Best Tactical Flashlight for the Money in 2018

Best Tactical Flashlight Reviews

Whether you are a survivalist, an avid outdoorsman, or you simply love those nightly strolls around your block, a good flashlight always comes in handy.

Although small and unassuming, this tool can get you out of some sticky situation. As such, they are a must-have tool.

When you are on the market for a flashlight, it is impossible to miss the term tactical flashlight. It is the new marketing golden-standard given the fact that tactical flashlights are supposed to be a setup to ordinary flashlights. However, not all flashlights are tactical flashlights, even those named as such.

With this in mind even before reviewing the best tactical flashlights on the market, it is a requisite of the purchasing process to have an understanding of what makes a flashlight a true ‘tactical’ flashlight. Having seen what a military or tactical grade flashlight is and the elements and characteristics needed to make it great, we will explore our top picks.

Comparison Table of Top 10 Tactical LED Flashlight for the Money in 2018

ProductWeight (oz)ModesLumens (runtime)BatteryPrice
SureFire SideKick 3002.03- 300 (1.25 hrs)
- 60 (4 hrs)
- 5 ( 45 hrs)
Li-ion Battery
check price
Klarus Upgraded XT11GT4.63- 2000 (50 mins)
- 400 (3.5 hrs)
- 100 (12 hrs)
1x 18650 Battery
check price
Streamlight 880405.63750 (1.5 hrs)2x CR123A Batteries
check price
ThruNite TC12 V23.07511001 x 18650 battery
check price
Orion H40-W 5003.4-500 (1.25 hrs)1x 18650 Batteries or 2x CR123A Batteries
check price
Surefire X4004.9-600CR123A Lithium Batteries
check price
Surefire P2X5.72- 15 (1.5 hrs)
- 500 (46 hrs)
2x CR123A Lithium Batteries
check price
InForce APL6.0-200 (1.5 hrs)1x CR123A batteries
check price
Streamlight 692604.2-800 (1.25 hrs)2x CR123 Lithium Batteries
check price
Pelican 760010.44- 944 (3.25 hrs)
- 479 (2.5 hrs)
- 37 (29 hrs)
1x 18650 rechargeable battery or 2 CR123 Lithium
check price

Best Tactical and Military Flashlight Reviews

We have reviewed the normal military grade/law enforcement flashlights and the weapon-mounted flashlights. In our top LED flashlight review, we intricately look at some of the best flashlights to hit the market in 2018. Importantly, we have designed our review to make it easy for you to choose a tactical flashlight that will meet your specific needs and demands.

​Although I believe that you should go through the entire review article to attain a proper understanding of the subject matter of purchasing a tactical flashlight, you might be in a rush. If that is the situation you find yourself in, here is our recommendation summary.

-->> For those looking for a military grade tactical flashlight with all the features including weapon mounting features, the Streamlight 69260 is a perfect choice.


-->> The Solaray is the perfect choice for those looking for exceptional brightness without breaking their bank account.

-->> The best value for money tactical flashlight on the market (I’m currently using this one) is the Streamlight 88040. It costs under $100 and it is as comprehensive as many other leading tactical flashlights.

1

Surefire Sidekick 300

SureFire is one of the very well trusted names in the tactical flashlight market. They have been consistently manufacturing some of the best flashlights on the market. To sat the least, the Sidekick 300 lives up to the expectations from a SureFire product. It is one of the most compact flashlights on the market that packs in some serious power and usability.

Some of the features that make the Sidekick 300 one of the best compact and quality flashlight are:

  • Great power and superior optics

The SureFire Sidekick is a great small EDC flashlight when it comes to sheer power. Although the flashlight is very compact, it had enough power to put out an impressive 300 lumen of light with ease. The flashlight boasts a state-of-the-art Maxvision Beam Optimization ® technology that makes the light beam very easy on the eyes so that you can find your way through the dark comfortably. The light also features superior optics with unique faceted reflector to ensure the maximum usable output from the high-performance LED emitter.

  • Versatility

Another thing that I just love about this flashlight is the fact that it has three modes of operation. It is usually very rare to see multiple modes of operation with a flashlight that is this compact. The three modes give you the ability to control the output to suit your illumination needs.

  • Micro USB charging

I am a big fan of a micro USB charging ports on tactical flashlights. The integrated battery can be charged with this port using the traditional wall charger as well as a number or other sources such as your laptop! It works with almost any phone charger as well.

  • Excellent built quality

The flashlight is made from a very lightweight and ultra durable polymer material. This makes the flashlight water and impacts resistant and durable. It also has a convenient split ring so that you can attach this small flashlight to any keychain and carry it with you every day!

Things We Liked

  • Very light weight and Compact (2 ounces)
  • Multiple output modes
  • Durable polymer material
  • Waterproof
  • Can be attached to any keychain

Things We Didn't Like

  • No charging indicator
  • Caution

Although we dig this pocket performer, there one issue that some customers have pointed out:

There is no charging indicator to tell you that the charging is complete. This is a minor issue, though, as, in our experience, the battery was fully charged in about 4-5 hours.

Verdict:

If you are looking for a compact LED flashlight that you can carry every day with you and possibly in your keychain, look no further, this is a flashlight for you. This is a great flashlight to have on your keychain. It packs in some decent power as well as great versatility. Overall, this is an excellent product from SureFire.

2

​Klarus Upgraded XT11GT

​The Klarus Upgraded XT11GT Super Bundle is a handy flashlight that is designed for easy one-handed operation. It features six different light settings and is easy to recharge, making it ideal as an emergency light, outdoor torch or for advanced tactical use.

​Let’s take a look at some of the most important features that set this flashlight apart from the competition.

  • ​Six brightness settings

​Choose from SOS and strobe modes, and low, medium high or turbo brightness depending on your location and circumstances.

  • ​A Lock feature to prevent accidental illumination

​Make sure you don’t spook creatures or get noticed at the wrong time by locking the torch so it doesn’t trigger at the wrong moment.

  • ​A battery capacity indicator

​Never run out of light at an inopportune moment, the battery indicator will help you to keep track of your usage.

  • ​Waterproof and impact resistant

​The torch is incredibly rugged, being impact resistant up to one meter, and waterproof to meet IPX8 standards.

Things We Liked

  • ​In SOS mode the torch has a 36-hour runtime - more than long enough for a rescuer to find you.
  • ​The ITS temperature control stops the torch from overheating even in turbo mode.
  • ​The torch is rechargeable, and the kit comes with several different charging options.
  • ​Klarus offers a five-year warranty; proof that they stand behind their products.

Things We Didn't Like

  • ​The flashlight has a simple ‘press and let go’ button for quick use, and this tends to trigger accidentally.
  • Even with the temperature control the torch does tend to run hot.
  • The USB port cover is a little flimsy, and it may get dirty in day to day use.
  • Caution

​The Klarus XT11GT is a handy compact, lightweight hunting torch, but it has a relatively short battery life especially if you are not using the lock. The holster design means that the light sometimes triggers by accident.

 There is a battery control feature that will dim the light when the battery is dying, and this means that the light isn't as bright as you would need it to be even if there is sufficient battery power left.

Verdict

​Klarus is a respected brand in the hunting and tactical world. If you want a compact, long-life torch, then this could be a good choice for you. Because it is so compact, it would also make a good backup torch for those that have a more robust primary device in their kit bag.

This is a great multipurpose flashlight that is as useful for hikers and campers as it is for someone who is just looking for an emergency flashlight for those days when the power goes out. So, to sum it up, it is really a very well rounded flashlight that can be ideal for literally anyone looking for a flashlight!

3

Streamlight 88040 ProTac HL

Streamlight is known for some of the brightest flashlights out there. The Streamlight 88040 is a compact tactical flashlight that is certainly one of the brightest flashlights in its class. Made of the same high-end features, the 88040 does not disappoint with its rugged and robust performance.

Let’s see why we like this flashlight so much:

  • Raw Power

One of the features of this compact flashlight that are simply the crown jewel is the power. The flashlight can belt out an amazing 600 lumens of light with no problem whatsoever. With C4 LED technology at its heart, the flashlight has a significant and reliable output for up to 50000 hours. This one is built to last.

  • Multiple modes

We love flashlights that have multiple modes of output. The Streamline 88040 is no slacker in department either. It has three modes of operation that can meet every illumination need that you may have.

  • Great batteries included

The flashlight runs on two CR123A batteries that are Lithium ion based and rechargeable. These batteries are included with the light and perform superbly. They are quick to charge and can be recharged up to 1000 times without compromising the charge holding capacity.

  • Great build

It is made from a high grade, hand anodized aluminum, that is the same quality that is used in space crafts. The flashlight feels solid in the hand, and the body seems very sturdy. It is water resistant as well. It also features an anti-roll cap design that will prevent it from rolling off tables.

Things We Liked

  • Light weight and Compact (5.6 ounces)
  • Awesome power
  • Multiple output modes
  • Aerospace grade, hand anodized aluminum construction
  • Waterproof

Things We Didn't Like

  • Can be slippery in hand
  • Caution

The 88040 is one of my personal favorite every day carries flashlights. However, there is a minor issue:

The finish on this flashlight is pretty smooth. So, if your hands are wet, it can slip a bit. Although you can search for a grip holster for this light that can take care of this issue quickly.

Verdict

This is a great flashlight if you are looking for a powerful tactical LED flashlight that is capable of providing high illumination and you don’t mind carrying a bit extra weight. This is an ideal light for campers and hunters as well as people in law enforcement.

4

ThruNite TC12 V2

ThruNite TC12 1100 Lumens

I know to go on duty I want to have a flashlight I can depend on. Now, what else I know is it is a large competition to find the best one that has a great light and is functional. That is why I looked at the ThruNite TC12 V2 and decided I would share what I think about this one and if it fits the bill.

Let’s see what makes this one so great:

  • Can Be Charged With USB Ports

This is a great feature as long as you are using caution with the cord and the charger. Even then you will find it can be like your tablets or phones and start to break. However, at the same time, this is a great way for you to get the charging done from almost anything that you have available as a computer generally has a USB port, cars do now, and even the plug it came with.

  • Illuminates Up To 787 Feet In Perfect Weather

The illumination distance is going to be an excellent feature with this flashlight. The sad thing is not all of the places you go will require you to have the up close light you see on the police shows and if you have been in the field at any time you know searching for suspects is done at a distance. So having a light that will illuminate a good distance is always a nice thing.

  • Uses A Slide Switch To Turn On And Off

With most of the tactical flashlights that I have looked at in the past, they use a click button that requires you to cycle through the settings to turn the light on. This is one that has the cycle button, but the on-off button is actually a slide button which makes it easier for you to turn off.

  • 5 Different Light Modes

When you look at this you will find it has five different settings. This is going to make it easier for you to have the proper amount of light to get everything done. At the same time, though, you will notice this can have filters added onto it if you need to have a red light for tactical purposes.

Things We Liked

  • Stainless Steel body is going to make this very durable and versatile.
  • Allows almost direct access to the strobe.
  • Uses the on and off button as the indicator that you can find for how much battery life you are going to have left before it goes dead on you.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The USB port is just like most of the other charging ports and it can break!
  • Cycling through the light modes can be confusing at times.
  • Caution

This is a light that does have some issues when it comes to charging. So you will need to keep a close eye on the charger or you could end up with a dead light by the end of your shift and one that you cannot even charge. You will want to make sure you check over the charger on a regular basis to guarantee it is charging and ready to be used.

Verdict

The TC12 V2 from ThruNite is a great tactical flashlight that is durable and will do the job, but with the charging cord issues, you will want to be careful about how you plug it in. At the same time, though, you will find the brightness of the flashlight is more than ample to keep you safe and provide you the illumination you want to have when you are on the scene.

Overall, I would have to say the ThruNite TC12 V2 is one that does the job and keeps you safe.

5

Orion H40-W 500

If you are looking for a tactical flashlight that's so versatile that it can be mounted on a rifle or carried as a hand flashlight, the H40 is for you. This compact yet powerful flashlight is a real multi-purpose flashlight and no wonder it is of the best-selling military grade flashlights of Orion.

  • Great power

The H40 is certainly one of the brightest weapons mounted flashlights available on the market. With the CREE XM-L technology at the heart, this little flashlight can pump out 500 lumens of blinding light. The flashlight can also throw the beam for up to a striking distance of 178 yards. Impressive by any standards.

  • Tactical switch

I love the fact that the flashlight comes with a pressure sensitive switch that can be activated by applying pressure. The harder you press, the brighter the light gets. With this switch, you have virtually unlimited modes of operation, how cool is that!

  • Easy weapon mount

This flashlight can be mounted on any rifle with a flash, so as to speak! The Picatinny/Weaver rail mount on this flashlight makes the grip solid and it won't budge even after multiple shots. It is completely recoil-proof for safety.

  • Sturdy built

The flashlight is made of 100% aluminum which keeps the weight light and yet maintains the sturdy structure.

Things We Liked

  • Powerful
  • Very easy to mount on a weapon
  • Tactical pressure switch
  • Recoil -proof and water resistant
  • Hand anodized aluminum construction

Things We Didn't Like

  • Tricky to attach the pressure switch to the rifle
  • Caution

It is one of the best reviewed flashlights for a weapon. However, there is one small thing that bothers some customers:

It can be a bit tricky to attach the pressure switch to the rifle. This can be easily remedied by using a small piece of Velcro tape, though.

Verdict

If you are looking for a great recoil-proof flashlight for your hunting rifle, look no further, this is an excellent tactical flashlight that packs in all the goodies at a very affordable price point.

6

Surefire X400 Ultra High LED Weaponlight

When it comes to weapon mounted tactical flashlights, Surefire seems to rise above all the competition. The Ultra High Output light from Surefire packs in enough muscle to rise to the top. As the name suggests, it is one of the brightest weapons mounted flashlights on the market.

  • Power that is optimized

There is some weapon mounted flashlights out there, but what sets this bad boy apart is the high-performance LED that produces an amazing 500 lumens of light that are optimized for human vision. This flashlight uses a special off-white LED that is much easier on the eyes than the pure white variants. This makes using it easier on your eyes without compromising the performance or the range.

  • Great optical system

Another great thing about this flashlight is the beautiful total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens. This makes the beam very compact for higher accuracy by minimizing diffusion and leakage of the stray light. The TIR technology also ensures a proper level of peripheral illumination as well. With this flashlight, you will be getting the best of both long distance and peripheral illumination.

  • Ambidextrous switch

The one thing that many weapons mounted tactical flashlights painfully lack is an ambidextrous switch. Whether you are a leftie or a rightie, you will have no problems accessing the tactical switch that can be operated at a constant on or a temporary on position.

  • Optional pressure activated switches

Although the standard model of this flashlight does not come with a pressure activated switch, there is always an option to add one. Surefire sells many of these switches that you can quickly add on to this flashlight to customize to your needs.

Things We Liked

  • Very powerful as far as weapon mounted flashlights go
  • Ambidextrous switch for superior convenience
  • Optional tactical pressure switch
  • Water resistent
  • Sturdy built

Things We Didn't Like

  • Removing the screw is tough
  • Caution

This flashlight has received a lot of love from customers over the years. However, one small thing that I found in this flashlight is:

Like most people, I have a weapon running a Picatinny rail. I needed to remove the standard mount that came with the flashlight. Although it is not a biggie, removing and re-tightening the screws is never fun, right?

Verdict

This is a great flashlight if you are looking for a sturdy and not to mention powerful compact flashlight to be mounted on your hand gun. It is an ideal flashlight for you if you are in law enforcement or security profession.

7

Surefire P2X Fury Dual Output LED

If you are looking for an unpretentious, compact and a heavy-duty light, the P2X Fury is a perfect choice for you. This very compact tactical flashlight is designed to keep the end product very simplistic. The ‘no-fuss' approach of this flashlight has appealed to many customers over the years, and it is one of the best-selling military flashlights from Surefire.

  • Compact design

The first thing that sets this flashlight apart is the very compact design. I mean, there are many flashlights out there that are compact, this flashlight is the best designed of them all if you ask me. I like that it has a minimalistic approach that works great for the design, and the solid anodized aluminum construction feels just right in the palm of your hand.

  • Uncompromising Power

Although the P2X is so small and compact that it can slide right into your pocket, it does not skimp on the power even a bit. With the CREE based LED technology at the helm, this compact powerhouse can drive a powerful beam of light tipping the scales at over 500 lumens. This is certainly one of the brightest flashlights in this class of compact military flashlights.

  • Multiple power modes

I really like the fact the flashlight came with two power modes. Given, that it does not have the multiple power modes of some other flashlights, the two modes are good enough to get you through literally any situation. So, this works in the overall simplistic appeal of the design very well.

Things We Liked

  • Compact design with lightweight
  • Powerful CREE based LED technology
  • Multiple modes; Low: 15 lumens (46 hours) and High: 500 Lumens (1.5 hours)
  • Water resistent
  • Anodized aluminum body

Things We Didn't Like

  • Limited dual mode output
  • Caution

I like the P2X a lot, mainly as it is very simple to use and is very well built. The only downside of this flashlight is

It has a limited dual mode output, and you can't focus the beam if you want. Although the function of this flashlight is simple and user-friendly, and it succeeds in achieving this. If you keep this in mind, it can be a very nice buy!

Verdict

If you are looking for a top small flashlight, very well built and sturdy and don't need to be added bells and whistles, this is a flashlight for you. I would recommend this flashlight as a ‘go-to' flashlight in homes. So, if you are looking for something like this, I say go for it!

8

InForce APL Pistol Mounted Light

Another weapon mounted a flashlight on out list; this military flashlight is one of the best pistol mounted flashlights out there. It is very simple and elegant looking flashlight that does not add any additional weight to the pistol and is ideal for people who rely on handguns for self-protection and law enforcement.

  • Powerful for a pistol mounted flashlight

The one beef that I usually have with weapon mounted flashlights is that they aren’t just powerful enough. Well, with the InForce APL, this problem seems to have been taken care of by InForce. I loved the 200-lumen output from this really small flashlight. To be honest, I was not expecting this much light from this bad boy, so I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least.

  • Completely original switching system

I like the switching system on the APL. The switch consists of two large pedals that flank the trigger once you get it onto the pistol. This makes activation of the flashlight easy whether you are left or right-handed. All you need to activate the flashlight is to push gently either of these pedals.

  • Great lockout feature

This is also a vital feature on a pistol mounted a flashlight. Although you need the flashlight, you don't want to activate it unnecessarily when you don't need it. The lock-out feature of this flashlight makes doing it very easy. All you need to do is turn the bezel about a ¼, and just like that, you have locked the light switch!

Things We Liked

  • Compact design with lightweight
  • Powerful
  • Great design and mounting mechanism; recoil proof and water proof
  • Durable polymer body

Things We Didn't Like

  • No pressure switch
  • Caution

Although this is an excellent tactical flashlight that is easy to mount on a handgun, there is one issue that may occur to some users

It does not have a pressure switch to adjust the power output. This is a minor issue as the flashlight is powerful enough to meet any requirement. Although if adjusting the light output is something you must have, this may not be the light for you.

Verdict

It is a good flashlight that does what it is supposed to do. It is secure on the gun, has good power and is light weight. If you are looking for a pistol mounted flashlight that is simple and will not break your bank, this is it!

9

Streamlight 69260

Another gem from Streamlight, this weapon mounted tactical or military flashlight is a perfect combination of style and performance. This ultralight flashlight can be mounted on any handgun within seconds and does not add to the weight of the weapon.

  • Power

The first thing that sets this tac flashlight apart is the power. This is hands down; the most powerful weapon mounted tactical flashlight out there. With the C4 LED technology driving the light output, this flashlight can generate a whopping 630 lumens of light that can illuminate a whole neighborhood. If you are looking for raw power, this is undoubtedly the best.

  • Easy to fit

Another feature of this flashlight is the fact that it is very easy to mount on a variety of weapons. With the single handed Snap-On interface, you can attach this flashlight to any weapon within seconds.

  • Great optics

The TIR lens included in this flashlight makes it perfect for a long range as well as peripheral illumination. You don’t have to worry about illuminating the periphery with another light source with this flashlight on your gun.

Things We Liked

  • Lightweight; weighing in at just 4.2 ounces
  • Powerful
  • Easy snap-on mechanism
  • Durable polymer body

Things We Didn't Like

  • No multiple power mode
  • Caution

The Streamlight 69260 is a great weapon mounted flashlight but it suffers from one flaw in my opinion

There is no multiple power mode option on this flashlight. Although it not such a big issue for me, if it is for you, then think about some of our earlier recommendations.

Verdict

This is a compact flashlight that is very easy to be mounted on a gun. It is sturdy and durable. If you are into the market for a reliable flashlight with no bells and whistles, this is your guy.

10

Pelican 7600

The Pelican 7600 rechargeable tactical flashlight, in my opinion, has some of the best features that allow it to rank amongst the best. Looking at the various reviews available online, I am tempted to think that I am not alone since the product’s users are in awe as well. Here are some of its main features:

  • Runtime

When purchasing a tactical flashlight or any other similar product, the runtime of the product plays a huge role in determining whether I will settle for it or otherwise. When purchasing this particular product, I fell in love with its runtime immediately. The flashlight can light for up to 3 hours 15 minutes when operating in high mode, 2 hours 30 minutes when operating in medium mode and 29 hours when operating in low mode.

  • Versatile modes

The lumen of the Pelican 7600 rechargeable flashlight is also very strong. I can attest that the flashlight hits 944 when operating on high mode, 479 when operating in medium mode and 37 when operating in low mode. Another feature that struck me with this tactical flashlight from the Pelican Products Inc. is its ability to light up to 225 meters ahead.

  • Physical nature

This tactical flashlight has one of the best finishes that I have ever seen. It has an aluminum body with an anodized finish that has allowed it to serve me for a considerable amount of time now. It also uses USB lithium Ion rechargeable battery and has a battery level indicator. I find this extremely useful because I can comfortably plan myself accordingly depending on the battery level.

  • Awesome guarantees

Despite the fact that this tactical flashlight is already of top quality, it comes with a legendary guarantee that lasts forever. I rarely come across products with guts to offer such guarantees.


  • Additional features

As compared to most of the other tactical flashlights that I have come across before, this one has some additional features that the others may not possess. These include 3 LED colors (white, red, green), has four modes and is certified for use.

Things We Liked

  • It is durable
  • Very efficient
  • Easy to use
  • Very convenient for short-term projects

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not suitable for long projects
  • Slightly longer in size than most tactical flashlights
  • Caution

As compared to the previous versions of the Pelican series of tactical flashlights, I feel that the manufacturer should have improved the batteries’ quality. However, Pelican did a good job of including the rechargeable feature so you do not have a cause for worry if you have a constant supply of power. Yes, it is true that this flashlight produces some magnificent light.

However, it cannot do so continually for longer as compared to some of the other tactical flashlights that I have come across. If you are looking for a flashlight that will give you strong powerful light for 2-3 hrs, this is an option for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for one that will last you through the night or longer, you might have to consider other options.

Verdict

The Pelican 7600 is definitely one of the best and I can definitely recommend to anyone. I realized that it is very hard to come across that fully fulfills your needs. However, after working with this brand, I noticed that it served most of my needs. If anything, it is durable, strong, efficient, convenient and very easy to use and carry around.

Factors To Look At Before Purchasing

Tactical flashlights are built to meet impeccable performance and quality standards. They are designed to function reliably in any situation imaginable. Although there is no one parameter that qualifies a flashlight to be tactical, there are certain features such as:

  • Brightness: Let me put it this way, a tactical flashlight has to be bright, really bright. Most of them have incredible power and can illuminate an entire football field! An excellent flashlight is not only bright; it can throw a beam over several meters as well.
  • Versatility: Power is not everything. For being truly tactical, a flashlight must adapt to your illumination needs as well. A great flashlight gives the user a lot of versatility to play with. It can be used as a very bright searchlight or a great camp light or in some cases even a book light! Versatility is an integral part of being tactical, and these flashlights embrace it totally.
  • Quality: Any tactical grade equipment has an excellent built quality. The tactical flashlights are no exception to this rule. Good ones are made with state-of-the-art materials that give them exceptional durability and also offer a distinct functional advantage.
  • Reliability: Last but certainly not the least, comes reliability. You don't want a flashlight with high specs and a great built if it is not reliable, right? Whether you are out and about on a lovely cool night or trapped in a blizzard, you must be able to trust your tool. So, yeah, it needs to be reliable!

How to Choose A Perfect Tactical Flashlight?

There are so many tactical or military flashlights (as they are often called) out there on the market that choosing the correct one can be a bit overwhelming. However, focusing on certain critical aspects can make your choice much easier. Let’s take a look at some important considerations that you should bear in mind while choosing that perfect military flashlight:

  • Power and illumination
Alkaline Batteries

Alkaline batteries are used for Tactical Flashlights!

The flashlights on the market vary when it comes to power. The output of these flashlights is measured in units called Lumens. Generally speaking, higher the Lumens, brighter is the light. If you take a look at some of the tactical flashlights on the market, you will see that they vary considerably in Lumens. But What does it mean in the real world? Well, let's take a look:

  • Let's say, the power is out, and you want to figure out the way to the restroom, a 15 lumen light will be sufficient.
  • If on the other hand, you wish to illuminate an entire room, you will need about 60 lumens.
  • On your strolls through a dark alley, a 150 lumen light will suffice.
  • If you want to defend yourself from an attacker by blinding him/her temporarily, you will need about 300 lumens, and
  • On a campground, a 700 lumen light can literally lighten up the entire campsite. Many EDC flashlights put out that amount of light, albeit temporarily for a short period.
  • Anything above 1000 lumens is stupendously bright; the chances are that you might not need that high an illumination ever, or at least not on a regular basis.

Now that you know what these lumen numbers mean in the real world choose the light that suits your illumination needs. Although, I will strongly suggest a military flashlight that can generate a range of lumens so that you are covered for all potential needs.

  • Power Source
Difference Watts and Lumens

This is also one of the most important considerations when it comes to tactical flashlights. The power source will determine its power, runtime, and overall usability as well. Military flashlights can use a number of power sources, some of them are:

  • Alkaline batteries: These batteries are disposable. They need to be replaced once they are exhausted and they come in an assortment of sizes such as AAA, AA, D and C to fit flashlights of varying sizes. They are cheap and easily available, but can add to your operational costs over the years. If you are someone who uses a flashlight only on an occasional basis, they may not be the wrong choice for you. However, if you are like me uses their flashlight almost every day, they are not ideal.
  • Disposable Lithium batteries: These batteries are also disposable just like the alkaline ones, but they have higher capacity. They can pack more power compared to the traditional alkaline batteries. Another benefit of the Lithium technology is the fact that the shelf-life of these batteries is almost ten years that is significantly more to the 2-year shelf life of the alkaline batteries.
  • Rechargeable batteries: These look very similar to the alkaline and Lithium disposable batteries, but they can be recharged once they are out of juice. These batteries are my personal favorites as they give me the convenience to charge them up whenever I need without having to run to the store to replace them. Also, these come for free with many flashlights, talk about a win-win situation!
  • Rechargeable integrated battery packs: Some tactical flashlights use specifically designed battery packs instead of the traditional batteries. These packs are integrated into the design of the flashlight itself. They are designed to work specifically with that flashlight and hence can be more efficient. Also, the integration of the battery pack can reduce the footprint of the flashlight significantly. Although, on the flipside, you can't remove the battery and you will have to plug in the whole unit to recharge it.
  • Adaptability

The most important aspect of a tactical or military flashlight is its adaptability. No matter how powerful the flashlight is, or how many bells and whistles it has, if it can’t be adapted to your needs, it is useless. Most of the tactical flashlight manufacturers realize this and most of the flashlights offer you control on how you use them. An outstanding flashlight has multiple modes of operation so that you can get the best illumination for your needs at the same time, save the valuable battery life. The most common operation modes are:

  • Burst: This is the brightest mode of a flashlight. It is to be used only occasionally and will yield the least battery life.
  • Economy: As the name suggests, it is the power conservation mode. It will have a little light output and gives the best battery life.
  • Intermediate modes: They can be labeled as High, Mid, and Low modes and will have accordingly high medium and low brightness.

When choosing the best military flashlight, make sure that you have all these modes covered. It will give you the freedom of using your tactical flashlight the way you want to use it.

  • Size of the Flashlight

The size of the flashlight is also an important consideration. The flashlights available on the market can range from tiny ones to large ones and everything in between. Smaller flashlights called Minis, can be around 3 inches and can still belt out an impressive 250 lumens of light. Although, if you need some serious power, you will have to compromise with larger flashlights.

Large flashlights can be over 6 inches in length, but the added length means that they pack in much more power and can be handy in case of self-defense sort of emergency. So, in the end, the choice is really personal. Go for the flashlight that suits your needs. If you are looking for a flashlight that you can carry in your pocket, there is no point in getting one of those super powerful, bulky units, right?

So in short, the size depends on the end usage. Chose the flashlight that meets your size requirements without compromising on power and functionality.

  • Additional Features

There are many other features that you can consider in addition to the ones that we discussed above. Some of them are:

  • A tactical switch: This feature is paramount if you are in law enforcement or love to go hunting in the dark. The ability to switch between power modes can be very critical in those situations. A well-placed switch can save those valuable seconds while handling emergency situations. So, pay attention to this feature if you are someone who will be benefited from this.
  • Accessories: Many flashlights come with accessories such as holsters and pocket clips.
  • Price: Price is of course very important consideration. Some of these tactical flashlights can run surprisingly expensive. But at the same time, the more expensive flashlights have a lot of features as well. Budget flashlights are available with limited features.

How Do We Choose the List?

There are hundreds of websites that review and rate these rechargeable tactical flashlight brands. But I don’t have to tell you that, right? What sets us apart is the fact that our product selection is as meticulous as it can get.

We are not motivated to promote a particular manufacturer or a brand; we are here to give you the most honest and genuine reviews of the most well received and trustworthy products on the market. We choose our flashlights based on how well they perform in the real world and not on how they look on paper.

It is very important for us to make sure that our recommended products work in the field as well as the manufacturers advertise them. We take care in picking the best products so that the choice for you can become easy and straightforward.

Conclusion

Tactical flashlights are on any list of must-have tools, whether you are a hiker, an outdoorsman or an average homeowner. Choosing the perfect flashlight can be a bit daunting, though. With so many makes and models on the market, the choice seems to be endless. The situation is further complicated with hundreds of so-called reviews online.

Well, the confusion stops right now. In this military grade flashlight review, we have covered everything that you need to know about it. We have selected the best tactical and military flashlights that the market has to offer and reviewed each one of them regarding real-world applications.

All that is left you to do is place an order! You just can't go wrong in any one of our selected products. We have provided you with the most comprehensive guide on choosing the best tactical flashlight for the money, and we are sure that after reading this, you will feel confident in making a perfect choice.

So, get your suitable flashlight now and feel the power of light!