Reviews

Tactical Flashlight Reviews:
The Best Guide for Buying Your First Torch Light

LED tactical flashlights provide perfect vision for any type of setting. Tactical lights or torches are typically used with a firearm for illuminating a targeted area. LEDs are often the bulb of choice due to the generous light output and energy efficiency – resulting in high illuminance and a long-lasting light source.

We're dedicated to delivering you tactical flashlight reviews - including powerful / high power or rechargeable lights for military, self defense, police, compact (EDC) and general outdoor activities.

Tactical Flashlight Accessories and Parts

Standard tactical flashlights include:

Body

  • Head and LED Housing
  • Battery Compartment
  • Pocket Clip

Bezel

  • LED Bulb
  • Lens
  • Reflector

Tailcap

  • Tail Switch
  • Lanyard Attachment

Battery Compartment

It's important to make sure that the battery compartment or housing is nicely enclosed, ideally with dual-springs for reduced impact resistance. Having a battery dangling inside the flashlight is an obvious sign of being poorly made.

Pocket Clip

When shopping for a durable and sturdy flashlight, a general weak point most cheap flashlights have is the pocket clip. The pocket clip is usually the weakest part of the torch. An indestructable clip that doesn't break off the body is a good sign when reviewing high-quality tactical flashlights.

Lens and LED Bulb

Any LED bulb that is manufactured by CREE should you do you well. The lens of the light you purchase should be clear, smudge resistant and scratch-proof.

The reflector is very underated when it comes to buying a tactical light. Having a good reflector is crucial for effective throw and beam distance.

Tailcap

While not a necessity, it's convenient to have a tailcap that allows the light to stand on its own so you can use the flashlight as a candle. You may or may not have to compromise by having a side switch instead.

You want to purchase a light that has both a click function for cycling between modes, and a momentary function when slightly pressed.

What is the purpose of a tactical flashlight?

The main purpose of a tactical light is to be used in conjunction with a weapon, or used as self-defence. See below where you might find yourself using a torch in tactical settings:

  • Military
  • Self-Defence
  • Police, Security or Law Enforcement
  • Firemen or Firewomen
  • Hunter/Outdoors Person
  • Trades: Electrician, Plumber, etc.

What to look for in a tactical flashlight?

We recommend buying a light with an LED bulb. Below are key features to look for:

  • Long battery life
  • Efficient Throw/Beam Distance
  • Impact Resistance: 1-2 meters would be ideal
  • Water Proof / Resistant and Weather Resistant
  • Minimum 60 lumens recommended
  • Variety of light modes: strobe, SOS and beacon
  • Rechargeable: Double AA, Triple AAA, CR123A or 18630 batteries

If you're shopping for more of a compact every-day-carry (EDC) light, you should look for the following:

  • Weather Resistant and Weather Proof
  • 1 or 2 triple AAA battery powered / USB rechargeable
  • Keychain or pocket sized
  • Momentary function

What does 1000 lumens look like?

The image below features the CREE XM-L2 U2 LED with a max 1000 lumen output and 824 meter throw.

What is the brightest flashlight on the market?

The brightest tactical flashlight currently on market is the NiteCore EA81 Searchlight with a max output of 2150 lumens and 462m throw distance.

How many lumens is good for a flashlight?

For tactical lights, we recommend going for at least 45-50 lumens of output. We recommend going for 8 to 45 lumens for a portable or keychain type of flashlight carry.

Keep in mind that 100 lumens on a higher quality flashlight may be brighter than 100 lumens on a cheaper brand.

Our Reviewed List of the Best Tactical Flashlight Brands

SureFire

SureFire initially began under the name Laser Products, but changed to SureFire after the success of their WeaponLight. This well-known American brand caters to law enforcement, military operations, self-defense and is a major supllier to the U.S. Armed forces.

Flashlights:

NiteCore

NiteCore is a company based in Singapore that focuses not just on tactical lights, but flashlights for hunting, camping and general-outdoor use. Their flashlights are well-made but priced a but more affordable than SureFire.

Flashlights:

Streamlight

Streamlight is an American flashlight manufacturer based in Eagleville, Pennsylvania. They have a wide range of rechargeable and non-rechargeable (disposable) powered flashlights including weapon-mountable lights and angle lights used by firefighters.

Flashlights:

Fenix

Fenix is a Chinese-based manufacturer similar to NiteCore. They offer a wide array of quality flashlights like bike lights, headlamps, lanterns, tactical flashlights and more.

Flashlights:

NEBO

NEBO is part of Alliance Sports Group and is based in Grand Prairie, Texas. They offer both tactical flashlights and work lights, but best known for their unique hybrids of the two.

Flashlights:

Our Top Tactical Flashlight Reviews

Fenix PD35

  • 9 modes: 3 in tactical and 6 in outdoor
  • Maximum 1000 lumens
  • Maximum Throw / Distance: 682ft (185m)
  • Uses 1 18650 battery or two 3V CR123A batteries
  • 29 hours 15 minutes’ battery life time with low output; 1hr 10min with high output
  • Pocket size. 1-meter impact resistance
  • Waterproof up to 2-meters underwater

NiteCore P12

  • 3 modes: strobe, SOS and location
  • Uses 1 18650 battery or 2 CR123
  • Maximum 1000 lumens and 232 meters throw distance
  • 520 hours of battery life time with low output
  • Pocket size. 1.5-meters of impact resistance
  • Waterproof of maximum 2-meters underwater

SureFire G2X: Pro & Tactical

  • Maximum 320 lumens
  • Requires 2 123A batteries
  • 2 modes: momentary and constant (on Pro)
  • 45 hours on low output; 2.5 hours on maximum
  • Nitrolon body
  • Waterproof

Outlite A100

  • Maximum 900 lumens
  • 1 18650 Battery
  • 5 modes: high, medium low, strobe and SOS
  • Water-resistant: can’t be placed underwater
  • Aluminum Alloy; very sturdy
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Pocket Sized

SureFire SideKick

  • Maximum 300 lumens
  • Very portable: can be attached to your keychain
  • 3 output modes / levels
  • Weather resistant but NOT water proof/resistant
  • Light polymer body
  • Micro USB rechargeable

Klarus XT11GT

  • Maximum 2000 lumens
  • USB rechargeable
  • 3 interfaces with different modes: tactical, outdoor and advanced tactical
  • Temperature control
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Mineral Glass with AR Coating; scratch resistant
  • Waterproof: up to 2 meters
  • 170 hours of max battery life / runtime
  • 1 meter impact-resistant

UltraFire Cree XML T6

  • 1600 maximum lumens
  • Aluminum alloy body; scratch and shock proof
  • 5 modes: high, mid, low, strobe and SOS
  • Waterproof
  • Affordable and inexpensive
  • Pocket sized

Solaray Pro ZX-1

  • 1200 of maximum lumens
  • 5 modes: high, med, low, strobe and SOS
  • Zoom Lens / Adjustable Focus
  • Water Resistant (Not in submersion)
  • Aluminum Body
  • Battery Life: 2 hours in high beam; 10 hours for low-beam

Streamlight 88040 ProTac HL

  • 750 maximum lumens
  • Waterproof: 1 meter for 30 minutes
  • 3 modes: high, strobe and low
  • 270 meters max of beam distance
  • Battery life: 1.25 hours at maximum output
  • Impact Resistance: 1 meter
  • Battery type: 2 CR123A

SureFire Titan Plus

  • Very portable: keychain size
  • Maximum 300 lumens
  • 3 modes (lumen-based): high, medium and low
  • Battery: AAA rechargeable
  • Polymer and aluminum core; nickel and brass body
  • Weather resistant (not waterproof)
  • Battery Life: Medium setting lasts for 2 hours