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What to Look for in a Tactical Flashlight

The iconic depictions of security guards with large and bulky floodlight in movies are outdated. Our technology is changing fast and features that were not offered traditionally can be found at affordable price. Regardless if the intended use of your new flashlight is backpacking, self-defense, every day carry or you want a gun mount – you will find this short review helpful.

But first let’s examine what makes a flashlight ‘tactical’? Tactics are employed to accomplish desired outcome or to get competitive advantage. Getting the higher ground in sword fight was considered a pivotal tactical edge to win the duel, however this rule is still subject to debates. In terms of light and security this translates into using the light source to be ahead of your opponent. The whole point of having a floodlight when you guard a building is to shine your light at the intruder so you are aware of his whereabouts. Handheld torches are no different. You use the strobe mode on the thing to disorientate an attacker. You use a blue light to have capability your target doesn’t have.

Some models outperform others, so join us as we break-down the tactically relevant features of a flashlight.

Light Quality and Your Torch

fenix tactical lights
1) Maximum Light output

Look for a flashlight that will offer you as high output in lumens as possible. You can get such high output from an LED light. Go for 1000 lumens or more. The LED on the high end have great lifespan as well, especially if they include CREE XP-L or similar technology.

2) Long Run Time

Many retailers stock models that have ridiculously limited high output mode. So you can find a torch that can hold very strong light, but it can remain so for only 5 minutes. If you have a building to guard, after 5 min you are toasted. Double check the maximum run time on its highest lighting mode. When you find something like fenix pd35 for sale get it quickly. This thing can hold the high output for 70 minutes.

3) Beam Distance

Obviously the farther your light penetrates the better. Flashlights that have high maximum output generally reach greater distances. This might depend upon the mode of lighting you will use the torch in. Good flashlights can throw their beam at least 200 meters, which is completely decent.

4) Strobe Mode

Look for a tactical flashlight with strobe mode as this will ensure you have the means to disorientate a would be assailant if need be.

Build for Tough Conditions

fenix water resistant torch
1) Right Combination of Materials

You are likely to get your flashlight through some serious wear. So look for one that is built from high grade materials such as aerospace-grade aluminium, stainless steel, titanium, plastics and composites. The flashlight does not have to be made from only one material, rather they need to be well distributed. More durable materials should allow you longer use.

2) Shock Resistance

The ultimate test of the durability will be inferred from it’s use in the field. Until you buy the flashlight and report back the findings you will have to rest on the IPX rating, or the way the torch handles shocks in a controlled environment. Impact resistance is measured on most of the flashlights. One takes the torch and drops it onto concrete. If the light is cracks free and still functions then it is approved for withstanding shocks equivalent to the force that was just applied. Usually this is listed as shock resistance against fall from height expressed in meters. This can give you some idea as to what will happen if you use the serrate bezel to deter an assailant in self defense.

3) Water Resistance Ratings

There are two categories you should basically look out for. First one has to do with waterproofing the flashlight from accidental splashes or incoming rain. A rating of IPX 4 would be enough to ensure this. On the other end of the spectrum you have proper water resistance that includes submersion during extended periods of time. So, if your flashlight falls into a stream with maximum depth of 1 meter the IPX8 rated protection means it can stay there in the next four hours. If you retrieve it within this time you will be able to use it again.

Ergonomically Friendly Finish

fenix flashlights
1) Tail Switch

Tactical use of flashlight starts with the tail switch. Once you have this option you have more options at your disposal as to the actual use of the torch. Using the thumb to turn the flashlight on is of great importance when you don’t have time to change hands. Same goes when you use your other hand to handle other gear. And this is important even in the event of close encounter and hand combat within close range.

2) Serrated Bezel

Speaking of fighting within your arms length be mindful of the pointy end of your flashlights. The tactical variety have serrated bezel at the end. If you find yourself in a self-defense scenario, the bezel can inflict greater damage to your attacker.

3) Advanced Ergonomics

There are a lot of advancements in ergonomics that are employed in the flashlights nowadays. Look for a finish that is anti-abrasive and slip resistant. You will definitely find this useful in wet conditions, or when a lot of movement is involved.

Compact Design

fenix tactical flashlights
1) Lightweight Light Source

Compact size and lightweight design are also tactical features – as they enable you to carry the flashlight everywhere with you. The reduction in weight will allow you to take some other piece of gear you wouldn’t usually take. Being lighter and smaller provides you with the choice to make the flashlight more accessible or easier to conceal it if needed. Transportation and storage is easier as well.

2) Compatibility With Other Gear

Going for black color flashlight, like the fenix pd35 for sale we mentioned above is recommended because it blends with night time outdoor conditions. You should also look for compatibility with other pieces you might take with you. Having a gun mount is certainly an advantage because it will allow you to have your hand free for engaging in other actions. Some tactical flashlights have extended button for remote control while the torch is mounted on a weapon.

3) Ease of Transport

Most flashlights come with a pocket clip or a holster. This is an important aspect of carrying a flashlight. Imagine having your torch in a backpack, but not enough time to take it out from your bag. Good holster will allow you to use the flashlight almost immediately and assess the situation with greater ease.

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