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Most modern handguns come with a rail system under their barrel. It is not just to showcase or fancy up your handgun. It is used to attach pistol light on it. If you own a well-functioning handgun then adding a pistol light will be the best upgrade for it. Pistol light provides tactical advantages in emergencies.
people who do a lot of night shooting, a pistol light is the best way to light up the situations while taking a good shot.
Why You Need Pistol Light
Most crime scenes happened in the peak time between 8 and 10 PM and pistol light helps you to find the enemy in the dark. It is recommended to use pistol lights for your safety unless you have some night vision goggles. You can also use a handheld light too but a mounted pistol light gives you the freedom to hold the gun with one hand and call on an emergency with your other hand in the crime situations. Also, lights make your handgun a Lil heavy which reduces muzzle flip.
I did a ton of research before spending a large amount of my hard-earned money on a weapon light that my life (as well as the lives of others) may depend on. In this guide, I mentioned some of the best pistol lights (including light/laser combo) that you can buy. I also explained how to choose a perfect pistol light at the end of the article.
Best Pistol Lights That You Can Buy
1. Olight PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie: (Best Compact Light)
The Olight PL-Mini 2 can easily fit on small pistols because it comes with a separate rail adapter. You can easily move the Olight forward or backward on the rail adapter and set it to the optimal position. The design is inventive which makes PL-Mini 2 a perfect choice for many pistols. Due to its small size, it’s easier to access the controls when mounts on the pistols. Although The Olight brand is new in the market they are doing a good job and becoming an impressive brand.
The Olight PL-Mini 2 valkyrie is the updated version of the original valkyrie, which is a larger version of the mini. The mini light is made very small in size while it is very light. The Olight Mini Valkyrie packs 600 lumens in a very small beam. Its cost is more of a spotlight than just a beam but the thing we all have to accept that it is very useful in close quarters combat and concealed carry. The light mini valkyrie comes with a QD mount system that allows you to put in on and take it off in a flash, also it is completely rechargeable.
On the downside, I found out that the battery life of the light is relatively short compared to other pistol lights.
- Lumens: 600
- Runtime: 1.5 hours
- Batteries: Lithium Polymer Batteries
- Weight: 2.57 oz
2. Streamlight TLR 1/HL: (Best Overall Pistol Light)
The Streamlight TLR 1 is an affordable full-sized pistol light available in the market. It comes with immersive 300 lumens which is enough to light up everything you need. It is an outstanding device that offers an amazing light beam. TLR 1 can easily fill a room full of light with its crystal clear bright light.
It offers both a low-powered 300-lumen variant and an HL 800-lumen light. The 300 lumens model offers 2.5-hour of runtime and 800 lumens model offers 1.5-hour runtime. Also, it comes with a multitude of keys to accommodate different rails easily. You can use any one of the models for different roles. It has a very robust optic that is fully power proof and shockproof.Specifications:
- Lumens: 300/800
- Runtime: 2.5/1.5 hours
- Batteries: Lithium Batteries
- Weight: 5.6 ounces
When it comes to compact lights the InforceAPLc is all you need. APLc comes with 200 lumens which are very comfortable to use inside buildings or even in a vehicle. It doesn’t chuck out a ton of lumens, so there’s the obvious compromise, but the beam is fairly focused, and if you were to shine it directly in somebody’s eyes at a realistic defensive distance, it won’t be pleasant for them. The C in APLc stands for “Compact” and surely it is a very compact light. It is made of light quality polymers materials that make it durable, long-lasting, and waterproof.
One good eye-catching feature I found in this light is that it comes with a Lock-Out mode that ensures it doesn’t accidentally come on when traveling or not in use. It is a small and lightweight pistol light that is perfect to use on small distances.Specifications:
- Lumens: 200
- Runtime: 1.5 hours
- Batteries: 1 CR2
- Weight: 1.9 oz
4. SureFire X300 Ultra
If you are looking for the best pistol light then SureFire X300 Ultra is all you need. It is much longer than other pistol light. The SureFire X300 is well crafted, robust, and durable light and used by law enforcement and military professionals. Perfectly, we can say that The SureFire X300 is the professional’s weaponry.
It comes in multiple lumen models that include 600 – 1000 lumen light. It is fully shockproof and water-resistant that makes it a perfect choice for your pistols. The one major benefit I found in this light is that it offers 1,000 lumens compared to TLR-1 HL that offers 800 lumens. Overall undoubtedly it is one of the best pistol lights you can buy.Specifications:
- Lumens: 1,000 Lumen LED Light
- Runtime: 1.25 Hours Run Time
- Batteries: 2 123A Batteries
- Weight: 4 Ounces With Batteries
5. SureFire X400 Ultra Series
The kinda big bro to the SureFire X300 Ultra. The X400 has a High-visibility 5 mW GREEN laser sight. Sure, other brands may be cheaper with close to the same lumen output, but I’ll get to why I went with this light. With that said, let’s get to my thoughts on the X400 Ultra.
The X400 Ultra comes with a stunning powerful white light that makes your visibility better. You can also use the bright 5mW green laser for aiming better. The next time you take down any target then remember you now have an outstanding laser.
There is no doubt that you will find this model an all you need in one package. It is undoubtedly a highly effective pistol light in the market. You can found out this model being used by military and law enforcement persons.
- Lumens: 600-lumen LED
- Runtime: 1.25 Hours Run Time
- Batteries: 2 123A Batteries
- Weight: 8 Ounces With Batteries
6. Streamlight TLR-6 (For Subcompact Pistols)
If you own a gun without rails i.e SIG Sauer P365 and want to put light on it. The TLR 6 is an outstanding light and one of the few designed for guns without rails. The TLR 6 casts a bright 100-lumen spotlight designed for close-range use. The included laser is very bright and easy to pick up via the eye. The TLR 6 does allow light-only, laser-only, and combined light and laser settings.
The Streamlight TLR-6 is an outstanding and very secure weapon light with the good light output. It is great for subcompact pistols. The TLR-6 comes with both light and a laser that makes it a perfect choice for your pistols. It connects around the trigger guard and not require any rail to locks the light into place.
The TLR-6 casts 100 lumens that specially designed for close-range use. You can use it as a light only, laser, and both at the same time. It is one of the few pistol lights designed for guns without rails. It is IPX4 Water-Resistant.Specifications:
- Lumens: 100 Lumens
- Runtime: 1 Hour Run Time With Light only or Light and Laser, 11 Hours Laser Only
- Batteries: Two CR1/3N Lithium Batteries
- Weight: 1.12 oz – 1.27 oz
7. SureFire XC1
The SureFire XC1 is a compact weapon light and perfect for all railed handguns. It comes in 200 and 300 lumens model which runs on common AAA batteries. The SureFire redesigned the internals to make it lightweight, flatter, and adds barely any bulk to your gun. It is made from aerospace aluminum that makes it rock solid weapon light. It has a front-facing battery compartment that allows you to easily change the batteries.
SureFire is a well-known company, and they already produced some outstanding light such as X300 and X400 praised by many holsters. Having seen other lights fail in life or death situations will make you believe in the importance of a quality weapon light, and Surefire is the way to go.Specifications:
- Lumens: 200-300 Lumens
- Runtime: 2.5 Hours
- Batteries: 1 AAA batteries required
- Weight: 2 Ounces
8. Streamlight TLR 3
If you are looking for a budget-friendly weapon light then Streamlight TLR 3 is a good choice. It is compact in size and offers 125 lumens which are better for indoor use or home defense situations. It works continuously for roughly 1.5 hours before going into low power mode. The TLR 3 is fully waterproof and IPX7 rated which works underwater for upto 30 minutes.
It is made mostly from high-impact polymer and comes with very strong and surprisingly light that allows you to navigate and search anywhere. The TLR 3 is pretty cheap however battery is expensive.Specifications:
- Lumens: 125 Lumens
- Runtime: Runs 1.5 continuous hours to the 10% output level
- Batteries: CR2 Lithium
- Weight: 4 ounces
Should You Get a Pistol Light/Laser Combo?
Handguns are small and used single-handed and there’s no much room on them to mount attachments on it. I’m a fan of lasers on handguns but I would not recommend only relying on the laser. If you want a laser its always great to go with Laser/Light combo.
Lasers are great as a tool to improve your shooting skills. Although light with a laser can cost more than a simple pistol light it is worth investing to buy both laser/light combo.
How To Choose Perfect Pistol Lights
Type Of Use
Many people buy pistol lights but each light serves a different type of work.
For home defense, you need a model with a medium number of lumens. It is not advised to use high lumens pistol light in the home because you are mostly going to use it indoors with light-colored walls. If it blinds the enemy then there are chances that it blinds you too. It is preferred to use light in 300-600 lumens range for indoor use.
If you are into law enforcement, security, or in the military then you will need a bigger model that produces more brightness. It is preferred to use light in 800 to 1000 lumens for outdoor use. The SureFire X400 and Streamlight are doing great in this.
You might think that why people buy lights with low lumens when high lumens light already available in the market. This is not because they have budget issues, but they are smart to choose wisely. Remember brighter is not always better.
Brighter lumen lights are better for outdoor use. Lights above 800 lumens are perfectly suitable for outdoor use and effective to light up distant targets. Meanwhile, lights around 300 to lumens are good for indoor use and will not hurt your eyes.
When it comes to choosing a light always choose according to your requirements and choose what works best for you.
Pistol’s light comes in different sizes and shapes. Some fit around the trigger guard and some required rails or mount to attach on your handgun. Different guns require different lights. You can not use the same light on any handguns except few.
Bigger light can offer longer runtime, more brightness, lasers, a strobe function, and more switches. Compact light offers some fewer features but they are lightweight great for your pistols. People usually prefer a model that is not longer than the gun barrel.
In do or die situations you do not want that your light stops working. It should be reliable and robust enough to work in any weather conditions without any hassle. Always go with a reputed company such as Surefire, Streamlight, Inforce, Olight, etc.
How To Attach Pistol Light
Most guns come with Picatinny rail to attach the attachments on it. A Picatinny rail system is a standard rail system to mount attachment or accessories on your gun. However, some guns do not come with Picatinny rail (Ex- SIG Sauer P365) and if you want to use pistol light on it then Streamlight TLR-6 is a good choice for them.
No matter how much experience you have before Attaching the pistol light on your handgun make sure to remove any ammo and only work on the unloaded handgun. It can save your precious life.
Steps To Attach Pistol Light
1. Make sure to double-check that your gun is unloaded.
2. Now clean the rails of your gun gently with sterile alcohol.
3. After that install the battery into the flashlight by twisting the bulb assembly at the end of the flashlight.
4. Finally, attach the pistol light to your handgun. You may require Allen wrench in the installation process
So that’s it for the post, we have mentioned some of the best pistol light that you can buy today. All pistol lights are carefully reviewed from experts and will provide excellent performance in any situation. People who own a pistol are known the value of having better clarity before taking the critical shot.
If you have any queries or suggestions regarding this post feel free to ask us in the comment section. Also which pistol light you found out perfect for you? Let us know.