There are many things to look at when thinking about purchasing a weapon light. First, what will I be doing with the light? Most answers to this will be for law enforcement or other similar situations. For this purpose we have to consider the following, will this light provide the correct amount of light to accurately identify a threat in a low lighted situation.
The second will the light be bright enough to overcome the attacker vision and not do any harm to yours. I know that these are just the tip of the iceberg when trying to select the right light but you have to ask yourself if my light can’t do either of these things do I really want it.
What to consider!
Let’s think first what it would take to accomplish these things. As far as how much light is needed to properly identify someone, well that depends on several factors. First is how far away the enemy is from you, for instance in a typical home situation most rooms will not be any larger than 10 yards, while in some buildings you can get into rooms that are 25 and even up to 50 yards.
Unless you know for sure that you will only be going into houses or you are strictly using it for home defense purposes, then I think it would be best to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
With that from the research and trials that I have done I think a weapon light, for example, the Sure Fire X300 with 170 lumens would be able to see a person to try to identify them as a threat. That being said for closer situations and for the second situation it should take a minimum of 60 lumens to temporarily blind an assailant.
The biggest thing to be careful of is your surroundings, for instance, if there just happens to be a mirror or glass behind the person you are identifying then you could possibly affect your own vision in the low light situation. Although your perpetrator will be blinded also it will not be a good feeling to have blinded yourself.
Once you have decided on some lights with the correct amount of lumens the next thing to look for is carrying ability. For instance, how does this light fit on my gun? Is it too big, or too small? Next is the weight of the light.
If your light is heavy then it just adds even more to the equipment that you have to carry around. So try to look at the size and weight of the light and be sure to find one that fits your needs in these categories.
Another important thing to consider is switch selection. You will have no time to think about the situation that is going on when under high-stress levels. That is why it is important to find a light that has a very easy to use a fail-safe switch on it. It also needs to be located in a place where it is almost second nature to use the switch.
One more thing to consider is the mounting of the light. This will be dependent on the gun you are planning to put the light on. Most new weapons will allow for a rail mount which will be the fastest and easiest way to mount the light, in my opinion.