Whether you’re in security or law enforcement, it’s imperative that you have all of the right tools for the job. Since your health and safety can literally depend on these items, it’s imperative that you find products that are reliable and can provide exceptional results. One of the most critical yet underutilized pieces that you can carry with you is a tactical flashlight. If you patrol at night for any length of time, you need something that will help improve your vision while also providing an extra line of defense.
So, with that in mind, we are going to look at some of the best police flashlights on the market today. Even if you are a civilian looking to upgrade your current lighting, each one of these models is designed for high-performance output and reliability. Never be in the dark again with one of these flashlights.
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One thing that separates tactical flashlights from those you can find in any department store is the ability to recharge them. While most consumer-grade models use C or D batteries, higher end units like this Stinger from Streamlight have specialized power sources that are built to last.
In this case, the high-performance battery can last up to 50,000 hours, and it can be recharged up to 1,000 times.
Best of all, you can charge from your car or a standard outlet, making it a viable option for home or patrol use. In addition to the incredible battery, this flashlight has four different illumination settings. First, it has the standard options of low, medium, and high, but it also comes with a strobe feature to disorient suspects or signal your location if necessary.
So, depending on the setting you use, you can get between 90 minutes and four hours of battery life, and you can see up to 300 feet ahead with crystal clarity. Overall, this is an incredible, if somewhat expensive, police flashlight.
When it comes to choosing a tactical flashlight, you can go in one of two directions. First, you can opt for something long and heavy, like the Streamlight above. This allows you to use it as a weapon if necessary.
Second, you can choose something small and compact so that it doesn’t take up as much room on your person and is easier to handle. The Defender Series Flashlight from SureFire falls into the latter category.
As far as performance goes, this particular light is designed to provide ample illumination rather than customizable options. As such, there are only two settings: bright and ultra dim. The higher setting gives you 300 lumens of concentrated LED light so you can clearly see everything in front of you. The lower option only has five lumens, making it ideal if you are trying to be more tactical in your approach. A rear button allows you to switch back and forth easily.
Although the size of the SureFire is compact, it comes with a durable anodized aluminum frame and a strike bezel design so that you can use it for self-defense in a pinch. Thus, instead of using it as a club, you can inflict damage with either end, which is why it can still be a useful tool for law enforcement.
Overall, we highly recommend this as a backup light or as an emergency flashlight.
Next, we have the next model down in the Streamlight series. When compared to the Stinger above, the Strion has a lot of the same benefits, but it doesn’t last quite as long or provide quite as much light.
So, if you want a more affordable model and don’t need intense illumination, then this is a great option for any patrolling. What we like most about this light are the shape and design.
Like all Streamlight models, it comes with a comfortable grip that lets you handle it with ease. This particular model also comes with an anti-roll head so that if you set it down, it won’t run away from you.
As far as performance goes, this unit still comes with the four illumination settings that are standard with all Streamlights. You can switch between low, medium, and high as well as a strobe function for disorienting suspects or announcing your location. The highest setting is 500 lumens and can last for up to an hour on a single charge.
This light runs on a lithium-ion battery, and it can last up to 3.5 hours on the lowest setting. Not only that, but you can recharge it up to 1,000 times, and it will last up to 50,000 hours.
Moving on down the list of Streamlight models, next we have the camping-grade Stinger model. This is the light with the lowest brightness settings, meaning that it’s a more cost-effective unit that will work well in most environments.
So, if you don’t need to have ultra bright light, this can be a good option. As with all Streamlights, this Stinger has a sturdy aluminum casing and a long-lasting bulb.
It also comes with a proprietary rechargeable battery. What sets this one apart is that it can last up to seven hours on a single charge, and it uses a standard AC/DC connection.
There are four light settings: low, medium, high, and strobe. The highest illumination is 385 lumens, and it will last about an hour and a half on that setting. Not only can you adjust the brightness, but you can also customize the beam to your liking. You can have it be narrow to see further, or wider so that you get more peripheral vision. Also, you can set it to have both for maximum vision.
This next flashlight is designed with multiple professions in mind. It comes with three different operational modes: general, tactical, and law enforcement. As such, this means that the flashlight is perfect for any situation or environment, making it a great buy for anyone.
What we like about this light is that it provides up to 800 lumens on the highest setting, and it uses rechargeable batteries.
Not only that, but it comes with a smart docking station that can be mounted on a wall or installed in your car for easier access.
The design of the light is also great with a comfort grip handle and an anti-roll head. The whole thing is waterproof and submersible so that you can bring it with you anywhere and it will hold up. Overall, if you want something durable and versatile, this is the light to get.
As we’ve seen most police lights top off at about 800-900 lumens. However, this particular model is four flashlights in one, meaning that it can provide up to 3000 lumens on the highest setting. Best of all, it’s still relatively compact and comes with an easy carry handle, making it a perfect choice for any situation.
Running this light is four rechargeable batteries so that you can keep it in prime condition all the time. It even comes with a battery indicator light that turns red when it’s time to change so you never guess how much longer you have left.
With most police flashlights you get bright, white LED light so that you can see everything clearly. However, in some situations, you may need to use different colors so that you can see what you’re doing without alerting everyone to your presence.
In this case, the Pelican 7600 Tactical Flashlight comes with three color options: red, green, and white.
In addition to the colorized lens, you also get three brightness levels and a strobe function. The max number of lumens is 944, and it will last up to 24 hours on a single charge. This model uses a lithium-ion battery for reliability and recharges via USB. Overall, this is a great tactical light for most situations.
One aspect of some tactical flashlights is that you can mount them to a weapon if need be. That is the case with this model from Smith & Wesson.
It has a compact and lightweight design so that you can put it on your favorite rifle or handgun (if applicable) and see where you’re shooting even better.
As far as performance goes, this light provides up to 875 lumens for up to four hours and can last almost two days on the low setting as well. It has a waterproof and impact resistant casing, and it illuminates up to 242 meters in front of you. Finally, it comes with strike bezels on both sides so that you can use it for self-defense if necessary.
If you want a tactical light with plenty of different brightness modes, then this model from Orcatorch is a great buy. It comes with four levels, with 980 lumens being the highest setting.
On top of that, you also get two strobe functions for emergencies, including one that is used for SOS alerts. What we like most about this light is that it has a long battery life and incredible performance.
Even on the highest setting, it will last up to four hours, and you can see up to 1000 feet in front of you. Best of all, the batteries are rechargeable so that you can keep it going day in and day out. Finally, the whole thing is waterproof so that you can bring it with you anywhere, even camping.
Our final flashlight is another model from SureFire. As we saw above, this company specializes in making compact tactical lights that are perfect backup units to your standard flashlight.
In this case, however, you can also mount this light to your rifle or handgun, making it a prime choice for any nighttime shooting. The max brightness for this light is only 320 lumens, which is again why we suggest it as a backup.
The small size means that you can carry it easily in your pocket, and the beveled design makes it comfortable and easy to use. This light has an aluminum casing and a strong, soft Nitrolon covering so that it is both weatherproof and impact resistant.
As we mentioned above, one of the reasons to get the best police flashlight is that it can be used as a backup weapon in an emergency. So, you can either choose to get a large and heavy model that can be used as a club, or you can get a smaller version that comes with a strike bezel so you can fend off an attack.
In addition to the consideration of how well it will perform in a self-defense situation, you also have to figure out how you’re going to carry it. Compact models are easier to hold for longer periods, and they can fit better onto your belt, so that may be a more optimal choice.
For the most part, police flashlights need to be extra bright so that you can see better in the dark and potentially blind suspects for your safety. When looking at lumens, you want something with at least 800 if you plan on using it for patrol. If you only need a flashlight for consumer purposes (such as a power outage or camping), then five hundred lumens or so will be just fine.
Fortunately, most models allow you to switch back and forth so that you can operate based on your current needs. The only thing to remember is that the brighter it is, the less battery life you have.
Overall, we highly recommend buying a flashlight with rechargeable batteries. The reason for this is that it will be much cheaper to reuse the same batteries than replacing them all of the time, and you can keep a spare charged at all times. Usually, police flashlights require specialized CR123 batteries anyway, so you might as well upgrade to rechargeable versions since they are already more expensive than C or D versions.
Finally, one feature that should come with any tactical or police flashlight is the ability to strobe the light. This is necessary for both blinding suspects and alerting others to your position, which is why it’s such a critical function. Unless you are buying the flashlight for civilian purposes, make sure that it has some kind of strobe.
After looking through all of these high-quality police flashlights, we have to say that our top two picks are the NightCore R25 and the Pelican 7600. We like the fact that these models provide ample variety regarding the types of light and brightness you can have, making them an essential part of any patrol.
Best of all, even if you don’t need the tactical parts of the lights, they are perfect for civilian use as well.
A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!