Nowadays, pistol lights that are mounted on weapons are very popular. Weapon lights are an important addition to any self-defense firearm. A pistol must have a pistol light if you plan to defend yourself with one. Sometimes people end up in shooting accidents simply because they did not have a pistol light.
Check out our reviews of the top pistol lights for 2022 to ensure that you are on the right track.
What To Look For When Choosing A Pistol Light
A flashlight that won’t turn on when you need it to is more than just annoying. You could be in danger as a result! Due to this, pistol lights are very expensive. Handguns may not recoil violently, but they do move back and forth, which can cause poorly made lights to break.
Heck, this applies to optics as well, and that is why Trijicon had to upgrade the RMR1! The first generation could flicker and turn off from even a 9mm handgun. The slide would move quickly back and forth, flattening the contacts.
Pistol lights are measured in lumens. In general, a light’s brightness increases with its lumen output. There are some outliers, though. But generally, the brighter, the better.
That’s because it raises your chances of confusing an adversary, which can increase your chance of surviving. On the subject of how many lumens to disorient someone, there are many differing opinions but little concrete evidence.
The rule of thumb is that you need between 100 and 150 lumens to disorient someone in the dark and between 200 and 300 lumens to disorient someone during the day.
Naturally, this requirement will be increased by the distance between your light and your adversary’s eyes. Decide on the brightest light you can find in order to err on the side of caution. even if the battery life is reduced.
Ease Of Use
The ease of use of the light is the most individualized consideration when purchasing a weapon light. Most pistol lights have two rear levers that flank the front of your trigger guard.
Toggle the switch between on and off by tapping them, or press and hold them for a brief burst of the brightness before pulling the lever. There are side buttons for other lights that you can tap in front of and below the trigger guard.
The advantage of replaceable batteries over rechargeables seems to be that they typically last longer. In the field, you can also alter them.
Replaceable batteries, however, cannot be topped off! Every night, you can plug in a rechargeable pistol light to keep it charged for use during combat.
Best Pistol Lights
Best Overall: Streamlight TLR-1 HL
Pick up a gun with a light already installed, and chances are good that it’s a Streamlight. This is a result of Streamlight’s perfect balance of strength, usability, dependability, and cost.
When you turn on the Streamlight TLR-1 HL, 1,000 lumens of visible light are released; this is a tremendous amount of power for such a small light.
Additionally, it has a battery life of 1.5 hours, which is lengthy for that level of intensity. Strobe mode is activated by double-pressing the ambidextrous activation pedals.
- Easy battery installation with no chance of losing the battery door due to a tether
- Includes a very powerful C4 LED without raising the light’s price
- On the longer side, so shorter barrels may throw carbon onto the light, requiring extra cleaning
Best Budget: Klarus GL1
The only cheap handgun flashlight I’d think about using on a serious firearm is the Klarus GL1 Pistol Light. Klarus flashlights have always been a great experience for me. This cheap-yet-reliable trend is continued by GL1.
The 600-lumen CREE XP-L2 HD LED is powered by a USB rechargeable battery. This is a significant amount of energy.
However, the 260 mAh battery can only keep the light running at full power for a brief period of time. 600 lumens lasts for 10 minutes, usable light lasts for about an hour, and the last half an hour is only about 70 lumens.
- Easily recharged battery
- Good power and reliability considering the low price
- Limited battery life
Best Small: OLIGHT BALDR Mini
An excellent compact pistol flashlight that isn’t any less powerful for its size is the OLIGHT BALDR Mini.
Despite the small form factor necessitating a small battery, you receive a 600-lumen full-power LED bulb. You will only have 40 minutes of light, so.
The BALDR mini only has a tiny 3.07-gram weight.
The rail mount adapter’s slide design, which allows you to slide the flashlight forward or backward to fit almost any handgun, is a neat feature.
- Doesn’t give up any power for being such a small pistol light
- Small and light enough to not mess up your pistol’s balance
- The green laser isn’t as high-quality as the rest of the unit
- Short battery life
Best Compact: Streamlight TLR-7A
One of the most well-known pistol lights is the Streamlight TLR-7. The TLR-7A is an upgraded version with better activation levers.
All Glock 19 generations—aside from the railless Gen 2—fit the TLR-7A. The housing of the light is nearly flush with the front of the gun, making it a great ally.
The only real flaw in this light is that it only produces 500 lumens, which is more than enough for a pistol light.
- Customizable activation levers
- Small and light yet still durable
- Lower brightness than most other modern pistol flashlights
Best For Rechargeable Battery: Olight PL Pro Valkrie
By tightening hex screws, the Olight offers a stable mounting platform for your weapon. While the fit is extremely tight, the light cannot be quickly removed and needs an Allen wrench, making battery replacement a little more laborious than with lights that have a quick-release feature.
The light is durable and water-resistant, making it a good choice for all weather conditions. The light emits a broad, long beam of light that is able to illuminate a sizable area because of its brightness and shape. Strobe functionality is also included, which is a nice touch.
- Bright 1500 lumen light
- Secure fit and lightweight
- Ambidextrous buttons
- The strobe feature is difficult to use
- No toggle for constant-on
- Inconsistent, short battery life
- No quick-release buttons
Best Long-lasting: Nightstick TCM-550XL
As implied by the name of the model, the TCM-550XL produces 550 lumens. It has an intensity of over 4,600 candelas, which is more than some 600-lumen lights.
Your target is kept well-lit, and you can see everything around it thanks to the TIR lens.
The Nightstick has a battery life of up to 2.5 hours, making it a useful flashlight. That’s an hour longer than the competition’s best.
- Easy to activate levers
- Long battery life for a pistol-mounted flashlight
- Activation levers may be too sensitive for some people
- Does not fit many handgun models
Best Backup: SureFire 2211 Wristlight
The Wristlight is a flashlight worn on your support hand, the same as a watch. When you hold the pistol in both hands, the lens is angled to illuminate the barrel of your weapon.
The Wristlight’s intensity ranges from 300 to 15 lumens, which is different from other weapon lights. This increases the battery life from one to thirteen hours, making the wrist light a useful backup or emergency flashlight.
By purchasing a Weaponlight that can double as a wristwatch, you can increase its adaptability!
- Allows you to use your weapon light at low power and without aiming your pistol at non-targets
- Works with any model handgun
- Has to be manually activated separately
- The watch versions are not ambidextrous
Best Waterproof: InForce APL Compact Pistol Light
For those who want a powerful weapon light without all the bulk, the InForce APL Compact Pistol Light is the ideal option. Even though this lightweight 200-lumen LED light only weighs a little under 2 ounces, it can operate for up to 1.5 hours on a single battery.
Both right- and left-handed shooters can use the ambidextrous activation switch, and the integrated lockout system prevents you from inadvertently turning on the light when it isn’t needed.
- It has a runtime of up to 1.5 hours and is a high-intensity LED weapon light.
- This Weapon Light is a fantastic choice for use in challenging circumstances because it is incredibly tough and water-resistant.
- It has an ambidextrous on/off switch, making it usable by both right- and left-handed shooters.
- Up until you are prepared, the integrated lockout system stops accidental activations.
- For some applications, the light might be too intense.
- The battery life could be increased.