We as humans have been blessed with many unique abilities. Unfortunately one that we could use is the ability to see in the dark, not so that we are completely blind in the dark, but we do fall short in this category. To make up for this Thomas Edison invented the light bulb the year was 1879. We have been improving the way and ability to see in low light conditions ever since. Now that we have agreed we need help to see in diminished light conditions, we can discuss the ways that we enhance this ability.
Most people who want to see in the dark grab a flashlight, in the beginning these light were large and cumbersome sometimes requiring two hands to operate. This caused a problem when using the light in conjunction with a weapon, because even a handgun requires at least one hand to manipulate. So here was the deliminna put down the big light and to use the firearm and shoot blind, or try to juggle the light and the weapon at the same time. While this is possible most people will suffer a break down in grip structure, therefore their ability to employe direct effective fire will also diminished. If you have any concerns about other people in the house this is an unacceptable compromise.
Over the last 15 years or so lights have started a slow shrinking process to the point that we have small lights that will far out shine their larger, older ancestors. The use of LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology we have dramatically increased the brightness and the runtimes of these small lights. In fact they are now small enough to be able to be attached to a handgun.
I feel that if you follow some simple guidelines for weapon light use it can be a safe and effective tool for self-defense use.
1. Always use a hand-held light in conjunction with a weapon-mounted light to avoid pointing your weapon at something you don’t intend to destroy.
2. Don’t use your weapon light for a normal flashlight.
3. If you choose to use a weapon-mounted light, make the commitment to train and have it attached to your weapon.
So to answer the question of wether or not the weapon-mounted light is a Necessity or a Gimmick, most certainly is isn’t a gimmick, but I wouldn’t call it a necessity. I would say it is a tool that takes commitment on the part of the user to be used effectively and safely. I personally choose to have to as a tool on about 95% of my firearms and I carry them that way and train with them that way. We will continue to address this subject in the future.