How to Use a Tactical Flashlight for Self-defense

After dropping your wife at the airport, you start driving back home in the middle of the night. Half-way home, you hear a sudden sound of a bursting tire. Damn! You are forced to pull over and see what has just happened. You remember that you don’t have a flashlight to inspect and change the tire and thus have to call a mechanic to attend to you. This will take at least one hour or so before the mechanic arrives and start attending to the tire. If you had a flashlight, you could change the tire easily and quickly.

Just like many people, I also keep my flashlight in the kitchen cabinet and get it out when there is a blackout, after dropping something under the bed or in the backyard, when I go out fishing or during camping. A flashlight is a gadget that we should carry always as it can save us in many ways. People take flashlights for granted, but they can also be used as defensive weapons. Tactical flashlights can help you to blind an assailant or even hit them with the hard front part.

In this post, we are going to discuss how you should use a flashlight in tactical situations. This might save you from being hit or to properly hit your target.

What is a tactical flashlight?

A tactical flashlight is very different from a normal flashlight. But what makes a flashlight to be tactical? A tactical flashlight is purely created for tactical use. Usually, they are meant for the military or police use. A good number of tactical flashlights are constructed to be mounted to a weapon for low-light shooting. The tactical flashlights are normally smaller than the traditional flashlights, produce more light, and are constructed with high-grade aluminum for maximum durability. Even though tactical flashlights are created specifically for military and police use, they are as well a very handy everyday and personal defense tool for outdoor enthusiasts and other flashlight users. You will find more about tactical light on Wikipedia.

Importance of carrying a flashlight

It is very crucial to carry a flashlight on a daily basis as you don’t know what awaits you. Together with your other EDC items like a wallet and pocket knife, a flashlight may prove to be essential as you carry on with your daily activities. A good tactical flashlight should be small in size so that it can fit perfectly in your pocket.

Some of the situations that a flashlight proves to be of essential use include when there is a blackout, looking for lost coins in the grass, checking your belt in the wardrobe, looking for your socks under the bed, and many other situations. Without a flashlight in these incidences, you will find that a lot of time is wasted. Besides being utilized to light-dark areas, a flashlight can also be utilized as a defensive weapon. Normally, they have a hard bezel that is used to hit the assailant and strobe mode for blinding them.

Self-defense functions of a flashlight

If you are a person who uses a personal defense weapon, a flashlight is very crucial for low-light shooting. Not only does the flashlight assist you to detect your target, but it as well enables you to view your gun sights in the dark. In addition, if you don’t carry a gun for personal defense, a flashlight can still be very vital when used correctly in difficult situations. Flashlights can be taken into areas where guns are banned like in airplanes or in movie theatres. Moreover, they are good for individuals who live in countries with strict weapon laws, but still, want to carry a tool for personal defense. Here are some of the vital self-defense functions that a tactical flashlight provides:

  • To disorient assailants

If you have ever been shined with a bright light in your eyes, then you know the effect that comes with it. The light blinds or disorients you for some time before you regain your consciousness. You can utilize this light to defend yourself by disorienting an assailant.

So, every time you are being attacked by a person or animal, you can use a tactical flashlight to shine it directly into the attacker’s eyes. The attacker will place hands on his or her face and undergo 3 to 4 seconds of semi-blindness. During this time, you can decide to either run away or attack them.

  • Assist detect threats

Thugs and assailants normally take advantage of the darkness to attack. A very bright flashlight can assist to detect threats in the dark and eliminate the advantage of an assailant stalking in the shadows. All you need to do is to shine a light on the attacker so that they can take off.

  • Improvised weapon

Many of the tactical flashlights come with a toothed bezel. A good number of manufacturers say that the work of the bezel is to break the car window in an emergency situation. But according to several flashlight users who have tried this, they say that it doesn’t function and it is very hard to use the toothed bezel to break the car window.

Even though the toothed bezel is not very effective in breaking car window, it can be used to hit an attacker. After you have disoriented a would-be attacker, you can go ahead and use the hard toothed bezel to hit them in the face.

Which is the best flashlight in tactical situations?

A tactical flashlight is a wonderful self-defense tool. With so many flashlight types and brands on the market, it is vital to choose the best. The tactical flashlight that you choose should be within your budget and have the features that you desire. Below are some of the features that you should consider when choosing a tactical flashlight:

  • Durable construction – a flashlight that is used in a tactical environment undergoes a lot of challenges. So, when selecting a quality light, you should ensure that it can withstand the hardship that awaits it. Consider picking a flashlight that is made of a hard anodized aluminum. This is a light but very strong metal. Furthermore, the metal should be machined in order for it to offer a great grip. As a result, even if you drop this flashlight, it will still be able to function without any problem.
  • Simple – most of the time, people usually go for flashlights with a lot of modes and settings. It is advisable that you choose a flashlight that is very easy to use. This is because emergency situations need quick reactions and a complicated flashlight may derail you down the lane. It should have an on/off switch or one access to strobe or SOS mode. Also, twisting head for flood or spotlight is a good feature.
  • Waterproof – imagine if you were out camping only for the rainfall to start. If you have a poorly made or low-quality flashlight, it will not sustain you. A good tactical light should b water resistant with a good rating. This way, you can use it in wet surroundings or in rainfall.
  • Very bright light – a good flashlight should be able to provide you with enough light to disorient an attacker or light a dark area. Consider going for a flashlight with at least 120 Lumens or more.
  • LED or incandescent light – the introduction of LED technology in flashlights led to the creation of smaller and more powerful lights. LED bulbs are better than incandescent bulbs in a number of ways. First of all, LED bulbs are indestructible while incandescent bulbs tend to break after some time. Also, LED bulbs are energy efficient while incandescent bulbs are not. With more than 50, 000 hours of runtime, LED bulbs can serve you for a very long period of time.
  • Small – since this is a tool that you want to have with you on a daily basis, you should go for a small and powerful LED flashlight that fit excellently in your pocket. A big flashlight will be a burden to carry on a daily basis.

How to securely move in the dark with a flashlight?

There are different ways through which a person can move at night to avoid bumping into the wrong hands. In order to stay safe and secure, here’s how you can go about it:

  • Try the light switch first – normally, the first step is to turn on the light switch in a dark place. That is if you are near the main switch and it is convenient to do so. In some situations, turning on the light might seem to be impossible, for instance when you are outside. In such a scenario, you will have to utilize your flashlight if you suspect the attacker to be close.
  • Light on, scan, light off, move – but if you believe that there is an attacker in a dark area, it is convenient if you don’t leave the flashlight on throughout. You can become an easy target. Follow the following steps: light on, scan the surrounding by looking for threats, light off, move, repeat. The chances are that your attacker will likely shoot in the place they last saw the light. So, if you keep turning off the light, the attacker will be shooting in the wrong place as you will have already moved from there.

How to hold a flashlight when using a gun?

For those of you who usually use a gun for self-defense, it is a great idea to know how to fire with a flashlight. According to the FBI, the chance of using your weapon in the dark is high when compared to that of broad daylight. Night sights and weapon-mounted lights are usually used when shooting in the dark, but they both have setbacks. Not only are they dangerous as your weapon is pointing to the target, but they are also not very bright in extremely dark areas.

Flashlights are better in that they help you inspect the suspect without pointing a gun at them. They are also brighter and cheaper.

How to utilize a flashlight when you are unarmed

If you don’t have a weapon and are you are attacked, you can protect yourself by using a tactical flashlight. Simply shine it in the face of the assailant and blind them for some time. Then, hit the attacker very hard with the toothed bezel in the face. You can as well kick him in the groin and take off. Before they become conscious, you will be far away.

The setbacks of two-handed flashlight-gun methods

The first method is for holding the flashlight in front of you with your non-dominant hand while resting your gun-holding hand on top. The second method is the two-handed approach referred to as the Rogers technique. This is when the flashlight is trapped between the first and second or second and third finger of your non-dominant hand.

Both of these methods are dangerous and risky when holding a gun. The biggest setback is that you might point a gun to a non-threat person.  Another setback is that it leaves you vulnerable to a head strike. And finally, none of the methods provide you with a decent recoil control over a one-handed shooting with the exception of the Rogers technique.


Whether you have a gun or not, you can still go ahead and protect yourself from danger. When used with the right techniques, a flashlight can save you from an attacker or assailant. Hold the gun with the one-hand technique and the flashlight in another. Follow the steps in this post to securely protect yourself when using a tactical flashlight.


Robert Dwayne

Robert Dwayne

To say that I am an outdoors enthusiast is probably an understatement. I am hyper passionate about everything outdoors: hiking, survival, hunting. On this website I am sharing my stories and experiences, and I hope you'll find inspiration to take up your own adventures!