The V1000 is not simply a good tactical flashlight, it’s great looking, incredibly practical, durable and versatile as the day is long. And it comes in a handy 2 pack so you can have one in your ice-fishing hut and the Mrs can have one in the glove compartment of her SUV (or vise-versa).
The V1000 has 3 different intensity modes (high, medium and low) and two emergency modes (strobe and SOS). At maximum settings the V1000 is a powerful tactical flashlight that will project a high powered beam a hundred meters down the road or alert rescuers to your position from across the valley. Zoom in and you’ll get a wide angle beam that will illuminate your entire car and not just a portion of the door.
Fabricated from aircraft grade aluminum and both water and impact resistant everyone will want the V1000 flashlight for their search and rescue helicopter, rescue boat, car and mobile home. Or under the seat of their motorcycle, in their backpack when camping or in the drawer in the kitchen in case the lights go out. A genuine steal in the 2 pack.
What is a Tactical Flashlight?
The modern tactical flashlight is an offshoot of the standard flashlight. Responding to the needs the armed forces, police departments and security firms engineers applied advanced design and fabrication techniques to fashion a multipurpose unit that is tough, dependable and able to bring intense light to bear on targets near and far. Most tactical flashlights are either water-resistant or waterproof, made of aircraft grade aluminum and nearly all run on Lithium-ion batteries (with alkaline battery backup capability).
But a tactical flashlight is more than just a beacon in the dark, it’s also a self-defense item that’s capable of blinding would be assailants with high intensity strobes so you can escape and many can be used to physically subdue perps.
What are the Parts of a Tactical Flashlight?
From front to back a tactical flashlight consists of:
- A striking bezel which screws onto the front of the light and is used for self-defense.
- Next is the flashlight head which encloses the reflector.
- Moving on the battery tube is next. This will house the Lithium-ion battery and/or the alkaline substitutes.
- Inside the battery tube is the batter magazine which actually holds the batteries.
- Next is where the removable clip is usually attached.
- Last is the tailclip which often encloses the switch mechanism and also often contains a loop for attaching a wristband or other failsafe device.
Things to Consider When Buying a Tactical Flashlight
While most of today’s tactical flashlights will serve some useful purpose it pays to consider a few things before purchasing one, including:
Your Budget – While there are some real steals available today in the tactical flashlight market (see above) you’ll still want to consider whether a $19 flashlight or a $99 tactical flashlight unit that’s loaded with options is right for you. Certainly if you just plan to keep it in the glove compartment you should consider one of our ‘best bang for the buck’ models.
Your Needs – If you’re an avid duck hunter you might want a model that’s genuinely waterproof. If, however, you mostly use the tactical flashlight to carve out a safe passage through the parking lot a waterproof flashlight won’t be so important. Likewise if you’re about to ship out to Kandahar you might want something with all the bells and whistles.
Lumens – A lumen is the measure of energy emitted by your tactical flashlight. Simply put the higher the lumens the more intense the light. However, the higher the lumens the higher the heat generated by the flashlight as well. So unless you think you’re going to need the brightest tactical flashlight on the market you might want a less powerful tactical flashlight.
Size – This also speaks to need. If you plan on carrying the tactical light in your purse strictly for emergencies you’ll want something 5” long or less. A compact flashlight can also move easily from the purse to the pocket and then to the glove compartment or the fanny pack in the blink of an eye.
Power Source – The typical tactical flashlight is powered, as we said previously, by Lithium-ion batteries. In case your L-ion battery is drained and you are not in a position to recharge it the average tactical flashlight will also allow for standard alkaline battery power. You’ll want to always have adequate alkaline backups on hand just in case.
Zoom or Not – One of the most popular features of the tactical flashlight is the ability to zoom in and out with the beam becoming wide angle in close and more focused for distances. Not every LED torch light offers this feature though so if the ability to zoom in and out isn’t critical to your needs you might want to skip it.
Battery Life – As mentioned, most tactical lights are powered by Lithium-ion batteries and use alkaline batteries as backups. That said energy consumption rates vary from flashlight to flashlight. The greater the lumens the greater the battery consumption while the more robust the battery, the longer it will last under any circumstance.
Water-resistant vs Waterproof – Water resistance basically means that you can hold your flashlight in the rain for short periods of time and it shouldn’t be bothered. However, if you drop it in a puddle and it takes more than a few seconds to find it you could have problems. With a waterproof flashlight you can drop it in the puddle and go get lunch. It will still be there working when you get back. Which type you need will depend on your projected use.
Who Makes the Best Tactical Flashlight?
You’ll find as many answers to this question as you’ll find manufacturers and reviewers, but we’ll throw in our 2 cents anyway.
Streamlight – For tactical lights geared toward weaponry Streamlight is a company we have a lot of respect for. They produce an array of fine products at reasonable prices that are as reliable as they are functional.
Outlite – Outlite produces some of the best tactical lights on the market. They are considered leaders in the industry because of their dedication to outstanding design and build quality and their commitment to keeping things affordable.
J5 – J5 is based in Utah, USA and has high profile affiliations with Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota. They make a wide variety of tactical flashlights in every imaginable finish and are widely distributed. Their commitment to innovation is a standout attribute.
A great tactical flashlight is the kind of must-have kit that practically anyone could use today. Housewives, campers (check out our huge camping tent guide), hunters, soldiers, first responders, mountain rescue teams and long distance sailors will all benefit from having a first-class tactical flashlight handy. Trying to determine the best tactical torch is not easy as there are so many on the market today but we feel you can’t lose with the 12 we’ve decided to highlight in this flashlight buying guide. We hope you enjoyed this tactical flashlight review and make sure you check back often for more valuable and informative product review guides.