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The AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle that’s widely considered one of the most versatile guns in this segment. The one accessory that it sorely lacks, however, is an excellent flashlight scope to help you see with greater clarity at night.
After all, you don’t want to be using such a powerful rifle without being able to see clearly. This is why we’ve handpicked some great choices for you to pick from, with the Streamlight 88059 Pro Tac Rail Mount 2 leading the pack as the best AR15 flashlight.
Click here to read all about the Pros and Cons of a Weapon Mounted Light
Here are our top picks for the best AR15 flashlight to buy this year:
How to Pick the Best AR15 Flashlight
There are plenty of quality options when you’re picking out a flashlight for your beloved semi-automatic. We’ve narrowed down a few factors for you to consider before making your final choice.
The brightness of your flashlight is one of the single most crucial factors to look for when you’re shopping. We use “lumens” to assess the light intensity of any given model. It tends to vary from 100 to 2000 lumens or more, based on the quality of the flashlight.
Our Lumens, Lux, and Candela article is a great resource to learn more about Lumens and light output
Make sure to opt for a model that offers a minimum of 300 lumens to ensure proper visibility when you step out at night. If you’re going for something far brighter with a broader range, you can’t go wrong with our most powerful selection, the Olight Warrior X Pro. This model has an incredible lumen count of 2250 and is capable of throwing a beam as far as 650 yards.
Another crucial factor to consider before picking up a flashlight is the purpose for which you intend to use your rifle and the light scope. You’ll likely use your AR-15 either for hunting or to defend your home.
If the purpose has to do with hunting, then you’ll need to pick up a light with a lumen count between 500 to 2500 based on the game you’re after. This will give you an extensive line of sight and help you cover more distance when you’re out in the woods at night.
For home security, however, you won’t need a flashlight nearly as powerful because you don’t want to blind yourself in a closed space by turning on an overly bright light. You would do well to own a model with a lumen count under 1000 in this scenario.
Tactical flashlights such as the ones compatible with the AR-15 often feature batteries that are rechargeable or disposable. The option you go with purely comes down to a matter of choice and whatever is most convenient for you.
Rechargeable batteries are cost-efficient in the long-run, while disposable ones will save time on a more immediate basis. Whatever option you go with, just make sure that the device can run for several hours on the given power supply.
Learn everything you need to know about Batteries with our Ultimate Guide to Batteries!
In terms of durability, you want to look out for models that are weather-proof or waterproof as they are likely to have a solid build. As a flashlight is a priceless commodity to have when you’re using your AR-15 at night, you don’t want to be stranded in a scenario where your budget selection has given out at the wrong time.
If you can afford to go for a waterproof model, we’d recommend you take that option.
How durable is it? What does IPX6 mean? Read our Ultimate Guide to the ANSI/PLATO FL1 Standard symbols!
The Best AR-15 Flashlight Reviews
We now move onto the review section, where we will break down our top seven selections for your benefit.
Best AR-15 Flashlight Overall
The Streamlight 88059 takes our top honors thanks to its impressive build and features.
This model has been made using machine aircraft aluminum and given an anodized finish to help create a sturdy and durable exterior. It’s powered using two 3-volt CR123A lithium batteries that offer a 625-lumen count to provide excellent visibility.
In terms of design, this flashlight is built with incredible ingenuity, featuring the latest in shockproof power LED technology. The rail clamp has been specifically designed for easy and quick mounting and dismounting from your rifle, while the flashlight has been given a dedicated fixed-mount for Picatinny rails.
You can switch between three models while using the flashlight:
- High only.
Accessing this light is extremely easy, thanks to the option of using a remote switch or a push-button tail switch.
- Made using machine aircraft aluminum with anodized finish.
- Powered by two 3-volt CR123A lithium batteries.
- Offers a lumen count of 625.
- 6.5-feet impact resistance.
- Glass lenses sealed with O-ring.
- Remote pressure switch.
- Push-button tail switch.
- Brightness is known to fade as the device loses charge.
Click here to see the Best Flashlights with Laser for AR-15 reviewed!
Best Budget AR-15 Flashlight
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If you’re looking for a quality budget offer, this model by Arisaka is an excellent selection thanks to its considerable lumen count and durable build.
The Arisaka Defense 600 model is armed with a focused Surefire KM2-E scout head that includes a TIR lens offering an impressive 35,000 Lux output. The exterior of the flashlight has been made using a highly-durable and heavy-duty aluminum base and is provided with an anodized hard coat as well.
It sheds white light at 350 lumens and offers a runtime of just under 2 hours at peak brightness. With the help of a 120mW IR light, you can access the light on this device for a total of 16 hours. The best part is that this model is compatible with both 16650 and CR123 batteries, allowing you multiple choices when it comes to powering the device.
- Made using high-quality aluminum and anodized hard coat.
- Features a highly-focused Surefire KM2-E scout head.
- White light produced at 350 lumens.
- IR light can run for 16 hours.
- Powered using 16650 and CR123 batteries.
- The white light runs for only 1.8 hours.
Best Waterproof AR-15 Flashlight
Build quality and endurance is extremely important when you’re picking out a flashlight, especially if you intend to use it in the great outdoors where you’re always up against the elements. This particular model works great as a waterproof option in case you need to take the AR-15 out in the rain.
Apart from being waterproof to 66 feet, this model also has a light and durable polymer exterior that weighs only 4.02 ounces, even with the batteries installed. The flashlight features a white light projected at 800 lumens and has a runtime of 2 hours at the highest brightness.
You can easily attach this model to any standard 1913 Picatinny rail. You can power the device using two lithium 123a batteries that are included in the purchase.
- Glass-reinforced polymer body.
- Safety lever.
- Ergonomically contoured design for easy mounting and dismounting.
- Patented heat dissipating vents.
- Powered by two lithium 123a batteries that are included in the set.
- 800-lumen white light.
- Runs through batteries fairly quickly.
Best High-Performance AR-15 Flashlight
The SureFire M Series Scout Light is a high-performance product that’s packed with some truly impressive features. It comes with a recoil-proof LED light that can generate 500 lumens of white light for a period of 1.5 hours without interruption.
It uses a total internal reflection lens to create a highly-focused and intense beam of light. This light can reach great distances and offers enough dissipation to view objects in your periphery.
An intelligently designed tail cap switch allows you to partially press it to turn on the device momentarily and click to turn it on entirely. It even has a patented lockout feature that prevents the device from being switched on automatically.
The exterior of this quality offering is made using hard-anodized aerospace aluminum and an optically coated tempered window.
You can easily attach this model onto any MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny tail.
- This fail-proof LED device produces 500 lumens of white light.
- Compact, lightweight, and powerful.
- Made using Mil-Spec Type III hard-anodized aluminum.
- Corrosion-resistant exterior.
- TIR lens.
- The dim function could be better.
Best Tactical AR-15 Flashlight
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The Nitecore MH12 is a quality tactical flashlight that offers a 1000-lumen output using a CREE XM-L2 LED system. This makes it the second most powerful light on our list.
It includes an integrated micro USB charging port to let you quickly charge it up. You can also power this flashlight with the help of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power its 3200 mAh internal power source.
The use of the Nitecore RSW1 remote pressure switch allows you to move between constant on/off mode and momentary on/off mode, thereby providing greater versatility while using this flashlight.
Nitecore prides itself on providing high-quality tactical lights, and this particular model features integrated precision digital optics technology in order to provide a quality reflector performance. The light itself has a peak intensity of 13,500 cd and offers an incredible throw distance of 761 feet.
Check out our article on What Makes a Flashlight ‘Tactical’
- The high-efficiency constant current circuit board provides a runtime of 520 hours on the lowest setting.
- Switch between four levels of brightness and three special modes.
- Power display feature.
- The power indicator also displays battery voltage.
- Ultra-clear glass with anti-reflective coating.
- The mounting system could be improved.
Most Powerful AR-15 Flashlight
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If you’re only looking for a flashlight with a quality build and an impressive lumen count, then the Olight Warrior X Pro will certainly do the trick.
This high-performance device can project a whopping 2250 lumens up to a distance of 656 yards, thereby giving you an incredible line of sight while using your AR-15.
It’s powered by a 5,000 mAh 21700 lithium-ion battery that allows it to charge much faster than other similar devices. It also gives it an incredible runtime of 8 hours!
The exterior of this flashlight has been created to be durable and user-friendly. You can certainly see that this is the case when observing the redesigned tail switch that allows you to cycle between different modes of output with incredible ease.
- IPX8 rating makes this waterproof and submersible to 6.5 feet.
- Peak beam intensity of 90,000 cd.
- Peak beam distance of 656 yards.
- Can run on 800 lumens for 8 hours.
- Runtime on peak intensity could be better.
Best Low-Profile AR-15 Flashlight
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The Sightmark LoPro is a great low-profile flashlight that offers the same design and features that are afforded only to the military. It’s a multi-functional laser and flashlight that can be easily mounted on a Picatinny or Weaver rail of your AR-15 rifle.
It’s provided with a push-button system and pressure pad operation that allows you to quickly and easily access its multiple features and modes. The hand-adjustable windage and elevation turrets help you zero in on the laser pointer with incredible ease during short-range shooting.
The exterior is made using a high-performance thermoplastic, and the overall build has a weather resistance rating of IPX6. It can also easily withstand a maximum recoil of 1,000 g’s.
- High output LED light.
- Low profile design.
- Option to use push button or pressure pad operation.
- Elevation adjustments.
- Hand-adjustable windage.
- Green laser pointer.
- Weather-proof and shockproof.
- 220 lumen light could be brighter.
Click here to see all of our Weapon Light Reviews!
The Final Verdict
Possibly the worst time in the world to not have access to a bright light is when you’re using a semi-automatic rifle. This can be a real danger to yourself and the world around you. You can always prevent this situation from unfolding by picking up a reliable flashlight for your AR-15 rifle.
We’ve gone through an impressive list of seven quality models that can help you defend your property and hunt down game with greater ease.
Our top choice for the best AR-15 flashlight is the Streamlight 88059 Pro Tac Rail Mount 2 – a quality flashlight that has enough lumen count to help you see clearly. It also has a quality build and some high-end features, such as the option of using a remote pressure switch to help you get the most out of your flashlight.
Keep your sights clear and let the bullets flow with great surety with the use of this quality flashlight.