Many of us have an expensive SureFire or other premium handheld light that serve as our primary light, as well as a few extra units scattered around in strategic places. We may also have some high-dollar lights mounted on the rails of our handguns, shotguns and carbines. I am sure we all devote an equal amount of time to training in low-light and no-light conditions. Well, almost equal.
But, what happens if you find yourself without these top-of-the-line lights? I am a huge fan of headlamps—they are the best thing since sliced bread for doing things at night. Don't have a headlamp? My son schooled me up on how to turn on a surprisingly bright light that emits from the back of my smartphone.
I bring this up after a person at a night self-defense pistol class asked about alternative light use. The scenario being: It's dark, you are changing a flat tire with your headlamp on, and a hostile stranger approaches.
What will you do? Turn off the headlamp as you reach for the 120-lumen SureFire with strobe function and sharpened bezel ring that you left on the console? Or will you just pull your pistol and go to work by the light of a trusty Petzl?
The bottom line is you don't want to do something for the first time if it is a life-or-death situation. I am not saying a smartphone light should be your primary, but at least try different light sources to see what could be a feasible emergency light should the need arise. You may be surprised to see how effective you can be with whatever is at hand.