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 How many lumens is enough?
shooter1201  [Member]
4/20/2011 1:20:42 PM
What is enough lumens for a tac light that will see inside AND outside use? 75...85...175...200 lumens? Can you have TOO MUCH light?
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stretch415  [Team Member]
4/20/2011 1:24:57 PM
I like the 170 range.

Even at that the light bouncing back inside kind of messes with my eyes so I wouldnt want any more than that.
SD307  [Member]
4/20/2011 1:35:37 PM
I run mostly 120 lumens indoors

Out doors I think lights are niche––in a tactical force on force situation you are making a mistake lighting up a possibly armed person.

For varmit like coyotes, possums, racoons ect I think lights are great the bigger the better. I run 250 lumens here because I have nothing bigger except my 1 million candle power spot light which I have also used extensively.

In side I think lights are great for many uses I still would hesitate using them to illuminate a person you know is armed.

Just my opinion but you increase thier chance of a hit greatly i'm sure someone will come along and call this a folly.

Remeber that if your eyes are night adjusted and you kick off a 250 lumen light indoors the splash back of a white wall will blind you almost as well as any assaliant.

Also out doors no matter how large the light weather: dust, humidity, fog, ect will drop the throw to very low very quickly.
LastDefender  [Team Member]
4/20/2011 2:37:53 PM
Also, please consider getting an LED tactical light if it's being mounted on a firearm. They are far more durable and spartan on battery use.
DirtDiver06  [Member]
4/20/2011 2:41:17 PM
Originally Posted By SD307:
I run mostly 120 lumens indoors

Out doors I think lights are niche––in a tactical force on force situation you are making a mistake lighting up a possibly armed person.

For varmit like coyotes, possums, racoons ect I think lights are great the bigger the better. I run 250 lumens here because I have nothing bigger except my 1 million candle power spot light which I have also used extensively.

In side I think lights are great for many uses I still would hesitate using them to illuminate a person you know is armed.

Just my opinion but you increase thier chance of a hit greatly i'm sure someone will come along and call this a folly.

Remeber that if your eyes are night adjusted and you kick off a 250 lumen light indoors the splash back of a white wall will blind you almost as well as any assaliant.

Also out doors no matter how large the light weather: dust, humidity, fog, ect will drop the throw to very low very quickly.


So you'd just fire on any vague human form?
Elzetta  [Industry Partner]
4/20/2011 2:43:01 PM
It is important to remember that Lumens are not a measure of "brightness" (or luminous intensity which is measured in Candelas) but is rather a measure of total visible light output. This is a common misconception which often results in statements like, "X lumens is too bright", which is a categorical error. A good explanation can be found here.

The difference between the Malkoff M60 and M60F LED Modules used in our Elzetta ZFL-M60 Flashlights is an excellent example to illustrate the point. Both the M60 and the M60F produce an honest 235-lumens out the front. The M60, however, is much "brighter" as its beam is focused through an 8-degree optical lens. The M60F, by contrast, diffuses its beam through a 20-degree optical lens which results in 235-lumens spread out in a wide flood pattern that will uniformly light up a room without a discernible hot spot. The M60F is not especially "bright" but it is absolutely phenomenal for indoor/CQB applications.

Rather than looking merely at lumen ratings, it is important to consider light dispersion when selecting the best light for your application.
Shipwreck  [Member]
4/20/2011 4:49:06 PM
Yea, LUX has a play in all this too.

I want at least 300 lumens OTF... I like pocket suns :)
woode  [Member]
4/20/2011 5:44:27 PM
Indoors, a solid 150-250 with good flood is good. Outdoors –– the more the better, and I prefer more of a hotspot. The scout lights do a good job at balancing indoor and outdoors to 75 yards or so.
JellyBelly  [Team Member]
4/20/2011 6:07:40 PM
Originally Posted By Elzetta:
It is important to remember that Lumens are not a measure of "brightness" (or luminous intensity which is measured in Candelas) but is rather a measure of total visible light output. This is a common misconception which often results in statements like, "X lumens is too bright", which is a categorical error. A good explanation can be found here.

The difference between the Malkoff M60 and M60F LED Modules used in our Elzetta ZFL-M60 Flashlights is an excellent example to illustrate the point. Both the M60 and the M60F produce an honest 235-lumens out the front. The M60, however, is much "brighter" as its beam is focused through an 8-degree optical lens. The M60F, by contrast, diffuses its beam through a 20-degree optical lens which results in 235-lumens spread out in a wide flood pattern that will uniformly light up a room without a discernible hot spot. The M60F is not especially "bright" but it is absolutely phenomenal for indoor/CQB applications.

Rather than looking merely at lumen ratings, it is important to consider light dispersion when selecting the best light for your application.


I have that Malkoff light in a Surefire G2.

It's fantastic.

I stil lwant more lumens, though. Given the rapid evoluteion of LED technology I can see a 1000 or more lumens in ten years or less. I'll buy one if the price is the same as a Malkoff.
BallisticTip  [Team Member]
4/20/2011 6:08:46 PM
I like 200 range indoors, 220 + out.
Progun1911  [Member]
4/20/2011 7:12:26 PM
I have a Surefire 600c and it's rated at 200 lumen and seems perfect for indoor use to me.It has a sort of floody beam so it's not so bright from bouncing off walls indoors.Out side you can see around 100 yards but for shooting I would recommend not going past 75 yards unless you have to.

I have other hand held lights that have less lumens and would be OK for indoors, but I would not use them outside.From what I have seen for myself I would stay with a 200 lumen light for indoors and outdoors.
rsxr22  [Member]
4/20/2011 8:01:45 PM
Your going to get a bunch of different answers, but my response is similar to some others. I think 90-120 indoors is just about perfect and I agree the brighter the better outdoors.
rushca01  [Member]
4/20/2011 8:06:56 PM
General rule of thumb 2 lumens per yard to Identify and 1 lumen per yard to observe.

Example: 120 lumens means you Identify a target that is 60 yards out and observe and not be able to accurately identify and engage one that is 120 yards.
woode  [Member]
4/20/2011 9:05:40 PM
Originally Posted By rushca01:
General rule of thumb 2 lumens per yard to Identify and 1 lumen per yard to observe.

Example: 120 lumens means you Identify a target that is 60 yards out and observe and not be able to accurately identify and engage one that is 120 yards.


No.
lumens is the total amount of light coming out.. a 120 lumen light with a 5 degree flood is going to be a lot brighter at 60 yards than a 120+ lumen light with a 30 degree flood at 60 yards.. this "rule of thumb" is worthless/false info.
DanTSX  [Team Member]
4/20/2011 11:02:29 PM
Look at how the light is focused too.

Lights like the SF Scout, X300, X400, X200A all use a TIR optic of some sort. There is no reflector like you would see in a maglight. These use a lens that acts as a projector for a narrow pencil beam of light. This tends to give you much more throw, and usable distance per lumen. On the other hand, there is not much spill from the beam, so if you touch it off indoors, you light up what is in front of you only. And it may be too bright directly in front of you.

On the other hand, lights like the TLR-1, TLR-2, TLR-3, the various Insights, SF X200B, and the various garbage chinese lights use a reflector. Reflectors can be made to "throw" but most of the time they are suited best for "flood". These cover a wider area well.

I am currently using a SF X200B, which is a 100 Lumen flood light on my HD carbine. If I have to grab it, I'm going to probably be blurry-eyed from sleep. Anything more than the 100L is going to absolutely blind me. A month from now, I am moving to a country setting with a bit of land. My carbine will be getting an X300 so that I can touch the corners of my property a bit better. I can't see engaging over 100M, and therefore don't see a need for more than the ~170 lumen that a TIR optic brings to the table.
shooter1201  [Member]
4/21/2011 4:45:55 PM
IMO, I don't 'see' a shot, outside, at night, using a light, to be practical much beyond 50-75 yards. Am I missing anything? I live in a suburban area, with a LONG shot being 300 yards, under ideal conditions. Even in a SHTF scenario, I just don't 'see' the need for a light beyond 50-75 yards. Again, am I missing something?
LastDefender  [Team Member]
4/22/2011 7:20:34 AM
Shooter,

IMHO you are correct. For the average person a weapons mounted light should be considered for home/property defense. It would be very difficult to justify a night time shooting outside beyond 30 yards (at least in my State).
lambo  [Member]
4/22/2011 5:01:34 PM
I'm really happy with the M61. Awesome spill with a decent tint. While it may be a little bright inside, it's more spill than throw so you won't get as much back such as off a microwave glass as you would with a more spotty light. Outside it's a beast when it comes to illuminating a wide area. 280 OTF lumens and it's spread out pretty liberally. Although the M61L may be the best all around due to it's 5 hour runtime.


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