Best Flashlights for Law Enforcement, Security, Firefighter, Search & Rescue

By Derrick Ferrell
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The Rundown
  • Best Overall
    Hyper-modern design built for all-around performance, the Klarus XT21X is the best law enforcement flashlight available.
  • Best for Brightness
    Featuring a powerful emitter with a maximum 25000-lumen setting offering an incredible beam distance.
  • Best Compact
    The perfect tactical flashlight for a gun mount made out of durable materials for maximum adaptability.
  • Best Rechargeable Flashlight
    A bright fast-charging flashlight powered by a lithium-ion battery featuring modern design and durable hardware.
  • Best Battery Life
    This model is one of the best police flashlights in terms of battery life and it’s perfect for long-term operations.
  • Best Water Resistant
    A durable and waterproof handheld tactical flashlight that’s perfect for the general duties of a uniformed police officer.
  • Best Budget
    Excellent brightness and extra features for a police flashlight in this price range.

Flashlights nowadays come in all shapes and sizes. The best police flashlight should have power, a long battery life, and durability while still easy to use.

With the advent of advanced LED technology, smaller flashlights are often just as powerful, if not more than larger ones. Police officers everywhere are relying on newer, smaller flashlights perfectly suited to their needs. However, many still haven’t found the best police flashlights for the job.

We’ve compiled a list of the 7 best police flashlights available today. Each model has its own benefits and drawbacks, and we’re here to lay it all out for you in this article. Check out this list to find your next police flashlight.

Best Overall
Klarus XT21X 4000 Lumens CREE XHP70.2 P2
Klarus XT21X
Hyper-modern design built for all-around performance, the Klarus XT21X is the best law enforcement flashlight available.
What we like
  • Remarkably durable build
  • Incredible brightness range
  • Multiple function settings
  • Suited to extreme weather conditions
  • Long run time and Micro-USB fast charging
What we don’t like
  • No grip on the handle
  • Tends to heat up on turbo mode


Klarus is a brand that is well known for packing as many lumens into a compact flashlight, and the XT21X is no exception. An upgrade from the previous model XT11X, the XT21X delivers an astounding 4000 lumens of brightness. That amount is practically unheard of for a flashlight of this size.

Inside, the Cree XHP70.2 P2 LED bulb is what powers this beast. The beam will light up the targeted area like it’s daytime on the maximum settings and shoots out over 316 meters. While it is a wide beam, it does feature a hotspot with enough spill for you to take in your environment.

The XT21X comes with five brightness levels for varying lumen output, making it the perfect flashlight for any situation law enforcement officers may encounter.

Battery Life & Settings

The flashlight features a rechargeable Klarus 21700 lithium-ion battery, the equivalent of 3000 AA batteries. On the various settings, you can expect run times as follows:

  • Turbo- 4000 lumens (1.2 hours)
  • High – 1200 lumens (2.3 hours)
  • Medium – 400 lumens (6.5 hours)
  • Low – 100 lumens (21 hours)
  • Moonlight – 5 lumens (200 hours)

The XT21X tactical flashlight features SOS and strobe settings but does not have customizable programming. However, you can switch between Tactical and Outdoor settings at will. The Tactical setting is the default, a one-touch strobe activated by the tail switch. The Outdoor setting switches you to lower light with one touch of the tail switch.

Next to the tail switch, you have a one-touch turbo button available on both the Tactical and Outdoor settings. The standard side-switch has a user-friendly memory function for your preferred setting. While this flashlight has a lot of buttons, you’ll get used to it fairly quickly.

Durability & Construction

The XT21X flashlight is quite compact for how powerful it is. It measures only 6.5 inches in length and 1.5 inches in diameter, which fits comfortably in your hand. Your fingers have easy access to all of the buttons, but they aren’t so sensitive that you’ll constantly be cycling through different settings by accident.

While the tactical flashlight has a unique cross-hatching textured body, we would still have preferred a dedicated grip. However, this isn’t a deal-breaker, and the flashlight won’t slip from your fingers in most cases.

The body of the light itself is made out of hardened aerospace aluminum, which is extremely durable in most scenarios. Although it’s on the smaller side for a law enforcement flashlight, the compact XT21X can be used as a self-defense tool in dire circumstances.

Best for Brightness
Olight X9R Marauder 25000 Lumen Six
Olight X9R Marauder
Featuring a powerful emitter with a maximum 25000-lumen setting offering an incredible beam distance.
What we like
  • Incredibly bright with 8 brightness settings
  • Durable build
  • Comprehensive LED indicators
  • Long battery life
What we don’t like
  • Long charge time
  • Bulky build
  • Expensive


The Olight X9R is by far the brightest available flashlight on this list. It has a 25000 Lumen setting that can run for 6 minutes before switching down to 6400 lumens after 3 minutes to prevent overheating. That’s still brighter than any other flashlight we’ve included.

Under the lens, you’ll find 6 high-performance Cree XHP70.2 LED bulbs, which give this flashlight the bump it needs to project light as far as you can see. The LED flashlight has custom heat dissipation technology that helps deal with the heat produced by the six bulbs.

Battery Life & Settings

In addition to the 8 brightness settings, there is also a strobe mode available. However, this flashlight does not include programmable settings.

Although the flashlight heats up on the highest lumen setting, it has a proximity detector to prevent burning from occurring. If the lens gets close to an object, it will automatically switch to a lower brightness setting.

In terms of battery life, the runtimes for the Olight X9R are as follows:

  • Turbo S – 25000 – 6400 Lumens (3+100 mins)
  • Turbo – 12800 – 6400 Lumens (10 + 90 mins)
  • Mode 3 – 6400 Lumens (2 hours)
  • Mode 4 – 3200 Lumens (4 hours)
  • Mode 5 – 1600 Lumens (8 hours)
  • Mode 6 – 800 Lumens (12 hours)
  • Mode 7 – 400 Lumens (19 hours)
  • Mode 8 – 200 Lumens (27 hours)

The X9R runs on a rechargeable battery pack charged using either the standard adaptor or car charger.

Durability & Construction

Since the Olight X9R has six bulbs, this flashlight is necessarily bulky. It produces far more power than other flashlights but shouldn’t be considered a tactical flashlight by any means. This flashlight is best used for search and rescue or as a highway police duty flashlight.

The flashlight is also approved for up to 1-meter submersion, meaning you could drop it in water, and the electronics would be fine. This is especially useful in inclement weather such as rainstorms or snowstorms.

This ergonomic flashlight sports milled grooves along with the handle. Hands of any size will be able to comfortably grip the large flashlight without much effort.

Best Compact
Streamlight Pro Tac HL-X 1,000 Lumen Tactical Flashlight
Streamlight Pro Tac HL-X
The perfect tactical flashlight for a gun mount made out of durable materials for maximum adaptability.
What we like
  • Endures extreme temperature and conditions
  • Perfect for gun mounts
  • Heavy-duty materials
  • Extremely compact size
  • Affordable
What we don’t like
  • Not suited to search and rescue
  • Not really a good tool for self-defense
  • Lower lumen count than others


You might see the maximum 1000 lumens listed by this tactical flashlight and think that it’s not enough when you compare it to others in this article. However, in terms of bright light, 1000 lumens is more than enough in almost every situation. Most police officers won’t ever even use the highest light output settings on tactical flashlights.

Battery Life & Settings

The Streamlight Pro Tac HL-X comes with two CR123A batteries and a USB rechargeable cell. However, you will need a battery charge port as there is no USB charge port on the flashlight itself.

In terms of settings, you have four available programs with the following runtimes:

  • High – 1000 lumens (1.5 hours)
  • Medium- 400 lumens (3 hours)
  • Low – 65 lumens (20 hours)
  • Strobe – (2.5 hours)

There is also a TEN-TAP feature. With nine taps and holding the tenth, you can cycle through three different programs; high/strobe/low, high only, or low/medium/high.


The Pro Tac HL-X is specially designed as a gun accessory. You can use it for other purposes, but it far exceeds other models as a tactical flashlight for police officers and SWAT members. It’s so light that it’s barely noticeable even when mounted to your muzzle.

Despite how lightweight it is, this flashlight is made from hard-anodized aluminum, keeping it safe from heavy impacts in a range of situations. Besides, the titanium clip ensures that it won’t move around or snap off your gun muzzle or your belt at the worst possible time.

Best Rechargeable Flashlight
Fenix PD40R v2 3000 Lumen USB-C Rechargeable LED
Fenix PD40R
A bright fast-charging flashlight powered by a lithium-ion battery featuring modern design and durable hardware.
What we like
  • USB Type-C fast-charging capability
  • Compatible with both the 21700 battery &18650 battery
  • Comfortable grip
  • Easy to use
What we don’t like
  • No tail-switch
  • No instant probe or momentary-on function
  • Heats up quickly on high settings


The Fenix PD40R flashlight features a powerful bulb capable of a maximum 3000-lumen setting. Its white light is bright enough to illuminate everything in front of you without obscuring fine details. The lowest setting comes in at just 30-lumen, giving you plenty of wiggle room with this tactical flashlight.

Its beam throw is up to 442 meters, an incredible distance for a flashlight this size. This distance changes depending on the brightness setting, but the spotlight is sure to be seen at a great distance. The spill is great as well, lighting up the spotlighted area as well as the surroundings.

Battery Life & Settings

You can change the settings on the Fenix PD40R using the mechanical rotary switch, making it super easy to use. The switch allows you to cycle through the flashlight’s settings much quicker than a button would. Unlike some other police duty flashlights in this article, there isn’t a  learning curve while using the PD40R.

The  run time on the various settings for the Fenix PD40R are as follows:

  • Turbo – 3000 lumens (2.4 hours)
  • High – 1000 Lumens (3.1 hours)
  • Med – 350 Lumens (8.3 hours)
  • Low – 30 Lumens (88.1 hours)

Durability & Construction

The Fenix PD40R is made using a durable anodized aluminum casing that protects the flashlight from drops and scratch marks. It weighs only 4.1 ounces, making it incredibly lightweight. For hands of any size, you won’t have an issue using this flashlight.

While many tactical flashlights have the issue of slipping and rolling due to their shape and material, you won’t have to worry about that with the PD40R. It has a proven shape that resists rolling, and the anodized aluminum is scored to prevent slips and falls from your hands.

Best Battery Life
DanForce G1 Pro Rechargeable Flashlight
DanForce G1 Pro
This model is one of the best police flashlights in terms of battery life and it’s perfect for long-term operations.
What we like
  • Exceptional battery life
  • Durable build
  • Multiple operation modes
What we don’t like
  • No pocket clip


The lumen count ranging from 750 to 1080 is more than enough to light up an area. You can easily adjust the light with its special all-in-one lighting system including 6 modes of operation:

  • High
  • Medium
  • Low
  • ECO (for longest battery life)
  • Strobes
  • S.O.S.

Battery Life & Settings

One thing that makes this flashlight exceptional is not its bulb strength or durability but its battery life and duration control function.

The DanForce flashlight comes with 2×18650 USB rechargeable batteries and a power bank extension.

With proper use and configuration, the runtime could go up to 8-10 hours, making the G1 Pro go beyond the industry standard. At the highest intensity, this flashlight could even last for at least several nights (for 4-8 hours night time).

It’s the perfect law enforcement flashlight for search and rescue missions or when you need to set a meeting point with little to no other information.

There’re also extra features included which could be of help in many cases: red & green lenses, lantern attachment, holster that fits both the flashlight & power bank, bike mount, weapon rail mount, etc. All come in a nice little box.


The DanForce G1 Pro is constructed out of aircraft stainless aluminum, making it extremely hardy in tough situations. It is certified to be protected from a drop up to 1 meter and water-resistant (IPX45). 

The lens is also of higher quality than most. It’s made out of optical-grade glass, with sapphire and anti-reflective coating, protecting it from shock damage and scratches.

This law enforcement flashlight also manages really well for a compact flashlight. It features a scored matte black finish, perfect for any hand size and grip strength. However, it tends to roll when on a flat surface, making not having a pocket clip a bit more frustrating.

Best Water Resistant
Streamlight 88040 ProTac HL 750 Lumen Black
Streamlight ProTac HL
A durable and waterproof handheld tactical flashlight that’s perfect for the general duties of a uniformed police officer.
What we like
  • Hyper-durable build using aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Excellent hand-held use
  • TEN-TAP programming
  • Multi-function tail cap switch
  • Effective self-defense function
What we don’t like
  • Slow charging
  • Can get hot at the highest setting
  • Slightly below-average runtime


The Streamlight ProTac HL has a maximum lumen capacity of 750, which is bright enough for most tasks required of a law enforcement flashlight. In tests, we were able to blind pursuers to disorient them and put some distance between us. You don’t need 1000+ lumens to do so.

The light itself is fairly small with a bright spotlight but limited spill into surrounding areas. It still has a 270-meter beam distance that retains maximum brightness at the far end, so you don’t have to worry about not being seen.

Battery Life & Settings

Just like the HL-X, the Streamlight ProTac HL runs on two CR123A batteries. These are highly rechargeable lithium batteries but tend to take longer than other models to reach full capacity.

The battery life on this model is good but could be better. Other models have a lot longer runtimes, but the ProTac HL will serve your purposes fine if you consistently charge the batteries. The runtimes on the various bright light settings are as follows:

  • High – 750 lumens (2.5 hours)
  • Low – 35 lumens (18 hours)
  • Strobe – (2.5 hours)


The Streamlight ProTac HL features aircraft-grade aluminum that is hyper-durable in even the toughest situations. Further, it is exceptionally waterproofed. The casing doesn’t let even a single drop into the circuitry, protecting it from inclement weather and falls into bodies of water. It can survive under 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

For use, you have a tactical tail switch along with the standard side switch with TEN-TAP programming capacity. It’s effortless to use and doesn’t require much fiddling to figure out the different functions.

Best Budget
Phixton Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight High Lumens
Phixton Rechargeable Tactical LED
Excellent brightness and extra features for a police flashlight in this price range.
What we like
  • Very affordable price
  • High lumen-count
  • USB rechargeable
  • Hybrid battery options
What we don’t like
  • Less durable than comparable products
  • Not as many special modes
  • LED bulb produces a thin spread


The Phixton tactical flashlight produces a soft white light that is zoomable, meaning you can stretch or shrink the focal point of the beam to your choosing. This feature is handy when you move from an open to an enclosed space and need to pick out finer details in the area.

This police flashlight’s maximum lumens is 1200– brighter than some but not the brightest one available. There are five brightness settings to choose from; high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS.

Battery Life & Settings

A nice feature of the Phixton flashlight is that it has a hybrid battery capacity. It can run on both the included  5000mAh 3.7v rechargeable lithium-ion 18650 battery and three regular AAA-batteries. If your rechargeable lithium-ion batteries run out on the job, be sure to pack a few spare AAAs as backups.

The run times of the iPhixton on various settings are as follows:

  • High – 1200 lumens (6 hours)
  • Weak – ~100 lumens (12 hours)

A police flashlight in this price range will not have as many extra features as more expensive products. However, you might not need them, as the Phixton suffices for most police jobs perfectly. While it’s not the best police flashlight out there, it’s definitely worth looking at when the price is so low.


The Phixton Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight is constructed with durable aluminum alloy, but it’s not aircraft aluminum quality like some others we’ve included. That’s not to say that it’s fragile. It can take a heavy impact and likely be ok for use.

The tail cap for this police flashlight doesn’t have a secondary switch or alternative mode button but the side switch is well-placed for easy use. It could be best used as a backup to higher-grade weapon lights and features a sturdy clip for safe storage.

Final Verdict

As you can see, there’s a flashlight out there that’s perfect for any type of Police Officer, from traffic enforcement to homicide. Whether you need a tight beam or an SOS signal, you have plenty of options to choose from.

We believe that the Klarus XT21X is the best flashlight for police officers out of every other brand. Its durability, long battery life, fast-charging capability, and weatherproofing make it one of the most reliable tools a cop can have.

No matter which flashlight you choose, we’re sure your nights won’t be nearly as dark. Light up the unknown with the best police flashlight today.

The Ultimate Flashlight Buying Guide for Law Enforcement

Officer with a flashlight inspecting the road at night
Photo by Realstock

Before you go out and choose the best flashlight, it’s important that you understand the different qualities that a flashlight has and how they can affect its performance in the field.

Here, we’ll go over what to look for when shopping for law enforcement flashlights. Keeping all of these aspects in mind will help you narrow down your options and guarantee that you make a well-informed final decision based on the quality of the products on hand.


A flashlight’s light output intensity is measured in lumens (lm). The advent of LED technology meant that light sources could no longer strictly be measured in watts (W), which measured the amount of power used. Since LEDs can use less wattage while producing more light, lumens directly measure the emitted light’s brightness.

Lumens for flashlights on this list can range from a humble 5 lumens all the way up to 25,000, which is enough to make you go temporarily blind.

Light intensity is essential when it comes to law enforcement flashlights. Products don’t always have the same lumen count, so some might be more suited to certain situations than others. You might need a bright light for a highway but want something dimmer for an investigation.

Battery & Settings

Battery life is obviously an important factor to consider for law enforcement flashlights. You don’t want your flashlight running out of juice in the middle of an investigation or a dangerous situation.

Flashlights are either rechargeable or rely on single-use primary cell batteries.  Rechargeables can run on NiMh (nickel-metal hydride) or lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion is rarely used in flashlights because of its power expenditure, making it much more expensive and bulkier than NiMh batteries. Recently more brands are choosing to use lithium-ion due to advances in heat and space-saving technology.

Law enforcement flashlights typically have multiple settings to choose from. These can include varying brightness, a strobe effect, and color-changing, among others. Depending on its type, the flashlight battery will run low more quickly if you consistently use it on high settings.

Flashlight packaging and instructions will typically include a runtime graph that charts the product’s battery life in different settings. Depending on your role, it might be better to have a flashlight with a long-lasting battery rather than one with extra settings that you don’t need.

Materials & Construction

A flashlight’s overall quality depends on its material and how it is put together. This will determine how durable the product is and how easy it is to use. Some flashlights may be equipped to handle a diving expedition to 30 meters, while others can’t even deal with rain or snow.

Law enforcement flashlights are typically made from high-quality mil-spec aluminum. It’s heavy-duty and can handle a powerful drop or impact without the risk of damage. Shock resistance is often listed on the packaging or in user’s manuals.

The lense should also be made of durable material, such as hardened glass or plastic. This will ensure that it’s scratch-resistant, maintaining the brightness levels and beam spill over time.


While the size of a flashlight is a matter of personal preference for most people, law enforcement officers may need a larger or smaller flashlight, depending on their assignment. Smaller tactical flashlights might not be the best tool for self-defense in a sticky situation.

Modern LED technology has smashed the convention that bigger is better. Smaller flashlights are often just as powerful as their larger counterparts. Large flashlights might have additional settings and extended battery life due to their size.

For law enforcement, a police duty flashlight should match the task you’ve been assigned. Highway patrol may need an extra high lumen count to cut through car headlights, while detectives may need something smaller with a more precise beam.

A large flashlight isn’t going to be nearly as portable as a small one. As we’ve discussed, smaller flashlights often have a belt clip or gun mount that would be impossible with something bigger. It’s often the case that police officers have one large and one small to keep their options open.