Flashlight vs Laser: Know the Advantages and Differences

Last Updated on May, 2024

Laser sight or a weapon mounted light? Which one is considered the better option? Lasers can be cool and have a great deal of applicability in hunting, for instance; however, flashlights are in a ballpark of their own. 

Obviously, to state, flashlights and lasers are not the same things. While a laser pointer can help you aim at things far away, they don’t really work to illuminate the spot. Hence, the laser sight is considered varied, something that many gun owners will clearly understand. 

When considering which of the two to own, you have to consider the applicability of both. This article will compare a flashlight with a laser pointer and provide you with all the intel to make a decision with regard to whether you need to own a flashlight or a laser. 

Quick Summary

Flashlights are versatile lights with various modes and features, ideal for low-light situations and tactical scenarios.

Laser pointers emit a focused beam of light used for pointing and signaling, with limited versatility.

Flashlights are recommended for camping and other activities, while laser pointers are better suited for pointing purposes.

About Flashlights

a flashlight on the stone

Flashlights are bright lights that shine with the turn of a switch. Flashlights work to illuminate dark settings. Many flashlights come with accessories and are jam-packed with features such as colored lights. 

If you need a light for hunting and shooting, flashlights have gun mounts and other accessories that make them perfect for shooting. (Illuminate the shot.)

A flashlight’s switch is usually located in the middle or on the back end of a flashlight and is used to activate and operate the device. 

A quality flashlight will give you the advantage of being able to see miles into the distance. A quality flashlight could also have a gun mount which can be used with a firearm. 

A flashlight can be used in hunting (or with a firearm), in camping (to generally light the campsite) or even in tactical scenarios (strobe to distract a mugger).

About Laser Pointers

Laser Pointer

Laser pointers are used in pointing. They don’t illuminate but rather shoot a focused laser to a spot in the distance. 

Laser pointers do have their advantages. With the help of a laser pointer, you can easily point at hard-to-reach spots, whether under the hood of a car or off in the distant valley. 

The trouble with laser pointers is the fact that their applicability is limited. They do not in any way illuminate the darkness. Laser pointers are devices used in spotting; however, fire is usually brighter than a laser pointer. 

Laser pointers are not used for the purposes of illuminating and do have applications in hunting. Though you cannot light up a large area, it can be a great way to aim sights, something that can be used along with handguns in hunting.

Difference Between a Flashlight and a Laser

Flashlights and Lasers

A laser pointer is simply a laser light that shoots a focused laser into a concentrated spot. A laser light is very varied from a flashlight, which works by bursting light into the darkness, thereby lighting up the space before you. 

A flashlight can be used as a weapon light or a tactical light, while a laser pointer only lets you point at stuff. Infrared laser pointers, for instance, use infrared, which has applicability in hunting, among other things; however, it doesn’t compare to the iron sights of brightness produced by a flashlight. 

A tactical flashlight will have features such as strobe mode, SOS and beacon, which can be used in various tactical emergency scenarios. You CANNOT do this with a laser pointer. 

While flashlights portray a bright white light (tactical flashlights often offer more than just white light), a laser pointer only shoots a laser dot.

In hunting, both a laser pointer and a flashlight could help you to shoot effectively. However, when it comes to applicability, a quality flashlight will offer so much more than a laser pointer (even on your hunts.)

Types of Laser Points

Laser Pointers on the table

Laser pointers come in various colors. A cheaper laser pointer may not be as reliable of a unit as something that you pay a little more for. 

Green laser is one of the most popular laser lights. Green, violet and red lasers being the most common, the red dots are by far the most popular. 

Types of Flashlights

Flashlights can work to light up a dark room, provide you with night sights and even help you shoot effectively. 

There are various types of flashlights in the market, offering single-color light, multi-color light with varying beam profiles and features.

It is up to you to pick the type of flashlight for your needs. Some even come with laser combos, which means you have a laser pointer and the applicability of a flashlight. 

Benefits of a Laser Pointer 

a human using a Laser Pointer

A laser pointer can be useful when you are unable to get a sight picture. When you can’t see the exact dimension of a surface, a laser pointer can help you determine the depth and distance. 

They are primarily used as pointing devices. You may have seen lecturers pointing at graphs and things on a board using a laser pointer. 

The simplicity of a laser pointer is what makes it great. It doesn’t have a complicated user interface and often is simple to operate. 

Laser pointers make great signaling tools, even during the day. It works to produce a bright signal. This is why it is essential that you carry a laser pointer in your emergency kit. You never know when you need it to signal for help.

Benefits of a Flashlight

The light produced by a flashlight has deadly force in comparison to a laser pointer. Light and laser are two varied things. While the light of a flashlight can light up the darkness, a laser pointer only works as a pointing device which uses a focused beam of light (not useful in low light situations). 

A good flashlight will help you see in the dark for miles in the distance. It can also be very useful as part of a home defense system.

Due to the fact that most flashlights offer various modes of operation, you can control the level of lighting based on need. 

Flashlights are a powerful light source in the palm of your hand. It is perfect for any low light situation and is very varied from the red dot of a laser pointer. 

**** camping with only a laser pointer and no flashlight is a bad idea. 

Uses of Laser Pointers

Laser Pointer on the floor

Novice shooters can use user laser pointers to help aim even during the day. Laser pointers offer more power when trying to aim and signal. 

These are the primary uses of laser pointers. They are used in laser alignment, construction, industrial manufacturing, automotive repair and, as mentioned, aiming devices for firearms.

Lasers can be used alongside a gun, such as a pistol, to help spot prey while hunting. Aiming is greatly assisted by using lasers. Though they don’t produce light which lights up the woods, they do a great job of spotting prey without distracting them. 

Uses of Flashlights

a human using a flashlight

Flashlights offer night vision to even those who have aging eyes. The main task of a flashlight is to offer a spectrum of light which will work to light up the entire space before you. 

There are so many uses for flashlights. Whenever you are in need of light in the darkness, your flashlight will be the go-to device for lighting up the darkness

Flashlights also have a great spot focus, which allows you to focus light into a specific space. Based on the beam profile and the beam distance, a spotlight flashlight could work to light up miles before you. 

Flashlights can also be used in combination with a weapon or a gun. When used with a gun, it can help to light up the direction in which the gun is pointed. 

Though not primarily used for aiming, flashlights can also help you aim and spot a target.

Flashlights With Laser Combo

There are flashlights in the market that offer both the ability to light up the darkness and the applications of a laser pointer. LEP flashlights or flashlights with laser combo are a two-in-one device that works to both spot with a laser and light up with LEDs. 

These flashlights with laser combos have great applicability in various scenarios, including hunting. They offer a great beam distance, usually much greater than a regular flashlight.

These flashlights are designed to shoot light into great distances. They are made to function much like a laser pointer and will, in many cases, have a laser pointer built into the flashlight. 

Which One Should You Own?

flashlight and Laser light

When it comes to picking, my selection is always the flashlight, which, based on the flashlight you buy, can even have the applicabilities of a laser pointer. 

For instance, if you go with a flashlight that has a laser combo, you could get both devices in one. 

Regardless of whether a flashlight has a laser pointer or not, a flashlight is something that you should most certainly own. A good tactical flashlight can be very useful in emergency scenarios, and a good flashlight will work to not only light up the night sky but ensure that you are not left in the darkness. 

The uses of a flashlight are many, while the uses of a laser pointer are limited. Hence in my understanding, in comparison to both, you should most certainly own a flashlight, which could come of great use, regardless of where you plan to use the light. 

Final Thoughts

Flashlights and laser pointers are two very different things. While one will turn darkness to light, the other will not change the brightness of the environment at all. 

A laser pointer can be useful based on its exact applicability. 

In reading this article, I hope you have gathered properly the difference between a laser pointer and a flashlight. When comparing the two devices, it is like night and day. While one will help you see in the darkness, the other will only help you point at stuff.


Yes, flashlights offer a variety of colors of light, including white, red, blue, and green.

Yes, a laser pointer can be used during the day, though its beam may be less visible due to the brighter light.

Yes, a laser pointer can be a valuable addition to an emergency KIT, as it can be used to signal for assistance in an emergency.

Yes, a flashlight with the right tactical features can be very helpful in emergency situations, providing necessary illumination and potentially aiding in rescue efforts.

The most popular type of laser light is the red color laser.

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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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