEO of Streamlight. “They’re very effective that way.”

Key considerations in choosing a flashlight as part of your defensive every-day carry

  • Solid metal construction: A sturdy metal case, usually aluminum, is important for durability and when using the flashlight as a striking weapon.
  • Adjustable light beam: can allow for searching a broad area or focusing a brighter beam in an assailant’s eyes
  • Common battery type: The flashlight will do no good if the battery is dead and you have to hunt all over town or order a replacement online. Keep spares at hand. AA batteries are the most common and CR123 batteries are showing up more often in local stores.
  • A sturdy lanyard: Like keys, a flashlight on a lanyard can be a potent defensive weapon IF the lanyard is sturdy and properly attached.
  • LED light: A flashlight with a LED light source rather than a bulb. They’re more durable, virtually never burn out and are easier on the battery than incandescent bulbs.

These are options providing you the opportunity to identify a potential danger to avoid and the ability to defend yourself by creating space between you and an attacker.

Jim Johnson and Paul Soutar