Tactical flashlights, as the name suggests, are used for tactical or emergency situations where the light conditions are dim. It comes handy during activities like hunting, camping, hiking or even during walks with the dogs during late evening’s time. And you will never know when you will need a tactical flashlight, as they can make life easy for you. They are more resistant to damages or impacts than the regular flashlights or headlamps making them ideal for use in tough situations.
In this article we are going to review some of the best seven tactical flashlights under 50 bucks. We will also check the most important features to look for before choosing a cheap but good quality tactical flashlight.
Our Top 7 Picks Compared
Battery - 18650
Max Lumen - 900
Battery - CR123a
Max Lumen - 350
Battery - AA
Max Lumen - 130
Battery - 18500
Max Lumen - 1000
Battery - 18650
Max Lumen - 1000
Battery - AA
Max Lumen - 300
Battery - AA
Max Lumen - 500
7 Best Tactical Flashlights Under $50
Through some personal use, intensive research, and customer reviews, we've come up with our list of the best tactical flashlights that are under 50. Hopefully it will be easy for you to select one to go with afterwards.
This powerful flashlight from Anker comes with the best features and powerful capabilities. It has a brightness of 900 lumen that is more than enough in most situations. The brightness extends to a distance of 200 metres without any reduction in the illumination. It is fully zoomable from the wide to the narrow beam.
There are five settings from which you can choose the brightness level such as the high, the medium, the low, the strobe and the SOS options. So, you can adjust the brightness depending on the environmental conditions. You need not have to keep it high all the time, thereby saving a lot of battery power.
The battery works well till 6 hours without a slight reduction in brightness. It uses the premium rechargeable 3350mAh battery. Once the battery power is used up, you can recharge it with the 1 A adapter and start using it again. The LED’s have an enormous lifespan of 5000 hours, and as we already know, they are very efficient in power consumptions too.
The build quality of this flashlight is quite promising with its durable construct. It employs aluminum for its make and comes with a tough finishing. The water-resistant property of this flashlight makes it ideal to be used even under heavy rains.
The shock-resistant feature allows for a rough handling. It is compactly designed and you can very well carry it easily along with you. The anti-slip finish helps you to hold onto it with grip. You can even use it as an emergency lamp with its stand-on-end feature.
This flashlight from Streamlight comes with a compact design. It’s a three in one light, that is, a single flashlight with three lighting programs, Tradition, High Lumen(HL), High Performance High Lumen(HPL). The tradition mode is meant for general purpose uses. Under this mode, the flashlight is designed for broadcast range of lighting applications.
The High Lumen mode gives maximum illumination by providing extraordinary brightness in a wide beam pattern. This mode can be used when you need a concentrated brightness within a small area and considerably nearby to you, ie, not at a longer reach.
The High Performance high lumen mode will be ideal for down-range applications that require optimal beam distance. The distance covered is more and the lumen is also too high. But you can always select the mode in which you want to work with.
Most of the time, we will require the tradition mode of flashlight, and this helps in saving the battery power. The battery can work for a prolonged period of 35 hours when operated in tradition mode. When you operate the flashlight in high lumen or high performance high lumen, the running time will be 3.25 hours.
Regarding the construct, it comes with some of the best user-friendly features. The anti roll head design will avoid the flashlight to roll over when you place it on a table, preventing unwanted movements. The pocket clip is reversible as well as removable. You can unclip it if you are carrying it inside your bag instead of a pocket.
The flashlight is powered by two 3V lithium batteries, that are included with the product. No doubt, this flashlight will be a good companion during all your outdoor activities like camping, walking, hiking, and so on.
This flashlight from Fenix comes with a high intensity light beam with adjustable features. They are the 50 lumen(medium) and the 8 lumen(low) modes. The medium mode has a battery life of 6.5 hours and the low mode comes with a battery life of 40 hours. The battery used here is our normal AA battery, which is commonly available in all our households. The high-strength aluminum alloy case adds to its durability.
It’s sturdy construction is attributed to the aircraft-grade aluminum. It stands strong even after intensive and rough usages. A bit of damage doesn’t affect its body parts, as the sturdy aircraft aluminum stands rigid against any impacts or hits.
It is rightly designed for your day to day uses with it’s easy operation. It is water-resistant and impact-resistant. So you don’t have to worry about any accidental falls or spills. Though designed to be small, it doesn’t compensate for the power it delivers. It is a versatile flashlight as you can use it in the city as well as under wild surrounding conditions.
It comes equipped with some of the powerful LEDs and gives the best output of light that will surprise you. You normally don't get such a high brightness from a small device as this!
As said before, these flashlights work on AA batteries and finding a replacement shouldn’t be a problem at all. From a single AA battery, you can expect an output of 130 lumen. If you are looking for a flashlight with not much complicated features and design, this should be the right choice.
This flashlight from NoCry comes with powerful features and brightness. It comes with the three brightness settings - 1000 Lumen High, 500 Lumen Medium and 100 Lumen Low. When compared to other similarly or high priced flashlights, the brightness offered in high lumen mode is quite high with this product.
It has a removable filter that can enable the white and red light settings. The build quality is quite impressive with the impact-resistant and water-resistant features. It is made from materials like ABS and polystyrene that are protective against drops and bumps that could occur while using it.
The good news is that it’s not water-resistant for name sake. For instance, if you accidentally drop the flashlight in water, no worrie! It is waterproof up to a depth of 3 feet. And it's built such that it can float in water. So you can easily retrieve back your flashlight even if you accidentally drop the flashlight into the water.
It weighs less than a pound and measures just 6 inches in length and 3 inches in width. Hence, you can easily carry it with you while going for walks or any other outdoor activities like hiking, camping, etc.
It uses a powerful 7.4 V lithium ion rechargeable battery that can last for up to 20 long hours. So you don’t have any hassles of searching batteries to replace them with. The hours of operation differ for different modes, in high lumen mode, it can stand up to 6 hours, and in low lumen mode, it can work up to 20 hours without a need of charging in between.
This flashlight does come with an adjustable stand for hands-free usages. If you are a person who loves a lots of adventurous activities and go for frequent camps or hikes, this should definitely be in your buying list.
This LED flashlight from Sofirns comes with a built-in micro-usb charging port. This helps you to charge the flashlight almost anywhere. So in addition to a socket, you can charge the flashlight using a computer or can charge it even in your car.
The maximum brightness comes to 1000 lumen and it can emit light up to a distance of 200 meters. There are about five light modes in which the flashlight can operate- Eco, Low, Mid, High, Hidden strobe. You can choose the required mode as per your requirement.
It is compactly designed and can be used for versatile activities like walks, hiking, camping, etc. The availability of memory function enables you to activate the previous brightness setting you had previously chosen. The only exception is the strobe mode, which can’t be stored in the memory. It comes with the reverse polarity protection to protect the flashlight from improper battery installation.
It is waterproof and can be safely retrieved back when dropped in the water, up to a depth of six feet. The light will turn blue if the “breathing led locator” is turned on. This is to help find the light in the dark conditions. You can turn on the breathing led locator feature with a long press on the side switch, then click the same to turn it off.
The power battery indicator shows the status of the battery power. Every time you turn on the flashlight, this will show the status automatically for about five seconds. These are the color codes- if blue light is constantly on, it's saturated. If the blue flashes slowly, the battery’s power level is poor, and if the blue flashes quickly, it’s critically low and you need to charge it immediately.
As we can see, this flashlight comes with an ample number of features and details in design. This is yet another flashlight that will be more suitable for the frequent campers or hikers.
This flashlight from J5 Tactical is one of the best selling flashlights with awesome design and features. It comes with a sturdy construction and built to be very strong. With just a single AA battery, you can expect the flashlight to work for up to a couple of weeks under the normal operation (low mode). It comes with three different modes of usage - High, Low, Strobe. For normal uses, you can tune the light to be in Low lumen mode.
When you are cycling, the strobe mode comes handy. Other than cycling, you can even use the light for hunting, climbing, camping, or any other adventurous activities. The use of ultra bright LED light gives a super brightness and prolonged life. LED lights use the electrical power very efficiently and hence, the battery power consumed will be less. And this helps reduce the frequent change of the battery.
The beam is so intense and powerful that it can sweep over a length of about two football fields under clear night conditions. This range of brightness can vary on foggy nights. With just the use of a single AA battery, the brightness it delivers is quite astonishing.
You can adjust the focus range as per your need. The zoom in option will give an intense beam or zoom out option can be used for a wider illumination. You can use the flashlight in High lumen mode for hours together, and it can still deliver brilliant bright light continuously. This should be an ideal choice if you are planning to use your flashlight under tough environmental conditions like mountains or camps.
ThruNite has been in the business of manufacturing flashlights for quite some time. They are known for high quality lights that meet or even exceed customer’s expectations. The Thrunite Archer flashlight is no exception to this. It comes with a sturdy construction and build.
The use of aerospace grade aluminum makes it more rigid and strong. The flashlight can be put into intensive usages, yet it stays strong. The product is very much resistant to damages and impact. It finds its usages in versatile applications such as EDC, security, law enforcement, medicine, other than camping, hiking, climbing, etc.
It employs the use of an AA battery to power it up. But you can’t say it's just working on an AA battery seeing its ultimate brightness. It comes with five brightness settings - fire, low, medium, high, strobe. You can select the brightness level based on your working needs. The strobe mode is more helpful during emergency situations. The use of CREE XP-L V6 LED has redefined its performance immensely. It is known as the brightest member of the high-density discrete LEDs.
It’s smaller size and cost effectiveness has made it possible for the manufacturers to deliver a high quality flashlight at an affordable price. With the single AA battery, it can deliver a brightness of 500 lumens. It is built to be water resistant, and you can safely retrieve the flashlight back for up to 1.5 meter full immersion in water.
Additionally, it comes with an over heat and reverse polarity protection. The dual-button design helps in avoiding an accidental “turn on” of the flashlight while you put it in your pocket or bag. If you are looking for a high-quality professional grade flashlight, this will be a suitable option for you to go with.
Tactical Flashlight Buying Guide
1. Flashlight Size
The size plays an important role while buying a tactical flashlight. If you are going to use the flashlight for everyday uses, you should be looking for a compact-sized flashlight that you can carry with you easily. In that case, you should be looking for a flashlight that is within five inches in length. This makes sure that the flashlight fits well in your pocket or storage bag. But if you think that you are only going to use the tactical flashlight during some occasions like camping or any other critical situations, you can very well go for a bigger flashlight.
2. Battery Type
AA, CR123a and 18650 are the most common battery types that are used in flashlights. But there are some other battery types out there as well. Regarding the battery type, the batteries can be either normal or rechargeable. It's better to go for the rechargeable ones and carry some spare batteries with you. Here is detailed guide on battery sizes that you can out for a better understanding.
3. Build Quality
In general, all the tactical flashlights come with a sturdy construction. Most of them are made of anodized aluminum. The use of aluminum makes the flashlight resistant to rust and corrosion. You should be aware that the exterior casing of the flashlight may be subject to peel or tears due to accidental drops or exposures. So the flashlight you choose should be such that it can withstand drops, impacts or unintentional damages. If you want to have a flashlight with a durable make, go for materials like anodized aluminum or any other anodized metals like titanium or magnesium.
4. Waterproof Rating
A tactical flashlight with waterproof means you can safely use it under conditions like rain, without damaging its components. Though some flashlights withstand momentary exposure to rains or moisture, there are some products that stand strong even after a complete submerge in water. This means that you can safely retrieve back your flashlight even if it falls deep into the water (maximum of six feet!). The depth up to which the flashlight can be dropped and safely retrieved back differs with different brands. While checking for waterproof qualities, please check the spec to learn more details regarding it’s resistivity to water and how long they can withstand the moisturous conditions.
5. Lumen Rating
Lumen is an important factor for any flashlight. It measures the amount of light being emitted by a source at a given time and area. That is to say, the higher the lumen, the brighter the light will be. Lumens measure the energy at which the flashlight can emit light. But a higher lumen also means a higher generation of heat. So, you should go for options like power-saver and turbo mode to regulate the level of lumen. This will avoid the flashlight to die out more quickly.
Though you may not be using the tactical flashlights in your daily lives, you never know when you will need one. You may be in a circumstance where tactical flashlight becomes inevitable. So it’s always good to have one in your kit (car kit, survival kit, etc). Many people have understood the importance of having a tactical flashlight and make sure that their car kit has one tactical flashlight as an important everyday carry item. With so many options in hand, you can easily choose a tactical flashlight that will best satisfy your needs as well as your budget.