The big wide world of weapon lights can be quite confusing. There are just so many of them out there, and they come in various sizes, shapes, and designs.
Our goal today is to break weapon lights down by category to help you find the right one. The lights here aren’t the cheap, no-name brand weapon lights you see littered across the internet. I have quite a bit of experience with each of the below lights, and I recommend them based on their use.
Handgun Weapon Lights
The Surefire X300U, affectionately nicknamed the UBoat, is the number one choice in pistol lights for armed professionals. From Green Berets clearing rooms in Afghanistan to a cop on patrol, the X300U is the top choice in handgun weapon lights for a reason.
It can take the abuse you throw at it. It’s also available in a variety of models with varying brightness levels depending on your needs.
Regardless of the lumen count, the Surefire X300U series are built to shine bright and clear with an impressive range and definite hotspot. The Surefire X300U is waterproof and shockproof. It will eat up tons of recoil without an issue.
The Surefire X300U can be used for long guns as well, and you can add a pressure switch should you so choose.
Streamlight TLR 7
The TLR 7 is aimed at compact-sized firearms like the Glock 19 or CZ P10C. This little light extends beyond the barrel and allows for a more compact fit. The TLR 7 packs 500 lumens and 4,300 candela for a clear and bright light that illuminates well beyond the typical pistol range.
It is built from aluminum and designed to take a beating while being quite light at only 2.4 ounces. The TLR 7 is also an affordable option for those looking to save a few dollars without sacrificing quality.
The light most certainly punches up for how small it. The TLR 7 is a duty grade light for those looking for a low profile option. I keep a TLR 7 on my CZ P10C and use it when I want to carry something larger than a subcompact pistol.
Concealed Carry Handguns
Streamlight TLR 6
The Streamlight TLR 6 is the smallest light on the market and is remarkably potent for its size. This little 100 lumen light is well suited for close-range defensive encounters and helps a lot with making positive identification of a bad guy. The TLR 6 is not a searchlight by any means, but inside a building, the light is perfectly bright.
Its small and robust design is impact-proof but lightweight. The design doesn’t drag a small gun down, and on top of that, a lot of holster companies make holsters orientated towards the TLR 6. This little Streamlight does quite a bit and is made for the most popular concealed carry guns.
The TLR 6 lives on my SIG Sauer P365 and is my daily carry.
Rifle Weapon Lights
Surefire M600 Scout
The Surefire M600 is the weapon light of choice for police and military forces, and even special ops guys. The M600 is a powerful weapon light that comes in various sizes and power levels. I prefer the M600DF model that allows you to use two different types of batteries. This includes the standard CR123s or an SF18650A rechargeable battery.
The M600 is, without a doubt, one of the most durable and robust rifle lights on the market. It can eat a lot of abuse and keep on ticking. It shines brightly and makes searching for bad guys easy and precise.
The M600 is a long-serving weapon light from a company that makes nothing but professional-grade weapon lights. The M600 was my go-to rifle light as a Marine.
Steiner Mk4 Battle Light
The Mk4 Battle Light is a weapon light designed to be both low profile and modular. It kicks off 500 lumens of powerful and clear light that shines out beyond 300 yards. This a reasonable range that allows it to be a natural rifle light.
The Mk4’s integrated mount system allows it to mount in a low profile manner. This eliminates barrel shadow and ensures you have a clean beam of light cast out well beyond the average range. The Mk4 is super light weighing less than five ounces. Its setup allows it to be used with a pressure switch or a rear tailcap access.
The Mk4 can even be unmounted and used as a handheld light if needed. I keep an Mk4 on my BRN 180, and it’s perfect for home defense.
Shotgun Weapon Lights
The Surefire DSF is the OG of shotgun pump weapon lights. It’s created for duty use and is one of the most durable lights on the market. The DSF is a powerhouse of a light providing you with either 600 or 200 lumens. These light levels allow the DSF to switch between indoor and outdoor environments easily.
The DSF is programmable with a variety of modes and an easy set of controls. The modes include high and low luminosity and momentary or constant use. The DSF has completely ambidextrous controls, and the buttons are generous in size and easily reachable when naturally gripping the pump.
The Surefire DSF is made for both the 870 and 500 series of guns. I have mine on a Remington 870, and it might be substantial, but damn is it well made.
Streamlight TL Racker
The TL Racker is an exceptionally powerful shotgun weapon light that packs a blinding 1,000 lumens from a massive light head. The range is effective at 283 meters and allows for photonic barrier penetration as well as positive identification well beyond buckshot range.
Its simple controls make using the TL Racker very intuitive. Its massive button is easy to activate, that even under stress, you won’t be challenged by the ergonomics. The TL Racker is made from a tough polymer material that is heavily textured for a sure grip. It allows you to rip that pump back and forth when you are running the range.
The TL Racker is made for both the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 series guns. It’s well priced and plenty powerful. A TL Racker lives on my Mossberg 590A1, and it won’t be leaving anytime soon.
Olight PL Valkyrie
Olight is the only company I know that produces good lights at a reasonable price. I wouldn’t say Olights are duty grade weapon lights for police and military use, but they are perfectly suitable for home defense. The PL Valkyrie is a full-sized light with a 1,500 lumens turbo mode and a 600 lumens run mode.
The throw length is a nice 280 meters; this provides a bright and shiny means to light up a potential threat. The PL Valkyrie is made for full-sized or compact guns, and can even be attached to a long gun and still be a good home defense light.
Its controls are simple and reliable, and the QD mounting system is very handy. The PL Valkyrie wouldn’t be my first choice, but it’s far from my last.
Weapon Lights For Days
I gave you eight weapon lights, and that’s enough for every day of the week and for two on Sunday. These days, there is no excuse not to have a weapon light on any weapon you are using for defensive or tactical applications. Positive identification of a threat isn’t a helpful suggestion; it’s an absolute requirement.
If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting our Veteran Editorial by becoming a SOFREP subscriber. Click here to get 3 months of full ad-free access for only $1