It’s dark and chilly, the only light is the glow of the moon and stars or dim light of few street lamps. Visibility would be close to zero, if not for your flashlight which emits bright light and effectively lightens the area. Suddenly you see an assailant coming your way with a knife in his hand – what do you do?
Without a tear or pepper gas or a teaser all you could do is run and scream. You cannot be sure that even with your martial arts skills or self-defence tricks you could incapacitate your opponent with bare hands and take the knife away.
What about hitting him with a flashlight? It’s robust, coated with black matte anodized aluminium and not too small but you may miss your attacker and give him additional reason to hurt you.
What would you do with an aggressive dog barring its teeth and wanting to attack you? A dog runs faster than human, you would not be able to outrun it…
There’s a way to scare it away without taking a step, even if it starts running towards you. Disorientated animal should halt and turn its head or turn back.
Each flashlight produces light when you need it, but only some models help you to incapacitate opponents from a distance and delay their pursuit after you.
WHAT FUNCTIONS SHOULD A FLASHLIGHT FOR SELF-DEFENCE HAVE?
Self-defence should be an additional feature as it’s not the main purpose of a flashlight. It is useful for trips into the wild, if you need to scare off wild animals or lone hikes as you may be perceived as an easy target.
A flashlight for self-defence should work from a distance to ensure security against a wild animal or an aggressive human.
By the self-defence function we do not mean its durable and hard casing used as a weapon against the aggressor, as there is a dedicated function for this purpose.
The Strobe mode – additional feature available in some flashlights.
FLASHLIGHT WITH THE STROBE MODE – HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Strobe mode can be observed from 1:48.
Think, how it feels to look straight into the source of light – a lamp or the bright summer sun. It makes your eyes squint, water and dark pulsing dots appear before them what makes your sight less accurate for some time. All you can do is look away.
Now imagine it’s dark around you and the source of light produces extremely bright, pulsating and blinding flashes. The discomfort would be much intensified.
You could even feel dizzy and faint and, for sure, would not be able to look into the light or follow in its direction!
That’s how the Strobe mode works – it gives flashes of light with a confusing blinding effect.
WHY A STROBOSCOPE IN A LED FLASHLIGHT?
After turning the Strobe mode on, the flashlight starts to emit bright, flashing light. The aggressor is not able to look toward the source of light, not to mention, run after it.
Depending on the frequency of bright and quick light impulses in the Strobe mode, the aggressor feels smaller or bigger discomfort.
The attacker may get scared or even start to panic. The higher the frequency, the shorter the flash and the lower the number of flashes per minute. People may react differently to each frequency.
LED STROBOSCOPE IN A FLASHLIGHT NOT ONLY FOR SELF-DEFENCE
The stroboscope mode can be used not only to blind the attacker in self-defence but also to mark your location after dark.
Headlamps, like Ledlenser M-Series headlamps, have an additional red diode, usually at the back, to mark your location to other people.
Stroboscope in a hand flashlight turns on bright flashy light which is much more noticeable than constant light of a similar intensity, especially if the device is in motion.
WHO USES STROBOSCOPE LIGHTS?
- Police and armed forces – stroboscope lights can deceive the opponent during an ambush. Localising a person using a strobing light is much more difficult than when using constant light, especially if the person is moving or manipulates with the flashlight.
- Cultural institutions – the stroboscope effect can be used in theatre and during concerts. Figures seem to be still, though they are moving, or moving slower than they really are.
- Night clubs – if you have ever been in one, you surely remember flashy lights on the dancefloor.
IS STROBOSCOPE SAFE? STROBOSCOPE AND EPILEPSY
The effects of stroboscope light can be illustrated with what has happened when one of the episodes of popular cartoon Pokémon ‘Electric Soldier Porygon’ was aired and about 700 children felt ill and some of them even needed hospitalisation.
There was a scene where its animators used a rapidly-strobing technique that flashed red and blue lights on the screen. Children, sensitive to this strobe effect, felt very strong dizziness, some of them had to go to a hospital. That is why organizers of concerts, performances and other mass event have the responsibility to notify the audience if stroboscope light is to be used. It may trigger attack of photosensitive epilepsy.
Symptoms of epilepsy concerning people sensitive to stroboscope light may appear from frequency of 15 Hz (in flashlights it’s usually 10-12 Hz), other research claim that to trigger epilepsy attack a person would need to uninterruptedly stare in the strobe light for 90 seconds.
As a potential victim, you’re not able to know if your aggressor is afflicted with epilepsy. In situations where your health or life is at stake you need to protect yourself using legal measures without the intent of hurting your opponent. Flashlight with the Strobe mode is a legal mean of personal protection.
Which flashlights are equipped with the Strobe mode? Check out the infographic with Ledlenser flashlights.