Tactical flashlights are the new generation of portable light sources. Tactical flashlights have a variety of uses and can withstand high-impact stress. Tactical flashlights can be used for the outdoor enthusiast, hunters, or working professionals. There are many different tactical flashlights to choose from and selecting one design to invest in can be overwhelming. The best tactical flashlight will be designed for everyday carry, durable, reliable, and have a bright light.

Tactical flashlights are an excellent choice for users who want more than a flashlight. Tactical flashlights are an excellent tool that could end up saving lives in an emergency situation. The best tactical flashlights are built for high-performance. If you find the right one, it can serve your in many situations throughout the years. Our list of the 10 Best Tactical Flashlights in 2018 gives you a selection of high-quality tactical flashlights and breaks down what features you should consider in various designs. With our list, you will confidently light the way.

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How To Choose A Tactical Flashlight – Buying Guide

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When you are deciding which tactical flashlight is the best to buy, it is important to consider a few key features. You will have to decide which tactical flashlight design will best suit your needs. There are many different styles, materials, and light beams in tactical flashlight designs. Finding the best tactical flashlight is important because a high-performance design can help enhance your safety.

Tactical flashlights can be used for a variety of different tasks. Whether you want to light the way or mount it on a firearm, these flashlights are a top rated outdoor survival tool. Tactical flashlights can be easily carried every day, which makes them a great investment. It is best to consider the various designs of each flashlight to ensure that you choose the best tactical flashlight that suits your needs.

Here, we have made a guide of some elements of tactical flashlight designs that you should consider before making a purchase. We also have some frequently asked questions and their provided information to give you all the knowledge to confidently choose a tactical flashlight design for you.

Distance

Every tactical flashlight has a different distance that their light beam can hit. You should think about the range that you need your tactical flashlight to be effective in. A good rule of thumb to find the distance you need is to take the longest distance you will need your flashlight to function and double the number. The resulting number will be the beam rating that is suggested for your use. There are many different distances in tactical flashlight designs and some flashlights have multiple settings.

Commonly, tactical flashlights have different beam distances in one design. Tactical flashlights with this feature will have different light beam settings that you can click through, with the last setting normally being the strongest one. In general, the more lumens a tactical flashlight has, the more power it has for long range use. With modern technology, many tactical flashlights have strong light beams that can easily illuminate distant objects and spaces.

Lumens

Lumens are a measurement of the total light energy output of a tactical flashlight. A high measurement of lumens makes the light more intense. Simply put, the higher the number of lumens, the more light power your tactical flashlight is capable of. A high number of lumens doesn’t always correlate to having the brightest flashlight, but it can certainly affect the overall brightness of your light.

You also need to remember that lumens are a measurement of light energy. The more light energy means the more heat. Tactical flashlights that have high lumens will also generate a lot of heat. Unless you think you need the highest lumens in a tactical flashlight, it’s better to get a less powerful design so that you don’t have to worry about the extreme heat.

Candela

Candela is the measurement of brightness for your tactical flashlight. The brightest flashlight may not be best for you. In certain situations, more is not better. A strong candela is often not great for use in close quarters, such a battle space or home defense. A flashlight that is too bright can actually make it harder to see. Like a photograph where too much light can burn the image, a tactical flashlight that is too bright and used in small areas can have you straining to see clearly.

It is important that you choose an appropriate candela for your environment. You want the beam to cover the distance you need, but not provide an overexposure of light. As well, the light beam is affected by the candela. Tactical flashlights can have a full coverage beam or a concentrated beam. As an example, think about the light differences of stadium lights and a spotlight. Stadium lights flood an area with light, whereas a spotlight can expertly illuminate a focused spot. You should consider what type of light you need and what will best suit your needs.

Durability

Tactical flashlights need to be extremely durable because they are often used in high-stress situations. The best tactical flashlight will be tough as nails to ensure it can be used in emergency situations. Tactical flashlights are called tactical for a reason because they can be used in situations where self defense may be needed or escape scenarios. A tactical flashlight needs to be durable enough to withstand being used for striking objects from people or to break car windows.

The best tactical flashlights will be durable enough to be used for any situation, while still being reliable and delivering a high-performance. It is also important that a tactical flashlight is durable, so it can last throughout the years. Tactical flashlights are an investment and it would be a bummer for a design to break on the first use. You should find a tactical flashlight that has a high build quality and is made of high-quality materials to ensure it has the best durability.

Batteries

Batteries are important for your tactical flashlight because they serve as the power source. Without a battery, a tactical flashlight is useless. There are different types of batteries available and it is important to know which type your tactical flashlight uses. Below, we will list and discuss some of the common batteries used in tactical flashlights.

Alkaline battery: Alkaline batteries are the most commonly known battery. They are disposable cells that come in a variety of sizes from AA to D. These batteries are less expensive and are widely available in stores for purchase. These aren’t the strongest batteries. They can be on the lower end when delivering power, so it’s best to carry an extra set with you.

Lithium battery: Lithium batteries are a good technology. They were developed after the alkaline battery, but normally perform a little better. Lithium batteries are lightweight but deliver more power. They tend to last longer than alkaline batteries and can function in extreme temperature circumstances. Due to their more recent popularity, lithium batteries are becoming more widely available. They are a little more expensive than alkaline batteries but can be worth the investment.

CR123A battery: CR123A batteries are not a common find in most stores, but they are a high performing cell. These batteries deliver more power and last for longer. CR123A batteries can deliver up to 3 volts of power, which is double the power of an alkaline battery. These batteries are great for bright and high-performing flashlights.

Rechargeable batteries: Rechargeable batteries are a type of battery that can be fully charged, used, and then charged again. There are integrated and non-integrated rechargeable batteries, depending on the manufacturer. Integrated rechargeable batteries will have a charging port within the battery that you can use to regain power. Non-integrated rechargeable batteries will have a separate adapter that the batteries are placed into and then plugged into for a recharge. Rechargeable batteries are long lasting with some models having the capability of 500 charging cycles. A good rechargeable battery should last you through several hours of use on the brightest level.

Runtime

Runtime is important in tactical flashlights because it gives you the prediction for how long a single charge or single battery can keep the device functioning. You need to think about how you would like to use your tactical flashlight and how much you will use it. The runtime of a tactical flashlight will be affected by the type of battery that is used. Different batteries have different levels of performance, as listed above. If you plan on using your tactical flashlight every day and throughout the day, it is best to select a model that has a high performing battery that can for longer times on a single charge or battery.

However, many tactical flashlights have different settings. The settings can be clicked through and will determine how many lumens are currently being used. The higher the lumens, the less battery time you will have overall because it takes so much energy to generate and maintain a high light beam. As well, other settings like strobe or an SOS signal, can drain the battery life on your tactical flashlight faster. Normally, manufacturers will provide an estimate for how many hours on each setting, your flashlight can last on one battery or single charge.

Tint

Some tactical flashlights have tints that can be placed over the lens. A tinted lens can allow you to see true colors as you would in natural sunlight. Different tints can help you differentiate between colors. However, tints are not entirely foolproof. Often, the use of tints leads to a decrease in the light’s output. As well, no tint will ever allow you to see colors as well as you would in natural sunlight.

On/Off Functionality

Different tactical flashlights will have a different system for turning the lights on and off. Generally, tactical flashlights will have a button that you push to turn the flashlight on and off. Depending on the tactical flashlight, clicking the on and off button can change between different light beams. However, some tactical flashlights have a momentary on/off functionality, that doesn’t require a firm click to activate the light.

A tactical flashlight that has a momentary on/off functionality means that you can quickly activate the light beam and turn it off, without pushing the button into a full click. Normally, a full click activates the light and keeps the light on. If you push the on/off button before it clicks, you can illuminate the light and once you release, it will turn off. Some users only like to use the momentary on/off functionality for a quick look around but remember that people are often trained to do so. Tactical flashlight users that have their device mounted on their weapon are often trained to use the momentary on/off functionality and are used to using their tool quickly.

It is important to note as well, that using the momentary on/off functionality will not activate all the beams of your tactical flashlight, if there are multiple choices. A momentary on/off functionality will simply activate a beam of light, so you can see. However, if you want to use a strobe or SOS signal and it is provided in your tactical flashlight design, you will most likely have to firmly click the on/off button.

Weight

For many users, the weight of their tactical flashlight is important. A tactical flashlight is a tool that has to be carried with the rest of your gear, so weight can limit you. Modern tactical flashlights are normally compact and lightweight in their design. However, there will be a tradeoff with certain features of the tactical flashlight’s design and the weight. Normally, the more powerful the tactical flashlight is in terms of light beams, lumens, and candelas, the heavier the tool will be.

It is important that you select a tactical flashlight that you feel comfortable holding and using. A tactical flashlight should always be easy to handle and fit your hand appropriately. As well, a tactical flashlight shouldn’t add too much weight so that it can be easily added to the rest of your gear.

Waterproof

The best tactical flashlight will be waterproof or, at the very least, water resistant. There is a different between waterproof and water resistant, so you should choose carefully about which design would best suit your needs.

Water resistant tactical flashlights can be held in the rain for short amounts of time without sacrificing the functionality of your device. However, if your tactical flashlight is fully submerged in, for example, a puddle for more than a second, you could have problems getting the device to function again. On the flip side, a waterproof tactical flashlight can survive a fall in a puddle and still be fully functioning. Explaining water resistance can be tricky because there are different measurement of the waterproof level and to what degree your device is still guaranteed to function.

In general, the most common and widely used system is the IPX rating system. The IPX rating system is used by many manufacturers as a guideline for their devices level of waterproofing. Normally, the higher the number of the IPX system indicates the stronger the device is to resist or function in water. Here are some common IPX ratings, so you can get a feel for what level you might need for your tactical flashlight.

IPX4: With this level on the IPX rating scale, a flashlight is successfully water resistant. Flashlights with this rating can be safely used in rainy environments. From light drizzle to a full out downpour, a tactical flashlight with this rating can handle the rain. Your flashlight shouldn’t stop working in the rain and it should be fully functioning for the next time you use it.

IPX7: With this level on the IPX rating scale, your tactical flashlight should be able to survive a multitude of minutes under deeper water; up to 30 minutes. Tactical flashlights with this rating can be used in water that is a couple feet deep, up to four feet deep, without experiencing any malfunctioning. In general, the depth and pressure of being underwater is what can hinder a flashlight. An IPX7 rated tactical flashlight can be useful in an emergency situation like being trapped in a submerged car. The tactical flashlight should function long enough for you to alert rescuers to your location or help you break out a window and find your way to the surface.

IPX8: This is a high rating on the IPX ratings system and indicates a strong resistance to water damage. A tactical flashlight with this rating can be used for several hours, even when it is fully submerged. The depth that you are able to go is up for debate. Generally, if you are using the tactical flashlight in water that is 4 feet deep or less, it should have no problem functioning. It is not exactly clear just how deep you can go, but in an emergency, you may be able to go beyond 4 feet. Keep in mind that the deeper you go; the useable time and functionality of the flashlight may be affected. Still, flashlights with this rating are guaranteed to function in adverse conditions for quite some time.

You should keep in mind that the higher the level of the IPX rating, commonly, the costlier a tactical flashlight will be. Unless you know you will be using your flashlight for diving or extreme water conditions, choosing a medium ground IPX rated device should suit your needs. An IPX7 rated tactical flashlight is a great choice because it ensures that you can use it in a water emergency and the rain, but don’t have to invest in a heavy-duty waterproof protected model.

FAQs

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Q: What is a tactical flashlight?

A: Not all flashlights are tactical. Tactical flashlights are an all rounded type of flashlight that can be used for strategic advantages in potentially dangerous situations. Tactical flashlights can be used to quickly illuminate a target, protect yourself, or help you escape emergency situations. Tactical flashlights can be used as a weapon, if needed. Most tactical flashlights will have fast light activation in the form of a tail switch. The tail switch may have a momentary on/off function for fast illumination needs and can be used to change through the tactical flashlight’s different settings, if there are any present. Tactical flashlights are made of strong materials and often have design features that can enhance your safety. The best tactical flashlight will be highly durable to provide you with the highest performance.

Q: What is the difference between a regular and tactical flashlight?

A: Essentially, regular and tactical flashlights are the same basic principle. They are both used as a light source. It is the design of each flashlight style that makes them different from each other. Regular flashlights are great for basic needs like working around the home or office. Tactical flashlights are a high-performance flashlight that has certain design aspects that regular flashlights lack.

Tactical flashlights are more durable, have more features, and have a body that can be used physically for personal safety and emergencies. Tactical flashlights tend to be made of high-quality materials because they can be used for self-defense or in emergency situations. The lamp end of a tactical flashlight should have a striking bezel edge, so that it can be used for self-defense or to break objects. Tactical flashlights can also have more light features such as the power of the light beam, the strobe, color, or emergency signals. Perhaps the most helpful aspect of a tactical flashlight is that many designs are water resistant at minimum and waterproof at maximum. Tactical flashlights are truly an all-in-one tool that can help preserve lives.

Q: What are the benefits of using a tactical flashlight?

A: There are many benefits to choosing to invest in and use a tactical flashlight. Tactical flashlights tend to be a high-performance flashlight that has a heavy-duty design that is reliable and useful for a variety of situations. Tactical flashlights are excellent for personal defense. If you are in the home or office and need to defense yourself against an intruder, a tactical flashlight can be a handy tool. Generally, tactical flashlights have a bezel edge that can be used for striking. This makes them perfect for escape scenarios too. If you were to be trapped in a sinking car, a tactical flashlight could potentially help you break the window and alert authorities to your location in the water.

Tactical flashlights are also used by working professionals and hunters. The high-performance design makes this an excellent flashlight to be added to a weapon and used as a mounted light source. From emergency responders to the wilderness hunters, tactical flashlights are a top choice.

For the outdoor enthusiasts, tactical flashlights are popular because they can be seen as a survival tool. The different strobes or SOS alerts that some tactical flashlights feature can bring peace of mind to explorers who are hitting the trails. Not only do the flashlights have the ability to signal for assistance if needed, they generally are longer lasting with battery time and can withstand harsh environments. Rain and snow won’t stop a tough tactical flashlight from properly functioning.

Globo Surf Overview

When it comes to choosing the best tactical flashlight, the task can seem daunting. There are a variety of different physical designs and each tactical flashlight can pack a variety of functions in the light beams as well. With our guide, you have the design and factors of tactical flashlights broken down into easy to digest information. It is important to choose a tactical flashlight that you feel confident and comfortable using because it could end up saving a life. You want to be sure that you choose a tactical flashlight that can handle your adventures, whether you use it a couple times a year or every day. However, we are confident that a top rated tactical flashlight will become a great every day companion for you to carry. If you know exactly what you want and need in a tactical flashlight, you can save time and money by investing in a top rated tactical light.

Do you own one of the tactical flashlights that made it onto our list? Let us know how it has worked for your outdoor needs in the comments section below.

Globo Surf Tactical Flashlights Reviews

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Just what I was looking for. I was in need of a good tactical flashlight for my work and finally found one. Per your suggestion I got the LED Tactical Flashlight by GearLight and I am very happy with it.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!