Best Shotgun Lights – A 2020 Buyer’s Guide

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Shotguns are the most common and widely trusted weapon for choice for home defense and tactical CQB operations. Due to their immense stopping power, simplicity, and hit-probability. While most such encounters happen during the night and in dark indoors, the one most important accessory your shotgun will need is a flashlight.

So let’s delve deeper and check out the most popular and effective shotgun lights available on the market today.

Comparison of the Best Shotgun Lights

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • 800 Lumen LED light with 1.25 hours of consistent run time
  • Rail grip clamp system allows it to mount directly on suitable weapons
  • Durable construction and ambidextrous switch with programmable settings
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  • The most affordable pick on our list
  • Bright 1200 lumens output to a max. Range of 100 metres
  • 2 modes remote pressure switch and can be used handheld
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  • Very bright illumination with a solid and easy-to-mount design
  • Features a tactical grip on the bottom for better control over the weapon
  • Side screw for firm attachment, and also includes strobe mode
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  • Solid construction and easily attaches/detaches on weaver/picatinny rails
  • Light, laser and laser+light modes with easy toggle switch
  • Class IIIR red laser adjustable for windage and elevation
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How Does a Shotgun Light Work? 

A shotgun light is generally mounted on the magazine tube. While some shotguns allow the use of an adapter, some require improvisation and customization. A shotgun light can be mounted using a picatinny rail adapter or a simple clamp adapter and positioned to suit the shooter. 

These lights either require the user to switch them on/off by reaching them with one hand, or they may feature a pressure switch cord for convenience. Shotgun lights differ in their illuminating power (measured in lumens), size, design (simple or laser combo), and method of installation. 

Shotgun lights work exactly like a flashlight and illuminate the area in front of the muzzle. But the amount of focus will differ with each model. 

What Makes a Great Shotgun Light

Durability and Ease of Installation

Make sure the light you choose is as tough as your shotgun. Since it is very likely to be mounted/dismounted and bump into other objects during its service life. Additionally, some lights simply clamp to the magtube, while some require a picatinny mount. So look out for what suits you best. 

Brightness

This is purely discretional. The amount of brightness you need for your light depends on your desired application. Brighter lights tend to project beams over a long distance and large area, but they may eat up the battery fast, and vice versa.

Long Battery Life

Somewhat connected to the above point. Keep an eye out for good battery life. Since you will not want running out of batteries during a crucial situation. Or spend too much money on replacing them. 

Easy to Use and Lightweight

Shotgun lights can feature different power switching mechanisms, and you can choose the one you feel the most comfortable with. Additionally, don’t opt for big and bulky lights, as they may shift the equilibrium. 

Extra Features

Having some extra features like strobing, modes, laser, auto-on/off, or others will offer a good value for money. While making the shotgun light more comprehensive for different applications. 

Quick Take - The Best Shotgun Lights

Review of the Best Shotgun Lights

From simple rail-mounted lights to tactical foregrip lights. We have tried to create a comprehensive and complete list of the best shotgun lights available on the market. All these lights fall under a very economical bracket and depict the highest quality. 

Pros

  • Very popular and versatile weapon light
  • IPX7 waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes
  • Super powerful 283m beam up to 1000 lumens
  • Ambidextrous switch and programmable strobing
  • Durable C4 LED technology with a 50,000 hour lifetime
  • Easy to mount and dismount using the rail clamp system

Cons

  • Gets hot after use

What Recent Buyers Report 

Users like the powerful and concentrated projection of the beam, along with the fact that this light can be mounted easily on handguns as well. The durability and service life of this light is very impressive, and it doesn’t eat up batteries as fast as will be expected from such a powerful light. The single-hand activation and a reasonable price tag are also very good features.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The Streamlight TLR-1 HL is a multi-weapon light that clings on securely to any appropriate picatinny mount. The light delivers an output of about 800 lumens, which provides a clear view of objects up to 900 feet away. Which makes the light perfect for outdoors and indoors. The bright light will instantly disorient a hostile in a home defense situation. Plus the long outreach will come in handy for scouting terrain in the woods. 

The light has programmable strobe modes and an ambidextrous switch to suit left and right-hand operation. It is also IPX7 waterproof rated and can withstand submersion in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. The aluminum housing is very sturdy and the light itself is very compact to handle. It can be mounted on handguns and other weapons as well. Making it a good overall lighting solution for your weapons.

Bottom Line

The TLR-1 is a powerful light for your shotgun, that will withstand even the harshest abuse and weather conditions. The light offers bright illumination over a very long-range, and can be programmed for different strobing modes. It is half the price of other similar products on the market and is covered by a promising manufacturer’s warranty. 

Pros

  • Easy to mount and doesn’t stick out
  • Pressure switch with ample cable length
  • Will surely disorient the shooter in a standoff
  • Battery lasts long, despite the high brightness
  • Very bright and well-made light withstands rugged operation

Cons

  • Gets quite hot after use
  • Doesn’t include batteries in the package

What Recent Buyers Report 

Users mention this light to be the perfect solution for home defense. The light is super bright, very well made, and is perfectly integrated into the shotgun (doesn’t stick out). Some users did report the length of the push button switch to be very long, but overall this light is a very economical and useful addition to the shotgun.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This light can be used as a mounted shotgun light or a handheld flashlight due to its size and mounting mechanism. The metal frame is very durable and will hold on for years to come. The 1200 lumens brightness is far more than what you’ll really need. In Spite of that, this light consumes battery power at an acceptable rate. 

The light is powerful enough to illuminate an entire room. Plus the 100-meter beam makes it useful for indoors as well as outdoors. The super-low price allows you to buy multiple units for different weapons since it can mount to rifles and some handguns as well. 

Bottom Line

The Windfire Tactical Cree shotgun light is an economical, bright, and long-range illumination setup for your weapon. The construction is very rugged and the pressure mounting switch helps with easy operation. A good and reliable light that consumes less power and will last long. 

Best Tactical Light for Shotgun:
Tacfire CREE Led Rifle/Shotgun Flashlight

Pros

  • Bright illuminating power of 400 lumens
  • Easy-access rear mounted on/off button 
  • Features a tactical grip for better handling
  • Grip can act as a resting platform for stability
  • Simple and secure installation with an adapter

Cons

  • Requires practice to adapt
  • Pretty basic operation. No strobing

What Recent Buyers Report 

This tactical light has very few reviews as of now, but none of them are negative. It is widely appreciated by users for its bright illumination, solid construction, and easy-to-mount design. The price of this light is very reasonable and the extra grip and front bezel will make it even more varied in application. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This is one of a kind tactical light for a shotgun. Lights being used with shotguns have to be very tough and resilient. Since they have to handle that thudding recoil and shiver after every shot. This light has been manufactured using high-grade metal and sealed properly to be shockproof. It has a picatinny groove on the top and tightening screw on the side that secures it firmly to an adapter. The on/off switch is located on the rear to make it ambidextrous. 

The grip is an amazing addition to offer stability while handling the shotgun. While its use may seem more practical with a semi-auto. The grip will act as a protective barrier for your palm racking the forend slide. 

Bottom Line

A unique grip that is interchangeable between shotgun and rifles will be a great addition to your inventory. The light offers an illuminating power of 400 lumens and has a grip to improve handling and overall function. Works perfectly as an active or passive defensive tool. 

Best Shotgun Laser Light Combo:
ADE Advanced Optics Tactical Light

Pros

  • 3 modes with an easy toggle switch
  • 2 mode on/off with an ergonomic switch
  • Laser adjustable for windage and elevation
  • 200-lumen flashlight and FDA approved Class IIIR red laser
  • Durable (steel+aluminum) construction and quick attach/detach mechanism

Cons

  • None we could find

What Recent Buyers Report 

Getting a laser and flashlight combo at such an amazing price is an astounding factor for many buyers. This light mounts quickly on to the shotgun and holds its place very well, even under heavy recoil. The different modes and adjustability of the laser were greatly appraised features. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This laser-light combo is a very lightweight, compact, and durable package for your shotgun. Steel and lightweight aluminum have been coupled to create a very sturdy light, that’ll withstand the recoil of the big-boys and harsh shooting conditions. The flashlight is appropriately bright for indoor and limited outdoor use. Plus the red laser is fairly bright and adjustable for windage and elevation to help with sighting. 

The light can be operated in five different modes, which is an amazing feature. Since it provides a prompt solution for every lighting need. Even being loaded with so many features, the light is very lightweight and small. Mounting and dismounting are very easy and the price is almost a no-brainer. 

Bottom Line

A flashlight and laser combo designed specifically for home defense and tactical applications. This combo will let you passively disorient the hostile while acquiring the target quickly using the laser. A value for money product which will prove useful in the long run. 

Pros

  • Can be used as a handheld flashlight
  • Cost-effective light with a combat tactical front head
  • Includes a velcro backed push button switch for convenience
  • Durable aluminum construction and sturdy mounting mechanism

Cons

  • Only for short-range and no strobe setting
  • Constricted field of view. Suitable mostly for indoors

What Recent Buyers Report 

The light is liked by almost every buyer due to its design and the included pressure switch. However, users reported the light to be more suitable for indoor or close-range uses. Given the 126 lumen illumination. The installation and removal of this light is very easy and the batteries last quite long. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The UTG shotgun light allows for dual operation. It can either be mounted on the weapon or used as a handheld flashlight. Making it more versatile. The 126 lumens are neither too bright nor too dull. But it's enough to disorient a hostile in dark conditions. The push-button switch is an amazing addition to this light. Since it allows the shooter to switch the light on and off momentarily. This can come in handy during home defense situations to facilitate inconspicuous operation. While also allowing the light to strobe. 

The UTG tactical light mounts using a picatinny adapter that can be easily mounted to the mag tube. The light doesn’t rattle if mounted properly and is perfect for indoor use. 

Bottom Line

This light will be the perfect choice if you are looking for an inexpensive and balanced option for your shotgun. It can be mounted or used as a flashlight and works with most shotguns with the right adapter. 

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying

Brightness You Need

Some shotgun lights can deliver illumination of about 120 lumens, whereas others can be more powerful and deliver up to 1000 lumens. Less bright lights are suitable for indoor and close-quarter uses and those with higher brightness are suitable for outdoor uses like scouting. Also, remember that flashlights are also used to disorient a hostile, and brighter lights are more useful for that. 

Battery Levels

Always keep track of the battery power levels. While batteries can stay useful for years under storage. Check the battery levels regularly to prevent yourself from being stranded and cornered in a SHTF situation. 

Pressure Switches

These switches help with handling the light and can be mounted on different locations on the firearm for convenient access. Having one on your shotgun is a matter of individual preference. But it is certainly a good choice for tactical and defense applications. 

Conclusion

Adding a light to your shotgun makes it more useful and complete for handling low light situations. Especially home defense. A good shotgun light must be durable, lightweight, compact, and easy-to-access. Additionally, having some extra features like strobing modes or a laser is also beneficial. 

People Also Ask

While shotgun lights may seem to be a very simple accessory to buy. Finding the right one for yourself is not that simple. Let’s take a look at some common considerations to keep in mind before buying such a light. 

How Many Lumens Do you Need For Gun Light?

That clearly depends on what you want it for. For example, a light must have at least 120 lumens of brightness to disorient an attacker in home defense situations during the dark. A good option will be to keep the brightness around 400 lumens for your shotgun. Since it offers a good balance between brightness and battery life. 

What is a Pressure Switch on a Flashlight?

A pressure switch is an extension switch connected to the on/off power switch of a flashlight using a coil cord. This pressure switch can be mounted anywhere on your firearm to offer instant and convenient access to switch the flashlight on or off. Thus allowing you to maintain your stance.

About Ankit

Ankit has been a writer for almost a decade now and has developed a diverse portfolio. His love for writing led him to turn down his lavish and lucrative career as a software engineer, twisting the reins of his life towards being a full-time writing. He only does what he loves. His hobbies include gardening, reading, shooting, and most of all - learning new things in every context (hence why he chose to be a writer). His whimsical nature and love for writing fosters creativity in all of his work