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I think many do it because they saw it on TV. But why not try to avoid any encounter? Wouldn't it be smarter to use some kind of movement sensor light system with cameras and warning the potential burglar of the system, then a kind of alarm system if there is an intrusion? If this for some reason doesn't work, you could call the police and with a loud voice declare that you did, so that the chances increase to move any encounter outside for others to deal with. Defending your home with a gun is one thing, but in my opinion, there can't be too many countermeasures tried before having to resort to gunfire.
But if that still doesn't work, are you going to need a light?

You could always have one and not use it if you don't need to, but you can't use what you don't have if you need to. Heck, why even have a gun?
 
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Had a Surefire flashlight next to my weapon, in case I need it at night. Now I have streamlight weapon lights on the weapons. All have lights and green lasers. Lights are used intermittently to identify the target. Lasers are mainly for daytime use.
 

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I never understand the choose wisely comments.

Not picking on you specifically because many of us see it in these debates all the time.

Why would I ONLY choose 1 or the other? Do I carry a knife OR a gun? No, both for different tasks. A handheld and WML are the same concept.

Edit: looks like my Quote didnt work but lots of people are showing the tendency of 1 vs the other in this thread.

Also hard to believe the staunch opinions of folks who havent tried using WML in their home. You can light entire rooms with a modest light at low-ready
 

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Threat identification
Bingo

In one's home you want to make sure you are shooting the bad guy qnd not the kid or the dog.

Strobe lights are a real thing for a real reason ... higher the lumens the better.

As both an ex soldier and former cop I will share two things with assurance. 1 - if you're using your light be moving and learn how to use a pressure switch and strobe. 2 - I've never hit a bad guy with a laser that didn't get a reaction. Overseas, if they got the laser they got the pill right behind it and usually from several different directions. Bad guy couldn't see it because we had superpowers. But stateside, in LEO mode, we wanted them to see themselves painted and I've never seen said bad guy not stop what he was doing and capitulate. Matter of fact, and this was kinda funny when it happened, one time we lit a guy up with red and green in low light and he immediately laid down ... but when we flicked the lights on and he saw that we had weapons mounted lasers, pistols and carbines, he flipped because he thought they were all taser mounted lasers which he had been zapped-with before. He literally soiled his britches when the moment he realized how close he had come to the abyss .... he kept screaming, "YOU BLEEPER BLEEPERS WERE GOING TO SHOOT ME?!?!?!?! YOU BLEEPER BLEEPERS WERE AIMING REAL GUNS AT ME!!!!!!!" .... but it was the thought that we had painted him with taser lasers that made him quit.

Then we realized that he almost didn't quit .... and he realized that he came that close.

Lights and lasers have their places. I've never seen anyone get-lit-up or painted that didn't either turn and run or give-up and surrender .... but I've heard stories of spray and pray at lights and stories of suicide actions once painted.
 

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By the way, regarding the story I just told about the cougar, when I have discussed this in the past people have been quick to tell me backpacking alone is a dumb idea, and you know what, you're right. But sometimes I just have to get away from it all. I just accept now that there is nearly always a chance, however far fetched, that something like that can happen (especially with transient cougars that can travel hundreds or even thousands of miles. Remember, historically, cougars have had the largest range of any land mammal in the Americas, bar none). So yeah, solo backpacking is a bad idea for a lot of reasons, but I'm filled with bad ideas anyway and sometimes I just want to be alone.
Sheepdogged, I have solo backpacked in the mountains since I was 22 and just back from Vietnam. I am more than three times that age, now, but solo backpacked the Rockies and the Idaho Back Country and the Bitteroots until I was 66. I was stopped by a heart attack.
It was difficult to get others to go with me, though I had open invitations to many. Anyone who did, never did it twice.
Hunting guides in Idaho told me cougars were more dangerous than bears because they would stalk humans for food.
I still laugh about the "weapon light" I had on my .45-70. I used electrical tape to strap a very powerful Sure Fire to the barrel . . ..
I always had three powerful lights plus batteries in my backpack in addition to a headlight. I never had a problem with a cougar, though I saw plenty of sign for them. None with bears, either. The worst animal problems I had were with porcupines that would chew my boots for the salt, and mosquitos until I got above 10,000 feet.
Sooo, I suggest that if you can still do it, do it.
 

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At distances like that and closer in, where probably most armed incidents happen, when it comes down to it we'll be point-shooting or at best getting a 'flash sight picture' with the rear silhouette of the gun. Anything where you'd have more time you'd probably use your sights anyway. So in a way, the light is kind of an intuitive way of 'funneling' in that point-shooting in a quick, reactionary way.

But then if you had to draw and fire quickly you might not have time to activate the light anyway, so there's give and take. Maybe holster companies and light makers will get together for a system that turns the light off when holstered, but then it's automatically on when drawn.
It’s already done for lasers (Viridian) so no reason they can’t do it for lights. I’d love to see this feature on holsters


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I have a few light-bearing holsters that are outside the waistband, and they work quite well. One of my carry guns for winter I carry with a light. Frankly in that kind of holster it's really no less concealable bulkier under.a coat or such. I do not, however, carry a gun inside the waistband with a light. It's tight enough as it is.
My IWB carry uses this light and it feels no different than carrying without the light. Lights today are small enough to make them very feasible for carry. It’s just a matter of finding a holster to accommodate it. I also carry a handheld. Lights are so good today, small and powerful, no reason not to carry both





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My IWB carry uses this light and it feels no different than carrying without the light. Lights today are small enough to make them very feasible for carry. It’s just a matter of finding a holster to accommodate it. I also carry a handheld. Lights are so good today, small and powerful, no reason not to carry both





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Unfortunately, I've still got enough extra bulk in my midsection that IWB with a light makes a marked difference in concealability and comfort.
 

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A light on your handgun allows you to POSITIVELY IDENTIFY targets in low light before firing them up....

And as several people have said, it's a personal choice. I can say, "Alexa, turn on everything." and my whole house lights up, to include the lights outside. But, what if the power is out? I have flashlights stored with my defensive guns, but my primary home protection gun has a Streamlight mounted on it. Just in case. Better to have it, and not need it, than need it, and not have it.
 

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Did a lot of research on this topic, and many instructors and experts believe that WMLs are great for LEOs and the military, but really aren’t necessary or a good idea for average citizens.

First, they make a distinction between concealed carry and home defense (how often are you in situation carrying where it’s dark to the point where you can’t see a threat that requires immediate firearm response, and why would you pull a handgun before you know a threat exists) and second, they also believe a tactical light is necessary, just not mounted on a pistol. Rifles are a different story.

First, a WML adds the opportunity for your finger to do the wrong thing while operating the handgun and the light. Second, it means you have to point your muzzle at things you may not be willing to destroy to illuminate things that may not be a threat. In some jurisdictions that may be a crime.

Personally, I have a small, high power, rechargeable LED tactical flashlight for my home, vehicle, and person. It can be used to illuminate potential threats w/o pointing the muzzle of my weapon at what may not be a threat. It can be held away to allow indirect illumination and to make pinpointing my exact location less easy. It also can be used as a weapon or glass break tool for less than lethal threats.
 

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Many years ago, I had a GF staying with me when she was in medical school and working at same time and she work swing shift at hospital.
One night I was sleeping and heard a few noises in my Apt.
It was a early for GF to arrive home so I got up with Browning Hi-power with iron sights.
Apt was semi-dark.
I walked out room, hallway into living room and kitchen and checked door. All clear.
Then I hear noise in bathroom.
I am now on high alert and slowly quietly head towards bathroom, slowly open bathroom door and then see a dark shadow squat down in shower tub.
I raise my pistol and aim at the dark figure and very very slowly and quietly walk towards the shower and slide the bubbled glass door.
I open door enough to see a figure squated low and point my pistol at the head and say "don't move".
Then I hear, "don't shoot, it's me!"
I turn light on and it's my GF. OMG.
I asked why she would do such a stupid thing and she knows I sleep with pistol?
She stated, she thought it would be a good idea to scare me!
From then on, when she came home from work in the morning, she made sure to enter as usual.
I was so glad I was not trigger happy

Even a practical joke could hurt someone.
 

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There are other security measures in place that would keep me from turning the power to my whole house off plus there is backup power so it's a moot point. Even if the knucklehead(s) thought it would be a good idea to to try to cut the power to my house it wouldn't do them much good. It would also take someone not from around where I live and completely ignorant of me and my house to try to break in. They would have a really bad day that would probably be their last.
 

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Many years ago, I had a GF staying with me when she was in medical school and working at same time and she work swing shift at hospital.
One night I was sleeping and heard a few noises in my Apt.
It was a early for GF to arrive home so I got up with Browning Hi-power with iron sights.
Apt was semi-dark.
I walked out room, hallway into living room and kitchen and checked door. All clear.
Then I hear noise in bathroom.
I am now on high alert and slowly quietly head towards bathroom, slowly open bathroom door and then see a dark shadow squat down in shower tub.
I raise my pistol and aim at the dark figure and very very slowly and quietly walk towards the shower and slide the bubbled glass door.
I open door enough to see a figure squated low and point my pistol at the head and say "don't move".
Then I hear, "don't shoot, it's me!"
I turn light on and it's my GF. OMG.
I asked why she would do such a stupid thing and she knows I sleep with pistol?
She stated, she thought it would be a good idea to scare me!
From then on, when she came home from work in the morning, she made sure to enter as usual.
I was so glad I was not trigger happy

Even a practical joke could hurt someone.
Would you have wanted a light on your pistol at that moment? Genuinely curious because this is a very plausible scenario. If so, how would you have used it? Turn it on while having the muzzle at the low ready?


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How about using night vision goggles with IR mounted on pistol.
Note: IR can easily be seen from anyone using night goggles

The price of night vision has gone down.
Thermo imagine is still over 2K

This pic is from a video of such a thing on youtube
 

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