A Comprehensive Weapon Lights Guide

Buying Guide

The concept of weapon lights was first presented in the 1930s, and it was aimed to assist law enforcement personnel and the military in recognizing targets before shooting. Due to the introduction of these beneficial lights, searching for individuals in complete darkness and low-light settings have never been easier.

It is pretty common to see police and military personnel carrying weapon lights, and today tactical lighting has advanced immensely and has a wider selection of lightbulb, batteries, and technologies that allow users to employ the light in a one-handed fashion or hands-free.

Law Enforcement Use

The people behind the invention of the tactical flashlight were police departments. Focused tactical lights were designed and provided with advanced technology so it could be carried along with a weapon and let police officers perceive whatever the firearm was directed at.

As police and military gear have been given upgrades through the years, we can now avail of tactical flashlights with LED bulbs that make for exceptional lightbulb lifespan with the lowest battery use. There are also custom-built models which can endure impact and can be fastened physically to the weapon itself so users can easily grasp their weapon with both hands.

Defense Forces Use

Similar to law enforcement personnel, the army has an urgent need for focused tactical lighting that will not disrupt with their duties. Tactical flashlights for the military are available in a wide selection of styles, several of which are the same as flashlights used by the police force.

Plenty of military tactical flashlights can be fastened to clothing or the weapon, which enables soldiers a broader view of the location while allowing their hands to be capable of handling pistols and other sorts of weapons.

The majority of these lights will include special filters, and in several cases particular lightbulbs, which let them light a spot for night vision.

Sports and Outdoor Use

Plenty of sportsmen, outdoor enthusiasts and hunters will also employ similar devices when moving through woodland areas or hunting during the early hours of the morning. Tactical flashlights are actually beneficial when assembling a deer stand or setting up a hunting spot in low-lit conditions since individuals will be capable of using their hands for other work apart from handling a flashlight.

Several sportsmen will also prefer to have sufficient light to check out what they are trying to accomplish, and they will use additional items like specialized bulbs and light filters that are the same as the ones used by soldiers in order to prevent scaring away wildlife.

Search and Rescue Team Use

These devices serve a crucial role in groups that specialize in executing rescue operations and searches. Because these operations require individuals to work with their hands at all times, the kind of flashlights that are employed by these professionals are often clipped in their clothing or kept strapped all over the head for convenience.

This particular feature not only aids in lighting the area in front of the individual, but it also lets them use their hands doing other jobs.

Self-Defense and Home Defense Use

Tactical flashlights can be used as a solid tool for self-defense. The illumination that is provided by these lights is significant that it can blind a threat or attacker momentarily. It is also capable of lighting low-lit spots which are possible hiding places of targets.

It is efficient when it comes to animals that might attack the individual as well. Directing the light into the eyes of the animal will throw them off and allow the user to escape.

What Makes a Good Pistol Light?

The pistol or handgun light is a flashlight that can be attached to the weapon so that it can present light that is more concentrated on a single aimed target. Plenty of guns these days come equipped with rails on them so gun owners can easily supplement them with flashlights and other kinds of weapon accessories.

There are two common types of rails available: the Picatinny rail and the weaver rail. Both rails have slight differences but experts often say that the best weapon light being sold in the market today can be fitted in either of the two rails. Here are some of the features that make a good pistol light.

Off-set flashlight mount

The offset flashlight mount is something that has been built to carry and grip the flashlight off to one side, instead of positioning it beneath the barrel. This kind of mount is also important since it lets users position their thumb right on the On and Off button and allows sufficient space below the barrel.

Quick-release pistol light

The gun owners have to be comfortable with turning their lights on and off as they employ the lights on a regular basis. This is an important feature for users who want to hide their identity under the cover of darkness.

Tactical light and laser combination

They are particularly built for individuals who require both the workings of a laser jet and a flashlight on the weapon. The light can be employed for lighting, while the laser is employed for directing or aiming reasons. These two elements work together since they will aid the user to acquire a peek at the target without missing a detail.

Pistol pressure light switch

Having this switch on hand allow users to move the On and Off switch anytime they please.

What Makes a Good Tactical Flashlight?

Since they have functions that are more complicated than standard flashlights, tactical flashlights differ significantly in terms of features. It is crucial for gun owners to take into account their needs and preferences to find out which features will benefit them the most. For instance, gun owners must mull over if they require brighter lights, even if it means the battery will be drained faster than usual.

Or perhaps, they devote lots of time in field operations without direct access to batteries and other supplies, which make extended battery life and low lumen ratings recommended. Overall, tactical flashlights have three components: the battery compartment, the tail cap and the housing for the LED bulb.

Power button

The power button usually manages the available light settings. There is always a low setting provided in order to save batteries and present lower light, plus a high setting to offer bright lights. There are several models that also include medium settings so users can have more options. A number of models also come with a strobe setting to hide the movement or the user or confuse attackers.


Batteries for tactical flashlights vary significantly based on the product’s make and model. Plenty of budget models operates with disposable batteries, while the majority of mid-range and high-end models include rechargeable batteries. Battery types also differ when it comes to brands.


The device can work on its own or it can also work together with accessories. The weapon mount fastens a tactical flashlight to a rifle or a shotgun. The rifle needs a pressure switch which can be bought separately to act as a sub for the light’s regular power button. Gun owners can also supplement the lights with a holster clip or a lanyard for convenience.

Light spectrum

Although useful in certain circumstances, white lights are not always ideal for some applications. If used together with night vision units, infrared LEDs present covert lighting that practically goes unnoticed. Low-output and colored ancillary LEDs that are utilized for navigation reduce light signatures and assist in maintaining the vision that is used in the dark.

Laser capability

There are also users who will be interested in using a laser sight for a more efficient aim, especially in situations with a higher level of stress.

Range of switches

A good weapon light is fuss-free, has an ergonomic and minimal design. It should have an efficient switch that can be accessed easily, so users can instantly turn it on or off if needed. It must not activate accidentally and give out the user’s location.

A switch that can accomplish those enables users to work on the light minus having to forfeit a crucial shooting grip.

Mounting mechanism

A weapon light can be fastened in a range of methods, ranging from a railed pistol, a long gun, an accessory rail, or as a temporarily focused forend that subs the firearm’s primary forend. There are three kinds of attachments and they are called the Picatinny rail mount, the barrel mount, and the replacement forends.

The Picatinny kind is a thumbscrew or throw-lever grip that fastens a weapon light to the Picatinny rail of a handgun or long gun. The barrel or tube mount is meant for weapons without rails or for weapons whose rails already include another accessory.

The clamp fastens the tactical light straight to the barrel, gas tube or the magazine tube based on the firearm. The replacement forends act as a sub to the chief factory forend of the weapon. The light and the switching are built into the forend, minus visible cables or cords.

5 Recommended Weapon Lights

Now that we have discussed what makes the best weapon light, it is time for some product suggestions. These are 5 products with the most positive feedback coming from gun owners who have purchased, tested and continue to use them.

Check out the list and make sure that you make this guide into a handy reference for your weapon light buying needs.

Streamlight TLR-1 HL Rail Mounted Tactical Light

Streamlight’s TLR-1 HL offers bright illumination care of a 630-lumen output. It makes identifying in bigger areas easier. It is a compact, user-friendly and lightweight weapon light and has a design which makes it easier to attach or detach within seconds. It has C4 LED technology, resistant to shock with 50,000 hour lifetime, attaches straight to handguns with Glock-style rails and Picatinny rails and has an ambidextrous momentary and steady on and off switch that will make handling easier for left-handed users.


  • C4® LED technology
  • Has excellent bright light output due to 630-lumen rating
  • Durable, well-built and resistant to shock
  • IPX7 waterproof to a meter for half an hour
  • Limited lifetime manufacturer warranty
  • Accurate and easy to use


  • Strobe feature can be challenging
  • Might be too bright for some users

INFORCE WMLX 500 Multifunction Weapon Mounted Light

The WMLX from INFORCE generates a good 500 lumens of white, bright light with a focused spot and a substantial peripheral ray of illumination. The unit offers superlative lighting for target recognition at longer distances. Ideal for focused work, the device presents white, vivid lights with constant and momentary models, as well as a strobe that can be disengaged easily by a simple order.

It has an angled activation button that is user-friendly and gun owners can work on it without being disrupted by wires coming from tape switches. Its patent-pending built-in rail clamping system is trim, secure and convenient. To prevent unintentional release, the unit has two unique lockout systems.


  • Includes ergonomic activation button
  • Bigger lumen output
  • Picks up a similar quantity of rail capacity as the WML
  • Users can shift between full function mode and momentary-only mode with an easy flip-switch method


  • Made with mostly polymer so it might be vulnerable from damage
  • There were customers who complained about its fast light-draining batteries

Aimkon HiLight P10S 400 Flashlight

The Aimkon HiLight P10S is an affordable yet functional weapon flashlight and it does not scrimp when it comes to performance, unlike other flashlights with competitive prices. This is a LED tactical light that can produce 400 lumens and allows gun owners to get a positive identification of a target. It is also capable of efficiently blinding threats or attackers, thus it makes a great defense weapon light. It has a fast-release mechanism that lets users fasten or unfasten the unit without any effort. It has a run time of 55 minutes tops, so if you want to get more work out of the device, you got to have extras nearby. A nice buy for an affordable tactical light.


  • Produces excellent 400-lumen output
  • Has quick-release mounting/dismounting mechanism
  • Includes two modes
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight


  • Does not fit with certain handguns
  • Does not work well with left-handed gun owners

SureFire X300 Ultra LED Handgun Light

The high-strength SureFire X300 Ultra is meant for use on handguns and long arms and it features a LED that generates 600 lumens of light output. Bright and tough, the light that comes out of the unit is concentrated by the Total Internal Reflection or TIR lens to provide a beam with a lengthy reach and vivid surround light for outlying vision.

Its unbreakable and totally effective LED produces military-level light which is sufficient enough to nearly blind threats or attackers. It can be activated by its ambidextrous switching, which is positioned at the rear of the light’s body and presents one-finger handling. Push on the switch on either side for momentary options or turn it up or down for steady mode.

The unit can be fastened to a handgun or long gun due to its Rail-Lock system that allows fast mounting and dismounting from universal or Picatinny rails.


  • Can be used with both pistols and long guns with universal or Picatinny rails
  • Bright lights care of 600-lumen output
  • Durable and high-strength due to solid aluminum, polymer, and black anodizing properties
  • Easy to use interface
  • Left-hand friendly light
  • Made in the USA


  • None

Nebo 6109 iProTec RM190 Firearm Light

The 6109 iProTec RM190 from Nebo has an output of 190 lumens of strong, bright light. The beams that it emits are sufficient enough to tower above any threat’s acclimatized vision. This is an ideal light for home defense/self-defense. It is ideal for rail-equipped handguns and long guns, and it is made from anodized, aircraft-caliber aluminum metal.

It can go on for up to 3 hours with a steady use. The unit also presents an adjustable hinge mount system that will not require any tools. Lastly, it has water and impact-resistant properties which guarantee endurance from harsh weather conditions.


  • Recommended for home and self-defense
  • Has convenient adjustable hinge mount design
  • Excellent weaver mount
  • Made from high-grade aerospace-quality aluminum
  • Can produce decent 190 lumens of bright light


  • Will not fit subcompacts
  • Electronics of the diode are exposed


The weapon light is required accessory for gun owners, especially for those who purchased guns to beef up home security. It will prove to be beneficial if you plan on shooting in the evenings and in low-light settings. The products that were mentioned in this article all work exceptionally well and they are sufficient enough to make you interested in checking them out.

They will provide excellent lighting, will endure recoil and other impact that comes from firing away weapons and withstand harsh weather conditions too. If you want to know more about the best weapon lights for you, do read our other provided articles.

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