What is strobe mode?

Nowadays, strobe flashlights have gained in popularity. The genesis of this phenomenon probably lurks in the manufacturers' aggressive advertising, a more economical price point on lights that have this feature, or the fact that strobe-mode lights have risen to the top of the latest "have to have" gear on many officers' lists.

To put it in a simple way, strobe mode is an irritating glare effect, a consequence of flashes of light issued at very short intervals. It is primarily can be an effective function against threats and secondarily as a light signal. While being hit with the strobe light in a few seconds, thought the effects are physically minor, residual nausea and disorientation may be felt for minutes. Temporary dazzled vision and hindered movement on foes offer extra time to move to a position of advantage and safety, strobe function therefore can provide more self-defense opportunities to some extent.

Looking further back in history, strobe lights have been around since the 1930s, but disorienting effect of flashing lights was first noticed in the 1950s called Flicker vertigo or the Bucha effect. This disorientating phenomenon caused by strobe light exposure has been observed by Dr. Bucha during helicopter flight. At that time a series of related and incomprehensible helicopter crashes were waiting to be investigated. Flicker vertigo in a helicopter occurs when the pilot or front passenger looks up through the blades of the main rotor as it turns in the sun causing the light to strobe. These two phenomena can be the earliest strobe researches that could be traced back.

Whether on active night duty or searching through unlit buildings, a quality flashlight is an essential piece of kit for every police officer. Senior Sergeant Zhou Yang, the secretary of the GD Police Association with more than 10 law enforcement experiences, and NEXTORCH’s tactical consultant, says that:” Admittedly, there are some merits of strobe light. Whether it's disorienting effects or fear induction, both can be conducive to decrease the suspect’s vision and throw him off guard, which affects his ability to use force”.

Among the law enforcement and police officers NEXTORCH has touched, most of them believe strobe mode is an indispensable tactical function in the tasks. The advantages include disorienting the suspect, diminishing foes’ night adaptation and causing psychological hurdle to aggression. In our research, the number of supporters of strobe mode overwhelms the opposites who argue that constant on mode can share the same functionality and effectiveness with strobe mode.

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