What is a tactical flashlight – should you carry one?

Tactical Flashlight Beam
Charlie Cooper / Updated: May 9th 2020 / Flashlights

A flashlight is a small and portable battery-powered tool that emits light when switched on. They are popularly used for lighting purposes, allowing one to go about his/her activities with less strain in the event of a blackout at night or when operating in a dark area. For this reason, most people tend to have little regard for the various types of flashlights out there. For them, a flashlight is just a flashlight as long as it can cater to their illumination needs. However, when it comes to a tactical flashlight, there is more to it than just being a regular flashlight.

As you physically interact with a regular and tactical flashlight separately, you will begin by noticing the differences in their physiques as well as the quality of material that each is made up of. An everyday flashlight, not built to last very long, is made of low-quality materials such as cheap aluminum and plastic. On the other hand, the durability of a tactical flashlight is evident in its coated, aircraft-grade aluminum as well as other premium quality materials. The variance between the two persists even when it comes to functionality. To begin with, a tactical flashlight provides for a stronger illumination capability of 100 or more lumen higher than that of a normal flashlight. Also, a regular flashlight is more limited in terms of its uses due to its simple design. This is unlike the tactical flashlight whose more complex physical design allows it to be useful in a number of situations.


Initially, tactical flashlights were used by soldiers to increase visibility when aiming at a target and by the police to blind and attack their targets. However, it has over the years gained popularity in other areas due to the following benefits.


When it comes to any tool, durability is key. This is because you want to avoid the cost involved with having to regularly replace it. This is one of the main benefits which you will experience with a tactical flashlight. This is as a result of the high standards employed in its manufacturing. It is made up of high-quality materials including aircraft-grade aluminum. This is coupled with other special coatings such as that of anodized aluminium. Together they work to increase its resistance to corrosion, adverse weather, water, and even scratches. This will reduce the rate at which the flashlight wears out enabling you to enjoy it for a longer period.


Just like every other flashlight, the main purpose of a tactical flashlight is to illuminate the area around you. However, due to the way it is built, together with its hardiness, it can be put to use in several other ways. It can come in handy as a tool for digging, thanks to its saw-tooth edges. Also, you can use it to quickly escape out of a car by using it to break the car window. It can also be your way out of a stranded situation such as being lost in the wild or being stuck on the road. In such situations, waving a tactical flashlight will go a long way in signalling for help. All these are among many other uses in which a tactical flashlight can be applied depending on the situation at hand.

Self Defence

In addition to the above uses, a tactical flashlight can easily be used as a weapon in emergency situations. When you find yourself in a life-threatening situation, body reflex dictates that you grab anything within your reach that can help you defend yourself. Being in possession of a tactical flashlight in such a situation might come in very handy. You can take advantage of the high light intensity it produces to blind your attacker, giving you a window of escape. If the attacker seems to be too close, you can use it as a baton to hit him/her while at the same time making use of the serrated edges to bruise and puncture him/her. Wounded, the attacker may retreat or still, give you room to escape as they gain composure.