For a pistol that’s going to be used in low-light conditions, the best pistol light isn’t a luxury it’s a necessity. Sure, a person could carry a separate flashlight with their pistol, the way many police departments do, but why do that when you can have the ease and convenience of using a pistol light? These lights help to free up the shooter’s hands, so they can concentrate on their target and not only balancing a flashlight. They’re such an important part of equipment for any gun owner, we decided to go ahead and do a review on them. The following models are the ones that we found to be the best.
Quick Summary of the Best Pistol Lights
- Best Overall: Streamlight Weapon-Mount Tactical Flashlight (Amazon) – Review
- Best Lightweight: Olight PL-2 Valkryie 1200 Rail Mounted Light (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value: Firefly V2 Pistol Light With Laser/Strobe Function (Amazon) – Review
- Best Affordable: Ozark Armament Tactical Pistol Light (Amazon) – Review
Best Overall: Streamlight Weapon-Mount Tactical Flashlight
This pistol light is designed to fit on not just pistols, but a variety of long guns and rifles as well. Although an adapter might have to be used for some types of pistols, this light usually works quite well with larger long-slide pistols with straight rails. Once this light is equipped, it’s capable of delivering up to 800 lumens of the LED light. This model is 3.39×1.47×1.44-inches and is made from aircraft aluminum that’s been anodized with a quality finish. It’s also equipped with shock-mounted glass lenses. This allows the light to be durable and long-lasting. It also gives the light a classic look that many people are going to appreciate. It’s a style that goes well with the style of most pistols and will never look out of place.
This light’s rail-grip clamp system is designed to be easy to use by the consumer. It goes on without the user having to use tools and also without them having to place their hands in front of the pistol’s muzzle. It’s a product that’s designed to fit light-bearing hosters, and it comes equipped with a programmable strobe that the user can enable or disable according to their needs. It’s a light that looks good and doesn’t chew through batteries the way that other types of tending to do. Although this product does costs a little bit more than comparable pistol lights, we do think that it’s the best one currently available.
Best Lightweight: Olight PL-2 Valkryie 1200 Rail Mounted Light
Just by holding this light in your hands and looking closely at it, it’s easy to see that it’s a quality light. It’s has a nice sleek look to it, and it seems to be well made. It uses a well-machined T6 aluminum-alloy that’s been coated with a military-grade type III anodize coating. It’s also equipped with a quick-attach and quick-release mounting system that can be easily operated using only one hand. This light is also equipped with an on/off switch that makes no noise, so it’s suitable for security guards or law enforcement officials to use. And it has three convenient operation modes: strobe, constant on, and momentary on.
This quality pistol light is equipped with impact resistance, up to a distance of 3-feet, and it only weighs 3.8-ounces. It’s approximately 3.25×1.44×1.26-inches in size and is water-resistant up to the IPX6 rating. This light uses two CR123A batteries, has a peak beam distance of approximately 771-feet, and it has a beam intensity of up to 13,800 candles. It’s turbo and strobe settings can provide 1,200 lumens for up to 70-minutes. If there’s one flaw to this light it’s simply that the user might have trouble finding a light-equipped holster for it. For other brands, finding a holster isn’t difficult, but for this one, it might prove to be a challenge. Some holsters are available that will fit it, just not as many as other brands.
Best Value: Firefly V2 Pistol Light With Laser/Strobe Function
This pistol flashlight might not be as durable as some of the other lights we’ve examined, but that’s not the point of buying it. The point of this light is that it’s a budget model that costs anywhere from 50-60% less than traditional premium pistol lights. However, just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean that it’s not worth owning. This light has a few great features that any gun owner would be proud of using. It’s a light that will fit any firearm equipped with a Picatinny rail, and that includes not only a handgun but also a rifle or shotgun as well. And it’s made by a combat veteran-owned company that tries to deliver quality equipment to their customers at a decent price.
What we liked about this light was that it was very accurate. Its laser can be zeroed in quite well, in much the same way that another sight would be adjusted. The one flaw we found on this light was that it was hard to turn the light and/or laser on without removing our hand from the pistol grip position. It would’ve been nice if we could’ve worked the light with our thumb without having to take our hand out of position. However, we will say that we did like that there were buttons on both sides, so consumers could use either their right hand or their left hand to turn the light on and off.
Best Affordable: Ozark Armament Tactical Pistol Light
Now we’re going to review the Ozark Armament TFL-1-P, a budget pistol light that offers the gun owner a low-cost solution for equipping their favorite pistol with a powerful flashlight. First and foremost, we’re going to say that our initial impression of this product didn’t leave us too impressed. Although this product isn’t poorly made, it’s clear to see just by holding it that it’s not a premium model. It just doesn’t feel extremely durable, although it is rated to be shock and water-resistant. We’re not saying that it won’t hold up to use or will immediately break when it’s being used, but we’re not sure it’s a model that will handle a lot of field use.
The next thing we’d like to say about this pistol flashlight is that it seems extremely easy to mount, and it is capable of mounting to any full-size pistol with a Picatinny clamp mount. This product features a light that will produce about 500-lumens of bright white light. While that might not be as much light as premium models produce, it is suitable for most people. This model is also equipped with a strobe feature and constant on-mode features as well that gun owners can use as they see fit. And fortunately, the switch for this light is easy to reach. All of this makes this a great budget pistol flashlight that should fit in any gun owner’s budget.
Selecting The Best Pistol Light Available
We didn’t merely want to give our readers a rundown of the pistol lights that we felt were the best, we wanted to give our readers the information they need to make the choice for themselves. That’s why we’ve decided to write this guide. In this guide, we’ll go over some of the features that gun owners should consider before purchasing their next pistol light. Having said that, let’s get this guide started with the first thing the consumer should think about when purchasing one of these lights.
First Step: Consider The Light’s Lumens
The first thing that the gun owner is probably going to want to think about is the brightness of the light. As a general rule, the consumer should choose a light that has at least 200+ lumens. However, the consumer needs to keep in mind that just because a pistol light operates at the same lumens as another light doesn’t mean that they will have the same amount of brightness. Light spread is just as important as lumens are to determine whether the light is bright or not.
As an example, let’s compare a 600-lumen light that has a small spread with an 800-lumen light that has a wider spread. Which one is most likely to be the brightest? In this case, it’s most likely the light with a lower amount of lumens. Why? Because the light is concentrated on a smaller spot and isn’t spread out. Now, if the consumer can get a light that has high lumens and a lower spread, then that’s likely to be an extremely bright pistol light.
Second Step: Make Sure It Fits The Pistol
After choosing a sufficiently bright light, the consumer is going to want to make sure that light is going to fit their pistol. Not all of these lights will fit every pistol available, so the consumer should make sure that it’s going to be compatible with their pistol. Some pistol lights have a universal design that allows them to be used on a variety of different firearms, while other lights are only designed to fit certain pistols.
Third Step: Consider The Light’s Size & Weight
It’s a very good idea for the consumer to also pay attention to the size and the weight of the pistol light they’re considering purchasing. The gun owner is going to want to make sure they get a light that’s big enough to be useful and to have the features they need, but not one so big that it’s going to interfere with the functioning of the pistol. It’s also important to make sure that the light isn’t too heavy or it could throw off the user’s aim just slightly.
Fourth Step: Make Sure It Can Be Operated While Maintaining A Grip
For most pistol users, the position of the buttons is going to be of prime importance and an indicator of whether the light is easy to use. Ideally, the pistol owner is going to want to be able to turn the light on or off or operate its other features, all without removing one hand from their grip to do it. The pistol user is also not going to want to have to move their hand in front of the muzzle to use the light efficiently. Therefore, consumers should try to find a light that can be operated with just a finger, so they can maintain a proper pistol grip while they’re operating a light.
Fifth Step: Make Sure It Will Fit A Holster
Although this step isn’t vital to finding a great pistol light, it is something that the consumer might want to consider. As anyone who has ever bought these lights before will tell you, not all pistol light will fit into a standard light-bearing holster. Sure, name brands such as Streamlight have many holster options available for their users, it can be difficult to find a holster for some of the no-name lights available. If the user is going to keep their pistol in a gun safe or bedside drawer, then this isn’t going to be a problem, but for most people, it’s something they want to think about before purchasing a pistol light.
Consider A Few Last Details
Okay, that’s just about everything a pistol owner is going to want to consider when they’re choosing a new pistol light. However, those aren’t the only considerations that need to be made. There are a few other things that the consumer might want to think about before they commit to a particular light. Below are a few of the features worth considering:
Some Final Details To Consider:
- Laser sighting
- Strobe light/constant on features
- Rechargeable batteries
- Quick-release mounts