Best Handheld Flashlights for Police Work [Practical For Real Life]

If you’re an LE officer, this buyer’s guide is for you! We gonna take a look at the best handheld flashlights for police work with the latest products in 2020.

Some are good and some are bad. When it comes to police work, safety is paramount and visibility is key.

Light is essential for visibility and inside dark quarters and rooms during the day, and most of the time on night shift, a flashlight is an officer’s tool to provide light to safely execute their duties.

A flashlight, one of the many tools and gadget’s on a law enforcement officer’s duty belt, is a necessity and the right one is a huge help in the field and on the road. 

Please read below to find out

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Best Handheld Flashlights for Police Work

Streamlight 75455 Stinger DS 

Why Streamlight seems so popular among LE – This Streamlight flashlight features a rechargeable battery with a 50,000 hour lifetime. After each shift, the officer can recharge the flashlight to prepare for the next shift.

The charger is even able to mount onto a wall for the added organization of police gear at home. The flashlight has 800 lumens, which is plenty bright enough for all tactical operations. 

There are four settings on this flashlight, which are helpful for a variety of differing situations: low, medium, bright, and strobe. This flashlight has a maximum intensity of 24,000 candela per lumen.

If you want to check out more modern rechargeable battery flashlights for more savings, please check out Olight products here. They make some awesome products that you should definitely check out.

Streamlight 88060 Pro Tac 

What’s cool about the Pro Tac – Unlike the previous Streamlight flashlight, the Pro Tac is able to be purchased in many differing lumens. The design features a ten tap programmable switch.

This flashlight has the ability to run off of two different battery types and is also rechargeable. There are four variations in brightness that you can choose from to deliver an exceptional customizable experience. 

This flashlight is all about durability as it features an aluminum construction and a glass lens with anti-reflective powers. The design is lightweight and fits comfortably in the user’s hand. This model features a maximum intensity of 30,000 candela per lumen. 

Fenix Flashlight FX-PD35TAC

Why pick this one – The Fenix flashlight provides reliability and output and can provide up to 1000 lumens. A lightweight option, this flashlight is rechargeable, easy to use, and has many brightness settings for the user to choose from.

The most impactful and game-changing feature of this brand is that it features an intelligent memory circuit, which allows for the flashlight to tap into its memory to revert to the previously selected brightness level when it is powered on. 

This flashlight also is comprised of many different modes for operation, ranging from a tactical mode to an outdoor mode. This Fenix model has a maximum intensity of 10,800 candela per lumen. On the low setting, this flashlight has the ability to run for up to 140 hours. 

If you didn’t find what you’re looking for and maybe check out this guide here for more products.

What Law Enforcement Officers Want in a Flashlight


Candela, simply put, is the measure of the intensity of the light that the flashlight produces. Typically, the higher the candela, the more well-liked and reliable the flashlight is when it comes to brightness.

In layman’s term, higher candela light combined with high lumen gives the officer the ability to control a threat from a safe distance.

Knowing the candela will tell you how bright the light source is to help determine how far away from an object you can be to still be able to illuminate the object. 

Learn more: How Candela Ratings Matters When Combating Photonic Barriers


The lumens of a flashlight is equivalent to the brightness. A lumen is the amount of light given out through an angle by a candela source, meaning the amount of light that is visible to the eye. 

Flood Beam

The flood beam of a police officer’s flashlight is in reference to the width of the angle that is able to be illuminated. When illuminating an area, it is not always about being able to see a great distance away, but it is also about being able to see a great width around you.

Many tactical flashlights feature different beam settings in their different modes and brightness’s. 

Battery Life

The number one killer of the job is the overtime. On occasion, police officers can get held over time at work and their equipment must have the ability to also continue powering through.

Battery life is key. There will be days that one forgets to recharge their flashlight, and having a dependable running time and battery life is a huge deal. 


Some individuals prefer a larger, sturdier flashlight for confidence, a secondary weapon if need be, or because they have a larger hand. Others prefer a smaller size with a comfortable fit in their hand and less weight on their outer vest or duty belt. Size preferences will vary. 


On occasion, cops can and will need to get down and dirty a little. Aside from being clumsy like the typical human being, flashlights will be dropped, and must be able to survive a few scuffles, fence hops, and must endure normal wear and tear.

Police officers depend on their equipment for their jobs and lives. Forming a trust between the equipment and the officer is necessary. 

Common Flashlight FAQs

Can Law Enforcement Officers use their own light products on duty?

Typically, most police departments will allow an individual officer to choose which flashlight they wish to carry on their duty belt.

Some, per policy, must carry and utilize their department-issued flashlight. If this is the case, that officer may, however, be able to carry a secondary flashlight of their choice. 

Do LEOs Carry Back-up Flashlights?

If they don’t, they should! Things happen and it is always important to have a backup in the event that your flashlight loses power or becomes damaged or lost. 

If you’re interested in some backup EDC lights please check out this guide here.

Do LEOs Want Higher Lumen Lights As the Industry is Pushing for it?

In short, yes. Most police officers want the brightest and the best. However, currently, the top flashlights available have some extremely high lumen options that can become momentarily blinding.

Some officers do prefer something slightly less luminous for different operations, such as clearing a dark building on day shift. Some tasks may not require the best and the brightest. 

Related Content: Pros and Cons of Weapon Mounted Light For LE Applications

Kristina Martel

Kristina Martel is a law enforcement officer in South Florida. Writing is a passion and escapes for Kristina and as often as she is able to, she unwinds with expression via pen and paper (although usually a laptop). Residing in Loxahatchee, Fl, Kristina and her husband have three dogs, and over 20 chickens. When out of uniform, it is important to reconnect with hobbies and qualities that keep us human. Kristina does love firearms, however, and often shoots in her backyard when not at the police department range.