Sure, the AR-15 is already an excellent weapon. It’s versatile, accurate, and has incredible stopping power. But if you want to use your AR-15 for self-defense use, then you might want to up its game in dark conditions. That’s when you need a good AR-15 flashlight.
Quick Summary of the best AR-15 flashlights
|Streamlight ProTac FlashLight|| ||$81 Shop NowClick to read my review|
Best Budget Buy
|LiteXpress AR 15 Tactical Flashlight|| ||$19 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Orion LED Tactical Flashlight|| ||$59 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|SureFire X300 Ultra Series LED|| ||$229 Shop NowClick to read my review|
The AR-15 is a topic near to me. Over the years of shooting this incredible weapon, I’ve learned that you need a good flashlight. Preferably one securely mounted to whichever rail system you use.
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How to Choose an AR-15 Flashlight
Whether you use your rifle for self-defense, hunting, down the range, or tactical purposes, there are a few essential features to consider.
Important AR-15 Flashlight Characteristics
Compact and Lightweight
No one wants a heavy flashlight on their AR-15. You don’t want to have an accessory that weighs your whole rifle down, making it more difficult to use. Metal finishes can add weight to your light. But if you want a lighter option, there are polymers. Also, some can be a bit bulky. I say, opt for a lightweight and compact flashlight. This will make for both easier shooting and storage.
Durability is one of the essential factors in buying not only a flashlight but any gun accessory. Whether the light is made of metal or polymer, make sure the light you purchase is made of materials that have dirt, rust, and corrosion-resistant finishes.
Easy Installation and Use
It’s best to go for a light that’s easy to mount and remove. There are different installation options out there, depending on what kind of rail you prefer. Regardless, you’ll want to choose a light that doesn’t need many tools or screws that will slow you down.
And when it comes to using your lights, you’ll also want it to be fast and easy to use. No one is a fan of searching for the on/ off button in the dark. I suggest looking for a light with ambidextrous controls and a clamp-on installation and removal system for your AR-15.
Before purchasing a flashlight, be clear with your objectives with your AR-15. Determine what purpose you are using it for so you can choose the ideal light you need. Of course, if it’s for hunting, you’ll need a brighter light with at least 500 lumens. But if you’ll use it for home or self-defense, you can choose a cheaper light with fewer lumens.
Lastly, it should feature an adjustable beam and brightness. It should be versatile enough to allow you to choose the right kind of brightness you need in any situation.
Long-Lasting Battery Life
It’s best to go for a light with batteries that have at least one hour of continuous battery life. But if you’re a hunter, then spend the extra money on something that lasts longer. You don’t want to run out of batteries out there in the dark. Most have rechargeable batteries. That can be very handy, but not so much if you need an extra charger. Opt for USB charging if you go for rechargeable batteries, and spare backups if possible.
If you’re going on longer outings consider a flashlight that can also take normal AA or AAA batteries. You can then easily add new ones as they die on you.
The 4 Best AR-15 Flashlights
Now that you’ve got a good grasp of which flashlight might be better, let’s now get into details.
1. Streamlight ProTac AR 15 Tactical Light
|Battery||2 CR123A batteries required. (included)|
|Battery Life||1.5 hours|
Materials – The Streamlight ProTac Tactical Flashlight for AR15 outfits itself with a machined aluminum body with an anodized black finish. It also comes as a handheld light, but it can easily fit the mount on your AR 15. In addition, this flashlight comes with three settings: high, low, and strobe. This flashlight is waterproof and comes with a nylon holster, a removable clip, and batteries.
Performance – The Streamlight ProTac AR 15 Tactical Light offers the most lumens of any other flashlight within this review. The C4 LED technology gives off piercing light, which I love the most about this AR-15 light. However, I did notice there isn’t a single pulse feature like many other tactical lights. But the three settings cover basic illumination needs and the self-defense any gun owner needs. Keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase the proper mounts separately to attach this flashlight to your AR-15. That being said, it’s still an excellent flashlight at a reasonable price with robust features.
What we say – With the Streamlight ProTact AR Tactical Light, you get the same basic features the more expensive brands offer at a cheaper price. If you don’t mind purchasing the proper mount (or you may already have it), then this is a great option.
- Reasonable price
- Strobing feature
- Shock and water-resistant
- Works as handheld
- No pulse lighting
- Doesn’t come with mount or rings
2. LiteXpress AR-15 Tactical Flashlight
|Battery||Two CR123A lithium battery (included)|
|Battery Life||1.20 hours (high); 10 hours (low)|
Materials – The LiteXpress Tactical AR 15 Flashlight is an all-black light made of solid aluminum. In a low setting, its LED light can last for up to 10 hours. While, the maximum setting, at 550 lumens, can last for a straight hour and twenty minutes. This flashlight comes with four other light settings: High, Mid, Quick Flashing, and SOS Flashing. The quick flash setting is for single pulse light, and the SOS mode is for a strobing effect to deter predators. LiteXpress also comes with a carrying strap, three detachable colored lenses, a Picatinny rail mount, and a screwdriver.
Performance – The LiteXpress Tactical AR15 Light is an excellent defensive flashlight for your AR 15, especially for home defense. A flashlight with strobe and pulse light settings is always my favorite because nothing will fend off a home invader in the dark better than a solid white light flashing in their face. This flashlight is also shock- and waterproof, making it efficient to use to navigate through windy or rainy conditions. LiteXpress provides a powerful beam of up to 550 lumens that shine through even the thickest fog or smoke. It also has a Picatinny rail mount, which is good, but we wish it was attached with two rings or some additional security.
What we say – The LiteXpress Tactical AR15 Light is a great accessory for home and self-defense – even for professional combat use. It’s also an excellent light to use for surveying any large outdoor property.
- Affordable price
- Has six different light modes
- Lasts up to 10 hours
- Single mount may not be secure
3. Orion LED Tactical Flashlight
|Battery||Two CR123A (included} or one 18650|
|Battery Life||1.25 hours|
Materials – The Orion Tactical Flashlight for AR15 is made of an aerospace aluminum body anodized in a hard black finish. It’s also durable, being both shock and waterproof. In addition, Orion’s LED light gives off 500 lumens of cool white illumination, giving crisp contrast at night. This flashlight can have a constant on mode as well as a pressure switch for pulsing light. It comes with two batteries and a Picatinny rail mount with three rings.
Performance – The Orion Tactical Flashlight is durable, and the rings of the Picatinny mount ensure it should stay secure to the AR 15. I also like this LED light’s crispness. Although this light has low settings, it can still cover basic tactical needs. Because of the Orion’s nearly unbreakable LED emitter, this light is small and recoil-proof. It has a constant-on clicky switch and a pressure switch that you can easily install on regular Picatinny rails.
What we say – Depending on your needs, the Orion Tactical AR Flashlight may meet your requirements more than the previously listed flashlight. We appreciate the additional mounting rings that come with this light, and they should easily cover basic home defense needs.
- Has a three-ring Picatinny mount
- Affordable price
- High-quality and durable build
- Only two light modes
- 500 lumens brightness
4. SureFire X300 Ultra Series LED
|Battery Life||Two 123A (included)|
Materials – The SureFire X300 AR Flashlight is made of an aerospace aluminum body with a Mil-Spec hard-anodized finish in black. The precision TIR lens is designed to give off a high-intensity beam of blinding light with just enough peripheral vision. The light is an off-white color, intended to appeal to a more natural yellow-green hue that’s friendly for the eyes. The switches are ambidextrous, and they can switch between a permanent on light or pulsing light. It comes with two batteries and a quick detach Rail-Lock system for easy detachment in those split-second moments.
Performance – The SureFire X300 Tactical AR15 Flashlight is a top-of-the-line accessory to your AR-15. We’re most impressed by the Rapid Lock system for easy attachment and quick detachment in intense combat moments. Its ambidextrous switches make this flashlight smooth to smooth use. An off-white illumination may be more appealing to the eye, I feel that it’s against the purpose of a tactical light. However, some gun owners want a blinding white light to fend off predators and home invaders.
What we say – The durable material and professionally designed features put the SureFire X300 AR15 Flashlight at a costly price point. If you want a trustworthy brand to eliminate any guesswork with how well a flashlight will perform, you can trust SureFire.
- Made of double aluminum and anodized body
- Ambidextrous switches
- Smooth installation with Rapid lock system
- Off-white lighting
- Very expensive
Our Favorite AR-15 Flashlight
My top pick for the best AR-15 flashlights is the Streamlight ProTac AR 15 Tactical Light. What makes it my favorite, you ask?
Well, aside from ticking all the boxes to find a good quality flashlight, this flashlight comes at a reasonable price. Even after adding the extra mount, you are still talking less than $100. It also combines defensive strobing light features and intense lumen illumination.
For anyone looking for a tactical flashlight to defend their home and land from common predators and invaders, I suggest purchasing the Streamlight ProTac AR 15 Flashlight.