6 Best Weapon Lights For MK18

dd Mk18 weapon lights lineup

In this buyer's guide, we gonna check out the best weapon lights for MK18. There are tons of lights available, and we have tested so many of them based on their beam performance, beam tint, throw, durability and value of money.

Skip the cheap stuff and check out what the pros are using.

There are also NEWER stuff out there like the MODLITE, Cloud Defensive, and they can do WAY MORE!

Let's take a look

Cloud Defensive REIN - Best Overall

cloud defensive REIN LCS control MK18

Why Pick The REIN - The Upon the overwhelming popularity of the Cloud Defensive OWL. The REIN does what a tactical light does, but in more powerful ways. Higher performing throw, unique switch design and overall good ergonomics are reasons why we picked the REIN.

Insane Candela Rating (Throw) - Incredible throw performance up to 180 yards (60K cd) plus a tight hot beam easily feel like a diffused laser beam.

Cloud Defensive REIN light pattern 18650

Focused Beam, perfect for corridor search

cloud defensive rein long range throw

Far throw (~440 ft), background ~80 ft behind still lit up well

Uses The Same Scout Light Mount - Any scout light mounting accessories from Surefire, Arisaka, IWC...etc can be used with the REIN (Works for KeyMod, Picatinny & M-LOK)

Improved Color Rendition - Neutral white light beam tint is the most preferred light beam color tint, which gives the user more accurate color rendition under low light.

cloud defensive REIN and Surefire M600 scout mounting footprint

Non-Snag Cable Wiring - The REIN's new tail cap design allows the user to switch its orientation based on where the light is mounted on the handguard.

  • No more force swing the cable around the switch to the other side
  • No more snag hazard & zero exposed cable
  • No more bending stiff switch cable that could degrade voltage flow
  • No more excess cable sticking out
  • No more zip tie
  • Perfect for clean SBR handguard setups

Accepts Various 18650 Batteries - Since not all 18650 batteries are made the same length-wise. The added battery jack inside the body allows the use of a wide variety of batteries from unprotected cell to rechargeable.

Serviceable Bezel Lens - The bezel is made with S7 tool steel & uses a 3mm thick lens (thicker than anything else out there right now) to significant beef up the durability of the light. 

If the lens break, all you have to do is to replace the lens by disassemble the bezel in less than a minute give or take.

The user never have to contact customer support or send the light to Cloud Defensive. So no waiting around or mess with any warranty.

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Cloud Defensive OWL - Best Ergonomics

Image Referenced Cloud Defensive

Why The Cloud Defensive OWL (1250 lumens) - It is a durable light that is as powerful as holding a stadium spot light. It throws the beam far and it has amazing control ergonomics that people love.

For anyone shooting in the dark past 150 yards to 300 yards, this is THE flashlight to get for the MK18.

The OWL has the most balanced features that other weapon lights don't have:

A wide flood spill for indoor peripheral illumination
30-50K candela that can reach up to 250 yards clearly in the dark (2X more than anything else on the market today)

Image Referenced Cloud Defensive
Image Referenced Cloud Defensive

Check comparison chart on Cloud Defensive website here

Personally, I would pick the Cloud Defensive OWL. It's the best balance between indoor and long-distance target identification for any rifle platforms & it's virtually indestructible.

The features we like the most about the OWL is its incredible candela ratings & reversible ergonomics. The OWL has 50K candela, which is 2X more than any competitors out there.

High candela allows the light beam to penetrate far into the distance up to 400 yards, while other lights have already dimmed down at about 200 yards.

This solves that problem where you barely see the target silhouette in the dark.

Click here to Learn What Is Candela

Image Referenced Cloud Defensive

The reversible control switch ergonomics feels like the BE Meyer MAWL. The integrated pressure switch design allows the light to be mounted on either side of the rifle, for lefty & righty shooters.

For anyone running IR & laser devices, Cloud Defensive will release some new products. So stay tuned.

Oh by the way, this thing is literally indestructible... Just watch!

cloud defensive owl torture test
Referenced Real Dirty Reviews

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Need an optic for the MK18? 

Check out here: Best MK18 Combat Optics

Olight Odin - Best Value

Why the Odin The Best Value- The Odin leverages the 21700 battery technology for higher output at 2/3 the price of a high end branded product and is as close to the Surefire M600 Scout.


Built-in Scout mounting points let's you can use any existing Scout light mounts you have for KeyMod, Picatinny or MLOK.

The new lockable magnetic controller tail cap secure the pressure switch connection while mounted on a firearm.

For the price, the Olight Odin is absolutely a beast product to buy unless you just want the Surefire logo on your MK18 setup. Other than that you won't go wrong with the Odin!

if you shop on OlightStore.com if you use the Exclusive 10% OFF codeOLIGHTSTORE10

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Surefire M600 Scout DF - Best Old School

dbal with surefire m600df on mk18

Whu Use The Surefire M600DF - Unlike cheap brand lights that are easily breakable, the Surefire M600DF is strong, first of its kind, and accepts tons of aftermarket accessories.

The light can produce up to 1500 lumens using the 18650 battery, and it can also use 2 CR123A for 1200 lumens.

As lumen intensity increases over the years, 18650 battery is here to support that output that CR123A no longer support.

In addition, the Surefire Scout DF can be UPGRADED with even more powerful lumen intensity & candela using aftermarket LED heads offered by the MODLITE SYSTEM PLHv2 Head.

OKW 680 lumens (Far throw, 69K candela up to 500 yards without dimming down)
PLHv2 1500 lumens (DF replacement head, 54K Candela)
IR 1200mW (Infrared)

For anyone that wants more candela for longer distance reach, please check out Modlite's OKW and PLHv2

Referenced Trex Arms (Watch Here)

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LA Police Gear


Surefire X300U - Most Compact

Surefire x300u on daniel defense mk18

Why Buy The Surefire X300U - It's good for CQB low light applications. The X300U produces up to 1000 blinding lumens with a hot center beam & flood spill that are very effective for room clearing and positively identify threats in the dark.

The X300 comes in two different versions, one with Rail-Lock & one with T Slot thumb screw.

From personal experience, the T Slot thumb screw with picatinny rail is the best because it doesnt wear out the mount when compared to the Rail-Lock system.

The overall performance of the light is as good as a Surefire Mini Scout, and it lasts about 40 mins longer with 2 CR123A vs just 1.

Highly recommended for people who use their X300 on their handguns and rifles interchangeably, for mostly indoor CQB distances illumination.

Inforce WMLx Gen 2 - Best Lightweight

inforce wmlx gen 2 on mk18 top handguard

Why Use The Inforce WMLx Gen 2 - The WMLx works as good as and as cloest thing to thenew  Streamlight TLR RM2 and it's lighter and costs less.

It's the best that lets you naturally place your thumb over the pressure switch at an angle while maintain proper handguard grip to operate the light.

It's great for home defense & CQB low light training. The WML Series light offers three operating modes:

• Constant on/off
• Momentary
• Strobe

The 800 lumens of vibrant high-intensity beam lights up everything in front so you can target ID clearly in the dark.

This light is for anyone who wants an durable, ergonomic & lightweight indoor illumination capability on their MK18 without dropping more than $200 + additional light accessories.

Get Steel Targets Here

MK18 CQB Light Setup

Do You Need Dual Lights Setup?

Referenced Trex Arms (Watch Here)

Having two weapon lights will increase the weight of the gun. Generally speaking a dual light setup usually involves the use of night vision devices where white light & IR light can be used.  

For civilian home defense purposes, mounting a single powerful white light is recommended.

Popular Ways To Set Up The Weapon Lights On MK18 

The light setups for a real world Spec Ops MK18 varies a lot depend on the mission profiles. 

Most MK18 setups we see are combinations of Scout lights & laser devices hooked up to a remote pressure switch for good control ergonomics.

The user can use various offset M1913 picatinny light mounts to secure the light on the handguard, and pack the laser device as close to the light for a compact setup.

The most popular way is to put the pressure switch on the 12 o' clock on the handguard and mount the lights on the sides. 

If night vision setup isn't your thing, you can just go with a light and a switch for a super lightweight, simple & low drag setup.

If you're planning on using a suppressor, then it's recommended to mount the light as much forward as possible until the suppressor shadow is eliminated.

Here we have some reference pictures for you to check out.

Image Referenced KF Armory
Image Referenced Brandonbreecher
Image Referenced USMC

Since we don't have expert combat knowledge on post, please check out Garand Thumb's MK18 CQBR setup video. He is someone who had real life Spec Ops experience & we trust what he says.

Laser & Light Setup Requires Remote Pressure Switch

dd mk18 with be meyer mawl
Image Referenced BE MEYER

The most popular light setup for the MK18 you can find on the internet are pretty much the combination among:

  • Surefire Scout
  • Streamlight
  • Steiner DBAL
  • BE Meyer MAWL
  • Other Ninja looking accessories

It's definitely a rifle that has a strong root in the night vision community. So when you setup the MK18 with a visible white light/Laser + IR, you want to operate them using one consolidated control panel (Remote Pressure Switch)

Image Referenced TNVC

If this is what you want to experiment with, we recommend the TNVC TAPS pressure switch, as you can program it to activate 2 lights at the same time, or you can program it to activate each light separately.

Wanting to up grade your MK18, Please Check Out: 11 Top Bad Ass AR15 Accessories 

Ying Xu

US Air Force veteran nuclear weapon officer. Aerospace engineering bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas. Experienced as a certified NRA range safety officer. Working as a search engine expert for BadAssOptic.com