Knowing how to work with the light or the lack of is paramount in combat situations. If you have the ability to choose a lighting situation or plan for it, you’re much more likely to win.
Most home invasions occur at night. Intruders are most likely to be in pairs. They’re looking to use any force necessary to gain control of the environment and, at most, you might have 60 seconds to get the upper hand. Other than your handgun, your biggest advantage is your environment. It’s nighttime, and since you know the environment better then they do, the darkness plays in your favor. Here are some tips to help you protect your home in the dark.
Read the Light
You should know how the light levels in your house will affect how you’re seen from various choke points. These points are basically the doorways to your bedroom and other rooms, the end of any hallways, across the living room, past the large window. What about mirrors? Move through your house and note the places where an encounter may occur or where you might become visible.
Practice at night with your home just how it is on any normal night. Set up a few scenarios. Start from your bedroom and move to the front door or move from the living room or the kids room to the garage. Take your time and move slowly. Consider the ambient light around you. Are you silhouetted? Which angles put light on you? If intruders were coming from this way or that, how well could they see you? If you’re a photographer this will be much more natural for you.
Don’t Silhouette Yourself
The obvious strategy is to avoid standing in the light if possible. Don’t allow your face to be lit for your intruder but equally important, don’t give them a clear silhouette to shoot at.
Move to the Darkness
You should always be in the shadows since they can conceal your movements. Intruders may have flashlights, maybe they don’t. In either situation, you’ll be better off if an intruder simply can’t see you. This will give you a huge advantage to get a good view of them and add the element of surprise.
DON’T Use Lasers or Flashlights
Flashlights and especially lasers will give your position away. This is the quickest way for two or more intruders to make quick work of you. If you have a flashlight on, you might be nervous and in that case, the first one to shoot will win. This puts unnecessary pressure on you. You don’t want to be in put a situation where you might feel you need to shoot prematurely. You’ll simply have one less round in the chamber and will have put friends or family under unnecessary risk.
If You Do Use a Flashlight
DON’T! But if you do, flash your light very quickly. If you want a flashlight on your home defense pistol, get one that has the option to turn on when you squeeze the button and turn off when you release. You can use this burst of light to light your path. Make sure you don’t kick anything, trip over the kids toys or break your leg/toe or whatever which will certainly compromise your situation. Again, move to the point of the lowest light.
Practice the scenarios that make the most sense for you. If you’re usually in bed in the evening make sure to cover from the bedroom down the hallway over and over. If you like to watch TV in the living room, practice the living room to the front door over and over. Remember the second intruder could be out the back door or a window while the other one may come in through the garage door. Make sure to practice from the intruders’ perspective. How do the streetlights light the hallway coming from the front door or garage door? Try it with the front porch light on, then the back.
Breath and Try to Relax
You know you’re a much better shot when you’re calm but I had to say it anyway. You know the environment and you’ve practiced. You can do it. Be confident.