5 Best Weapon Lights For MK18

dd Mk18 weapon lights lineup

In this buyer's guide, let's check out some of the best weapon lights for MK18.

There are tons of options available, and these are what we think are the best based on their beam performance, beam tint, throw, durability and value of money.

Let's take a look


Cloud Defensive REIN - Best Overall

ar15 mk18 light cloud defensive rein

Why Pick The REIN - The Cloud Defensive REIN is the next generation high candela scout light to help shooters see further in the dark. Besides the Surefire M600DF, this is an awesome light for MK18.

Better Target ID - See as far as 180 yards with that insane 60K candela throw to ID targets clearly while other low end lights just can't do

Full Size Or Mini - User can pick the full size or compact model (Both work well on MK18, compact model is preferred for SBR)

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 - Use any scout light mounting accessories from Surefire, Arisaka, IWC...etc can be used with the REIN (Works for KeyMod, Picatinny & M-LOK)

Better Color Rendition - (Slightly warmer) Neutral tint white light gives the shooter more accurate color rendition under low light to properly ID targets.

dd mk18 with unity tactical aimpoint micro

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

Rechargeable 18650 Batteries - The built-in battery jack inside the body allows the use of a wide variety of batteries from unprotected cell to rechargeable (Not all 18650 batteries are made the same length-wise)

Serviceable S& Tool Steel Bezel Lens - It's 3mm thick lens 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.

Read REIN Review Here

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Primary Arms


Cloud Defensive OWL - Best Integrated Design

Image Referenced Cloud Defensive

Why Use The Cloud Defensive OWL (1250 lumens) - The OWL is significantly larger than other lights, but it is a durable light that is as powerful as holding a stadium spot light to lit up the area.

cloud defensive owl torture test

Referenced Real Dirty Reviews

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


See As Far As 180 Yards - Just like the Cloud Defensive REIN, the throw is insane for the money you pay for

Image Referenced Cloud Defensive
Image Referenced Cloud Defensive

Check the comparison chart on Cloud Defensive's website here

This light has that extra beam intensity to lit up far away targets that are generally hard to see as a silhouette in the dark.

Image Referenced Cloud Defensive


Reversible Control Switch Ergonomics - It 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.



Olight Odin GL Mini - Best For The Money


ar15 light and laser olight odin gl mini

Why Get The Odin GL Mini- The Odin GL Mini offers the user almost unlimited amount of training hours with the light because it's USB rechargeable, which saves lot of money.

This is the best laser and light combo setup under budget for an AR15. 

Same Surefire Footprint - Built-in Scout mounting points let's you use any existing Scout light mounts you have for KeyMod, Picatinny or M-LOK flashlight mount.

Handheld Usage - Take it off the rifle and use as an handheld EDC light

Improved Pressure Switch - The new lockable magnetic controller tail cap secures the pad switch and can be snap onto M1913 rail slots

USB Rechargeable - Grab any USB power bank to charge this thing on the go!

olight odin gl mode selector

New Mode Selector Ring - 3 Position ring dial to change the modes (Light, Laser & Light & Laser)

Read ODIN GL mini review Here

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Surefire M600 Scout DF - Best Old School

surefire m600DF mk18 with aimpoint micro

Why Every Pro Buys The Surefire - The Surefire M600DF is the go to rifle weapon light for pro and warfighters

Tons Of Accessories - All types of switches and mounts are available for this light like a LEGO set

Surefire M600DF beam top down

Positive Target ID - Illuminates up to 300 ft with a tight focus throw & flood beam to see everything around in CQB environments

Check out Surefire Scout mounts here

Check out Surefire Scout switches here

Dual Lumen Intensity - 1500 lumens using the rechargeable 18650 battery or 1200 lumens with 2 CR123A batteries (18650 is the future to support higher lumen output)

ar15 modlite plhv2
mk18 with modlite okw head beam pattern

Upgradable Light Head - Use aftermarket light head such as MODLITE for even more lumen intensity & candela (We highly recommend the MODLITE PLHv2)

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)

Read SFM600DF Review Here


Surefire M300 - Most Compact

dd mk18 surefire m300 light

Why Buy The Surefire M300 - This is the original Surefire Mini Scout light that can produce up to  500 blinding lumens PID targets in the dark.

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


Same Footprint As M600DF - Use any Surefire scout footprint mounts as the M600DF.

Small & Compact - Perfect for SBR and short barrel AR15s

White Light OR IR - IR model is available for night vision users

Various Tail Cap Accessories - Tons of tail caps to get just like the M600DF

Modlite for MK18 - For anyone who wants more lumen and throw intensity, please check out the MODLITE 18350 body.


MK18 CQB Light Setup

Do You Need Dual Lights Setup?

dd mk18 handguard with hotbutton setup

Having two weapon lights on the rifle will increase the weight of the gun, and it's not about adding two white lights.

Generally speaking, a dual light setup usually involves

  • White light
  • IR light (for night vision use)
For civilian home defense purposes, mounting a single powerful white light is recommended for a lightweight setup.

MK18 Weapon-Mounted Light Tactics

The light setups for a 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.

Since there are so many ways to configure lights on the rifle, we can't show you everything in this guide, but we can give some tips:

  • Put the pressure switch on the 12 o' clock on the handguard so the hand can operate it while gripping tight on the handguard
  • Mount laser device on the 12 o' clock position on the handguard and tuck the light next to it using an offset light mount
  • Try to mount the light bezel parallel to the muzzle device so it doesn't cast shadow

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

BEMEYER-MAWL-MK18
Image Referenced KF Armory
Image Referenced Brandonbreecher
USMC-MK18
Image Referenced USMC

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
  • L3 ATPIAL C
  • 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)

TNVC-TAPS-configuration
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 BadAss AR15 Accessories 

Ying Xu

I was a former US Air Force ICBM operator, and now I'm a veteran creating fun firearm accessories content. I also work as the search engine expert for BadAssOptic.com