Friday, July 9, 2010

Centurio - "Fight with Light"

Centurio is a European company dedicated to using the power of light as a less lethal weapon and training tool. Amongst the products in their lineup are: several hand-held flashlights, weapon mounted lights, civilian and law enforcement ranged less lethal devices, and a battery operated flashbang grenade (sounds like fun).

PugioLight 2
One of the tactical lights in Centurio's lineup, the Pugiolight 2 includes a window breaching bezel and what appears to be a Surefire 6P framework.

Raider LLLW
Like a tazer without the taze, the Raider uses a powerful strobe to incapacitate at a distance.

BAD Airy Flashbang
A cool little device, the BAD Airy produces a 135-175 dB bang along with an estimated 2.5k Lumen flash. If there was a way to tone it down for paintball, I could see a lot of milsim players picking up one of these.

Despite their cool toys, I already have a little gripe with Centurio. Despite several tries, I can't get into contact with anyone at the company, but if you'd like a go you can drop them a line here.

Here are some links:
Click here for the 2010/2011 Centurio catalogue.
Click here for the Centurio blog.


  1. Nice find, but unfortunately "cool toys" is pretty much all these are.

    The whole idea of the "police tactical strobe" has been around for a few years now. It's nothing but a marketing gimmick, because police don't use these strobelights and never will. A strobing light in the dark is a distraction for sure, but it doesn't magically have the power to disorient or better yet, incapacitate an attacker, no matter what the frequency. Even as a distraction tool a strobe light is a FAIL, because your strobe light only lights up your target in flashes. This means you watch a slideshow of the bad guy instead of real-time movement, as he reaches for a pocket containing a knife or gun for example.

    If after all this time Centurio has somehow found some "Vulcan neck pinch" frequency that will knock a NON-EPILEPTIC person out or disorient them badly enough to neutralize them as a threat, then Raytheon and DARPA have been upstaged by a company with a web site full of bad Engrish. As we know this isn't the case, this company is being dishonest in dressing up their product to look like a Taser and calling it a Less Lethal Weapon. By that definition any flashlight shone into someone's open eyes in the darkness is a Less Lethal Weapon. Hell, even yelling at someone at the top of your lungs and startling them could be termed Less Lethal. It's absurd because lethality isn't even a remote possibility. A "distraction device" would be a better term, but then they'd have to lower the price tag quite a bit.

    Some mall cops supervisor who doesn't know better will probably see their site and order a few of these "Raider" units for his team for their Taser looks, but I pity the poor security guard who has only this to use against someone who's out to hurt him. Someone who can legally carry the "real toys" to play with wouldn't go near these things. The "Bad Airy" is a good example. It strobes and sounds off for 8-10 seconds, making it nothing like a real flashbang grenade. A tactical team doing dynamic entry would have to wait in the hallway holding their dicks for 8-10 seconds (and losing the element of surprise) until the device stopped doing its thing in the target room.

    Even the physics behind having more "teeth" on the end of their "pugiolights" is wrong. The more contact surfaces there are transferring impact energy to a surface, the more that energy will be dissipated. With the force applied being equal, 5 large teeth on a flashlight bezel slammed into a car window or an attacker's chest will be far more devastating than 32 little teeth.

    If I'm wrong in my harsh judgments, then I challenge Centurio to get a booth at CANSEC next year and meet me there to demo their crap in person. With the heat on the RCMP after the Vancouver fiasco, they're itching to find a suitable less-lethal substitute, so if Centurio's Taser lookalike toy actually works to incapacitate an opponent at any meaningful level, it's a no-brainer for them to show off their wares at CANSEC. Their products will sell themselves, and all that Mountie cash could be theirs.

  2. There you go Centurio, the gauntlet has been thrown down, will you step up to the plate? And hey, if the whole less-lethal thing doesn't work out for you, let's sit down and talk about making some safe milsim flashbangs. :)

    Also, now I can't get the image out of my head of a mall cop being tackled by a 250 pound man, while desperately blinking a flashlight at him. :P

  3. Hello
    first of all sorry for my english but Iam from Germany.

    Well guys i use Centurio Strobe lights for over 3 years Iam a cop in Germany by the way "nothing special just a normal Patrol Cop" and I use the Strobe lights and there works.

    But Iam agree there many many mfg who has a better candle as a real light

    We use and has test the BAD and I can say its works, we need just 5secs to get the suspect in our fingers after we use than.

    Iam only think it is interesting that some one makes a so long comment without any expirences with the product because many countries in Europe, Australia, Isreal, South Africa usw those products allready and there come now of the US market too, I know that the SWAT team of Denver use theren products

    Thats is what I think

    Take care & Sincerely Stefan

  4. Mike: I have to wonder, I have a PugioLight and have made the test with the JC Impact ring and can only confirm that he works.

    Now I have two questions dude
    A) how many Centurio devices you have use?
    B) for what brand you fight for? (I talk about you day job)

    Lee Stones
    - Australia-

  5. If you really want us to exhibit at the exhibition you mention why dont you just send us an invite and we will consider?. I would like to invite you to the ring of light training session we are running in Muenster, Germany from the 20th - 22nd August and we will happily prove the capabilities of our equipment and answer all questions email is forward to seeing you there!!

  6. "then Raytheon and DARPA have been upstaged by a company with a web site full of bad Engrish. As we know this isn't the case"...just noticed this, the accusation of using bad "engrish" they have the excuse that Centurio are a German company...what is yours??

  7. Having been in security for many years and now in law enforcement, I have to disagree with Mike on a few points. Most of my lights strobe, and while I've never had cause to use them against someone on the job yet, I have seen them used, and have talked to a number of Corrections officers here in Canada and the US that use strobing flashlings all the time on the job. I would not advocate the use of a flashlight against someone who is armed when a baton, gas, taser or other impact or lethal weapon should be used. However, as a way to distracted at close range in order to gain control,a strobe works great. Again, i'm talking up close, against someone who is non-compliant but not armed with a weapon. Without the proper training to use these effectively, then ya, they're just cool toys. Coupled with training and knowledge, they're a valid and effective use of force option that will generally not cause harm (photo-epeleptics aside). As far as their DDs, you're right, they don't do the same thing as the pyro ones, however there are all kinds of times when you can't use the pyro kind, or when their use causes injury (kid in Detroit comes to mind, entry team didn't know she was in the house, they threw in a pyro DD on top of her, burnt her badly).
    I have not used Centurio products, and cannot vouche for any of their claims, but I will say that from a law enforcement perspective, strobe lights can have a place in the use of force continum, and are used across Canada and the world every day, effectively.

  8. Guys please, I know Darsis is on the level but to the other "three" posters with the same bad EngRish, give it up with the phony testimonials. We get enough of these e-mails in our Hotmail accounts every day as it is - spam about penis pills or stock tips with anonymous fake personalities giving their own testimonials, and saying how it works great for all their friends too. The people who read this blog aren't idiots and can see through your tactics.

    Now "Lee Stones" the Australian AKA the Centurio Employee who said "B) for what brand you fight for? (I talk about you day job)" Are you for real? You think I'm going to give real details about my identity and job over the Internet to some fake poser who pretends to be someone else? Or am I reading that wrong and you're asking what competing flashlight company I'm working for? Browse a few Grey Ops posts, I've done plenty on gear but never reviewed or pushed any flashlights. Also, A) Is that the kind of EngRish you use in your incident reports Down Under? B) Do you find yourself getting laughed out of court on a regular basis?

    Dale Dare, I can't make it to your exhibition because I don't have $2000 to drop on plane fare and accomodations to check out your products. Maybe if Oktoberfest were on I'd have more incentive to be there and I'd scrounge up the cash, but $2000 from my own pocket just to check out your product line in person? I think I'll have to pass. But YOU on the other hand stand to make MILLIONS of dollars if you come to Canada and show off your products here at CANSEC. Our national police just went through a shitstorm of international embarassment after they used a Taser on a Polish man at an airport, and he died. They're looking for a replacement for the Taser after all the bad press the device got when the incident was caught on video. This is your chance to show them that if they'd just deployed a strobing RAIDER against that 6-foot-4 man, he would've stopped throwing chairs around and dropped the stapler, and the whole incident could've been avoided. So reserve a booth at CANSEC 2011 at and come show your stuff!

    Here's a suggestion though: Instead of having people fly across the world to prove your products' effectiveness, why not just post some REAL independent research and demos on your web site showing their effectiveness? So far all you've got in the way of video on your site is a demo of how a Pugiolight LED flashlight can keep working even if the glass lens is destroyed (something that any cheap LED flashlight can already do anyway). You've also got a video "demo" up of an actress flashing a robber/actor in the eyes point blank with a flashlight for less than a second and running off. Any flashlight can be used for that purpose, what makes yours special? Get some independent video up there with your product getting deployed against real cops, and have them vouch for its effectiveness (like Taser International does). You claim your product is used by police all over the world and by a SWAT team in the US, so it shouldn't be too hard to get an endorsement from an agency or unit somewhere.

    Connor was saying that it was tough to contact a Centurio rep, but it looks like the problem is solved: If you want to get into contact with someone from Centurio, just challenge their product and someone from the company will show up and pose as 3 or 4 different people to speak with you.

  9. If you are looking for testimonials, I hear there's a badass group of ex-special forces operatives who play some hardcore milsim paintball called FSQ that would love to endorse Centurio.

    Also, I know crave an ice-cold pilsner and a piping hot bratwurst. Thanks for that Mike.

  10. *Now not know

    I've really got to start proofreading my comments.

  11. @ Mike: oh my god, unbelievable.

    A) I am not an employee of Centurion, I have only make few Instructor course by than and I think that this us really a good concept for Law Enforcement, Corrections etc "I can say this because I have the backgraund".

    C) You can check me out over facebook dude and sevel other websites I have nothink to hide

    What I know now that you are an admin of this blog, wow you are real serous and professional, have no idea, never had a hand in the product, no money to go on a course but stupid blabber.

    BR Lee Stones

  12. Darsis, I'll converse with you in a separate post, because if you're on the job too then I'll grant you professional courtesy and won't lump you in with these clowns.

    The comments about the Corrections guys using strobing lights are puzzling, because at the slightest sign of trouble a flick of the switch lights up an entire block like midday before someone intervenes. I don't understand under what circumstances a CO would have to deploy a strobing light against someone giving him trouble, and how it would be in any way "effective". If they're in a dark vehicle during a transfer or court visit that might be a possibility, but in transit the prisoner would be secured/shackled. I'm not calling you a liar, I just don't understand what use a CO would have for a strobing light as a distraction, and how it would do anything at all against the kind of shitrat who manages to do time.

    I agree with you completely that strobes are an effective device *to distract*, but I maintain that they aren't Less-Lethal Weapons, which is how Centurio is marketing them. They've usurped the definition of the concept in order to market their "distraction devices" as tools to disorient and incapacitate a threat. Worse, they've dressed them up to look like real LLWs (ECWs and flashbangs) to fool someone into thinking there's actually a real comparison. In my eyes this is like someone putting plain H2O under pressure into a red stream can full of warnings on the label, and selling is as an LLW "water spray". No doubt getting sprayed in the eyes with water under pressure is annoying, distracting, and might deny someone their sight for 2-3 seconds so someone can move in and ground them, but it doesn't make it a Less-Lethal Weapon on a comparable level to OC, no matter how you dress it up. So if strobing someone with light is now a "Less-Lethal Weapon", then the term has no meaning anymore - or Centurio has found some strobe frequency with magic powers that allows their products to hang with the big boys, which I highly doubt.

  13. Also Darsis you mentioned that you haven't had a chance to use your strobe on the job yet, so I'm not sure what kind of LE work you do (CBSA?). Anyway on my end between dispatcher and Road Warrior I've put in just over 11 years in policing so far. I've used the strobe on my primary light extensively for signalling my position to other officers who are about to drive by and overshoot my location in the dark, or for getting motorists' attention when they approach a collision scene. Once I even used it to get a deaf homeowner's attention at night by shining it up into his 2nd floor bedroom window. So a strobe is definitely a useful tool. But in a situation with a potentially assaultive subject it's a liability to my safety (and the safety of other responding officers).

    The first key reason is that the flicker effect works both ways. Assuming the bad guy is even looking directly at my light, he'll be seeing a healthy amount of spots. But the X number of lumens I'm hitting him with is reflecting off his white face, his white shirt, the white wall behind him, etc, and flickering at me too. And whatever disorientation or distraction he's getting from it, myself and the other officers facing him are getting a lesser dose ourselves. Not only that, but the picture we're getting of the subject is intermittent. We need a constant clear picture of what's going on, not every second "frame" of what's going on. This is the slideshow effect I talked about before.

    The second key reason why the use of a "tactical strobe" is a safety issue is because of the Use of Force Continuum itself, the "Use of Force Wheel". If I have a concern/officer perception that someone is potentially assaultive and a danger enough that I need to deny him his sight to move in and take him into custody, then I'm justified in using something already proven effective for that purpose. Hint: It's quite unpleasant and comes in a can :) In fact, I can't imagine the shitstorm I'd face if one of my partners got his front teeth knocked in while moving in to handcuff someone I was distracting with my flickering light. How would I personally feel in that situation? And how could I explain that to my boss (and my buddy in the hospital)? If I genuinely felt there was a safety issue to the point where I had to distract someone to move in safely and control him, then it would be my DUTY to use the proper tool for the job. Sorry, but a strobe light just doesn't cut it. I could have a great time at CQB Tactical Paintball with one, running around and dazzling people and trying shit for fun, where the only consequence is that I'd get hit with a paintball. But in real life where people could get hurt? Would you take the chance that strobing an angry crackhead you just woke up in a flophouse is enough to get the job done? Especially when you have more effective, ACTUAL Less-Lethal Weapons at your disposal?

  14. @Mike...your answer uncovers the real aim of your comments, you are jealous and want to vent off by doing what you are...your comment about not being able to disclose your identity is further evidence of this, but if it makes you feel important - be my guest!!..if you have researched the efectivity of this concept as you say you have you would be aware that the Department of Corrections in Germany have tested the concept and agree that it is effective for their use...recently SWAT and intervention teams in Belgium did the same with another positive result...which I term as definitely more important than comments from someone that hides behind a fake profile and still lives with Mommy!!!...have a very nice Sunday...cya

  15. I know for a FACT that strobe lights work. If you are combating Ravers. Everyone else just walks by them and questions why there is a flashing light as they keep their gun held at the ready.
    But, in the case of Ravers, they are helpless as they must then find their mp3 player and put on Sandstorm by Da Rude. They will be held helpless in their position waving their glowsticks about in twirly elliptical motions while they are taken into custody or dealt with in any other manner.
    For a normal every day person its just a flashing light and will simply not work.

  16. @Mike:I'm not advocating the use of a strobe instead of a more appropriate use of force option, and Centurio's idea of long distance incapacitation I doubt, however i've seen a strobe light make someone completely close their eyes and turn their head, which led them to be easily taken into custody without having to strike them or using spray. On that note, OC, CS etc goes all over the place, gets the bad guy and the officer, and has varying effects, and is the last thing I'd reach for on my belt since I don't feel I can rely on it.
    From my conversations with corrections, they're using it in conjuction with other options, not just by itself. Appearently it looks better on camera then spraying them or taking out a baton, and lets face it, we're all on camera now all the time.
    I'll also agree with you that the discription of Centurio's devices as Less Lethal is a bit over the top, but look at their prospective clients... I dunno what organization you work for, but i'm sure some suit or civilian who authorizes/purchases your gear has made some poor choices for you to carry something that sounded good to them that they never have to use, I know that's the case for me.
    Again, having never used the product, I can't speak to how bad or good it is, but I do feel that a strobe light, espically a high powered one, can be effective at distracting someone at close ranges. I don't think it should be used in lieu of something we're already issued, and depending on who you are and what you do, you've probably got a ton of crap on your belt/drop leg/vest anyway, so carrying a purpose built strobe might be a little much. Then again, as stated, I'd turn in my OC spray for a Taser any day.
    And maybe it's a translation thing, but some of the other comments here really aren't lending themsleves to any sort of rational discussion about any product, but such is the way of the internet.

  17. Darsis: Great well-reasoned points, and I'd love to sit with you in person one day and discuss gear and gadgets. If you're ever in the Capital Region one day I'll see if we can ride together. I'll take you to the worst spots in Ottawa, where the lowest criminals and scum spend their time. Then when we're done at the House of Commons and the Revenue Canada building, we'll check out some bad neighbourhoods and chase after some hot calls.

    Dale Dare: I think calling your lighting products "Less Lethal Weapons" is a big exaggeration and misleading, but they definitely have their uses. Things like the BAD would be great tools to replace flashbangs in training scenarios, and I also think your strobing lights have uses for police and military (like signalling). I've changed my opinion many times in life, thanks to people engaging me in reasoned debate, and you could've done the same here. Unfortunately you lost all credibility by posting as 3 different people here, with identical grammar mistakes on each that gave yourself away.

    And I'm serious about CANSEC. I gave you the link to sign up as an exhibitor, there's a huge market for genuine LLW here in Canada, and the show is exclusively open to military, police, and government employees. So it's your target market and you can make lots of money for sure. I'll come and visit your booth there (IF my Mommy gives me permission to go). Here are some questions I'll have for you:

    1) How have you overcome the problem of "flashback" with your strobe devices? The 10,000 lumens you claim the RAIDER emits is extremely bright, so how does someone deploy the device against a subject standing in front of a white wall in a typical room, and not get blinded/disoriented/incapacitated themselves?

    2) You've named a number of organizations that are using your strobe products effectively. Are these organizations officially using them, or do you have a few individual customers from these agencies buying them as individuals and trying them out? And if it's official, and if it's effective for their use as you say, what is the "use"? For training, or for real-world deployment? If they're being used real-world, are they being used as a Less-Lethal Weapon (which is a strong word), for distraction purposes/temporary blinding, or for signalling?

    3) Former US Navy SEAL Ken Good has been trying for years to push strobe technology for tactical use - with even his own SEAL colleagues disagreeing with him - with very little success. What technology are you using now that suddenly makes strobing lights a tool devastating enough to make it tactically viable enough to call it a "Less Lethal Weapon"? A lot of your products are obvious existing Cree and SSC Chinese flashlights rebranded with your logo. They've been around for years now, with strobing circuits, and are nothing new.

    4) Your promotional material surrounding your flashlights and training advocates the use of your flashlights in self-defence. This is nothing new, as Surefire and other companies have been selling lighting products with strike bezels for years now. But some of your promo photos show someone using your flashlight to defend against an attacker wielding a 6-inch blade ( Do CPG and their trainers recommend using their flashlights to defend against deadly weapons?

  18. @Mike
    A) Cree is a brand of a LED manufacturer
    B) Of course I try to use my light in a self-defense situtation if I had nothing else (like a Kubutan and / baton)
    C) I do not know what products do you think were made in China but I was already at the Factory in Germany

    MIke I ask again for what brand do you work for? (I know everything is secret on the Internet, and you are a so secret dude :) LOL)

    You know not a product of Centurio, you have no experience with the products, but do you think can assess everything.

    Wye there has so many NSN "NATO Stocking numbers are" and are used in various Police Departments in Europe? Why so many high ranking guys in Europe support than?

    Again I don't realy understand how you can speak that way and make trouble without you know and tought a product or make one course that is not professional at all. Sounds more like a bloody Painball / Air soft fucker, I mean a toy soldier, a urban rambo a loser in life.

    BR Lee Stones

  19. Mike, i'm up in Ottawa a fair bit, lived there for a number of years. I've got a number of friends from college that are now on OPS, and one who just transfered over from the OPP; sounds like we might have a few mutal friends and collegues already.Even got to do some training a while back with your tactical guys (ie they shot me a whole bunch of times with simmunition and threw me over a couch lol) I'm currently on leave, so I've got no official contact info right now, but Connor has a personal contact if you'd like to get in touch.
    Oh, and I think you ought to ask you're 4th question first,because if a CPG trainer says you should take a flashlight to a knife fight, then I don't need to hear anything else they have to say.

  20. Mr. Stones, your ability to communicate in English leads me to believe you may be in Austria, and not Australia.
    Mike brings up a number of valid points, but there doesn't seem to be many answers from the company or yourself besides name calling.
    As to NSNs, have you seen some of the crap NATO forces stock? I grew up in the middle of the Cold War on military bases, some of them in Germany, or should I say West Germany at the time. I'm pretty sure my school supplies like my binders and pens had NSNs, this does not mean they were the elite pens of the world.
    And as is historically known for all federal law enforcement and military around, your gear is generally made by the lowest bidder, so saying that the products must be good because they've been purchased by various police departments in Europe could simply mean they were sold cheaply to them. As I stated before, people in charge of buying equipment rarely, in my experience, know what it is they're buying, they go for the best deal they can get within their budget.That is a reality that I live with on the job every day.
    Again, I have not used a Centurio product, and maybe they're good, and maybe they're not, but the claims that are being made are far fetched and without much independant proof, as Mike said. And your oddly worded personal attacks on him do nothing for the credbility of yourself or the product you're promoting.

  21. do seem somewhat confused old chap, I am most definitely not posting as 3 different people here...just sweet old me!! mention reasoned debate, that is only possible with people who possess the intelligence to realise such...a trait that seems to be missing in your case. Delusions of Grandeur are an illusional affliction that you most definitely seem to be affected by, realising that you are inconsequential in a matter can be rather depressing but I feel certain you will get over it. As previously stated qualified professionals have tested the concept and have agreed as to its effectiveness not just in the operational but also in the physiological context. You will never be one of our cheerleaders....but Hey we cant win them all....Cya!!

  22. Darsis and Mike...send me a valid email address and I will happily provide you with pictures and evidence proving the effectivity of the concept...I have provided mine above so you shouldnt feel too shy about providing yours!!!

  23. Dale, as i've stated above, i'm on leave from my agency and have no access to any official contacts. I believe Connor was trying to contact Centurio reps and having problems, i'm sure if you get in touch with him he'd happily pass on any info.

  24. Dale, I've emailed you at the provided account. As Darsis stated, I'd love to pass along any info you provide.

  25. Connor, info sent...lets see if the Gentlemen here will still be trying to tell us all that the earth is flat and not round...