Top 5 AR15 Weapon Lights (2023)

Posted by Modulus Arms on 13th Jan 2023

Top 5 AR15 Weapon Lights (2023)

We’ve discussed this year’s top of the line pistol lights, but what about lights for an AR15? Users shoot much further with an AR platform than the traditional handgun platform and we most certainly have the rail space to host a tac light bigger than a pistol light.

Should I put a flashlight on my AR15?

Yes, you should especially if your AR15 will be more than just a plinker at the range in a controlled environment. You are responsible for every projectile that exits your barrel and it is your responsibility to know exactly what you’re hitting. Defensive weapons should remain in a configuration ready to be deployed whether it be during the day or night. All species of apes, humans included, lack natural night vision as we’re all accustomed to being diurnal creatures that avoid predators by remaining active generally only during the day. Unless you have the capital to solely rely on NODs or are a cat reading this, you will need an AR15 weapon light.

Cloud Defensive REIN

With user feedback, Cloud Defensive released their newest iteration of the REIN light family. The REIN 2.0 is trimmed down in bezel diameter, length, and weight while still retaining (if not improving) its performance quality. Users will find the mounting lugs to have been slimmed down as well to allow the REIN 2.0 to sit closer to the rail.

The REIN 2.0 comes with Cloud Defensive’s pressure pad switch now updated to have a ND protective bevel that does not interfere with switching your thumb between the momentarily on button and the constant on button. The switch cable can be either 3” in length or 5” in length. The switch is fully potted like the head and held to the same IPX8 water resistant standard and shockproof feature as the rest of the REIN 2.0. A precaution to users that use REIN 1.0 parts with the REIN 2.0, the original single spring tailcap cannot be used safely with the REIN 2.0.

There are two light head options available for the REIN 2.0. With an 18650 battery and the high candela head, the REIN 2.0 is rated for delivering one lux, the minimum illumination for most people to positively identify a target, at an impressive distance of 266 meters.

High Candela Head

The default full-powered REIN 2.0 light head:

Using the 18650 body

  • 71,000 candela
  • 1,100 lumens
  • 150 minutes

Using the 18350 body

  • 63,000 candela
  • 950 lumens
  • 50 minutes

Every Day Carry Head

The lower profile REIN 2.0 light head:

Using the 18650 body

  • 40,000 candela
  • 1,400 lumens
  • 120 minutes

Using the 18350 body

  • 35,000 candela
  • 1,200 lumens
  • 35 minutes

REIN 3.0

With the latest edition having just been released we're now seeing these updated specs to the REIN weapon light and let's just say we are impressed. If you have the budget for it, there is no debate, get this:

  • 100,000 candela
  • 1,250 lumens
  • 95 minutes
  • Can use either 18650 or CR123 batteries
  • 1.3" bezel diameter - smaller than original REIN


It’s a name you’ll recognize from our previous topic on pistol mounted lights. The PLHv2 light head is interchangeable between Modlite’s 18650 body and the PL350 body. Modlite’s PLHv2-18650 Light Package is a powerful thrower that holds its place as a rifle-carbine light of 2022. With the PLHv2 head running on an 18650 battery, the user can identify targets up to a distance of 230 meters.

  • 54,000 candela
  • 1,350 lumens
  • 75 minutes

Unlike the PL350 body however, the 18650 body (or alternatively the smaller 18350 body) requires a scout mount before it can call an M LOK section its home. Keymod mounts are available however for users that enjoy suppressed shooting and find M LOK mounts digging too deeply into the frontal handguard to accommodate a suppressor. The 18650 body is of course host to a 18650 battery and is compatible with the common Z68 tailcap.


We mentioned Modlite’s OKW light head being a white wall blinder with an uneven pattern on close surfaces. However, this tight center beam becomes the OKW’s advantage at distances exceeding 100 yards. For an AR15 light, the OKW mated with the 18650 body is easily within this year’s top mentions by sheer performance. This Modlite configuration will be good for up to 262 meters and goes toe to toe with the REIN 2.0.

  • 69,000 candela
  • 680 lumens
  • 75 minutes

Arisaka 600 E2XTL

Arisaka's 600 Series is a good host for light heads intended to be direct improvements to the Surefire M600 Scout and E-series. If you already have the REIN 2.0 head or the mentioned Modlite heads and want to try something different, Malkoff Devices makes a sturdy Extra Throw Head that will happily play with the Arisaka 600. The E2XTL can be fed with two CR123A batteries or a rechargeable 18650 battery. In optimal configuration, the Malkoff E2XTL can positively identify targets out to 234 meters.

  • 55,000 candela
  • 500 lumens
  • 90 minutes (One 18650 battery)
  • 30 minutes (Two CR123A batteries)

Malkoff offers excellent customer support service and answers calls personally. If by rare occurrence your light breaks on you with regular use, you’ll be taken care of by the lifetime warranty.

Surefire M600DF

The original line of Surefire’s scout lights are where all of the best AR15 lights started from. While today there are many big names driving fierce competition, Surefire’s foundation and legacy in weapon mounted lights is rock solid with the trust of US military contracts as well as contracts to allies worldwide.

The dual-fueled M600 variant is the latest of the trusted M600 family and we like it enough to even stock them in our own inventory. The M600DF ships out with a momentarily on and constant on tailcap, and can be easily swapped out for a pressure pad switch.

Surefire M640DFT Turbo

There is a Turbo update to the Scout light as well which does bring it to a competitive range with the other hottest lights on the market right now. While they are available online, there aren't many sellers carrying them:

  • 71,000 candela
  • 550 lumens
  • Can use 18650 or CR123A batteries
  • Has Turbo and Pro Turbo versions

SF18650B Battery

  • 16,000 candelas
  • 1,500 lumens
  • 90 minutes

CR123A Batteries

  • 12,800 candela
  • 1,200 lumens
  • 75 minutes

Own the night with Modulus Arms

A light is good for disorienting and identifying targets in the night, but you’ll still need the firepower to stop the threat for good. Check out our 80 lowers and jigs to get started with Modulus Arms today and build your defensive weapon.