How To Use A Tactical Flashlight: Self-Defense Tips And Training

How To Use A Tactical Flashlight

It is the last day of work before you plan to leave for the holiday. You are walking to your car in the basement area, and it is pitch black. You stand next to your car, pull out your car keys and try to maneuver the key into the hole.

Suddenly you spot a movement in the corner of your eye. You look to your left and see a dark figure standing next to you. You can only make out the silhouette of a person.

You get this ice-cold chill going through your body, and you try to scream, but you cannot get any words out…

You want to do something, but you can barely see what it in front of you.

Damn, I wish I had a flashlight or something to see what the hell is going on. I hope that you never need to find yourself in such a situation.

If you just had a tactical flashlight, then you might have had more control over the situation.

A tactical flashlight is a small handheld flashlight that is bright enough to blind your attacker and hard enough to use as a weapon. In this article, I will reveal to you its uses and some extra tips on how to use them with a handgun and on its own.

I will also reveal to you how to choose the perfect flashlight for your needs.

What Makes a Flashlight Tactical?

Tactical flashlights were primarily created to be used by military personnel and law enforcement, but as you see, it can also be used by the general public. Almost anyone can get their hands on these flashlights for a good reason.

What makes them different?

They are generally smaller than your usual flashlight which means that you can easily carry them in your pocket or clip it onto your belt. They are made out of military grade aluminum which makes them more robust which means it can take much more impact. Forget about those cheap flashlights that are made out of plastic.

They are hard as hell.

Because they are made out of metal, they can also be used as a striking weapon. This feature can turn a tactical flashlight into a deadly weapon that might save your life.

They are also much brighter for their size. You can easily blind an attacker if you want to create an opportunity to escape. Some of these flashlights can also be mounted onto a rifle which gives you more control over the weapon.

tactical flashlights with firearms

They work great alongside firearms.

You can also use this flashlight alongside a handgun if you are in a dark room where light is limited. Some flashlights also come with light filters which will allow you to change the color of the light that is being emitted from the flashlight.

To give you an example, military personnel might want to use infrared filters to see their target along with their night vision properly. These flashlights are also waterproof which means that you can use them in wet weather or when you are working in wet conditions.

There Are 8 Ways To Use a Tactical Flashlight

There are many uses of tactical flashlights. Some might include your standard uses with the addition of self-defense. In this section, I have pointed out 8 uses for this flashlight.

a) Can Be Used For Illumination

Attackers will often use the cover of darkness to move around and to hide themselves in. With the use of a tactical flashlight, you can quickly identify them and their doings. Sometimes the light itself is enough to scare an attacker away from his position.

By shedding some light on the attacker, you will also eliminate the element of surprise which gives you enough time to plan your escape.

tactical flashlights used for illumination

It can be used if you get home late or if you are walking in a dark area where there is no light. You will find streets where the streetlights will not work anymore.

The light from these flashlights can also reach far distances. It also provides excellent light so that you do not bump into hard objects such as tables or cars.

b) Can Blind an Attacker

Have you ever waked up in the middle of the night, turned on the light and was forced to close your eyes because the light was too bright?

If you do, then imagine the effect a 200-lumen flashlight will have when the light beam is directed to your face. You can use this flashlight to blind an attacker by pointing it to his/her face.

You need at least 140 lumens to blind an attacker at night temporarily. Some tactical flashlights can go up to 10 000 lumens which is more than enough to even destroy the eyes of an attacker.

Your eyes can only take in that much light, and the pupil will become smaller to reduce the load. You will also involuntarily close your eyes to prevent any damage caused by the light rays.

c) Use As a Weapon

Some tactical flashlights will have a well-protected bezel which can be used to strike an opponent. Some bezels will also have serrated edges which can cause a lot of damage if you can hit the attacker in the face. The bezel is the part that surrounds the bulb of the flashlight.

The body of the flashlight is also made out of military grade aluminum which is a rugged but lightweight metal. You can use almost any part of the flashlight to strike your opponent, and I can almost guarantee that the flashlight will be harder than your fists.

d) You Can Signal For Help

Tactical flashlights also have the built-in SOS setting that can be used to call for help. Most tactical flashlights will have up to 5 lighting modes where you can select between its brightness and also strobe along with SOS.

You can do this by turning the bezels area around the bulb to select between settings. The SOS will go on an off at a set interval which will create a flickering effect.

e) Can Zoom Onto a Target

Whether your target is the attacker or just an object with a point of interest you can adjust the focus of the beam generated by the flashlight.

If you turn down the focus of the beam, you will have a wider beam that will cover more ground around you but will not project that far. If you increase the focus, you will have a narrower beam that will project very far but will not cover a wider area.

By focusing the beam of light into your opponents face will be more effective than using a wider beam.

f) Can Be Used To Break Through Glass Windows

If you should ever find yourself locked in a car or house, then you can break the windows with ease by using the flashlight. The bezel area is commonly used to create a point of impact that is great enough to break the glass surface.

If you have one of these flashlights, then you never need to risk damaging your hand by hitting a window.

g) Can Be Clipped Onto Your Belt

What I liked about these flashlights are that they are not as bulky as all of the other more traditional flashlights. They are more robust and rugged but without the heavier weight attached to metal objects.

They are compact and can be easily carried on your belt with the help of a clip. Some flashlights might not have such a clip but most of them will. Now you do not need to carry it in one of your pockets, and it will also give you better access to it in times of an emergency.

h) The Bucha Effect

I already mentioned that the lumens of these flashlights are high enough to blind an attacker. What I forgot to say was that you could also use the SOS and Strobe settings on your attacker.

This action will create the Bucha Effect which can also be called flicker vertigo. This is caused by an imbalance of the brain cells produced by the flashing or flickering of bright light. It is also common for helicopter pilots or passengers to look up at the sun through the blades of the helicopter which causes this effect.

It is also known for people that have epilepsy that it can be triggered if they are exposed to the flickering of lights.

How To Hold a Flashlight With Handgun

There are many ways to hold a flashlight, but for the sake of this article, I will only reveal 4 of the best ones that are also easy to implement. If you are a licensed firearm holder with a handgun, then why not carry the weapon with you?

Along with the tactical flashlight, you will have the upper edge when it comes to defending off an attacker. The only problem is that most people do not know how to hold a flashlight along with their handgun.

You handgun skills will go down the drain if you are being attacked at night without any light. It will also help if you have night sights on your handgun which will also aid in your aim in the dark.

a) Harries Technique

The Harries flashlight hold requires you to shoot one-handed. You will hold your handgun with your one hand, and you will bring the hand that holds the flashlight under your shooting hand.

You will then need to apply isometric pressure between the two backs of each hand. You should only apply enough pressure between the two hands to hold an imaginary paper. If you apply too much pressure, your accuracy will suffer as a consequence.

b) Rogers/Surefire Hold

This hold is more difficult than most of the other. You also cannot use any tactical flashlight. You will require a flashlight that has an on/off switch at the tail cap along with rubber rings that will allow you to have a cigar hold. The best flashlights for this method are those from Surefire.

You then need to hold the flashlight with your nonshooting hand, holding it between your index and middle finger (as you would hold a cigar) and then press the tail cap against your palm.

If you already know how to hold your firearm with both of your hands, then it will be easier for you to integrate the flashlight. This method is best used for the two-handed grip.

c) The FBI Technique

This tactic also requires a one-handed hold of your pistol. The hand that is holding the flashlight will be kept far away from your body. You may hold the flashlight above your head or on your left side.

This technique is useful because when the attacker also has a firearm and sees the light coming from you, he will shoot in the direction of the light. When you hold the flashlight away from your body, the chances of the attacker hitting you with a bullet will be reduced.

d) Neck & Eye Index Technique

According to some experts, this technique will provide you with the most accurate results. You will hold the flashlight next to your cheekbone at the same level as that of your eye.

Because the light beam is coming from the same level as your eyes, it will be much easier for your sight to follow the light beam. You will also be much quicker at responding to the action.

Flashlight Only Self-Defense

In this section, I will show you how to strike at your attacker with the help of your flashlight. When using your flashlight to blind your opponent, you have 2 choices. The first choice is to run away and create as much distance between you and your attacker. The second choice will be to strike as quickly as possible after you have blinder the attacker.

a) How To Hold The Flashlight

The best (and only) way to hold a flashlight is with the reverse grip. In this grip, the front part of the flashlight (where the light will be emitted from) will be faced downwards. Your thumb will have access to the button located at the backend of the flashlight.

If you are not sure how this grip looks like, then please have a look at the video in one of the sections below.

What I like about this grip is that you will have more control over the flashlight and also more power. With this grip, you will execute a downwards force that will be very effective at close range.

You will also have better access to the face of the attacker where you can attack the eyes, nose, and mouth with ease. Below, I will explain some of the pressure points which you can strike.

b) Where To Strike

There is a pressure point right next to the chin that will send shockwaves throughout the whole body. There is also another pressure point under the chin area close to your ear that is very sensitive.

The chin will be the main area to strike because it is the lowest. If you have the benefit of height, you can also hit at the temple area which is between your eye and ear.

c) You Can Learn This Combo

Below, you will find a nice combo that you can learn which will also show you how to hold the flashlight when striking.

The very first step in using this combo is to blind your opponent. When you release the first strike, you need to be fast because your attacker will most likely turn away or cover his eyes with his arms.

When they cover their eyes, their mouth area will be open which means you can go for the chin. The first strike will be a downwards hammer movement of your fist where you will strike the chin with the bezel area of the flashlight.

The second move in this combo is going to be a right cross on the jaw where you will hold the flashlight tightly and strike your attacker with your fist.

The third movement will be a backward movement of your arm which will again strike the right side of your opponent’s jaw.

How To Choose A Good Flashlight

I have written an intensive article where I have reviewed 13 of the best tactical flashlights that you can find online.

When choosing a good tactical flashlight, you need to consider some of the essential features that make up an excellent buy.

The two most important features that are a must when choosing a good tactical flashlight is the number of lumens and the type of material it is made out off.

a) Lumens

The lumens can be defined as the total amount of visible light given from the bulb of the flashlight. You will need to have at least 140 lumens to temporarily blind an attacker.

The higher the lumens, the better but you should make sure that it does not compromise the size of the flashlight. You do not want to carry a large flashlight with you all the time.

It is also important to note that the higher the lumens, the more battery life will be consumed. So you need to find the perfect balance between high lumens, low weight of the flashlight and a durable battery.

b) Strong Shell

I would never recommend a tactical flashlight that where the shell is made out of plastic. The type of flashlights that I will recommend is made out of a strong material such as an aluminum alloy shell.

Military grade aluminum is very tough, rugged and lightweight. It should also have a sturdy bezel that will protect the bulb of the flashlight and can also cause damage to the attacker.

c) Should Be Waterproof

You do not want your flashlight to break the moment it comes into contact with water. If you arrive to your home late at night and a criminal is waiting for you while it rains, then it will be catastrophic for your flashlight not to work because the rainwater damaged the internal components.

Most flashlights are tightly sealed and will not cause moisture to leak into the electric components inside.

d) Has Multiple Settings

Most tactical flashlights will have at least 3 settings that you can choose from. These settings will include Low, Medium, High, Strobe and SOS. The LMH settings are used to select the brightness of the flashlight. 

The lower options are beneficial at saving battery power, but I would instead use the “high” setting to blind an attacker. The strobe and SOS are very similar in their function where it will go on and off at a set interval.

This feature is especially useful when calling for aid in an emergency. It will act as a distress signal.


Now that you know how to use a tactical flashlight, you will be much safer when confronted by an attacker at night. Tactical flashlights are good at illumination and also to temporarily blind your opponent.

How do you use a tactical flashlight?

Please leave a comment below and share with us your experience.

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