The 3 Best AR-15 Flashlight [2021 Update]

Today I’m going to show you the best AR-15 flashlight on the market today.

In fact:

I’ve hand-tested over 10 flashlights alone for this review.

The best part?

I’ve sorted them by use. So whether you’re on a budget or looking for the most premium flashlight, you’ll find it here.

Let’s get started!

The 3 Best AR-15 Flashlight

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best AR-15 flashlight:

  1. Streamlight TLR-1: Best Overall AR-15 Light
  2. Inforce WML Gen 2: Most Lightweight
  3. Streamlight 88059 ProTac Rail Mount 2: Best Budget Flashlight for AR-15

1. Streamlight TLR-1: Best Overall AR-15 Light

Streamlight’s TLR-1 flashlight is the best overall light for your AR-15.

If you need a durable, bright light that’s compact enough to fit in your hunting daypack or in a bag with your bowfishing gear, you need the TLR-1.

The TLR-1 is primarily designed for handgun use, so how does it hold up with an AR-15?

Let’s find out!


Build

The TLR-1 is made of 6000 series machined, aircraft-grade aluminum and comes with an anodized finish.

The high-temperature, shock-mounted BOROFLOAT glass lens is scratch-resistant, shock and recoil-proof, and waterproof up to 30 minutes at 1 meter deep.

These features, along with the gasket-sealed lens, make the TLR-1 essentially unbreakable.

It’s very durable, operable in temperatures between -40 and 120 degrees F, and holds up well over time, even with continuous heavy use.


Light

You can choose between the standard TLR-1, with 300 lumens of light, and the TLR-1 HL (high lumen), which features 800 lumens of light.

Both options provide excellent light, but the standard option offers a 2.5 hour battery life while the high lumen model offers a 1.5 hour battery life.

The C4 LED light has a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours, and unlike cheaper lights, will remain at maximum brightness the whole time.

The tar optic produces a bright, focused beam, but also creates a wide peripheral beam that allows you to see everything around you.

You’ll have no issues seeing as far as you need to, whether you’re in your home or out in the woods.


Use

This light runs on two lithium batteries, which are included in the box.

The battery compartment features a tethered door and latch for easy access and to keep the batteries securely locked in place during use.

It offers a decent battery life, but you might need to carry extras if you’re planning on being out hunting all night.

The on/off switch is easy to use.

However, since the controls are optimized for handguns, you may need to reach a little bit to press it on an AR-15.

You can choose between momentary, constant, or strobe light.

To activate the strobe light, all you need to do is bump the momentary paddle twice in rapid succession. This can be very useful in situations where you need to signal your location or disorient your target!


Mounting

While the TLR-1 was designed primarily for handgun use, it’s mountable and fits securely on a wide range of weapons, including the AR-15.

It’s designed with a rail clamp mounting system that allows you to attach and detach it from the side of your firearm within seconds and without using any tools.

For best results, try mounting the light at the 3, 6, or 9 o’clock positions. This way, you won’t have any of the shadows that often come with top-mounting.


Size

The TLR-1 is just 3.4” long and 1.5” wide, and weighs a mere 4.2 oz.

These measurements make this light an excellent option for anyone who wants a sturdy, durable light that won’t add any bulk to your rifle.

It provides a surprising amount of light in a very small package.


Price

The Streamlight TLR-1 will run you around $130 online. This includes the light, two lithium batteries, and rail locating keys.

Streamlight also offers a limited lifetime warranty on this light, giving you peace of mind that your purchase is protected if anything goes wrong.


Is the Streamlight TLR-1 Worth it?

The Streamlight TLR-1 offers you an excellent AR flashlight and mount combo.

Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL 1000-Lumen Tactical Weapon Mount Light With Rail Locating Keys & Lithium Batteries, Black – Box Packaged
  • C4 LED delivers 20,000 candela peak beam intensity; 1000 lumens
  • Securely fits a broad range of weapons
  • Ambidextrous momentary/steady on off switch

It’s very high-quality, easy to use, and won’t add much weight to your rifle.

If you need an excellent tactical flashlight for your AR-15, you won’t be disappointed with the TLR-1.


2. Inforce WML Gen 2: Most Lightweight

The Inforce WML Gen 2 is the most lightweight AR-15 flashlight you’ll find.

A good pair of hunting boots, plenty of ammo, and the right flashlight are crucial parts of nighttime hunting.

But, not everyone has the money to drop on a premium flashlight!

The WML comes at an affordable price, offers plenty of light, and won’t add any bulk to your rifle.

Can it hold up to more expensive flashlights?

Let’s find out!


Build

The WML is made with an impact-resistant, glass-reinforced, polymer construction. It’s also water-resistant in depths up to 66 feet.

The heat of the light can cause the polymer body to get hot pretty quickly, so Inforce included heat-dissipating vents to combat this.

It runs on a single lithium battery, and has an average battery life of about 1.5 hours. This is great for shorter hunting trips, but you’ll have to bring a couple of extras if you’ll be out for an extended period of time.

Overall, the WML Gen 2 is very well-made and seems sturdy. All the controls are where you’d expect them to be, and I expect it to hold up well over time.


Mounting

You don’t need any tools to mount the WML on your rifle – it features an integrated clamp that works with standard Picatinny 1913 rails.

The clamp features a captive locking bolt that prevents any accidental release.

To open the clamp, all you have to do is turn the thumb wheel to loosen it, and then tighten it to lock it back in place.

This makes it very easy to install and remove, and it sits flush on the rail to maintain a low profile, even at the 12 o’clock position.


Light

The WML has an LED output of 400 lumens.

Even though this is a relatively low amount of light, it still throws a very intense, focused beam.

It’s surprisingly bright and allows for very easy target identification at medium-range distances, even in the darkest conditions!


Use

The controls on this light are very handy and easy to use.

The non-slip, ribbed texture and natural placement of the switch on the tail cap allow you to quickly turn the light on or off without even looking.

There are two different ways to lock the light to prevent any accidental activation:

To lock it for a short period, there’s a manual bar that swings over the switch and blocks it from being pressed.

If you need to lock it for a long-term period, you can simply unscrew the head one turn.

When it comes to turning on the light, you can choose between momentary, constant, and strobe light.

To use the momentary setting, hold the on button down for at least half a second, and let go when you want to turn it off.

To use the strobe light, press the button twice in rapid succession.

And to use the standard constant setting, just quickly press the button once. This will keep the light on until you hit the switch again.

If you want to disable the strobe light option altogether, you can do so by turning the head to the lock position then turning it back into place while holding the on switch.

There’s also an infrared option, which can be activated with the throw lever on the side.

However, you can’t use the strobe option in IR.

When you need to replace the battery, you can do so by simply removing the light’s head to access the battery compartment, just like with your average flashlight!


Size

The second generation WML is compact and streamlined, meaning the bulk of its weight is close to the center for optimal distribution.

It’s 4.2” long overall and has a 1.05” bezel diameter.

At just 3.2 oz, it’s very lightweight and won’t add any bulk to your rifle, thanks to the lighter polymer body.


Price

With prices ranging online between $95-$130, the WML is very affordable.

You won’t find a more durable, lightweight rifle light for a better price!


Is the Inforce WML Gen 2 Worth it?

The Inforce WML Gen 2 is a well-designed flashlight for the AR-15.

Sale
Inforce WML 400 Lumens Gen 2 White Light Black Body W-05-1 Weapon Mounted Light
  • 400 Lumens white LED output provides high-intensity tight beam for close to mid-range target ID
  • Compact, water-resistant, impact-resistant glass reinforced polymer body
  • Heat-dissipating vents for improved LED thermal management

It’s great for entry level hunters just starting out with nighttime hunting, and I would recommend it to seasoned nighttime drone hunters, as well.


3. Streamlight 88059 ProTac Rail Mount 2: Best Budget Flashlight for AR-15

The Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2 is the best AR-15 flashlight that won’t break the bank.

Scopes are very popular on AR-15s, and lights are a must-have.

If you need something affordable, lightweight, and durable, you need the ProTac 2.

Can it hold up to higher-priced flashlights?

Let’s find out!


Build

The ProTac Rail Mount 2 is made of machined aircraft aluminum with an anodized finish.

It’s fire-tested and IPX7 waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes with the standard button switch, and IPX4 water-resistant with the remote pressure switch.

The impact-resistant BOROFLOAT glass lens is o-ring sealed, shock-mounted, and operable in temperatures from -40 degrees F all the way up to 120 degrees F.

The LED technology makes the light extremely sturdy, and offers a working lifetime of up to 50,000 hours.


Mounting

This light is designed with a rail clamp that allows you to quickly and securely attach it directly to a MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail.

It features a one-handed, snap-on design that lets you attach it while keeping your hands away from the muzzle. All you have to do is slot it down, twist it on tightly, and you’re ready to go!

While it’s optimized for 1913 Picatinny rails, the ProTac 2 will securely fit a wide range of rifles and shotguns, including the Ruger 10/22.

If the clamp design isn’t for you, there’s also a wide range of aftermarket mounting options available.


Light

The ProTac 2 utilizes powerful C4 LED technology to offer a maximum 625 lumen output.

One cool thing about this light is that it’s Ten-Tap Programmable, meaning you can use it on high, high/low, or high/strobe operating modes.

High mode runs at the maximum 625 lumens, and gives you a beam distance of 297 meters. This is great for hunting and other situations where you need to be able to see a good distance in front of you.

Low mode, on the other hand, outputs just 60 lumens and lets you see an 89 meter beam distance. If you’re using your ProTac 2 indoors or for training purposes, or if you need the light to last up to 50 hours, this is the mode to use.

There’s also an option for a strobe light, which is useful for signaling your location or disorienting your target.

If you don’t want to use the strobe option, however, it can be disabled.

This light gives you a bright, concentrated beam with great peripheral lighting, and the solid-state current regulation ensures consistent illumination.

It provides a tight center beam for optimal long-range shooting and a broad, even outer beam that allows for simple and positive target identification.

The pure white light allows you to easily see at least 100 feet in front of you at all times and ensures you hit your target consistently.


Use

With the ProTac 2, you have the option to use either the remote switch or push-button tail switch. Both offer you the choice of momentary or constant “on” operation.

You can tell the difference between the two “on” options easily, as the constant switch is raised slightly above the momentary switch and has a guard around it.

I’d recommend using the tail switch.

I’ve personally never tried the pressure switch, as I’ve heard many other users complain about its reliability.

Although the tail cap switch isn’t as easy to operate ambidextrously, it seems to be much more consistent.

The ProTac 2 runs on two (included) 3-volt lithium batteries. To change the batteries, you just remove the tail cap and slide them in!

I’ve used this light on multiple rifles, and it’s performed well on each. It’s a user-friendly, reliable piece of equipment.


Size

At just 5 oz with the batteries installed and 5” long, the ProTac 2 is a lightweight, compact option that won’t add a lot of weight to your firearm.

It’s also very low-profile, as it’s only 1.2” wide and 1.5” tall. It barely sticks out from the top and sides of your rifle, so you won’t have any issues storing a firearm with this light attached in a narrow gun safe.


Price

You can find the ProTac 2 online for around $100.

This price includes the light, two 3-volt batteries, both the remote pressure and tail switches, remote switch retaining clips, double-sided tape to mount the remote pressure switch, and zip ties for alternative mounting options.

It also includes Streamlight’s limited lifetime warranty.

For a durable, bright, lightweight rifle light that’s guaranteed by a reputable company like Streamlight, this is an excellent price.


Is the ProTac Rail Mount 2 Worth it?

The ProTac Rail Mount 2 is a high-quality, compact, bright AR-15 light.

Streamlight 88059 Pro Tac Rail Mount 2 625 Lumen Professional Tactical Flashlight with High/Low/Strobe w/2x CR123A Batteries - 625 Lumens, Black
  • Machine aircraft aluminum with anodized finish
  • High: 260 lumens & runs 3 hours; Low: 13 lumens and runs 50 hours; Strobe runs 6 hours
  • Uses two 3V CR123A lithium batteries; Included

It gives you all the light and every feature you need, and it’s very user-friendly and easy to mount.

If you’re looking for the best AR-15 weapon light, you can’t go wrong with the ProTac 2.


Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best AR-15 flashlight guide.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which flashlight will you pick for your AR-15?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

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