What is a Tactical Flashlight Used For?


So a lot of people are not aware, when they hear the term tactical flashlight, how widely useful that kind of light actually can be. So the word tactical in there definitely denotes a sort of military or SWAT-like operation with the light. Or basically that the light is supposed to be used in conjunction with a gun.

Tactical Flashlights – More Than Meets the Eye

And that’s definitely one of the foremost concerns when people are making a tactical flashlight, is they want it to be tough, and they want it to be durable, and a lot of this has to do with very purely tactical use. Most of these flashlights are a very impact resistant to deal with the shock of gunfire. They are mountable. It’s standard for a tactical flashlight to be about one inch in diameter. And this makes it compatible with most gun mounts so that it can easily be mounted on a rifle and used in such a way that it helps to illuminate the environment.

So definitely just that sort of very pure tactical use is very important for any kind of a tactical flashlight. But what’s really come to light in the tactical flashlight industry is that the flashlights being made are not just good for mounting on a rifle and taking down to the range with your buddies, or possibly even using in a self-defense or even law enforcement situation.

More Than Just a Tactical Flashlight

These are flashlights that are good for actually a wide range of uses, including just at home. It’s very nice to have a completely super reliable flashlight in case of emergency or in case you just want to get up and check things out a little bit at night. That sort of consistency in operation is something people are really looking to get with their purchases these days. They definitely don’t want to buy a phone that’s easily going to just stop working. They don’t want to get a TV that will one day just link off. And they definitely don’t want a flashlight that they can’t depend on or that’s going to break after one drop on a tile floor.

So the tactical flashlight has turned out to have a lot of strong use at home as well. Add to that that they’re always getting new features that make them an even more attractive option. So take the KLARUS XT11GT, this is a great flashlight from KLARUS. It’s a great tactical flashlight. The one inch diameter I told you about. About five and a half inches long. So really not much longer than your hand. Just a small, light flashlight. Easily mountable and good to go. It’s got a full 2000 lumens. It’s got a blinding amount of bright light. If you want to use it in a tactical situation.

But it’s also something that’s nice to have just around the house. It’s got a side switch with a memory function, so if you want to have it at the lowest brightness level, then that’s great for just walking around your house a little bit, checking up on things, checking up on the kids.  Another great multi-use tactical flashlight is the Fenix PD35.  This flashlight has been around for a while but continues to be a go to flashlight for tactical and general use.

And when you’re not using the flashlight, they’ve made it extremely convenient to recharge it. So the batteries never need to come out of the actual light. You just plug it in and leave it on there until it’s ready to go. So it’s extremely reliable and it’s extremely convenient. So to have that level of convenience in your home is something that is very, very nice.

Outdoor Use

Tactical flashlights are also finding a lot of use just outside the home in the outdoors, for camping trips and other kinds of just simple recreation. And that’s something that the tactical flashlight industry has leaned into heavily. A lot of so-called tactical flashlights are definitely good for rifles and that kind of pure tactical use, but they’re also definitely being constructed with the idea of outdoor use and recreational use in mind.

You’re seeing more just pure spotlights being put out, which don’t necessarily even have that base tactical use, which are too wide or unwieldy to easily be mounted on a rifle. But they’re definitely being made in much the same way. They’re being made ultra tough. That same aircraft grade aluminum that they use to make any other tactical flashlight that tough. Still got the impact resistance, still got the waterproofness, all the tough features that people associate with tactical flashlights.

And at the same time, they’re just, they don’t really have much use on a rifle. They’re meant to be taken with you on a camping trip or on some other, you know, just outdoor excursion. Maybe a hike that’s going to be lasting late.

So lights like the MecArmy PT26, just a nice handheld spotlight, very powerful LED flashlight, but also very tough. And of course also rechargeable. So it’s something that you can definitely bring with you and charge while it’s in your car. And now you’ve got something to light your way at night if you’re needing to check out the campgrounds or whatever.

So tactical flashlights’ attributes are fast being re-purposed for a wide range of activities that go far beyond just mounting on a gun and using them to light up an area so that you shoot easier. But that’s not to say that they don’t have other uses besides mounting on a gun that are, in a sense, tactical.

Flashlight Self Defense

A lot of people are turning to flashlights for self-defense. You definitely see this with law enforcement as police are looking for more effective nonlethal ways to deal with suspects. Tactical flashlights are turning out to be a solid choice. Because they’re so tough, a lot of them will actually come with a strike bezel, which is that ridged part surrounding the lens. So what you can do is you can actually strike with that, and what you’ve got now is a flashlight that’s also a pretty decent striking weapon. So that’s something that, with a strong arm, can definitely stun somebody and be a useful option in a difficult situation.

But another thing that all these tactical flashlights come with, that are, that’s proving to be very useful across a wide spectrum of situations is the strobe. The strobe function is something where the light blinks very fast at just the right kind of timing that it will daze someone’s brain, especially if they don’t know it’s coming. So more and more police are definitely looking at that for an option. Being able to strobe someone, get a couple seconds of stunning them in there, definitely opens up a lot of tactical possibilities.

Not Just For Police

But this is not an option that’s just for police. This is something that you can see a lot of people utilizing. Just regular people, just carrying around with them on their person, so that they have this potential self-defense option. Women can carry these small flashlights in their purses. Men can carry very small EDC flashlights in their pockets.

Lights like the Nitecore MH20GT. This is a flashlight that’s extremely short, somewhere around three and a half, four inches. And so it’s very transportable. Really simple operation, just a single button. And it’s something that you can just whip out in a second and you have a ready, to help you out. If you’re ever in a situation that’s, you know, far from optimal.

And you know, if you’re going to have to depend on a strobe in that kind of situation, a flashlight that’s very easy to use is also going to be important. And that’s definitely something the MH20GT is. Although there are a wide range of interfaces that these flashlights do. And of course the MH20GT is also rechargeable. There’s a lot of special features like the rechargeability that these flashlights are developing that make them more and more convenient, not just for law enforcement or people who are likely to have a tactical use for these flashlights, but just for regular people who want to use these flashlights in a different way.

Bells and Whistles

I mentioned earlier that a lot of manufacturers are leaning in to the idea of other uses for tactical lights. Coming back to KLARUS again, they’ve got a light, the RS20, and what’s interesting about the RS20 is this is a, basically a tactical flashlight which is specifically designed for camping and hunting. So it’s a flashlight that has its head with the regular, very bright LED output, but it also has a sidelight with colored LEDs.

And these can give you a lot of different functions that can be useful in a nighttime setting. You’ve got your green LED for map reading. Kind of heightens the terrain on a map and makes roads appear a lot easier, and it just makes it a lot nicer to read things that way. It’s got a red LED, which is less disturbing to animals and also easier on your night vision. And it’s also got a blue LED, which, if you have the RS20 UV version, that’s actually going to be ultraviolet light, and that makes it a lot easier to track blood trails.

So the bells and whistles and the special features on these flashlights are definitely branching out more and more. So, you know, when you ask yourself, “What can a tactical flashlight be used for?” the answer is more and more becoming, “Anything.” So it’s just a matter of what needs you specifically have that it could possibly fill.


So definitely, if you feel like a flashlight might help you out, then you need to check out some of what I’ve listed here. You need to check out a lot of others. Because there’s plenty of ways that a tactical flashlight can be used to enhance your life, even if you’re not somebody who’s necessarily going to be going to the shooting range.