Top 5 Best Pistol Light 2021 | Reviews & Guide

You can improve your vision at night if you have a flashlight. But holding both flashlight and handgun can be bulky and difficult to move around.

Fortunately, some lights can be mounted on the rails of handguns, and these are called pistol or weapon lights.

For the best pistol light 2021 and how to choose one correctly, you can depend on this article to give you what you need.

Advantages of Pistol Lights

Are you in a dilemma whether to use your old handheld flashlight or just buy a weapon light? There are pros and cons to both things.

First and foremost, the pistol or weapon light is compact and convenient to carry around because you just have to carry one thing, which is your gun.

Then, when you flashed on something threatening, you have them immediately at gunpoint.

A standard handheld flashlight can be used as a backup when the pistol light fails.

It’s good to be ready in different and unexpected situations. For its cons, one example is its bulkiness.

Top 5 Best Pistol Lights 2021 on the market

In this article, we listed the best pistol lights that you can buy right away. Be sure to check them out.

1 InForce APL Pistol Mounted Light – Best Handgun Light

InForce APL Pistol Mounted Light

This is one of the lightest pistol lights you can attach to your handgun.

The weight is an important factor to consider as you don’t want the gun to tip downward.

This pistol light weighs only 2.83 oz.

Its weight stems from the number of batteries used – which is only one. Another factor why it’s lightweight is the semi-polymer construction.

The exterior of InForce APL is made of both polymer and metal.

APL only has metallic parts on the bezel housing, at the top where screws are located, and the bezel itself.

Also, APL is said to be waterproof and will still function after being dropped to water with a depth of 66 feet (20 meters).

As for the mounting system, it’s quite easy to attach as the lever on the left side is smooth and will tightly lockdown to the rail.

A great advantage of the system is that you don’t have to slide the pistol light from the front, which makes you secure.

Safety is APL’s priority because your hand will be away from the muzzle during the mounting. InForce APL is compatible with most handguns that have Universal or Picatinny rails.

inforce-apl-pistol-light

The LED of APL can only provide 200 lumens as its maximum brightness.

However, that is plenty enough for a single battery-powered light. The beam it provides is broad which can span a wider area.

You can activate the light by the large paddle switches located at the rear of the product. To turn it on, push one of the paddles downward.

One good thing about this light is you can choose between constant and momentary-on functions.

If you want constant light for easy searching, just tap the switch quickly like when turning it on/off.

For momentary function, hold down the switch, and it will stay on until you let go.

Though APL is a good light, you don’t want to use it for heavy-duty tasks due to the polymer construction. Using it in tactical situations where there would be potential contact with hard surfaces may not be suitable for this flashlight.

APL comes in two colors: black and brown to suit the color of the pistol.

PROS

  • Lightweight, Compact & Waterproof
  • ​Picatinny/Universal rails
  • Constant and momentary on functions
  • ​Single battery
  • ​Ambidextrous switch

CONS

  • ​Not for heavy duty use
  • Polymer housing

2 Streamlight TLR-2 Rail-Mounted Tactical Light – Best Pistol Laser Light Combo

Streamlight TLR-2 Rail-Mounted Tactical Light

Streamlight TLR-2 is the updated version of TLR-2 with the first obvious difference on the red laser the TLR-2 can produce.

This weapon light is perfect for tactical situations and in low light conditions because not only you can temporarily impair the enemy’s vision with 800-lumens light, but you can make a calculated aim with the help of the laser.

The exterior of TLR-2 is made of aircraft-grade anodized aluminum that is water-resistant with the IPX4 rating.

The bezel part encompasses the Borofloat glass window which covers the TIR optic lens that gives out the concentrated and focused beam most of us like.

The rail mount of this light is found on the left side and the spring-loaded system on the right.

To attach it to your gun rail, just unscrew the screw found on the left and push it to extend the spring-loaded side.

To cater to most guns, you need to change adapter keys or mounts. To do that, just remove the hex screw at the left side and then the rail key.

Insert a spare hex nut into the new rail key, then the new adapter key.

Your safety is also secured as you attach/detach the light because of the mount interface that keeps the hand away from the muzzle.

TLR-2HL

TLR-2 uses C4 LED technology like TLR-1. This, in turn, results in the same brightness capacity and runtime due to the LED and the number of batteries used.

It is impervious to impact or shock and has a lifespan of 50000 hours.

Furthermore, the TIR lens produces a focused beam but with a wide spill area so you can see brighter surroundings unlike when you use a reflector.

Streamlight TLR-2 uses a toggle switch that operates horizontally. There are three modes that you can toggle: main beam, main beam with a laser, and laser mode.

The main beam can be chosen either in constant mode or momentary on. There’s also a strobe mode that can be accessed by double-tapping the main beam switch.

The second activation switch consists of a two-directional paddle which is ambidextrous for a more comfortable feel.

If you push it down on one side, the other side will be pushed upward. To activate the constant-on function, press down to the right.

Also, pushing the paddle down on the left activates the momentary-on function.

As for the main beam with laser mode, the main beam is too bright that it overcomes the laser. Because of that, the main beam plus laser mode is no different from the main beam mode. The red laser when used in daylight has little visibility compared to green lasers. When used at nightfall, however, it has excellent visibility.

TLR-2 uses two CR123A lithium batteries that can light up the LED up to the max runtime of 1.5 hours.

However, if you stick with the laser mode for the entire operation, the battery can last up to 48 hours.

PROS

  • Lightweight & Compact
  • Durable, Shock & Water resistance
  • Concentrated beam
  • With strobe function
  • Limited lifetime warranty

CONS

  • Main beam with laser mode has no difference with main beam mode

3 Streamlight TLR-4G T – Green Laser and Wide Operating Range

Streamlight 69245 TLR-4

TLR-4G has no difference in specs with the TLR-4 aside from the lowered lumens, intensity, and laser output.

The “G” in the TLR-4G stands for the color of the laser which is green.

Green is highly preferred by people who use the gun more at daylight as green lasers offer high visibility at 510-530 nm direct drive.

The exterior of this version is no different from the TLR-4 that projects a red laser.

Even though it is almost entirely made of durable polymer, the pistol light can withstand recoil and resists water well.

The material used is the main reason why TLR-4G is considered as one of the lightest weapon lights that can be mounted on most handguns with Picatinny rails.

Like TLR-4, this model is OK in sub-compact handguns due to its size. The rail key or rail clamp accepts different adapter mounts that make it easy to mount this to any gun with a rail.

The clamp design is also a safety feature as it keeps your hand away from the muzzle when attaching or detaching.

TLR-4G uses C4 LED technology and can project a light beam at 115 lumens at runtime of 1.5 hours.

The lumens of the light are reliant on the single lithium battery that is included upon purchase.

The beam light projected is a concentrated focus and it’s caused by the textured parabolic reflector which provides optimum peripheral illumination.

Compared to InForce APL that uses the same battery, TLR-4G provides lesser lumens, and it’s a little bit higher in price.

The green laser might be extremely bright both in daylight or night. However, it has a particular operating temperature that must be noted, so it will still function well.​

TLR-4G is more expensive than TLR-4 as the green laser generally costs more than the red laser.

The laser output has a runtime of 11 hours. Both the white light and laser can be accessed through the toggle switch located at the rear on top of the two-directional paddle switch.

The toggle switch has three modes: white light only, laser only, and both white light and laser at the same time.

As for the second switch, the paddle controls whether the white light will be constant on or momentarily on. It is ambidextrous and easy to handle.

PROS

  • Lightweight & Compact
  • Durable, Shock & Water resistance
  • Windage and elevation adjustment screw
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS

  • Not very bright

4 Streamlight TLR-6 Pistol Light – Best Self Defense Pistol Laser Light

Streamlight TLR-6 Pistol Light

TLR-6 is probably the lightest and smallest pistol light that you can find on the market.

Due to its physical attributes, TLR-6 is best used for the smallest guns that are purely designed for self-defense.

TLR-6 can cater to most sub-compact handguns.

It has six different housings good for 18+ handgun models.

This weapon light is of polymer construction and resistant to impact for about 1 meter. The water-resistance of TLR-6 has a rating of IPX4.

Mounting TLR-6 is easy on your gun that has Picatinny rail. The pistol light can be split down at the center, and both sides are secured together by screws.

To install it, fit both sides over the trigger guard of the sub-compact handgun.

Next, make sure it is aligned properly and tighten the screws. By then, you can load the batteries.

An advantage to this one is you don’t need to detach the pistol light when changing batteries.

Like all other Streamlight weapon lights featured in this article, the TLR-6 also uses C4 LED technology that can produce a beam that balances with peripheral illumination through the parabolic reflector.

Though only at 100 lumens with a runtime of 1 hour, it’s bright enough to search a room or light the immediate vicinity up to 89 meters.

Many of you might find 100 lumens to be not enough for a flashlight. Also, its runtime is one factor that you need to watch out for when you buy TLR-6. At a runtime of 1 hour, most probably you will need to bring spare batteries.

Furthermore, as evident from the runtime and construction among many other things, this pistol light is not for tactical use.

The activation switch of the pistol light is a single button found on both sides near the rear. Pressing on either side will turn on the light.

To change modes from laser only to light only to laser and light, hold down on the button and press the other button.

The TLR-6 projects a red laser of 640-660 nm direct drive and has a runtime of 11 hours.

The laser is bright enough at nighttime and provides long-range visibility. It is also fully adjustable for windage and elevation.

The pistol light has an automatic shut-off after 10 minutes to conserve the batteries.

PROS

  • Lightweight & Compact
  • Durable, Shock & Water resistance
  • No need to unmount during battery installation
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS

  • Not for tactical use

5 Aimkon HiLight P5S Pistol Light – Best Budget Gun Light

Aimkon HiLight P5S Pistol Light

Aimkon HiLight P5S is the cheapest pistol light in this article and one of the cheapest weapon lights to be found in the market.

With its size and weight, it is definitely an accessory for smaller guns.

It is bound to fit most sub-compact handguns with a rail.

It comes with a quick detachable weaver mount.

HiLight P5S is made out of lightweight aluminum which is both water and dust resistance.

It can also survive drop tests of about 1 meter. The lens is shock-resistant and not prone to scratching, giving you a clear and obstructed light beam.

This pistol light uses Cree XM-L2 LED technology with a brightness output of 400 lumens and a runtime of 45 minutes.

The smooth reflector provides a wide beam that can reach several meters away.

With the excessive lumens and the short runtime, this pistol light wouldn’t even reach 1 hour so it would be best not to use it for heavy-duty tasks. Also, you will need to bring spare batteries whenever for emergency purposes

The obvious setback for HiLight PS5 is its switch is not ambidextrous. Left-handed shooters will have to memorize to turn it on from the right.

The main feature of HiLight P5S is it’s quick attaching and detaching system.

As long as the gun has a rail, you will only need to slide the pistol light from the front to attach it. It has a firm grip and will not wiggle.

There are two modes that you can toggle through an activation switch: constant and strobe mode.

To turn on the light, just press on the right side. The off function is the switch on the left.

To switch to strobe mode, switch the light on from off mode quickly.

PROS

  • Lightweight & Compact
  • Concentrated beam
  • Quick to attach and detach
  • Affordable

CONS

  • ​Switch is not ambidextrous
  • Short runtime

How to Choose Pistol Lights

Best-Pistol-Light

Choosing pistol lights is not easy. You have to consider the weight, size, price, among many other factors.

We list them here:

1. Type

This pertains to how you use the pistol light. There are different designs you can choose from:

Offset pistol light mount

This pistol light has a mount that has its flashlight on one side rather than below the barrel. This is easier to access because the switch is near the thumb.

Quick Release Pistol Light

This pistol light has the capability of quick attach and detach of the light to the rail of the gun. It is not done in a sliding motion.

Pistol Light Laser Combo

This is a type of weapon light that has a laser pointer and is suitable for people who prioritize self-defense.

2. Mount

There are two types of rail systems that most handguns have.

Most guns of today have specially designed rails found at the bottom of the barrel for attachment of accessories like pistol lights, lasers, and even bayonets.

Picatinny Rail

This rail system is also called tactical rail and can only mean that it’s used on many handguns. The bracket has a standard mounting interface that has rails and multiple transverse slots. Its difference from the Weaver rail is based on the low wide dovetail, as the Picatinny rail has a more pronounced angular section. Picatinny rail is designed to mount heavier accessories with no problems.

Weaver Rail

The difference it has over the Picatinny rail is the rounder slots.

While you can mount the pistol light on a Picatinny rail that is designed originally for the Weaver rail, the opposite can’t be possible.

This is because the Picatinny rail has rectangular slots.

Some weapon lights of today can cater to both Picatinny rails and Weaver rails. We call them universal rails.

3. Weight

The weight of the weapon light generally depends on two things: the construction material used and the number of batteries used.

The weight is an important factor to consider because the weapon light is located at the bottom of the gun.

If the light is on the heavier side, it will result in the gun being heavier on the front part. There’s a chance that it will tip downward and can affect your user experience.

4. Brightness

For every flashlight, brightness is the main factor to consider.

For most tactical flashlights, they have lumens higher than 400. Lumens is the measuring unit for the brightness output of the beam.

However, the number depends on the number of batteries used. If it’s only one, then the light output is obviously lower than when using two batteries.

The distance the light can reach will also depend on the brightness.

5. Batteries

Most handheld flashlights are powered by AA batteries. But for weapon lights that you use in more proactive situations, CR123A batteries are more preferred.

That’s because the CR123A lithium batteries have a longer life and offer higher voltages compared to AA batteries.

Even though lithium batteries are more expensive compared to alkaline, you can guarantee that they can give you the utmost performance.

A lithium battery has longer runtime as one CR123A battery has 1500 mAh (which doubles the capacity of an AA battery).

6. Lasers

Not all pistol lights have this feature, and those that have laser options are priced higher.

Lasers are advantageous to those people who prioritize self-defense or law enforcement duties.

They can help you aim better and use when shooting at nontraditional or odd angles. They are easy to use and helps you see in low-light situations.

Most pistol lights that have laser functions use either red or green lasers.

There are pros and cons for each color, but one thing to be observed is that the green laser is always priced higher than red lasers.

Green lasers have higher visibility at daylight, but red lasers have little to no visibility at the same duration. Red lasers, however, are easy to spot in low light conditions.

Red or green, the choice is upon you.

Lasers attached to the lights have separate windage and elevation adjustments that you can freely adjust to align your target point.

Conclusion

To make the most out of your handgun and for safety, it’s best buy the best pistol light you can find.

It’s not only compact and lightweight, you don’t need to hold one flashlight on one hand and the gun on the other when you can combine both of them into one.