The best pistol light on the market is going to bring another level of safety and security when shooting in anything that isn’t the perfect light. It can be tough to see well in lower light and a normal flashlight just doesn’t work as well as it does in all of the cop shows. A pistol light is designed specifically to pack a large amount of shine into a small package that doesn’t throw off your shot.
Most pistols these days come with a rail mounting system for easy hookups to accessories such as a tactical pistol light. The installation is simple, and the benefits are huge. Even the best pistol lights come at reasonable and affordable prices that are worth dropping in order to increase the chances of having that extra, safe, jump on the trigger.
There are, however, an ever-increasing number of pistol lights out on the market and each one claims to be the best pistol light you could ever purchase. In order to help shine some light onto this problem you may be finding yourself in, we have broken it all down and discovered the top 9 Best Pistol Lights in 2023.
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If you are looking for the best pistol light under $50 it’s listed #4 on our list.
So what is ‘the best pistol light on the market? It’s the Streamlight TLR 1, Streamlight’s flagship pistol light, is the top pick of our list. It gives a quality amount of brightness with an unbeatable construction that is sure to last through anything it is put up against. It has a longer run time compared to most other pistol lights, and comes at a reasonable price. Overall, the features on the TLR 1 truly only come down to positives rather than finding many cons.
Best Budget Pistol Light Under $50
1. Streamlight TLR 1 – Our Top Pick
Our top pick for the Best Pistol Light in 2023 is the Streamlight TLR 1. Now, Streamlight puts out a huge amount of pistol lights, many of which have made the list. The Streamlight TLR 1 is the top of the top. It has a great build of machined aluminum with a black anodized finish, is made waterproof and dustproof, so it can withstand the harshest of all trials it is put through. This is a pistol light built to last through the apocalypse, and then shine on once everyone has gone.
The beam of light that comes off of this is madly impressive. It comes out closer to being a spotlight than a floodlight, still lighting up the entire space for you to see. The multiple different models hit 300 lumens and the HL will get to a maximum 800 lumens.
This is a heavyweight but compact version of a pistol light that 2 3V batteries can run for up to 2.5 hours. It comes with the key for just about any style of mounting you would like to have available to you. Its ambidextrous momentary/steady on and off switch makes operation a cinch.
Features: Aluminum construction with a high temperature and shock mounted impact resistant Boro float glass lens, 2.5 hour run time, 300 lumens with ability to purchase TLR 1 HL up to 800 lumens
- Industrial and invincible build
- Long run time of 2.5 hours
- Waterproof and dustproof
- 300 lumens on the basic model
- On the heavier end of pistol lights
2. Olight PL-2 Valkyrie – Best Value
The impact tested and waterproof Olight PL-2 Valkyrie comes to us at an incredible price, with a light that shines further and brighter than most. This Olight features a 1200 lumen light that can reach up to 235 meters. If you are looking for a light that will be primarily used outside, this incredible reach is sure to help out. The strobe feature on this product will help blind an enemy, and at a distance.
The quick release mount on this system helps to load the pistol light without much effort and can come off at the moment you need it. The control switch is easy to use no matter your shooting hand. It also functions silently, helping to keep stealth the primary focus.
The necessary 1913/Picatinny rail and Glock rail adapter is included in the purchase to help fit this pistol light to most guns.
Features: Incredibly bright 1200 lumen beam that can extend to 235 meters, quick release mount, ambidextrous control switch, 5 year warranty
- Incredibly bright at 1200 lumens
- Far and wide reach
- Backed by company with a 5 year warranty
- Quick release mounting system
- Gets hot quickly
- Wider build
3. Olight PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie – Best Pistol Light Under $100
The Olight PL-Mini 2 is about as small as they can get while still fitting on a Picatinny rail. The size still doesn’t take away from the product because this little light can throw 600 lumens up to 100 meters. That is some serious light from such a small product, which makes this the best compact light on the list.
Lumens aren’t the only thing this guy has going for him either. The adjustable rail patented by Olight allows for the PL-Mini 2 to be adjusted to a desired position for each different sidearm. This makes it compatible with most pistols you could want it for.
The quick QD mount system makes this installable and removable both within one second of time. As quick as it can get, because there’s no time for fuss when talking about pistol lights. The Olight Mini Valkyrie is easily the best budget pistol light. It has everything you could want down into one small size.
Features: 600 lumens with a reach of up to 100 meters, adjustable rail that can be fixed at different positions for different weapons, USB charging rather than batteries, GL and 1913 rails included in purchase
- Quick mount system
- Huge amount of light over far distance
- Tiny size and lightweight construction
- Adjustable Rail patented system is compatible with most pistols
- Shorter battery life due to size and high output
4. Amikon Hilight – Best Pistol Light Under $50
Not all pistol lights need to cost a fortune. The Amikon Hilight P5S is our choice for the Best Pistol Light Under $50. Even thought this pistol light comes at a low price, it still performs well.
The Amikon Hilight P5S has 500 lumens of light power, a strobe mode on top of the regular mode, and a lightweight aluminum alloy construction. It is waterproof and stands up to the weather. A quick release mount system makes this easy to use and never gets in the way.
What makes this pistol light so affordable is that it doesn’t boast a lot of the features that other full size and full price models do. Still, this is worth a look whether trying to save money or not.
Features: 500 Lumen LED light, Strobe mode to help disorient enemies, quick release mount for quick assembly and removal, lightweight aluminum alloy build
- Low price
- Waterproof and durable build
- Bright light in a small package
- Lacking a lot of features that can be found in more expensive models
The Surefire X300 is a pistol light that is built for the best. It is an incredibly reliable and durable product that puts off a huge 600 lumen beam that brings light into the darkest of spaces. The precision TIR lens combined with the huge amount of lumens makes it capable of this tight beam but wide spread of light at the same time.
It boasts a lot of the same features as our top pick and performs almost as well. The one-finger ambidextrous switch is simple to use without much adjustment of your grip on the weapon. The t-slot mounting system makes installation and removal quick and easy.
Law enforcement and military professionals both often are found sporting the Surefire X300. This makes sense because it is water, drop, shock, dust, and life-proof. To really amp it up, take a look at the even more grown-up version of the X300, look into Surefire’s ultra series. The Surefire X300 ultra and the Surefire X400 ultra boast a lot more features, but for a lot more price. Anyone that is serious about their weapon use will look here.
Features: LED can produce off-white light up to 600 lumens, lens creates a tight beams of light that still lights up everything around it, momentary and constant on switch made for ambidextrous side switch, t-slot mounting makes it easy, waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
- 600 lumen off-white light
- Tight spotlight style beam
- Simple and easy mounting
- Professional build
6. Surefire XC1
The Surefire XC1 is a compact version that Surefire has designed to be flatter on the rail of the fun. This makes it a much easier to hide option than most other pistol lights. The design of this makes the pistol light so it can run off AAA batteries, straight out of your cupboard at home.
Surefire makes incredibly durable products and didn’t stop when making the XC1. The aerospace aluminum build makes this pistol light strong while still lightweight. It is solid and reliable while compact.
This comes in a 200 lumen or 300 lumen setup. The 200 would not be recommended for any tactical or professional work, and 300 lumens is what we use as the cutoff line. So, it isn’t too bright, but isn’t surprising due to its size.
Features: AAA batteries mean easy battery supply, compact and flat design easy for concealed carry
- Compact design
- AAA batteries are easy to find
- Designed for Picatinny rails, may have trouble adapting it
- Not very bright
The Streamlight TLR 6 is built for those who have sidearms that don’t have a rail or have a different kind of rail. You can find the TLR 6 made to fit onto just about any sidearm with a specific build.
In addition to most of the typical pistol light features, the TLR 6 is a laser combo light with a 5nw output laser. With this additional feature, aiming becomes a much simpler task.
The biggest downfall of the TLR 6 is its low lumen output. This model only produces 100 lumens and will only run for one hour. This is a disappointingly low light level for what we see in the other models. The upside on this is the price. This is another great option for under $100.
Features: Ambidextrous controls, Purpose-built for each specific model of gun, laser integrated into the design, lightweight construction at 1.27 ounces
- You can find this built for each specific pistol mount
- LED and laser
- Low lumens
- Short run time
8. Streamlight TLR 8 – Best Light and Laser Combo
This laser and light combo comes to us in a compact design that still performs at the top of its class. The TLR 8 puts out 500 lumens and sports a 5nw laser. The laser is bright red in color and made for simplicity.
Just like the other Streamlight products, it is water and impact resistant with Boro glass. This is another product that is built to last. The TIR lens that is used helps to give a strong beam while still lighting up the rest of the room.
Out of all our products on the list, this is the best pick if you are really wanting something with a laser included in its design. This gives it all without much sacrifice.
Features: Aircraft aluminum build with black anodized finish, 500 lumens output and a 131 meter beam distance, Laser combo style for long-distance targeting, Ambidextrous operation switches
- Higher output in a laser light combo
- Strong laser for long distance targeting
- Compact design
- Short battery life
- High price
The Streamlight TLR 4 is another compact design here to wrap up our list. It is incredibly lightweight and compact but still boasts a powerful laser. The build is made to fit a large range of different compact and full-size handguns with a quick mounting system.
The TLR 4 does however only produce 125 lumens in light power. This is sadly disappointing when put up against the much newer TLR 8’s 500 lumens in almost the same size design. Its laser is just about the same as that used in the 8 as well.
All of these features are fit into a pistol light that is a meager 2.7 inches long. That’s a lot to fit in to just a couple of inches. This is a great option for concealed carry purposes as long as you aren’t looking for a higher light intensity.
Features: Incredibly lightweight and small design, Ambidextrous controls, quick mounting system for one-handed use, fits several compact and full-size sidearms, 5nw laser
- Incredibly small 2.7 inch long design
- Compatible with several compact and full-size sidearms
- Quick mounting system
- Low level of light production
You have obviously determined that you need a pistol light in order to improve the efficiency of your weapon, whatever the role it is playing may be. Now, there is a lot that goes into such a small package and it can be difficult to differentiate the $300 pistol light from the budget $40 version. It can be easy to go straight to the cheaper version when we are strapped for cash. A cheap pistol light is still an obtainable option. Here we will help to show off the best pistol light under $100 and the best pistol light under $50 in order to give your wallet a helping hand.
A weapon light is what may save your life. The pistol light best fit for you is going to be up to a lot of different things. When you are finding that perfect handgun light, you may need to find a compact pistol light that fits perfectly on a certain weapon mount, but is still one of the best pistol light laser combos on the market. Maybe you feel the need for a green laser and a lithium battery with the perfect dimensions. There is a lot to come into play when talking about a handgun light. We can help with this light buying guide.
What else we are here to do is help walk you through the different areas that you need to look at while purchasing the best pistol light for you.
Like most tools, pistol lights come in all different shapes and sizes. There are miniature versions of top quality names, but every tradeoff comes at a price. For example, a smaller pistol light is going to increase your ability to conceal while carrying, but it will potentially carry less battery life and less lumens. Watch out though, some of those little ones can sure pack a punch.
Another aspect of size is the weight. Strapping something to the end of your gun’s barrel means adding weight that will potentially throw off your shot. The lighter light, the better as it will be less to adjust with and helps you maintain a steady hand.
When talking about the brightness of a light, it will mostly be referred to as, and measured in, lumens. For reference, 300 lumens is about the lowest you want to have when looking at lights for tactical purpose. The brighter light you get, the more is going to be brought into your field of vision and that is always a positive factor.
Type of Pistol Light
Everything has a wide variety of options these days. Pistols lights come in three main different types. This is important to know as they function differently for all different needs.
Laser Combo – The light laser combo brings a red laser or a green into the setup of the pistol light. The laser is generally green in color, due to its ability to best penetrate all different kinds of environments and give the cleanest line to the target. These do tend to be more expensive because they are built to high standards for professionals that demand a perfect product.
Offset – The offset style pistol light is mounted to the side of the gun. This makes it easy to use and only requires a flick of the thumb to operate without interference of the trigger guard. The only downside is the shifting of a balanced weight.
Quick release – There are moments that the pistol light may be needed more than the gun itself. A quick release pistol light features a spring loaded mechanism that allows for quick and easy attachment and detachment from the rail. This type of pistol light tends to be the most compact and packable version.
Weaver rails and Picatinny rails are what will be found on a gun that is capable of mounting a pistol light. The two have a large number of similarities and few differences. The most important thing to know is this:
A Picatinny rail mount pistol light can still mount those made for Weaver rails. Weaver rails cannot do the saem for Picatinny rail pistol lights.
Be careful when buying the product as there are few worse feelings than purchasing something that needs to be immediately returned. A rail mounted weapon light is a great option only if it actually fits on the sidearm you are planning on using.
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Buying a pistol light is meant to be exciting. You are about to increase your ability to safely carry a sidearm even when the lights go out. Most of these products were built to be put through the ringer and they stay true to that claim by the manufacturers. It is important to pay attention to the wide variety of features that can be offered. When they are placed up against the price, it can be a hard decision. This is not something to make without really doing the research.
No matter what you are looking for or what sidearm you prefer, there is a pistol light that is the right fit for you. Every different beam pattern and pressure switch that can be found in a table of contents about pistol lights will tell you loads about the product you are about to purchase. Find the best for you.
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