Illuminating a dark basement space, shining a bright and blinding light at a suspect, or using it for self-defense, the best law enforcement flashlight will serve and protect a duty police officer just as effectively as a cop’s sidearm.
And I’m not writing about those heavy three D-cell battery Maglites that were so popular with cops in the ’90s. The current generation of the best police flashlights don’t even compare with those Maglites, which some departments have banned.
Modern LED flashlights are far more durable. They no longer have bulbs that burn out or break, which means you can drop your flashlight after you catch a perpetrator to cuff them.
These flashlights also are made from aerospace metals or aircraft-grade aluminum. They are also lighter, weighting far less than 12 ounces. The benefit of small, lightweight torches means your duty belt won’t be weighed down.
Modern flashlights also have better lens and lighting capacities. The LEDs in these lights are brighter. Where the old Mag would produce about 75 lumens, an LED light can produce two to three times that, which is apparent when we look at the first of two best police flashlights in this article.
Best police flashlight: Pelican 7060
The Pelican 7060 is, bar none, the best law enforcement flashlight. It was designed for the LA Police Department and produces a high output light of 160 lumens and a low output light of 36 lumens.
At its brightest setting, the Pelican’s beam will reach 254 meters and will shine for 2.15 hours. At its dimmest, it will last for 15 hours.
The Pelican offers the best of both worlds: High and low output, along with a battery life that will last through a shift of night traffic stops and tactical needs.
This law enforcement flashlight also features two on and off switches — one on the tail-cap and one on the body. The tail-cap switch makes it easy to toggle it on and off while holding it above the head, and the switch on the body makes it easy to toggle it when the light is beside the body or below the waist.
Also, the aircraft-grade aluminum this light is made from will take abuse. (I’ve dropped mine off two story buildings by accident, picked it up and turned it on without a problem.) It is waterproof, as well, so don’t worry about using the Pelican flashlight during traffic stops in the pouring rain: It’ll hold up.
The Pelican, which weights 10.6 ounces, uses a 3.7 volt lithium-ion battery, which is included, and a car and AC charger. This allows you to keep the battery topped off while on patrol in the field.
Best Police flashlight: SureFire E2D Defender
Compared to the Pelican’s 8.65 inch long body, the SureFire Defender is only 5.4 inches long but features serrated edges on the front bezel and rear tail-piece. The edges are teeth-like and serve as a defense weapon in an emergency survival fight.
The SureFire also offers 200 lumens of bright light that will blind a suspect. It does have a low output feature, which will illuminate a dark room for 76 hours at 5 lumens. The high intensity brightness tactical mode will last for 1.9 hours.
This torch uses two 123A batteries and has a narrow spot light that will brighten dark places, along with a peripheral beam that spreads.
The best police flashlight, the SureFire is light with batteries, weighting in at 3.7 ounces, and is waterproof.
For chasing perpetrators to daily traffic stops on patrol, the best law enforcement flashlight will be durable and bright and serve you well on duty. Whether you choose the SureFire or the Pelican, both are duty lights that will protect you from harm and make your job easier.