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If your only experience with flashlights before are those small flashlights that you can use when the power goes out, looking at tactical flashlights will open up a whole new world. Designed for security and law enforcement professionals who need a bright light and something they can protect themselves with, these flashlights cost more than those basic lights you keep in your emergency kit of supplies.
The best tactical flashlight is the SureFire Dominator (Check Price on Amazon.com), which features an LED light inside that is practically indestructible. With four settings to choose from, you can use that light to blind a criminal or switch to the lowest setting to save on your battery.
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Top Tactical Flashlights Comparison Chart
12 Best Tactical Flashlights Reviews (2020)
1. SureFire Dominator
Though it has a high price tag that might turn off some shoppers, the SureFire Dominator is the ultimate flashlight for those who want to protect themselves from dangers in the environment. It features a three-function switch that acts like both a power button and a button that lets you move between modes, and the location of this switch on the back lets you turn it on without taking your eyes off your surroundings. The LED lights produces a bright and powerful beam that can stun intruders, but this light also has a practically indestructible covering that protects that light source. A built-in microprocessor regulates the amount of light produced based on the battery power remaining, and you can use a gauge on the side of the flashlight to check on your battery. It comes with a battery magazine that can fit two more traditional batteries, but you can replace those batteries with a larger lithium-ion battery. The SureFire Dominator has eleven-position selector ring that include a basic light mode that uses less power to make your battery last longer.
2. ACEBEAM K70 CREE XHP35 HI LED
ACEBEAM makes the K70 CREE XHP35 HI LED Flashlight for those who need to see further in the dark, making it suitable for those helping on search and rescue trips as well as those who live on large properties and need to walk around their yards in the dark. It has a maximum output of 2,500 lumens that can push the light out to a distance of 1,300 meters. The six built-in modes include a strobe mode that can help others find you and stun attackers as well as a brighter mode and a lighter mode that uses less of the battery.
Suitable for anyone who spends time outside in the dark, this is a type of tactical flashlight that you can use during a power outage or flood at home as well as when working on the job. A magnetic ring lets you quickly switch between modes, and it can run for up to 1,300 hours on its lowest mode. ACEBEAM tested the flashlight to ensure that it will keep working after suffering a drop of up to 1.3 meters or a submersion at depths of two meters.
3. Fenix TK47 1300 Lumen 766 Yard Throwing Neutral White LED
Fenix designed this TK47 1300 Lumen 766 Yard Throwing Neutral White LED Tactical Flashlight with a larger and wider base that lets the flashlight throw the light out to a longer depth, which comes in handy while hunting or hiking at night. The curved plastic used on the end of the light throws the beam more than 700 yards to help you see further away from your current location. It also comes with a neutral white LED light that produces 1,300 lumens on the highest setting to help you see clearly without the colors produced by other bulbs getting in your way.
The tail light has three functions in which you can use independently from the flashlight to send out an SOS signal or signal to others with flashing red, white and red SOS. An included battery charger lets you keep backup batteries on hand for future use, and Fenix also gives you both a holster and a lanyard for carrying the flashlight. You also get a battery organizer that can hold multiples of all the batteries you can use with this flashlight.
4. SureFire E2D Defender Dual Output
The SureFire E2D Defender Dual Output LED Flashlight has the type of powerful design that will make you feel completely control in any situation. Both the base and the center have textured areas that keep your hands from sliding off, even if you sweat when nervous, and a clip on one side is great for clipping the flashlight to your belt or pocket. Its LED light emitter can stand up to longer drops without breaking and produces more than enough light for most emergencies and situations.
With two output modes, it will produce five lumens on the lowest setting and a bright 1000 lumens on its highest setting. The Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens keeps the beam from bouncing all over the place and concentrates that beam down to a thinner line that helps you see directly in front of you as well as people and hazards in your peripheral vision. The E2D Defender uses heavy-duty anodized aluminum on its body, which is the same type used by the aerospace industry, to keep this flashlight working after even the hardest of crashes or falls.
5. Olight R50 PRO LE (Law Enforcement) Kit 3200 Lumens CREE XHP70 Rechargeable
This Olight R50 PRO LE (Law Enforcement) Kit 3200 Lumens CREE XHP70 Rechargeable LED Flashlight gets our seal of approval because it comes with a charger that lets you snap the whole flashlight into place to charge the flashlight without removing the battery first. As long as you have an outlet handy, you can keep this flashlight charged and ready for use to protect your coworkers or your family. The included holster makes it easy to carry the light on your person, and Olight includes a EdisonBright compact portable USB powered reading light.
A light on the charger glows bright red as it charges and turns green when the flashlight is ready to use, and a light on the flashlight itself comes on when the battery runs low. You’ll like the conveniently located side switch for changing between modes and that this flashlight will remember the mode you use most often and switch back to that mode when you turn it off. A tempered glass lens protects the flashlight from all types of damage, and the CREE lamp can produce up to 3,200 lumens.
6. NiteCore TM03 Super Bright 2800 Lumens Cree XHP70
NiteCore includes two batteries that can last for hours and a charger that quickly charges those batteries with the TM03 Super Bright 2800 Lumens Cree XHP70 LED Flashlight. Its smaller size makes it a more convenient design for those who want to carry a flashlight without feeling weighed down, but it comes with an LED beam that bounces off the end and reflects around you to illuminate more of your surroundings. An instant turbo mode increases the brightness to 2,800 lumens, but it also has a strobe setting that uses that same intensity.
The two included batteries actually fit inside the flashlight, but you’ll find that it only uses one battery for power and allows you to store the other fully charged battery as a backup for those times when you need more light. An included holster can hold the flashlight and fit on your body, in your pocket or even in your bag for regular use. The TM03 has a mode switch on the end for instantly switching between the four built-in modes, but you can also press down on the switch to make it the turbo mode come on automatically.
7. Olight SR Mini Intimidator II 3200 Lumens Rechargeable Flashlight Kit
This SRMini SR Mini Intimidator II 3200 Lumens Rechargeable Flashlight Kit from Olight comes with almost everything you might need for using the flashlight while on the job and during emergencies at home. You’ll even get a case that has separate compartments inside for the flashlight, charger, and other accessories, and the lid on this case snaps open in seconds, making it perfect for storing the flashlight in your home or in your car. The kit comes with a holster for carrying the flashlight with you, a USB cord for fast charging and a car adapter for charging the flashlight in your car’s charging port or cigarette lighter.
The 3,200 lumens produced by this flashlight on its brightest setting let you see more than 300 meters in front of you, and its case is water-resistant at depths of up to two meters. On its lowest setting, the SR Mini Intimidator II can last for up to 36 full hours. Olight put the switch, which lets you cycle between a strobe and four other modes, on the side to help the flashlight sit upright on its flat end.
8. Elzetta Bones
The Elzetta Bones 650 Lumen Flashlight comes with two batteries that provide the flashlight with all the power that it needs, but you can also switch out those batteries for a single rechargeable battery that you can charge in your own separate charger. Anodized aluminum used in the case protects the flashlight during drops and keeps the beam strong to ensure that you still get all the 650 lumens you need after dropping it. A button at one end turns the flashlight on and off and clicks in the same way that a traditional pen would.
An optical lens on the opposite end allows the light to bounce off any hazards or obstacles around you, though this flashlight lacks the reflector that some models have, which helps the light extend further. Elzetta uses a potted electronic design with this model and some of its other flashlights, and as this does not leave behind any exposed seams or joints, the flashlight will last longer. The Bones 650 is a basic tactical flashlight suitable for home use.
9. Tactical 5.11 Response CR1
Don’t let the basic and somewhat simple design of this 5.11 Tactical Response CR1 Flashlight fool you or make you think that it isn’t a great choice because that basic design hides a lot of impressive and cool features. Made from heavy-duty anodized aluminum that won’t show scratches and protects the light and other internal parts.
When you opt for the lowest mode, you can use this flashlight for up to 44 Hour 46 min before the battery runs out, but even on its highest mode, it will last for up to 4 hours 25 min. The 5.11 Tactical Response CR1 comes with textured spaces that help you keep a tight grip on the flashlight and clip for attaching it to your bag or clothing.
10. Fenix RC20
This Fenix RC20 1000 Lumens Rechargeable Cree XM-L2 U2 Tactical LED is perfect for night hunters because it comes with a red filter that you can easily attach to the lens of the flashlight to change the light that others see and to keep your prey from running away because of your light. It produces 1,000 lumens of light on its lowest setting and can reach more than 300 feet away from your current position. The tail cap acts like a switch for instantly turning on the strobe setting, but this switch also lets you move between the four other settings to select the one you want to use.
Included in this set is a charging cradle that lets you charge the battery inside without taking the batteries out or the flashlight falling over and an AC adapter for charging via an outlet. You also get a holster similar to those used by law enforcement and a car adapter for charging the flashlight in your vehicle.
11. Olight R50 Seeker
The 2,500 lumens produced by this Olight R50 Seeker 2500 Lumens CREE XHP50 Rechargeable LED Flashlight on its highest setting will help you keep an eye on people, animals and other obstacles in your surroundings. You can access all four of the brightness modes via a button that sits near the lens, and based on the mode that you choose, the flashlight can run for up to 50 hours. The turbo mode comes on instantly with one click to turn the flashlight to its brightest setting, and you can select the strobe mode almost as quickly.
A rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a charger come with the flashlight, which has its own light that comes on to alert you when that battery needs charging. The charger itself also switches between light colors and turns from red to green when the battery is fully charged. A micro USB cord comes with the flashlight for charging it via other devices like your computer, and you get a lanyard that you can attach to the flashlight’s base.
12. PSP 2 Million Volt Zap Enforcer Stun Gun/Flashlight
For more protection than you would get with an ordinary tactical flashlight, there is the PSP 2 Million Volt Zap Enforcer Stun Gun/Flashlight, which functions as both a flashlight and a stun gun. This flashlight comes with a holster that you wear on top or of underneath your clothing, and the holster keeps the stun gun portion away from your body and ensures that you cannot accidentally turn it on and stun yourself. It also features a lanyard that you can slip around your wrist to carry it without the holster.
Buttons on the front turn the stun gun on and also provide power to the flashlight, which can illuminate areas that are several hundred feet in front of you. A small screen right beside those buttons tell you when the stun gun has a full charge, which lets you know when you can use it. You’ll also get a charger that looks like an AC adapter and lets you fully charge this combo through any outlet at home or in your workplace.
Our Tactical Flashlight Winner
While it does cost more than you might want to spend on a tactical flashlight, the best option for both professionals and those who want to use one at home is the SureFire Dominator. The eleven-position selector ring range from a bright light that can stun anyone to a dimmer light that helps save the battery. You have the option of using basic batteries that come in the flashlight magazine or a single lithium-ion battery that you can recharge between uses. A level indicator on the side works like a fuel gauge to show you the battery power remaining, and an almost indestructible covering on the end protects the LED light source from damage.
How to Choose the Outstanding Tactical Flashlights
One thing to consider when shopping for a tactical flashlight is the overall weight of the flashlight, especially if you need to use it as a weapon. While you want one that you can carry without your hands feeling tired, it should also have some heft to it that will help you stun and even injure an attacker.
If you do a search for tactical flashlights, you’ll come across dozes of models priced at under $100 and even under $50, but we highly recommend that you pay more for a flashlight that will last longer. Even if you can’t afford to drop $500 or more on a flashlight, you should spend at least $100 on one.
The best tactical flashlights are those that use an LED bulb or a new form of LED technology. LED lights won’t burn out regularly and will last longer. Those that use halogen light bulbs may only last for a few short months or less of regular use.
Flashlights produce a different amount of lumens. One with a lumen output of 100 or less is suitable for use around the house like when the power goes out. If you need a flashlight that is so bright it can temporarily incapacitate someone, you need one with a lumen production of 200 to 500 or more.
Type of Battery
Looking at the type of battery used by the flashlight will help you keep extras on hand for emergencies. Though some use fancy batteries that you must special order online, others can work with standard AA or AAA batteries available from any store. Manufacturers also make tactical flashlights that use rechargeable batteries.
Settings and Modes
Manufacturers use the words setting and more interchangeably to describe the type of light produced. A strobe mode will work like a strobe light to disorient an attacker. You’ll also want to choose a flashlight that has both brighter and lighter settings.
Most of the best models have a power button on the end that you can turn off while keeping the flashlight tight in your hand. This button may also let you switch between modes. Others have a more traditional design that places the power button in the center.
Whether you need to chase a bad guy down through the woods, or you just need some extra light until the city restores power to your home, you need to look at run time. Flashlights that use standard batteries will have different run times based on the batteries you use. With rechargeable flashlights, you need to consider how long the battery or batteries will last between charges.
Based on how you want to use that flashlight, you may want to look for optional features like a cord that you can wrap around your belt or wrist or nonslip grips that keep sweaty palms from slipping off. For added protection, you can invest in one that does double duty as both a flashlight and stun gun.