The AR-15 is one of the most common rifles on the market, there are also many mods and accessories that you can get for it. One helpful attachment would be flashlights, it can help to solve a big problem that many shooters face which is shooting under low light conditions. Without a flashlight mounted on your AR-15, you would have to hold the flashlight with your free hand and place yourself at a disadvantage.
However, there are many rifle lights available on the market and can be a challenge in choosing the best one for you. But do not worry, in this review, you will gain a better insight into choosing the best AR-15 flashlight as well as a list of the best AR-15 flashlight options on the market.
|Flashlights||Name||Editor’s Comment||Rating||Get The Best Deal|
|Streamlight TLR-2 Rail Mounted Tactical Weapon Light with Laser||
Most Recommended Option
1. 800 lumens
|10/10||Check Current Price|
|SureFire M300C Compact Scout Light||
1. Uses a 123A lithium battery
2. High-quality LED bulb that is virtually indestructible
3. 500 lumens of bright light
|9.5/10||Check Current Price|
|SureFire X300 Ultra Series WeaponLight||
1. Made to fit most guns on the market
2. Aerospace aluminum to ensure the durability
3. Impact-resistant polymer
|9.0/10||Check Current Price|
|Inforce WMLx Gen 2 Weapon Light||1. 800 lumens of white light
2. Three different modes
3. Easy-to-use lockout system
|8.5/10||Check Current Price|
|Sightmark LoPro Combo||1. Combination of a weapon light and a laser
2. Mounted on Picatinny or a Weaver rail
3. Only 220 lumens
|8.0/10||Check Current Price|
|Streamlight TLR-1 HL Weapon Mount Tactical Flashlight||
1. Brightness of up to 800 lumens and has a peak beam intensity of 12,000
2. C4 LED technology
3. 3-volt CR123 lithium batteries with runtime of 1.25 hours
|8.0/10||Check Current Price|
|Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2||
1. 625 lumens
2. Produces a beam that reaches up to 325 yards
3. CR123A lithium batteries
|7.5/10||Check Current Price|
|Nitecore MH12 Tactical Flashlight||
1. 1,000 lumens of bright light
2. CREE XM-L2 LED
3. Aluminum alloy and military-grade hard anodized finish
|7.5/10||Check Current Price|
The Important Factors for a Good Flashlight
Obviously, the most important feature of a flashlight is how bright it is. However, having the brightest light may not always be useful. The ideal brightness for indoor needs would be around 80 to 100 lumens and for outdoor needs, it can be up to 500 lumens. Picking the best brightness should depend on your purpose of use.
The type of battery that the flashlight uses will determine how long it lasts and while rechargeable batteries give you value for money, it will also cost you more. Others like disposable ones are cheaper but they can be more inconvenient as you have to keep changing the batteries and carry extra while hunting.
There is no best battery for AR-15 lights, it all depends on your personal preference and how long you want to use the flashlight for. Some can only last 1 to 1.5 hours while some can last up to 20 hours so choosing the best one for yourself will depend on how long you need your light to run.
Even though some flashlights are cheap and can be replaced easily, it will still be nice to have one around that you know you can count on and can last longer than others. The best type of flashlights to go for are those that are resistant to impact and weatherproof. It allows you to use the flashlight for a long time without causing any problem.
The Pros and Cons of an AR-15 flashlight
Versatile – Having a light for your AR-15 can be helpful in many situations like hunting in the dark or even identifying your target in self-defense to make sure you don’t shoot someone else.
Ease of use – Like some of the scopes or sights, a flashlight is one of the easiest things to mount on your AR-15 and most of the models that are on the market are also easy to operate. It is simple enough that all you need to do is mount it, press on the pressure switch and you’re good to go.
Takes up space – Some of the models of the flashlight may be bigger than other models and can take up quite a lot of space on your rail. With lesser space, you also have lesser options of optics to mount on your rifle.
Top 8 Best AR-15 Flashlights – Analyzed
Now that you know what to look for in an AR-15 flashlight and what are the pros and cons of it, here is the list of the best AR-15 flashlights on the market.
1. Streamlight TLR-1 HL Weapon Mount Tactical Flashlight
Streamlight is a top brand that produces quality products and the Streamlight TLR-1 HL is one of the best AR-15 flashlights that is offered on the market. This is a high-performance AR-15 flashlight that has a brightness of up to 800 lumens and has a peak beam intensity of 12,000. The high-intensity beam allows for maximum illumination under different environments.
The Streamlight TLR-1 HL is able to perform up to 800 lumens because of the C4 LED technology that has been implemented. The LED bulb has a shockingly long lifetime of up to 50,000 and a runtime of 1.25 hours. To be able to run for long hours, this flashlight gains its power from two 3-volt CR123 lithium batteries.
With the use of TIR optics, a concentrated beam is produced that allows the user to see through the darkness with ease. It makes this Streamlight flashlight ideal for hunting in the woods. This is also an AR-15 flashlight that is easy to mount on Picatinny rails and Glock-style rails and you can be sure that it will stay in place with the rail grip clamp system.
Another feature that makes this LED flashlight the best is that it is lightweight due to the materials used for its construction. The use of aircraft-grade aluminum not only gives it strength but also makes it light in weight. The LED rifle flashlight also has black anodized finishing to make sure that it still functions under harsh environments. It is also designed to absorb the shock from an AR-15 recoil.
To top it off, this flashlight is made to be waterproof with a rating of IPX7, allowing it to be underwater for up to 1 meter and for 30 minutes. It also has a user-programmable strobe setting that can be enabled or disabled and an ambidextrous switch that can be changed between momentary/steady and on/off.
The Streamlight AR-15 flashlight is one of those AR-15 flashlights that hunters need especially when they are hunting in the dark. It offers great durability and is able to light up the path with its brightness easily. Other than that, this flashlight can also be useful under different situations and it will not disappoint you.
- High durability
- Great luminosity
- Slightly higher price
- Low battery life
2. Inforce WMLx Gen 2 Weapon Light
The Inforce WMLx Gen 2 Weapon Light is a lightweight and powerful AR-15 flashlight that delivers up to 800 lumens of white light. It is offered in three different modes and can be operated easily. The three modes are: constant, momentary and strobe. A strobe function can be useful in emergency scenarios to signal for help or to signal your team in tactical situations. Which makes this tactical flashlight an ideal choice in the fields.
This tactical flashlight is as lightweight as its competitions from Streamlight. The AR-15 flashlights have a weight of about 4.2 ounces while the Inforce WMLx Gen 2 Weapon Light weighs at 4 ounces only. It also has a length of 5.34 inches only.
Even though it has bright lights, you may want to reconsider using it indoor. It is not the best option for having this tactical flashlight indoor as the lights produced are too intense. However, the high-intensity beam is great for outdoor uses like identifying targets at a long-range. Another feature that users find helpful is the easy-to-use lockout system that prevents the activation of the light and to save the battery from being wasted.
Mounting this tactical flashlight on a rail can be done quickly and easily with the all-inclusive rail clamp design. It doesn’t matter whether your AR-15 has a Picatinny rail or any style of a rail system, the mounting of this AR-15 flashlight can be done easily. This rail clamp design allows users to mount the Inforce WMLx Gen 2 Weapon Light on any rail styles with ease and without the use of any tools.
With the use of this tactical flashlight, maintaining visibility in the dark for a long time won’t be much of an issue. The reason for that is because of the battery type that this flashlight use, it uses two lithium 123A batteries and giving it a runtime of 2 hours.
This is a good tactical flashlight that is easy to use that delivers great lumens of light and it is the ideal choice for outdoor applications. The weight of this flashlight is light which means that it won’t be something that weighs the shooter down when equipped with it.
- High lumens for good illumination
- Easy to mount on all types of rail
- Has 3 operation modes
- High versatility
- Not the best quality of construction
3. Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2
This Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2 is an upgraded and improved model of the Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 1. While both are made to be equipped on a long gun, the Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2 has a better luminosity of 625 lumens compared to its previous model. This newer model by Streamlight produces a beam that reaches up to 325 yards.
Unlike its previous model that uses lithium or AA batteries, this new model of flashlight uses only the CR123A lithium batteries. This may seem to be a downside to many shooters as the option of having rechargeable batteries and backup batteries have been taken away. It is one of the trade-offs for brighter lights.
This is a light that is made to be free from scratches with the use of top quality aircraft aluminum. It ensures that the light maintains a lightweight while the anodized finish allows the light to be impact resistant and water-resistant as well.
This flashlight comes with three different power output settings to help manage the battery life. The high power mode produces a beam that can reach up to 300 yards but can only last for 2 hours. The beam produced using the low setting is only 60 lumens and reaches up to 95 yards but it allows the flashlight to function up to 21 hours. The third mode is a strobe mode which can be turned on and off using the pressure switch.
Having the choice of using the push button tailcap or the remote pressure switch gives users more flexibility. Besides that, this flashlight is made to be mounted to a Mil-Spec 1913 rail or some may know it as the Picatinny rail. However, the rail mount has been mounted on to the body of the flashlight which is something many users might not like.
A versatile flashlight that can be used in a variety of scenarios. Whether it is for home-defense, tactical uses or hunting, you will find that the Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2 enhances your shooting experience.
- Can be used for indoor shooting
- Long battery life
- Has a different light level
- Water and impact resistant
- Fixed mounting system
4. SureFire X300 Ultra Series WeaponLight
SureFire is a top manufacturer in the firearm industry and you won’t have to worry about the quality if you ever get a product by SureFire. Products like the SureFire M series weapon light and the SureFire X300 Ultra Series WeaponLight are some of their proudest product that has caught the eyes of users and brought attention to its name.
If you have a handgun or a long gun that has a rail system, the chance of this SureFire X300 flashlight fitting your gun or rifle is very high. Most importantly, this flashlight will definitely fit your AR-15 rifle. The reason for that is because the SureFire X300 flashlight is made to fit most guns that are offered on the market.
The construction of this rifle flashlight also shows how much attention has been given to this product. It is made with high quality and strong aerospace aluminum to ensure the durability of this rifle light. Having a gear that can last for a long time is one of the preferences of many people. In addition, this light also has an impact-resistant polymer to withstand any abuse.
An important consideration for being one of the best AR-15 flashlights is the brightness that it offers. This AR-15 light is able to generate 500 lumens of bright white light and while it may seem a lot lesser than many other flashlights, it can definitely still be useful when you need a light. The power source of the light is from two CR123 batteries and unfortunately, there are no settings to allow for longer battery life.
The SureFire X300 light comes with a TIR lens that focuses the 500 lumens white light to produce a tight light beam and to have a significant surround light for peripheral vision. The concentrated light beam can also shine further making it good for long-range applications.
Although some of the specs of this light are not as good as some of the best AR-15 flashlights, the SureFire X300 WeaponLight is still a great product especially if your rifle has limited rail space. Also, it can be mounted on any Picatinny rails so you don’t have to worry about it not being able to fit.
- Weatherproof with O-ring and gasket sealed
- High-quality construction
- Concentrated light beam
- Can mount on any handguns or rifles easily
- No additional settings to save battery life
- Lower brightness compared to other flashlights
5. SureFire M300C Compact Scout Light
As the name suggests, the SureFire M300C is made to be a compact scout light. This rifle light is unlike many other AR-15 flashlights that are powered by two batteries, it only uses a 123A lithium battery. This has allowed the best life span for the flashlight without adding too much weight to it or affecting the brightness of the light.
This flashlight uses a high-quality LED bulb that is virtually indestructible. This LED flashlight is able to generate 500 lumens of bright light with the focus of a TIR lens to produce a high-intensity light beam. While it may not be as bright as other flashlights, it is still one of the best flashlights to use for close to mid-range functions like in a home-defense situation.
With the use of a thumbscrew mount, it is extremely easy to mount it only any Picatinny rail styles. One thing to take note of is that you will still be able to mount other accessories on the rail even when you are using this flashlight.
Another feature that many people might find it useful is that this SureFire light has remote control capabilities. Instead of having a push-button tailcap, this light can have a remote switch by adding a SureFire remote switch. However, the remote switch is not included when you purchase this flashlight.
The overall build of this flashlight incorporates top quality materials and has hard Mil-Spec hard anodized finish. It makes this weapon light a great option for outdoor purposes as you won’t have to worry about it being damaged. This weapon light is also O-ring sealed to keep exterior elements out of it.
A great weapon light that gives you the vision that you need under low light conditions and the compactness is also an advantage of this flashlight. It allows operators to mount another accessory which can be a tactical advantage in the field. This flashlight also has a mounting system that allows you to easily mount it on your weapon as long as it has a Picatinny rail.
- Easily mounted on
- Durable design and build
- Has additional rail space for other accessories
- Rechargeable battery
- Decent brightness
- No additional settings to save battery life
- Remote switch not included
6. Nitecore MH12 Tactical Flashlight
The Nitecore MH12 is one of those tactical lights that can produce up to 1,000 lumens of bright light. This tactical light is able to achieve high lumens of brightness thanks to the use of CREE XM-L2 LED. It is the best flashlight to use to light up dark areas and to blind your target temporarily.
With the high lumens of light, this flashlight is ideal if you ever need something for long-distance target identification. This flashlight is also one of the best AR-15 flashlights to use especially when hunting under low light situations. As a hunter, you will be able to rely on this AR-15 flashlight to help you find your target.
Apart from offering the best illumination compared to other models of flashlights on the market, it is also constructed with the best standard of aluminum alloy and has a military-grade hard anodized finish giving this tactical light resistance to impact. The durable build allows this flashlight to maintain its functionality even under a harsh environment. Plus, it is waterproof which is one of the benefits of this tactical light.
One of the factors that make this flashlight a preference for almost everyone is the fact that it is at a lower price than many other AR-15 flashlights on the market that are not as bright as this Nitecore MH12 flashlight. Some people also find that the compactness and the metal pocket clip makes the flashlight easier to be carried around.
Some other features like the remote pressure switch and the rechargeable Li-ion battery are appreciated by a lot of users. The remote pressure switch has an on/off push button switch for the constant setting and using pressure pad activation for the momentary setting. Users can also easily charge the battery with a Micro USB.
This is one of the best AR-15 flashlights on the market that offers the best illumination up to 1,000 lumens. It is also the best choice for people on a budget and wants to save money but still wants a rifle light that has multiple applications. Whether it is for home-defense or for hunting in the dark, this rifle light can get the job done.
- High standard construction
- Good illumination ability
- Can charge with Micro USB
- Small size
- Requires an adapter for mounting
7. Streamlight TLR-2 Rail Mounted Tactical Weapon Light with Laser
This is a high-performance AR-15 flashlight that has the same brightness as the Streamlight TLR-1 flashlight. It can reach up to 800 lumens and the main reason is the use of C4 LED technology. The LED lighting technology for the Streamlight TLR-2 is powerful enough for the beam distance to reach up to 240 yards.
The bright lumens of light makes this one of the best AR-15 flashlights for multiple purposes. It is not too bright to be used in a home-defense or self-defense situation and the laser is a good thing to have for aiming at your target easily. This mounted flashlight is also great for military missions as well as for law enforcement to use it on duty.
The Streamlight TLR-2 has a better runtime of 2.5 hours compared to its previous model. This AR-15 flashlight gains its power from 2 CR123A batteries that are included with the flashlight itself. The ambidextrous switch is a great feature for easy activation of the light and the laser also has a switch that is smaller to turn it on and off.
The materials used for this flashlight is an aircraft aluminum and has an anodized black finish. It allows this rifle light to be lightweight but with the polymer laser housing, the overall weight of this flashlight is 4.72 ounces which is only slightly heavier than the previous model, Streamlight TLR-1, that is 4.18 ounces. The difference in weight is not that much to say that this model is a lot heavier than the previous one.
A very well built rail-mounted flashlight that can be mounted on different styles of Picatinny rail and can be used for various purposes. The laser is also a great addition to help with identifying and aiming at the target quicker, it also has a separate switch from the light itself so that you can choose to turn it on or off whenever you like.
- Long-lasting construction
- Ambidextrous switch
- Good brightness for different purposes
- Higher price than other flashlights
8. Sightmark LoPro Combo
The Sightmark LoPro Combo is a combination of a weapon light and a laser. This is considered as one of the best AR-15 flashlights as it is able to deliver the best accuracy and has controls that are made just for the AR-15 rifles. It can also be mounted on an AR-15 that has a Picatinny or a Weaver rail and the installation doesn’t just have to be in front of the scope, it can be at the side of the rail too.
As for the amount of light that you get from this AR-15 LED weapon light is only 220 lumens, which is a lot lower than some of the best AR-15 LED weapon lights on the market. However, it can still be useful under low light conditions and enough to quickly light up a room that was in darkness. With the low lumens of light, this light is ideal for home-defense and for close-range shooting.
While the light may be a disadvantage, the laser surely isn’t. The laser is a 3R laser and the visibility varies from 50 yards with daylight present and 600 yards during nighttime. This product can also be adjusted by hand for windage and elevation to zero in the laser dot and has a 1 MOA click adjustment. This feature is also the reason why it is useful for home-defense and military replica purposes.
This rifle light has a push button and pressure pad operation that allows the user to quickly use the device and to get it to the desired position. It is also made of top-performance thermoplastic that allows the product to withstand different harsh situations. With this rifle light, you won’t have to worry much about the recoil of your AR-15 causing damage to the light as it can withstand up to 1,000 G’s of maximum recoil.
This is one of the best tactical lights on the market that doesn’t cost you too much money but still gets its job done. It is also a reliable light that you don’t have to worry about it breaking when shooting. The only thing that this model of flashlight lacks is the amount of light that is produced, making it hard to be used for hunting.
- High visibility laser
- Good reliability
- Incorporates LED light
- Can be adjusted for windage and elevation
- Low lumens of light
- Slightly heavier than other lights
Conclusion – The Best Overall
The best AR-15 flashlight from this list would be the Streamlight TLR-2 Rail Mounted Tactical Weapon Light with Laser. It is made by a trusted and reputable brand and this model is an improved version of its previous model. It also features a laser which means you don’t have to get another one for your rifle. Even though it may cost you more than other AR-15 lights, it can definitely give you great value for money.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: How bright should a weapon light be?
The ideal brightness that you should go for is the minimal amount of light. Normally, the reflection of 100 lumens of light is enough to blind you in a dark room. So for home-defense uses, ideally you would want something less bright. For using a flashlight outdoors, 500 lumens is enough as the reflection is enough to blind you in dark woods. Generally, 150 to 200 lumens will be the ideal brightness for all purposes.
Q: What side do I mount my weapon lights?
Mounting your flashlight forward on the handguard of your rifle would be the best as it will not get in the way of your support hand. You should also mount it in the opposite direction of your body to prevent it from tangling with your gears. For instance, a right-handed shooter should mount the flashlight on the right side of the gun.
Q: Do you need a weapon mounted light?
Depends on the situation. If in any case, you need both hands on your gun, weapon mounted lights can put you in an advantageous position by keeping your extra hand free. Compared to holding a flashlight and your gun at the same time, a weapon mounted light is able to allow your free hand to hold other gears or support your gun. But if you do not need your free hand, you can choose a handheld flashlight as it can be cheaper and you can mount other accessories on your gun.
Hello there, it’s Michael here. A gun lover since young, served the country for the last 20 years. I started the blog to share my experience and gun-related knowledge accumulated throughout the years. Hopefully, you will find something useful over here or just have fun! You can learn more about me here.