Lighting The Way
When selecting a multi-use duty flashlight, law enforcement officers have many vendors and many configurations of lights to choose from. Lights made by name-brand companies will be of higher quality than generic brands.
When purchasing a duty light, officers should look for one that best meets the various duties associated with their job. For example, bright lights are better for use in large, open spaces, while dimmer lights are more appropriate for the confines of warehouses, parking garages, or indoor areas.
Bright lights that reflect off of indoor objects can temporarily blind an officer. Lights that are appropriate for duty belts include the one-inch diameter two- or three-cell CR123A lights, which are compact and weigh little.
The brightness of LED lights has evolved to the point where these lights are comparable to xenon bulbs, though xenon bulbs have greater distance than LED lights. A small complaint about the LED lights is that they cast a bluish light, but a positive is that they last two to four times longer than xenon lights and their overall life expectancy is thousands of hours greater than xenon bulbs.
The key to a flashlight’s brightness is the lamp and reflector assembly. Officers are advised to choose a flashlight with a lens of tempered glass or Pyrex for greater durability.
Lights with built-in batteries recharge faster than lights with removable/rechargeable battery packs.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Police (06/06) Vol. 30, No. 6, P. 36; Smith, Scott .