Tactial Flashlight

What is a Tactical Flashlight?
What Does Tactical Mean?
Parts of the Flashlight
ANSI FL1 Standards
Why Carry A Tactical Flashlight?
Do You Need A Tactical Flashlight?
Budget
What Will You Use It For?
Batteries
Material
Type Of Light
Brightness
Battery Life
Lumens
Beam Distance
Switch Types
Special Light Modes
Water Resistance Ratings
Special Features and Options


What is a Tactical Flashlight?

Whether you are a police officer, fireman, camper or hiker, you will surely know how important it is to own a tactical flashlight. You can expect in any list of survival kit to always include a flashlight. You will be quite surprised with how frequent you will need to use it.

Why is it called ‘tactical’?

A number of years ago, the common flashlight was quite tedious to carry around. It also used to be inefficient in terms of battery life and brightness.
This is why the industry came up with a tactical flashlight with higher standards for quality. They were constructed using better materials as compared to a normal flashlight.

As a result the tactical flashlight has the following characteristics:

  • Impact resistant
  • Water resistant or waterproof
  • Contains a rechargeable battery with a long run time
  • Has a high light output

In 2009, a group of flashlight manufacturers developed a standardization specification for performance of portable lighting devices known as the ANSI FL1 standards. This helps a user compare and contrast the different models available in the market.
What makes a tactical flashlight highly beneficial?

Tactical flashlights were meant to be used as lifesaving tools. They were built to function every time you need them, most especially when your life is on the line.

  • For self-defense

A modern tactical flashlight can give you a huge advantage during combat. The anodized aluminum body is hard enough to be a striking tool. Many models come in crenulated bezels whose shape will help you destroy windows or faces. The intense brightness of the flashlight is enough to cause temporary blindness to your attacker, giving you a chance to escape.

  • For emergency and survival

You’ll never know when a natural disaster will happen in your neighborhood. Being able to see things in the dark is important. Furthermore, the most vital thing in a rescue mission is to be found. Any means of signaling your presence can make the difference between life and death.
Parts of a tactical flashlight

  1. Bezel
    This is the head of the tactical flashlight. It keeps the lens of the light firmly attached to the body.
  2. LED
    This serves as the bulb of the tactical flashlight. It is capable of being used for 50,000 hours or about 5 years.
  3. Reflector
    This component has a parabolic shape in order to concentrate the light produced by the LED bulb, resulting to a direct beam. It improves the power emitted.
  4. Tail Switch
    This is the button that powers on the light. It is strategically positioned at the butt to optimize control of the direction at which you are aiming the light.
  5. Pocket clip
    This is a piece of metal that runs along the body of the tactical flashlight. It allows you to attach the light at the exterior of your pocket.
  6. Tail cap
    This provides grip on the tail of the tactical flashlight while being held in the same manner that you will hold an ice pick. It also secures the battery compartment. 
  7. Battery compartment

This is where the batteries are located. A lot of models don’t have this anymore since they are rechargeable.

Types of a tactical flashlight

There are different types of tactical flashlight depending on the activity that you are going to use it for.

  • If you will use your hands a lot (e.g. rock climbing in a cave), a headlamp best suits you.
  • If the activity requires control and precision in aiming the flashlight (e.g. hiking or hunting), a handheld tactical flashlight is perfect for you.
  • Hunters utilize a weapon mounted tactical flashlight in order to stun their prey for an easier shot.
  • If you need to attach the flashlight to another tool, you will need a mount and hybrid adapter.

Why it’s time to buy a tactical flashlight

Due to the special features of the tactical flashlight, you may be required to shell out more money as compared to buying an ordinary flashlight. However, by purchasing a tactical flashlight that fulfills your personal needs with respect to range, brightness, durability and its other features, you will be making a wise investment that you’ll definitely be thankful for in the future.

What Does Tactical Mean?

With the growing popularity of LED lighting, more providers are offering LED-equipped tactical flashlight to consumers in the market. Tactical flashlights are designed and optimized for defense situations. They make good investments for people who would want to feel safer.

You may want to consider getting a tactical flashlight if you find yourself in rough situations often. You may be a fireman, hunter, security professional, outdoorsman, or even simply a normal citizen. Since a basic tactical flashlight can already perform many functions, it is an essential tool in any person’s survival kit.

Why is it called “tactical”?

Unlike regular flashlights bought for home use, tactical flashlights are called “tactical” as a reference to their potential military or police use. It also implies professional-level planning and use. No matter the time of the day, the location, or the situation, these flashlights can help you gain a tactical advantage over potential threats.

These tactical lights can be made specifically to be mounted on a long gun or handgun as a weapon light, or to be used along with a handheld weapon.

Reflecting their design, tactical flashlights are usually smaller than regular flashlights. Their light is usually much stronger, and the built of the flashlight is made for durability with weapon-grade aluminum.

Functions of a Tactical Flashlight

As an accessory to be used with firearms, tactical flashlights can be used in hunting and security defense work. A tactical flashlight can also perform the following functions:

  • Identify threats.
    Potential threats often take advantage of the dark in order to gain the upper hand. With the strong illumination of a tactical flashlight, you can identify threats better. This can already be an effective deterrent for any would-be attackers.•
  • Communication.
    Many tactical models have a strobe or flashing setting. This mode can be used to communicate with your colleagues patrolling a property, or with your friends when you are on an outdoor trip. SOS signals can help you attract needed attention.
  • Blind and disorient attackers.
    The contrast between the intense light from the tactical flashlight and the low-light environment can temporarily blind and shock attackers. This can give you the advantage in the confrontation. The strobe setting in a tactical flashlight can confuse the attacker and provoke agitation as well. It can also frighten off animals.


What you should look for in a Tactical Flashlight

Think of a scenario of you walking home alone through a dark part of the neighborhood, or of a time when you could potentially be left alone in the woods. Here are things to look for when buying a tactical flashlight.

Durability and strength

Because you need a tactical flashlight to be there when you need it the most, the first thing you should look for is the quality of build. The design of the tactical flashlight should reflect durability, strength, and good response to stress.

The following features reflect good durability:

  • Military-grade, hard anodized, or aerospace-grade aluminum
  • Designed for high-impact stress
  • Waterproof


Easy to use

Whether your tactical flashlight is a simple on/off model, or one that has a strobe mode, the flashlight should still be easy to use. Keep it as simple as possible. You should be able to get the function you need at a moment’s notice. The time you spend trying to configure your flashlight is more time spent being vulnerable.

Your flashlight should also be easy to hold. If you have a tactical flashlight meant to be mounted on a gun, then the installation should go smoothly. A good grip is also a must for handheld tactical flashlights.

Portable yet powerful

You want a flashlight that can emit at least 120 lumens of light. This is bright enough to at least disorient people when flashed straight to the eye. Of course, the brighter the model, the better.

It would also be best to get a tactical flashlight that’s made with LED. Compared to incandescent lighting, LED is more energy-efficient. You won’t have to struggle with changing batteries as often.

At the same time, you want your powerful tactical flashlight to be small. It should be the right size to carry around with you, whether in your pocket or in your survival kit. A flashlight that fits the size of your palm is ideal.

It’s time to buy a tactical flashlight!

When buying a tactical flashlight, think of the scenario where you might need one. With that clear visualization in mind, you can see what you need to prioritize in terms of power, portability, ease of use, and durability.

Parts of the Flashlight

To be fully oriented with your tactical flashlight, it is important to know the components that make up the flashlight.

Why spare time to get to know them? Well, for one, knowing the parts that make your light will help you fully utilize your tool. It can also help you in your decision making when choosing the right tactical flashlight. Making easy and quick repairs and replacements by yourself will also be possible if you are fully acquainted with the flashlight.

What makes up your tactical flashlight?

Read on and be acquainted with each part and its function.

The Bezel

The Bezel is the metal end piece on the flashlight head surrounding the lens, and is an important part of your tactical flashlight. Although not related to producing light, it protects the lens and the LED bulb against damage.

To access the lens and inner parts of your flashlight, you will have to carefully remove the bezel. Be careful to remove it properly; without it, your flashlight will not function.

The Lens

The lens refers to the flat glass surface at the head of the flashlight, which protects your light source from dust, water, impact, and other foreign objects. The lens also helps increase the brightness produced by the light source.

If you want a flashlight that emits different colors, you can use a colored lens. You can simply replace the original lens of your flashlight. However, for average and normal light use, the standard lens that comes with your light is still best.

The Light Source

It is the very important and most vital part that makes your tactical flashlight. The bulb used for a tactical flashlight is usually the LED because it offers following advantages:

  • LED has a very long lifetime (roughly 50,000 hours)
  • LED is a power efficient light source and has less battery consumption compared with other bulbs.
  • LED produces extremely bright light.
  • LED is more durable and is shock resistant, which is one of the most important characteristics of a military grade flashlight.


The Head or the LED Housing

The head of the flashlight, also called the LED housing, is where the LED is attached. When comparing heads between flashlights, there really is no special consideration except for your intended use for the light. If you want a tactical flashlight that you can easily slip into your pants’ pockets, then you might want a flashlight with a slim or narrow head.

The Reflector

The reflector is a shiny parabolic metal, glass, or aluminized plastic that is positioned around or behind the LED or the bulb of the flashlight. It helps make your tactical flashlight focus its light and give out a directed beam instead of light emitting in every direction.

The Switch

You would want to be able to quickly turn on and off your flashlight as you wish and need. A tail switch is usually mounted at the other end of your flashlight. Proper placement of the switch gives users ultimate control of the flashlight.

The Tail Cap

The tail cap, as the name suggests is at the tail end of a tactical flashlight. It protects the batteries that power your flashlight from water and other elements that can harm it. It should be of high quality material and make, so that it can create an airtight seal, all throughout your use of the flashlight.

The tail cap is also crated and designed in a way to increase your grip on your flashlight. It can have ridges or textured edges to give users firm and optimal grip on the light. The last thing you’d want is dropping your light in a critical situation.

The Battery Compartment

This part houses the batteries that power up your torch, which is usually inside the body of the flashlight. It should be made of high quality materials as it should be able to protect your batteries.

The Belt Clip

It can be a built-in or removable clip which allows you to clip your light on your belt or your pocket. It gives you a convenient way to carry your light, while still giving you quick access to it. You should however be careful with sudden movements and jumps, as your flashlight can come loose and fall.

The Lanyard

The lanyard, a small, heavy duty string at the butt of your tactical flashlight gives you another option in carrying it. It should be removable, should the user wish not to use it and use the clip instead.

Each part of your tactical flashlight has a specific function which contributes to the flashlight’s ease of use. Knowing how each part functions to the light’s effectivity can help you decide which brand and model of tactical flashlight to buy.

ANSI FL1 Standards

A User’s Guide to the ANSI FL1 Standards

Purchasing a new tactical flashlight, spotlight or headlamp can be quite confusing for a lot of people. This is due to the fact that each manufacturer follows their own quality standards, testing, and reporting methods.

The problem was resolved when a group of premier companies in the industry convened to make a comprehensive standard. This led to the creation of the ANSI FL1 Standard.

The Standard indicates a particular set of testing and reporting methods used in portable lighting products that release directional light. As such, if a consumer sees the ANSI FL1 icon on the packaging of a product, they can be assured that the claims being made regarding its performance are compliant with the industry standards. Furthermore, comparing different models will now be much easier.

The ANSI FL1 Standard icons
   

  1. Light Output
    Lumens is the most frequently used unit of measurement for total light output for portable lighting devices. On the other hand, wattage is the unit of measurement used for power consumption. The LED technology used in a lot of devices today makes it possible to produce higher light output while having a low wattage rating. This is why Lumens is more preferred to be used for comparison as compared to wattage.

  2. Beam Distance
    Beam distance is the number of meters at which a beneficial amount of light (0.25 lux) is projected. The basis of setting 0.25 lux as a standard is because it is the approximate amount of light emitted by a full moon on an open field during a clear night.

  3. Water Resistance
    The icon for water resistance implies that it has an IPX4 rating and that it has been tested with water sprayed from all angles. This test should be performed only after the device has been tested for impact resistance to ensure that it is water resistant under real-life conditions.

  4. Impact Resistance
    Impact resistance is the height in meters at which the portable lighting device will still work properly after being dropped on concrete. The test is performed by dropping the device 6 times in drop orientations that will cover each side of the cube. The device should not have any visible breaks or cracks and should remain fully functional after being dropped. In order to receive this rating, the device should be able to survive being dropped from at least 1 meter in height.

    While LEDs are expected to be reliable solid-state devices that contain no moving parts, the electronic circuits that control the power of the LED are not as durable. Dropping the device occassionally shouldn’t be an issue, but doing so repeatedly may result to erratic operation or complete damage. Treat LED flashlights just like any other device and avoid drops as much as possible.

  5. Run Time
    The test for run time is performed using fresh batteries. The span of time between 30 seconds from being turned on and the point at which the light output drops to 10% is the total run time before the user should change the battery.

  6. Waterproof
    The water submersion depth rating for being waterproof is also measured in meters. This icon implies that the device has an IPX7 rating wherein the sample was submerged to at least 1 meter in depth of water for 30 minutes. The test should be performed after the impact resistance test has been completed in order to guarantee water tightness under real-life conditions. Some devices have an IPX8 rating wherein they were able to withstand being submerged at a specific depth for 4 hours.

  7. Peak Beam Intensity
    The peak beam intensity is the brightest point of the beam produced by the device. It is measured in candela. This represents brightness as seen by the human eye. It gives the user an idea of the quality of the optical system of the device.

Upon learning these icons you can be confident that at your next purchase you will no longer be fooled by the marketing strategies of the manufacturer. Furthermore, you can easily identify which model will perfectly serve your needs.

Why Carry A Tactical Flashlight?

Why Carry a Tactical Flashlight?

The market for high quality yet affordable tactical flashlights has grown bigger over the years. Tactical flashlights with LED lighting and different lighting modes are becoming popular for different types of people – from professional security men to your average civilian.
   
With these in mind, it’s time to consider whether or not you should also get a tactical flashlight. Read on for the different reasons why carrying a tactical flashlight can be a good practice for anyone.

What is a Tactical Flashlight?

Before breaking it down to the different uses of a tactical flashlight, it’s important to know what differentiates a tactical flashlight from a regular flashlight. Like a regular household flashlight, a tactical flashlight provides illumination, especially in emergency situations. The difference lies in the quality or build, in the intensity of illumination, and in the added accessories.

Tactical flashlights are called “tactical” because of their potential use in the military, police or professional-level security. As such, you would expect a different quality and build from regular flashlights. Tactical models are made to be more durable, resistant to stress and scratch marks, and even waterproof. They also tend to be more portable and energy-efficient.

Next, a tactical flashlight usually provides a greater intensity of illumination than regular flashlights. Rather than a soft glow, tactical flashlights can provide sharp illumination towards a distant point or over a wide area. This is aligned with its use in security and safety.

Lastly, tactical flashlights also come with added features. One of these would be a clip for mounting the flashlight onto a gun for hunting or security purposes. Another feature you may encounter would be a strobe or flashing setting. These flashlights can communicate a quick SOS across the distance.

These are the features you would expect in a tactical flashlight. These features are necessary for the different functions of this essential survival and safety tool.

Why Should You Carry a Flashlight?

Having a flashlight in your survival kit or in your pocket can mean the difference between safety and danger. Carrying a tactical flashlight is a habit anyone should do.

  • Having a tactical flashlight gives you confidence.
    The main function of any flashlight is illumination. Tactical flashlights can provide hundreds of lumens in lighting power, which is ideal for dark urban streets or unfamiliar settings in the wood.

    Without your own source of bright light in your pocket, it’s smarter to simply stay put and wait for help or for natural light to come. Having a reliable source of light can easily give you the confidence to move around your campsite or your neighborhood. It gives you the ability to confront threats, to look for your target or belongings, or to simply walk a certain distance.
  • A tactical flashlight can help you identify and disorient threats.
    Tactical flashlights are commonly used by professionals involved in private security, as well as agents in the military and police force. They are also becoming more and more popular with civilian households. A tactical flashlight is a necessary tool when it comes to home and personal defense.

    Many criminal elements or aggressive attackers would prefer to move in the cover of darkness. Having a patrol with a tactical flashlight can already dissuade them from targeting you or your home. You can see if the area is clear before proceeding to walk or move forward. This way, you are avoiding the risk of an ambush.

    The tactical flashlight can also be used to identify the threats directly. With the right model, the bright illumination of the flashlight can also be directed at the eyes of your opponent. This can disorient them and give you that necessary momentary advantage.
  • You need a tactical flashlight for communication.
    Out in the woods, or in cases of emergency, sending a message over the phone is simply not possible. Learning signals using a flashlight or using the built-in strobe and emergency flash modes would help you communicate with your party over long distances.

    The strobe and communication modes of a tactical flashlight can also be used to alert incoming traffic in instances when you are stuck or injured on the road. This can prevent further build-up of automobile accidents.

    Ultimately, the reason why you should carry a tactical flashlight boils down to self-defense. You can use a tactical flashlight to gain the upper hand in confrontations with threats and attackers. You can also use it to send a strong distress signal in times of emergency. All in all, carrying a tactical flashlight is a small investment with large returns to your survival.


Do You Need A Tactical Flashlight?

A tactical flashlight is not your ordinary flashlight. It is a flashlight designed for tactical, military, or police use. They can be mounted on weapons for low-light shooting, and are usually smaller than your ordinary flashlights. They are more durable and are usually made of weapon-grade aluminum. They are thus more resistant to impact stress and most are waterproof. The light of a tactical flashlight is also brighter and more concentrated.

Tactical flashlights are primarily for military and police use, hence its name. Below, we list down some of the functions of a tactical flashlight so you can gauge whether you need it or not.

  • A tactical flashlight is a tool for self-defense.
    Ever been in a situation where you wished you carried a flashlight with you? A tactical flashlight can be a handy tool, even for women. Its light is so bright that flashing it to an attacker’s eyes can blind them temporarily, giving you a moment to run away.

    For more dangerous situations, the bezel of a flashlight can seriously hurt and disarm an attacker. Some tactical flashlights have serrated bezels, which can be used as an improvised weapon in case of emergencies.
  • A tactical flashlight can be used to identify threats.
    Attackers or malicious predators use the darkness as a camouflage and a cover. A bright tactical flashlight can help you easily identify threats, if there are any. You can do this even from a safe distance, so you can act accordingly and on time.
  • A tactical flashlight is the perfect emergency flashlight in your car.
    In the event that your car breaks down in the middle of the night, or you are simply looking for your lost house key in your car, the tactical flashlight would be the perfect source of light.

    Tactical flashlights often have the throw and flood modes. The throw mode gives a more defined beam of light, while the flood mode gives a wider ray of light, but with a shorter reach. The flood mode is good for seeing objects up close, while the throw mode is used for more distant targets.
  • A tactical flashlight can send off emergency signals in an emergency.
    Emergencies happen. If you need to be rescued and you need your location to be known, a tactical flashlight can come in handy. Most tactical flashlights have flashing SOS and beacon modes, which send off a bright flash of light between definite time intervals. Moreover, since tactical flashlights have longer lifespan due to more efficient power consumption, you can use them as an alternative source of light in case of blackouts.
  • A tactical flashlight is reliable for everyday use.
    A tactical flashlight is more durable, weather resistant, shock resistant, and lightweight. This makes it perfect even for ordinary household chores and maintenance, like looking for something in your dark attic or fixing something beneath your kitchen sink.

    You can use it even under extreme weather conditions (rain or snow), since it is typically weather resistant. It is also usually smaller and lightweight, so you can easily slip it into your pockets.
  • A tactical flashlight is the perfect companion in your great outdoor adventures.
    If you are the type who loves the great outdoors, are usually out for a hike, and love to go camping, then make sure to keep a tactical flashlight with you. A tactical flashlight can be extremely helpful, especially if you have to spend the night in the wild.

    It is lightweight, so you can easily take it with you. It is more durable and weather resistant. The bright light it emits is perfect for outdoor use. Plus, its survival features is a must, should you be in a lifesaving situation.
  • A tactical flashlight is a handy tool whether if you are in the law enforcement, or not.
    A tactical flashlight is one of the most important tools that any law enforcer should have in his arsenal. You cannot always use night vision equipment. As such, it is always handy to have a durable flashlight with you.

    However, tactical flashlights are not just for military or police use. They are also useful tools for simple everyday tasks and activities. Keep one (or two) in your home and with you. Being vigilant pays, and having an emergency source of light and a weapon for self-defense is never a bad idea.


Budget

Budget Tips: A Guide to Buying a Tactical Flashlight

Tactical flashlights are handy tools designed to assist you especially in difficult situations. They are built to be of a higher standard compared to ordinary flashlights. These devices come in all shapes and sizes, and have different features that can truly be of great help.

If you want a more superior tactical flashlight, you might have to shell out more cash. However, you shouldn’t worry even if you are on a tight budget. There are a lot of high quality tactical flashlights that come in various price ranges.

Set Your Budget

Set your budget and prepare whatever amount you are willing to spend. For under $50, you are sure to still be able to find a tactical flashlight that will meet your needs. However, as you look to have a higher caliber tactical flashlight with better features, the prices will rise as well.

Anything between $100 and $200 will already be some of the best tactical flashlights there are in the market. Tactical flashlights are an investment. Do not be afraid to spend a bit more if it is your safety that’s on the line. You will surely be able to put your flashlight to good use for years.

You can also find ones that are priced upwards from $1,000. These may be perfect for those looking for military-grade top-of-the-line tactical flashlights.

Know What You Need

There are tons of tactical flashlights out there. The challenge will be finding one that suits your needs and fits right into your budget. You must first consider what it is you will use your tactical flashlight for, and the features you just can’t do without.

A tactical flashlight for leisure purposes versus for survival situations are very different. Not only will you be looking at varying specifications, the prices will differ greatly as well.

Perhaps a cheaper version will do if you plan on using your flashlight just for chores around the house. However, if it will be used outdoors in the middle of conflict, then you shouldn’t cut corners.

What to Look For in a Tactical Flashlights

As a general rule, tactical flashlights come with better features as the price increases. Once you know what you need from your tactical flashlight, find one that only has what is essential to you. You don’t have to purchase an expensive state-of-the-art tactical flashlight if you won’t actually be using all those features. Stick to a simple and affordable one if that’s really all you need.

Features like light output typically are of greater quality for more pricey tactical flashlights. If you need a powerful and far-reaching light, then focus on that aspect. You might also want to check if your flashlight is able to adjust between different brightness levels. Others might have different light modes such as strobe, SOS, and beacon.

You have to make sure your tactical flashlight is strong and durable. You wouldn't want your flashlight to die down after hitting a couple bumps. The strongest (yet most expensive) material you can find would be titanium.

Especially if you are always near water, see if your tactical flashlight is water resistant or waterproof.

Other features you may want to put emphasis on is how versatile your tactical flashlight is, and how easy it is to use in tactical situations. You might also want additional components like a striking bezel, a tactical ring, or light filters.

Additional Expenses to Your Tactical Flashlight

An additional expense to your tactical flashlight that you may want to consider are your batteries. The type of battery that is compatible with your tactical flashlight can really make a dent on your budget.

Tactical flashlights that need more batteries to run may become more expensive upon repeated use. Same goes for those that use up so much power, that you have to constantly replace the batteries.

Flashlights that have high consumption may require you to use more power alternatives like lithium batteries. These have greater output but are more expensive. This is compared to disposable alkaline batteries that are way cheaper and more readily available.

You might also have to spend more for tactical flashlights that require more costly CR123 or 18650 batteries, compared to AA, AAA, or the like. There are also those that may require rechargeable cells that have a significantly greater base price than other kinds of batteries.

When buying tactical flashlights, as with any product, quality comes at a cost. Make sure to get only what you absolutely need, and your flashlight will surely turn out to be worth the buy!

What Will You Use It For?

In most households before, the flashlight is stored in the kitchen cabinet for easy access during a power outage or for navigating a dark attic or basement. Then came Maglite in the early 80's. All of a sudden, the flashlight became a cool gadget. It had a very bright and long beam encased in a handsome black chassis.

With the arrival of LED technology, the flashlight is having some sort of renaissance these days. Smaller, brighter, longer lasting, and feature-packed models are coming out – giving birth to what we call tactical flashlights.

What is a Tactical Flashlight?

The military and police have long been using tactical flashlights. These are flashlights that are designed to be mounted on a weapon for low-light shooting. Because they are brighter, more durable, more portable, and offer wider coverage than traditional flashlights, tactical lights are becoming more and more popular for use by civilians.

Tactical flashlights are geared towards high impact stress, so they are made of weapon-grade aluminum with extreme water resistance. Knurling on the body ensures a tighter grip, and anti-roll profiles are added for stability when placed on an angled surface.

Tactical lights are great not only for emergency situations but also for self-defense. They are small enough to fit in a pocket or purse, and unlike knives or guns, can be safely carried anywhere.

Why Do You Need to Have a Tactical Flashlight?

  1. Illuminating dark areas
    Most EDC kits include essentials such as a Swiss Army knife, Zippo lighter, key ring, and of course, a tactical flashlight. You can never tell when you'll be caught in a situation where you need to reach for a light. Maybe you need to find something in the storage room, or fix a connection behind the TV stand. You might want to check under the hood for that annoying noise in your car. You may even want to check for strep throat!

    For all these, a tactical flashlight is a useful and versatile tool to have so you don't go stumbling in the dark.

  2. Emergency situations
    If you live near the Eastern seaboard, you know that power can go out at any time and for long periods. Bad weather in any part of the country can mow down trees and disrupt electricity supply. Sometimes, the power goes out for unknown reasons. A tactical flashlight is powerful enough to give you instant light when you need it.

  3. Self-defense
    Perhaps the most important benefit of carrying a tactical flashlight is self-defense. Tactical flashlights emit a very bright beam – so much so that it can cause temporary blindness. If you try to look directly into a tactical light, it could hurt your brain.

  4. Identify threats.
    Walking in a dark alley late at night can be scary. Tactical flashlights can help identify threats in a low-light environment and hopefully chase them away.

    If you are walking to your car in an isolated parking lot, you can also trust your tactical flashlight to give you a heads up if someone is inside your vehicle. Tactical flashlights can easily light up the dark corners of your back seat even if you are standing at a distance.

  5. Disorient attackers temporarily.
    The bright beam of a tactical flashlight can hurt your eyes especially when it is dark outside. You might feel disoriented and even lose vision for a short while. You can take advantage of that natural reaction to bright light to scare away a lurking threat.

    If you notice a shadow following you, just point your tactical light in their eyes to stop them on their tracks. Your stalker will immediately reach up to cover his face and experience around three to four seconds of disorientation. That should give you enough time to run away.

  6. Fight back with an improvised weapon.
    Most tactical flashlights have a serrated or toothed bezel edge protruding from the front rim. These are supposed to assist you when you need to break a car window in case of an emergency. While we don't recommend that you try to break a window, what the bezel can do is crack a skull.

    If your attacker is able to get near you despite the glare of your tactical light, use the jagged edge of your flashlight to smash his face. Solid contact with soft tissue could leave a mark like a giant rubber stamp or lacerate the skin deep enough to bleed. When blood oozes from the wound to the eye, it almost always causes impaired vision.

  7. Call for help.
    Modern tactical flashlights have a strobe feature that you can activate to signal for help. When switching to strobe setting, the bright light in a poorly lit environment can immediately attract attention. Just be sure that you are already far away from your attacker before using the strobe function.


How to Choose the Best Tactical Flashlight

With hundreds of different models out there on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose what is right for you. Here are a few things to consider when purchasing your first tactical flashlight.

  • Highly portable
    You want a tactical flashlight that you can easily hold and slip into your pocket. The optimal size should be no bigger than the palm of your hand.

  • At least 120 lumens
    Tactical flashlights come in a variety of light outputs. Some can even produce a whopping 1200 lumens of white light! At this range the tactical light should be able to illuminate a dark room or path like daylight – perfect for people who run or jog late at night, as well as for campers and hikers. For a tactical flashlight to be an effective self-defense tool, it needs to be able to put out at least 120 lumens.

  • Rugged and waterproof
    Your tactical flashlight should be able to withstand shocks and drops. Look for a model that is made from hard anodized aluminum. These are sometimes referred to as aircraft-grade, aerospace-grade, or weapon-grade. Check the metal chassis of the flashlight and make sure that it is well-machined for an easy grip. You must also choose a tactical flashlight that is completely waterproof so it can adapt to any situation.


While the primary function of a tactical flashlight is illumination, manufacturers have added special features to further sweeten the deal. You'll be able to find flashlights with SOS and beacon functions, multiple brightness settings, adjustable beam colors and shapes, power and voltage regulator, rechargeable batteries, rubber grip, and belt clip.

Batteries

Material

Choosing the Best Tactical Flashlight Material

The tactical flashlight material you choose is important in the performance of your chosen flashlight. The degree of durability of your tactical flashlight will affect not just the performance but also its lifespan. The material used in the flashlight’s body will not only determine the weight and aesthetics; it will also influence properties like corrosion resistance, heat dissipation, and a lot more.

If you are looking for your first tactical flashlight or upgrading to a better one, we will help you decide on what to choose by giving you a guide on the popular materials used to make them.

Different Tactical Flashlight Materials

There are four materials typically used for a tactical flashlights exterior. We will discuss how each of these materials will affect the performance of your flashlight. We are hoping that after you read the following, you will be in a better place to decide which tactical flashlight is best for you.

  1. Plastic
    Normally the most affordable one, a tactical flashlight with a plastic housing doesn’t cost much. However, this is not to say that buying one with a plastic body means it will not last long. Plastic doesn’t equal to cheap or inferior quality. The plastic used in fabrication isn’t the thin plastic that you’re imagining but a hardened form.

    These hardened plastics are durable and light to carry. Plastic works well if you want a lightweight flashlight that is durable and easy on the pocket. However, it will still fall short in strength if you compared it to the other materials.

  2. Aluminum and Anodized Aluminum
    The next popular material used to fabricate a tactical flashlight’s exterior is aluminum. Relatively lightweight and have been used by manufacturers for years. You will see a lot of tactical flashlights made from aluminum because it is still affordable but is stronger than plastic.

    It is also a good conductor of heat away from the LED. However, compared to other metals – stainless steel for example, aluminum is still a soft metal. It can degrade, rupture, and scar if mishandled or if given the proper amount of force. That is why, although popular to many manufacturers, it is still at the lower level compared to other metals.

    Since aluminum is still considered a soft metal and not as tough as others, anodized aluminum has taken its place. What makes anodized aluminum different is it contains a layer of aluminum oxide. This is produced when electricity is passed through a chemical bath to harden the aluminum and growing a layer or a coating of aluminum oxide.

    After diamond, aluminum oxide comes as the second strongest material. So, if you want the strongest material that can only be trumped by diamond, you will go with anodized aluminum. This is your best bet if you are looking for a tactical flashlight with strong, durable, and resistant to corrosion construction material.

  3. Stainless Steel
    If you are not looking for lightweight tactical flashlights, stainless steel can be the material for your flashlight’s body. This material is harder than aluminum but it’s heavier to carry. Stainless steel is still popular among manufacturers and buyers because it can resist corrosion and heat and chemical damage. This makes stainless steel tactical flashlights an excellent choice for a collectible and durable tactical flashlight.

  4. Polymers
    Tactical flashlights made from polymers are on the expensive side. This is because it takes a lot of expense in exploring and producing these proprietary materials. These proprietary polymers are developed to make a material that is strong yet comfortable. This material came about because there is a need for a material than can withstand colder climates.

    Tactical flashlights made from polymers is particularly sought after by people who go on adventures in areas with extreme cold. This is because getting hold of a metal flashlight in sub-freezing weather is not a delightful experience. Holding a metal object in extreme cold is very painful. They say that polymers are the future of tactical flashlight materials and we can’t wait if this holds true.

    Cost and durability are two factors you need to consider when buying a tactical flashlight. High end flashlights can deliver these regardless of material construction. But if you are looking for a beginner tactical flashlight, it is not a terrible thing to go for the affordable ones first. After all, choosing the best material for your tactical flashlight will depend on how comfortable you are when you use it.


Type Of Light

Type of Light: Tips to Choose a Tactical Flashlight Bulb

When shopping for the right type of flashlight bulbs, you must consider the pros and cons of each type.

What kind of flashlight is best for you? Do you plan on spending time outdoors to go camping, fishing, hiking, hunting or cave exploration? Do you need a flashlight just for emergency situations at home?

Are you looking for a tactical flashlight to carry on your key ring? Choosing the right flashlight will ultimately depend on how you will use it. In the meantime, here are some of your options and why they’d make (or not make) a good choice.

Incandescent bulbs

Most flashlights come with incandescent bulbs. Manufacturers have been using them for decades because they are simple and cheap – perfect for a basic handheld flashlight.

Incandescent bulbs are made of glass with a wire filament inside. The glass globe may contain gases such as xenon, krypton, or halogen to help increase filament life. Krypton burns brighter but has a short life. Halogen lasts a little longer but is more expensive.

The incandescent bulb filament glows when it is heated to near melting point. On full power, the bulb emits a very strong light. As power decreases, the filament goes cold and the light fades to yellow. When power is drained, the light completely shuts down.

Halogen bulbs. Basic home flashlights are often built with halogen bulbs. They emit a warm light and are very affordable.

Xenon bulbs. Old flashlight models used xenon bulbs that emit a soft yellow light. Similar to a halogen bulb, xenon lights have a short life but are generally more reliable.

Although incandescent bulbs are economical, they can be fragile and inefficient. Despite the use of a vacuum or gases, the filament wears quickly because much of the energy is wasted as heat rather than light. An incandescent flashlight has a lifespan of only 50 hours. It also tends to drain battery life quickly. Basic incandescent flashlights may be cheap but the cost of replacing bulbs and batteries can make them expensive in the long term.

Fluorescent bulbs

Fluorescent bulbs are not designed for basic home flashlights. They are more commonly used outdoors and are only sold in specialty electronics shops.

These bulbs are curved for a recessed fit. They glow when filament energy hits the fluorescent substance inside the bulb. Because they are longer than standard bulbs, they will only fit a fluorescent flashlight and cannot be used as a replacement in a traditional torch.

LED bulbs

LED bulbs are the most energy efficient among all types of flashlight bulbs. They last up to 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb. LED bulbs are available in a wide variety of colors including amber, red, blue, and green.

Rather than heating a filament, the LED feeds electrical current through a semi-conducting material which splits electrons into photons. The process of electroluminescence is far more efficient as it produces more light with less battery power. While incandescent bulbs might run for only two hours, a low output LED flashlight can last more than 50 hours on just a single set of batteries.

LED flashlights are more durable too because they do not need a glass globe or a hot wire filament. The LED bulb is encased in hardened acrylic, making for a tough and rugged assembly.

Straw hat type LED. The cheapest class of LED bulb, straw hat types put out around 20 to 30 lumens so they are not very bright.

Cree LED. High power LEDs from the Cree brand are commonly used in tactical flashlights because they emit a strong light and stay lit for extended periods. Cree white LEDs emit a warm, neutral or cool light in up to 6000 lumens – equivalent to 60W of power!

HID bulbs

High Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs are great for car headlights because of their super bright white light. In flashlights, they are used in tactical torches for military and law enforcement applications.

HID bulbs have a glass globe that is filled with xenon gas and metal halide salts. When current hits the contacts, an intense and hot arc ignites the gases and salts to produce an intense light beam. The high heat created by an HID bulb can make the flashlight very hot and difficult to handle. HID lights are also known to have a slow start time and the incorporation of electronic ballast adds to the weight of the flashlight.

If you need a flashlight for simply lighting up dark areas of the house, an incandescent flashlight should do the job. But if you have cash to spare, you might want to upgrade to a brighter, more energy efficient LED flashlight which is a much better investment in the long run.

For professional and tactical applications, HID flashlights are the best choice although you have to pay a higher price.

Brightness

How to Choose the Right Type of Tactical Flashlight Brightness

Choosing the right type of brightness when buying a tactical flashlight will depend on your intended use. There are numerous choices in the market and they are not that affordable.

If you are a newbie and you want to buy your first tactical flashlight, the choices might overwhelm you. To help you choose the right one for you, here are a few simple tips.

  1. What do you need the tactical flashlight for?
    If you are going to use the tactical flashlight for long range vision, search and rescue, or for hunting, you will need a torch that has big brightness and durability. We say a tactical flashlight with more than a thousand lumens.

    If you are an outdoorsman and you need the flashlight for camping, sailing, fishing, or you just want a powerful beam, a tactical flashlight with lumens ranging from 300-1000 will be an appropriate choice. But if you’re just looking for a flashlight for general indoor use, a smaller torch with about 100-300 lumens is just right.

  2. How much beam do you need?
    Different beams require varying lumens. Depending on the beam power you need, there is corresponding lumens for that. Flashlight enthusiasts will tell you that higher brightness is always good and will not do you wrong. But you need to decide on how bright you want your tactical flashlight to be.

    If you are on the lookout for your first tactical flashlight, you might want to go for something with different beam features and modes just so you can experiment with beam variations. Here are a few beam variations that you can check out:

    1. Brightness levels. Some flashlights have low-mid-high-turbo functions. This means you can have 4 brightness levels in one flashlight.
    2. Pencil beam. This becomes handy for focusing on one target.
    3. Wide beam is great to brighten your surroundings.
    4. Strobe mode or flashing mode means you can use the flashlight as a signaling device which comes in handy during emergency situations.

  3. How much Beam Distance and Peak Beam Intensity are you looking for?
    If you are searching for a tactical flashlight that will take you places, you should also look at its beam distance and peak beam intensity. Beam distance is the measurement of the distance that the intensity of the flashlight’s beam will take you. Peak beam intensity, on the other hand, is the brightest point in the beam and measured in candela. Don’t mistake candela for lumens. Candela measures the brightness of the brightest point of the beam while lumens tell you how much light is coming out of your flashlight.

    A bit confusing? Here is a cheat sheet for you:

    1. 10-20 lumens is appropriate for close range tasks with a beam distance of up to 100 meters.
    2. 20-150 lumens with a beam distance of 120 meters is good for indoor use like finding something in the shed or the attic.
    3. 160-200 lumens will throw a beam up to about 250 meters. This brightness is great for hiking, camping, personal security, or just general purposes.
    4. 200-500 lumens is good for some outdoor activities like climbing, fishing, and sailing.
    5. 600-1000 lumens with a beam distance of 300 meters or more depending on model is great for caving, hunting, and other industrial uses.
    6. 1,000 plus lumens is great for some serious outdoor stuff like search and rescue and other activities in large areas. This type of brightness is not for indoor use.

Final Tip on Choosing Your Tactical Flashlight’s Brightness

If you’re ready to buy your own tactical flashlight, just remember that the brighter, the better doesn’t always apply. Choosing a flashlight with at least 100 lumens is a good start, and you can always upgrade if you need more brightness. It’s better to upgrade than downgrade when it comes to tactical flashlights because these things don’t come cheap. Make sure that the brightness of your tactical flashlight will be appropriate for your intended use.

Battery Life

Choosing a Tactical Flashlight Based on Battery Life

Battery life is one of the main factors considered when buying a tactical flashlight. Choosing a flashlight based on battery life can make or break your decision. This is because tactical flashlights are usually made to go through extreme conditions and the batteries should be able to withstand tough work. It is crucial that the availability and type of replacement batteries should also be a factor when you choose your tactical flashlight.

Why do you need longer battery life for your tactical flashlight?

The reasons are obvious. Tactical flashlights are called that for a reason. They are not your typical flashlights that are used for general needs. Tactical flashlights are meant to do tough work and they are commonly used in situations that normal flashlights can’t handle.

Some of these scenarios are guiding people through the wilderness, withstanding extreme temperatures, search and rescue, and other emergency situations. During these times, tactical flashlights play a vital role in the survival of the individual using it, that’s why it’s important that they have a long battery life.

What are the factors affecting battery life?

Given the above scenarios, you should be aware of the things that affect your tactical flashlight’s battery life. Most manufacturers of tactical flashlights use FL1 standards when measuring the run time of flashlights. This standard method provides a comparison among varied brands.

The FL1’s run time test measures between 30 seconds after the flashlight was turned on up until the light output goes down to 10 percent of its initial light output. If your tactical flashlight produced 1,000 lumens after 30 seconds of being turned on, its run time will be set at the point when it emits 100 lumens.

Now that we’ve mentioned that, here are some of the factors that will affect your tactical flashlight’s battery life. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the following so your tactical flashlight doesn’t fail you when it matters.

  1. Brightness

    Many tactical flashlights have different modes and brightness levels. You can adjust the light output according to your need. Many manufacturers choose which brightness level or power setting to use during a run time test. However, you should bear in mind that some manufacturers might use the highest setting while the other can use the lowest.

    The important thing is, if you continuously use your flashlight at the brightest level, it will drain your battery faster. If you don’t need your flashlight to be at the highest or turbo setting, it’s better to use the appropriate setting to prolong battery life.

  2. Type of Battery Used

    Your battery life also depends on the batteries you use to power your tactical flashlight. Tactical flashlights are usually compatible with several types of batteries so it’s up to you to choose which one will fit the bill.

    Changing the type of battery that you use will affect the performance or run time of your flashlight. We recommend that you look for the battery type used when the flashlight did its run time test or the laboratory test. This will give you options on what best suits your tactical flashlight for longer battery life.

  3. Temperature

    If you are going to use your tactical flashlights in extreme conditions, it is important to keep in mind that temperature can affect your flashlight’s battery life. Although the effect to its run time is negligible most of the time, it is still important to note that heat, cold, and humidity can cause your battery to not operate at its peak efficiency.

    The run time or battery life will certainly affect your choice in buying a tactical flashlight. There are a lot of choices in the market today but we suggest that you buy the tactical flashlight that will be expensive upfront but will be with you for a long time. Investing your money in something that will potentially save your life or someone else’s will be worth every penny.

Lumens

Most newbies don’t know what tactical flashlight lumens are. When shopping for a tactical flashlight, it pays to know and understand lumens and the role they play in high quality flashlights.

What are Lumens?


Its dictionary definition is, “a unit of luminous flux equal to the light emitted in a unit solid angle by a uniform point of source of one candle intensity”. Simply put, lumen is a measurement of the total amount of light visible from a source or the simplest definition, lumens equals brightness. In other words, more lumens means more light.

What is Light Output?


This is the unit of measure of the total output of the light measured in lumens. A keychain light will have a light output of 1 lumen to multiple thousands like those of search lights.

Light output should not be confused with beam distance or beam intensity. Beam distance is how much light is emitted from the lens while intensity is the brightness of the beam at its peak point.

For example, a flood light might have an output of 1,000 lumens but since the light is spread out, it will have less intensity. Lumens is usually the first factor considered when buying a tactical flashlight. This is because you consider the intended use first and how much light output you will need. Once you know how much light output you’ll need, it’s easier to narrow your choices and considerations.

How many Lumens are really needed?

We’ve mentioned that lumen count is the performance base of many tactical flashlight enthusiasts. This means that they search for the right lumens first, and then they go from there. However, it can be very tempting to buy a tactical flashlight with 4,000 lumens if lumen count is the first factor to consider. Nevertheless, having a 4,000-lumen tactical flashlight and using it for routine use will not be wise. Most tactical flashlights go beyond 100 lumens because they are used for specific purposes.

The lumen count for tactical flashlights will vary depending on your intended use. If you’re not sure of your exact needs, you might want to first go for something with 20-100 plus lumens with different modes or brightness levels.

If you’re ready to buy your first tactical flashlight but still don’t know how much light output you want, here is a cheat sheet to help you.
  • A flashlight with 1-20 lumens is great for reading in the dark, finding keyholes, walking in the dark or for any close-range use. This range can be useful for rooms that are pitch-black to eating a meal during power outage or fixing your car.
  • A flashlight with 10-25 lumens is appropriate for general household use. Flashlights with these many lumens can be used as general-purpose flashlights. They can guide you through dark corridors but it might not be useful in the outdoors.
  • A flashlight with 35-60 lumens can be used for general outdoor activities or to shine on something when fixing your car or looking for tools inside the garage.
  • A tactical flashlight with 100 plus lumens can be used if you work in security, construction, or if you’re a fan of hiking, sailing, and other outdoor activities. This can also be useful for temporarily blinding attackers, shining a spot on the road as a signal to other drivers, or to scan a small backyard for intruders.
  • A tactical flashlight with a thousand lumens is meant for caving, search and rescue, and other heavy-duty outdoor activities. Even if you’re not an outdoorsman or someone who works in security, you will never know when you’ll need a 1,000-lumen tactical flashlight so it’s not actually a waste if you buy one.
  • If you are still looking for more brightness, there are 3,000-lumen tactical flashlights that can be used to light a large area like a ship yard. It can also be used as a diving torch.
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with what lumens are, are you ready to buy your first tactical flashlight? Just remember, more lumens equal more brightness.

Beam Distance

Tactical Flashlights Buying Guide: What is Beam Distance?

Buying a tactical flashlight is an investment, and will surely be of service for years to come. It is important to have one that is of high quality. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing what tactical flashlight to purchase.

The main function of a tactical flashlight is obviously to provide light that the user will use to fulfill whatever his or her goal is. In order to be considered high quality, your tactical flashlights must run different operational functions. This is especially when it comes to how your light performs for you

What is Light Output?

Light output is the amount of light that comes out from a flashlight. This is measured in Lumens and is all about the power of your light. Initially, this is usually what you take notice of when purchasing a flashlight.

However, there are other attributes that you should also keep in mind. It may even be argued that the light output may not be as important as you have first thought.

One attribute is temperature - which is the color of the light. Another is the beam distance, which is what we will discuss below.

The Role of Beam Distance in Tactical Flashlights

The beam distance is a feature of your flashlight that is of utmost importance. Beam distance is the measurement of the distance that a beam of light can shed light on. In other words, this is how far you will be able to see when using your tactical flashlight.

There is then the concepts of the “throw” and the “flood” of your light. The throw is the distance ahead that will be lit. The “flood” is the width across that a light is able to illuminate. There are those who may prefer a far reaching light, or perhaps a wider area of illumination instead.

Flashlights that focus more on the flood are generally better for scenarios in which you need to look at something from a close distance. Conversely, a long throw is good to use for illuminating objects that may be far away.

What Determines the Beam Distance?

The bigger the flashlight or the stronger the battery, does not necessarily mean that your device will create a light with a higher beam distance. However, more often, high Lumens may mean that your beam distance is high as well.

This is not the only factor that plays a part. The property of throwing and flooding of your light is more controlled by your flashlight’s refractor.

The refractor is a metallic cone that surrounds the flashlight’s LED. The texture of the refractor can either be smooth or an orange peel. Smooth refractors create a more narrow and focused beam of light. This has more throw than an orange peel refractor. An orange peel refractor, on the other hand, widens the reach of a light, giving it more flood.

Why Need a Tactical Flashlight with a High Beam Distance?

First, take into consideration what function your tactical flashlight will play. Then, assess whether or not you need a far reaching beam distance. You have to also evaluate at what distance should you be in order to see whatever it is you have to shed light on.

The beam distance is what might separate buying a tactical flashlight to be used for spot-lighting, or one for lighting up a large room. Usually, you will only purchase one that has either a good throw or a good flood. To get the best of both worlds would be the most ideal.

Firefighters and policemen will opt to go for a farther throw. While technicians and mechanics who work with their tools up close will most likely go for a wider flood.

You will not always need the highest Lumen or the brightest beam. It all really depends on what you have to use your tactical flashlight for. Beam distance should also be greatly considered if you want a high function tactical flashlight.

Switch Types

The Importance of Different Switch Types among Tactical Flashlights

Everyone who needs a tactical flashlight wants one that is of high quality and high performance. However, you have to be willing to invest in one what will give you the most functionality according to your needs.

A tactical flashlight is a tool one uses in order to achieve a desired goal. Sometimes, you may not even realize you need something until you come across a situation that you are not prepared for.

Importance of Different Switch Types

Your tactical flashlight’s switch type is one of those attributes of your tool that you may not immediately take a notice to. The switch is only a tiny part of your flashlight, but it has a great effect on comfort and functionality.

You may not think that your switch type can determine what flashlight you will purchase, but it surely is something to consider. For those that are not very familiar with tactical flashlights, it is good for you to know that your switch has a lot more functions than just turning your tactical flashlight on and off. You may not know it yet, but you may even use your switch to select different settings.

Types of Switches

Your switch type is a good way for you to personalize how you control and interact with your tool’s interface. Here are the different types of switches you may find on your tactical flashlight.

Twist switch
This can be found either at the head or at the teal of your flashlight. The twist switch is generally what is used for smaller lights. Holding techniques such as the Harries and the Swordsmen is easier with this type of switch.

The twist switch is preferred by those that keep their flashlights in their bag so as not to accidently switch your flashlight on with movement. The drawback, however, is that you need two hands to operate it.

Body switch
This can be found in all sorts of tactical flashlight brands and models. Having this type of switch allows for a natural grip. Especially for larger flashlights, this may be the best to have. The body switch allows for side click use and for single-hand operation.

Tail switch
Nowadays, this has become the go-to switch when it comes to tactical flashlights. Having the switch at the tail of your flashlight gets it out of the way. The tail switch is perfect if you want to hold onto your flashlight in an overhand grip. It is easy to operate using your thumb at the base of your flashlight. The downside, however, is that it can be easy to accidently press.

Combination switches
The twist and tail switch combination allows you to easily switch your tactical flashlight on and off using a tail switch, so you can choose between different options such as brightness level. The body and tail switch combination also allows for a similar functionality.

Less common switch types
There are other less common switch types you may not see quite as often on tactical flashlights.

The tail twist switch allows for a twisting motion, but on the tail of the flashlight. The membrane press allows the switch to lay close to the body with a plastic membrane covering it. The rotary ring has a ring that can be twisted. This has a combination of a magnet in the ring and a magnometer inside the light.

How to Choose the Right Switch Type

You have a wide array of switch types for your tactical flashlight that you can choose from. It is important, therefore, that your flashlight has a switch that will answer to the demands of however you want to use it.

You may want to constantly change brightness levels, or go back and forth between special light modes. Considering all these, you must have a switch that allows you to do so with ease and comfort.

Special Light Modes

What are the Special Light Modes of Tactical Flashlights?

Tactical flashlights truly are different from your ordinary flashlights. They are set apart because you really need your tactical flashlight for high performance situations. A tactical flashlight is very useful for your day to day activities. But more than that, it would truly be a wonderful and functional investment.

One thing that you may not automatically look at when purchasing a tactical flashlight is the special light modes that it offers. These special light modes may be gravely important in order for you to easily achieve an objective. Having certain modes to choose from may help you survive challenging circumstances. In more extreme situations, they may even help save your life.

Light Modes Normally Found in Tactical Flashlights

For those who have yet to really get the chance to use a tactical flashlight, the rest of this article may surely be of interest. You may be curious to find out that there is a whole lot more to flashlights than simply turning it on and off. There are various light modes in which a tactical flashlight may be readily equipped with.

One of the more common adjustments you can make with the light of your flashlight is being able to go back and forth between different brightness levels. At the most basic, your flashlight should come in both high and low level of brightness. More advanced tactical flashlights have a lot more options with a more delicate transition between brightness levels.

What are the Special Light Modes?

Not all tactical flashlights come with special light modes. It is typically the more expensive and high quality flashlights that do. A simple on and off switch may sometimes not be enough. Having these special light modes can really be a wonderful addition to the functionality of your tool.

These are the three special light modes that a tactical flashlight must have:

Strobe Mode
This is characterized by very fast and bright blinking of light. The blinking may either be in constant intervals or even in varying pattern. This light mode is used in order for the user to confuse and disorient somebody. This may be useful if a person is aggressive, violent, and needs to be disarmed. A rapidly blinking high frequency light can really throw somebody off or even temporarily blind them.

This mode is necessary for jobs that call for you to face an attacker, such as when you work for the police. When out in the woods, the strobe function may also be used to frighten off wild animals.

Beacon Mode
Similar to the light pattern of a lighthouse, the Beacon Mode allows your tactical flashlight to blink at its brightest with an interval of a few seconds. How long these intervals are depends on the tactical flashlight at hand.

If you are in a survival situation, you can use the Beacon Mode for you to be easily seen. The time interval between blinks also allows you to save your battery life. If you have been stranded for a long amount of time, the extra battery life can really be a great difference.

SOS Mode
SOS is a distress signal used in Morse code to call out that there is an emergency. When on this mode, your flashlight will flash three short blinks of light, then three prolonged ones, then three short blinks again.  

This is useful for anyone in a survival situation that needs to call for help. This signal is internationally recognized and may eventually help rescue you from a dangerous situation.

As well as the Beacon Mode, this may be of use especially to hikers or campers that spend a great amount of time in potentially perilous locations.

Shopping for a Tactical Flashlight

In a normal day to day setting, you may not immediately think that these light modes are necessary. However, these will prove to be quite handy if ever you find yourself in the most unexpected of situations. It is not all the time that you will need a powerful and beaming light. It is good to have these special light modes convenient, but hope that you will not have to use them against attackers. Shop for your ideal tactical flashlights today!

Water Resistance Ratings

Water Resistance Ratings of Tactical Flashlights

Water damage is among the top reasons why flashlights fail to function. One way to save your hard-earned money is to purchase a flashlight that is water resistant. With one of those handy, you will always be ready for whatever may come. You will not have to constantly worry about keeping your flashlight away from water.

This is especially useful if you are a fireman, policeman, or perhaps a survivalist, and have to face conditions wherein you are going to get wet. Without a water-resistant tactical flashlight, you might catch yourself in a difficult situation with a water damaged flashlight.

The Different Water Resistance Ratings

Ever had a tactical flashlight labelled as water-resistant that broke down after being hit by a few splashes? Or maybe you’ve had one that still worked even after being showered on by the rain? This is because tactical flashlights have water resistance ratings.

One flashlight may have completely different specifications from another. It will not always be the same quality each time just because you read the words “water-resistant.”

This water resistance rating is called the IPX rating system. IP stands for Ingress Protection. This measures how much your device is protected from the ingress of foreign bodies such as dust, debris, and you guessed it, water.

IPX-1
As long as your tactical flashlight is steady at a horizontal or vertical position, it will be able to withstand a drizzle for a short time. To be granted this rating, the tactical flashlight must continue working after 10 minutes of exposure to 1mm of rain per minute.

IPX-2
A tactical flashlight with an IPX-2 rating will be able to withstand water coming from an angle that is not past fifteen degrees. This will be good for light rains but not heavy downpours. To be granted this rating, your device must continue working after 10 minutes of exposure to 1mm of rain per minute.
 
IPX-3
Tactical flashlights will be able to endure water coming in from sixty degrees if they have an IPX-3 rating. It is enough to keep your flashlight safe from heavy rain showers. To be granted this rating, your flashlight must continue working after 5 minutes of exposure to 0.7 liters of water at a pressure of 80-100 kN/m2 per minute.

IPX-4
This is one of the more common ratings you will be able to see on any tactical flashlight. Your device will be able to withstand any sort of splashing that is coming from any direction. To be granted this rating, your flashlight must continue working after 5 minutes of exposure to 10 liters of water at a pressure of 80-100 kN/m2.

IPX-5
A tactical flashlight with a rating of IPX-5 or greater means that your device can withstand hits by a constant stream of water. This will be able endure pressure from garden hose, for example. To be granted this rating, your flashlight must continue working after 3 minutes of exposure to 12.5 liters of water at a pressure of 30 KN/m2 and a distance of no more than 3 meters.

IPX-6
Your flashlight will be able to endure a constant stream of water at a far greater pressure. Think of a fire hose, for example. To be granted this rating, your flashlight must continue working after 3 minutes of exposure to 100 liters of water at a pressure of 100 kN/m2 and a distance of no more than three meters.

IPX-7
Flashlights with an IPX-7 rating with be able to withstand being submerged under water, being dropped in a vast body of water. To be granted this rating, your flashlight must continue working after exposure of up to 30 minutes in water with a depth of 1 meter.

IPX-8
IPX-8 is the highest water resistance rating on this chart. Your flashlight will survive being submerged underwater for an indefinite amount of time. The depth in which your device will be able to resist pressure may vary depending on the specifications of the manufacturer.

Things to Remember When Shopping for Tactical Flashlights
You have to figure out what kind of tactical flashlight at what water resistance ranking is the best for you. The higher the specifications means the higher the price, and you wouldn’t want to purchase something you might have never really even needed in the first place.

Nonetheless, having a strong flashlight with a high water resistance rating will always be good for survival situations. It won’t hurt being extra ready and prepared!

Special Features and Options

Tactical Flashlight: Special Features and Options

Tactical flashlights are built to be tough and dependable. It is more than just a tool that provides light. Your flashlight should also be able to perform various other tasks that can help you in the most difficult of situations.

Tactical flashlights come in varying shapes and sizes. Different brands and models will typically come with all sorts of special features and options. The demands and circumstances of a user require tactical flashlights to be able to execute functions and roles that make life a whole lot easier.

Features of a Flashlight

A regular tactical flashlight has some pretty basic parts that you will most probably be able to find in any flashlight.

First is the bezel, which is screwed on to the form of the light. Next is the head that encloses the LED and reflector. Then you have the battery tube, and the battery magazine that holds your batteries. Last is your switch, which is attached typically at the tail of your flashlight but may also be found at the body or head.

Strike Bezel
A strike bezel is made as a powerful alternative to your ordinary bezel. This has jagged edges that have been primarily made for you to be able to attack other people. This instantly turns your flashlight into a serious weapon.

You may then use your flashlight for situations wherein something needs to be stuck. This will come in handy if you need to break glass or if you have to defend yourself against a violent individual.

Tactical Ring
A Tactical Ring is a small solid ring that you attach to the tail of your flashlight. You may use this to serve as sort of a stand for your tactical flashlight. This will keep it from rolling away if you have to lay it down on an uneven surface.

You can also use the tactical ring to have a more solid grip on your flashlight. This will keep it from slipping off your hands.

Light Filters
Light filters are put at the face of your flashlight. These allow the light shining from your flashlight to appear in different colors. This is useful especially for professionals who use their tactical flashlight for more than just shedding light.

For example, a red light filter is often used for night vision because the color won’t strain your eyes. Green is a subdued color that may be used by hunters so as not to frighten off any animals. Blue and yellow are used to trace blood.

Removable Clips
There are different kinds of clips that you can attach to your tactical flashlight. These are used as failsafe devices that will keep your flashlight from smashing to the ground. An example would be clipping on a wristband. This is really useful in case your flashlight slips from you grip.

A clip can also be used as a hands-free way to carry your flashlight around. Pocket or belt clips may be installed to keep your flashlight close to you in times of intermittent use. Holsters may also be another alternative for easy access.

Weapon Mounts
Having a weapon mount will let you easily attach your tactical flashlight to a gun. This will allow you to secure your flashlight to a standard Picatinny rig. This is made so that your light will be steady and will not incur any sudden movements.

A weapon mount will allow you to become so much more versatile when handling a weapon. This may be used especially by law enforcement agents who need to keep an eye on their target. Hunters will also find this very useful when tracking down an animal.


Deciding on what special features and options you want for your tactical flashlight depends on what you will use it for. Know what you need and work from that. There’s a ton of special features and options that you can make good use of. Go out and find one that is perfect for you!