Best Pistol Light [Top 6 Picks]
Here are the 6 best pistol light options in 2022 that are currently available on the market to buy.
These are newer lights with high lumen and candela output that people have always wanted
To save your time, here are the top 5:
"You need to have the ability to shoot those guns at night with limited and low light" - Larry Vicker (Former US Army 1st SFOD Solider)
They're critical accessories for home defenders to positively identify targets in low light conditions, and they can be used as non-lethal weapons.
Let's check it out...
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Surefire XH30 - Best Overall (or X300U)
The Surefire XH30 has a similar body profile as the X300, but the unique features of the XH30 that the X300 doesn’t have is the disorienting strobe mode & toggle between 300 lumens and 1000 lumens.
Widest Flood Beam - Never miss a thing in the dark again with Surefire's new TIR beam that spills far and wide to cover anything from your 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock.
Slide Always In Battery - Light bezel length sticks out past the muzzle to prevent the slide from getting out of battery during contact shoot self defense scenarios
Disorient Threats - Use strobe to blind up close threats with intense flash and disorientation.
NOTE: If you already have a holster for the X300, the XH30 will not fit due to the difference on the front lens.
Compare it with the XH35, the XH30 is way better with higher candela rating.
Check out XH35 VS X300 Review
- 1000 Lumens
- 11300 Candela
- TIR Lens - Super Wide
- 2 CR123A Batteries
- 4.8 oz
- 3.7 in
Streamlight TLR 1 HL - Best For The Money
Why Get The TLR 1 HL - The TLR 1 HL is the the widely used pistol light for law enforcement and military. It features he EASIEST toggle rocker switch to activate the light in cold weather or with stiff hands under stress. Above all, this is a very affordable duty grade light to get.
Easy Toggle Switch - Very user-friendly control switch for two-hand or one-hand operation without the need to hard press the switch to activate the light
Force on Force Ready - Repair the front lens without having to replace the whole unit to save cost
Easier Strobe Activation - Double tap for strobe for signaling, tactical applications, and blinding threats
TLR2 G rail-mounted flashlight is the same as the TLR 1 HL with a built in (<5mW Class 3R laser)
For anyone who has checked out the Surefire X400, and would like something cheaper. The TLR 2 G is the way to go.
- 1000 Lumens
- 15000 Candela
- 2 CR123A Batteries
- 4.18 oz
- 3.39 in
Olight PL Pro Valkrie - USB Rechargeable Battery
The Olight PL Pro is a hot selling pistol weapon light that can also be used on long guns. What sets it apart from other pistol light is the USB rechargeable that can save the user tons of money buying CR123A batteries, and the insane lumen and candela output.
This light is the only light on the market today that can project up to 1500 lumens and 19600 candela so far besides Modlite PL 350
See side by side comparison - Olight PL Pro VS Streamlight TLR 1 HL
On top of that, this light is very affordable for under $120, and you can get a better deal on Olight USA when you use the 10% OFF code: BADASSOPTIC10
- 1325 Lumens
- 16900 Candela
- TIR Lens
- 2 CR123A Batteries
- 4.55 oz
- 3.3 in
Streamlight TLR7 A - Best Compact Light
The TLR 7A is the best compact light for the money from Streamlight.
This thing flush fit perfectly on the compact size pistols. It’s super light and compact, which takes only 1 CR123A battery (50,000 hours) that can produce up to 500 lumens with its C4 LED technology.
Streamlight’s TIR Optic produces a concentrated beam with optimum peripheral illumination; optimized electronics provide regulated intensity.
Activation switches are ambidextrous from both sides; the user can activate the light simply by pushing the button. In our honest opinion, the new Streamlight TLR 7 A is a better option for its new extended switches.
Read More TLR 7A Review
MODLITE PL350 - Best Throw Performance
Why Try The New MODLITE PL350? - If you want rifle light alike throw capability on a pistol, this is the best we have from MODLITE!
Multiple Light Heads - Choose between Modlite's top 3 light heads for different uses: PLHv2, OKW & PLH 5K
Much Further Throw - Lit up the scene in the dark like using a spot light, and ID targets far away with much more brightness and clarity. No more "kinda" see it!
Change Light Heads - Swap between long gun use and pistol use without having to detach the light body off the weapon
Better Color Rendition - The light provides the most neutral / warm beam to be easier on the eyes during indoor and urban illumination
Very Positive Control - Very positive & easy to toggle control switches even when wearing gloves in freezing winter weather
- 1500 Lumens (PLH 5K)
- 29000 Candela (PLH 5K)
- 54000 Candela (PLHv2)
- 69000 Candela (OKW)
- 1 18350 Battery
- 5.5 oz
- 4 in
Read more MODLITE PL350 review
Olight Valkyrie Turbo - Best LEP Light
Why Try The Valkyrie Turbo? - This is the new 2022 Olight Valkyrie Turbo featuring an impressive LEP (Laser Excited Phosphor) laser alike white beam pattern for long range PID range (up to 500 to 540 meters)
See Better And Further - See clearly in the dark as far as 500 meters with a very concentrated hot spot without flood divergence
Same Controls - The light modes function just like Olight PL Pro
Up To 70K Candela - It's like the MODLITE PL350 with the OKW head, but 3X the candela
- 250 Lumens
- 70225 Candela
- 2 CR123A Batteries
- 4.7 oz
- 3.55 in
Read Detailed Review: Olight Valkyrie Turbo Review
What To Look For
Lumen & Candela Intensity
Pistol weapon lights over 150 lumens are generally considered combat effective. But not always.
A 800 or even 1000 lumens may sound great, but if they don't have enough candela to throw the light further down range to positively ID targets in the dark, then it's useless
For a pistol light, anything around 11000+ candela is a good spec.
Most weapon lights are powered by 1 or 2 CR123A batteries. Some use CR2 or AAA mini battery for compact weapon lights.
Recent new products such as the Surefire XR2 and Olight PL have a built-in rechargeable battery, which allows the user to charge them through a micro USB cord.
Across the board, weapon lights powered by these batteries last up to 60 to 90 mins on average when left on before the battery completely drains out.
The new MODLITE PL350 uses 18350 battery for more brightness output
For longer ranges, you want a more focused hot spot to control threats from safe distances and spill for shorter ranges to light up most things in front of you.
Traditional light has a wide beam angle made for general, multi-purpose use. They don't project concentrated light spot far enough for any long-range illumination.
Tight hot spot lights are great for:
- Clearing a dark area or searching an alley
- Lighting an outdoors campsite
- Vehicle stops or searches
The ergonomics of the light activation switches are extremely important for recoil control and tactical reasons.
The user has to be able to reach the light switches to operate the light effortlessly while maintaining proper pistol grip and fundamentals of shooting, which is why a weapon-mounted light is much better than the handheld light method.
Most like on the market today offers:
- Constant On
Wait... there is more...
If your finger or thumb is too short to reach the buttons easily, please consider buying a light with a large switch so the user can easily reach without breaking the grip.
In addition, it helps with activation during freezing weather condition where hands and fingers feel cold and stiff!
You can also purchase weapon light accessories such as the Surefire DG switches & PLHSTER paddle adapter to make the controls better.
The mount has to hold the light unit in place during a course of firing without falling off.
Most lights locks on the rail rock solid without any issue. For a laser sight it's important that the light stays tight to retain zero.
For pistols without rail slot, there are lights that can mount around the trigger guard like the Streamlight TLR 6, Check out the TLR 6 Review Here
White light only weapon lights are the most popular and most practical for most users.
Laser and light combo are the second most popular for versatility. You can carry it for concealed carry, and also use the laser to teach new shooters on how to be accurate with steady slow aim & trigger squeeze.
IR light is geared towards people who have night vision goggles. In other words, IR flashlight is basically white light that can ONLY be seen under night vision goggles or camera.
Products with all cool stuff are gonna cost more. So depending on what you need the light for, those white light only products are a great starting point.
Laser sight helps with faster target acquisition and accuracy in improvised shooting positions where the shooter can't get a proper sight picture alignment.
For point and shoot type of point-blank shooting, having a laser helps a lot with speed aiming, and it adds a bit more fear for personal defense.
If using a laser and light combo, be sure to pick a light that doesn't have a too strong hot spot that can obscure the laser pointer.
Holster Light Fit
Most holster manufacturers make light bearing holsters for the gun of your choice.
Simply go to their websites and custom order your holster.
Top Handguns With Weapon Lights
See how the light fits on the gun you want to mount before you buy.
Handgun Weapon Light FAQ
How Not To Blind Myself With Weapon Light?
Don't directly point the light on reflective surfaces or mirror in tight spaces to avoid blinding yourself with the light.
The best way to illuminate a tight spaced area for target identification is to use the flood light spill. Another way is to point the light at the ceiling to bounce the light back down to illuminate the whole area.
It's unnecessary to point the hot beam at every thing you want to identify in the dark. Wherever the light beam shines the barrel follows.
When these helpful tactics are applied, you not only improved your weapon light skills, but you also learned to be safe with a firearm without pointing the muzzle all over the place in the dark.
Does A Weapon Mounted Light Help Reduce Recoil?
A quality pistol weapon light generally weighs about 3-4 oz, when you mount it in front frame of the handgun, it does slightly add a bit more weight to counter the recoil.
Based on personal perceived recoil experience, it only helped slightly, and other times it felt no different.
Does The Hot Beam Wash Out Red Dot Reticle?
If using a red dot on the pistol. The hot light beam can wash out the red dot reticle when pointing at a surface too close (Usually 4 - 7 yards).
It's important to readjust the red dot reticle brightness to compensate for it.
How To Clean Residue Off The Lens
Whether if you use a light that sticks out past the muzzle or it sits flush. You have to clean the lens before the residue fogs up the lens, which dilutes the lumen intensity.
The best method is to soak a piece of cleaning cloth in rubbing alcohol and just scrape the residue off the lens surface.
It is quite easy!
What Does Strobe Light Do In Defensive Situation?
A high-intensity strobe light flashes rapidly as a nonlethal way to impair invader's vision during self-defense situations.
Long-period exposure can result in permanent vision damage.
If you want a separate handheld light to go along with your weapon mounted light be sure to check out on our site: Best EDC tactical flashlights with Strobe Function
Can Weapon Light Lens Survive Airsoft BBs & Simunition?
Most tactical weapon light lens can survive repeated recoil, shock, and drop.
But direct head-on BB impacts could crack the lens during force on force exercise.
Reputable light manufacturers like Surefire and Streamlight will replace the light at no cost to you.