How Many Lumens Will Permanently Blind You?

Last Updated on May, 2024

A flashlight can be a handy tool to have with you, and it has a multitude of uses.

But if you specifically want to keep a flashlight on you for-self defense, you’re probably wondering how powerful it has to be effective.

How many lumens is necessary to disorient someone? How many lumens should my flashlight be? Can a flashlight cause permanent blindness?

These are most likely the questions running through your mind, and they are also the very questions I’ll be answering in this article, so stick around!

Quick Summary

It takes 80 lumens to cause temporary flash blindness in the dark, and around 200 lumens can cause temporary blindness in the daytime.

For a weapon flashlight to be an effective self-defense tool, it must be at least a 120 lumens flashlight because anything less than that will not disorient an attacker.

Since the blinding effects of an ordinary flashlight usually last only for a little while, it’s also best to have something else to protect you, like pepper spray, for example.

How Many Lumens Does it Take to Cause Temporary Blindness?

a human using flashlight and a girl's eye

It takes 80 lumens to cause temporary flash blindness in the dark, and around 200 lumens can cause temporary blindness in the daytime. 

This temporary blindness can last between a few seconds and a few minutes as the bright light initially overwhelms the eyes and then gradually fades.

How Many Lumens Does it Take to Cause Permanent Blindness?

It’s not possible to damage someone’s eyesight permanently with visible light very easily.

Only a concentrated beam of a high-intensity laser could induce permanent blindness. So, for example, prolonged exposure to 10,000 lumens can cause permanent blindness. 

For context, a light bulb is less than 1000 lumens, so permanently blinding someone requires the power of 100 light bulbs.

Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight and artificial lamps causes more damage to eyesight than visible light.

Related article: Can a Flashlight Hurt Baby’s Eyes?

How Many Lumens Should a Weapon Light Be?

a human holding a weapon with light

For a weapon flashlight to be an effective self-defense tool, it must be at least a 120 lumens flashlight because anything less than that will not disorient an attacker.

Other features that you need to look for in a flashlight to use for self-defense situations are flashlights that are small, simple to use, waterproof and can withstand rugged use.

If you want to know how many lumens you need for specific works, read this Lumens Chart Guide.

Bottomline

A flashlight is a useful little tool that can help you out in a tight situation.

For a flashlight to be an effective mode of self-defense, choose one of at least 120 lumens.

Since the blinding effects of an ordinary flashlight usually last only for a little while, it’s also best to have something else to protect you, like pepper spray, for example.

So gear up and stay safe out there, folks!

FAQs

Military grade flashlights typically range from 1,000 to 3,000 lumens.

Yes, a tactical flashlight of sufficient power can cause temporary blindness, but it will not cause permanent damage to eyesight, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

No, 1000 lumens is not too bright. It is powerful and bright enough to provide illumination up to 200 meters.

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Author
Dillon Morrison
I have been involved in the flashlight community since 2007. My brother has a flashlight shop from where I have tested and reviewed more than 600+ different types of flashlights. You can find more about me here.

1 thought on “How Many Lumens Will Permanently Blind You?”

  1. A flashlight is a must have tool, whether at home, apt, hiking, vehicle or going somewhere in the wild. However, depending on the power the more professional flashlights above 3000 Lumens can offer you more power and more services: you could throw the light at ranges to a mile or above, be able to produce daylight like bright condition during any dark nighttime period and even offer protection against an attacker who could be temporarily blinded and/or disoriented.

    However, these professional flashlights carry a risk due to their high power, they can temporarily or permanent blind a person. That’s why it is not advisable to give these tools to underage person and when giving it to someone to handle to explain the power it offers and risks associated. For such powerful flashlights to permanently blind someone it would need: strong lumen + period of time the light is aimed at an eye.

    Be careful with such powerful tools, they are not toys. They are perfect survival tools when one needs them and they should be used with precaution and extra care.

    Reply

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