Hi guys! I must say that to get the best tactical flashlight is very simple and easy, like to choose other led flashlight, it has some features that you wanna consider. This guide will help you make an educated buying decision.
First, you should go over my ultimate guide for how to get the best led flashlights which will help you get a huge necessary knowledge about led flashlight. In this post, I just wanna focus on tactical flashlight and point out the some important features must-have for most of best tactical flashlights.
Tactical flashlights come with a broad array of features and prices so determining which one is the best for you can be confusing at first. My hope is that by the time you’ve had a chance to review this information you’ll feel confident that you can choose the best led tactical flashlight for your budget and application.
The following information used to help you determine how to select a best quality led tactical flashlight. There are a variety of factors to consider when buying a best tactical flashlight and hopefully this information will help you make the best choice possible.
I’m convinced that there is no single LED flashlight for every situation although there are quite a few tactical flashlights that excel in a variety of use cases.
So the question is
- What is the led tactical flashlight?
- What did make a led flashlight has tactical features?
The simply understanding, the tactical flashlight is designed for tactical purpose (military, police, security …). It has all features of normal led flashlight but is equipped some advance functions which you’ll find out by following this post.
Many tactical flashlights was designed for weapon-mounted such as Streamlight TLR-1 HL. Most of them has size smaller than classic flashlights, however it gives better brightness (high lumen) and its body made by hard metal alloy for durability.
In addition, you can use the tactical led flashlight for self- defender and use as a normal flashlight in many case.
In general, the led tactical flashlight is a set of common features (or at least a subset of these features). Most of the best tactical flashlight is black, made of aluminum, multiple power modes, multiple lighting modes, water resistance, and at a minimum 200 lumens. In my opinion, any flashlight that is primarily plastic isn’t tactical.
After a long search with many failures, I had the conclusion that a tactical flashlight can be BEST excellent for me but may be very HORRIBLE for other people, that why the buyers who should acquire information on more than one product and then decide which one is suitably the best for.
The tactical flashlight is an incredible self-defender hand tool. There are hundreds of difference types in the market. Therefore, which one should you choose? The best tactical flashlight, i.e. you should choose the one that suitable for your budget and hobby.
Below are eight features of tactical flashlight that you must-have for a high quality tactical flashlight.
1. The Size: you should choose a small one, which you can put in and take out of your pocket easily. The big size is still fine but you need the one that portal and versatility.
2. High Lumen (strong brightness): the minimum of lumen is 200 lumens because you need strong brightness for blind the opponent and attacker. If the lumen is under 200 lm that not works well for these case.
3. Strobe: This is main feature of best tactical led flashlights. It produce high lumen strobe light that cause temporary shocked and blind eyes of the opponent for self-defender purpose.
4. SOS: Its function is used for emergency and survival case. This is an absolute must-have function if you are person who love outdoor activity.
5. Long Runtime: The quality tactical led flashlights are equipped high quality electric circuit driver, which will drive the led bulb is correctly, efficiently and save energy because high lumen will consume lot of energy.
6. Body: Because it operating and working in many environments, cases, situations so your tactical flashlight have to made by hard metal alloy.
- Stainless Steel: this material is a very strong and durable but it is heavy.
- Titanium: Titanium is the best material in the world. It is very hard like stainless steel and light. The downside to titanium material is the cost.
- Anodized Aluminum: this is the material, which is very popular and most led flashlight manufacturers are using in their product. You should choose the one that have at least type II anodizing but type III (hard anodized) is better.
7. Easy to Use by One Hand (simple): “Keep it simple!”- A good tactical flashlight is easy to control quickly by one hand. So many tactical flashlights built-in so many function (for multi-purpose) and it is difficult to control if you use by one hand – Do not choose it if you are just want a tactical feature as a main function.
8. Water Resistance: This feature is great for you when you want your tactical flashlight works well in every case. I recommend at least getting IPX7 (IPX7: under 1 meter water for up to 30 minutes and IPX8: under 1 meter water for up to 4 hours) water resistant for tactical flashlight if you don’t want it to stop working in the event of an accident.
The good quality led tactical flashlight will give you many benefits. It is easy to carry to anywhere for self-defender or as a EDC tool without worry about permit. And vice versa, if you carry pocket knife or pistol you may be get a problem with it.
To be honest, you probably need more than one tactical led flashlight which are designed for specific applications (although there are some that do a great job for multiple lighting applications).
To choose the best tactical flashlight you need to think about the way you plan to use the flashlight, where you plan to use it, and the features that are “must-haves.”
Below I list out some benefits of tactical flashlight that will answer for the question: why do you need to carry a best tactical led flashlight?
1. Home Security
I always have a variety of best tactical led flashlights throughout the house. The most important one is the “nightstand” flashlight. The bottom line is that when the power goes out you need a dependable flashlight.
Tactical led flashlights help you move around safely in the dark when the power goes out and detect threats on your property.
Obviously, these tactical flashlights are very important to law enforcement, firefighters, and the military. So what if you sit in a cubicle all day?
I do. I’ve used my little Fenix E15 EDC flashlight numerous times at work. It works great for lighting up dark spaces when you have computer cables to hook up.
Are you a mechanic, carpenter or someone that works with their hands. I’m sure you can think of plenty of applications for a good tactical flashlight.
3. Self Defense
Tactical led flashlights are great tools for self-defense purposes. This is one of the main functions of tactical led flashlight. The bright light that they emit can be used to disorient an attacker (particularly the strobe mode).
For example, if you conceal carry using the flashlight will help you more easily detect the level of the threat, blind the perceived threat plus make it hard for that threat to see you draw your weapon if that is something you need to do.
A tactical led flashlight is great defensive tool for people that feel uncomfortable carrying a weapon or work in an environment where no guns or knives are allowed. A well built-higher lumens rated tactical light combined with a bezel and/or tail cap design meant for striking will not only disorient an attacker but can be used inflict physical injury.
For example , when you shine the strong brightness into the eyes of attacker that cause temporary blind and loss of control in 3 or 4 seconds. As you know, with that short time you can be easy to “knock-out” attacker or run away.
Remember that a best quality tactical led flashlight has body made by hard alloy so that it is enough hard for you use as a weapon to attach the opponent.
As you can see the below picture, the Surefire P2X Fury Defender is stand out and very good for self-defender with high lumen and hard metal alloy body.
4. Hunting and Camping
Choosing the led best tactical flashlight for hunting and camping is easy. It needs to be bright, durable, and good on batteries. It also has to have one very important feature. It needs a beacon mode.
Unlike a strobe, a beacon mode will emit a bright flash of light every few seconds. In the event that you become lost this is a feature that helps preserve battery life while making you really visible from the air.
Some best led flashlights allow you to do the same thing by simply pressing the tail cap switch intermittently. In the event you were injured or doing something that required your attention the beacon mode would let you go hands-free.
Another feature that is important for hunting would be a flashlight with either colored LED’s or filters. Red helps preserve your night vision while green helps you see quite a bit of detail and the lowest power modes of the flashlight.
5. Emergency or/and Survival:
This feature is necessary for outdoor and case of extreme emergency. The brightness from the flashlight will attract attention of rescuers in survival or rescue situation.
To choose the best tactical flashlight for your use it is important to know what to look for in the flashlight’s construction and features.
The common construction features of a tactical flashlight are shown in the photos below:
The following section highlights tactical led flashlight anatomy and the common features you need to be looking for. I’ll reiterate that every tactical flashlight is different, but the features highlighted in the next section are important ones to look for.
An example of a common tactical led flashlight feature is a tail cap switch. In the “everyday carry” tactical flashlight (ultra-small pocket flashlights) many lack a tail cap switch. It doesn’t make the flashlight less tactical but in that class of flashlight manufacturers eliminate some common features to maintain the flashlight’s small size.
To pick the best tactical flashlight you’ll need to read the led flashlight specs to make sure it has all of the features you need for your particular application. Here are some of the more important ones to be aware of.
Typically, tactical flashlights are made out of anodized aluminum. Most of the high quality led tactical flashlights are made of type III anodized aluminum.
This is probably the spec that everyone looks for first. You want to know what your maximum flashlight brightness will be. Since the light will have more than one mode, it’s good to know how many different modes you have and what the lumens rating is for each mode.
3. Batteries and battery life
Although tactical flashlights take a variety of different battery types, the preferred type of battery is the lithium variety. Lithium batteries are far more resistant to temperature changes (longer life in cold weather conditions) and typically last much longer than flashlights using rechargeable AAA or AA batteries. Lithium powered tactical flashlights are generally brighter as well.
Related: What is the BEST 18650 battery for your choice?
The shelf life of lithium batteries is much longer than alkaline batteries as well – up to ten years. This means if you have a tactical flashlight in your bugout bag that takes a CR123A, 18650 battery or another type of lithium battery you can feel pretty confident that it will be working fine. If you need more scientific specs on lithium batteries, you can check out this info.
4. Run time
This is the run time of the tactical flashlight at the lowest lumens setting. Run times are incrementally reduced by higher powers. Some lights do use a “beacon mode” that allows you to use your light as an emergency signal at highest power but lengthens run time.
Tactical flashlights make use of o-rings in their construction for water resistance. Tactical flashlights will almost always have a rating for the depth of water they can be submerged to without water breaching the o-ring seals.
A true best tactical flashlight should have an IPX rating which will help you understand exactly how water resistant your flashlight is. The IP code is the “ingress protection” rating for the flashlight.
In general, most tactical flashlights have an IPX rating of at least 7 (meaning the flashlight is water resistant to 1 meter deep). Nitecore has a page that can give you even more info on IPX ratings which you can see here.
6. Type of Construction
A tactical flashlight will be made of anodized aluminum. 99% will not use plastic in the construction (accept for switches). If the flashlight is plastic it’s hard to classify it as tactical.
7. Drop Rating
Durability is one factor in selecting the best tactical flashlight. The flashlight should have a drop rating. For example, in the image above you’ll see that the tactical flashlight’s drop rating is 1.5 meters.
While going through the process of choosing the best tactical flashlight, you’ll want to consider the various lighting features that are available in each model. The following are two features I like to see in a best quality led flashlight.
1. Strobe Mode
The strobe mode of a tactical flashlight servers a couple of primary features. The most important (in my opinion) is that a strobe is a great self-defense tool. The strobe is very disconcerting and makes it hard for a threat to focus on you. The strobe is also a great attention getting device as well.
2. Beacon Mode
If you are buying a best quality tactical led flashlight for hiking or hunting. I highly recommend getting one with a beacon mode. A tactical flashlight with a beacon mode will emit an extremely bright flash of light every three to five seconds.
Many tactical led flashlights will allow you to simply depress the tail cap switch lightly and accomplish the same thing so why is the beacon feature really that important? If you are in a situation where you are lost you can simply put the tactical flashlight in beacon mode, set it on the tail cap stand and go back to starting a fire, building your shelter, etc.
To select the best tactical flashlight you need to consider what types of accessories the led flashlight has available. In the following sections, I’ve highlighted the mosy common tactical flashlight accessories.
1. Weapons Mount
If you need to put your tactical led flashlight on a shotgun or tactical rifle you’ll need a weapons mount which will allow you to attach it to an accessory rail. I prefer a tactical flashlight model that has a dedicated weapons mount to ensure the flashlight is held securely.
The last thing you want is the light rattling off while you are shooting so if you choose a tactical flashlight with a dedicated mount you should hopefully avoid this problem.
My experience has been that buying a tactical led flashlight and then an aftermarket weapons mount has not always been a good option because of fit issues.
2. Pressure Switches
If you plan to run your tactical flashlight on a tactical rifle you’ll want one that allows you to add a pressure switch. If this accessory exists for your flashlight, you’ll be removing the tail cap switch and replacing it with the pressure switch.
3. Clips and Lanyards
Most larger tactical led flashlights come with a wrist lanyard while smaller everyday carry lights sometimes come with some sort of pocket clip.
In the market, there are so many led flashlights, which are advertised with tactical function. However, you have to be careful with cheap tactical led flashlights because most high quality tactical flashlights are not cheap..! The good qualiy led tactical flashlight will helps you in many emergency and casual situations. So, do not hesitate to choose the best quality tactical flashlight for you!
Hopefully, this guide will helps you pick the best tactical led flashlight for your specific needs. As you can see their are plenty of led tacticle flashlight choices for plenty of different applications. Think about your application first so you can narrow down your choices.
Good luck as you search for best tactical flashlight..!