If you're like most people, you probably think of flashlights as something you'd keep in your kitchen drawer in case of a power blackout, or just something you'd carry along in your pocket on an occasional camping trip, as an EDC (every day carry) or even for home defense and protection. According to experts, however, a flashlight is something everyone should have with them at all times. But they're not talking about just any old torch --- what they're actually recommending is a tactical flashlight for self defense.
This is the next best thing to real night vision! A bright light can work wonders so look at this buyers guide for a EDC flashlight to buy. I think this is a very important piece of tactical gear.
Our Top 10 Self Defense Tactical Flashlight Choices
And probably what you really came here for, recommendations and suggestions! Here are our top ten!
If you love camping, hiking and other outdoor activities, the TAC-1200 LED flashlight is one choice for best tactical lights you could carry with you on any adventure. As the name suggests, this device has a super bright output of about 1200 lumens, which is enough to light your way through the darkest of paths you may come across. The TAC-1200 is made out of high grade aluminum, which means it's resistant to corrosion. Combine this with the water resistence capability and it's easy to see why this flashlight would be great for the outdoors.
- LED bulb with a 100,000-hour lifespan.
- 5 modes of use, including low, medium, strobe modes, high and SOS.
- Packed in a compact case for convenient everyday carrying.
As you may well know, having a tactical self defense flashlight can help you get out of most sticky situations. And if you're looking for a great device at an affordable price, the TAC-1200 would be worth considering. Besides the advanced LED that will keep working for years to come, you'll also get a special holster, a hard case and a couple of chargers when you purchase this flashlight.
Read the full TAC1200 tactical flashlight review. It is also the second brightest tactical flashlight on this list.
Manufactured by Primitive Survivors, the XT808 is a light that has lately caused a stir in tactical LED flashlights market. This has happened in spite of the fact that it's made by a relatively new company, albeit one that's gaining a reputation as a manufacturer of stellar products. To prove just how highly the XT808 LED flashlight is regarded, it's currently being used by police and law enforcement departments and the military.
- Sturdy construction tactical flashlight using an aircraft grade aluminum alloy for maximum strength and durability.
- 5 preset modes which include: low, medium, high, strobe and SOS.
- Telescoping focus ranging from 1x to 2000X.
Using the right setting, the XT808 everyday carry flashlight is bright enough to temporarily blind someone, which is probably the reason why the manufacturer advertises it as an effective non-lethal defense mechanism. The company goes on to assert that it's so bright that it could even blind a bear. This sounds like an outrageous claim, but a good number of users have reported that the XT808's light output of 800 lumens is enough to blind someone for a few minutes at the very least. Whatever the case, there are plenty of reasons to suggest that the XT808 could be the perfect flashlight for hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone else looking for a personal defense tool.
In a nutshell, the XT808 is arguably one best tactical flashlight for self defense on the market today. It packs some impressive feature in a tough, portable case that you could easily carry around without the risk of losing it. So if you're looking for an everyday light that you could carry along for an extended nature walk during the summer, you might want to put the XT808 among your list of options.
AlumiTact X700 (Awesome G700 Replica)
As a relatively new entrant into the market, the AlumiTact X700 can easily be mistaken for the LumiTact G700. But although the two products share a common platform, the former isn't an updated G700 version, as most people assume. As a matter of fact, the AlumiTact X700 is basically a replica of this G700, with pricing being the most significant difference between the two.
With 700 lumens, the X700 packs enough power to illuminate objects located as far as 2,000 feet away from the user. The intense brightness level also allows one to blind someone from a beam distance of 300 feet without much of a problem. And while most of its counterparts use tiny LEDs for illumination, the X700 relies on a larger chip that's about 30 times more powerful. This advanced LED was originally developed by Lumitact while they were supplying flashlights to the military.
The X700 comes with an adjustable focus feature, thanks to the optical zoom lens made using solid glass similar to that used in the manufacture of camera lenses. There are 3 focus operation modes (low, medium and high) to allow users adjust the beam throw size. Also included are 3 separate lighting modes (continuous, strobe and SOS) for use in different situations.
The X700's high grade aluminum body is made using a carbonized aircraft aluminum alloy known for its durability and crash resistance. While you'll probably like it for the hard black case that holds the flashlight and a few accessories, the X700 will hardly feel unfamiliar in your hands. Also included in the package are 3 aaa batteries and a couple of chargers. Speaking of which, the charging process only takes about an hour, giving the battery enough juice to last a run time of at least 2 days.
Ultimately, the AlumiTact X700 falls within the criteria of what most people look for in a handheld tactical flashlight. Granted, the company still has a lot of ground to make if it's to join the elite club of best tactical flashlight manufacturers. That said, the X700's affordable pricing and features should be enough to convince you to at least give it a try.
Read the full X700 tactical flashlight review.
When searching for a decent tactical flashlight, you're probably going to be frustrated by the various mediocre products out there. From cheaply manufactured items to products that are simply impractical due to their high power usage, there are plenty of issues that you might encounter with quite a number of flashlights. That is until you come across the HyBeam tactical light, which goes against the grain with its affordable pricing, despite the amazing features it comes with.
- Ultra-bright YAG LED flashlight bulb.
- 3-button tail switch that allows easy switching between different modes.
- Beveled edge so that it acts as a self-defense tool.
- Compact 4-inch casing with an easy grip.
While the average self defense flashlight will only illuminate a distance of about 3 to 4 feet, the military-grade HyBeam can light an area of about 50 square feet. The manufacturer goes a step further to offer superb customer service along with their great offering. So if you're searching for a flashlight that won't let you down, why not consider getting yourself a clever, invaluable tool like the HyBeam X100?
Read the full Hybeam tactical flashlight review.
J5 Tactical V1 Pro
Versatility is one of the key characteristics of a great handheld tactical flashlight --- it has to be suitable for a handful of uses including self defense, hunting, camping and survival. The J5 Tactical V1 Pro is a flashlight that scores great in virtually all these areas. As soon as you take it out of the box, one of the first things you'll notice is the compactness and overall balance of the flashlight. The manufacturer states that with one AA battery installed, the J5 Hyper Tactical V1 Pro weighs only 3.5 ounces.
Measuring about 4 inches in length, the J5 should be ideal for people who want a LED tactical flashlight that takes up minimal space without sacrificing performance. The body is made using military grade aluminum and, as a result, the J5 feels quite sturdy in one's hands. The use of such a strong material for the body should give the J5 can handle bumps and shock quite comfortably.
With a regular AA battery, the J5 will give you a light output of about 150 lumens, which would be just about enough for everyday use. But if you prefer more light, all you need to do is replace the normal battery with a lithium ion cell. This would effectively double the light output to about 300 lumens. With the adjustable focus LED technology on the J5, you have zoom in and out for an intense beam and wide coverage illumination respectively. The on/off tail switch is located at the bottom, which means the J5 is suitable for mounting on weapons like a tactical pistol. The presence of a heavy-duty belt clip also means this torch should be a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts.
Although the easy to carry J5 Tactical V1-Pro is hardly ever going to be mistaken for a high end product on the market, it's still worth a second look. Designed to be tough and practical, this light may surprise you with the kind of quality is has to offer. While some have reported that the beam is somewhat smaller than expected, most users found it to be durable and a good value.
Read the full J5 tactical flashlight review.
Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL Weapon Mount (Great For an AR-15)
There are several good reasons why you might prefer to use a mounted light or gun lights when you have a weapon in hand. Not only does it allow you the ability to use a rigid two-hand grip, but it also guarantees that the brightest part of the light never goes away from your point of aim. And if you're looking for a great rail-mounted tactical light, one of your best options would be the Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL.
- Built-in picatinny rail mount.
- Remote pressure switch for mounting on rifles.
- Double-tap momentary paddle that activates the programmable strobe mode.
- Flashlight has IPX7 waterproof rating.
With a light output of 630 lumens, this flashlight yields a sufficiently wide beam with a good pattern. This is more than enough to identify anyone concealed in the shadows while simultaneously destroying their dark-adapted vision. Streamlight further enhanced this with a high-powered strobe function that works efficiently in disorienting potential threats. There's also an ambidextrous ON/OFF switch that makes the TLR-1 HL a clear winner in the market.
This is a flashlight that has been carefully designed to incorporate functionality and technology similar to that used by elite military units all over the globe. This includes an advanced LED bulb that can be used for up to 100,000 hours and a durable, compact aluminum housing. It's safe to say that the TacLight T1100 will probably be the last tactical flashlight you'll ever need, and for some good reasons too.
- Advanced LED light bulb designed to be plunged up to 6 feet underwater.
- Adjustable telescopic beam with zoom levels ranging form 1X to 2000X.
- Rechargeable flashlights Lithium Ion battery that offers up to 12 hours of usage.
Klarus Upgraded XT11GT (Our favorite Rechargeable)
Designed to be a compact upgrade to the XT11S, the Kralus XT11GT is one of the brightest tactical flashlights on the market. While most of its features are largely similar to those of its cousin, the XT11S, the upgrade's light output measures an impressive 2000 lumens. But brightness isn't the only thing to love about the XT11GT; users can adjust brightness across 4 levels, not to mention a couple of flashing modes for emergencies. Like its predecessor, the XT11GT also has 3 programmable settings that could be used in different situations.
- One-touch turbo and One-touch low settings, outdoor settings and advanced tactical setting.
- Rechargeable battery.
- Both tactical and sporty!
Streamlight 88059 ProTac
Based on Streamlight's proven series of hand-held tactical lights, the 88059 ProTac Rail Mount 2 is a great way to light up the night without breaking the bank. This is because it has the features you'd be looking for in a weapon-mounted tactical light, including 625 lumens and programmable modes to match different lighting needs. The flashlight also has the same secure heft and rugged feel you'd expect from the manufacturer, which means you won't have any worries putting it on a rifle that might have seen some pretty serious abuse.
- Remote pressure switch with constant-on and momentary modes of operation.
- Fixed-rail grabber with a thumbscrew for easy attachment onto weapons.
- One-handed Snap-On and tighten interface.
- Waterproof up to a depth of 1m for up to 30 minutes.
Overall, the ProTac Rail Mount 2 is just as good, if not better than pricier devices from other manufacturers. It does everything you'd expect from a decent tactical light, and you won't have to break your budget in order to get yourself one. As a matter of fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more affordable tool that turns your weapon of choice into the perfect self defense tool for the night.
Supernova Guardian 1300XL
Designed using the latest LED technology, the Supernova Guardian 1300XL is among the best LED tactical flashlights in its price range. While the name might sound like a marketing catchphrase, the 1300XL carries some features only found in products that cost twice as much. The use of a smooth, brushed alloy for the body results in a light flashlight that packs a sufficient punch when needed for self-defense. It also gives the 1300XL a good looking finish that can resist scratching and physical impact resistence.
Light is produced using an ultra-bright CREE XM-L U2 LED bulb whose output falls at 1300 lumens. For enhanced versatility, it has 5 different operation modes powered by BrightStart Memory Technology. When you first turn it on, you'll be in the full mode, after which you can cycle through the medium, low, strobe modes and SOS modes respectively.
According to the manufacturer, the 2 lithium ion batteries that power the 1300XL should be able to keep it in high beam for at least 4 hours, after which it automatically goes into power saving mode. Thereafter, you can get an extra 4 hours of use while it's in low-beam mode.
Overall, the Supernova Guardian 1300XL is a great tactical light for the price. It packs some practical features you could use as you get through the day. The sturdy, lightweight case also make it suitable for heavy-duty outdoor use.
Tactical flashlights can be used in both everyday and threatening situations, piercing the darkness with an intense beam emitting from a small, lightweight and powerful device. Designed originally for tactical teams, these lights now serve homeowners in protecting their households from external threats. Since you'll probably be using your tactical light in high-stress situations, you might want to take some time evaluating your needs if you're going to purchase one that properly addresses your needs.
Best Tactical Flashlight For Self Defense - What Are They?
Developed initially for special law enforcement and military teams, handheld tactical flashlights are basically lights that are designed to function without the inherent drawbacks of conventional lights. While they're typically smaller than their conventional counterparts, tactical lights emit much more light, which allows you to identify objects without turning users into targets themselves. Some are also designed to be mounted lights to weapons for low-light shooting.
Although tactical lights are designed primarily for police and military units, some are now available to ordinary citizens. Compared to conventional torches, these lights deliver some intensely bright beams from a lighter, more compact package. While your average torch will use a couple of D batteries and a standard bulb to yield up to 20 lumens, a decent compact tactical light will crank a minimum of 60 lumen flashlights, with no dark spots or holes. Weapon-mounted lights, which can also double as handheld devices, also have the ability to withstand the recoil and shock of a firearm.
The Parts Of A Best Tactical Flashlight
Although not all devices will be similar, there are several parts found on most self defense tactical lights:
- Bezel: As the head part, this works to hold the light-emitting components in place.
- Lens: This amplifies the reach and brightness of an already powerful torch. It can also be used to illuminate different areas in various colors, including red, blue, green and clear.
- LED Technology: Since these bulbs don't rely on filaments, they have an enhanced ability to withstand shock. LED lighting also guarantees the best possible vision, no matter how bad the conditions get.
- Reflector: This is what shapes the light coming from the LED, resulting in a direct beam. It also works to enhance the beam's power emitted from the already powerful source.
- Tactical Tail switch and tail cap (sometimes with a pocket clip): This is the button that turns the flashlight on. Its placement at the butt allows for maximum control over the direction in which the beam is aimed, which is crucial for stealth and defense operations.
How to Choose The Best Tactical Flashlight For Self Defense & Other Uses
Tactical lights are rapidly rising in popularity among civilian users. While these devices cost significantly more than the average torch in your bedroom cabinet, the functionality they offer can be priceless. Still, you need to ensure you get a quality product when shopping, which is why you might want to understand what you need to consider before you start shopping:
- Budget: Like with most other things, you can only get what you pay for. Most decent handheld flashlights will start around $30, with the best models costing at least 3 times as much.
- Size: If you're purchasing a flashlight for everyday use, you need to have one you can comfortably carry with you at all times.
- Power source: Your options here include disposable and rechargeable batteries.
- Durability: The best products are usually made of hard anodized aluminum, and have an advanced LED bulb for enhanced longevity.
- Accessories: Common add-ons include belt clips, lens filters, lanyards, and diffusers. Note that not dealers include accessories in the original package; some opt to sell them separately.
How Are These Defense Flashlights Tested?
Advances in manufacturing technology have resulted in devices that are brighter and more compact than their counterparts from just a few years ago. However, a good number of individuals have found it rather difficult to compare different flashlights. As a result, industry experts have worked to come up with standards for tactical flashlights to ensure that all devices are tested in the same way. So as you try to choose the best tactical flashlight for your needs, there are a few more details you need to look out for:
- Light output: This is a basic measure of beam intensity emitted by the flashlight, and is usually indicated by the lumen count. While ti's a great comparison tool, it doesn't provide the whole picture about brightness.
- Beam distance: This indicates how far the beam will shine before it diminishes to a level similar to a night illuminated by a full moon.
- Run time: This will tell you how long it will take for the light output to dip to a tenth of the optimum level on new batteries.
- Impact resistance: Here, a device is tested by dropping it several times onto concrete at a set beam distance. The test is done to ensure that the light stays functional after the occasional drop. However, it's not a test of resistance for the device being stuck with a hefty object or being run over.
How Bright And How Many Lumens Do You Need?
Seeing properly is a crucial part of successfully handling a threatening situation and, for this reasons, tactical lights are usually very bright. There's a certain level of brightness that could temporarily blind a person, which can be very useful for self-defense. Which begs the question, how bright should your tactical flashlight be?
Well, that will largely depend on your needs. If you're just looking for something that has the ability to disorient an attacker by temporarily blinding them, you'll want a device with an output of 200 lumens at the very least, with 500 or 600 being even better. For outdoor use, you want a flashlight that's over 150 lumens. Since different products will have varying output levels, it would help to understand where each self defense flashlight would be most appropriate.
This is enough to light up a large room or even a small campsite.
Light up quite a huge area with relative ease.
Over 700 Lumens
This level of power would be suitable for individuals who want maximum brightness from a light source they can easily carry by hand, such as search and rescue workers. Great for using as a blinding defense against intruders too!
* Speaking of brightness, it's worth keeping in mind that brighter flashlights will usually deplete batteries more quickly. This needs to be taken into account when shopping for a suitable flashlight!
Should You Buy A Tactical Light?
You'll be hard-pressed to find someone who'll probably never need a tactical light at some point. Depending on your occupation and what you need from your gear, most conventional torches will be too small and, as a result, they may not be bright enough for your needs. In contrast, these best tactical flashlights will not only give you plenty of light in dark environments, but also offer plenty of other uses as well. Such would include:
Most devices are made of hard anodized aluminum and, as such, they can be used as striking tools to break both windows and faces. When you combine the ability to blind someone with the striking force that you get from most modern best tactical flashlight, you have a pretty effective combination of defense mechanisms.
Tactical lights can be used simply as a means to signal someone for help, thanks to the strobe modes functionality available on most devices.
Survival during emergencies
In a typical emergency situation, power might not be available. Besides giving you the chance to see things in the dark, a tactical flashlight could be the difference between being found and a prolonged ordeal with some pretty unpleasant outcomes.
In a nutshell, a good tactical light can serve a handful of purposes. In situations where you can't, or just don't want to carry a weapon with you, a decent light may be your best alternative. In fact, it might be something that you don't know you need till it's too late, which is why you might want to get yourself one as soon as you can. Familiarizing yourself with some best tactical flashlights currently in the market will be incredibly helpful as you shop.