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View Full Version : Help me choose a light for AR-15.


emil77
06-17-2012, 12:06 PM
Hi guys,

I'm looking for a light for my Daniel Defense AR-15. I would like a light with a push on/off instead of a twist switch.

I have narrowed it to these choices:

1) https://www.primaryarms.com/Primary_Arms_Ultimate_Weapon_Light_PAWL_01_p/pawl-01.htm

2) http://www.amazon.com/UTG-LT-EL228-LED-Flashlight/dp/B002TUSDSU - I can't tell if the on/off switch is a push on or a twist on.

Or I am thinking of getting a Viking Tactics Light Mount with a Streamlight 88850 Polytac LED.

3a) http://www.amazon.com/Viking-Tactics-Light-Mount-Black/dp/B0031SX97O

with

3b) http://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-88850-Polytac-Flashlight-Batteries/dp/B001S0IN46/ref=cm_cmu_pg__header

SocomM4
06-17-2012, 12:24 PM
Surefire M300a Mini scout.

emil77
06-17-2012, 12:25 PM
Surefire M300a Mini scout.

Nice light, but I forgot to mention I would like to stay under $100.

Reductio
06-17-2012, 12:28 PM
Get anything from Fenix.

tomd1584
06-17-2012, 12:29 PM
VTAC mount with:

Surefire G2 LED
Surefire 6p LED
Fenix TK10/TK11

If you can swing it, the Gear Sector mounts are a little slimmer profile. but they're 2x the price of VTAC.

loosewreck
06-17-2012, 1:24 PM
The Polytac is a lot of light for the money, but it fits loosely in the VTAC mount unless you rap it with duct or electrical tape. The G2 fits just right. I had both for *****s and giggles, but I took them off after realizing they were of better use to me off of my bullet buttoned recreational rifles. YMMV

Atekhed
06-17-2012, 2:29 PM
Been looking at this light myself. I'm liking the looks and ergos of it.

http://www.weaponoutfitters.com/tactical-lights/tactical-rifle-lights/inforce-wml-momentary-only.html

Also have been looking at getting one of these to use with my Streamlight Polytac.

http://www.impactweaponscomponents.com/product/smc-light-mount-1-00/

emil77
06-17-2012, 6:20 PM
The Polytac is a lot of light for the money, but it fits loosely in the VTAC mount unless you rap it with duct or electrical tape. The G2 fits just right. I had both for *****s and giggles, but I took them off after realizing they were of better use to me off of my bullet buttoned recreational rifles. YMMV


Great info, thanks guys!

killathrilla
06-17-2012, 6:22 PM
...

trigger hippie
06-17-2012, 7:18 PM
Considered the Streamlights? I believe they're Korean, so not buying US, but I've been extremely pleased with the build quality and size of the ones that I've gotten. The mounting mechanism is slightly reminiscent of an Eotech's, minus the lever and ratcheting screw, and very secure.

The switches on the back are turning levers that flip up or down for momentary (in one direction) or constant on (in the other). They fit very flush to rail and throw 160 lumens and also feature a very disorienting strobe that I suspect might also either cause your target to collapse writhing (if your target is epileptic) or to start waving glowsticks and blowing whistles (if your target is one of those pesky ravers). Best of all they also fit on handguns very easily so a little more bang for your buck than a straight rifle light. I bought a TLR-2s initially and liked it so much on my M&P40 that I bought a TLR-1 just for the rifle.

A tape switch for the back is a minimal extra - I think like $30? Not really necessary but YMMV. They do have standardized holes for them in the Bravo Company rail covers I bought, though, which is nice, unlike the lower-quality rubber-coated tape switches you'll see (for instance on the UTG I think you linked) which don't really seem to fit anywhere.

See:

http://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-69110-Mounted-Weapon-Flashlight/dp/B000JWD16E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339989109&sr=8-1&keywords=tlr-1

If you're into the infrared craze or considering it down the line, the Surefire is probably the best of your options listed. You might also consider just saving up a bit and getting yourself the $500 Surefire M900 grip/light. I almost traded for a used one with IR lamps for about $250 in trade value on ARF.com; you may be able to pick one up sans IR lamps for a price more reasonable to you, though above your $100 point. I'd remind you though - buy once, cry once as they say : ) I've paid the price, believe me.

negolien
06-17-2012, 7:35 PM
Try the EL-338

http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee472/Negolien/TacLight/th_taclight028.jpg (http://s1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee472/Negolien/TacLight/?action=view&current=taclight028.jpg)

http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee472/Negolien/TacLight/th_taclight034.jpg (http://s1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee472/Negolien/TacLight/?action=view&current=taclight034.jpg)

emil77
06-17-2012, 7:38 PM
Considered the Streamlights? I believe they're Korean, so not buying US, but I've been extremely pleased with the build quality and size of the ones that I've gotten. The mounting mechanism is slightly reminiscent of an Eotech's, minus the lever and ratcheting screw, and very secure.

The switches on the back are turning levers that flip up or down for momentary (in one direction) or constant on (in the other). They fit very flush to rail and throw 160 lumens and also feature a very disorienting strobe that I suspect might also either cause your target to collapse writhing (if your target is epileptic) or to start waving glowsticks and blowing whistles (if your target is one of those pesky ravers). Best of all they also fit on handguns very easily so a little more bang for your buck than a straight rifle light. I bought a TLR-2s initially and liked it so much on my M&P40 that I bought a TLR-1 just for the rifle.

A tape switch for the back is a minimal extra - I think like $30? Not really necessary but YMMV. They do have standardized holes for them in the Bravo Company rail covers I bought, though, which is nice, unlike the lower-quality rubber-coated tape switches you'll see (for instance on the UTG I think you linked) which don't really seem to fit anywhere.

See:

http://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-69110-Mounted-Weapon-Flashlight/dp/B000JWD16E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339989109&sr=8-1&keywords=tlr-1

If you're into the infrared craze or considering it down the line, the Surefire is probably the best of your options listed. You might also consider just saving up a bit and getting yourself the $500 Surefire M900 grip/light. I almost traded for a used one with IR lamps for about $250 in trade value on ARF.com; you may be able to pick one up sans IR lamps for a price more reasonable to you, though above your $100 point. I'd remind you though - buy once, cry once as they say : ) I've paid the price, believe me.

Hmmm, the Streamlight you provided a link for looks pretty good. Might have to go for that one.

trigger hippie
06-17-2012, 7:42 PM
If you do, you may want to also get some high-speed tape or electrical/FDE/black tape to cover the branding - it looks laser-etched and very white on the Streamlights. They *want you to know who they are*.

I taped both of mine to cover all the branding, including the silver ring around the lens - some people have reported that muzzle flash from handguns can discolor this area. I suppose it is rather mall-ninja ("Look, it's high-speed now!") but I can justify it as protecting the finish :)

emil77
06-17-2012, 7:48 PM
Great info!

FatalKitty
06-17-2012, 9:42 PM
http://www.spa-defense.com/spl120awlk.htm

I have limited experience with weapon lights (Marine 0331 with not much time on a gun at night without NVDs) so take my suggestion with some salt.

What I currently use after trying out a couple of the above mentioned setups is the SPA Defense SPL120 (you can find the US Army kit on ebay for around $100, includes light, mount, pressure switch, IF filter)

The reasons I like it
~$100 - great price for a light
Made in USA - all the components are US Made and are of good quality
120 lumens. optional low light mode of 80 lumens and it's still pretty damn bright
good battery life... I have used it for a few hours during my last FTX on the low light setting and it's still going strong.
easy to use pressure switch included - momentary on, always on, strobe feature, low light. any press of the switch reverts to full power... no fussing with confusing settings to get a clear picture of the enemy.
compact and light.. uses a single 123A battery.

IMHO it blows other lights of higher cost right out of the water.

emil77
06-17-2012, 10:01 PM
http://www.spa-defense.com/spl120awlk.htm

I have limited experience with weapon lights (Marine 0331 with not much time on a gun at night without NVDs) so take my suggestion with some salt.

What I currently use after trying out a couple of the above mentioned setups is the SPA Defense SPL120 (you can find the US Army kit on ebay for around $100, includes light, mount, pressure switch, IF filter)

The reasons I like it
~$100 - great price for a light
Made in USA - all the components are US Made and are of good quality
120 lumens. optional low light mode of 80 lumens and it's still pretty damn bright
good battery life... I have used it for a few hours during my last FTX on the low light setting and it's still going strong.
easy to use pressure switch included - momentary on, always on, strobe feature, low light. any press of the switch reverts to full power... no fussing with confusing settings to get a clear picture of the enemy.
compact and light.. uses a single 123A battery.

IMHO it blows other lights of higher cost right out of the water.

Nice, thanks I will look into it!

Edit: Do these lights only come in the desert tan color?

fullrearview
06-17-2012, 10:56 PM
Been looking at this light myself. I'm liking the looks and ergos of it.

http://www.weaponoutfitters.com/tactical-lights/tactical-rifle-lights/inforce-wml-momentary-only.html



That's a clean set up.

FatalKitty
06-18-2012, 10:15 AM
Nice, thanks I will look into it!

Edit: Do these lights only come in the desert tan color?

I have only seen it in tan.

MXRider
06-18-2012, 10:19 AM
What are you going to use it for? HD type use where you need to use it indoors and outdoors, or are you trying to light up objects from 100 yards away outside?

Tier One Arms
06-18-2012, 10:19 AM
It you use Amazon, be sure to use the Calguns shop42a.com link!

anymoose
06-18-2012, 11:59 AM
I can't speak highly enough about this light.
http://www.lumaforce.com/520luxml5mob.html

I have an older version that isn't as bright, so I'll be upgrading soon.

It's cheap, reliable, very bright, has better a throw than any other light that I have, and it's stood up to 700 rounds of m855 from my AR. It comes with a push button on/off and a pigtail with a tape switch that I don't use.

emil77
06-18-2012, 7:42 PM
Thanks guys!

wsmc27
06-19-2012, 10:03 AM
The Polytac is a lot of light for the money, but it fits loosely in the VTAC mount unless you rap it with duct or electrical tape. The G2 fits just right. I had both for *****s and giggles, but I took them off after realizing they were of better use to me off of my bullet buttoned recreational rifles. YMMV

+1 on the Streamlight Polytac...great value.

We found the same thing re: fit with it in a Elzetta...had to use the little spacers that come with the kit as opposed to slightly larger body light.

MingTheMerciless
06-20-2012, 8:39 AM
Speaking of values...

http://www.lumaforce.com/tac5.html

trigger hippie
06-20-2012, 8:47 AM
Speaking of values...

http://www.lumaforce.com/tac5.html

Aaaaaaaaagh... Dammit how are you on to this stuff?

Now I'm going to go and spend fifty damn dollars before it's ten damn AM...

Nice recommendation.

M_lizar
06-20-2012, 9:42 AM
I can't speak highly enough about this light.
http://www.lumaforce.com/520luxml5mob.html

I have an older version that isn't as bright, so I'll be upgrading soon.

It's cheap, reliable, very bright, has better a throw than any other light that I have, and it's stood up to 700 rounds of m855 from my AR. It comes with a push button on/off and a pigtail with a tape switch that I don't use.

I have a lumaforce, and its a great light for the money. 520 lumens for $50.00. And for 70 bucks it comes with a mount and a remote switch.

anymoose
06-20-2012, 12:01 PM
Aaaaaaaaagh... Dammit how are you on to this stuff?

Now I'm going to go and spend fifty damn dollars before it's ten damn AM...

Nice recommendation.

The one I posted a few posts ago (LF1) is 520lumens, vs the tac5 with 230, they are both $50.

MingTheMerciless
06-20-2012, 2:51 PM
Aaaaaaaaagh... Dammit how are you on to this stuff?I just followed the menu a bit on the link anymoose posted :-)

The one I posted a few posts ago (LF1) is 520lumens, vs the tac5 with 230, they are both $50. No the Tac5 is on sale at the site you linked for $39.95.

In my mind, 520 lumens is too much for this application. Unless you are out in the woods and needing longer range or area illumination (assuming the thing is adjustable to do that) and then yeah more lumens are absolutely better. But in close quarters a beam like that is going give you a fair bit of reflection back. Maybe too much. In fact 230 lumens is too much in say a hallway or a bedroom... 150 would be fine. That tac5 has multiple settings into a dimmer range ... another reason I like it (or the description of it ... I have yet to lay hands on it so I can't say for sure if it delivers on promises).

I'm picking up one of these to mount the thing

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002ZYRV2E/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?ie=UTF8&m=A1WK1IND8BEFL4

If it turns out to be crap I am out almost nothing, and from the various reviews its worth gambling $7. I've got two bottles of matte black duracoat that I can put to good use if I don't like its finish, and there's always A.R.M.S. if I want to "get what I pay for"... Love their stuff but like the OP I am spending my *** on a build and I'm willing to gamble $50 to see if I get a hit.

Oh and check this out.

http://www.lumaforce.com/rclirekit2ba.html

Lithium-ion batteries are getting cheaper but I notice the rechargable market has gotten downright reasonable.

anymoose
06-20-2012, 3:17 PM
I have the 320 lumen but I'm gonna upgrade. I am in the woods so I need bright and a lot of throw to reach the end of the yard

anymoose
06-20-2012, 3:19 PM
Oh and that mount from amazon is great, I just picked one up last week.

Pics are in the AR15 gallery

Dhena81
06-20-2012, 3:37 PM
Buy a used surefire

Look its up to you but anyone that relies on their weapon light for a living will tell you the same go surefire.

motorwerks
06-20-2012, 6:33 PM
surefire...