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The Secrets of Effective Low Light Room Clearing

I’m going to share the secrets of effective low light room clearing. Now remember, these are a secret – they are also according to me. The following secrets will stop you from blinding yourself (not that that’s a real thing) and also will help stop you from shooting people that do not deserve to be shot.

The 1st secret is don’t room clear unless you have to. If you hear a noise and everyone is accounted for, staying in one defendable area and calling the police to clear for you might be a better option. This technique does not work if you are the police called to investigate a suspicious incident.

My best advice to not blind yourself – do not shine your light into your own eyes… ok, people don’t really do that unless they are ten years old and got a new flashlight.

Despite what the internet says, you are not a ninja. You are not hunting. You are not going to assassinate someone. Using deadly force should be considered the very last option and not something to be excited about.

Using a light switch is a valid tactic. Using light helps identify unknowns. Blasting the room with lights connected to a wall switch helps see everything in a room simultaneously. There is no hiding from that wall switch light.

When using some form of weaponlight or flashlight, bouncing light off of floors, ceilings, and walls is very effective in lighting an area. This technique requires a light with sufficient horsepower to do this effectively. It needs even more horsepower to do it at distance. The Streamlight TLR6 is way too weak for this- sell it now.

Unless you encounter a valid articulable threat, your weapon/weaponlight should rarely be parallel with the ground-it can be pointed upwards it can be pointed downwards, but far less often straight ahead.

If you are using a weapon/handheld light, optimally, you should not keep it on at all times. Quick bursts of light in unknown areas i.e. dark areas, is recommended. The quick bursts help negotiate terrain and obstacles as well as checks in potential hazard areas. If you can see the reflection of ambient light on a wall you don’t need to shine a light on it nor do you need to look at it. When you encounter an unknown, while using the techniques mentioned above, no more quick bursts – pin them with constant output.

Your eyes do not need to follow the hotspot of your light. Let light bounce illuminate your focus. Advanced methods with this technique can also help mask your focus and intentions during the search.

Illuminate unknowns by bouncing light if you are using a weaponlight. Do not point guns at unknowns. Weaponlights run parallel with your barrel. There are plenty of documented shootings of innocents due to not properly determining the unknown is a threat and shooting in the dark.

Buy good quality night vision and a B.E. Meyers MAWL and use them instead of using white light. Obviously, this tactic requires everyone to be outfitted similarly and that gets expensive. A whole family outfitted with NVG/IR would be cool to see though.

Hopefully this was a helpful quick read through for you. All of this needs practice and refinement. Every night and every dark area during the day is an opportunity to hone these skills and techniques.

Matt Landfair
Lead Editor/Contributor at Primary & Secondary
Active Law Enforcement background since before the turn of the century in the middle of no where. Firearms instructor, armorer, has attended numerous training courses including DARC, Follow Through Consulting, EAG, TMacs, and more boring mandatory popo training you can shake a stick at. Has died a million deaths by powerpoint. He has written for RECOIL Magazine, Breach Bang Clear, Soldier Systems Daily and Monderno. Enjoys long walks on the beach, blah blah blah… Known as Matt Prime or Riafdnal in some circles.

Matt@primaryandsecondary.com
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