am retired now, (as a watchmaker), but for 40 years I had to carry a pistol daily and have been trained shooting with a flashlight since I was 18 years old.
I was forced to even invent a position (in the 60’s) that allowed me to see the lousy sights of the military 1911 and the Walther pre-war PPK that I was using at the time.
Of course in those days even the flashlights were lousy; I used to carry a 2 C cell Eveready Captain, and for night shooting, my position indexed the light on top of my head (so the beam fall on the sights and into the target)
The 2 C Eveready Captain of the 60's
I had in my twenties a handful of confrontations with bad guys and that position and the lousy light served well enough to “see” the opponent.
There was no blinding effect in those days with 14 to 20 lumens lights (estimated),and it would have been nice to have one of the Surefires back then; even the little E2e will have been a blessing.
I started carrying a Surefire 6 in 1988 (I had two of the first batch to come out of the factory) and graduated to the 9 P a few years later.
The Surefire 6 (first of the Surefires)
My favorite to carry was the 9 P with the P-91 (200 lumens lamp), and is still is today in the shape of the Centurion C-3 as I use the clip instead of a holster for carrying the light on my person.
I also adopted a Tiger Ring that permits me to do quick magazines changes or clear a stovepipe (in practice) without getting tangled by a lanyard.
The Surefire C-3 and the Streamlight TL-3 with Tiger Rings
Another light that is always in my pocket is the Fenix L1P (used to be an ARC AAA) it is small, lightweight, and powerful (at 40 lumens) for its size.
The Fenix L1P and the LOP with the ARC AAA
To blind an opponent, lots of lumens are needed. I used to have near me a Surefire M-6 with the 500 lumens lamp, and this is a great light that will do the job very well.
The Surefire M-6 (500 lumens for 20 minutes)
Now I am using one of my conversions of the Maglite it is the MAG 951 generation II flashlight and it outputs 1050 lumens and uses rechargeable batteries (so free to run as much as you like without guilt) and also another conversion called the Black Bear 678 that is made on the host of the Maglite 2 D.
These lights are always near me in the house and in my car, the longer MAG 951 inhabiting the floor under the seat and the shorter Black Bear 678 (10 “) residing in my glove compartment.
The MAG 951 II and Black Bear 678 lights together with my Gov't .45 with Laser Grips.
So, much has changed in the last 40 years in the flashlight field since I started using the 2 C Eveready Captain from the top of the head position (no longer necessary with the powerful lights of today). Yet it is interesting, in retrospect, to glance back at the evolution of lights through all these years, and one can only wonder what marvels the future will bring.
a.k.a. black bear