No matter if you are a military or in law enforcement, an avid hiker, a hardcore survivalist or a hunter, you know by now how essential it is to have a good flashlight.
Enter tactical flashlights. A tactical flashlight does everything from helping you find your keys to saving you from a dangerous situation, as a weapon tool.
As most crimes happen in the dark, it’s day clear that a good tactical flashlight is an important item to have. A flashlight might temporarily blind somebody that wants to attack you. A tactical flashlight is a high intensity flashlight, not just an ordinary one. Keep in mind that a bright tactical flashlight may be well over 1000 lumens…
What is a tactical flashlight?
A tactical flashlight lights your way in the dark and keeps you safe when danger is coming. Therefore, this kind of flashlight meets the highest quality standards, has a good build and is made of heavy duty materials.
Most tactical flashlights are made of aircraft grade aluminum, are shock proof so that you can attach it to your weapon. They are usually waterproof, small and long lasting.
When to use a tactical flashlight?
A tactical flashlight might win you some time in a life threatening situation as it can be used as a striking tool. Many flashlights feature crenulated bezels that are shaped so that you can easily break both windows and… faces.
The tactical flashlight becomes a self-defense tool as it might also blind temporarily someone. Add this to the first part and you do get a great defense tool that can put a bad situation behind you.
It’s obvious that a tactical flashlight helps you find your things in the dark, just like any other flashlight. The difference is that a tactical flashlight may illuminate even a football field away so… that’s some good area to cover :).
In an emergency situation, a tactical flashlight might help communicate with rescue teams. Some models come even with dedicated SOS and Beacon flashing modes for survival purposes.
Are there many types of tactical flashlights?
The market gives you three main categories of tactical flashlights to choose from. You have the handheld, the headlamps, and the weapon lights. It’s pretty clear which one is which and some models even combine several types, for higher value and versatility.
If things are pretty clear for the handheld flashlight and the headlamp, the things get a bit more complicated with the weapon lights.
The weapon lights are designed so that they get mounted to a pistol or a long gun. The mounts may differ as there are many rifle models as well.
How to get a good tactical flashlight?
There are several things to consider when getting yourself a good tactical flashlight.
You should take a good thought at your needs as this is important for the size of your tactical flashlight.
An EDC flashlight is comfortable to carry all the time. If you anticipate you won’t be carrying it with you on a regular basis, you should think about where you’re going to store the flashlight.
As a tactical flashlight could give you from 60 to 100 lumens, you need to take a good look at how much light you want from your tactical flashlight.
Do you want rechargeable batteries or disposable ones for your flashlight? The power source is also another thing to consider when getting a tactical flashlight.
As you can anticipate, not all tactical flashlights have the same life span. So go for the long lasting models, such as the ones made of hard anodized aircraft grade aluminum with a LED bulb rated to at least IPX7 waterproofing.
For some, the budget might be the most important criterion when buying a tactical flashlight. Keep in mind when you do that as you get what you pay for. Be prepared to pay at least $25 for a decent tactical flashlight, as a rule of thumb.
A final word
It’s only you who can make a good assessment of your needs, skills and budget to decide which tactical flashlight fits you the best.
We can only give you some tips on the most popular models and let you have the final word.
The Best 10 Tactical Flashlight Reviews
1) J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight – The Original 300 Lumen Ultra Bright, LED Mini 3 Mode Flashlight is a small, but highly effective flashlight that comes at a very good price and gives you many good things to think about.
Here are our pros:
- The light is very bright (300 Lumens) and its LED may light up to 600 feet
- There are 3means to choose from (High/Low/Strobe), according to your needs
- You only need a single AA battery to run this
- The flashlight may be operated also by a 14500 Rechargeable (not included)
- You can use this in your hiking, camping experiences as its quite heavy duty, compact
- The battery keeps you covered for good several weeks
- It has a compact, tactical design and a good built
- It has been tested successfully out in the field
- It’s water resistant, but don’t take it when diving
- It’s very easy to use and fits your hand
- It has a functional focus slide
- It features a very sturdy metal belt clip
- You can also hold it in your mouth, when both hands are busy
- It has a great size and weight
- The price is amazing
There are some minor issues that are worth mentioning. Here are our cons:
- It’s a bit difficult to light it up (until you get it how)
- It comes with no instructions whatsoever
- The pocket clip is not reversible
- It’s not really for the heavy duty jobs for the military zone
All in all, you do get a great tactical flashlight, at an amazing price.
2) For the survivalist out there or any of the hikers or Military force, a good tactical flashlight is a major piece of gear to have. The Streamlight 88033 ProTac Tactical Flashlight 2AA with White LED gets you out of trouble and has several pros on its side:
- This is a great EDC tactical flashlight with very bright light
- There are three different programs to choose from
- This is a very small, yet very bright flashlight
- There is a multi-function, rubber push-button tactical tail switch for easy single handling
- You can use the strobe mode or the variable intensity
- It comes with an anti-roll face cap
- The removable pocket clip is very useful
- You get also 2 AA alkaline batteries and a nylon holster
- The flashlight is waterproof (up to 1Meter deep) and shock proof also.
- It has a rugged construction
- It takes minimal pocket space
- The flashlight is made of anodized aluminum and features an impact-resistant tempered glass lens, sealed
- This is IPX 7 rated
- The pocket clip is unbreakable
When it comes to the downsides, we can’t think of many. For some, it may not be a great thing that this is made in China and … you need to double click to move between modes.
Apart from that, this light is a great buy.
3) If you’re willing to pay a few extra bucks for your tactical flashlight in order to get higher performance, then the SOLARAY PRO ZX-1 Professional Series Flashlight Kit is an amazing choice.
There are many good features on this flashlight, so hear our pros:
- It’s very bright (1,200 Lumen)
- It’s operated by SOLARAY 18650 3.5V or 3AAA batteries
- It gives you 5 modes to choose from, just with a click of a button: high, medium, low beam. You can also use bright tactical intruder strobe and SOS emergency signal mode.
- The zoom lens operates on “throw” (distance) and “flood” (wide coverage) mode
- It’s made of water resistant aircraft grade aluminum
- The premium tail switch is supposed to work for years
- This helps you when hiking, fishing, camping or when you’re out in the field
- It has a compact design and it’s well balanced
- It’s small so that it fits anywhere, with higher performances for any situation
- It comes beautifully wrapped and you can give it as a gift
- The zoom function is smooth and works well
- It comes with adapter for regular batteries
- The fit and finish are good
- It comes with solar keychain light
- It’s easy to slide the head in and out
- The on/off button is easy to operate
- It comes with a solar powered keychain with 3 LED’s
As much as we enjoy these nice features, there are some minor things that we need to mention. Our cons:
- The finish is likely to scratch rather easily
- The ring holding on the strap has a cheap feel
As you can see, not many things to dislike so this is a great use of your money anytime.
4) When your wallet is not as thick as you’d want (not for a professional tactical flashlight anyway), you should definitely take a leap of faith and try this Refun 600 Lumen Handheld Flashlight Led Cree Xml- T6 Water Resistant Camping Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Tactical Light Lamp.
This is a low price flashlight that surprised us with many qualities such as:
- It’s long lasting since it’s made of high quality aluminum alloy
- It has a 100,000 hours’ lifespan
- It’s water resistant, but you shouldn’t put it into water for long
- It has a crenellated strike bezel so that it becomes a reliable self-defense tool
- It gives you 5 modes to operate: low/medium/high/strobe/SOS
- The bulb is a Cree XM-L T6 LED very bright
- It gives a light of 600 Lumens
- It’s powered by 18650 3.6V/3.7 V or 3 AAA batteries (not included)
- There’s a 30-day Money Back Guarantee and a 12 Month Replacement Warranty
- The price is amazing
- It has a smooth finish and a good built
- The construction is compact
- There is a reverse polarity protection
- The focus is adjustable and it ranges for various situation
- It’s skid proof and work amazing on your outdoor activities
Some things could be improved on this flashlight, so here are the cons:
- The AAA batteries are not included
- The switch quality needs to be better
- When you turn on/off the flashlight, the modes switch also
But, for a starter, this is a good buy as a tactical flashlight.
5) A professional tactical flashlight, for a fair price, is the Vizeri LED Tactical Flashlight with Focusing Lens with Lifetime Warranty.
As it fits most needs of any enthusiast hiker or military personnel, this tactical flashlight comes with good features. Our pros:
- It gives you 5 modes to choose from: low/medium/high/strobe and SOS
- All the components are thread into the tube
- There is gold plated springs for corrosion-free connections
- This is a waterproof flashlight and you can evenly submerge it to 3 feet deep
- It’s made of military grade aluminum and has a hardened anodized finish
- It comes with a Lifetime Manufacturer Warranty
- It contains also a lamp diffuser and holster with D-ring along with a carabineer
- It comes with many good features: bike mount, remote tactical switch, weapons mount, orange diffuser, lithium batteries
- You get many power options with this: low-cost AAA or CR123 alkaline batteries
- For the high mode, it’s better to use the rechargeable 18650 Li-Io batteries
- The light is very bright
- There is high quality for focusing lens
- It’s versatile
- The support materials are very explicit and useful
- The flashlight is easy to use and has a good built
- It contains also a belt holster
When it comes to “cons” there aren’t many things to mention:
- When you turn on/off the flashlight, the modes switch also
- The batteries are not included
Nevertheless, you get a great tactical flashlight, specifically designed for the most dangerous jobs.
6) If you’re looking not only for a tactical flashlight, but rather for a kit that gives you many other options, try this EcoGear FX Tactical LED Flashlight Kit (TK120).
The kit includes a very bright LED flashlight, 2 rechargeable batteries, a charger and a keychain flashlight. There are many things we like about this kit:
- The flashlight is made of durable aircraft grade aluminum alloy
- The high quality Cree T6 LED gives you 1200 lumens
- This is a water resistant flashlight with a hard-anodized finish
- The flashlight is heavy duty, sturdy and handles well shocks as it’s shock-proof and anti-abrasive
- There is zoom function
- The flashlight is use not only by the military forces, Police but also may be used when you’re hiking, fishing
- There is a soft touch on/off button and the flashlight is easy to operate
- There are 5 modes for the flashlight: low/medium/high/strobe/SOS
- The flashlight fits perfectly the hand
- It comes beautifully wrapped
- You also get a solar powered key chain
On the downsides side, there are only two things to mention:
- When you turn on/off the flashlight, the modes switch also
- The construction feels a bit cheap, even though the materials are high quality
But, for any challenging outdoor experience, this is a good tactical flashlight to buy.
7) For around $20 you can get a great tactical flashlight that meets most of your needs when hiking or hunting. The Outlite A100 900 Lumens CREE XML T6 LED Portable Zoomable Tactical Flashlight has many qualities so here’s our list of pros:
- It gives you up to 900 Lumens
- It comes with a rechargeable 18650 Battery
- It may operate also by 3 AAA batteries (not included)
- There are 5 modes: low/medium/high/strobe/SOS
- The On/Off button is easy to operate
- The flashlight may stand up straight and safe on a flat surface
- You get also a solar powered keychain with LED flashlight
- It’s made of high quality 6061T aluminum alloy
- The flashlight has a good, sturdy built
- It’s water resistant, but don’t submerse it in water
- It comes with an AAA battery adaptor also
- The zoom is adjustable and easy to use
- It’s built like a tank and takes falls pretty well
The things that need to prove aren’t many so here are the cons:
- It doesn’t come with AAA batteries
- There isn’t much difference between the modes
- There is a square spot with dark lines for the spot light
- The battery dies pretty fast
All in all, this is a fairly good tactical flashlight, heavy duty for a budget price.
8) For shooters of all types, an efficient tactical flashlight to mount on a rifle is Orion H40-W 500 Lumen LED Tactical Flashlight with Pressure Switch and Rifle Mount.
This tactical flashlight meets the highest expectations for field missions and the other pros that got us are:
- The flashlight gives you Cree XM-L U2 500 lumens LED
- It comes with a constant on button switch and a momentary on pressure switch for various tactical purposes
- There is a Picatinny /Weaver Rail mount, ready to install on rifles
- The flashlight is made of high-strength aerospace aluminum body, hard-anodized for a longer life span
- It’s IPX-7 standard which makes is waterproof
- It comes with CR123 A Batteries
- It’s a great rifle light
- It’s easy and quick to mount
- The pressure pad is high quality
- It comes at a great price
- It remains sturdy on your rifle
The only things we can think of as “cons” are:
- The flashlight has a glossy finish, which is not the most discreet
- The flashlight gets kind of warm when in use
See for yourself why we like this as a tactical flashlight. Check out the specs, reviews and pricing on Amazon.
9) If you are looking for a rail-mounted tactical light, a good option is the Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL High Lumen Rail-Mounted Tactical Light.
This flashlight gives you 630 lumens of light and many good features:
- This tactical light fits a good range of weapons
- There is one handed Snap-On and tighten interface that keeps the hands away from muzzle when attaching/detaching
- It’s made of machined aircraft aluminum with anodized finish at high temperature
- You get shock-mounted glass lens
- There is great peripheral illumination
- There is a wide beam pattern
- It runs for 1.25 hours
- It features an ambidextrous momentary/steady on-off switch
- There is double tap momentary paddle to go to strobe mode
- It comes with keys for Glock-style, Beretta 90two, S&W 99, S&W TSW, and Picatinny
- There is tied battery door and latch mechanism so that you don’t lose the battery
- You can use this in extreme weather conditions (from -40 to +120 Degree Fahrenheit)
- It’s IPX7 waterproof and you can submerse it up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
- The programmable strobe may be enabled
- It’s powered by two 3V CR123A Li batteries (included)
- It has a good built
- It’s easy to install and use
- The battery life is good
Along with these good things come the cons:
- The strobe mode could be improved
- It doesn’t come with the contoured remote so the light activates when grasping the grip
- It doesn’t fit a compact pistol
Some folks complain about the price tag on this flashlight, while others appreciate the high quality of its build. We let you be the judge.
10) Simon says… Simon helps you see better… Well, it’s kind of that with the Simon Cree Led Flashlight Top LED Tactical Flashlight used by Law Enforcement.
This tactical flashlight gives a bright LED light and has many good features:
- The flashlight has On/Off trigger button switch
- There are 5 soft-touch multiple settings: low/medium/high/strobe/SOS
- This is a great tool for the Military personnel, hikers, campers, mechanics
- It gives you a 500 Lumens light
- The flashlight is made of Aircraft grade aluminum
- There is a rugged and a good built to the flashlight
- The flashlight is small and yet very bright
- It’s powered by 3 AAA batteries or 1 Rechargeable Panasonic Li-Io 18650 Battery
- It’s shock proof
- The low profile of the belt clip is designed low against the flashlight body
When it comes to the downsides, there are only few to mention. Our cons:
- The switch in the tail cap is tricky to use
- There’s no pin point for the focus
- The wire ring for the lanyard attachment is rather flimsy
But, when you come to think of it, this is still a good tactical flashlight to get when in need.