Every modern soldier, police officer, or other professional who needs to see well at a distance should equip themselves with a high-quality tactical flashlight. This is an essential piece of equipment. It is also helpful for average citizens who have a serious interest in self-defense and staying alive.
The most effective tactical flashlights have components that make them simpler to operate, such as a mechanism for instantaneous beam activation, a range of beam settings that can be adjusted, and a battery life that can last for an extended period of time. They might even be able to survive being dropped without breaking or injuring themselves in the process. Although there are a wide variety of tactical flashlights available for purchase, only a select number live up to the criteria outlined in the following paragraphs. The following goods were chosen because of their high quality, wide range of applications, and intuitive operation.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Tactical Flashlight
When looking for a good tactical flashlight, there are a few things that are absolutely necessary to keep in mind. The following section will go into further detail on these topics.
Before settling on a new tactical light, you should give some thought to how you want to put it to use and what features might help contribute to its overall effectiveness.
- Safety: If there is a chance of receiving an electric shock from touching or falling on an exposed wire, then you should select a model that is dustproof and waterproof and that complies with relevant safety regulations.
- Work-related: If you work in a factory or garage, for instance, where the lighting might not be sufficient, then a bright light will assist you see the time or when you’re closing up shop at the end of the day.
- Visibility: if you stroll through dark city streets, investing in a high-quality LED light is the best way to protect yourself from tripping over hazards that you cannot see.
The ability of a tactical flashlight to generate heat energy, and consequently visible light, determines the level of brightness of the light. This quality is evaluated in lumens rather than watts, with a higher number indicating a greater amount of light output. Traditional incandescent bulbs are typically brighter than their LED counterparts, despite the fact that LEDs offer a higher lumen output.
In response to this, many manufacturers have incorporated a strobe mode onto their products. This mode makes use of more power to boost visibility and draw attention.
One of the three primary kinds of fuel sources that a tactical flashlight can use are batteries (the other two being solar power and disposable batteries). As a result, the amount of time remaining on the batteries is a significant factor in determining whether or not you will have to interrupt what you are doing in order to replace them before the end of the day.
The vast majority of tactical lights can be powered by the industry-standard AA or AAA alkaline batteries; however, many variants come equipped with lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged. Although they have a longer lifespan and are less likely to overheat, these technologies are more expensive than their nickel-cadmium predecessors.
The amount of time that a tactical flashlight can function without needing to be charged or replaced is referred to as its runtime. The amount of time an item is able to run varies according to the kind of battery that is used and whether or not the device has a built-in charger.
Nevertheless, regardless of the technology, the runtime of smaller batteries (such as those found in lanterns), in comparison to bigger ones, tends to be significantly lower (like those found in flashlights).
A tactical flashlight isn’t just a light; it’s also a weapon. As such, size and weight should factor into your decision. In terms of physical size, a large torch might be heavier than a small laser pointer, so weight could matter. Also consider how much space you have to store and carry it. While a compact fluorescent lamp might fit inside a pocket, a heavy halogen bulbous torch might require room outside of it. And while a lightweight laser pointer might weigh only half a pound, a battery powered lantern might weigh 5 pounds.
There are a few features that set apart various tactical flashlights. Here are a few examples:
- Some tactical flashlights come equipped with a built-in smoke detector, making them suitable for emergency situations as well as everyday usage.
- Other tactical flashlights have a weather resistance coating, making them resistant to moisture, water, abrasion damage, and corrosion.
- Still others have a ruggedized exterior designed to withstand drops, impacts, and extreme temperatures.
- And finally, some tactical flashlights have a built-in compass, allowing users to navigate through unknown areas using natural landmarks instead of a map.
Types Of Tactical Flashlights
Tactical flashlights are designed for use in combat situations. They’re bright, durable and compact enough to fit inside a pocket or mount directly on a rifle. There’s a reason why the military uses these lights as standard issue; they work.
The most common type of incandescent bulb is the flashlight bulb. These bulbs have been around since the early days of electricity and still hold up well today. Incandescent bulbs are inexpensive, reliable and easy to use. The downside is that they don’t last very long – typically about 1,000 hours – which can be five times longer than other types of flashlights. Also, they aren’t very efficient at turning energy into light, so you’ll need more power from your battery to operate one of these bulbs compared to other options. Finally, they’re inefficient at making colors so if you want white light, you’ll need to spend more money on an additional component.
If you plan to use this type of bulb in a tactical environment it’s worth spending extra money to get something with better performance.
A newer technology has started replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. LEDs are much brighter, more efficient and have a lifespan measured in tens of thousands of hours instead of hundreds of hours like incandescents. You can also purchase multi-colored LED bulbs to produce white light without having to buy separate components.
These advantages come with some disadvantages though. First, they cost significantly more than incandescent bulbs. Second, batteries do not retain their charge as well when stored outside of a controlled temperature range, so you’ll need to pay attention to keep them charged up.
Another option is to go back to basics and stick with what we know works. Fluorescent bulbs were originally developed as a replacement for kerosene lamps. Since then they’ve become increasingly popular due to their efficiency and affordability. While they may not be as advanced as LED flashlights, they’re a solid choice for many people who value simplicity and reliability over all else.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
To begin, we searched Amazon, professional newspapers, and websites dedicated to flashlight reviews for the models that had received the most positive feedback and were the most often purchased.
From that point on, we researched several various kinds of tactical flashlights. We took into consideration factors such as the cost, the total weight, and how simple or complicated it was to operate the light. After that, we analyzed characteristics such as runtime, output, battery supply, and resistance to the elements.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tactical Flashlights
What is the purpose of a tactical flashlight?
A flashlight that can be used in combination with a weapon to help in the identification of targets in low-light situations is referred to as a tactical light. This makes it possible for the sniper, law enforcement officer, or military to point a firearm and illuminate the target at the same time.
How many lumens should a good tactical flashlight have?
A good general-use flashlight will be at least 50 to 100 lumens. For better performance, look for 200+ lumens. If you plan to use it in low light conditions, bump up the lumen count even further to 250+ lumens. If you need it for emergencies, keep it as close to 1000 lumens as possible.
What are tactical flashlights made of?
Most tactical flashlights are made from either aluminum or brass. Some may also be magnesium alloy, which is lighter than aluminum but more expensive. The lenses typically consist of one or two pieces of glass, with some being adjustable. Most tactical flashlights also feature a rubberized grip or band, so they won’t slip while in your hand.
Can anyone buy a tactical flashlight?
Anyone can purchase a tactical flashlight – no matter what their financial situation might be. However, there are certain requirements that must be met before purchasing said item. Things like being a member of a specific organization (Navy SEALs), having attended a certified training program, etc., will all play into who gets approved to purchase such an item in the first place.
Are tactical flashlights legal?
In most states, yes. However, laws vary widely, so make sure to check yours.