Best Tactical Flashlight Under $50 of 2020: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

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The best tactical flashlight under $50 will quickly become your best friend for professional and leisure purposes.

Not only do they give you the ability to maintain control over a situation but also visibility even in complete darkness.

With a unique design that separates them from ordinary flashlights, these pieces of gear are essential to any police kit.

    Comparison Chart

    GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight
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    PHIXTON Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight
    Streamlight 88066 ProTac Tactical Flashlight
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    Shadowhawk X800 Super Bright Tactical Flashlight
    J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight

    Best Tactical Flashlight Under $50: Brief Reviews

    1. GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight


    The GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight is a two-in-one package wherein you get two flashlights in one kit.

    It has a compact, easy-to-carry design as well as many adjustable modes for optimal control.

    If you are in the market for something powerful and affordable, this is one of the best options.

    Product Highlights

    The GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight is one of my favorites because it has plenty of versatile uses.

    Not only do I enjoy using it for policing, but it can be useful as a backup in my patrol car and for camping, as well.

    The bulb appears to be at least 10 times brighter than any other LED flashlight I have owned.

    I like how I can have full control over how the flashlight is powered, either by AAA batteries or a rechargeable battery.

    I usually prefer the rechargeable battery; however, I always ensure I have three AAA batteries as an emergency backup.

    Another versatile feature of the device is that it has multiple lighting modes for me to choose from.

    Using a convenient slider on the body, I can adjust the beam’s focus to narrow down or widen.

    This feature is essential for focusing on specific areas if I am searching for evidence or a suspect.

    I also like the wide beam. It encompasses a vast area up to 1,000 feet away to illuminate everything around me.

    The virtually indestructible design of the device is notable, as it has an anti-slip rigid grip.

    I have also dropped it a couple of times only to find no damage on the exterior casing.

    It is instrumental in various weather conditions, ranging from dry heat to wet and cold winters.

    When unboxing the flashlights, I noticed there were two cases, two lanyards, and two holsters included.

    These accessories make it much easier for me to carry the flashlight however I prefer.

    What to Like About It

    There are a ton of great adjustable features on this flashlight that are extremely easy to operate.

    The strobe mode has proven quite useful for self-defense, especially as the bulb is brighter than expected.

    Overall, it has a high-quality build and feels rather sturdy with the battery installed.

    What Not to Like About It

    Unlike other tactical flashlights, it appears these two only use traditional LED bulbs, which aren’t as bright.

    Although most of the device is heavy-duty, the lens appears to scratch quickly over time.


    • Self-defense strobe mode
    • Very easy to operate
    • Brighter than expected
    • Hefty high-quality build


    • Uses traditional LED bulbs
    • Lens scratches easily

    2. PHIXTON Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight

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    When shopping for a tactical flashlight, you want something sleek, straightforward, and heavy-duty.

    The PHIXTON Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight answers most of your needs, especially with its high-quality aluminum casing.

    If you are looking for a more waterproof option for your on-the-job flashlight, I recommend this one.

    Product Highlights

    The bulb in this flashlight is one of my favorite features, as it is up to par with industry standards.

    It boasts an XM L2 LED chip, which is up to 20% brighter than XML T6 LED bulbs.

    Like other tactical flashlights, it allows you to adjust the light beam’s zoom to focus on specific areas.

    The wide beam feature is comparable to some of the higher-end tactical flashlights on the market.

    It is also important to note that all of the adjustable features are ergonomically placed on the flashlight for ease of access.

    Regardless of your task, you will love using the spotlight feature as well as the floodlight feature.

    What’s more, it has many similar functions as other flashlights, such as high, medium, low, SOS, and strobe settings.

    Battery life is one of the most important things to consider in a flashlight, and this model doesn’t disappoint.

    You can get up to six hours of continuous use in the highest settings, while the lower modes can last up to 12 hours.

    Like the previous model I tested, the PHIXTON Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight has two power options.

    You can opt to use the 5000mAh rechargeable battery or a AAA battery for power.

    Fortunately, you have the opportunity to switch the battery as needed if you want longer battery life.

    Another advantage is that the flashlight comes with a high-quality case to protect it from damage.

    You’ll receive a wall charger, USB charger, car charger, battery case, and holster, as well.

    With IPX4 waterproofing, you will be able to use the flashlight in wet conditions without worries, especially with its non-slip design.

    What to Like About It

    When charging your new flashlight, you won’t have to worry about battery damage because it has overcharging protection.

    Its build-quality is especially notable, as it feels solid and fits comfortably in most hand sizes.

    The bulb is much brighter than several other tactical flashlights that I have tried in the past.

    What Not to Like About It

    My most considerable concern with this device is its wall charger. It feels shoddy and doesn’t meet my expectations.

    I have also found that the light loses some of its sharpness when on the widest beam setting, causing it to diffuse greatly.


    • Overcharging protection
    • Solidly built with metal casing
    • Incredibly bright light
    • Fits comfortably in my hand


    • Wide beam loses sharpness
    • Low-quality wall charger

    3. Streamlight 88066 ProTac Mounted Flashlight


    As a law enforcement officer, having a flashlight that can be mounted to your weapon is ideal.

    The Streamlight 8806 is among my favorites, as it has one of the most versatile designs I have tried up to now.

    With the features you would expect in a tactical flashlight and a mountable design, it is worth every penny.

    Product Highlights

    There are several variations of the Streamlight 88066, depending on how bright of a flashlight you need.

    You can find styles ranging from 50 lumens to 2,200 lumens, with this model being 1,000 lumens.

    Its mountable design is one of my favorite features, as it effortlessly affixes to my weapon for hands-free usage.

    The multi-battery versatility is convenient, too; you can choose between a rechargeable 18650 battery and two CR123A lithium batteries.

    A rail clamp is included in the order, too. You can opt to attach or detach it from the device to be used with carbines and rifles.

    One of its most unique features is how technologically advanced it is for professional use.

    I could choose to either have the light on constantly or momentarily with the remote switch.

    I simply had to engage the push-button switch to choose the operation mode necessary for specific situations.

    The flashlight performance is also important to note, as it offers a beam of up to 332 meters.

    It is not the longest-lasting flashlight available, with only up to 1.5 hours of continuous battery life, but it is exceptionally bright.

    If you opt for the lower light settings, you are bound to be impressed because the battery can last up to 22 hours.

    In addition to the traditional beam, you can also opt to use the SOS or disorienting functions for safety.

    Everything I needed to start using the flashlight immediately was included with the order, aside from the battery.

    After separately purchasing an 18650 Li-Ion battery, I found retaining clips, zip ties, and double-sided tape to affix the light.

    The feature that gave me the most peace of mind was the live-fire testing, proving that this flashlight has been thoroughly inspected.

    What to Like About It

    If you are a fan of Surefire lights, this is a great alternative for a more affordable price.

    It is very lightweight, making it one of the most portable and powerful flashlights for LEOs.

    Also, it is highly programmable, allowing you to customize how you use its brilliant and clean beam.

    What Not to Like About It

    Some of the features on the flashlight are hard to use, such as accessing the strobe function.

    It is also not likely to fit in standard one-inch mounts, as the body is slightly too large.


    • A good alternative to Surefire
    • Lightweight and portable
    • Programmable
    • Brilliant and clean beam


    • Some hard-to-use features
    • Won’t fit in standard mounts

    4. J5 Tactical V1-Pro Flashlight

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    The J5 Tactical V1-Pro Flashlight is an excellent option for people who want an easy-to-use tactical flashlight.

    I found that this model is most useful as a backup or as a compact option for my bug-out bag.

    With a small and straightforward design, it is easy for anyone to use.

    Product Highlights

    This tactical flashlight gained notoriety when it was endorsed by Joe Gibbs Racing.

    It is not the most powerful flashlight for law enforcement officers, though, since it is only 300 lumens at most.

    Still, it will prove useful in quick situations where you need a simple on/off device.

    When in complete darkness, the beam reaches a relatively long distance, so you can get adequate visibility.

    It allows you to adjust the beam’s focus range by either zooming in or widening the light.

    Like many other flashlights, you can choose from three different modes: high, low, and strobe.

    As this flashlight uses one AA battery, it is one of the more lightweight options to consider.

    However, you can choose to use a rechargeable battery if you prefer, although neither are included.

    With one AA battery, you can get up to one hour of bright light, with the low light setting lasting longer.

    One of the more impressive features of the flashlight is that it is perfectly compact.

    I was able to keep it in my pocket while on patrol as a backup in case my larger tactical flashlight failed.

    It can also be an excellent option for outdoors enthusiasts who enjoy hunting, camping, and cycling.

    What to Like About It

    The J5 Tactical V1-Pro Flashlight isn’t the most advanced flashlight on the market, but it is effortless to use.

    It features an adequate light output for minor situations as well as specific functions for everyday use.

    Its compact design and durable casing make it an excellent option for illuminating an area quickly.

    What Not to Like About It

    With its low battery life, you’ll want to consider a significant upgrade.

    Also, the belt clip is flimsy, which can cause the screws to inadvertently loosen.


    • Durable casing
    • Compact design
    • Adequate light output
    • Straightforward functions


    • Will require battery upgrades
    • Low-quality clip

    5. Shadowhawk X800 Super Bright Tactical Flashlight


    The brightness of the Shadowhawk X800 Super Bright Tactical Flashlight makes it a frontrunner.

    I prefer brighter light, as it allows me to see at further distances with straightforward functions.

    With up to 1,200 lumens of brightness, it is one of the best law enforcement and security personnel options.

    Product Highlights

    In this flashlight, you’ll find a Cree LED, which is known to be one of the brightest bulbs on the market.

    After all, you should be able to have clear visibility up to two football fields away, if not more than that.

    The beam is completely adjustable from narrow to wide with five highly intuitive lighting settings.

    You can switch between high, medium, and low lighting, as well as a strobe and SOS function.

    With regular use, you should be able to get up to six hours of light on the medium settings.

    The flashlight requires a rechargeable 2600mAh battery, which should offer up to 50,000 hours of general use.

    Like the other rechargeable flashlights, this device comes with all of the chargers you need.

    The car charger and USB charger can boost the flashlight to a full battery within six hours.

    I prefer the wall charger, as it can lessen the charging time down to between four and five hours.

    Another highly functional feature you will come to love is its waterproof casing.

    Although the Shadowhawk X800 cannot be submerged for long periods, it is resistant to most weather types.

    It has a non-slip grip, as well, which makes it one of my favorite options for using in heavy rain.

    The intuitive functions are impressive, as they are easily accessible when holding the flashlight.

    All of the buttons and sliders needed for the adjustable features are within finger’s reach for one-handed operation.

    What to Like About It

    The multifunctional design of the Shadowhawk X800 is very impressive, especially as it still feels lightweight with the installed battery.

    The light is easily zoomable and quite bright, even when widened, so you can easily illuminate small and large areas.

    What Not to Like About It

    The charging capabilities of the device are where most of my concerns come into play.

    First, charging times may vary.

    The car charger, for example, can take up to 15 hours for a full charge.

    Another issue is with the quality of the included chargers, which will fail over time.


    • Lightweight with battery
    • Multifunctional design
    • Bright and easily zoomable
    • Illuminates small and large areas


    • Charging times may vary
    • Poor charger longevity
    best tactical flashlight under $50

    Buyer’s Guide

    When jumping into the waters of finding the best flashlight under 50, there are plenty of things to consider.

    First, you want a device that is not only built to last but also gives you peace of mind and security.

    Let’s get into some of the most essential features to look for.

    1. Brightness

    Your flashlight’s brightness is one of its most essential features, as it determines how well it works.

    As a law enforcement officer, your tactical light should allow you to sweep an area with ease.

    With that said, it is vital to consider finding a flashlight that has a minimum of 500 lumens.

    Ideally, I would recommend finding a light that’s 1,000 lumens, as this will allow you to see a significant difference away.

    Also, at this brightness, you can use the light to bewilder your suspect so that they can be questioned appropriately.

    The type of bulb used in the flashlight will give you a clear indicator of how useful it will be.

    For example, Cree LED bulbs and chips are the industry standard for cutting-edge tactical flashlights.

    They have a sharp and clear beam that extends an incredible distance while also being up to 10 times brighter than other bulbs.

    Traditional LEDs can be preferable to incandescent bulbs, but they aren’t nearly as powerful as Cree LEDs.

    2. Adjustability

    Every tactical flashlight should have adjustable features that allow you to adapt to the current situation.

    For example, if a subject is at a distance, you’ll want to narrow the beam to focus directly on them.

    Whereas, if you are searching around an area, you’ll want a wider beam for optimal up-close visibility.

    Being able to adjust your flashlight’s beam is essential, like changing the light mode.

    Even though it can be tempting to use your flashlight at its brightest setting, it might not be necessary for every circumstance.

    If you are conducting a search in an alley, for example, there will likely be ambient lighting aiding your vision.

    You’ll want access to a medium or low light setting rather than a high in these circumstances.

    All of the adjustable features your flashlight has should also be easily accessible with a single touch.

    You won’t want to worry about touching several buttons with both hands while searching for a subject.

    My favorite design is a straightforward slider for adjusting the beam’s width and a single button for selecting the lighting mode.

    3. Battery

    A high-quality flashlight is great for looks but won’t be useful unless you have a high-quality battery to go with it.

    Most tactical flashlights will come with a rechargeable battery you can plug into a USB cable.

    Others require you to provide your own replaceable batteries, which can be costly over time.

    However, not everyone is a fan of rechargeable batteries, especially if there isn’t a backup power option.

    My recommendation is to find a rechargeable flashlight that allows for the use of disposable batteries.

    You’ll always have access to power with this feature, so you won’t be stuck without a flashlight.

    Also, make sure you find a battery with enough power to make the light as bright as possible.

    I prefer 5000mAh batteries that can be recharged overnight and last several hours on the highest setting.

    4. Waterproofing

    It is easy to underestimate the importance of waterproofing in a flashlight until you need it.

    Far too often, I have been caught in torrential rain without enough light to safely assess a situation.

    Waterproof flashlights are highly versatile, as they can resist water and protect the device’s sensitive components.

    If I have a choice, I always opt for the models that can be submerged in water; however, they are rare.

    At the very least, your flashlight should be able to get sufficiently wet from the rain without any damage.

    5. Casing

    There are multiple things to consider with the casing of your flashlight to protect its integrity.

    One of the first things I look for is an anti-slip grip, which allows me to hold the flashlight regardless of rain or sweat.

    I also prefer to opt for tactical lights with metal casing, as they are more durable than others.

    Ensure your flashlight can be carried in your preferred style, as well.

    For example, if you want to mount it on your rifle or clip it to your belt, it will need the appropriate accessories.

    Tactical Flashlight Under $50 FAQs

    1. Is 1000 lumens good for a flashlight?

    A thousand lumens are more than sufficient for a flashlight and, in many cases, can be too powerful.

    Households will likely never need a 1,000-lumen flashlight, while police officers can benefit from them.

    On average, this amount of power can help you to see up to two football fields away, depending on light concentration.

    2. How many lumens is a good tactical flashlight?

    A standard tactical flashlight should have a minimum of 250 lumens, but it is best if you find the highest settings possible.

    Remember, their primary purpose is to disorient subjects, so they need to be bright.

    3. What brand flashlights do police use?

    Streamlight is one of the most popular brands for police departments across North America.

    The Streamlight Strion DS HL and the Streamlight Stinger DS LED HL are two of the most popular models.

    4. How many lumens do you need to blind an attacker?

    In terms of self-defense, the number of lumens you need is lower than you might think.

    As little as 100 lumens is enough to temporarily blind an attacker, although it might take a couple of tries.

    Anything above 300 lumens is bound to blind them quickly, allowing you to get away or approach them faster.

    5. How many lumens are dangerous?

    The human retina is sensitive, especially when it comes to light exposure in complete darkness.

    It can take as little as 60 lumens to cause permanent damage to the retina when in a pitch-black environment.

    This is why tactical flashlights need to be treated with care, as they can cause irreparable damage.

    What’s the Best Tactical Flashlight?

    The Streamlight 88066 is the best tactical flashlight under $50 due to its impressive build-quality and versatility.

    As a bright flashlight explicitly designed for tactical purposes, it has every feature you could ever dream of.

    It can also be mounted to a rifle, which is more than enough to classify it as the best flashlight under 50 bucks.