11 Best Self Defense Flashlights to Keep Yourself Protected

Last Updated on May, 2024

Have you ever encountered a dangerous situation when you were walking home alone at night? Maybe you felt someone was following you or had a tussle with a thief? 

With increasing crime rates in every city, your best option is to keep a self-defense device with you. But what device is completely legal to carry around and safe around children? A flashlight, of course!

That’s right tactical flashlights make self defense tools to blind your attacker so you can escape. However, not every tactical flashlight is a self defense flashlight. After testing dozens of lights for you, I have selected 11 of the best self defense flashlights.

Editor’s Choice
Acebeam L18
Brightness
Beam distance
Runtime
Durability
Price

5.0

5.0

4.9

5.0

5.0

Overall Score

5.0

#2nd Best Choice
Olight Warrior Mini 2
Brightness
Beam distance
Runtime
Durability
Price

4.9

5.0

4.9

4.9

4.9

Overall Score

4.9

#3rd Best Choice
FENIX PD36R PRO
Brightness
Beam distance
Runtime
Durability
Price

4.8

4.8

4.8

4.8

4.9

Overall Score

4.8

The Top 11 Self Defense Flashlights That Can Keep You Safe

These are the best self defense flashlights on the market right now. With an amazing throw and runtime, Acebeam L18 takes the prize on this list. Nevertheless, each of these flashlights has its own unique features. You can choose the one that suits your needs the most. So let’s begin!

1. Acebeam L18 (Editor’s Choice)

The Acebeam L18 is the best self defense flashlight on this list. Weighing only 5.2oz/ 147g (without battery) with a length of 6.06in, it is a great light if you want a multi-purpose flashlight for everyday carry and protection. 

It is an ideal outdoor flashlight, with an amazing throw of 1000 meters. The L18 also has an impressive runtime of 94 days in its lowest mode (moonlight).

It’s a dual switch light with seven brightness settings, of which Turbo and Strobe modes are the highest, with outputs of 1500 and 900 lumens, respectively. 

This tactical light is COMPACT and LIGHTWEIGHT yet very durable due to its aerospace-grade aluminum body and gold-plated circuitry for better conductivity, making it a great self defense flashlight.

Pros

  • IP68 water resistance of 5m submersion 
  • Impact resistance of 2m
  • Long beam distance, even in low-light settings
  • Compatible with remote Acebeam ARPS-R02 pressure switch
  • Steel strike bezel attached to the head of the flashlight
  • Five-year warranty

Cons

  • Become very hot after prolonged use
  • Require more maintenance than a regular flashlight

2. Olight Warrior Mini 2 (#2nd Choice)

If you are looking for a self defense flashlight brighter than the Acebeam, the Olight warrior mini 2 is the one for you! 

This defense everyday flashlight is 4.65in long and weighs only 4.3 oz/ 122g (including battery and pocket clip).

The flashlight gives out a maximum brightness of 1750 lumens with a 220m beam distance and has 45 days of runtime at its lowest setting (mode 5). 

The warrior mini 2 has a dual switch, in which the tactical tail switch can activate both the turbo and strobe modes.

This versatile flashlight can be used for both EDC and tactical scenarios, as it has seven light modes, including SOS. 

Learn more about Olight Warrior Mini 2 in this review.

Pros

  • Smart proximity sensor to prevent overheating 
  • It is lightweight and pocket-sized 
  • Magnetic charging cable for easy charging (flashlight runs on a 3500mAh 18650 rechargeable battery)
  • Waterproof rating of IPX8
  • Impact resistance of 1.5 meters

Cons

  • The flashlight cannot be used as a striking weapon for combat due to its small size
  • The throw is not enough to use for long-range operations

3. FENIX PD36R PRO (#3rd Choice)

The Fenix PD36R Pro is an incredibly compact flashlight with a length of 5.74in, weighing only 5.96oz/ 169g even with the battery.

With a maximum output of 2800 lumens and a beam distance of 380m, this is the perfect flashlight if you do not like side switches as it has TWO tail switches, one for tactical and the other for functional uses. 

The PD36R Pro has six lighting modes, including Turbo and Strobe modes. The light output for these modes is 2800 (turbo) and 2500(strobe) lumens.

Therefore, you get a variety of settings that can be utilize for self defense.

Pros

  • Impact resistant upto 1m
  • Dustproof
  • IP68 Waterproof rating – under 2m of water
  • Compatible with weapons
  • Supports remote pressure switch
  • Limited Lifetime Guarantee from Fenix Lighting

Cons

  • Low runtime of 42 hours, even at the lowest setting
  • You might feel uncomfortable handling the light if you are not used to dual tail switches

4. IMALENT LD70

The second most brightest flashlight in this list is the IMALENT LD70 mini with a light output of 4000 lumens and a throw of 203m!

As the brand with the brightest flashlights in the world can we expect anything less from IMALENT?

The best feature of this flashlight is that out of its five brightness levels, even the medium light mode can be used for self defense since the light output is 900 lumens.

Unfortunately, one downside is the maximum runtime which is only 15 hours. 

Additionally, the LD70 is more of an everyday carry light compared to a tactical torch.

Along with its small size of 3 inches(LENGTH), besides being a blinding tool, it is not an ideal flashlight for self defense if you are looking for a striking weapon since it weighs only 3oz/ 85g. 

Pros

  • Pocket sized, therefore extremely portable
  • Built-in thermal control module that changes brightness according to temperature and battery status
  • IPX-8 water resistance- 2 meter submersion
  • Impact resistant – 1.5 meter

Cons

  • Too small to use as a striking weapon
  • Very low runtime
  • No strike bezel attached to the head

5. Cyansky P25

The Cyansky P25 is a 3000 lumen tactical self defense flashlight. This dual switch (side and tail) light has five light modes, including strobe mode.

It has a maximum runtime of 150 hours and a beam distance of 192 meters

This is an extremely durable flashlight for self defense as it is low temperature resistant with intelligent circuitry that controls temperature, overcharge/over-discharge prevention, and mode management.

The P25 is highly lightweight, weighing just 3.1oz/ 88g (no battery) and is 5.78in long. 

However, unlike the Imalent flashlight, only the Strobe and Turbo modes have a light output above 1000 lumens. Nevertheless, the P25 is a lightweight, wide-angle floodlight that runs on a 21700 5000mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery. 

Pros

  • Impact resistance upto 2m
  • IPX8 waterproof rating with up to 2m submersion
  • Is weather/temperature proof since it can be used in cold or hot conditions (-30 to 50C)
  • Extremely durable
  • Shockproof

Cons

  • Low beam distance
  • No strike bezel

6. Wuben T1

Wuben T1 is a 2000 lumen flashlight with a throw of 498 meters.

As a 18650 Li-ion battery rechargeable flashlight, it has a runtime of 100 hours with the perfect design for outdoor activities and self defense. 

A unique feature the T1 has is the tail switch. It’s a lever that can switch between outdoor and tactical modes.

The other light modes, from low to strobe, can be controlled by pressing the lever.

The T1 ia a good strike tool as it is 6.38in long and weighs 7.58oz/ 214g.

This is one of the best tactical flashlights as the lever makes it very convenient to switch on at any time as well as the bezel design at the head of the light makes it a good striking tool.

Here in this review, we’ve reviewed the Wuben T1 in more detailedly.

Pros

  • IP68 waterproof rating of 2m for one hour
  • Impact resistant – 1.5meter 
  • Lever tail switch
  • Mechanical seal design to better protect the charging port from external damage
  • Rugged design for a tighter grip

Cons

  • Over heats to the point its too hot to touch during extended use

7. Nitecore TM9K

The Nitecore TM9K is the brightest self defense flashlight on this list. This flashlight’s turbo mode gives out a whopping 9500 lumens when turned on!

Both the turbo and high light settings can be utilized for protection as they emit very bright light above 1500 lumens

This rechargeable LED flashlight has a built-in 5000mAh 21700 Li-ion battery that can run for 60 hours in the lowest setting(Ultra Low).

The TM9k has a dual tail switch in which you can control five modes from turbo to ultra low. 

If you are looking for a self defence weapon that is not only blinding but also a great strike weapon, this is the one for you. Although the length is only 4.92in, its weight of 7.68oz/ 217g makes it a suitable striking tool.

Pros

  • Strike bezel at the front of the light
  • High light output
  • A double-sided, scratch resistant coating on the optical lenses
  • Impact Resistance of upto 1 meter
  • IP68 rating for water resistance of 2 meters submersion

Cons

  • Not a suitable flashlight for scenarios that require very low light
  • Over heats extremely fast

8. Coast XP11R

The Coast XP11R is a 2100 lumens flashlight with a 220 beam distance and runtime of 37 hours.

This lightweight dual power light has an adjustable focus that lets you easily slide between the flood beam and BULLS-EYE spot beam.

Weighing 5.7oz/ 161g with a length of 5.98 inches, not only is this a highly portable flashlight for self defense but also a durable one.

It is dust resistant and splash resistant to withstand harsh environments. 

The light has four modes, in which both the high and turbo modes have light outputs of 1000 and 2100 lumens which run on a COAST ZITHION-X™ rechargeable battery or even 3X standard alkaline AAAs.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • An adjustable beam from floodlight to spotlight and vice versa
  • Stormproof rating of IP54
  • Dust resistant

Cons

  • Low runtime
  • The bullseye spot beam might not be suitable for all self defense scenarios
  • Overheats in turbo mode 

9. Armytek Dobermann 

The Armytek Dobermann is the toughest flashlight on this list for self defense. This is the best tactical flashlight if you want high durability.

Although the light output is only 1000 lumens with a beam distance of 381 meters, it has an amazing build.

The Dobermann is made of aircraft-grade aluminum with a type III hard anodizing finish. Despite its tough exterior it only weighs 3.88oz/ 110g for a length of 4.3in.

Additionally, the Dobermann has four color filters that its two-phase tail switch can access. It has six modes with a maximum run time of 18 days.

An extra benefit this flashlight has is the accessories you can get with the package for mounting the light onto weapons. 

Armytek Dobermann

Pros

  • Temperature sensor to prevent overheating
  • Extremely high water resistance rating of IP68 
  • High Impact resistance of 30 meters
  • The package comes with accessories that make it compatible with any weapon
  • Shock resistant
  • Multiple color filters
  • Ten-year warranty

Cons

  • Light output is on the lower range of this list, although still usable for self defense
  • Not suitable for indoor use

10. Klarus XT12S

The Klarus XT12S XHP35 HI is another self defense flashlight with tactical and outdoor settings. 

Equipped with six output modes, this flashlight has a max output of 1600 lumens with a beam distance of 402m. It weighs 4.6oz(w/o battery)/ 130g with a length of 5.6in.

You can use two modes for protection in this flashlight; strobe and turbo mode.

Both modes give out a brightness of 1600 lumens, but the strobe light setting can run for 2.4 hours while the turbo for 1.2 hours.

Pros

  • It has an internal temperature monitor that adjusts the output
  • Impact resistant up to 1m
  • Waterproof rating of IPX8
  • Five-year warranty
  • It consists of a strike bezel

Cons

  • If you prefer side switch controls, this might not be the one for you.
  • The dual tactical tail switch is poorly designed

11. MATEMINCO MT35

One of the brighter flashlights on this list, the MATEMINCO MT35 has a maximum light output of 2700 lumens.

It also has a high beam distance of 1587 meters with a maximum runtime of up to 300 hours.

The MT35 is quite a bulky flashlight weighing 28.9oz/ 820g with a length of 7.4in.

This light contains four brightness levels and three light modes, including a strobe and turbo controlled by a side switch. 

This rechargeable light is a great striking tool since it is made from aero-grade aluminum alloy with an HAIII military-grade hard-anodized finish and has a sturdy steel strike bezel at the top of its head.

Pros

  • Shock Resistant
  • It contains a strike bezel 
  • Water resistant of IPX7
  • Breathing light lock-up design that detects the voltage and battery percent

Cons

  • The package does not come with a charging cable
  • With a high beam distance its not suitable for other indoor purposes
  • The flashlight is heavy and not pocket sized

Tips to Buy to the Best Self Defense Flashlight (Buyer’s Guide)

Brightness and Light Intensity

A tactical flashlight cannot be deemed suitable for personal protection if it has a maximum output of less than 500 lumens.

Although around 500 lumens are enough to cause temporary blindness, the recovery time of the target depends on how bright the light is. 

About 1000 lumens or above is the ideal brightness to cause disorientation to the target that will last for at least 3-5 minutes.

The goal of a self defense flashlight is to keep the assailant confused and disoriented enough for you to run to safety. Therefore, a very bright light is a must.

a human using a flashlight in a dark room

Features

One stand-out feature that self defense flashlights should have is a strike bezel to use for combat, if necessary. The best self defense flashlights are waterproof and shockproof, with high impact resistance to withstand most tactical scenarios. 

Sensors

Since self defense flashlights need a very bright maximum output compared to ordinary flashlights, temperature or proximity sensors are advantageous to prevent overheating.

These sensors monitor the internal temperature, therefore, it will automatically adjust the brightness so you get more runtime to use in actual combat situations.

Weapon Compatibility

Although being compatible with weapons is advantageous, this is optional if you don’t own any weapons. However, if you want a self-defense flashlight with versatility, ensure they come with mounting accessories and have the right body structure to fit.

Some flashlight companies provide all the accessories for mounting weapons such as the ARMYTEK Dobermann XP-L HI or is recoil resistant and can be mounted on any weapon like the FENIX PD36R PRO. 

Make sure the tactical flashlight you are buying is more durable than an ordinary flashlight if you are planning to use it with guns or other weaponry. 

Battery and Battery Life 

Since emergency or combat scenarios are extremely unexpected, a longer runtime is needed for defense flashlights.

Therefore, a defense tactical flashlight must have a runtime of at least 30-40 hours in the lowest mode. 

Most self defense flashlights run on rechargeable batteries. The lights usually come with either a magnetic tailcap or mini USB cable chargers in the package.

The minimum brightness of the flashlight depends on the number of 18650 batteries used.

If around 2-4 batteries are utilized, you can get an output of approximately 2000 lumens like in the case of the Mateminco MT35 CREE XHP35 flashlight.

a human holding a flashlight

User Interface

A good user interface with a battery indicator is necessary to ensure you have enough power or turbo /strobe mode in emergencies. In most cases, the strobe/ turbo modes do not function in a quality flashlight after it reaches less than 5% to preserve the remaining energy. 

Therefore, an indicator is needed to ensure your flashlight can run for an extended period outdoors. An adjustable focus is also highly beneficial if you are looking for a multi-purpose defense flashlight that can function as an everyday carry tool.

Size and Material 

Do NOT buy flashlights made of plastic for self-defense, even if the brightness levels are high!

The best self defense flashlights should be strong and durable. Therefore they must have an aluminum alloy body or be constructed from a strong metal and have a hard-anodized finish.

What are Self Defense Flashlights?

flashlights on the table

Self defense flashlights are tactical gear used for personal protection. A tactical gear flashlight typically has a high light output of atleast 500 lumens and is made of strong metals.

These tactical lights have a disorienting strobe light or turbo mode that can be accessed through the tail switch. Tactical flashlights are also effective striking weapons since the ones specifically made for self defense are constructed from strong metals and have a strike bezel on the head of the flashlight. 

Why Do You Need Them?

With increasing crime rates a self defense tool is a must-have to protect yourself and your loved ones. But with guns and other weapons, who needs a flashlight?

A flashlight IS a surprising personal protection tool, isn’t it? However, you must remember that guns are not accepted for personal defense in most countries, and even in countries such as the United States, you need to undergo training and get a gun license.

Besides, the problem with most weapons is they are not safe around children. With a flashlight, you do not have to worry about your children getting injured. Even if they use a self-defense flashlight, the worst that could happen is disorientation and eye discomfort if they shine the light on themselves and others. 

But how many lumens does a flashlight need to be considered for self defense?…Lets find out! 

What is the Maximum Light Output a Self Defense Flashlight Should Have?

For a tactical flashlight to be considered for self defense, it must have a brightness level above 1000 lumens. The brighter, the better. Additionally, the flashlight should come with at least three modes, one turbo/ strobe mode. 

Although the runtime of turbo mode is less, the sudden outburst of bright light is enough to blind your assailant, giving you time to escape temporarily.

Even though 300 lumens is enough to cause distress to the eyes, the effects only last for a few minutes. A flashlight with more than 500 lumens is required to make the target’s flash blindness last longer.

How to Use Your Self Defense Flashlight for Combat Situations?

a human holding a flashlight

If you are walking alone at night or along a deserted region, make sure to keep your flashlight in your pocket or if you are using the light, it should be at a low setting that it is bright enough for you to see your steps and to converse the battery for when you might need it. 

If you feel your attacker is approaching closer to you, switch to the brightest mode and shine it directly at the target’s eyes. As soon as they are disoriented, run or seek help. It would be best if you never tried to engage in combat, as the assailant might have a hidden weapon. 

The whole flashlight can be used as a weapon. If your tactical flashlight head has beveled edges, it can be utilized in striking the attacker if they have grabbed your body or bag.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You made it till the end. I hope you got a good grasp on how and which tactical flashlights are used for protection and got to know some of the best self defense flashlights on the market right now. 

Overall, the Acebeam L18 is the best flashlight for self defense. If you want a light with a long throw, the Acebeam is the best. 

When buying a self defense flashlight, always think of the other purposes you want to use it for.

If you want an EDC that is also great for protection, multipurpose self defense flashlights are great, but if you are looking for a flashlight to mount on weapons, the they should have a strong body and high runtime to be more suited for the job. 

FAQs

A good self defense flashlight should have high impact resistance and shock resistance to withstand any damages, as well as sharp edges around the head of the light for an added advantage.

The best structure of a tactical flashlight to increase compatibility with standard weapons should be compact and round-shaped with a rugged body to provide stability and withstand recoil.

The type of tactical flashlight best for self-defense depends on the distance of the attacker. A spotlight is better for shorter distances since it can quickly blind the target, whereas a floodlight is better for longer distances as it can flood the target’s eyes better.

OUR #1 RECOMMENDATION
Acebeam L18
Brightness
Beam distance
Runtime
Durability
Price

5.0

5.0

4.9

5.0

5.0

Overall Score

5.0

visa, master, amex, paypal
Pros
IP68 water resistance of 5m submersion
Long beam distance, even in low-light settings
Compatible with remote Acebeam ARPS-R02 pressure switch
Steel strike bezel attached to the head of the flashlight
Five-year warranty
Get the BEST PRICE until the end of May
Cons
Require more maintenance than a regular flashlight

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Author
Dillon Morrison
I have been involved in the flashlight community since 2007. My brother has a flashlight shop from where I have tested and reviewed more than 600+ different types of flashlights. You can find more about me here.

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