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10 Best Pistol Lights [Hands-On Review]

The most popular pistol lights tested with tons of rounds through them. Find out the best in terms of reliability, budget, lumens, beam pattern, and more.

Want to be sure of your target? Even in the dark?

Yup…that’s probably why you’re looking for the best pistol/handgun light.

Bunch of Pistols and Lights
Bunch of Pistols and Lights

Well…we’ve been shooting with a bunch of different lights for a really long time. The oldest one up there is 8 years old with 5k+ rounds through it.

So we know what works from a reliability standpoint. Plus we’ll show the light patterns indoors and out.

Best Pistol Lights
Best Pistol Lights

By the end, you’ll know the perfect light for you for your budget and purpose.

[2020 Update]: Added Olight lights (with custom coupon) and additional info throughout.

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. Editor's Pick

    Streamlight TLR-1

    300 lumens, ambi toggle levers, momentary-on & stay-on.

  2. Best for Self-Defense

    Streamlight TLR-2

    300 Lumens, strobe feature

  3. Best Light/Laser Combo

    Streamlight TLR-8

    500 lumens, laser/light combo

  4. Sleekest Look

    Inforce APLc

    200 limens, streamlined look

  5. Best for Subcompacts

    Streamlight TLR-6

    100 lumens, small footprint for tinier guns

  6. Best Pistol Light

    SureFire X300 Ultra

    600 lumens, durable design

  7. Best Budget Pick

    Olight PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie 600 Lumens

    600 lumens, affordable pricepoint

  8. Best Budget for Full Size

    Olight PL-PRO Valkyrie 1500 Lumen Weaponlight

    1,500 lumens, works best on full-size

  9. Toughest Pistol Light

    Nightstick TWM-30

    Tough, durable

Table of Contents

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Why a Pistol Light?

You always want to make sure of your target (remember the 4 Firearm Safety Rules) and unless you have some sweet night-vision goggles…you’re going to want a flashlight when it’s dark.

Harries Method of Flashlight and Handgun
Harries Method of Flashlight and Handgun

Sure you can go with a handheld light (check our Best Tactical Flashlights), but a mounted pistol light is already attached and gives you two hands-free with a strong grip.

Plus it gives the front of your handgun a little more heft which reduces muzzle flip.

What to Look For

First off…is reliability. You really tend to get what you pay for in flashlights and you want something that has an impeccable reputation. Unfortunately, that means you’re probably going to start from the $100 mark.

Second is lumens. It’s a measure of how bright the light is and recently there’s been a push towards the maximum possible.

Much Lumens
Much Lumens

Sounds great…and lots of instructors say that a flashlight will incapacitate a bad guy or make them run away. Our take is that it might blind them momentarily…but a determined attacker will still be able to get you.

Another thing about going too high on lumens. If it really blinds the attacker…chances are that it will blind you too. Especially if you’re mostly going to be indoors with light-colored walls.

Indiana Jones Face Melt
Indiana Jones Face Melt

That’s my personal use-case so I prefer 200-400 lumens. But I’ve had police instructors who advocate 800 lumens that are great for outdoor work.

Lastly are spread pattern, size, and activation methods. I’ll cover these as we go over individual lights.

Now let’s get on with it!

Best Pistol Lights

1. Streamlight TLR-1

The TLR-1 is my personal favorite and what I recommend to friends. And what sits on my home-defense Glock 17 full-size.

Good size for compact and full-size handguns. Intuitive and ambidextrous toggle levers for both momentary on and stay-on.

TLR-1 Toggle Switch
TLR-1 Toggle Switch, Glock 17 (Full-Size)

Sits in the perfect zone of lumens with 300. Enough to light up everything I need but not so much to blind myself. Cool colored light with a center focus. Here are some examples:

TLR-1, 10 Feet Indoors
TLR-1, 10 Feet Indoors

And outdoors…it has a good center focus with decent side lighting.

TLR-1, 25 Yards Outdoors
TLR-1, 25 Yards Outdoors

Hasn’t failed in 2000 rounds and my other Streamlight TLR-2s (up next) has held up for 8+ years. I switched from the 2s to the 1 since I wanted something with a smaller profile. And I moved the 2s with the laser onto my night shoot rifle.

Install is very easy with some rail inserts for different handguns.

Specifications:

  • Lumens: 300
  • Runtime: 2.5 hours
  • Batteries: 2 CR123A
  • Weight: 4 oz
108
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And of course, I won’t forget the high lumen folks.

There’s the TLR-1 HL (actually more popular) that has a face-melting 800 lumens if that’s what you prefer.

Wilson Combat CQB with Rail and TLR-1 HL
Wilson Combat CQB with Rail and TLR-1 HL

I’ve been running with this one a little more often now and the 800 lumens is growing on me. Here’s me using it in a recent night competition.

Highly recommend it as well if you want a brighter light.

138
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

2. Streamlight TLR-2

The kinda big bro to the Streamlight TLR-1…my TLR-2s has a laser and the “s” designates strobe function. Since I got it so long ago, the new naming convention takes away the “s” but still retains the function.

Like the TLR-1…good length for compact and full-sized guns. A little taller because of the laser. Same intuitive toggle system.

After 7 years of faithful service on my Glock 17…it now lives on my Stag Arms 9mm AR-15 (review) specifically for night matches.

Stag Arms 9mm AR-15
Stag Arms 9mm AR-15

Beam spread should be close to the TLR-1 for new versions. My old one has a pretty dirty lens.

TLR-2, 10 Feet Indoors
TLR-2, 10 Feet Indoors

And outside you can see the laser which is pretty visible even on glass.

TLR-2, 25 Yards Outdoors
TLR-2, 25 Yards Outdoors

I found the laser to stay within 2 MOA of where you zeroed it. Perfect for self-defense against man-sized targets but if you’re shooting clays for competition at 50 yards I would count on regular sights (Best AR-15 Optics & Scopes).

Specifications:

  • Lumens: 300
  • Runtime: 2.5 hours, Laser Only: 48 hours
  • Batteries: 2 CR123A
  • Weight: 6.4 oz
Best for Self-Defense
310
at Optics Planet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best for Self-Defense
Streamlight TLR-2
$310 at Optics Planet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Want a higher lumen version? They’ve got the TLR-2 HL. And also a “G” model for a green laser. More visible but you’ll have to shell out a little more.

3. Streamlight TLR-7 and TLR-8

I really like Streamlight. The two I use all the time (also have a high-powered one for rifles) have never failed.

Streamlight sent me their two newest offerings new for 2018 and catered towards compact handguns.

Pew Pew Tactical Favorite Pistol Lights
Pew Pew Tactical Favorite Pistol Lights

The TLR-7 (regular) and TLR-8 (laser) are the two shortest ones above which make them a perfect fit on compact guns like the Glock 19.

TLR-7 on Glock 19
TLR-7 on Glock 19

They took out the toggle system and replaced it with a button (my finger is pressing down on it). A push and hold activates the light and deactivates it when you let go. While pressing it once with purpose activates stay-on.

It’s a little harder to do momentary-on since the button is quite small…so you’re likely only going to be using it for stay-on light mode.

Light is 500 lumens with a little yellow-tinged (think regular incandescent light) compared to cool LED.

TLR-7, 10 Feet Indoors
TLR-7, 10 Feet Indoors

While outdoors it’s a much more spread out pattern that’s good for searching but still enough in the middle for target acquisition. Laser is also very visible.

TLR-8, 25 Yards Outdoors
TLR-8, 25 Yards Outdoors

I’ve only taken it out to the range twice but so far it’s held up to everything I’ve thrown at it. And the laser is staying on target.

Install is also very easy with a rail clamp system. And you can lock out the light from turning on by rotating the front bezel.

Here’s me with the newest TLR-7 A model which has a much better toggling system (should be out January 2020).

Specifications:

  • Lumens: 500
  • Runtime: 1.5 hours, Laser Only: 18 hours
  • Batteries: 1 CR123A
  • Weight: 2.4 oz, 2.6 oz for TLR-8
120
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Streamlight TLR-7
$120 at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Perfect for something from a reputable company that is light, compact, and has a widespread.

And if you’re looking for the laser, there’s the TLR-8 in the same package.

SeeAll Open Sights
TLR-8 and SeeAll Open Sight

Here I am running it in a low-light competition with the above tritium SeeAll sight.

There’s certainly the advantage of having a laser, especially for close-up shots. No need to look through your optics.

Best Light/Laser Combo
203
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best Light/Laser Combo
Streamlight TLR-8
$203 at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

And now there’s also the TLR-7 Sub for even tinier handguns like the Glock 43x.

G43x with TLR-7 Sub
G43x with TLR-7 Sub
139
at Gunmag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Streamlight TLR-7, Sub Ultra-Compact
$139 at Gunmag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

4. Inforce APLc

While we’re talking about compact lights, I really like the Inforce APLc. I run the Inforce WML on a couple of rifles so I expected a lot from their pistol lights.

Aero AR-15 with Tyrant CNC
Aero AR-15 with Inforce WML

Inforce was kind to send me the APLc for testing.

Inforce APLc on P80 Glock 19
Inforce APLc on P80 Glock 19

It looks much more futuristic in my opinion and is polymer. It lines up perfectly with the Glock 19 (there are actually two models of the APLc…one for the Glock and one for other compacts).

The paddle activation system is also my favorite out of all the pistol lights. Easy to reach for both hands and perfectly textured. Press and hold for momentary on and press for it to stay on.

The light pattern was the “coolest” color and with decent spread for 200 lumens. And somehow made lines in my final photo.

Inforce APLc, 10 Feet Indoors
Inforce APLc, 10 Feet Indoors

For outside you can see the even spread but also see the difference in less lumens.

Inforce APLc, 25 Yards Outside
Inforce APLc, 25 Yards Outside

The hardest to install (but not by much) since you need to fully remove the screw before sliding it off the rail.

Specifications:

  • Lumens: 200
  • Runtime: 1.5 hours
  • Batteries: 1 CR2
  • Weight: 1.9 oz
Sleekest Look
115
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Sleekest Look
Inforce APLc
$115 at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

If you’re looking for a slick-looking light that weighs less than 2 oz, has a great activation system, and geared for indoor work…the APLc is perfect.

5. Inforce APL

The APL is the big bro of the APLc…this light is suited for full-sized pistols. Inforce also sent me this one for testing.

Inforce APL and APLc
Inforce APL and APLc

Unfortunately…I had a bad experience with this Gen 3 one…and apparently so did a lot of other people judging from reviews.

I have a Gen 2 which worked perfectly but the newest Gen 3 quit working reliably after 3 months of normal range time. Now it flickers when I turn it on and won’t stay on unless I hit it on a hard surface.

I cannot recommend this model but so far the APLc has been working great.

*Update March 26, 2018*: Inforce got back to me and said that the problem has been fixed and that current units no longer have the flickering problem. They are replacing mine and I will report back with the new results soon.

6. Streamlight TLR-6

A new edition to the list in 2019 is the TLR-6 family of lights made specifically for tiny guns that might not have the regular Picatinny rails for other lights.

Or need a much smaller footprint.

Here we have one for the Sig Sauer P365…one of our favorite concealed carry guns. Check out our full review and YouTube video of the P365.

TLR-6 on P365
TLR-6 on P365

There’s laser and no laser models…you can run it in laser only, light only, or both. And we really dig the push-button access for the light.

It’s not the brightest out there with 100 lumens…but it will light up a decent amount at night.

TLR-6 Outdoors
TLR-6 Outdoors

And indoors it’s more than adequate.

TLR-6 Indoors
TLR-6 Indoors

Again, there are tons of models for all the compact/micro guns out there, such as:

I’m glad Streamlight decided to make so many models of the TLR-6 since it can be a great idea to have a light on a CCW gun. Holsters might be a little more difficult to find, but the target identification may be worth it.

TLR-6 with Push-Button
TLR-6 with Push-Button

My pick for all those small guns out there…

Best for Subcompacts
93
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best for Subcompacts
Streamlight TLR-6
$93 at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

We’re continually testing new versions of the TLR-6…and the latest has to be on the Glock 43x. Still going strong!

G43x TLR-6 Button
G43x TLR-6 Button
109
at Gunmag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

7. SureFire X300 Ultra

The gold standard of pistol lights…if you’re looking for the BEST you get the SureFire X300U. My friends who have to depend daily on a handgun and light all swear by them.

Lots of Pistol Lights
Lots of Pistol Lights

It’s much longer than the others but that puts it out of the muzzle blast even on a full-size that can really dirty up your lens even after one range trip. Plus since it’s so popular you won’t have trouble finding a holster.

SureFire X300
SureFire X300 on M&P

It’s been proven the world over and uses the same toggle system as the regular-sized Streamlights.

The light is super bright and very focused.

SureFire X300, 10 Feet Indoors
SureFire X300, 10 Feet Indoors

And outside you can see the power of its focused 600 lumens. Newer models are at 1000 lumens!

SureFire X300, 25 Yards Outside
SureFire X300, 25 Yards Outside

There are also two models of locking mechanism.

X300U-A” is a Rail-Lock Mount that is specifically for polymer-framed handguns.

It makes it super easy to take on and off your handgun. One of my instructors would keep the light unmounted in his pocket to act as a flashlight. Then when needed, quickly reattach it to his CCW if needed.

SureFire Rail Lock
SureFire Rail Lock

X300U-B” is a T-Slot Mount that is better for metal Picatinny rail platforms like some handguns and rifles such as the AR-15. It doesn’t come off easily but will give you a better fit.

X300U-B
X300U-B

You can still use it on polymer guns but it could be rattling or damage the rails over time.

Here’s me running it in a competition…

Specifications:

  • Lumens: 600
  • Runtime: 1.75 hours
  • Batteries: 2 CR123A
  • Weight: 4 oz
Best Pistol Light
296
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best Pistol Light

If you’re looking for a bombproof, bright, focused light…almost everyone will tell you to get the X300U if you have the dough since it runs about double the Streamlights.

What’s your take on the SureFire?

Readers' Ratings

4.96/5 (894)

Your Rating?

8. Olight PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie

The people have spoken and we’ve updated our list after trying out some Olight weapon lights.

First up is their very popular PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie…effectively the main contender to the Streamlight TLR-7 from above.

PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie vs TLR-7
PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie vs TLR-7

The main things the Olight has going for it…a bright light at a lower price.

And now we have a custom code for Pew Pew fans (use code PEWPEWTACTICAL for 10% off).

But should you make the switch?

First up…the basic look and feel.

The main unit has a nice heft and build quality to it.

The quick detach option is nice so you don’t have to deal with a flathead.

PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie on G19, Close
PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie on G19, Close

Only thing I can complain about is the lever has a “cheap” shine to it but works great with Glock and Picatinny rail adapters.

I also like the activation buttons where you press down and not an awkward push away on the TLR-7, although the new upcoming A models take care of that.

PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie vs TLR-7
PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie vs TLR-7

And with the MINI 2 you can adjust the rail placement from all the way in to far out so it will fit virtually any handgun.

PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie, Extended
PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie, Extended

How about the light that has a 100-lumen edge on the TLR-7?

It’s definitely bluer on the spectrum and with a very wide throw. Note this is an update so the camera and outside lighting have changed slightly from the other previous lights.

Olight PL-MINI 2, 25 Yards Outside
Olight PL-MINI 2, 25 Yards Outside

And inside you can see that wide angle throw again.

PL-MINI 2, 10 Yards Beam Inside
PL-MINI 2, 10 Yards Beam Inside

As a whole, the MINI 2 Valkryie is a very usable light.

Specifications:

  • Lumens: 600
  • Runtime: 1 hr
  • Batteries: Internal, USB charged
  • Weight: 2.6 oz

See that internal USB-charged battery It’s definitely unique and might be a blessing or a curse.

Olight PL-MINI 2 and PRO, Bottom Charger
Olight PL-MINI 2 and PRO, Bottom Charger

Now you don’t need to fumble with extra CR123A batteries BUT you lose the ability to quickly swap in a fresh set if you run dead.

I’d say if it’s a bump in the night gun you seldom use (but keep charged every few months or so) it can be fine…but if you plan on doing low-light courses you might want to reconsider.

How about reliability and durability?

So far there are great comments from users online. We’ve only just begun our test with one range session and a couple of drops on the ground.

But so far so good.

A great value for $89 and now made even better with code PEWPEWTACTICAL that gives you 10% off!

Best Budget Pick
89
at Olight

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best Budget Pick

And if you need a holster… there are plenty of options (especially for the MINI)! Check out our Best Holsters for Olight Lights.

And now…a full hands-on review of the PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie.

Olights Equipped
Olight Completely Coated

9. Olight PL-PRO Valkyrie

Another new update is the MINI 2’s big bro…the PL-PRO Valkyrie.

This one comes in at an eyeball blasting 1,500 lumens which makes it the brightest production pistol light out there that we know of.

PL-PRO Valkyrie on CZ SP-01
PL-PRO Valkyrie on CZ SP-01

Its main contenders are the TLR-1 HL and Surefire series. Again you get tons of lumens at a nicer price. Remember to use code PEWPEWTACTICAL to get 10% off at Olight’s store.

Fit and feel is like the MINI 2…very nice all-around with only the caveat of a cheap/shiny-looking QD lever.

Buttons are also easily reached without the need for a toggle.

Olight PL-MINI 2 and PL-PRO
Olight PL-MINI 2 and PL-PRO

The beam also has a very focused center with a decent amount of spread to see peripheral targets.

Olight PL-PRO, 25 Yards Beam Outside
Olight PL-PRO, 25 Yards Beam Outside

And inside you can see the tight center.

PL-PRO, 10 Yards Beam Inside
PL-PRO, 10 Yards Beam Inside

The rail isn’t adjustable but you’re likely only using this on a full-sized handgun.

Specifications:

  • Lumens: 1,500
  • Runtime: 1.5 hr
  • Batteries: Internal, USB charged
  • Weight: 3.25 oz

And with this model, you have the internal USB charged battery which takes about 90 minutes to fully charge if it was depleted.

Olight PL-MINI 2 and PRO, Bottom Charger
Olight PL-MINI 2 and PRO, Bottom Charger

Same pros and cons as the MINI 2 before.

We also had only one range session with it so far but it’s survived and thrived. We’ll update as we shoot and torture it a little bit more.

But the PL-PRO is a great weapon light if you love the lumens at an affordable price.

Use code PEWPEWTACTICAL for 10% off!

Best Budget for Full Size
129
at Olight

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best Budget for Full Size

Of course…a full hands-on review of the PL-Pro Valkyrie.

PL Pro Valkyrie
PL Pro Valkyrie Drop Tested

10. Nightstick TWM-30

Nightstick is a brand you may not be familiar with, but its products are solid.

I learned about this company when I heard many police agencies were buying their weapon lights with gun packages.

Nightstick TMW30 range
Nightstick TMW-30

The TWM-30 is bright, sending out 1,200 lumens from its LED.

Its beam has a strong, hot, white, core, as well as a generous halo thrown at a wider angle for better situational awareness.

Good throw with a white hot center

Second, they are tough. Made from black anodized 6061-T6 aluminum, the body holds up well under a lot of recoil and is IP-X7 rated waterproof.

Additionally, the battery door is screwed closed so it will not come open accidentally.

Nightstick TMW30 door
Independent switches and secured door

The TWM-30 runs on two CR123 batteries which provide a run time of 1.75 hours.

It offers dual, independent switches are accessible on either side of the trigger guard and allow constant on as well as momentary modes.

Shooters can also access a strobe mode or battery safe mode with a sequenced button press.

Specifications:

  • Lumens: 1,200
  • Runtime: 1.75 hr
  • Batteries: 2 CR123
  • Weight: 4.5 oz
Toughest Pistol Light
127
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Toughest Pistol Light
Nightstick TWM-30
$127 at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Miscellaneous

Cleaning

When you train with your pistol light (and you should), I recommend taping it off with masking/painter’s tape. That way you keep the muzzle blast and resulting carbon dust from dirtying up your lens and reducing brightness).

Clean and Dirty Light Lenses
Clean and Dirty Light Lenses

And when you do shoot at night or use the light, be sure to also clean your lenses. The middle and right lights above are going to require some TLC.

The secret? Use a pencil eraser.

Holsters

And I alluded to holsters. These are all pretty popular lights so most holster manufacturers will have OWB (outside the waistband) options to cater to your pistol and light combo. You can check out our favorites in Best Holsters Guide.

Bravo Concealment, Glock 17 with TLR-1 and Mag Pouch
Bravo Concealment, Glock 17 with TLR-1 and Mag Pouch

Batteries

Almost all these take CR123 batteries, so make sure you get the good stuff. I’ve always had good results from Streamlight ones. For CR2 batteries (such as for the APLc), check out the choices here.

Honorable Mentions

Here are some honorable mentions that I’ve heard great things about but don’t have personal experience using:

Pistol Flashlights Lined Up
Pistol Flashlights Lined Up

Final Thoughts

Main takeaways…I like everything Streamlight…especially the TLR-1.

108
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Or its 800-lumen big brother.

138
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The gold standard and if you have the cash is SureFire.

Best Pistol Light
296
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best Pistol Light

Inforce looks cool but is hit or miss regarding models (get the APLc but not the regular APL).

Lightest Pistol Light
115
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Lightest Pistol Light
Inforce APLc
$115 at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Our new budget favorites with some great customer reviews are the Olight PL-MINI 2 and 1500 lumen PL-PRO.

129
at Olight

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

How’d I do…any that I missed that I should check out for next time? How about lights for your long gun…with Best AR-15 Flashlights.

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76 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    John

    I prefer the Olight PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie, over the Streamlight.

    Light/laser combos though irritate the heck out of me for use on an AR-15 but its a personal choice thing. All (or at least most of whats worth having) of the light/laser combo's place their lasers in the unit where its farthest away from the rail when the unit is mounted. I like my lasers closer to the rail and thus the bore center line, I like an easy setup parallel zero for a laser. Its why I prefer my small 'mini' lasers like the Crimson Trace CMR-206 or the LaserMax Spartan.

    March 29, 2022 12:02 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Andrew J Middleton

    Hey,
    Awesome article. Very helpful information for deciding which light to out on my Polymer 80 build (I also used your article on building one to help guide me through the process...thanks again!). However I tried to use you discount code on Amazon for the pl-2 mini and Amazon said it was an invalid code. Maybe it expired? Just checking in to see if you know anything about it.
    Thanks!

    December 28, 2021 10:49 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jacki Billings, Editor

      Hey Andrew, thanks for reading! The code only works at Olight -- not at Amazon.

      December 29, 2021 6:31 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    jewie27

    coat your lens with chapstick before the range. it prevents carbon buildup and wipes off easily.

    December 21, 2021 12:53 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Not_Yet_A_Glock_Owner

    > complete writeup on pistol lights.

    You did not mention the Glock GTL 10 which retails on a major online site for under $90.00. Is it good or bad? I would think Glock's light would be pretty good.

    October 2, 2021 10:03 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mark Hicks Sr.

    Guess I ain't been buying recently

    September 9, 2021 9:17 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mark Hicks Sr.

    Could have sworn I wrote something. Oh well. Later guys.

    September 9, 2021 9:15 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Matt S

    It's honestly difficult taking this comparison seriously when such favoritism is extended towards the Streamlight without mentioning one obvious shortcoming. Such as how difficult (and annoying) it can be to remove the lights from the weapon. You either need a coin or screwdriver permanently at hand or have really long nails to remove/install the screw system and insure a tight fit. The Olights on the other hand are as easy as pie, with the bar (shiny or not). As it relates to the comments I am getting the notion that the recharging system on the Olight is a shortcoming. That might be true for a night class but in any home defense situation you guys are fooling yourselves. I've had an Olight EDC S1R Turbo 2 in my rotation now for nearly a year and it's always had the right amount of juice when needed and has never died on me. One would think that in this smartphone generation we live in now, you would be able to mitigate a simple able charging procedure. On the other hand the Streamlight (and Surefire) have the time tested battery replacements, but keep in mind though that a battery swap is not as easy as a Magazine change. One you have to remove the damn the light, which mentioned above can be a chore in certain situations, and if it fails when in the middle of a class...in the dark...you are in the same situation as you would be with an OLight, only I have a much easier detaching and mounting system to install another full charged light. There is a shortcoming with the Olight (again more research would be beneficial), the battery is internal and not user replaceable, such as it is with my Baton 2. That is a shame, but still not enough for me to leave Team Olight.

    June 4, 2021 8:16 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Caleb C

    Is there any reason to have both a laser and a red dot? Option to shut off laser and use red dot and vice versa?

    March 25, 2021 1:25 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Ryan

      Sure there is.

      A light exists for you to identify a potential target. A laser exists to identify your point of aim.

      Completely different, though complimentary, options.

      So, if you want to be able to both ID a potential threat and know where your point of aim is (even if, for some reason, your weapon is not at eye level to use the sights), you would want both.

      March 29, 2022 11:17 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Connor Haughton

    I've been quite impressed with the Tacticon BattleTorch V1. Sturdy, solid lockup, slick and among the lowest profile of lights. I have an Olight PL Mini 2 Valkyrie, and find them to be comparable in function. Especially helpful if you have several pistols to kit out with lights, helps the wallet.

    Only complaint is holster compatibility, some holsters for the Olight MIGHT work, but I doubt I would feel comfortable with the probable sloppy retention. I've conversed with a few manufacturers, I'm hopeful options will grow in the coming months/yrs.

    February 25, 2021 6:01 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Cory

    Having just come off a low light class with photonic barriers... every pistol light on the market today has huge weaknesses, but PID with a light between you and the target with anything but the 1k TLR1HL or X300U 1k is just not realistic. Candela matters, a lot.

    December 12, 2020 5:25 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      anthony J

      Thank You, someone else who realizes that candela is more important than lumens

      January 18, 2021 12:26 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rob K

    I have the Olight mini 1, PL Pro and BALDR Pro and all 3 are great and fit my Glock 19 Gen5 and Sig P220 Legion perfectly!, Yes Olight starts to lose lumens after a few minutes 1500-600 lumens but once you click off and on it resets, which isn’t a problem for 99.9% of situations. Plus both Pro’s have lower 300 lumen setting that will run for 90 minutes by double clicking the switch. They both have a blinding 1500 (PL Pro) 1350 (BALDR Pro) lumen strobe By clicking both levers. Highly recommend lights. Plenty of holsters out now for most Olights.

    November 9, 2020 7:09 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Rob K

      BALDR mini is next!!

      November 9, 2020 7:11 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        arnell j

        Try the Baldr S
        instead of the mini think you will like it better

        August 24, 2021 5:28 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Phil Dupont

    I have the Olight PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie 600 Lumens running on a FN 509. Also bought a special holster from Hidden Hybrid Holsters. It has fallen off the gun while at target practice 3 times. Once it came off in pieces. Luckily I was able to find all the pieces, after an embarrassing range shut down, so I could put it back together. I'd take this light off your list if I was you. Got any better ideas for my gun and holster.

    October 2, 2020 1:15 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      John

      I completely agree with you... remove this light from your list. Mine fits securely, however it's battery Sucks... they claim 60 minutes... mine is basically unusable in 10 minutes... ok for a bump in the night gun, but why compromise. Get something you can swap batteries quickly if needed instead of waiting for it to recharge.

      November 28, 2020 1:38 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Criss M

    Great article buttttttt, I would have liked to see either the Olight baldr pro or the Olight baldr RL.All of the lights you chose are top of line for sure. Maybe next time. Anyway, thanks for the continuous good info!!

    September 12, 2020 7:34 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ruben Gonzalez Jr

    Great gunlight comparision, you really help me decided what I want to get. Thanks again

    September 9, 2020 11:16 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Brad Stewart

    Please be more honest and clear about Olights. For example, the PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie does NOT run at 600 lumens for 1 hour. It runs at 600 lumens for ONE minute, then drops to 60 Lumens for 60 minutes. This is under Olight's technical details.

    August 14, 2020 8:56 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Aristotle

      good point.
      also, I ran mine in a test and it stayed lit for 1:53:00 minutes until the light went out. Almost 2 hours.
      the last 30 minutes was dim but able to be used as a signal.
      Recharge took about 45 minutes.

      October 19, 2020 7:50 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        John Smith

        Are those times for the PL2 mini? Mine is so dim after 10 minutes, i wouldn't trust it to quickly identify someone across the room. I still like it because it's rechargable, but it's definitely a bump in the night light. Not something for a duty weapon.

        November 28, 2020 1:11 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Greg

    I found a TLR2 at my favorite gun store as a police trade-in. It was brand new in the box. The box had never even been opened. Got it for $150! Check with your local gun stores who do business with the local police.
    My TLR2 is mounted on my Springfield lightweight champion in .45 acp and kept by my bedside. I very much like the laser and light combo a feel comfortable that should I ever need it it will serve me well. I have owned it for 4 years and it still works fine.

    August 13, 2020 5:35 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Krush

    I found a Streamlight TRL-4 combo that works great on my Sig P227 tactical model. I had an interesting situation the other night where I had to clear my front and back yards and it worked very well. My P227 has tall night sites and I'm having trouble finding a good OWB holster that will accommodate the tall sites and the TRL-4. Any suggestions on where to find a good holster?

    June 18, 2020 12:57 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jokingjimmy

      Red River Tactical support pretty much every light. Just email their customer service if your particular gun/light combo isn't listed, they'll email you back with instructions. Really great quality and customer service.

      September 12, 2020 5:11 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Stephanie

      Although you wrote this awhile ago I thought I'd mention Slim Fit Holsters.

      Wide variety of guns with an impressive,l ability to customize for gun needs including light bearing, special cuts, etc.

      December 20, 2020 4:47 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Brad P

    Thoughts on the Olight PL-Pro 1500 lumens with pressure switch on an AR?
    Was considering the Streamlight pro tac but at 625 lumens outdoors may leave a bit to be desired...

    June 3, 2020 8:27 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric

      Olights suck... i own 2 and their run times are a complete lie... they are bright, but that does you NO good when you are waiting for it to recharge... buy something that you can swap batteries in if needed...

      November 28, 2020 1:44 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike B

    Klarus GL1 looks like a decent budget option at $69. Like a cheaper version of the Olight

    May 1, 2020 6:59 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    TZH

    Chris Bony swears by his TLR-1HL coz he's beaten the nuts out of it for about a decade. I'd honestly like to see a really beat up Olight. that will help a lot. thanks

    April 17, 2020 11:11 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Dane Anderson

      I haven't used an olight for a weapon light until recently,, but I own several of their flashlights and have for years. Abused them and even used one as a pool light for a couple years and they all still work awesome. Hopefully the weapon light milage is similar.

      May 16, 2020 12:09 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Matt G

    O-lights are made in China

    April 16, 2020 9:31 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      John

      Not to mention that their run times are a complete lie. I tested mine, in less than 10 minutes it is so dim that it is basically worthless. Definitely a bump in the night light.

      November 28, 2020 1:30 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Ben

      So are our phones but my phone works fine and I have had 2 pl valkyries fail. They replaced them under warranty. I sold them both. I only use surefire and stream light now. Not a fan of o-light.

      May 15, 2021 3:02 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Matt S

      So are Streamlights buddy

      June 4, 2021 7:44 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    David W Schlegel

    Glad you guys hopped onboard the Olight train. I have 3 of them on my weapons and several around the house for everyday use. I also have 2 of the Crimson Trace lights on pistols. I like them almost as well. The only downside to the Crimson Trace lights is that they don't quick detach like my Olights.

    April 13, 2020 11:05 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Arbyssauce

    The APLc is discontinued. You need to update this list.

    Everyone is dumping the TLR-7 for the TLR-7A with much better switching. You need to update this list.

    You're not going to melt your face off with a 1000 lumen light. Get some training. We haven't gotten to "too many lumens."

    My 1350 lumen, 54,000 candela PLHv2 Modlite is great indoors, and it's more powerful than any current production pistol light.

    April 12, 2020 5:10 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Brian

    “The paddle activation system is also my favorite out of all the pistol lights. Easy to reach for both hands and perfectly textured.” Exactly why I started using Inforce APLc.

    April 12, 2020 5:10 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ron R

    Any thoughts on the Olight baldr pro with green laser?

    April 12, 2020 5:09 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Trav L

      I bought it during Black Friday for 100 dollars. Honestly I’d skip the idea of a laser altogether. No matter who is making it. I thought it would make a big difference in aiming but I’m still way better with the sights. And I’m not that great anyway. Just get a rechargeable Valkyrie Pro. I have that and a mini Valkyrie and I love them.

      April 16, 2020 7:56 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Trav L

        One other thing. I’m a lefty and it has been harder to find holsters for Olights. They are out there and the market is starting to respond to demand but not everyone makes them yet.. So if you have anything less than a Glock or M&P it might be harder to find a holster. That being said I did find the two holsters I needed.

        April 16, 2020 8:00 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    NormT

    O light mini-2 Valkyrie on a Glock 17....Love it!!! Glad you finally added to your listings.

    April 12, 2020 3:43 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Justin R

    So some advise for practicing with your light on your weapon. Instead of using tape to cover the light just put a drop of oil on the lens and spread it out. When you are done shooting just wipe it off.

    February 29, 2020 5:43 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    TomC

    You recommend the APLc and you mention that a year ago Insight said they had fixed the problems with the APL (and that you would follow up with an update after trying the replacement they were sending you -- although I don't see any update).

    My own experience is only with the APLc.... which has been an unmitigated disaster.

    Feb 2, 2020, I bought my INFORCE APLc compact weapons light from a usually reliable vendor (NOT Amazon which seems to be flooded with fakes of this light). It arrived quickly, properly packaged, and in absolutely perfect condition except for one small problem, IT DOESN'T WORK. This light is definitely a real INFORCE light, with all proper markings and genuine INFORCE packaging and documentation. It is also very bright -- when it works, but that's where the problems come....

    Constant mode does not work at all. To turn the light on in constant mode you are supposed to tap and release either paddle. When I tap and release either paddle this light does NOTHING.

    Momentary mode works occasionally. To turn the light on in momentary mode you are supposed to press and hold either paddle for more than 1/2 second. The light should stay on as long as you press the paddle and go off when you release the paddle. My brand new APLc light does that - sometimes! Maybe half the time, momentary mode works as it should. The rest of the time it doesn't. Either the light flashes once for a very short time or it does nothing at all.

    I called the vendor immediately. The gentleman who answered the phone listened to my description of the problem and agreed that it obviously wasn't supposed to do that. He asked if I wanted a refund or exchange, and I told him that I would try an exchange. He directed me to their website to submit a return request. I submitted the return request before going out to do some errands. By the time I got home, my return shipping label was waiting in my email. I will be mailing this light back tomorrow, and hopefully the replacement will work better. If this light had worked the way it is supposed to, it would definitely be a 5-star light, but for a weapon light it's pretty much all or nothing.

    ---

    Here's the update after I returned the light reviewed above and received another one from the same seller (Primary Arms).

    Again the light arrived quickly and well packaged. Again the light was in perfect condition with no hint of any sort of damage. Again, the light and all the packaging appear to be 100% genuine. AND AGAIN THE LIGHT DOES NOT WORK!

    If anything, this one is even worse than the first one. Both modes at least do appear to work (somewhat) BUT once the light is on for more than about half a second it begins to flicker, sometimes it flickers brightly (almost like a strobe except that the flicker is uneven) other times it flickers very dimly, then it will go out completely, then flash a few times, then flicker some more.

    This light will be going back too, but this time it will be for a refund. I'm not going to bother having them send me yet another of these garbage lights.

    February 14, 2020 12:17 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    SoCalJack

    Bro, the Olight Pl-mini 1 needed to be on this list. The Pl-mini 2 needs to be on the updated list. I still love my Pl-mini. Having a magnetic charging capability adds to the "reliability" part of owning a WML; the battery is always topped off.

    January 17, 2020 12:55 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Tucker

      So true just got mine last week from big daddy unlimited for62 bucks and just got an email that they back in stock about to order 1 more lol can’t go wrong believe me

      January 30, 2020 10:14 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Yup, Olights added finally!

      April 10, 2020 3:50 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Hammer

    Olight. Hard to believe there could be a "BEST" list for 2019 without including them as anything more than a footnote. I have several and they've all been excellent, reliable and durable.

    December 20, 2019 6:41 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      TomC

      It's hard to include all the worthy competitors when you start your list with the entire Surefire catalog. But he certainly could have made room for Olight (or any other light) by dropping the worthless Insight light(s) from the list.

      February 14, 2020 12:23 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Lorenzo

    Olight FTW!
    That magnetic recharging method is so convenient!
    I'm rocking the PL-Mini Valkyrie 1 on my G19.

    December 18, 2019 9:46 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    John from ID

    The TLR-2 HL is 800 lumens, not 300

    September 14, 2019 10:18 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Don from CT

    I have a hard time understanding how you could review the TLR7/8 and not mention how difficult it is to reach the switch.

    I wear size L to XL gloves and can not reach the switch from a natural shooting position on my G19. If you look at the photos and pay attention to where the toggle switches on the TLR 1 and the insight lights are compared to where they are on the TLR7, it becomes obvious.

    The TLR7 / 8 are excellent quality lights that have ergonomics that won't work for 90% of shooters.

    May 28, 2019 8:02 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mark4jets

    Definitely another vote for Olight. They really made a name for themselves with the Mini, and blew up. Solid pistol light, and at a great price. Plus good customer service. I'd love to see an article trying them all out.

    May 19, 2019 9:22 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    John Johnson

    I'm just going to add my 2¢. You really should try the offerings from olight, because they're all pretty great.

    April 28, 2019 9:10 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    maurice Lewis

    I just bought the Olight mini 2 with a holster that fits for glock 19 and my next purchase will be the rail by recover tactical that fits glock 26 and can take the olight mini 2 as well. So you see where my vote is going...

    April 28, 2019 12:28 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Voran

    Another vote for olight mini here. Have it on my m&p 9 2.0 and love it.

    April 26, 2019 5:46 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Skycop

    Here one more thumbs up for the O-light Mini. It mostly lives on my Glock 30S but occasionally visits my 19. Easy on, easy off, very light, long battery life, easy magnetic recharge, which I had reservations about, but has worked really well. On top of that, it's inexpensive. Now if I could just get my holster company to make their "LightTuck" holster in Glock 30S with O-Light mini, I'd be in 'hog heaven".

    April 6, 2019 11:32 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Bob 2000 Rounds A Month

      Get a heatgun and reshape the "LightTuck" holster yourself. That's what I did.

      July 17, 2019 5:11 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    B .

    you ever test out the inforce in the update?

    December 19, 2018 9:22 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jim Wdge

    Guys I think you may have missed a great option. O-Light Valkyrie Lite is a super little light that’s no-tool-required attached and detached from any Glock or Picatinny rail. Recharge by USB = no batteries! I have it on my Sig P320 and my wife has it on her Glock 19. Great add on for home defense.

    December 13, 2018 6:55 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Patriot17

    The link for the SureFire X300 Ultra takes you to what appears to be a "knock off" or replica light based on the reviews.

    December 9, 2018 2:22 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    JohnnyJ

    What are the activation/toggle differences between Surefire and Streamlight?

    August 10, 2018 9:25 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bobo

    Add another vote for the O-Light Mini Valkyrie, awesome little light

    About the only negative I can think of is the quick detach pivot point sticks out a little bit more then it necessarily needs to, but that is a very minor negative!

    March 26, 2018 5:04 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Thanks Bobo, I'll chalk up another one to Olight.

      March 27, 2018 9:29 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Trent

    I'm leaning towards getting the Olight Pl-Mini Valkyrie. Talon Sei just did a review of it on YouTube. It's small, easy detach, bright, and has a built in rechargeable battery.

    March 26, 2018 7:59 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Thanks, lots of love for Olight...I've added them to the honorable mentions and will be sure to check them out soon.

      March 26, 2018 3:07 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Monica

    As far as cleaning the lens, I suggest using steel wool, it will not scratch or damage the lens.. The carbon comes off easily with next to no effort. I then place a drop of gun oil on the lens and rub it in. The next time you shoot you can use your finger to wipe the carbon off.

    March 26, 2018 5:49 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Thanks, Monica...will try soon!

      March 26, 2018 3:34 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rick

    Check out the Olight Valkyrie PL-2. 1200 lumens for $100. It's only 3 1/2 inches long. Fits my S&W Core and Sig P-320 nicely. Have about 400 rounds, so far no problems

    March 25, 2018 6:29 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Nice, another vote for Olight...I'll check them out soon.

      March 25, 2018 6:55 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Chip Burnette

    Viridian CL5 light & green laser combo is still my choice.

    March 25, 2018 5:59 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Thanks for sharing, Chip!

      March 25, 2018 6:57 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Erik Twitchell

      Viridian on the kimber. Small reliable. Well worth the price.

      March 26, 2018 6:46 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Larrry

    Have you looked at the Olight brand lights? Such as the Olight PL-MINI, 400 lumens.

    March 25, 2018 5:17 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      I've heard of them but haven't tried any of their pistol lights...will do for the update.

      March 25, 2018 6:55 pm
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