Weapon lights are arguably one of the most important upgrades that you can purchase for any firearm. You can’t shoot what you can’t see so being able to positively ID someone or something can make a huge difference. We want to cover some of the weapon light brands that we enjoy and give you some more knowledge so when you do purchase a weapon light you’re not left in the dark.
To start off we just want to give a disclaimer. We are not professionals on weapon lights and we do not have any experience in a combat setting where we used one. We are just concerned civilians who want to make sure we are prepared for anything that could be thrown our way.
Candela and Lumens:
These two words get thrown around like crazy in the flashlight world. So what exactly do they mean and why should you care. Let’s start off with candela because it isn’t talked about as much. Usually when you go online to do some research all you hear or read about is how many lumens each light has. So what is candela? Essentially, candela helps break through other light barriers. So let’s say that you are walking down the street at night and you need to see what’s beyond a street light. The more candela you have the more light will be able to penetrate that street lamp, letting you see what’s on the other side. Now please don’t take your gun out in the middle of the street but hopefully that example helps.
Now let's go over lumens, this is how bright something is. So lights in your house tend to have a low lumens which leads to a more warm hue to it. So a high lumen flashlight will be a much whiter white. The gold standard seems to be around 1,000 lumens but if you want to have your light push out further than candela is king. Ideally, you will want to find a balance of candela and lumens. So we want to go over some lights that we enjoy and give you different reasons as to why.
What light should I buy?
Before I go any further let me just say, it depends. Buy what you can afford and buy what will help you fulfill your mission. We will be breaking it down based on handgun, rifle, and handheld.
There are a few weapon light brands that we like and recommend and a few different models that we love. We like SureFire, Modlite, and Streamlight because they have been producing high quality lights for a while now. If you are looking for a more budget friendly option then check out the Streamlight TLR-1 and the Streamlight TLR-7a. Both of these lights can be found for less than $150 and can push light out sufficiently for a handgun. If you are looking for some real light output then the Modlite series and the new Surefire Turbo Series has you covered. If you want a more duty use style of light these companies have your back. The Surefire X300 series has long been the industry “standard” and is extremely durable. The new turbo series has increased the candela so you can see further than before. Lastly we have the Modlite PL350. It is a relatively new light but it’s in a class of its own. With extremely high candela and lumens this is like having the sun on your gun.
We won’t be going into as much specifics with rifle lights because there are way more options. Weapon light brands that we recommend are SureFire, Modlite, Cloud Defensive, and Streamlight. Streamlight and Cloud Defensive have what we would consider a budget friendly option. The great thing about both of these companies is that they come with a pressure pad! Now, do you need a pressure pad? It is not required but it will greatly help you manipulate your light in a much more efficient way. You can buy pressure pads for your Modlite or Surefire lights and they work great. Buy what you can afford and train with it. All of these lights are extremely durable and will work when you need them to.
These aren’t really considered weapon lights but still a crucial piece of gear. All of the weapon light brands that we have mentioned above make handheld lights but there are more solid options. Choose something that you will want to carry with you everyday. If it is too big or uncomfortable then you won’t want to carry it and you won’t have it when you need it the most.
Choose a light that will work for what you need. If you just need a light for concealed carry then a handheld or a smaller pistol light is all you need. If you want more of a duty style setup then go for a bigger and brighter light. The best part about gear is that it holds its value really well. If you don’t like what you got or want to try something new then sell it and buy a new one. Having a weapon light or a flashlight can be a game changer. If you have any questions feel free to reach out so we can better help you be prepared!