6 Best Pistol Lights

Upgrade your pistol's lighting capabilities with the best 6 pistol lights of 2023.

We have tested over 12 different weapon lights currently on the market, and these are the top options that provide powerful lumen output, durable constructions, lightweight and at a good price.

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For Full Size

Best Overall

surefire x300u black
  • 1000 Lumens
  • 11300 Candela
  • 4.8 oz

Best Price

olight lep valkyrie
  • 1500 Lumens
  • 19600 Candela
  • 3.25 oz

Best Ergonomics

streamlight tlr 1 hl
  • 1000 Lumens
  • 15000 Candela
  • 4.18 oz

For Compact & Subcompact

Best For Subcompact

tlr 7 sub
  • 500 Lumens
  • 5000 Candela
  • 2.4 oz

Best For Carry

  • 500 Lumens
  • 5000 Candela
  • 2.4 oz

Best For Beginner

  • 600 Lumens
  • 4225 Candela
  • 3.07 oz

How To Pair A Good Handgun Light

Lumen & Candela Intensity

Balanced Throw and Flood

streamlight tlr 1 hl beam pattern

Throw Focused

modlite OKW beam outdoor

While an output of 800 or even 1000 lumens may be desirable. However, A high lumen output alone is not sufficient for a pistol light; a candela output of at least 15,000+ is necessary for effective target identification in low light based on today's standard

Beam Types

streamlight tlr 1 hl beam pattern drone shot
streamlight tlr 7a in low light warehouse

For longer ranges, a more focused hot spot is preferred to control threats from safe distances.

For shorter ranges, a balanced flood and throw light beam is preferred to light up most things in front of the user.

Mount Types

surefire x300u vs streamlight tlr 1 hl top view

Most lights feature quick detach slide on mount. Some feature thumb screw mount, and we highly recommend them because they don't damage the rail and they feature adjustable screw tension

For pistols without rail slot, there are lights that can mount around the trigger guard like the Streamlight TLR 6

Holster Light Fit

holosun 507k x2 conceal carry

When choosing a holster for your pistol light, it's important to ensure that it is specifically designed for the light you are using. Many holster manufacturers offer light-bearing options that are tailored to fit specific lights, which can ensure a secure and safe fit.

Additionally, for those who carry their pistol concealed, it's best to select a light that sits flush with the muzzle in order to minimize the overall profile. It's also important to consider the protection of the trigger and light activation switch, as a properly fitting holster will protect these sensitive areas.

Activation Switches

glock 19 with viridian c5l light

When it comes to activating your pistol light, the ergonomics of the switch are crucial for maintaining proper grip and recoil control. It's important to consider the different types of activation switches available and their pros and cons.

For example, some lights offer a constant-on switch, while others offer a momentary switch or strobe feature. Additionally, it's important to consider the placement of the switch, as it should be easily accessible and intuitive to use.


Pistol Light Reviews

Surefire X300U - Best Overall

surefire x300u ruger 57
  • High ouput: 1000 lumens
  • Peak Candela: 11300 candela
  • Batteries: 2 123A
  • Switch: Ambi toggle
  • Length: 3.6"
  • Weight: 4 oz

The Surefire X300U-A Weapon Light boasts 1,000 lumens of LED output and a precision TIR lens, providing a powerful beam for close- to medium-range engagements.

This high-quality light is a favorite among law enforcement and military personnel and features ambidextrous switching for easy operation. Made with a rugged, aerospace aluminum body, the X300U-A is weatherproof and Mil-Spec hard anodized for exceptional durability.

Trust in the expertise and reliability of The Standard with the American Made X300U-A for accurate identification of threats and enhanced situational awareness.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Powerful output
  • Wide beam CQB pattern with momentary on
  • Accepts DG switch

Cons

  • One piece bezel construction requires the entire unit to be replaced if the lens cracks

Streamlight TLR 1 HL - Best For The Money

sig p320 streamlight tlr 1 hl
  • High ouput: 1000 lumens
  • Peak Candela: 20000 candela
  • Batteries: 2 123A
  • Switch: Ambi toggle
  • Length: 3.39"
  • Weight: 4.32 oz

The Streamlight TLR-1 HL is a top-of-the-line, 1000-lumen tactical light that is specially designed for firearms. Its compact, lightweight design and wide beam pattern make it an ideal choice for professionals in law enforcement and military. 

The TLR-1 HL is built with shock-proof power LED technology for exceptional durability and performance. The secure rail clamp ensures easy attachment and detachment, and the tethered battery door allows for simple battery replacement without the risk of loss.

Constructed with an anodized finish and IPX7 waterproof rating, this light is built to withstand harsh conditions. Additionally, it features an ambidextrous switch for easy operation and runs on two 3-volt CR123 lithium batteries. You can trust Streamlight's long track recording for making durable lights for contractors.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Features strobe mode
  • Powerful output
  • Easy activation switch
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • None

Olight PL Pro - Best For The Money

hk usp olight pl pro
  • High ouput: 1500 lumens
  • Peak Candela: 19600 candela
  • Batteries: USB Rechargeable
  • Switch: Ambi toggle
  • Length: 3.27"
  • Weight: 3.25 oz

The Olight PL Pro is a top-performing pistol weapon light that also has the versatility to be used on long guns. With its industry-leading USB rechargeable feature, this light stands out among its competitors. This feature not only adds convenience for the user, but it also saves them money in the long run by eliminating the need for constant battery replacements.

The PL Pro is developed and manufactured by Olight, a brand with a well-established reputation for providing high-quality and reliable training lighting solutions. With years of experience and expertise in the field, Olight is committed to producing products that meet the rigorous demands.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Features strobe mode
  • Powerful output
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • USB Battery charging port can attract metal objects

Streamlight TLR 7 - Best For Compact

streamlight tlr 7a on sig p320 axg
  • High ouput: 500 lumens
  • Peak Candela: 5000 candela
  • Batteries: 1 123A
  • Switch: Ambi toggle
  • Length: 2.51"
  • Weight: 2.39 oz

The Streamlight TLR 7A is a top-of-the-line compact pistol light that packs a powerful punch of 500 lumens. Its ultra-compact design sits flush with the muzzle, and it's easy to operate and ambidextrous switch makes it perfect for concealed carry and the smaller TLR 7 Sub version is made for subcompact frames.

Pros

  • Very compact for CCW
  • Great for CQB illumination
  • Features strobe mode
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Candela output maybe much lesser than a full size pistol light

MODLITE PL350 - Best Throw Performance

glock 19 with modlite pl350
  • High ouput (PLH5K): 1500 lumens
  • Peak Candela: 29000 candela
  • Batteries: 1 18350 rechargeable battery
  • Switch: Ambi toggle
  • Length: 4"
  • Weight: 5.5 oz

With its top-performing capabilities and versatile design, the Modlite PL350 is a trusted choice for those seeking a durable and reliable pistol light. Its ability to swap between different light heads including OKW, PLHv2 and 5K, combined with its user-friendly interface and convenient remote switch feature, makes it an expertly designed light option for use in tactical applications. 

Many who have used the same light on rifle platforms trust it for its performance and reliability.

Pros

  • Interchangeable light heads
  • MODLITE offers great throw capability
  • MODLITE heads work with most 18650 and 18350 bodies

Cons

  • Lens aren't as durable as other products

Handgun Light Pairing

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