- A good police flashlight is bright, 1000 lumen minimum.
- Long battery life is important, at least 30 minutes on the highest setting and 15 hours on its lowest.
- You want a flashlight that is made from strong and durable material, like metal or titanium.
- You want a decent-sized flashlight that is also large enough to be used for self-defense, but not too heavy to carry around.
1.High Brightness- At Least 1000 Lumen
Brightness is very important for a police officer or someone in law enforcement. You need a flashlight that would provide sufficient light no matter what the situation is. On top of that, you also want a flashlight that is bright enough to potentially blind or disorient assailants as a move for self-defense.
Ideally, over 1000 lumen is bright enough for a police flashlight. Under 1000 would not be bad, but I think it is best to stay above 1000 lumen. The brighter the flashlight, the more visibility you have in a situation. If you are searching for something or someone, a brighter flashlight illuminates more space.
This is also important because the more that is visible to you, the better you can access a situation and consider if it’s dangerous or not. If a potential suspect has a weapon on them, you’ll be able to see so with a brighter flashlight.
2. Long Battery Life - 15 Hours+
Battery life might be a commonly underrated feature on a flashlight but it is very important when using one for law enforcement. The last thing you want is your flashlight dying on you when you need it most. In dangerous situations, it can have an effect on your probability of living, or making it out unscathed. So a good police flashlight will have a good battery life that ensures a long runtime.
Deciding what an acceptable runtime is can be pretty tricky. But, taking into consideration flashlights today, I would say at least 30 min on its highest setting and 15 hours on its lowest setting. You won't be using your flashlight constantly but you will use it often and most of the time you'll be using it on one of its lower settings. So it's easy to get into the habit of not charging it often, which is fine if you have one with a decent runtime like I said.
Certain batteries are better equipped for longer runtimes, such as Lithium-Ion batteries which are becoming the standard for flashlights. This is great because they have been able to increase flashlights output while also substantially increasing their runtimes.
3. Strong & Durable Material
Much like many other tools someone in law enforcement carries, you want your police flashlight to be sturdy and tough. You need a flashlight that can withstand many drops and impacts. For a police flashlight, you want the material to be aluminum, metal, or titanium. These are extremely tough materials and very popular amongst tactical flashlights.
Be sure to also consider its IP rating. You never know what the situation might be so it is best to prepare for all situations. An IPX rating of 5 or higher would be good, that way your flashlight will be at least safe on a rainy day.
4. Self Defense Capability and Size
Now size matters, the last thing you want is something extremely hefty and heavy to carry. This limits you and your abilities in many possible situations. On the other hand, because you also want your police flashlight to double as a self-defense weapon, you don’t want a tiny flashlight. So you do want to pick a decent-sized flashlight that can be used as a striking weapon if need be, but also won’t slow you down or take up too much carry space.
Some flashlights have raised or crenulated bezels. This makes it look like there are spikes on the flashlights head. This is good because if the flashlight is used as a self-defense weapon, it can do more damage than a regular flashlight making it more reliable in a combat scenario. Some flashlights even have tungsten tips on the bezel like the P20i which increases its toughness and gives it the ability to easily break the glass.
When looking for a good police flashlight, remember you want a light that is bright and has great battery life. Size does matter, you don’t want a massive flashlight, but you also don’t want a keychain flashlight. On top of that, you want it to also be tough, durable, and able to be used as a weapon if needed. Many tactical flashlights have these features but there are also many edc flashlights that offer the same capabilities and are potentially more compact.
Most importantly, there is no one flashlight that fits all. The perfect police flashlight will vary from officer to officer, it’s important to use this advice to find the best one for you. Also, for more help look at our What What Makes A Flashlight Tactical? article.