The number one reason to have a pistol light available is to have better vision when it is dark outside. While some individuals choose to use a flashlight with their handgun, this can make moving around challenging and makes use of both of your hands at once. That’s why so many people decide to invest in a weapon light to make the process more convenient and straightforward.
The best pistol light helps you properly identify targets without taking away from your ability to take a shot. Those who do a lot of night choosing can find that it helps you assess what you’re up against and make it simple to take a great shot when the time arises. That’s why we want to share what the best pistol lights are and let you make a decision about which meets your specific needs.
We will look at what sets the best lights apart from the competition and talk about the ways in which they differ from one another. We’ll also give you some information about what to look for when comparing lights against each other. This will ensure you make the right choice, even if you don’t select an option that made our list. But first, let’s look at the top 10 pistol lights on the market right now.
The Best Pistol Light for 2020
Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL Weapon Mount Tactical Flashlight
This Streamlight weapon light is out top pick when you want a reasonably priced, bright, and simple to use pistol light. It is made from machined aluminum and boasts an anodized finish. The light is sealed and is acceptable for use in any kind of weather. The light comes in flat dark earth, dark earth brown, and black and fits into any light bearing holster.
This light is mountable to any handgun with a Glock style or Picatinny rail. It goes on easily and securely without the need for tools. A mounting kit is available for an additional cost to add the light to a long gun.
The TLR-1 makes use of two CR123A batteries which will power the LED for almost two hours. It emits up to 800 lumens and has a top intensity of 15,000 candelas. This is a beam that can go up to 800 feet and includes both concentrated and peripheral illumination. The light has an ambidextrous switch to power the light and turn on or off the programmable strobe.
Streamlight 69261 TLR-2 High Lumen Rail-Mounted Tactical Light
Coming back to Streamlight again, we have the TLR-2 tactical light. This is a reasonably priced model but more expensive than some of the models with fewer features. However, it is a reliable option which makes it well worth the price for many gun owners out there. When a light is needed in an emergency situation, this is one that you can truly count on.
This model from Streamlight can emit up to 800 lumens of bright white light and uses two CR123A batteries for nearly two hours of use. This is plenty of light to search through a dark room or temporarily blind an intruder. The gun light has a wide beam pattern for the most efficient searching possible. It also offers a red laser for aiming that can be used with the LED or on its own. The red light can last 45 minutes using two batteries.
This light can mount on any Glock or Picatinny rail mount using a rail grip clamp system. It detaches and attaches easily and without the use of any tools. In addition, it mounts in a way where your hand never goes in front of the barrel of the gun. The toggle switch is ambidextrous so you can momentarily turn it off and on easily. A double-tap on the side switch controls the strobe.
Olight Bundle PL-2 Valkyrie 1200 Lumen Rail Mounted Compact Pistol Light
The PL-2 from Olight is a bundle that is an improved version of the PL-1, which was the brand’s first pistol light attempt. This light is powered by two CR123A batteries and offers a highly powerful LED that can reach up to 1,200 lumens. This makes it the brightest light on our list and a great option for anyone who wants the most power in their hands.
This light has a hardened glass lens with an anti-reflective coating on both sides to offer a 99% light transmission rate that stands out. It has been created using an aluminum alloy that is resistant to impacts of over three feet and has an IPX-6 rating, which means it can be used in any kind of weather.
The light is controlled by a silent on and off switch that you push forward or tap to operate, offering options based on your preference. It has a stainless steel lever for quick and easy attachment or release when used with Glock or Military Standard 1913 rails.
Streamlight 69520 TLR-7 Low Profile Rail Mounted Tactical Light
As you can see, Streamlight is one of the best options for pistol lights and the next option from their arsenal is the TLR-7. This is a compact light that offers 500 lumens and is easily mounted onto most handguns. In addition, this is one of the less expensive models, so it makes a good choice for a beginner.
The body and face cap of the light are manufactured of 6000 series machined aircraft aluminum with a black anodized finish. The LED light uses a borofloat high-temperature glass that resists shock and has a 50,000 hour lifetime, meaning you get a high level of durability out of a small package.
It might seem like this isn’t as bright as some models, but it has plenty of power to handle intruders and work on a defensive handgun. It offers Ten-Tap programming and can be turned permanently on, momentarily on, or used with a strobe feature. With the single battery, it has one and a half hours of runtime and it weighs next to nothing.
Olight Bundle PL Mini Valkyrie Rechargeable Flashlight
Another of the budget options comes from Olight with the PL Mini Valkyrie bundle. This is a top weapon accessory with a 400-lumen output and durable construction you can count on. Using an LED light, the beam is bright white light that can reach up to a 75-meter throw, which makes it great for covert operations and light night targeting.
The rear of the light has activation switches to make it easy to use, even in tense situations. It can connect to both Glock and Picatinny style rail mounts to offer adaptability and usefulness with most handguns. This is a small light that can easily be concealed and the first of the lights on this list that is rechargeable. All you need to do is connect it to a USB power source.
This light comes with a charging cable to power the light and it can keep up the brightness for more than an hour before needing a recharge. The light has both momentary and constant-on modes and includes a warning indicator when you are running low on power.
Streamlight TLR-8 Gun Light with Laser
This model from Streamlight offers a durable machined aluminum anodized body and has an IPX4 water-resistant rating so you can take it with you anywhere. This is a gun light that uses a single CR123A lithium battery and includes both a white LED light and a laser light. The LED can reach 500 lumens with a peak intensity of 4,300 candelas.
In addition to the laser sight, this light also offers a strobe function that users can turn off and on. It has a custom optic lens for a concentrated beam that also illuminates the peripheral area. The ambidextrous switch is low profile to prevent issues with accidental activations and snagging.
The light has a safe off feature that helps you keep battery life long and it can fit onto a wide assortment of full-size and compact handguns. It has a rail clamp system in use to make it easy to attach and detach to any weapon without passing your hands by the muzzle of needing tools.
Olight PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie 600 Lumens Cree XP-L HD CW Magnetic USB Rechargeable Subcompact Weaponlight
The PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie is the first compact and rechargeable weapon light with an adjustable rail, which means it can be used with most pistols, even of a subcompact size. The light has a maximum output of 600 lumens and offers a beam distance of 100 meters.
Charging this pistol light is simple as it comes with a rechargeable battery and a magnetic USB cable. There’s no need to spend time taking out a battery or plugging into a port that is going to wear out as time goes on. The light itself has a simple on and off operation with a single click and also boasts momentary-on where the light stays on until the switch is released.
The light comes ready to install to a Glock but is also compatible with a Picatinny rail so you can use it with most pistols. It’s a tiny device that is just over two inches long and less than three ounces in weight. The bundle comes with the light itself, a second rail mount, a socket head wrench, magnetic charging cable, Olight patch, and a user manual.
Sig Sauer Foxtrot1 100 200 300 Lumen Rail Mount Graphite Tactical White Light
Sig Sauer is a huge name when it comes to guns and is known to law enforcement officials, hunters, military, and other shooters. The Foxtrot1 pistol weapon light is one of the most advanced flashlights you can find on the market. It can attach to any Picatinny or Sig Sauer rail without the need for cross-slot modifications or adapters.
This light features dual tact switches that are finger-operated for ambidextrous use when using either momentary or continuous mode. It has an efficient white LED that can go for more than two hours using a single CR123A battery. This is a light that is ideal for applications ranging from law enforcement to home defense and everything in between.
One of the things that makes this gun light stand out is the ability to choose the lumen output. The user can switch between 100, 200, and 300 lumens depending on specific need. It is designed to fit into most holsters that facility handgun lights to be a convenient and easy to transport option.
Streamlight 69291 TLR-6 Tactical Pistol Mount Flashlight
There are three different versions of the TLR-6 from Streamlight. One is designed for use with Springfield Armory XD rails, one is for M&P rails, and the last is designed to Glock rails. All are made to attach to the trigger guard and rail of compact and traditional handguns. It has a low profile and features a laser for easy identification of threats for taking a shot. This light has the option of continuous or momentary operation and a battery will last one hour.
One of the perks of this gun light is that it has a C4 LED and a red aiming laser along with battery replacement requiring no tools. There is no need to resight the laser after battery replacement and it doesn’t have to be removed from your pistol of choice. The light is 2.2 inches long and weighs 1.16 ounces with batteries installed.
The LED light on this option produces up to 100 lumens and reaches a maximum of 2,000 candelas at 89 meters. Long-range targeting is available courtesy of the red laser. The light itself is made of a polymer that is impact-resistant while the lens is shock-resistant glass. It is IPX4 water resistance testing, so a little moisture won’t cause big problems.
InForce APL for Glock Auto Pistol Weapon Mounted White LED Light
InForce is one of the brands you can trust when you want an exceptional Glock flashlight that you know is going to work in a clutch situation. The APL LED light is the first generation of its kind from the brand, which means they know a little about what works and what doesn’t.
This light has a high-intensity tight beam that offers up to 400 lumens of light. The body is made of polymer with glass reinforcement and has textures paddles, so you don’t have to worry about your grip slipping. This feature makes the light ideal for close and mid-range use.
With an ambidextrous switch, the APL helps with quick target identification through momentary or continuous light. It can be mounted to any 1913 or universal rail, making it ideal for most handguns. When you turn the head a quarter turn, that engages lockout mode which can prevent it from activating on accident and using up the battery.
Reasons to Choose a Bright Pistol Light
There are many reasons that you may want to have a pistol light and we wanted to share some of them with you in case you are on the fence about the purchase. The first reason deals with clarity of sight and range when you are in a dark environment. The light enhances your abilities, especially if you are in an area with low light pollution or a wooded location.
A high-quality source of light makes it easier to home in on a threat or target. When you choose a bright gun light, you get an accessory that helps you look around anywhere it’s dark and remain aware of your surroundings at all times. However, there are other reasons people choose to purchase a handgun light.
Another benefit of a pistol light has nothing to do with shooting your gun. Light can be a lifesaving thing to have on hand when you are in the dark for any reason. Taking out your gun and turning on the light lets you look around the area and avoid accidents. It can light a path, so you ensure you don’t step into the path of danger.
In addition, if you are in a situation where you need help and want to alert people that you are around, a pistol light can offer that functionality, too. The brightest lights will offer a long and strong stream of light. This can make it easier to find you for family members or emergency personnel.
A very bright light can also be used as a weapon on its own in a manner of speaking. These pistol lights can stun someone who is in front of you to give you the edge. This is often the preferable option to using force whenever possible against a threat.
Weapons mounted lights of a high light output can temporarily blind or stun a dangerous person in your way. This can offer you the advantage of a few seconds to run away to safety or to get your gun lined up so you can take a shot.
Many of the flashlights on the market today for guns are very powerful. Whether using LEDs or laser, many firearm users recommend choosing a bright model with advanced features. The brightest and newest models are used by law enforcement, which can give you peace of mind that you are protected even if using the light in your own home.
The great thing about pistol lights is that many of the current models are extremely bright while being operated with a touch and weighing next to nothing. That means that most of the lights aren’t going to cause your weapon to become bulky and hard to wield. The best choice is a light that operates with a single touch so you can turn it on when running or otherwise busy.
Considerations when Choosing a Pistol Flashlight
There are many things that you are going to want to think about when choosing the best light for your pistol. The factors that matters range from the brightness level to the style of the beam, weight and size, durability, and when the light will most often be used for. We want to go through each of these things to help you understand what your options are.
Choosing a Pistol Light Brightness Level
One of the most important things to look for when comparing lights is what the lumen output is for each of them. It’s essential that the light is bright and strong enough to let you locate targets and identify exactly what they are. On the other hand, a high lumen output can be too right for indoor use. So what is the right answer here?
The truth is that there is plenty of debate about how many lumens you need for your gun light. Some people will say that 100 or 200 lumens are more than enough while others might say that 500 lumens is a good place to stop. Others will say that you shouldn’t use a pistol light at all indoors, so it doesn’t matter.
What you need to consider is how the light is going to be used. The brightest lights are preferred by homeowners who are hoping to blind or disorient someone in their home. However, loss of night vision can be a concern if using the light for searching purposes. When using a light near light-colored walls, you should also keep in mind that this can affect lumen output and make the light brighter than normal.
Deciding on the Right Beam Style
There are two beam styles you need to be aware of: throw beam and flood beam. Each of them is ideal for different situations, so your own purposes are important to consider when choosing weapon lights.
A flood style beam is the right option for those who want a beam that lights up a wide area and spreads out in front of you. Another perk of a flood style beam is that it is going to offer more natural light than a throw beam while lighting up the entire area including in your peripheral vision. However, at a longer distance, flood beams can reduce situational awareness and make it more difficult to identify a target.
Throw style beams focus their power into a narrow beam of light, which makes for an exceptional hotspot. The emitter that is part of these pistol lights makes the light focus into a narrow cone. If you want the maximum distance, a throw beam will offer it but at the expense of peripheral vision. This can lead to trouble with situational awareness in tight areas.
The Right Size & Weight Based on Gun
The size of your handgun is going to affect what size and weight of pistol lights are appropriate for you. In nearly every case, you do not want the light to be any longer than the barrel of your gun. That also means that, for example, the best Glock 19 light is not going to be the same as the best 1911 light.
Having the right size of light will affect your performance using your gun. If you have a light that is too long, it’s going to come in contact with ammunition residue after the gun has been fired. This can cling to the lens and create problems with the beam of light in the future.
Weight is also an important consideration since the pistol light is going to make your gun heavier whenever you fire it. Nobody wants to deal with a gun that is substantially heavier. Smaller lights tend to weigh less but can sometimes be less reliable. When it comes down to it, reliability matters more than size or weight of the gun lights.
Level of Durability and Reason for Use
There are many reasons to want a gun light and the way you are going to use it plays a part in which one is right for you. For instance, police officers and military members want a very durable and reliable light. Those using a gun for home defense or hunting also want to choose a pistol light that offers durability and reliability, but it isn’t as important as other things.
The material used to make the light is something to pay attention to when it comes to durability. If the material is strong, it means that the light is more likely to stand up to years of use. Keep in mind that a durable light is often going to be more expensive, but that may be worth it since the quality is also going to be higher.
If you work with firearms today, you probably already know there are tons of accessories on the market. While many of those things are unnecessary, some are useful and that includes the pistol light. It is an affordable accessory that enhances the utility and range of your firearm. A gun light is going to make it easier to assess a target or danger in front of you, even if it is far away.
A weapon-mounted light is the simplest and easiest light to use. You install it a single time and you’re ready to go. The lights above are our choices for the best 10 pistol lights on the market and any of them will make a great choice for increasing the usefulness of your handgun. Decide what works for you and enjoy great visibility while you target and shoot!