The 4 Best Tactical Flashlights for AR15 — Reviews of AR 15 Lights

best tactical flashlight for ar15, best light for ar 15

Photo by Brian Bennett / CC BY

One of the beauties of the AR 15 platform is the sheer amount of accessories available for it. Due to its role as a self defense and tactical weapon, there has been a constant demand for lights to mount on a rifle or carbine.

Many a home defense and patrol rifle have been fitted with lights, and they are very common in other tactical applications. In fact, one could make a well reasoned argument that if one is going to keep a AR 15 for home defense or law enforcement duties, a light is as much a requirement as a loaded magazine. To that end, we examine a few lights in the never ending quest for the best tactical flashlight for AR15 rifles:

Surefire Ultra High Ouput LED

The first SureFire weapons light I owned was still dusty from two years combat use when I bought it from the soldier who had purchased it for himself and used it in the harshest conditions one might imagine. SureFire is synonymous with the best tactical flashlight for the AR 15 and for the simple fact that they work, and have been trusted by some of the most elite combat forces on Earth. There is no better recommendation than “combat proven,” and from the moment I took a battered, worn and dirty SureFire and lit up the night with it, I’ve chosen no other brand. This is likely the best tactical flashlight for AR15 rifles.

LightXpress Tactical Light Kit

Combat ready is good, but a lot of folks just need a reliable weapon light that won’t break the bank. After all, the size of your wallet is vitally important when searching best light for your rifle! The LightXpress kit is one of the best AR 15 lights if you are on a budget. With a remote pressure switch, rail mounting hardware, and capability to quickly be switched to a standalone flashlight, this feature rich package will get you a high quality light on your AR for about the price of a couple hundred rounds of ammo and provide years of functionality and darkness defeating security.

UTG Light and Laser Combo

Sometimes the best tactical flashlight for AR15 rifles has a laser attached to it. UTG brings a quality tactical flashlight with everything you need to mount it to a rifle, along with an included pressure switch. The high powered laser is the most powerful available without restriction, and can be placed on any of sixteen different positions on the light, ensuring optimal accuracy when aiming. This light and laser combo is the ultimate tactical flashlight system, and is designed to provide a well needed edge in low light and nighttime conditions. It’s extremely attractive price only serves to make this an even more desirable package.

Orion Tactical Flashlight System

Here’s another contender for the best tactical flashlight for AR 15 on a budget. This Orion flashlight includes all mounting hardware, a remote pressure switch, and a brilliant 500 lumen LED bulb. This tactical flashlight features a one year warranty, shockproof construction and is built to give you an edge in a tactical situation with blinding light that could overwhelm any opponent before engaging them. There is no real reason not to get one put it to use.

Lumens, Pressure Switches and Other Funny Words

In a nutshell, a tactical flashlight attaches to the front of your rifle, and generally has a wired switch going back to the rear of the rifle which you can use to active the light. Sometimes, you can active different modes on the light depending on how often you press it, and how the light is configured. It is generally held to be a good thing to have a remote switch for your light, as you can quickly manipulate it while remaining in full control of your rifle.

Another important consideration is just how bright is your tactical flashlight? Brightness is measured in lumens, and of course the higher the number, the brighter the light. Additionally, the tighter the beam is focused, the more intense the light will be. Some flashlights will allow you to adjust the width of the beam to suit your personal preferences.

You will see much discussion on different LED types, colors and even brands. But, seriously, your primary desire is to simply get the best tactical flashlight for your AR 15 that your budget and purpose dictates. I’ve used some pretty fancy lights on my carbine, but right now my SureFire is loaned out to a friend, and I’m sporting a UTG light. The only thing I expect is a bright light that illuminates what I point my rifle at, and with a bit of luck serves to distract anyone due to the light—which raises another point.

A tactical flashlight is often a weapon as well. Professional door kickers the world over keep bright lights on their rifles for good reason. It lets the see what they are doing and it disorients and blinds an opponent. Sometimes this means you can take control of a situation without firing a single shot. Nobody is expecting a face full of lumens blinding and distracting them from the task at hands. In that case, you got off lucky and were able to control the entire situation simply by virtue of having a really bright light on the end of your rifle. If not, you still maintain control over the lighting in the area with a simple push of a button and retain a tactical upper hand.

A tactical flashlight on your AR 15 is one of those things you really never want to have to use for its intended purpose. After all, almost their only job is to give you light to see an intruder or dangerous criminal for the purpose of possibly having to shoot them. That is an unpleasant task, yet one many people face regularly. Such a critical, lifesaving tool means buying the best tactical flashlight for AR15 that you can find and that suits your needs, and hopefully all you ever have to do with it is change the batteries in it from time to time.

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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  1. I am hunting Coyotes that kill my dog I am 77 years old a Army vet of 60s my shooting is not what use to be been through Hell need good light to use at home one that will spot 100 yards as you no coyotes dont stand still but short time, i will get if dont die first got 3 but more to go HELP

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