Gun accessories Want your AR-15 totally ready for low-light situations?

Tested AR-15 Flashlights

We’ll cover some of the most popular AR rifle-mounted flashlights from $40 to $300.

By the end, you’ll know which is the best for your end-use and budget…plus the best positions, mounting methods, and usage tips Gun accessories.

Summary of Our Top Picks

Table of Contents

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Best AR-15 Flashlights

1. Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2

Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2
Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2

From my favorite best bang-for-the-buck light company (like in Best Pistol Lights)…the ProTac Rail Mount 2.

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: 625
  • Battery: 2x CR123A
  • Battery Life: 1.5 hrs
  • Weight: 5.0 oz
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime Guarantee
  • Price: $133

Build

Feels quality in hand and if it’s like my pistol lights will survive for many years of use.

Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2 Accessories
Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2 Accessories

First thing is that it comes with LOTS of goodies.

There’s a Picatinny mount, remote pressure pad, two ways to attach the pressure pad (double-sided tape or rail-mounted inserts), regular endcap, and zip ties for cable management Gun accessories.

The pressure pad is also very nice quality and has a higher button for constant on.

ProTac Rail Mount 2 Activation
ProTac Rail Mount 2 Activation

And, of course, a comparison vs the SureFire.

Streamlight ProTac 2 vs SureFire M600
Streamlight ProTac 2 vs SureFire M600

Very similar in dimensions.

Light

Also similar in lumens with 625 (I feel they just had to beat them a little bit).

Streamlight ProTac 2 Beam
Streamlight ProTac 2 Beam

Very powerful center beam that’s just a tad bit cooler than the SureFire. I’m only able to tell when they were next to each other indoors.

It comes stock with High and Strobe (double-click) functions, but you can reprogram it to be other options (search for Ten Tap). I’ve set mine to High only.

It’s what I mostly run in night competitions Gun accessories (unless I’m testing other stuff)…

Mounting

One very cool thing…the ProTac 2 has the same footprint as the M600. That means all the mounts you use with the SureFire work with the Streamlight.

This one is rocking the straight version of the Midwest Industries Mount.

Streamlight ProTac 2 with Midwest Mount
Streamlight ProTac 2 with Midwest Mount

I still like the offset version since it brings in the light closer. I’d only get the straight if you have a large device that might get in the way on the top rail.

One complaint is that the rail-mounted attachment for the pressure pad is a little oversized so it lets the pad move about a quarter-inch.

Maybe I’m being nit-picky, but I’m probably going to swap it out for the bike tire method Gun accessories.

Overall Impression

This is the light for almost everybody.

Streamlight ProTac 2, Front
Streamlight ProTac 2, Front

Worth-it price, great beam, lots of Gun accessories, and a history of stuff that works/lasts.

133

at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

2. SureFire M600 Scout

SureFire M600 Scout
SureFire M600 Scout with Steiner DBAL-A3

The SureFire M600 Scout is the gold standard of AR-15 lights.

Chances are if someone is depending on their rifle for their job/life, they’re going to be running a SureFire.

Editor’s Pick

288

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: 600
  • Battery: 2x CR123A
  • Battery Life: 1.5 hrs
  • Weight: 5.6 oz
  • Warranty: Lifetime Guarantee
  • Price: $296

Build

The Scout is ruggedly built, and you can feel it in hand. There’s a reason why people choose SureFire when it matters.

SureFire M600 Scout
SureFire M600 Scout

Most regular packages come with only a rear push-button cap which is fine if you know you’re going to be using a light and leave it on. I left it like that for a while for competitions.

SureFire Button End Cap and Remote Switch
SureFire Button End Cap and Tape Switch

However, if you’re only looking for momentary use — such as when clearing rooms — you’ll want to get a remote tape switch (UE07).

82

at Optics Planet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

I’m testing out a couple of different ways of cable management Gun accessories. So far, my favorite is the old-school cut-up bike tire (12 x 1.5-2.25 above).

Now you’re ready to rock n’ roll like a pro.

SureFire Pressure Pad Activation
SureFire Pressure Pad Activation

It only comes in full power on or off, keeping it simple, so you don’t have to fumble through different modes.

Light

First, it sits at my sweet point of rifle light brightness of around 500 lumens. Good for some distance outside while not totally blinding if I’m using it indoors.

Second, it has a very bright center beam that makes it easy to identify your primary target. Here is a test at around 25 yards.

SureFire M600 Beam
SureFire M600 Beam

Even though it’s very bright in the center, you’re still able to see stuff in your peripheral.

Color of the beam is also slightly warmer (yellow) when compared to the others.

But it’s so subtle I could only tell when having them next to each other. Sorry, but it became really bright indoors with 5 lights on, and I couldn’t get great pictures to show the difference.

Mounting

Out of the box, it comes with a Picatinny rail mount. But Picatinny on the sides is going out of style for weight issues (Best AR-15 Handguards), and putting the light on the top rail gets in the way.

One option I’ve seen a lot is a SureFire Offset Mount from either Arisaka or Midwest that goes on top of the Picatinny rail and moves the Scout to an angle. Good if you don’t mind using up some rail space or don’t have M-LOK.

Midwest SureFire QD Mount
Midwest SureFire QD Mount

There’s also the option of the Midwest QD Mount if you’re wanting to move your light between different rifles. But it does add some extra height.

My current favorite is the Midwest Offset SureFire Mount ($39) for M-LOK handguards.

SureFire M600 with Midwest Offset Mount
SureFire M600 with Midwest Offset Mount

Super slim and light…plus it brings it in close…but not so close that you can’t put other stuff on top like my IR laser/illuminator.

Overall Impression

SureFire M600 Scout
SureFire M600 Scout

It never failed to go on when I did my part with fresh batteries before extended use sessions. This one hasn’t been through intense abuse (yet), but I’m sure it will make it out alive.

Get it if you want the best that pros throughout the world use.

Just be prepared to get in that “buy once, cry once” mentality since you’ll likely want the remote tape switch (UEo7).

Editor’s Pick

288

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

What do you think of the M600 Scout if money were no object? Rate it below!

There’s also the smaller version M300 that still produces 500 lumens.

404

at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

3. Inforce WML

Inforce WML
Inforce WML

The mostly polymer Inforce WML is what I’ve been using the longest. Mine’s a Gen 1, so there have been some updates in specs.

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: 400 (Gen 2)
  • Battery: 1x CR123A
  • Battery Life: 1.5 hrs
  • Weight: 3.1 oz
  • Warranty: Lifetime Guarantee of Original Owner
  • Price: $119

Build

First thing you notice is that it’s different from other AR-15-specific flashlights that pretty much look like regular flashlights.

Inforce WML, Front
Inforce WML, Front

It’s mostly polymer and only needs 1x CR123 battery, which makes it lightweight.

There are some stories that if you really bang it hard against something, the metal vs. polymer battle commences, and the light breaks. I’ve used it pretty hard, and it’s met some walls…so far, so good.

Plus, it has an ergonomic activation button and two methods of preventing accidental use — a lever that comes up to physically block the switch and a head rotation lockout feature.

Inforce WML Activation
Inforce WML Activation

No need to get a remote pressure pad!

Light

Keep in mind that mine is a Gen 1 with 200 lumens, while the new Gen 2 has 400 lumens.

Inforce WML (Gen 1) Beam
Inforce WML (Gen 1) Beam

It’s more spread out compared to the SureFire and a little cooler in color.

Very usable, and at 400 lumens, still very bright and less blinding indoors.

Mounting

It comes with a built-in Picatinny mount with a thumbscrew. It’s never fallen off for me through thousands of rounds of 5.56.

Though you can mount it on the top rail and still have an ergonomic grip, I like my light offset.

Inforce WML Mounting
Inforce WML Mounting

I’m digging the Magpul Offset Light Mount — affordable and held on great even though it’s polymer.

Overall Impression

My WML has been through a lot and has kept on ticking.

I recommend it if you don’t like dealing with pressure pads and want to save a few ounces up front on your rifle.

Most Lightweight

119

at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

4. Inforce WMLx

Boom! The big brother of the WML…the WMLx.

Inforce WMLx
Inforce WMLx

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: 800 or 700 with 400mw IR
  • Battery: 2x CR123A
  • Battery Life: 2 hours or 4 hours (IR)
  • Weight: 4.0 oz
  • Warranty: Lifetime Guarantee of Original Owner
  • Price: $149

Build

You’ll notice that there’s mention of IR (infrared). This one is a dual light that can help you illuminate areas if you’re wearing night-vision goggles (NVGs).

However, there’s also a pure white light version that gets you 800 lumens. While the IR version gets you 700 lumens of white light and 400mw of IR.

WML vs WMLx
WML vs WMLx

Everything else is pretty much the same…just bigger. It now has two batteries for more oomph, and there’s a switch that lets you choose between white or IR if you have that model.

Light

Here are 700 lumens of white light with a fairly concentrated center. Also a little cooler than the SureFire.

Inforce WMLx Beam
Inforce WMLx Beam

800 would be even more eye-searing if that’s your thing.

Now, how about night vision? Here’s what the IR does for you.

You can tell the NVGs were struggling a little since there wasn’t much ambient light, but when the illuminator came on, the details came with it.

Overall Impression

WMLx
WMLx

You can see the white light switch at the bottom as well as some scratches on the front metal portion.

I haven’t used this WMLx as much since I got it for my NVG project. But it’s held up great like its little bro WML.

Highly recommend it if you’re looking for more white light illumination with the regular 800-lumen model or if you need wide IR illumination.

More Power

149

at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

5. Ozark Rifle Light

Ozark Rifle Light
Ozark Rifle Light

Our budget pick is the Ozark Rifle Light. I chose this one based on the best reviews of a rifle-mounted light under $50. And surprise, cat feet!

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: 600
  • Battery: 2x CR123A
  • Battery Life: not listed
  • Weight: 4 oz
  • Warranty: 1 Year Warranty
  • Price: $49

Build

A little chunkier and not as great feeling in the hand. But it’s multiples cheaper than the others we’ve tested so far, so I’ll let it slide.

I abused it a little against walls and the ground, now it has scratches, but it’s still chugging along!

It comes with a Velcro-mounted remote pressure pad that is a little tall and very spongy but works. Rear-most button makes it stay on while the front is for momentary.

Ozark Rifle Light Activation
Ozark Rifle Light Activation

There’s also an odd rear button on the light itself.

Ozark Rifle Light
Ozark Rifle Light

It activates the strobe function if pressed by itself. If the light is already on, it will cycle through low, medium, and high output.

I’ve definitely accidentally activated the strobe function when laying down the rifle. The other brightness options are nice to have, but in the end, I’d rather have high on or off.

Plus, the only one on the list that isn’t fully waterproof and only comes with a 1-year warranty.

Light

Ozark Light Beam
Ozark Light Beam

A little more spread out of a center beam, but it’s plenty bright at 600 lumens and the coolest color (most blue) of the bunch.

Mounting

So far, so good in terms of durability and light output. However, mounting is lacking.

Ozark Rifle Light Mounting
Ozark Rifle Light Mounting

I had a Magpul Picatinny Rail section on my MOE handguard. But if you take a look carefully at the mount, there’s no lock bar that fits into the rail.

It’s completely held on by tension/friction.

Good news is that it’s held on for a couple of hundred rounds of .223. But I probably would check each time I go to the range and also not go higher in caliber.

The pressure pad adhesion is also very meh.

Ozark Rifle Light Pressure Pad
Ozark Rifle Light Pressure Pad

Two trips to the range, and it’s already falling off. Plus, the cord is so long you can probably mount it on your buttstock.

Good thing it comes with a push-button end cap; I’m going to swap it out for that.

Overall Impressions

Derp Cat with Ozark
Derp Cat with Ozark

Decent value for the money.

The light itself is robust so far, but the mounting, pressure pad and weird strobe button stop my derpy cat and me from fully recommending it.

Most Affordable

49

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Especially when the next one has so much more to offer at a slightly higher price…

6. Cloud Defensive OWL

Note: no longer produced…but we’re testing their newest light right now!

Another well-known light for being bombproof and ergonomic, although pretty ginormous.

"3. 
Cloud Defensive OWL
Defensive’s Optimized Weapon Light (OWL) mounts to your Picatinny rail at the top position, and that’s also where the constant-on and momentary-on buttons reside.
" 
Cloud Defensive OWL Button

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: 1250
  • Battery: 18650 (comes with two variants)
  • Battery Life: 85 minutes or 110 minutes
  • Weight: 11 oz
  • Warranty: Lifetime Warranty
  • Price: $379

Build

The US build quality is amazing, and you can feel its heft in your hands.

Also, lefties rejoice since the light is fully ambidextrous with a quick swap to the other side.

As well as the lens itself!

"21. 
Cloud Defensive OWL Lens Swap

It’s also withstood tons of rounds downrange from our AR-10 pistol.

" 
Cloud Defensive OWL on the Saint Victor AR-10 Pistol

Waterproof?

It’s an impressive IPX8, which means it can go down to 200 feet for 24 hours. We tested it at regular depths for 6-24 hours, and the light didn’t dim or fail.

Light

The OWL’s 1250 lumens and beam give you a long effective range and a super bright center point.

" 
Cloud Defensive OWL at 50 yards
" 
Cloud Defensive OWL at 75 yards
" 
Cloud Defensive OWL at 100 yards

Mounting

It mounts by Picatinny rail at the top of your rail.

That combined with the button placement, makes it really ergonomic…especially if you love the C-Clamp.

"Shooting 
Shooting with the Cloud Defensive OWL

However, one of the downsides is its large profile and inability to work with a night vision setup.

Overall Impressions

I can’t state how bombproof this optic feels. It’s a big boi that will likely survive anything you can throw at it.

If you want something US-made with a rock-solid warranty and swappable everything (battery, left/right placement, lens) — you can’t go wrong with the OWL.

Check out our full in-depth review too.

Cloud Defensive has set up a special 10% off coupon code “pewpewtactical” for Pew Pew Tactical readers.

429

at Cloud Defensive

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

7. Nightstick LGL-160

Nightstick has been catering to law enforcement agencies for some time, so it shouldn’t be a surprise if you haven’t heard of them. Their success in this market, however, is a win for the rest of us.

Nightstick LGL-160 shoot
Nightstick LGL-160

The LGL-160 is a tough, bright, and inexpensive light that includes a whole package with all the accessories you need to get your long gun up and running.

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: 1100
  • Battery: 2x CR123
  • Battery Life: 2 hours
  • Weight: 6.3 oz
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Price: $139

Build

The LGL-160 is made from 6061-T6 aluminum and feels hardy. The light comes with a couple of mounting options that also feel sturdy.

Nightstick LGL-160 sky shot
Great offset mount

You also get a remote switch, a switch mount, and a handy wire manager that also connects to your Picatinny rail. The switch has temporary and constant options.

Light

The beam on the LGL-160 is pretty tight and rated for 300 meters. It’s bright enough, though, with 1,100 lumens, that the hot circle and spill still do very well to light up enclosed spaces.

Nightstick LGL-160 beam
Nightstick LGL-160 beam

Mounting

This package includes a standard Picatinny rail mount with a thumb screw, but it also comes with the 45-degree offset MLOK mount that tucks the light nicely into the 2:30 spot.

Nightstick LGL-160 mount
Picatinny rail mount

All the mounting options are well thought out and make for a really clean setup.

Overall Impression

Nightstick LGL-160 top
Tight and clean

At this price, with this performance and all these accessories, the LGL-160 is a really tough package to beat.

We tested the light out at the range and were very impressed with its performance.

Best Mid-Tier

139

at Gunmag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

8. Modlite PL350

Modlite’s PL350 is a handy light that fits well into Safariland and PHLster holsters while also throwing some serious light downrange.

Modlite PL350

It offers two heads that swap easily, and this gives you a lot more versatility. Not to mention, rechargeable batteries are a win!

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: PLHv2 head – 1,350 and OKW head – 680
  • Battery: 18350 rechargeable
  • Battery Life: 2 hours
  • Weight: 5.5 oz
  • Price: $329

Build

The PL350 feels sturdy…like really sturdy. It’s a rugged flashlight and seemingly can keep up with our shenanigans.

It’s simple in its design, but we found it incredibly reliable and durable during our time testing it.

Light

The advantage of having swappable light heads is a little more versatility.

Modlite PL350
Modlite PL350

With the OKW, you get a total of 680 lumens and 69,000 candela. On the other hand, the PLHv2 serves up 1,350 lumens with 54,000 candela.

Out on the range, it throws light…like woah! You won’t be disappointed with this light’s output by any means.

Modlite PL350
Modlite PL350 Night Shoot

Mounting

It installs easily and holds tight…when you read the instructions, that is. We didn’t on our first go around and the light fell off while shooting.

Modlite PL350
And there she goes…oops

I mean, points for it taking a hit and keeping on, though. After we actually looked through the mounting instructions, we got it attached pretty easily, and it remained on our rail for the remainder of the shoot.

Overall Impression

We really enjoyed our time with the Modlite. It’s a great light worthy of your attention.

Best High-End

329

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

For more, check out our video review below or article here!

Others

Olight Odin Mini

Olight’s newest rifle offering — the Odin Mini.

Odin Mini, MLok Mounted
Odin Mini, MLok Mounted

And the big thing is that it’s smaller (of course) but also comes with an angled MLok mount!

Odin Mini vs Odin
Odin Mini vs Odin

We’re putting it through its paces right now, and so far, it’s holding up.

111

at Olight

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Cloud Defensive Rein

ClDefensive brings a super durable build paired with a lot of lumens to the light arena with its new Rein.

" 
Cloud Defensive Rein

Available in a standard model for rifles and a micro version suitable for PCCs, the Rein brings 1,400 lumens backed by 60,000 candela.

" 
Looks nice on this rifle.

So far, we really dig this model!

Update: Cloud Defensive has recently launched a newer version known as the Rein 3.0. We have a review of that incoming soon.

Rifle Light Tips

Hopefully, now you know which light to go with. We’ll end with some quick tips that will get you started:

  • Your gun points where your light is pointing. Remember your safety rules!
  • If you’re using your light in a safety situation, try to only turn it on when needed. It can give away your position. That’s why I like having pressure pads or the Inforce for serious guns.
  • Keep your wires away from the gas block. It’s going to melt sooner or later.
  • If you’re shooting during the day, put some tape on the lens to avoid carbon buildup. And the best lens cleaner is a rubber pencil eraser.

Final Thoughts

Our Tested AR-15 Flashlights
Our Tested AR-15 Flashlights

Our overall Editor’s Pick, if you want the best and have the budget, is the SureFire M600.

Editors Pick

288

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Also be sure to check out Inforce for something lighter and doesn’t require a pressure switch.

Most Lightweight

119

at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

While our Best Bang-For-The-Buck goes to the Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2.

Best Bang-For-The-Buck

133

at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Don’t forget to keep those lights fed. Make sure to have a good supply of CR123 Batteries.

How did we do in our Best AR-15 Flashlights list? Anything we missed and should add for next time? Or any tips for beginners? Now that your AR is outfitted with a light, get yourself a Tactical Flashlight, Pistol Lights, or Shotgun Light.

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