Tactical Flashlights Reviews and Reccomendations

The Best Tactical Flashlights of 2021

Publushed by:

Mathew R Reed

Last updated:

Best Overall: Streamlight Stinger 2020

Short summary

The Stinger 2020 comes with two USB rechargeable battery packs and a run time of 24 hours on the lowest setting, so you always have a light on the go.

Streamlight is the go-to brand of tactical lights and their Stinger 2020 has made the top of our list. This flashlight has four operating modes including a bright 2,000 lumen and basic 100 lumen option, intuitive mode switch, and durable aluminum alloy body. The Stinger 2020 comes with two USB rechargeable battery packs and a run time of 24 hours on the lowest setting, so you always have a light on the go.

Streamlight is no stranger to making what people consider to be the best tactical LED flashlight and the Stinger 2020 is one of their best. This flashlight is ready for anything and lets you switch between four operating modes to suit the mood, including a 2,000 lumen, 850 lumen, 100 lumen, and strobe beam, giving you whatever you need for that very moment.

The Stinger 2020 is an intuitive tactical flashlight and allows you to switch easily between settings, or use the set and forget mode that keeps the torch exactly where you need. You’ll also benefit from the two independently functioning switches found on the head and tail, and within easy reach of your fingers. Better still, it comes with two protected USB battery packs that can get you hours of use with your Stinger.

Build wise, the Stinger 2020 stays true to the Streamlight reputation and you’ll feel the hefty body made of aluminum alloy and weighing around 12oz to be the perfect fit. The glass lens is made with corrosion-resistant Borofloat and has been gasket sealed, so it stays in top condition and shining bright, no matter where or how you use it.

Quick Facts

  • Luminous Flux: 2000 lumen
  • Material: Aluminum alloy
  • Power Source: Corded Electric, Battery powered

Pros

  • The powerful 3650 lumen maximum light output, means this is the highest lumen tactical flashlight on our list, and guaranteed to light up any space.
  • The light that comes off the torch is clear, crisp, and white, so there’s no mistaking what you’re seeing in front of you.
  • It’s the best affordable tactical flashlight and priced mid-range, which is amazing considering its lumen count.
  • Having two options for power is a bonus and means you’ll never be without light as long as you have backup alkaline batteries ready.
  • Turbo mode is helpful for when you need excess light and can even help out in a self-defense scenario.

Cons

  • Some users have noted that for its size and weight, there are other tactical flashlights that can be brighter and more compact.
  • There’s no included lanyard or belt case holder with this light so if you’re using it as a carry accessory, you’ll have to come up with a way to hold it.
  • The battery life when it’s on the highest setting is a little lackluster so you probably won’t want to keep it there for long.

Runner Up: Coast XP18R Tactical Flashlight

Short summary

Coast’s XP18R Tactical Flashlight is a powerful beast, with a maximum 3650 lumen light output and 1,083 feet beam distance.

Coast’s XP18R Tactical Flashlight is a powerful beast, with a maximum 3650 lumen light output and 1,083 feet beam distance. The flashlight comes with a rechargeable battery and charging port, but also accepts alkaline batteries. The XP18R from Coast has a slide focus to transition between flood and spot beam, features a turbo mode for the highest lumens, and runs for over 58 hours on the lowest setting.

Another pick for the best tactical LED flashlight comes from Coast with their impressive XP18R. This light offers a lot of versatility for how you can use it, including being able to switch between a flood and spot beam, and the option to turn on turbo mode which maxes out at 3,650 lumens. To switch between modes, the intuitive push or pull mechanism lets you do it easily, thanks to the slide focus function that’s been built in.

You’ll also get a choice in how you power it up with an included Xithion-X rechargeable battery and the option to use standard alkaline batteries as well. On its lowest setting, the XP18R will provide you with over 58 hours of illumination, but it doesn’t perform so well on the highest one.

The Coast XP18R has an impressive distance it can reach as well, with the light hitting around 1083 feet in front of you when it’s turned onto turbo mode. With a tough aluminum body and some of the brightest lumens we’ve seen, the XP18R from Coast is one of the best tactical flashlight Amazon has to offer.

Quick Facts

  • Luminous Flux: 3650 lumen
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Power Source: Alkaline battery, Rechargeable battery

Pros

  • The powerful 3650 lumen maximum light output, means this is the highest lumen tactical flashlight on our list, and guaranteed to light up any space.
  • The light that comes off the torch is clear, crisp, and white, so there’s no mistaking what you’re seeing in front of you.
  • It’s the best affordable tactical flashlight and priced mid-range, which is amazing considering its lumen count.
  • Having two options for power is a bonus and means you’ll never be without light as long as you have backup alkaline batteries ready.
  • Turbo mode is helpful for when you need excess light and can even help out in a self-defense scenario.

Cons

  • The intuitive selector switch needs to be shielded, as some reviewers have found that getting any minute debris inside makes it jam.
  • You’ll need to spend a little longer searching for a holster that fits this flashlight so be prepared to hunt.
  • The center of the beam appears slightly yellow which some users have found off-putting, but doesn’t impact the effectiveness of the flashlight itself.

Alternative: Acebeam L35

Short summary

The Acebeam L35 uses a 21700 rechargeable battery for efficiency and is capable of a max output of 5000 lumens with a beam distance of 1574 feet.

The Acebeam L35 is a tactical flashlight for self defense and carrying, with a one-inch body diameter, stainless steel strike bezel, and aerospace-grade aluminum construction. This flashlight uses a 21700 rechargeable battery for efficiency and is capable of a max output of 5000 lumens with a beam distance of 1574 feet.

Acebeam has created an affordable LED tactical flashlight that smashes the competition in brightness. This impressive flashlight features a CREE XHP70.2 LED bulb which has a beam distance of 1574 feet when on its highest setting, and a stellar maximum light output of 5000 lumens. Priced well below the competition, it’s still crisp and powerful, and the perfect size to be a carry accessory.

Acebeam has included everything you could ask for to make your tactical flashlight even better, like a rechargeable battery, charging cable, holster, O-rings, lanyard, spare tail cap, and a detailed manual. It has a slender one-inch body so you can mount it as needed and has been made with aerospace grade aluminum so it’s the perfect combination of light and durable.

The L35 Tactical Flashlight is easy to use thanks to the tactical switch mounted on its tail. With one touch, you can switch between the turbo and normal mode, and also turn on strobe mode to disorient an attacker or signal for help. With anti-slip knurling on the body, you get a good grip but will need to spend some time practicing to ensure it’s comfortable. Acebeam’s L35 is a budget friendly tactical flashlight that manages to outshine the rest.

Quick Facts

  • Luminous Flux: 5000 lumens
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Power Source: Rechargeable battery

Pros

  • This is the best tactical flashlight over 1000 lumens that doesn’t cost too much and it’s one of the better budget friendly buys.
  • The tail switch lets you easily change between modes with just one finger so you can keep focused on the task at hand.
  • Lots of included goodies with this flashlight that save you even more money and let you adapt it to your needs.
  • One of the highest lumen outputs of any torch we’ve reviewed and guaranteed to light up any space.
  • The smaller body diameter means you can mount this on your firearm a lot more comfortably than other lights.

Cons

  • When the flashlight is on the highest setting it gets warm fast, and you won’t want to hold onto it long when it’s at this temperature.
  • Holding this flashlight for longer periods isn’t as comfortable as others, so you’ll want to assess if it works with your weapon of choice.
  • Only has a standard mode or turbo mode with nothing in between, which is a lot less than other tactical flashlights on the market.

Alternative: GearLight S1000

Short summary

With five modes to switch between, it’s a good everyday flashlight, and its smaller size of 6.1 x 1.57 x 1.57 means it fits perfectly in your hand.

GearLight has developed the S1000, a twin pack of compact tactical flashlights, each capable of beaming light up to 1000 feet away. With five modes to switch between, it’s a good everyday flashlight, and its smaller size of 6.1 x 1.57 x 1.57 means it fits perfectly in your hand. The flashlight is made with military-grade aluminum and is water resistant which makes it perfect for outdoor use as well.

The GearLight S1000 is a two pack of small tactical flashlights that can be used for everything from camping to walking the dog. Although not as powerful as others on the market and likely not the best tactical flashlight for self defense, it’s still capable of reaching up to 1000 feet away with its light. Even better, it’s made a tough aluminum body that will protect it from just about anything, so you don’t have to worry about handling it roughly.

Each flashlight weighs a little over 5oz and measures 6.1 inches at its longest so it’s the perfect compact size to fit right into your hand. GearLight has also included two hand straps and holder cases so you have more ways to carry it. There are five settings to switch between on this flashlight and you can do so with the push of a button, freeing the rest of you up to deal with whatever situation is unfolding in front of you.

The S1000 from Gearlight doesn’t state how many lumens it operates at, but for a torch this size, it does an effective job. The flashlight is water resistant, takes rechargeable and standard AAA batteries, and has an adjustable focus, so it has everything you would expect in something twice the price. If you’re looking for a compact flashlight and don’t need the most powerful lumens on the market, you’ll love everything about the Gearlight S1000.

Quick Facts

  • Luminous Flux: 1040 lumens
  • Material: Military-Grade Aluminum
  • Power Source:  2x AAA Battery

Pros

  • The low price of this flashlight makes it the most affordable on our list and perfect for those who don’t want to spend too much.
  • With a compact size, you can easily hold this torch in your hands or mount it wherever needed, so it’s extremely versatile.
  • There are lots of modes to choose from which gives you the right brightness for just about any setting.
  • Having two flashlights for the price of one means you can store on in your car or bag, so you’ve always got light when you need it.
  • Although cheap, the GearLight S1000 has a durable body that can withstand a beating without showing any weakness.

Cons

  • There’s no specification from the manufacture about lumen output so you can assume it’s not going to be as impressive as larger flashlights.
  • The power and brightness of this torch aren’t going to be enough for some users, so it’s better as a basic and budget pick.
  • You won’t get any included batteries with this or a charging cord which loses it some points and will cost you a little more money.

Alternative: Eveready Tactical Lights

Short summary

Eveready Tactical Lights are a pack of four flashlights that operate with AAA batteries and deliver a powerful 300 lumens of light.

Eveready Tactical Lights are a pack of four flashlights that operate with AAA batteries and deliver a powerful 300 lumens of light. These everyday flashlights are rated IPX4 water resistant and made with an aluminum body, and can sustain impact up to three feet. The compact flashlight measures 4.41 x 2.99 inches so it fits in your hand and has a lanyard attachment for easy carrying.

If you’re looking for some simple tactical lights you can keep around the house and in your car, look no further than the Eveready Tactical Lights. These flashlights come in a pack of four and are lightweight alternatives for those who don’t need a lot of heft. Each flashlight is capable of delivering 300 lumens of brightness which isn’t bad for its size and price, and will provide you with enough illumination to light up the backyard.

The Eveready Tactical Lights each measure 4.41 x 2.99 x 2.1 inches and includes a short lanyard for easy portability. They weigh a little under 4oz each, are made with an IPX4 water resistant aluminum body that lets it get splashed with water from all sides, can withstand being dropped up to three feet, and tuck easily away in your pocket if you want them to.

Although there’s no switching between modes available, you can adjust the focus of the flashlight by pulling out the lens which gives you either a spot beam or wide beam. The lights can deliver a beam to around 600 feet away and they do a good job of lighting up larger areas when you need it. The four pack from Eveready is affordable, simple, and does what it needs to, but they’re not designed for a premium tactical light, so make sure you’re using them for the right purpose.

Quick Facts

  • Luminous Flux: 300 lumens
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Power Source: Battery

Pros

  • This is a cheap way to get a dependable tactical light that provides enough illumination for around the home and outside of it.
  • Having four lights means you can leave them in your usual areas, like work, the car, and home, so you’ll always have access to one.
  • For its size, you may be shocked to see how much space one of these Eveready Tactical Flashlights is capable of lighting up.
  • The torches are protected with water proofing which means you can use them in the rain without a bother.
  • Manually focusing the flashlight changes it from spot to wide beam which lets you use it in more settings, even if it does take two hands.

Cons

  • The light that comes from these isn’t that far reaching and is not intended to be a serious tactical carry torch.
  • Although it’s made with aluminum, some users have found the body of these lights to be flimsy and not capable of taking a beating like the competition.
  • There’s no option to switch between light modes and no strobe setting other than manually adjusting the focus, so they’re fairly basic when you compare them to other tactical flashlights.

FAQs on Tactical Flashlights

Tactical flashlights have become an essential accessory for anyone who carries a firearm, regardless of the setting.

If you’ve never owned one of these lights before and still have questions, we’ve answered a few commonly asked ones that can give you all of the information you need.

What Tactical Flashlight Does The Military Use?

One of the most popular flashlights that the US military uses is the Streamlight 69260 mounted tactical light.

The US police also use other Streamlight models including the Stinger DS LED HL and the Strion DS HL, and all of them are military grade tactical flashlights that can be purchased for civilian use.

How Many Lumens Do You Need To Blind An Attacker?

If you’re using a flashlight for self defense, choosing something that’s over 300 lumens will be effective.

At this rate, a flashlight is capable of temporarily blinding someone if you hold it close enough to their eyes, and can help you get away from them if you’re in a situation where you need to defend yourself.

How Many Lumens Is A Police Flashlight?

Police flashlights are generally around the 3,000 lumen mark which makes them incredibly bright and reliable for police work.

Flashlights with this many lumens are not always needed for civilian use as they can be dangerous and cause blindness if they’re shone directly into someone’s eyes, but some people like to use them for self defense and tactical carry.

Is 1000 Lumens Too Bright For Home Defense?

A flashlight with 1000 lumens would be adequate for home defense but something this bright might not be necessary for all situations.

You’ll need to assess the space you’ll be using it in and what its purpose is first, which will lead you towards the right flashlight and lumen capacity.

The Right Tactical Light For You

A quality tactical flashlight chosen with your requirements in mind can be a gamechanger and with the right one, it’ll become your new favorite carry accessory.

With our favorite flashlights and a better idea of what you require from tactical illumination, you’ll be able to find one that ticks all of your boxes and more.

4.8/5

Streamlight Stinger 2020

  • Four operating modes
  • USB rechargeable battery
  • Ergonomic anti-roll design

Mathew R Reed

Mathew R Reed is a professional gun seller who runs a dedicated gun store in the suburbs of Oakland, CA. A hardcore hunting enthusiast since childhood, Reed has ample experience with guns and accessories. He is the founder of ArmorHoldings.com and creates some of the most helpful gun-buying guides and explainers. If not in the gun shop, you can find him on the nearest hiking trail or nearby hunting spot.