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The Best Firefighter Flashlights for 2023

Fact checked by Andrew Carnegie

As a firefighter, you may have already realized how tough and challenging your job is most of the time. Your job involves saving people and their property from fire while also protecting your own life when doing it. With that in mind, it is important to be equipped with all the things needed to make your job less challenging and more manageable.

One important item that you need is the best firefighter flashlight, which plays a huge role in making you fulfill your duties and responsibilities while on the job. It can help you do an efficient job in saving or rescuing not only potential victims but also yourself and your fellow firefighters.

best firefighter flashlight

Note that during a fire, it is easy for you to get extremely disoriented and overwhelmed because of the smoke-filled environment. By using any of the high-quality and bright firefighting flashlights of today, you will have something to rely on so you can easily navigate and move on the area affected by the fire.

It also helps you find your way inside and outside of the smoke-filled and fire-filled spaces. Most of the flashlights for firefighters offered in the market today have enough brightness capable of pushing through the smog and smoke, making it easier to locate, spot, and rescue occupants.

They are also usually compact and small to prevent them from slowing down firefighters. Furthermore, they are sturdy enough that hot, smoky, and harsh environments affected by the fire will not beat it up that easily.

For you to have an easier time spotting a firefighter flashlight that you can rely on during a firefighting scenario, I have compiled a dozen of choices for you to peruse. Spend time learning more about these products through the short yet informative reviews so you can better decide which one is perfect for you.

<strong>Top 1</strong>

Streamlight 90540

Streamlight 90540 Survivor (Orange) LED Right Angle Flashlights

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<strong>Top 2</strong>

Streamlight 69140


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<strong>Top 3</strong>

Nightstick FDL-300R-K01


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Top 12 Firefighter Flashlight Reviews in 2021

1. Streamlight 90540 Survivor LED Right Angle Flashlight

Streamlight 90540 Survivor (Orange) LED Right Angle Flashlights

If you are interested in a Streamlight firefighter flashlight, then the first product reviewed in this article will be a sure hit for you. I can say that this is one of the toughest fireman flashlights anyone can find today, which contains all the specifications needed in making the lives of firefighters easier when they are fulfilling their duties.

I am satisfied with its size because it is compact and small enough that holding and managing it on the job is not that hard. Despite its small size, it is still built tough, assuring users that they will never break nor lose it while on the job. It is even built to handle heavy uses and abuse.

It has a max of 140-lumen output, providing more than enough power that punching through the fire and smoke within a building is possible. I am also in awe of the 90-degree style and narrow beam applied to this flashlight that makes it further easier to use.

One incredible thing about this flashlight is that it comes with a spring clip, which you can use in attaching it to your turnout gear easily. You can also set this flashlight easily on flat surfaces. It has a low profile, which, I think, is its major strength as it prevents it from being trapped in the gear.

I am also glad to say that using it even with your gloves on is easy, thanks to its rubber dome switch that you can operate with a push of a button. The case of the flashlight is created using tough and high-impact nylon with O-ring sealing, proving how strong and sturdy its overall structure is.

Furthermore, it has a tough Lexan lens, which can also prevent scratches through its silicone coating.

I am not so fond of the non-adjustable head of this firefighter flashlight, though.
What We Like
  • Small and compact, promoting convenience when used
  • Tough and sturdy case constructed out of high-impact nylon
  • Comes with a durable Lexan lens, which can prevent scratches
  • Easy to use and turn on even with your gloves on
  • Can be easily attached into your turnout gears
What We Don’t Like
  • The head is not adjustable
Compared to the many strengths and valuable features of this firefighter LED flashlight from Streamlight, the flaw is just very minor, so you can rest assured that it will not affect its performance that much.

2. Streamlight 69140 Vantage LED Tactical Flashlight


Another tough and sturdy fire rescue flashlights offered by Streamlight is the 69140 Vantage Helmet Mounted LED Tactical Flashlight. Structured in a way that you can mount or attach it into your helmet, this tactical flashlight will surely offer convenience since you can move with the flashlight around without having to use your hands.

It is because you can just attach it to your helmet, freeing your hands. I think that the sturdiness of this flashlight is one of its endearing features. It packs a lot of power while boasting of its shockproof, strong, and almost indestructible structure.

Despite being built tough, I still observed that this flashlight has a low-profile, compact, and lightweight nature. I am delighted to highlight its versatility, which is easily noticeable with its ability to fit various hard hats, industrial helmets, and fire helmets whether the design is modern or traditional.

It is also built in a way that you can easily and conveniently attach it below or above the full brim. Another favorable benefit of this firefighter flashlight is that it makes use of the recent technology in the LED industry. It combines such technology with a bright blue safety taillight, which is good as it lets you see even in thick smoke.

The used C4 technology also ensures that it is capable of producing twice to thrice as much as the output produced by previous LED lights. I am also pleased with this flashlight’s on/off switch as it lets you operate it even if you are wearing heavy gloves.

I also like how easy and quick it is to attach and remove the light without the need for any tools. This LED tactical flashlight is also created in a way that it can create the right balance between peripheral illumination and beam.

However, I am not so satisfied with the battery cover since opening it up and closing it is quite difficult.
What We Like
  • Versatile and low-profile design, fitting all modern and traditional helmets and hard hats
  • Built using C4 technology, which has better output than previous LED lights
  • Features an easy-to-use on/off switch, allowing you to use it even when wearing heavy gloves
  • Allows you to see even in thick smoke, thanks to its bright blue safety taillight
  • Compact and lightweight
What We Don’t Like
  • Not that user-friendly battery cover
This flaw is easy to ignore, though, because it does not have a huge impact on the performance of this popular Streamlight tactical flashlight at all.

3. Nightstick FDL-300R-K01 Helmet Light


The next lighting solution I intend to recommend to all firefighters out there is the Nightstick FDL-300R-K01, which you can attach to your helmet. One amazing quality I observed in this helmet light is its versatility, which is immediately noticeable with how useful it is not only for firefighting activities but also for tactical, recreation, and outdoor uses.

This product offers a complete system, which makes it possible for you to attach it to your hard hat or firefighter helmet. I like the IPX7 waterproof rating that it has as well as its 2-meter drop rating. I am also happy that this helmet light from Nightstick gives me the freedom to attach the mount to any side of my helmet.

With such capability, I am sure that the helmet light will work effectively in providing users with hands-free illumination. It is also possible for you to set the mount’s angle up to 140 degrees. This level of adjustment can offer clearance not only around goggles and face shields but also on other equipment mounted on a helmet.

The flashlights overall structure is also designed to be strong and durable, so you can rest assured knowing that it will be safe in whatever tough situation it is exposed in. I also find pleasure in the fact that it is compatible with a wide range of hard hats and fire helmets.

Another strong advantage of this Nightstick firefighter flashlight is the fact that you are given the chance to identify precise position as a means of optimizing light alignment. The flashlight is chemical- and impact-resistant, too, which somewhat confirms its ability to last long.

However, this Nightstick flashlight is somewhat heavy, which is one of its known disadvantages.
What We Like
  • Versatile as it is useful not only for firefighters but also in tactical, recreation, and outdoor uses
  • Built strong and tough, making it last long
  • Impact-resistant and chemical-resistant
  • Offers a hands-free illumination and lighting solution for firefighters
  • The mount can be easily attached to all sides of the helmet
What We Don’t Like
  • Slightly heavy
Overall, this item left a positive impression on me because aside from being an extremely bright light, it also supports the lighting needs of many firefighters while boasting of its sturdy and long-lasting structure.

4. Streamlight 88830 PolyTac 90 LED Polymer Flashlight


Another fantastic choice for the top-rated firefighter light is the 88830 PolyTac 90 LED Polymer Flashlight offered by Streamlight. I noticed that this polymer-based flashlight is appropriate for both personal and professional purposes. One thing that I find pleasurable in this flashlight is the extreme brightness it showcases.

I think that the C4 LED technology applied to this flashlight is one of the reasons behind such a good amount of brightness. This flashlight is also noticeable for its ability to handle a wide range of attachment methods with the help of its carabiner style D-ring. The structure of this flashlight is also amazingly strong.

I believe that the super tough and high-impact nylon polymer housing is a major contribution to the strength and durability of the item as well as its sure and nice grip. Another strength of this flashlight for firefighters is that it has an IPX7 waterproof rating.

This proves the ability of the firefighter flashlight to be waterproof for up to one meter for thirty minutes. It is also impact-resistant, which further proves how sturdy and durable it is. The removable, reversible, and rotating clip of this flashlight also provides the advantage of allowing a wide range of mounting positions.

Furthermore, this flashlight takes pride in its optimized electronics that promote controlled intensity. Expect this item to deliver a high level of peripheral illumination, too, with the aid of its textured parabolic reflector capable of creating a smooth beam hotspot.

One downside I wish to point out, though, is that setting it into another beam mode is not that easy.
What We Like
  • Sturdy, strong, and durable structure, which also promotes a good grip
  • Boasts of its high waterproof rating
  • Impact-resistant, proving its strength even further
  • Bright enough for different environments
  • Supports various mounting positions, thanks to its removable, reversible, and rotating clip
What We Don’t Like
  • Not that easy to set it into another beam mode
All in all, I can say that this Streamlight flashlight meets the demands of firefighters who want a lighting solution with a solid built, budget-friendly price, and delivers adequate brightness in various circumstances and environments.

5. Streamlight 88087 ProTac 90 Right-Angle Firefighter Light


Another awesome firefighter lighting solution offered by Streamlight is the famous 88087 ProTac 90 Right-Angle Firefighter Light. This specific firefighter light continues to draw a lot of positive attention because of how good it is. One incredible feature of this flashlight is its right-angle head, which is beneficial as it offers additional lighting capability, making it meet various lighting demands and requirements.

It also has a flexible design, giving you the freedom to carry it using your hands or attach it to your harness, belt, or any other gear so you can use it while still freeing your hands. I am satisfied with how lightweight and compact this flashlight is while still delivering a high-lumen capability and a strong structure.

Powered by either an AA battery or a CR123A lithium battery, I am also one pretty sure that this light will not let you down. It holds the latest features in the LED technology. It has a shockproof structure, which further strengthens its built. I am also in awe of the three selectable programs/settings designed for users so they can choose which one is compatible with a certain environment.

The fact that this firefighter flashlight applies the C4 LED technology on its overall structure also ensures that its body can handle shock and impact. This also contributes to the 50,000-hour lifetime of the flashlight. The blended beam produced by this flashlight’s specialized optic is also a big advantage.

There is also a user-friendly push-button tail switch integrated into this flashlight, which contributes a lot to it showcasing its multifunctional nature.

The only complaint I would like to indicate in this short review is the somewhat subpar packaging of this firefighter flashlight.
What We Like
  • Shockproof and impact-resistant structure, proving its sturdiness and strength
  • Multifunctional as it meets the demands of different workers and environments
  • Makes use of the C4 LED technology
  • Allows hands-free operation, making it as convenient as possible
  • Provides multiple programs/settings that you can choose from
What We Don’t Like
  • Somewhat subpar packaging
To conclude, this flashlight gives me one hundred percent satisfaction because of how bright, neat, and durable it is while remaining light and compact for ease of use.

6. Nightstick XPP-5566GX Intrant Dual Angle Light


I am also sure that you will not regret your choice if you pick the XPP-5566GX Intrant Dual Angle Light offered by Nightstick. I consider it as an effective dual-light as it works both as a floodlight and flashlight simultaneously. With its dual lighting function, I can safely say that it is built to maximize lighting versatility while keeping users safe.

This light takes pride in its dual-light mode as it lets you see objects even when the area is filled with smoke or even if they are at a distance. This Nightstick light also makes it possible for you to look at the ground that is in front of you while walking or working.

The nylon polymer and glass-filled housing of this light is also beneficial as it is proven to be strong and sturdy. It also has multiple brightness settings that you can choose based on what is the most convenient and appropriate for a certain situation. The settings even include a mode for 20-lumen survival.

I also like the lightweight and simple structure of this firefighter flashlight. With such simplicity and lightness, there is no need to worry about the flashlight interrupting your work because it will never hamper your movements. The flashlight also delivers the right amount of brightness, providing sufficient light to any environment, even in areas filled with smoke.

The dual body switches of this firefighter flashlight are also beneficial as these promote ease when it comes to turning the light on and off. I am also impressed with the sharp-focused beam delivered by this flashlight with the aid of its highly efficient deep parabolic reflector.

One issue I have with this flashlight, though, is that the buttons are not that easy to use when you are wearing your gloves.
What We Like
  • Delivers enough brightness for most fire- and smoke-filled environments
  • Hassle-free to turn on and off, thanks to its dual body switches
  • Simple and lightweight design, making it even easier to use
  • Comes with a dual-light mode
  • Multiple brightness settings offered for your convenience
What We Don’t Like
  • Not that easy to use buttons when you have your gloves on
Overall, this firefighter flashlight from Nightstick is a great addition to the arsenal of most firefighters because it plays a major role in improving your efficiency and safety while on the job.

7. Streamlight 90744 Knucklehead Spot Alkaline Flashlight


Another firefighter flashlight that I would like to highlight in this article is the 90744 Knucklehead Spot Alkaline Flashlight from Streamlight. It is an awesome and feature-filled flashlight known for giving you quality and incredible performance as far as offering a lighting solution is concerned.

In my opinion, one strength of this product is its overall sturdy and tough construction. You can attribute it to the battery housing, base, and body of the light that are all constructed from the sturdy and impact-resistant nylon polymer material. I think that being based on this material ensures that the flashlight will be exceptionally durable for quite a long time.

This flashlight is also strong in the sense that it can withstand all sorts of weather with the help of its O-ring sealed openings. As for the lens, rest assured that it is built using the sturdy polycarbonate material, which also comes complete with an anti-scratch silicone coating.

The Knucklehead also takes pride in its water-resistant and impact-resistant nature, which further helps in lengthening the item’s life. I am also glad that this item uses the C4 premium LED technology, as it helps the spotlight deliver extreme brightness while also allowing it to be more capable of handling the shock.

Furthermore, it is equipped with a parabolic reflector featuring a tighter beam, increasing its possibility of showcasing its adequate illumination for a long-range target. I like the optimized electronics in this flashlight, too, as such offer a more controlled intensity.

One thing that I dislike about this flashlight, though, is the somewhat bulkier built compared to the others.
What We Like
  • Provides adequate illumination and brightness even for long-range targets
  • Ensures users of controlled intensity, thanks to its optimized electronics
  • Water-resistant and impact-resistant construction
  • Weather-resistant and shockproof
  • Sturdy housing, base, and body
What We Don’t Like
  • Quite bulky
To conclude, this firefighter flashlight has a solid and reliable built and a good amount of brightness, making it a valuable addition to the tools and accessories that a firefighter must own.

8. Bright Star 510304 Right Angle LED Light


The Bright Star 510304 Right Angle LED Light is also guaranteed to deliver incredible performance when used in various firefighting activities. It provides a high level of satisfaction as far as three vital factors are concerned – weight, safety, and brightness.

I am happy with this LED light as it tends to maximize the light output through its 220-lumen capacity by making use of the most recent optic technology. The optic system used here works by distributing light to a customized beam pattern, allowing it to illuminate even those areas full of somewhat blinding dust and smoke.

This flashlight is also created in a way that it can maintain its slim and low profile. I also noticed how effective this LED light is in focusing the illumination in the right direction all the time. Due to its slim profile, expect it to deliver a tight light against the body, which can result in the prevention of entanglement.

This LED light also makes use of a lithium-ion rechargeable battery, which I find not only reliable and powerful but also capable of lessening its overall weight. I am also impressed with the micro-controlled nature of this LED light because it maximizes its run time.

Furthermore, it allows the easy switching from the rechargeable battery to alkaline. It is durable plus boasts of an oversized push button switch, which you can use even when your hands are wearing gloves.

However, I am not fond of its price as I found out that there are some flashlights of the same features and quality offered at lower prices.
What We Like
  • Reliable, powerful, and lightweight lithium-ion rechargeable battery used
  • Micro-controlled, which is a major help in maximizing run time
  • Features a user-friendly oversized push button switch, making it useful even with your hand gloves
  • Slim and low-profile structure
  • Bright enough as it is designed in a way that it can maximize its light output
What We Don’t Like
  • Quite expensive
With all the major components of this firefighter flashlight, I can safely conclude that it is indeed a fantastic option in the industry, especially if you consider its optimal brightness, level of safety, and weight.

9. Streamlight 44450 Fire Vulcan LED Flashlight


Lastly, I highly encourage you to check out the 44450 Fire Vulcan LED Flashlight offered by Streamlight. There are so many nice and rewarding things and benefits that you can expect to enjoy from this Streamlight LED flashlight. It is one of the most uniquely designed LED flashlights that you can use.

It takes pride in its lightweight and rechargeable nature, which contributes to it being very convenient to use. I am also in awe of this waterproof LED light because this is capable of floating in the water. I like the bright beam it delivers as it can reach even long distances.

Another fascinating benefit that this LED flashlight offers is its optimum peripheral illumination, which is a big help as far as navigation is concerned. I am also fond of the blue taillight LED lights integrated into this item as this promote your own visibility even if you are in an area affected by the fire that has thick and blinding smoke.

The white LED that has up to 50,000 hours lifetime, which is used here, is also completely resistant to shock. I can assure you of the light’s ability to deliver peripheral illumination by producing a tight beam designed for proper navigation. Such a tight beam can be provided with the aid of the light’s deep-dish parabolic reflector.

Furthermore, the purchase of this firefighter flashlight will also let you get a hold of a couple of lightweight Li-Ion nanotechnology batteries capable of being fully recharged in as little as five hours.

It also has a quick-release strap for easy and quick connection or release of the straps.

However, take note that this firefighter flashlight is also quite expensive.
What We Like
  • Up to 50,000-hour lifetime for theLED
  • Comes with Li-Ion nanotechnology batteries that are rechargeable within just five hours
  • Easy to connect and release straps
  • Promotes optimum peripheral illumination and brightness
  • Makes you more visible even in thick and blinding smoke, thanks to its taillight LED lights
What We Don’t Like
  • Quite expensive
Most of its users say that the high price is worth it, though, as all the features are well-thought-out, turning it into a truly valuable and functional flashlight for many firefighters today.

10. Pelican 3715 Right Angle Fire Flashlight


The next flashlight I am going to suggest to all firefighters out there who need a lighting solution for them to perform their job well is the Pelican 3715 Right Angle Fire Flashlight. I think this flashlight answers the demands of most firefighters, especially in terms of proper brightness and illumination.

One reason behind this is that it is equipped with down-case LED lights capable of providing the right amount of illumination to your path. The LED light also offers multiple modes/settings, which provides freedom when it comes to picking one that fits a particular situation.

The settings include low (95 lumens), high (174 lumens), and the signaling setting. I believe that the compactness of this Pelican flashlight is also one of its striking benefits. It is because being compact, I can assure all potential users that they will not have problems using the flashlight even in tough situations and harsh environments.

The flashlight is also ruggedly built, too, which is a strong indication of its ability to last for as long as possible. Even with the strong and rugged built, the flashlight is still lightweight, which somewhat assures you that it will not prevent you from moving with ease.

I am also happy to say that this flashlight comes equipped with a battery life indicator, which gives enough information about the battery level of the battery before using it. Another positive benefit of buying this flashlight is that your purchase will come with 4 AA alkaline batteries that you can use right away.

However, it has a flaw, which is connected to its waterproofing rating as I noticed that it is not as good as the ones featured in other Pelican flashlights.
What We Like
  • Ruggedly built, allowing it to last long
  • Lightweight and compact structure
  • Comes with a battery life indicator, which is a convenient feature for most users
  • Multiple modes/settings provided, giving you freedom of choice
  • Provides the right level of brightness and illumination
What We Don’t Like
  • The waterproofing rating is not as good as other Pelican flashlights
Despite that, this flashlight for firefighters from Pelican is still a great competition because of the quality of the built and how it meets the brightness and illumination requirements of many possible users.

11. Thorfire Powerful 5000 Lumen Flashlight


You might also want to spend time studying all the things that the Thorfire Powerful 5000 Lumen Flashlight as you might realize that this is one of the safety items that you need to fulfill your firefighting job. One thing that amazes me about this Thorfire flashlight is its compact structure.

With its compactness, I am sure you will not encounter difficulty using it in the field. I love how durable this 5000-lumen flashlight is because it is built using the strong aerospace-grade aluminum alloy material. I also noticed that it has gold-plated circuitry contact points that make it more durable and deliver better conductivity.

With the strengthened thermal heat fins built into this flashlight, I am also sure that it can showcase its stability no matter how tough a working condition and situation is. This flashlight projects a max of 5000 lumen light output, making it as bright as possible.

I like the inclusion of quad aluminum reflectors as these play a huge role in allowing the light to reach up to 492-yard throw range. I am also delighted with the highly customizable nature of this flashlight. It is built to support multi-channel output configurations, making its structure as customizable as possible.

With these configurations, you are given the freedom to set it based on your preference. Moreover, this light takes pride in its smart memory function that can store previous brightness levels.

However, the included instructions on how to set up or use the flashlight are quite confusing.
What We Like
  • Compact structure, making it easy to use
  • Customizable, thanks to its ability to support multi-channel output configurations
  • Equipped with a smart memory function ideal for storing previous brightness levels
  • Can handle tough working situations and conditions
  • Maximum brightness guaranteed
What We Don’t Like
  • Confusing setup and usage instructions
Overall, this firefighter flashlight showcases top-notch and amazing quality as well as a kind of workmanship with the least number of flaws, making it a genuinely nice and wise investment.

12. Pelican CVPKG 3410 Photo-luminescent Flashlight


I also suggest using Pelican firefighter flashlights, especially the brand’s CVPKG 3410 Photo-luminescent Flashlight because it is famous for its top-notch quality. In my opinion, it is the ultimate answer to anyone searching for a compact yet tough work light.

I like how sturdily this Pelican flashlight is built, thanks to its durable polymer body, without putting too much weight into it. In other words, it is still lightweight so you do not have to worry about it holding you down when you are doing your job. The body is also glow-in-the-dark, which also boasts of its flood and spot lighting options.

It also provides three modes and settings, letting you set it to suit the particular situation you are in. The glow-in-the-dark body mentioned earlier is also constructed using a photo-luminescent material, which is a big help in ensuring that you can easily spot the light each time it is necessary.

With its flood and spot LED lighting, you will find this firefighter flashlight extremely useful in meeting your distant and close-up lighting requirements. I am also delighted to highlight the fact that you can operate it on any of the LED options or both of them.

I also like the built-in clip and articulating head as it gives you the chance to use the flashlight while your hands are free. It also allows handheld functions of the flashlight, giving you the chance to direct it in any place you want.

However, the flashlight is not as heavy-duty if you compare it to other firefighting lights in the market.
What We Like
  • Compact and tough construction
  • Provides three lighting modes
  • Constructed with a glow-in-the-dark body for better visibility
  • Promotes hands-free use
  • Allows flood lighting and spot lighting
What We Don’t Like
  • Not that heavy-duty especially when compared with other flashlights
Overall, if you intend to buy a multi-tasking firefighting lighting tool then expect this Pelican flashlight to be an incredible choice worth the money you spent on it.

What is a Firefighter Flashlight


A firefighter’s flashlight is quite different from the regular flashlights that most people use in their homes. For one thing, these kinds of flashlights are tougher and more resilient to all forms of punishment that might cause regular flashlights to break apart.

Firefighters need flashlights that are waterproof for the obvious reason that they will be surrounded by water most of the time. It is also necessary for them to get a shield against extreme heat because having the batteries explode while you are charging into an inferno will only cause unneeded injuries.

In short, the flashlights that firefighters use should at least be as tough as they are. The important thing to remember about firefighters’ flashlights is that they are leveled up versions of regular ones. They are brighter and tougher and have more functions.

If you are thinking of getting one of your own, remind yourself of these qualities when you are browsing the aisles of flashlights.

How Does It Work

Modern firefighters’ flashlights work pretty much the same way as regular flashlights. They consist of an electronic light source and a source of power that usually come in the form of batteries. However, they are constructed differently and come with a couple of added features that make them indispensable tools for firefighters.

First of all, the bulbs that these flashlights use are much brighter than the ones used by regular flashlights. Most of the bulbs used in firefighters’ flashlights can produce at least 160 lumens of light. In comparison, regular flashlights, like the ones that you use at home, have around 10-25 lumens.

Firefighters need a lot of light because the ruins left behind by fires are rarely brightly lit. Also, the flashlights designed for them are waterproof that they can even work underwater. These lighting solutions also provide a shield against intense heat. With this, firefighters can run into blazing infernos without any fear of the batteries exploding.

Types of Firefighter Flashlights


There are different kinds of flashlights used by a lot of firefighters today. The most common ones include:

Handheld right-angle flashlights – These are tactical flashlights held in one hand. These are useful because you can point them in any direction. You can even insert them into crevices to illuminate the cavity inside. This type is also useful in lighting things that are far away.

In most cases, these flashlights are large as they use several large batteries. It also has additional features, like the boost/zoom function, which cranks up the power sent to the LED bulbs so that they can produce an intense beam of light.

Helmet-mounted flashlight – This type is smaller and more compact than the others. You can hold it in place in a firefighters’ helmet so you can still use both your hands while gaining a lot of usable light. The light is useful when the firefighters need to read building plans to find out where they need to go next.

It also provides the light and illumination they need wherever they look. It is different from headlamps because you can remove it from its holders and use it as a handheld flashlight.

Headlamp – You can wear this flashlight around your head. However, if you are a firefighter then you also have the option of wrapping its straps around your helmet. It is smaller and more compact than handheld flashlights but you can rest assured that it delivers the same kind of brightness.

Floodlight – It is larger and a lot brighter than the right-angle and helmet-mounted flashlight. Because it is large, you can use it in lighting up large areas, like hallways, atriums, and other large indoor spaces. Firefighters light up these flashlights, lay them down on a flat surface then move around freely without worrying about light.

These are some of the basic lights used by firefighters. Even though these flashlights are mostly meant for emergency professionals, that does not mean civilians cannot get a hold of them. Keep in mind, though, that they cost more than your regular flashlights, up to ten times more to be precise.

Why Do You Need a Firefighter Flashlight

If you are a firefighter, you will need ample illumination whenever you respond to any emergencies. Here are some of the reasons why you will need a good flashlight:

Fires usually last hours before they are put out – Even if a fire breaks out during the middle of the day, you and your fellow firefighters will be struggling to put out the flames for hours if it is big and spreads to the adjacent buildings.

Some cases of fire that started during the daytime were even only put out during the early evening. The fact is that you can never be too prepared when it comes to fires. You need to bring all the things that you will potentially need in an emergency, including the flashlight.

Wreckage left by fires are often dark – If you are the one tasked to investigate the charred remains of a house to find what started the fire, note that likely, the electricity of the place has already been turned off for safety reasons.

You would not want to go into the wreckage left by a fire blind as it has plenty of dangerous hazards that you need to avoid like broken glass, steel rebars projecting out like spikes, and so on. You will need a good flashlight so you can see all the dangers and avoid them.

Flashlights help you focus your attention – If you are a firefighter and you are assigned on a search and rescue mission on a collapsed building, then you will need a good flashlight so that you can investigate any kind of wreckage with relative ease.

You will automatically focus your attention on the area where the light beam touches. This is why a firefighter’s flashlight has a zoom function where it projects an intense beam of light that can illuminate items hundreds of feet in front of the user.

Flashlights can help signal for rescue – Being a firefighter is a hazardous job. One minute you are searching for survivors in the rubble left behind by a fire and the next minute, you could be the one trapped underneath the debris.

With the flashlight around, you have something to use to signal your fellow firefighters to go to your location. Firefighters’ flashlights also have a strobe function that makes it flash the Morse code for SOS.

Buying Guide


There are many different brands and models of firefighters’ flashlights that you can choose from but sadly, not every one of them is worth the price. To make this seemingly impossible task a bit easier, here are some of the things that you might need to look for when you are browsing through the many flashlight options in front of you:

Light output – This is a value measured in lumens. It denotes the amount of light coming out of the front of the flashlight. If you are a firefighter who intends to use a flashlight for your job, then go beyond those that are for general use only. These ordinary flashlights, although functional, can’t provide the right amount of light needed by firefighters.

If you want a flashlight that you can take with you when responding to fires or investigating wreckage then go for the HID (high-intensity discharge) version. It can produce 160 lumens of light, sometimes even more.

When compared to the amount of light that regular flashlights produce, which is roughly ten to fifteen lumens only, you can see the difference between the two types.

Peak beam intensity – This is different from the light output as it is the measurement taken from the center of the light source, which is the brightest. The value is measured not in lumens but candelas. The amount of light measured by lumens is not the same as the intensity of the light measured in candela.

You can also use the peak beam intensity to have a rough estimate of the maximum distance that the light can travel. The intensity of the flashlight that you get should at least produce 16,000 candelas at its maximum setting.

Size and weight – If you will be using the flashlight while you are on duty, then it should be small enough that it would not interfere with your movement. It should not also be heavy that it feels awkward dangling on your gear.

Regarding size, choose a flashlight that fits comfortably in your hands so you can grasp it tightly. However, it should not be so big that it feels awkward while hanging onto your jacket and snag on things. It should also not be so small that you can easily misplace it.

If you are looking for a flashlight that you can mount on your helmet, go for a small and lightweight one that can still produce enough light, allowing you to work properly.

Batteries used – Regular flashlights use the common alkaline batteries – the ones you commonly see in stores. However, if you want to use HID flashlights, alkaline batteries do not provide nearly enough power.

If you want to take full advantage of all the capabilities of firefighters’ flashlights, you need to have the right batteries for them. Most of the modern flashlights these days use 18650 Li-ion batteries. The same cells are used to power early Tesla cars. These batteries have a 3.7V output, which is more than enough juice for most tactical flashlights.

Battery consumption – This is the length of time the flashlight can pump out 100 lumens of light continuously before the battery can drop from 100% to 10%. In the past, HID light bulbs consumed so much electricity that they can only last less than half an hour.

However, modern tactical firefighters’ flashlights use high efficiency LED bulbs and high-capacity batteries. Modern tactical flashlights can last two to three hours at high settings before the battery will reach 10% capacity. This is more than enough time for firefighters to assess the condition of the fiery wreckage.

Waterproofing and shock-proofing – It is of the utmost importance that the flashlights used by firefighters are waterproof, mainly because they will be working in areas that are always drenched in water. Most tactical flashlights these days are waterproof to a certain degree.

However, if you will be using the flashlight for work, it should have at least a waterproofing rating of IPX7. This means that the flashlight has been tested and proven to work even while submerged under 1m of water for half an hour.

Also, ensure that the flashlight you get is fully shockproof. This means that it should be able to withstand drops from a certain height without any noticeable damage on the case. The internals should still be intact and work properly. Go for one that can survive falls from a height of at least one meter.

Your budget – Regular flashlights are quite cheap. You can get one for just a couple of dollars. However, if you want to buy quality firefighters’ flashlight, prepare to spend at least $30 for a decent product.

For top of the line flashlights, you need to shell out more than $100, maybe up to $200. Flashlights at this price point have quite a lot of nice features and they usually work more efficiently than the ones priced below $50.

However, take note that just because a flashlight costs more, that does not automatically mean it is better. You need to get the flashlight that gives you all the things that you need but if possible, look for one that is within your budget.

With these things in mind, you will be able to find the best firefighter flashlight that you can add to your arsenal of tools. Remember, what is top-tier for one person might not be the most suitable for you, so you should take your personal opinions as well when you are out shopping for a flashlight.

Care and Maintenance

The tactical flashlights used by firefighters are essentially low maintenance. They need to be tough as it is a requirement for the job. However, that does not mean that they will not benefit from a bit of TLC. Here are some of the things that you need to remember so you can keep your flashlight in perfect working condition.

Remove the batteries when not in use – You need to do this especially for the flashlights that you do not use frequently. Old batteries will corrode and leak acid, and you would not want that to happen while they are still inside the flashlight. If the batteries leaked inside the flashlight, fixing any damage will be nearly impossible.

Do not immerse your flashlight in water – Even if your flashlight is rated as waterproof up to a certain depth, you should not intentionally immerse it in water just for kicks. Even if it might be rated waterproof up to 1m, you should not push its limits just because you can.

Do not abuse your flashlight – Do not use it as a makeshift hammer. This might sound like it is an obvious thing to remember but you would be surprised at the number of people who do it. Yes, it is tough, but you should use it only for its intended purpose.

Do not disassemble your flashlight – No matter how curious you are about how your tactical flashlight works, do not disassemble your flashlight. Doing so will only void its warranty and you might not be able to re-assemble it correctly. This will just waste more than a hundred dollars of your money right there.

Clean your flashlight properly – To clean the outside of the flashlight, get a clean microfiber towel, soak it in a bit of rubbing alcohol and rub it all over the surface to remove most of the dirt and grime.

If your flashlight has a lot of knurling, get a cotton swab, dip it in alcohol then use it to wipe the dirt away from the cracks and crevices. Since you are already holding cotton swabs, you can also use it to clean the battery compartment.

Lubricate your flashlight – This might seem strange, especially since there are no moving parts, you have to lubricate your flashlight to keep it working properly. Use a bit of silicone lubricant on the threads to make sure that they glide smoothly.

Also, put a bit of lubricant on the O-rings of your waterproof flashlights so they would not dry out and crack. Note that if this happens, water will seep inside.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the brightest firefighter flashlight?

Based on the firefighter and first responder flashlights I tested and reviewed, Thorfire offers the brightest light at 5000 Lumens.

Note that a flashlight for firefighters with 150 Lumens and 5,000-candela is sufficient for most tasks. However, as mentioned in the Buying Guide, the flashlight’s maximum peak beam intensity should reach 16,000 candelas.

As an example, the right-angle firefighter flashlights Streamlight collection emits 175 Lumens and offers a maximum candela output of 41,000.

Are firefighter flashlights waterproof or fireproof?

Besides choosing between a hand-held firefighter right-angle flashlight or a model with helmet brackets, checking the waterproofing and fireproofing features is just as essential.

For wildland firefighting, flashlights or headlamps are resistant to high temperatures. Apart from the actual lamp, the firefighter flashlight strap should be heat-resistant and made of silicone or other materials that do not easily catch fire. Note that not all firefighter helmet flashlight models have this feature.

Knowing that duty calls regardless of the weather, manufacturers also ensure that their tactical flashlight collection will not break when exposed to moisture. After all, even on a sunny day, firefighters must use water to put out the flames.

How long does a firefighter flashlight last?

Regardless of whether you use a firefighter box light or a 90-degree flashlight military-grade model, the batteries’ runtime will depend on the light mode you use. In addition, brands and flashlight models vary in features and capabilities, resulting in vastly different lifespans.

To generalize, a light mode under 50 Lumens can last 20 to 50 hours. Meanwhile, a 50 to 150-lumen light can run for about 5 to 12 hours. A 240-lumen product usually can stay on for 2 hours 45 minutes and will decrease to less than 2 hours if it brightens to 360 lumens.

For an ultra-bright and hot product, such as a flashlight that can start a fire, the run time can only last around 30 to 100 minutes. However, given its luminosity rating of 2300 lumens, a nearly 2-hour runtime on a pack of three 18650 batteries is quite impressive.

It is worth noting that the battery can also influence the runtime. For example, the Streamlight 90540 we reviewed above can run on either rechargeable NiCD or alkaline batteries.

For the former option, the flashlight can stay on for 3.5 hours at maximum brightness, whereas the latter provides a slightly longer run time of 4 hours.

What are the most popular firefighter flashlight brands?

Everyone knows how important it is for a firefighter to have a clear vision while doing his job. With that in mind, various brands and companies are now offering firefighter flashlights designed to keep firefighters safe and productive. Some of the most reliable brands of firefighter flashlights are Streamlight, Thorfire, Pelican, and Nightstick.

Are firefighter flashlights waterproof?

Yes, they have to be waterproof as they will be used in areas that are usually flooded in at least a foot of water, as is the condition of houses after firefighters have extinguished a fire.

The flashlight needs to have all of its seams sealed with O-rings so that water will not have any space to squeeze through. The switches must also be made of rubber and sealed tightly.

What is the best lumens of flashlights for a firefighter?

For handheld and helmet-mounted flashlights, they should produce a maximum of 160 lumens at least. They should pierce through pitch-black darkness so you can avoid any dangerous hazards. Floodlights and area lights need have more power, something around the 1200 lumens range is acceptable.

How to use a firefighter flashlight?

The flashlights used by firefighters are similar to the regular ones that you use at home. One difference, though, is that the ones used by firefighters often have additional switches for the additional modes.

Speaking of additional modes, the items also use additional modes, like low and high settings, strobe settings, and some even have emergency beacons. The best and the coolest mode that firefighter flashlights have is the zoom function. This mode allows the flashlight to produce a concentrated beam of light that can travel hundreds of feet in front of you and illuminate items that are very far away.

How to take care of and clean your firefighter flashlight?

Cleaning firefighters’ flashlights is pretty easy. Just remove the batteries then wipe the entire surface with a clean soft rag or microfiber cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol. To get the dirt in between the knurling and threads and in the battery compartment, dip cotton swabs in rubbing alcohol and use those.

If you will be storing the flashlight away, remove the battery first. Note that if you leave the battery inside the compartment for too long, they will start leaking acid.

Where to buy a firefighter flashlight?

You can find tactical flashlights in army supply stores and in shops that supply products for professionals like police officers and firefighters. However, since those stores are hard to find, there might not be one in your town. In such a case, the most trusted place to buy them would be online.

Truthfully, it is much better to shop online because there are more brands and models to choose from. There are also many different sellers, allowing you to easily compare prices. Aside from providing better deals, online shopping for firefighters’ flashlights is also more convenient.



Firefighters’ flashlights are not like your ordinary flashlight. In terms of brightness, the ones used by firefighters are in a whole different league. Your normal flashlight, like the one you use to find where your home’s fuse box is when the power goes out, can only pump out up to 15 lumens.

Now, compare that to the 160 lumens minimum that the best firefighter flashlight needs to produce. You do not need to be a firefighter to own one of their flashlights, though. Even civilians can get their hands on one of these sophisticated pieces of lighting tech.

There are many different brands and models of tactical flashlights that it can sometimes be hard to choose just one, but with the guide above, you can find that one gadget that fits you perfectly.

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