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Our Top Rated Reviews on Tactical Flashlights for 2018

Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. I’m on a mission to help you find the best tactical flashlight available in 2018. 

I’ve tested over 100 flashlights in the past 10 years. I know you’ll find the perfect flashlight FOR YOU after reading this concise buyer’s guide.

A tactical flashlight is definitely not the “standard” flashlight you buy at the drug store.

Hey, there is nothing wrong with keeping this kind of light around the house for when the power goes out, but more serious situations call for a quality tactical flashlight to be by your side.

Tactical Flashlight Comparison Table

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Table of Contents

As you may already know, there are countless of options in the tactical flashlight market these days, and it can be quite a chore to wade through them all before picking a winner.

We have done much of that work for you in advance, so please read on to make your choice of a tactical flashlight a whole lot easier. We’ve taken the time to sort through the many tactical flashlights for sale online, and the list below presents you with twelve of the best options and reviews available for 2018.

Top 12 Reviews on Tactical Flashlights

J5 Tactical V1-PRO

It’s hard to debate the popularity of the J5 Tactical v1-PRO Flashlight. First of all, it’s capable of putting out a whopping 300 lumens, which makes this above its expectations.

One of the best features is the flexibility it offers regarding power source. Basically you can use either a single AA battery or a 14500 rechargeable battery on this flashlight. Designed to be tough, and stand up to just about anything you can throw its way; the J5 Tactical flashlight might surprise you with the kind of quality that it can deliver.

Keep in mind that the beam on this flashlight might be smaller than expected, incase you’re looking for one with a wide-reaching beam. If you want to learn more, then you can read our full review. We go a little bit more in-depth with the pros and cons of this tactical flashlight. Overall, this is one of our top choices for 2018.

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SOLARAY PRO ZX-1 Professional Series Kit

For a tactical flashlight that lacks nothing in the way of lighting power, the SOLARAY PRO ZX-1 is a great model to consider. The Solaray Pro ZX-1 can produce 1200 lumens! That is an incredible amount of brightness, especially from a small tactical unit.

Along with the overwhelming power of this light comes a long running time, a tactical security design with striking bezel, a rapid charger to refresh the 18650 3.7v 2400mAh lithium-ion battery, and more.

There is a total of five modes available when you use the Solaray Pro Zx-1, including high, medium, and low beam options. There is also an intruder strobe and SOS emergency signal. It is water-resistant, and the body of the unit is made from aircraft grade aluminum.

If you are hoping to find a tactical rechargeable flashlight that is capable of an immense amount of power from a body that is just over six inches long, the SOLARAY PRO ZX-1 will fit the bill nicely. Feel free to read our full review as well.

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Vizeri LED Tactical Flashlight

Quality is the name of the game when it comes to the Vizeri LED Tactical Flashlight, and consumers will notice all of the little details that come together to make this an excellent choice.

One of the best features of the Vizeri is that it has five modes. It also runs on a variety of battery options, including AAA, CR123, or rechargeable 18650 lithium-ion batteries. The manufacturer also advertises that the tactical product can be submerged up to a depth of three feet.

One nice touch that is added to the package by Vizeri is the inclusion of a couple of extra O-rings that can be used, as replacements for the flashlight. The O-ring is a common breakdown point on flashlights as time goes by, so Vizeri is thinking ahead by including extras for you to use down the line.

Not every tactical company goes to the trouble of taking care of its customers in this way, so that kind of service is something to take into consideration when deciding which tactical flashlight will be your choice. If you want to learn more then visit our full review page.

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Simon Cree Tactical LED Flashlight

As with most of the products on this list, the Simon Cree Tactical LED Flashlight offers a great set of features, including five operational settings, an aluminum body construction, 100,000 hours of use from the bulb, and 500 lumens of brightness.

Plenty of reviewers state that brightness will not disappoint from this tactical unit. Additionally, they appreciate the low setting that allows the user to turn down the overwhelming power when it is not needed (or wanted) for the task at hand.

Others note how this flashlight is a great value, as most flashlights that offer this kind of power and build quality will are hard to find. Finally, users reported of the Simon Cree working properly even after dropping it countless of times. To pick up one that is durable, and bright, the Simon Cree LED warrants a closer inspection.

Read more information about the Simon Cree Tactical LED Flashlight
or
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EcoGear FX Tactical LED Flashlight

Built for extreme conditions, the EcoGear FX can modify its brightness via its CREE T6 LED chip and produces up to 1200 lumens of light.

The EcoGear FX Tactical LED Flashlight also includes a zoom function so users can see the smaller, brighter light to focus on areas they can’t afford to not see.

Tactical Features on the EcoGear FX Flashlight

  • Weighs 5 ounces total and measures 6.1 X 1.1 X 1.5 inches.
  • Made from aircraft quality aluminum.
  • Built to resist both water damage and shock damage, typically from being dropped.
  • Comes with a rechargeable battery pack that maintains a great degree of brightness for two hours even at maximum power.

If you want a more in-depth guide, then visit our full EcoGear FX review page.

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Outlite A100 Tactical Flashlight

The Outlie A100 can be used for different means. The very first key feature is that it is high-powered LED. Old flashlights tend to come with traditional bulb lighting, but this one is a break from the norm due to the fact that it embraces changes in technology. The LED that it comes with is very efficient and also features an output LED chip.

The second key feature is that it has a number of different modes. These modes allow you to change the lighting fixtures to exactly what you need at the moment. For example, whether you would like to take advantage of an SOS light, a strobe light, a low, medium and high powered LED light, you can switch them up seamlessly whenever you like.

Best Tactical Flashlight Features and Specifications

  •  5 different lighting modes
  •  It is built solidly with durable aluminum
  •  Lightweight and features AAA batteries, which are inexpensive and easy to find
  •  In lieu of AAA batteries, it comes equipped with a 3.7 V battery, so you have options

Want to learn more? Check out our full review here.

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Streamlight 88040 ProTac HL Tactical Flashlight

The Streamlight 88040 Pro HL is an advanced tactical flashlight intended for use in both everyday situations and extreme situations alike.

The flashlight’s lowest setting is 35 lumens that stretches out 60 meters, which is not fantastically powerful, but it is adequate to illuminate a small dark area – enough for a human being to be able to see.

At its brightest, it can generate up to 750 lumens of luminosity that reaches to a range of 270 meters, perfect for lighting up a dark area with little to no available lighting coming from anywhere else.

Best Features

  • Weighs 5.6 ounces and measures 5.2 X 1.4 X 1.4 inches.
  • The tactical device runs on 2 CR123A batteries.
  • Constructed of aircraft aluminum.

The tactical device is incredibly power efficient and at its lowest setting can last for up to eighteen hours. Even at its highest setting, it can last for around an hour on a single set of batteries. You can check out the full review here.

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Fenix PD35 2015 TAC Edition

Capable of generating up to 1000 lumens with a powerful white LED light, a number of professionals in many fields consider the Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 to be a valuable companion in a potentially dangerous situation.

The Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 uses a CREE-XPL (V5) LED bulb that will last up to 50,000 hours before burning out. The flashlight comes with two EdisonBright lithium-ion batteries so users can get to work right away if they need to. On top of that, it features a momentary ‘on’-switch situated in the back of the tail.

Features

  • Uses a CREE XPL bulb capable of generating intense luminosity for 50,000 hours.
  • Capable of generating up to 1000 lumens at maximum power output.
  • Low voltage reminder, intended to remind the user when to change the battery, as well as reverse polarity protection to keep the light from being damaged from improper battery installation.

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Nitecore EC4S 2150 Tactical LED Flashlight

One of the primary features is its uni-body construction, which makes it incredibly durable. It’s also made up of Aero grade aluminum alloy, which not only offers maximum durability, but it’s also light in weight.

This particular flashlight offers up to 2150 Lumens. It features a beam distance of 280 meters and 306 yards. Because of its high-efficiency current, it is able to deliver a maximum of 325 hours of run time which equates to a full 13.54 days of use.

The Nitecore EC4S 2150 has the ability to stream through 5 different brightness levels including; Ultra low, Low, Mid, High, and Turbo.

Overall, this is one of the clear-cut value options within the marketplace. Not only does it offer the highest level of functionality for its price, it also offers a consistent experience, great range, and excellent runtime without sacrificing its attributes.

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SureFire G2X Series Tactical LED Flashlight

The primary feature of this tactical light is its ability to produce an output of 320 lumens for maximum light. For tasks that do not require as much light, it can reduce its output to an efficient but effective 15-lumen beam which can provide a significant amount of battery life savings for tasks that still require light, but not a full 320 lumens.

The SureFire G2X comes with a tough Nitrolon body, while also featuring a bezel made up of anodized aluminum. This, along with it’s extremely tough polycarbonate window allows for the light itself to be able to absorb huge impacts.

Another feature is its tactical tailcap click switch which you can either short press for a brief output of light or completely push down to provide consistent light output. This makes it a very easy to use LED light for various tasks that either require short bursts of light or a consistent light beam.

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Olight M20-X Warrior Tactical Flashlight

The very first key feature is the number of different strobe outputs. The light itself is energy efficient and eco-friendly. Another great reason why the LED light is useful is that it will not get warm to the touch no matter how often you switch it on.

The next important feature is the body. When you want to get the most out of a tactical flashlight, you need to make sure that it is solidly built and durable. It features hard anodized aluminum and is resistant to scratches. This way, you don’t have to worry about dropping it and depending on what you’re using the flashlight for, it can double as a powerful self-defense tool.

Features And Specifications

The specifications are vast for this flashlight because it is equipped with a lot of bells and whistles, including the following:

  •  3 output levels for the LED lighting fixtures
  •  A weight of a little more than 1 pound
  •  A plethora of brightness settings that can be changed by the user
  •  Fully equipped with a rechargeable TN 270 battery

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Helotex G2 CREE Tactical Flashlight

 The Helotex G2 CREE Tactical, is a flashlight that gets glowing reviews, so read on or check our full review to see exactly why.

This flashlight provides a sophisticated LED light that burns significantly less energy than other types of lights. It is a tri-mode flashlight, which means that it has three different light settings. These light settings include high beam lights, low beam lights, and strobe lights.

The second key feature of this flashlight is its dual power capability. This means that the flashlight comes equipped with a battery, but you can also adopt and choose to use one AA battery instead. The battery that is included is the CR 123 battery. This flashlight is known for getting significant battery life, as referenced below.

Features And Specifications

  •  A substantial battery life of 50,000 hours
  •  The ability to switch between an AA battery, which receives an hour on a full charge and the CR 123 battery, which runs for 2 hours on a full charge
  •  3 different light settings to play with
  •  130 Lumen capability

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Tactical Flashlight Buyers Guide

campingTactical flashlights bring to mind the heavy and bright lights carried by hunters, campers or security guards. If you are in the habit of going hiking, camping or taking hunting trips, you would be familiar with this type of flashlight.

While these powerful flashlights are best for emergency situations, they also come in handy in day to day life. Hopefully, our reviews helped give you some better understanding of each product.

In fact, tactical flashlights are one of the handy tools you should have with you as you may need them anytime, anywhere and in any type of situation. From finding a dropped key in the yard to locating things in poor lighting situations, flashlights are of invaluable help. Most people think that these flashlights are only used for tactical conditions. Which to some degree, is true, but it’s gotten to the point where its best to have it at all times.

Most often, people think of a flashlight being bulky with a huge light and that is not true. With the tremendous advancements in technology you see these days, they come in all sizes and shapes. Whether you are looking for a sturdy and huge flashlight or a compact pocket-sized model or something in between, you can find it easily.

The LED bulbs have made it easier for manufacturers to design lights that are brighter, efficient and smaller, so you can have a small flashlight that is as powerful as a larger flashlight but at an affordable price and with an eco-friendly option.

And as with any other purchase, you have considerations such as budget, features, quality, longevity, portability, etc. which needs to be looked into before you settle on the perfect flashlight that suits your needs to the dot. At the outset, this may look too daunting of a task to accomplish.

We have put together this tactical flashlight buyer’s guide. With the guidance in this article, you will be able to consider all aspects of purchasing the best flashlight for you. The goal is for you to have an enjoying experience; instead of being hassled and overwhelmed by the choices before you.

In order to have a better understanding of our product reviews, we’ll want to start with the basics first. A tactical flashlight is different from the usual flashlight you use in homes.

How is a Tactical Flashlight Different?

strong gripFor one, tactical flashlights are made of sturdier material. They can withstand the elements and rough handling effortlessly. The best thing is that they are loaded with features such as multiple lighting modes and lumens, as well as strong grip.

Tactical is a term used in relation to a particular plan designed to accomplish an objective in politics, war etc. In flashlights, the term tactical denotes using the lights to win a combat or war situation. The flashlights are considered an essential armor intended for emergency situations. This is the reason for the sturdy quality of the flashlights in contrast to the usual models.

Tactical flashlights are made of aluminum aircraft grade. They are completely shockproof to enable easy mounting on weapons. They are small and have some degree of waterproofing. In other words, these are built robustly to endure rough conditions.

The flashlights also emit powerful light, as combat situations necessitate the ability to see clearly. Further focusing the bright light on a person can render him blind temporarily, which can be best used as a self-defense maneuver.

In flashlights, Lumens is the unit used to measure brightness. While LEDs are commonly used, some flashlights also have xenon bulbs or incandescent bulbs but those are used rarely. LEDs are popular because they last longer – for about 50000 hours to be exact, which amounts to more than five years, and are shock-resistant because of the absence of filament in them. There are tactical flashlights out there that are extremely bright. If that’s something you’re looking for then check out this article on the world’s brightest LED flashlights for 2018.

The Size of a Tactical Flashlight

The size of a tactical flashlight, as well as the other factors, depends on the purpose you want to use it for. If you need it for routine use, look for a size that is not too big that it disrupts your work. A right balance of power and size should be used to make the light serve its purpose. Here are a few sizes to consider:

  • Mini: This denotes a length that ranges between 2 and 3 inches. These use a single battery of AA or AAA size and have around 250 Lumens in burst mode. Any flashlight less than 3 inches cannot be used as a weapon as your hand will cover it completely. There are microlights too, which are less than two inches and used in keychain flashlights.
  • Small: This is less than four inches and has deeper reflectors, tail switches, and a single battery. This can function as a weapon and throws light farther than the mini version.
  • Medium: Ranging from 4 to 6 inches these flashlights have two batteries and high lumens. You can use these as weapon easily.
  • Large: This is more than 6 inches with a bezel of small diameter. You can easily keep it inside a holster. Law enforcement personnel find this size appropriate as it can act as an additional weapon.

Flashlight Body (Quality)

This is another popular style and helps you use a grip that is not possible with the tail or tail twist models.

For a durable flashlight, the first thing to ensure is whether it is made of sturdy and great quality material. A top-quality material ensures the flashlight will last longer and give the proper weight needed.

  • Aluminum (Anodized) Flashlight: This is the material used in most of the tactical flashlights in use now. Type III or Type II Anodized aluminum is preferred over other models.
  • Stainless Steel Flashlight: This is very durable but can be too heavy.
  • Titanium Flashlight: This is light in weight and strong like stainless steel. The only drawback is its cost.
  • Composites or Plastic Type of Flashlights: Usually, tactical flashlights made of plastics are not the best quality. But a few manufacturers make really good composite flashlights.

Using a flashlight for emergency situations

Why Should You Have a Tactical Flashlight?

According to our review, tactical flashlights are typically made best for use in rough terrain and emergency situations as mentioned above.

In fact, a flashlight is something that you should always have with you and it comes next only to a pocket knife. Here are some of the instances where they can come in handy in 2018:

Poor Lighting Situations

Poor lighting situationsBased on our reviews, this is the most common reason for purchasing any type of tactical flashlight. With one in hand, you will be able to pass any poorly lighted area like a dark parking lot or alley. In case of power outages or problem with the electrical circuits in your home or office, flashlights provide much-needed illumination. All of these are considered tactical conditions.

The flashlights available these days are so powerful that they can illuminate objects that are several meters away.

Find Things Easily with a Tactical Flashlight

Losing things at home or other places is a common enough occurrence everyone faces.

Dropping your keys, pen, phone or any other object under a bed or couch, desk or behind a dresser can happen anytime. A flashlight will prove to be a godsend in many such situations, which can delay an important meeting or event.

Tactical Flashlights for Self-Protection

Present day tactical flashlights are created to give many an advantage to a person in a war or combat scenario.

  • The sturdy aluminum casing serves the flashlight as a hard striking tool.
  • The bezels are designed to help a user break faces or windows easily.
  • And having a sturdy object on hand to use as a weapon makes it more powerful.
  • The powerful illuminating source blinds the opponent effectively, giving you an advantage which doubles with the flashlight acting as a weapon. This potent combo can make you inflict severe damage on anyone attacking you.

Note: If you are not trained for tactical combat, it’s best to use the flashlight just to blind the person and use the time to flee the scene, instead of trying to use it as a weapon.

Tactical Police Flashlights

Speaking of self-protection, there are flashlights (specifically tactical) that are best for police officers. If you’re in the law enforcement, then you know how important it is when it comes to having certain tactical accessories. There’s a lot of crime that takes place during the night, and so you know how important is to have a tactical flashlight. You’ll want to make sure you have a perfect size, quality, and weight whenever you’re on duty.

In the Law Enforcement? Read our reviews on the best police flashlights

Flashlights for Survival

For EmergenciesIn case of natural disasters, power outages are common. If an intruder is trying to harm you, having a flashlight that you can use to see when it is dark or blind a person with, makes it a very valuable and lifesaving tactical tool. Rescue and tactical situations require a flashlight for search operations.

Flashlights are also best used for sending signals in dire situations. In fact, there are special search and rescue flashlights that have an integrated SOS and flashing beacon modes.

Looking for specific flashlights? See our reviews on our favorite flashlights for survival

Flashlights for Nighttime Security

Since the tactical flashlight emits powerful luminosity due to higher lumens, it is best for security at night. When compared to the ordinary flashlights, which have lumens ranging from 8 to 22, tactical flashlights have lumens that start from 90.

Such powerful beams are capable of disorienting attackers or rendering them blind for a few seconds, which is sufficient to make you escape or defend.

Using a Flashlight During Household Chores

According to our reviews and experiences, tactical flashlights help in all areas and in other new aspects too.

  • Due to the solid build, these can withstand rough use that the ordinary plastic flashlights cannot tolerate.
  • Being waterproof, it can help fix those leaks under the kitchen sink or bathroom without fear of getting it wet and damaged.
  • Due to the powerful aluminum body, it can withstand drops from any height.

Tactical Flashlights for Office Use

Other than household benefits, these tactical illuminators offer professional uses too. For instance, contractors, carpenters, plumbers, exterminators, officers, mechanics, and administrative personnel find these lights very handy.

For tasks that keep the hands occupied or for navigating poorly lit areas, flashlights are very useful for these tactical situations.


tactical police and military flashlight on black background.

Different Types of Tactical Flashlights

In this section, we’ll go over the variations of tactical flashlights with their pros and cons. Additionally, we’ll help identify which flashlight is best for you for 2018.

Everyday Carry Tactical Flashlights

If you’re always on the go and are always at a possibility of emergency situations, then having a tactical edc (everyday carry) flashlight is your best option.

These types of flashlights come in handy especially when you lose something in your car, or in a very dark area. They’re ideal for having at hand in your daily life. Although these flashlights are something you can carry every day, it’s best to have the appropriate clothing; such as having bigger pockets.

The flashlights are close to being weightless and are small to enable routine use. Because they’re so compact and easy to use, you’ll have no problem in carrying the flashlight in your bag, backpack or even your pocket. There are different types of tactical EDC flashlights with differences being in batteries, materials, whether they’re shock and water resistant, etc.

Top Features:

  • Compact
  • Ideal for everyday use
  • Durable and long-lasting

Top Picks Based on Our Reviews: EDC (everyday carry).

Keychain Tactical Flashlights

While not as powerful as an your typical tactical flashlight, these keychains are small, easy to carry and ideal to have around in your day to day life.  The flashlights are near being weightless and small to enable routine use. If you wouldn’t use your flashlight as often, but would still like to have one around for just in case, a tactical keychain type of flashlight is ideal for you.

The best thing about the tactical keychain flashlight is that they can fit in a pocket or a purse. Another great flashlight to have whenever you’re in a unique situation, such as dropping your phone during a late night hike. Something to consider if you’re looking to get a keychain flashlight is that it’s easy to charge. The ones that are easy have a USB charge so that way there’s no cell removal. These are compact and convenient flashlights perfect for most situations in which you’d need extra lighting.

Key features:

  • Convenient
  • Affordable
  • Reliable

Read more reviews: Top 5 Picks for Keychain Flashlights

Tactical Penlights

According to our reviews, tactical penlights are more bright, which can also be used to temporarily blind a potential attacker. Additionally, these lights are more versatile in comparison to other tactical flashlights. For instance, you can use the penlights for navigation, seeking for help, or for self-defense.

Another great advantage of having a penlight is it’s similar to a tactical keychain flashlight.

Tactical Penlights fit in your pocket, bag, backpack, etc. They’re ideal to have around at all times, especially if you’re often in any dangerous situations. They’re similar to tactical keychain flashlights regarding size, but are more powerful and a lot brighter. Overall, tactical penlights are a compact way to always have a flashlight at hand in any situation and at any time.

Key features:

  • Small and easy to carry
  • Ideal for dangerous and emergency situations
  • Brighter than most flashlights its size

If you want to learn more about tactical penlights then read our reviews.

Hunting Tactical Flashlight

Hunters, fishermen and other adventurers may be the people who use flashlights the most, next to the law enforcement. For hunters, it’s best to have a precise and bright flashlight that can help them locate their target. If you’re into hunting, you’ll appreciate a flashlight illuminating your way around the woods as well as being highly helpful when setting a camp for the night.

Another important thing to look for a flashlight if you’re a hunter is its battery life. This type of flashlights mostly used by hunters is reliable and won’t ever leave you in the dark. These flashlights are often waterproof and made of drop resistant materials.

Key features:

  • Reliable
  • Precise
  • Waterproof
  • Made of durable materials

More Info? Check out our latest post on the 3 Top Hunting Flashlights for 2018.

Rechargeable Flashlights for Tactical Enthusiasts

Buying new batteries can be a hassle for a lot of people, especially if you have to replace a dead battery during an emergency. A tactical rechargeable flashlight might be your best choice. All you have to do is charge it at home or even a car charger (hopefully you have a USB port).

You want to make sure that you get one that charges fast, has a long battery life and also has a good brightness.  The rechargeable flashlights that we recommend are the ones that tell you when the battery is low as well! Again, you don’t want to be out in the woods and your flashlight dies out of nowhere. Unlike a tactical standard flashlight, a rechargeable one can’t just die all of a sudden, but will let you know when its battery is nearly empty. This way you know how much time you have left and can prepare for the situation.

However, rechargeable flashlights can surprise you, too, especially if you don’t recharge them after each use. If you’ve used the flashlight already and didn’t recharge its battery, don’t expect it to last you a long time. For this reason, I suggest you always keep the flashlight fully charged and ready to use.

Key features:

  • Convenient
  • Save time and money
  • Reliable

Compact Tactical Flashlight

Compact flashlights are known to be small and depending on the quality, reliable. Typically, these flashlights are good if you want to find a keyhole, pave a pathway at dark, or find something that you’ve lost such as your wallet.

Keep in mind that these types are not best for sustaining high outputs for a long period of time. It’s not practical for a compact flashlight to put out a high brightness level. However, these flashlights are great for you to carry on a day to day basis.

Compact flashlights are for daily use but only for a short time. Precisely, they’ll perform well if you need to find your keys, or whatever you’re looking for, but won’t be of much use when you need a super bright flashlight to be on for hours at the time.

Key Features:

  • Easy to use
  • Compact
  • Useful in everyday life

Learn more about our best recommendations for compact flashlights if this your designated choice.

Tactical Pistol Flashlight

Also known as handgun flashlight, this tactical light can be mounted directly to a weaver rail, Picatinny or Handgun.

Although such flashlights are very beneficial, you should exercise proper diligence in choosing the right one. Some considerations include:

  • It should be reliable, especially when you are using it in very dire situations.
  • Since the point where you are focusing the light on is also where the pistol is directed at, you should be very careful while using the light. It is best to use the flashlight only when the gun is out.
  • The pistol flashlight should be durable and withstand the shots you fire from your pistol. It should not get damaged after just a few shots.
  • The light should be mounted either below the pistol’s barrel or to the side of the pistol.
    High-quality pistols have the option of substituting the tail cap with a pressure switch to enable easy use of the flashlight.

Looking for more reviews? Read our best tactical pistol light guide


Bezel

Tactical Flashlights Industry Standards

It’s important to know about standards for a flashlight, as it will help narrow down the choices and find the best one. ANSI FL1 standard helps manufacturers to market their products competitively.

When you know what the standards signify, you can easily recognize whether the product is good or not.

Light output

The standard light output rating indicates the lumens amount emitted by a flashlight.

Runtime

The runtime denotes the duration taken by the flashlight to reach 10 % of the initial output. For instance, if a tactical device began with 100 Lumens, the runtime is the time duration when the continuous light requires reducing to a level of 10 Lumens.

Beam distance

This distance measured in meters indicates the distance a beam covers to reach an intensity of 0.25 lux. This intensity is the same as light intensity on a clear full moon night.

Peak intensity of beam

Peak intensity of beam

This indicates the beam point at its brightest. Candela is the unit in which beam intensity is measured.

Impact Resistance

This measurement in meters indicates the height from which a flashlight can be dropped on concrete floor without disturbing its function and physical form.

Water resistance

This measurement has three IP levels:

  1. IPX8: The flashlight that receives this rating can perform in a submerged state at a depth of more than one meter for the duration of nearly four hours.
  2. IPX7: The flashlight receiving this rating can perform well at a depth of one meter below water for about 30 minutes.
  3. IPX4: This rating is given for a flashlight performing well when it gets splashed with water.

Top Features of a Tactical Flashlight

Now that you are familiar with the uses and standards you should verify, checking the features of a flashlight is the next important part. Because of their specialized uses, tactical flashlights have features that are different from conventional flashlights. Typically, a tactical flashlight has three main components that include tail cap, battery compartment and LED housing.

Light Settings

Most tactical flashlights have two main types of settings for light intensity. A low and high-level setting.

  • Low setting flashlight: This provides light of the lowest intensity and is best for saving battery
  • High setting flashlight: Provides the brightest level and naturally drains battery
  • Medium setting flashlight: In some models medium setting which has a light intensity level in between the two is present.

Multiple settings: Some flashlights are designed with 10 different intensity levels, which you can change using a dial. But the brighter the intensity you opt for, the more it will drain the battery.

So, it is recommended to have only the intensity level you need. This way, you will not have your flashlight running out on you when you need it the most.

Special Modes

In addition to the usual settings, most flashlights (tactical) have three special modes namely, SOS, Beacon, and Strobe.

Strobe

This is added in some flashlights to conceal the movements of the user or to misdirect attackers or to disorient a person. The light is super-fast and bright with a frequently changing pattern designed to confuse a potential attacker.

SOS

SOS mode is used during emergency situations. This becomes best in handy when you get stranded during a camping trip or a survival condition.

Beacon

This mode has a full bright light blinking once every two or three seconds. This is best for survival/tactical situations when you want to be identified. This mode also saves battery life for your flashlight in the longer span.

Battery Life on Tactical Models

Based on the tactical model and make, you can find different battery models. Batteries are mostly either disposable or rechargeable.

Disposable batteries: Tactical low-end flashlights have disposable batteries mostly. These are two types namely Alkaline and Lithium batteries.

Alkaline disposable batteries

Alkaline disposable batteriesThese are the conventional batteries used routinely in AA, AAA, D and C types. You cannot expect the best power from these types in-comparison to other batteries, but these are easily available.

Survival or prepper teams usually prefer such standard batteries due to their ready availability. The batteries have a two-year shelf life.

Lithium Disposable Batteries

These batteries resemble the alkaline models but differ from them by having more energy storage and power. And these are light in weight.

The best thing about lithium batteries is that shelf life is 10 years, so survivalists/tactical enthusiasts find these ideal.

The only drawback is they are expensive when compared to alkaline batteries. CR2 and CR123a are two special battery types in this category used frequently in tactical flashlight models.

These are not to be confused with the rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries.

Rechargeable Batteries

As mentioned previously, most of the top end and medium grade batteries are of this type (rechargeable).

Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are available in various sizes and the RCR123A, 18500 and 18650 are the types used commonly in tactical models. Advantages include high power output and recharge facility. The expensive price and the need for a charger are drawbacks.

It’s best to go for the rechargeable batteries, as they offer a greener option. But in some cases, disposable batteries are quite useful.

Integrate Rechargeable Types

This is a special battery that is custom made for a flashlight. You can remove the battery from the tactical LED flashlight or just plug it directly into a socket for recharging it. While these are very useful, when the battery drains, you may have to wait for it to be fully charged before you can use it.

Final Thoughts

Picking out the best tactical flashlight for your needs certainly isn’t a simple task. There are some variables to consider, and a number of flashlights on the market today is simply incredible. There are plenty of great manufacturers offering quality products, and each has a unique set of benefits to offer. Some provide flashlights that excel in providing raw lighting power while others set the bar for durable body construction, various settings, waterproof design, and more. Below, is a video that goes over the top 10 tactical flashlights.

The category of ‘tactical flashlight’ is a popular one that is quickly growing, but it doesn’t specifically define a use for the light. That is going to be your job. The best tactical flashlight for you depends on exactly what you intend on using it for, so take some time to think about your needs, along with your budget, and you should quickly be able to pick out a product that matches your demands. With the right light in hand, you can feel confident that you will be able to shine a bright light on any dark situation that you may encounter down the road. We hope that you enjoyed reading our tactical flashlight reviews for 2018.