For those of you who use their glock for home defense, EDC or any real world application, you should definitely invest in a high-quality light for your glock. When choosing the lights we recommend, we consider a few aspects such as reliability, output or brightness, beam configuration, compactness, battery life, and last but not least, ergonomics. The reliability of your weapon light should be measured in its ability to handle weapon recoil and withstand combat conditions. The output of your weapon light needs to be versatile enough to locate threats at medium and close range, such as having a flood and a spot beam settings, and for the much vexed topic of brightness we believe more is (usually) better. The compactness of your Glock is also important for comfort and concealment, while adding a large light is not ideal for those reasons.
At the time of writing this article, the FBI has reported that there is about one burglary every 13 seconds, and a large portion of those happen at night. To be safe especially when you have other people in the house you will need to know what you are shooting at! People who break-in don’t usually have an innate disposition to submit once confronted, so it's to your best interest to be as prepared as you can. If you are not worried about break-ins but still use your weapon for self-defense, a light can disorient your attacker and give you those few extra life saving seconds. Along with blinding your attacker a light can also help with follow-up shots, adding a little extra weight to the muzzle, the weapon light can act as a counterweight to prevent muzzle rise after each shot.
With that said we have handpicked a few lights we think the the best option for glock owners. Now without further ado, the lights.
Starting at the top of the list, the TLR-7 is second to none in the world of handgun light mounts. The TLR-7 boasts a 500 lumen output, programmable strobe, ambidextrous switches, machined aircraft aluminum with anodized finish with high temperature, shock-mounted glass lens and the list keeps going on. This light just about checks all the boxes, from ergonomics, durability to being waterproof. This light doesn’t have the highest amount of lumens but is extremely compact, striking a great balance between size and ability. The TLR-7 has an evolved on/off switch to prevent accidental activations, either from holstering or unholstering which can be a matter of life or death. The actual light beam produces a concentrated beam with optimum peripheral illumination, creating a great balance between flood and spot beams. It can easily light up a room while still providing a strong focused beam to blind any threat. For the price of the TLR-7 and the punch you get in such a small package is what separates this light mount from the others, the TLR-7 would be a great buy for anyone who values quality and compactness.
Streamlight has a good portion of the tactical light industry cornered with there expansive list of products so its no surprise they appear once again. The TLR-2 comes equipped with a machined aluminum body, IPX4 rated design for water resistance and much more which can be seen on the product description. The TLR-2 comes in two versions, the standard and the HL (high lumen) model. The main differences between the two models is the lumen output and the laser specs/color, the standard TLR-2 has a 300 lumen output and a red laser compared to the HL which has a 800 lumen output and a green laser. When it comes to choosing between the two, it depends highly on the application you are using it for and your comfort level with high lumen lights. You can get around most of the shortcomings of high lumen lights with adequate training and techniques when deployed indoors, but if not it's best to go with a lower lumen light, so you don’t get any bounce back from walls or mirrors when clearing small rooms/homes. If you will be using the light for mostly outdoors, you can't go wrong with a higher lumen light such as the HL model. As for the TLR-2 it is incredibly durable and can keep its zero after a large amount of abuse which is not easy to find with lasers, and as for the light, the impact resistant glass lens makes this light ready for just about any job you throw at it.
The Cadillac of pistol lights… The SureFire X300 is another top tier light that delivers, being a bit bulkier than the other contenders this light will definitely be a good option for full size Glock’s like the 17(L), 34 etc. The X300 throws 600 lumens, ambidextrous switch, and accepts optional pressure-activated switches for precision control without altering grip on weapon, which is an important feature that will enable you to deploy or disable the light the second you need it. One con of having a light that protrudes beyond the bezel is that you will get lead build up that does not clean off easily unless you scrape it off (I used my AR cleaning scraper), luckily as long as you don’t get the lens dirty, the lead build up is harmless. The X300U is a great weapon tool but if you are going to want something that produces more light, your in luck since it has a sister product the SureFire X300 Ultra X300U-B. The “B” X300U-B differs from the “A” model by making it a little harder to remove aka doesn’t have a quick release, which I don’t mind since I don’t plan on interchanging it on different pistols all the time. The SureFire X300U-B/A also is waterproof up to 1 meter and has 1000 lumen output which is huge. With that amount of light you can easily use it for umbrella lighting. The light itself is very neutral, not too warm or blue, this is nice since I'm not a fan of either one of the extremes, but the X300U-B definitely hits a sweet spot. The X300U-b is the crème de la crème, but at that price point it is not for everyone since there are other options listed above that will still hold up to most peoples needs.
The TLR-1 is the best glock light for the money, since it has the quality of Streamlight and is equipped with 800 lumen output, waterproof up to 1 meter, and machined aircraft aluminum with anodized finish with high temperature, shock-mounted glass lens just like the higher end Streamlight products. The TLR-1 is so great we believe it is the best light in the 100 dollar range. Not as compact as the TLR-7 and smaller than the TLR-2 (since it does not have the laser) this light is a great move for someone who doesn’t want to spend an arm and a leg, but still wants a quality product that can perform under any condition. Since this light is so popular it has been battle tested by the crowds, and we have not personally seen ours fail over the years on any of our setups.
When it comes to the baby glock's, there are not many light options, but lucky for you there are some quality ones on the market that would go well with your miniature glock.
Viridian is another popular weapon light brand, the Viridian Reactor RTL is a quality, feature rich light. With very few light options for baby Glock's you are a bit limited, but luckily there is the Reactor RTL which is a great option for your glock 42, 43 or 23. This light is our definite go to, and has some notable features such as the "instant on" feature. No more fumbling with buttons or knobs, when you draw the gun the light instantly turns on (take note this feature only works with the paired holster).
The Crimson Trace is another great light option for your glock 42 and glock 43. The Crimson Trace comes equipped with an ultra bright laser (the brightest allowed by law), easy to use front activation buttons as well as automatic activation when held in the firing position and lastly the crimson makes a holster separately that will fit your gun and light combo. Coming with less lumens then most of the other options does not mean we should cast this glock light to the side. If you are running a smaller glock we believe it may be too much to have 800 lumens on such a small gun. This light strikes a good balance between lumen output and gun size. This glock light is a great option for those looking for a quality light from a trust worthy company.
So you have picked your light, and now you need a holster that fits your light mounted glock. There are not too many options in the market place for holsters that fit with lights, since there are so many different sizes and options for lights. The best ones we have seen on the market is made by trex arms and Fobus Tactical.
The Ragnarok holster was made to be extremely modular, tough, modern, and fast. Made from heavy duty Kydex this holster is a passive-retention holster, with screws to adjustable the retention rate. Being able to fit almost all glock models this is a great holster for anyone who has a light mounted on there gun. Trex arms are one of the smaller companies out there that makes gun accessories, but they are top quality. Its best to order your holster anytime but holidays, they tend to sell out fairly quickly.
The Fobus Tactical glock holster is definitely a unique light mounted glock holster. This specific model fits the glock 19 but has other options that are compatible with other Glock models. Made of a lightweight polymer construction, so it is not as durable as Kydex but still gets the job done. The best part about this glock holster is it will work with pretty much any glock light you can find. Since the holster has a partial opening it is not restricted to specific light sizes. Being one of the few holsters that are compatible with attached lights, it is very reasonably priced.
Yes we did cover the best glock lights for the money and overall quality, you still might not have found a match for you, so we will cover how to choose a quality light for your glock.
Full size Glock's have a universal rail so it is not hard to find a light that will fit. When it comes to Full size Glock's, there are many options out there, considering anything from Streamlight or Surefire will serve you well. Another aspect we consider is the battery, we tend to like the ones with more popular batteries since they are easier to come by and tend to be cheaper. If you are considering a light that is not as popular we look at where its made and the warranty that comes with the light. If a light maker adds a good warranty you can be pretty certain they stand by there product, and usually anything made in the USA is a good bet.
As for subcompact Glock's such as the Glock 26 and the Glock 43 your choices are limited. One of our favorite subcompact Glock light is the TLR-6 which comes in many sizes for subcompact glock firearms, and as a plus it has a laser. The TLR-6 has ambidextrous buttons, 100 lumens output, and is extremely light running at 1.270 ounces. Once negative thing about this light, is it only has 1 hour of runtime, so make sure you stock up on batteries.
When it comes to brightness, we tend to go for medium to high light output lights. There is a learning curve to high lumen lights (such as wall blinding), but if you practice you can be very affective with a high output light, and can be used affectively outdoors as well. If you are using this light solely for indoor use, you can go with a lower lumen light which will be used only to see whats in front of you, and won't necessarily blind the perpetrator, but you also won't blind your self shining it on white walls or mirrors.
The durability of your glock light is extremely important, mostly because you don't want it to fail when you really need it. The first thing we look at for a glock light is the material the light is made of. The ones listed above are mostly made of strong aircraft rated aluminum, since its light weight and strong. Another important thing we look for is the ability for the light to be water resistant. Having a water proof glock light allows you to be able to use the light in the elements, such as rain and snow.
The ergonomics of your glock light is extremely important. Being able to manipulate the light at a moments notice is priceless. With the TLR glock lights or the Streamlight, it is very easy to switch the light on, off, and strobe with just your index finger, and without looking down at the gun. Making sure you don't have to look down at the gun, is one of the more important criteria we use to find a glock light.
When it comes to glock lights, you typically get what you pay for, but that does not mean you have to spend an arm and a leg for a quality light. From the price range around 100 dollars you can find a glock light that checks most of the boxes, from water proof, strong material and a great company that backs it. In the 200+ range you can start to get into the professional grade glock lights, with all the bells and whistles, such as a built in laser, compact, longer battery life, and light weight. Not only is the cost of the unit important but keep an eye out for the type of batteries they use. If the battery is not widely available, you will be paying extra to replace them and can be hard to find some types. If you do go with a light that has hard to find batteries, you should think about having a small stockpile of them.
Installing a glock light is pretty straight forward, for full the size glock they will have a universal rail that the light slips right over. Every light will be a little different but, usually you won't need any tools to install a glock light. The lights usually have a small screw you loosen, which enables you to slip the light into the grooves of the glock, then you tighten the screw and your done. For the subcompact glock, the process is a little different, where there are a set of a few hex screws that are used to clamp the light to the frame of the gun. The only tools you may need to install your glock light is a set of alan wrenches, and maybe a flat head to cinch down the light.
There are a few companies that lead the weapon mounted light business. Finding a light from one of these companies will be your best bet
Amongst all the weapon light brands Surefire has definitely made a great name for themselves, making quality lights for just about every occasion. Surefire not only has weapon lights, but as well as flashlights, helmet lights, and headlamps.
Most of Surefire lights are extremely bright, have great ergonomics, and has a wide variety of sizes and specs. Its safe to say surefire is one of the best civilian facing weapon light companies.
Streamlight has been around since 1973, and our favorite brand for a few reasons, they have affordable options, they make extremely great quality products.
Streamlight products have no problem lasting in rough conditions, since they are usually built to be waterproof, and have a shell made with aircraft aluminum. Versatile enough to fit most popular striker fire handguns, these lights are a smart choice.
Even if you need a different lighting application, odds are Streamlight has what you are looking for. Headlamps, Safety Rated Lights, Lanterns, Ultra-Violet/Infra-Red are just a few examples of what Streamlight has to offer.
Viridian Weapon Technologies is another great company, but they are most notable for there innovative approach on the products they create. Viridian is responsible for a number of firearm innovations you can view on there website. Designed and built in the USA Viridian creates products for all sectors (civilian, military, law enforcement).
We are a fan of Viridian products because they are innovating the products we use everyday such as the weapon light mount. Bringing in technology that has not yet been introduced this way before is an exciting feat.
When you are shooting with your light on, you have to worry about build up from the gas expelling from the muzzle, and the glass on your light gets dirty also. The best solvent we have used that gets it cleaned up is simply some rubbing alcohol with a towel. Don't use any kind of abrasive brushes or tools because it's easy to scratch the light lense.
This is a common question and an age old debate. What we typically do is buy for our rig. If you are running a glock mini, 800 lumens might be overwhelming, and you could easily go with something with half that. As for something like the Glock 19 or 17, 800 lumens is a good option, as long as you practice with the light. Also take note buy for the size of your gun, the more the light protrudes beyond the muzzle, the dirtier the light will get when you shoot it.
Theres nothing worse than getting your otherwise perfect gun scratched up, but you may not have to worry about that. The glock lights we listed above are very high quality and have great engineering behind them. What we found is, as long as you tighten the light adequately so it doesn't move when the recoil hits, you should be able to avoid scratched. On another note, since the glock has a polymer frame, it doesn't have the same scratch prone tendencies as a metal frame gun.
When it comes to choosing the right glock light for you, pick the one you are most comfortable purchasing at that price range, since all these lights perform so well. This list is dominated by Streamlight but we do stand by there products they make. Comment below what you think should have made the list.