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.
Here’s a quick rundown of the Best AR-15 flashlights available:
|Streamlight ProTac FlashLight
|$78 Shop NowClick to read my review
Best Budget Buy
|TrustFire MC3 EDC LED Tactical Flashlight
|$59 Shop NowClick to read my review
|GGD Tactical 1200 Lumens LED Flashlight
|$65 Shop NowClick to read my review
|SureFire X300 Ultra Series LED
|$263 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
|2 CR123A batteries required. (included)
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 features C4 LED technology that 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. TrustFire MC3 EDC LED Tactical Flashlight
|21700 rechargeable lithium ion battery
|1000 hours runtime (in moonlight mode)
Materials – The TrustFire MC3 EDC LED Tactical Flashlight is a magnetic high-performance charging flashlight. It has an aluminum body with anti-wear treatment and military-grade three-level hard anodizing on the surface. For its size and price, this flashlight is incredibly durable, with good reliability and power. The flashlight includes a 21700 rechargeable lithium-ion battery with sophisticated temperature control and a battery low voltage alert system to let you know when it’s time to charge or when you’re out of energy. The only drawback for me is that charging is limited to the light and a USB cable; due to the size and button style, it does not function with a standard charger.
Performance – With Lumens up to 2500 bright and a maximum beam range of 360 meters, this flashlight operates admirably. The light is also simple to operate, featuring a 5-mode quick switch to toggle between working modes. You may use this flashlight with confidence in the outdoors, whether for hunting, hiking, or other tactical activities. Many gun owners will appreciate the flashlight’s level 8 waterproof characteristics, which means it may be used even when it’s raining and can be submerged up to 2 meters.
What we say – Looking for an affordable tactical flashlight that is jam-packed with useful features? Get none other than TrustFire MC3 EDC LED Tactical Flashlight. The quality is unbeatable for the price and it is our Best Budget Buy AR-15 Flashlight for 2022.
- Up to 2500 Lumens with 360 meter beam range
- 1000 hours runtime in moonlight mode
- Temperature control and low-voltage warning
- Has 5 working modes: Moonlight, Middle, High, Turbo, Strobe
- Does not function with a standard charger
3. GGD Tactical 1200 Lumens LED Flashlight
|18650 Li-ion Battery (included)
|1 hour (2 meters underwater)
Materials – The GGD Tactical 1200 Lumens LED Flashlight is a rugged tactical flashlight built of hard machined aluminum alloy. It is powerful and sturdy, and it will not break if dropped from 1.5 meters. The light is also waterproof and can be immersed for 1 hour at a depth of 2 meters without failing. This flashlight can be used in any condition and is resistant to wear and tear.
Performance – This tactical flashlight is one of the brightest flashlights on our list. With 1200 Lumens, it can reach up to 200 meters and is very useful for any nighttime activities. I particularly enjoy that this GGD flashlight is designed for Picatinny mounting, making it ideal for use with an AR-15. The flashlight is very portable and charging is easy with a Micro-USB charging cable. However, I believe this flashlight has the shortest battery life of all the flashlights on our list. The GGD Tactical Flashlight, on the other hand, is a good low-cost alternative.
What we say – Depending on your needs, the GGD Tactical 1200 Lumens LED Flashlight may meet your requirements more than the other listed flashlight. It works well and is durable, thus you can consider and try this AR-15 tactical flashlight.
- 1200 Lumens
- 1 hour battery life even underwater of 2 meters
- Weighs 4.87 ounces
- IP7waterproof tactical flashlight
- Rechargeable with 2600 MAH
- Short battery life
4. SureFire X300 Ultra Series LED
|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 for 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 about 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.