As a former SWAT member and Life Flight Paramedic, I know the importance of having the very best tactical flashlight. One of the most important pieces of every day carry you should have on your person – or close at hand – on a regular basis, a tactical flashlight is not just something that you will only be able to use at night or in low light situations. You will find many times during the day when you need a good flashlight such as a crawl space, a closet or mechanical room, and many other places you want the best flashlight.
Sure, it can be used in conjunction with a firearm or any weapon to help you when it comes to more accurate target identification, but there’s also a lot more that you will be able to get out of a good one. It is often used while hunting, camping, hiking, and even taking the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood after the sun has gone down. The question now is, what is the best tactical flashlight for you? Read our guide and let us recommend the best models on the market right now.
What To Know Before Buying a Tactical Flashlight
• Light Bulb – Today, LED bulbs to offer incredible illumination with next to no power drain and also have life cycles that can last for up to 100,000 hours of use.
• Brightness – Between 500 and 1000 lumens is the way to go, as that offers you the highest brightness level to battery power ratio and is more than enough to blind and disorient an attacker while providing you with accurate target acquisition.
• Price – Any flashlight that isn’t at least $50 probably doesn’t have the best construction materials or engineering going on behind the scenes. Sure, a cheaper flashlight can work in a pinch and may be okay for household tasks, but expect to spend at least $100 on a real quality piece of technology.
Best Tactical Flashlight – My Top Picks
There are lots of models available on the market, so you can choose the one you like. On the other side, some are better than others. Today, we’re going to talk about five options that really hit the target with consumers. Each one is affordable and comes from a trusted manufacturer.
1. Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL Weapon Mount Tactical Flashlight
This is the best tactical flashlight on our list. It provides an 800 lumens blast of light, via C4 LED. This is a bit less than some of the other models on our list. However, it still produces a lot of clear and directional light. It is designed to snugly fit a variety of weapons.
When you choose the Streamlight TLR-1 HL, which is a best-seller and features a mid-range price tag, you’ll have a flashlight that may be snapped on and tightened with one hand. This keeps hands away from the muzzle whenever you are attaching or detaching. You also get to enjoy an ambidextrous steady on/off switch.
This model has a body that is made from aircraft-grade aluminum. It has a finish that is anodized. Also, it is equipped with a glass lens which is shock-mounted (TIR optic glass lens) and it will produce a beam that is concentrated, which produces optimum peripheral light.
The flashlight takes the most challenging outdoor conditions (from -40 to +120 F degree) and it’s waterproof. Its IPX7 waterproof degree means you may submerge it up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. It runs on two 3V CR123A Li batteries, for 1.25 hours. A tethered battery door and latch mechanism prevent battery door loss while providing easy battery replacement.
This lightweight, compact, high lumen lithium battery powered tactical flashlight features the latest in shock-proof power LED technology and provides 1.75-hours of continuous run time. A tethered battery door and latch mechanism prevent battery door loss while providing easy battery replacement. The rail clamp is designed to rapidly attach/detach from the side of a weapon. When enabled, the strobe can be activated on two or more momentary paddle hits.
2. Fenix Flashlights FX-PD35TAC Police Flashlight – 1000 Lumens
Fenix PD Series – Professional Performance
This light is small but very powerful. I recently used in walking through the woods and it is incredible. I would compare it to one of the police flashlights I use to use but much brighter. Whether in need of a primary light or a backup, the Fenix PD Series use the top of line materials to provide the incredible output with impressive run times. With the PD Series, gone are the days of suddenly being left in the dark. With fully regulated output, each light will run at the desired lumen count until the power supply can no longer support it, then step down to the next lower level.
High quality LEDs.
These flashlights utilize CREE LEDs with lifespans upto 50,000 hours. These allow for brightness incredible for such compact devices reaching 550 lumens in PD25 model and 3000 lumens in the PD40R.
Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum with Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish and submersible to 6.5 feet or 2 meters, these flashlights are designed to be used in any surrounding
Easy to use
Simple side switches, reverse polarity protection, intelligent memory circuits memorizing the latest output mode used – every feature serves to help you use the flashlight requiring minimum expertise on your part.
Fenix-Store exploded onto the flashlight scene in 2005 to become the preferred source of affordable high-end lighting for flashlight lovers everywhere.
Our goal: to provide the best lights for the best value, without compromising quality. Your satisfaction is our top priority!
From the start, we focused on introducing exquisite quality flashlight lines in the world at affordable prices. These are the foundations of our success – high-quality technology and customer service.
3. SureFire P2X Fury Tactical Flashlight
This is truly my favorite brand of tactical flashlights. This one has fewer lumens but when I compared to the Fenix I could not see a huge difference. SureFire is a very good brand and used by law enforcement as their primary flashlight.
This amazing tactical flashlight from SureFire has a mid-range price tag and it’s designed to offer plenty of durability and features. This particular model features one high output level which offers 600 lumens in order to provide the most light possible. As well, it is equipped with an LED emitter that is built to stand the test of time. The LED emitter is regulated, so it will maximize run-time and light output.
In addition, it comes with a click switch of the “tail-cap” type. Press it partway in order to access the “on” setting for a short period of time, or push it down more, to the point where it clicks, in order to access a continual “on” setting.
You will find that the P2X Fury has a length of 5.4 inches. This is the typical length of most compact flashlights on the market. The model is also truly lightweight. Its body is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum. It’s “hard anodized” to Mil-Spec (the United States military standard) in order to provide the ultimate in durability.
When you choose this model, which comes from a trusted brand name, you’ll access a reflector which is micro-textured with precision. The reflector will create a beam that is optimal and very smooth. SureFire has been around since 1979 and it’s an American company that specializes in manufacturing weapon-mounted lights and other forms of portable lighting (as well as laser sights).
4. EdisonBright NITECORE TM28 Tiny Monster Tactical Flashlight/ Searchlight
This is what I call the tiny monster of tactical flashlights. When I want to light up the darkness like daylight this bad boy is the way to go. Yes, she is a little pricey but well worth the money so I had to throw this one in. I never told my wife how much I paid for it but it is her favorite of all flashlights.
What can I say that is bad about a flashlight with 6,000 lumens and is built like a tank. I had to think really hard, but my only complaint is the button. I can’t seem to train myself to push it lightly. I will get used to it with practice. This light is super bright. So much so that it is comical. Really, I found myself laughing about its obnoxious light output. Just when you think it is as bright as it goes it gets brighter. I had a tough time spending the money on it, but it is worth it. The price has dropped since it first came out on the market. I didn’t get it due to it’s $350.00 plus price tag, but when I saw that it had dropped to $199.00 I pulled the trigger on one and glad I did. What a light. Four powerful LED heads with a really well-made case and I almost forgot the OLED display, just plain cool if you ask me. It also has an indicator light around the power button. Am I sorry for buying it? Yes, I wish I had purchased it sooner. However, I saved money by waiting. So would I recommend it, well that depends on your needs? If you need a super-powerful light then yes, there are cheaper alternatives, but this thing rocks. If you want one of the best made high output light’s on the market and you don’t mind dropping some cash then get it, you won’t be sorry.
One-handed, one-button operation in a class of power that normally requires car batteries and carry handles
Lockout mode prevents accidental activation
Temperature regulation prevents overheating
Onboard tripod receptacle for mounting in a fixed position
Tail stand capability
Stows easily in the included holster
Intelligent charging circuit auto-detects battery type and adjusts accordingly
Mineral glass lenses with anti-reflective coating enable max light throughput
Advanced heat-sinking and temperature regulation prevents overheating
Dual-stage mode switch toggles between every day and Search-and-Rescue settings