Flashlight: on gun or in nightstand?

I keep my carry gun in a biometric safe in my nightstand during the night. I also have a 600 lumen rechargeable flashlight. Question - do you guy prefer to keep your flashlight as a separate device (and thus take up one hand if also needing your gun) or put your flashlight on your gun and why?


I prefer flashlight as separate device. I don’t want to make myself easy target with the light.
Pistol in strong hand in lower ready or compressed ready and flashlight in your “other strong hand”. Keep it aside and above your head.


Might consider the liabilities extant having your only source of illumination mounted on your firearm. IF you are an Officer of the Court or Federal Agent then it is accepted to have knowledge of what you are doing, sweeping a firearm over an individual. In general practice a civilian isn’t given that ‘freedom’ of action. That is to say you are placing another human being at risk if you are using the flashlight mounted on your fire arm to identify friend or foe in the dark.

Now, say, you have a torch in your off hand and have trained to use both it and your weapon in a joined fashion, that seems acceptable to most people IF you can describe the how and why of this use. Or, say have flashlight in off hand, identify foe and then illuminate your weapon torch or laser designator immediately prior to firing your weapon.

Good question to run past your local friendly Lawyer. …just to be safe.
Hey, just imagine it’s late at night, something made noise in your house and you’re coming back from a very deep sleep state, you’re not quite back in your body but whatever it was - you’ve reached for your gun and now have it in hand. You get up out of bed and almost fall back, the body is sluggish. You turn the light on your pistol on and get up and start moving toward the bedroom door holding the weapon/light in front of you. All of a sudden something makes a noise right at the door and then appears in your light as if out of no where. Your hand tightens it’s grip, your finger found it’s way to the trigger, and somehow you’ve squeezed it…

Was that your wife imprinted in the memory of the bright flash of your torch and then the blinding flash of light from your gun discharging? Did you hear her say something right before your ears shut down and the ringing started? Do you even know how the trigger got pulled?

Sorry friend, I’m just saying: it’s that easy.

OH! and good to see you here on the boards!


Great question, @Christian13! Welcome to the Community.

I agree with @Jerzy and @CHRIS4 and keep my flashlight separate. Chris explains it well.

Another thing to consider is the type of flashlight - is it a tactical flashlight? Or one of the big flashlights? If so, it’s another weapon option for defending yourself if that’s necessary.


600 lumen is nothing to sneeze at! IF it has strobe feature and/or instant on/off under a thumb switch the blindness factor can ruin an opponent’s next few seconds.

Did you know? Maglite is now LED bulbs! Fricken amazing light output! …and a 3 C or 3 D cells? ohmi!


Both. One to see if it is your neighbor sleep walking and one to engage the bad guy.


Thank you everyone for your thoughts! @CHRIS4 those are great points. It’s just so common to see flashlights on people’s’ handguns these days I was wondering if I should join the gun light club lol!

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Good to read about flash lights. I have a LED 600 lumen and a TASK 1200L (Lumen) with 3 settings, (High, Medium, and Low)

They sure will light up a dark spot and blind you too.

Thank you !


I have a separate flashlight. At one point I might purchase a light for the firearm, but will keep the separate flashlight for things like when the power goes out at night and I have to use the washroom or check on the sump pump.

As a side note, I keep a headlamp in my bedstand, too. I think the headlamp is better for most work in the dark, but a normal flashlight is just handy to grab and use for quick tasks.

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I’m not sure if it’s willful ignorance, really not knowing or just people being asinine about this whole WML thing.

Why do I say that? Next time it’s really dark in your house turn on your flashlight. Aim it at the ground. Now aim it at the ceiling.

You DO NOT have to aim it directly at someone to be able to see who it is.

If my post is found to be offensive, sorry not sorry. Spend some time in the dark with a flashlight and play around with different angles. Anything over 500 lumens will provide enough light to see faces in a room or hallway. The best rated WMLs are 750+ lumens, more than enough to adequately identify your target WITHOUT aiming directly at them.

Your friendly neighborhood 3rd shift Security Officer who has a hard time sleeping during the day and should be asleep right now.


Separate, part of why you should train shooting with 1 hand. I dont like weapon mounted lights, unless on long gun.


Spence it’s why I have such a difficult time saying “flashlight” any more - unless I’m speaking of a light with significant blinding power to be used offensively! I went British and consider the handhelds “torches” cause , like you say they are great at illuminating a room without intentionally blinding the next poor fool in the room.

of late, my cats. poor sods

(Also of note: for those of us who have been gifted with exceptional genes for night-vision; anything called a flash light with an LED for a bulb really needs to be sold with a red lenes or at least low/hi intensity switches. And second, please, enough with the little bitty glow light on Everything! Anyone can see everything with just the vampire loads these lights on everything create. Last, We need a better way to feel safe inside our communities that doesn’t require low pressure sodium lamps on each and every street at 1/10th of a mile intervals! We don’t live in a Thomas Kinkade painting here in Atlanta!)

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I have both.

This stuck to a magnet on the side of my headboard above my nightstand. (I have cats)

And this on my gun when it’s at home in my nightstand.

I mostly wanted the laser in a quick release form for when I’m at home for quicker aiming in the dark. I live in a single bedroom apartment with an open floor plan for the living room/kitchen that I can see most of from inside my bedroom.

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Agreed. I have both a handheld and weapon light.

Two is one and one is none. Also turning them both on can make it appear there are 2 people and that alone might make someone leave.

I understand the not wanting to point your weapon at someone. But if it’s dark out and you’re searching I don’t want to add more steps than necessary to engage. If friendly fire is a concern practice trigger control and train in low light conditions. if possible add target recognition drills.

Whichever your flavor of lights nothing beats training with what you plan to use before you have to use it.


^^^^^^ All that up there what @Sheepdog556 said… …

I have both by the nightstand…if the lights go out and I hear a bump because the cat knocked something over, I don’t want to grab my pistol with mounted light on it to go to the breaker panel…however if the alarm goes off and the dog is going crazy, I want both hands on my weapon and don’t want to be fumbling around with a separate light device. And practice.


Separate light for me. Like @Dawn said, one of the big ones can make a defensive tool. I’ve seen one of the big Mag lites stop an angry, charging cow. For out and about, I like a light that will fit in a pocket, or unobtrusively on a belt. That way, I can just use the light. I might look funny, looking under the hood with a .45 pistol. Someone might think I’m putting my old truck out of its misery or something.


I’ll “throw something out” a little different. I work in the trades often in dark ceilings and crawl spaces while doing pre job inspections so I am always looking for a better light. To that end I discovered a couple Milwaukee Tools lights that I find exceptional, one is a headlamp and the other is a “light stick” or flood light as it is known. 450 lumens. I now have a set for work and a set for home. I keep them both at the bed side and if needed I would just toss the “light stick” down the hall way and save the headlamp for another toss somewhere else. I have a Surefire flashlight to go with the bang stick if needed and I have trained extensively with it and similar in low light scenarios.

My contention is that it removes the light source from you and at the same time projects light ahead of you. The other up side is that I just threw a light “grenade”, now I can see you and you can’t see me. One of the benefits of being a non-linear thinker.




I like how you think Craig6. I mean that as a compliment. I am going to have to think about that.

I have both with a twist. My handheld is on my cane so I can put it 3ish feet from my body, anyone shooting at my light as a reference point is missing me. The other is mounted to my shotgun and has a strobe setting at 750 lumens, my understanding is it’s very disorienting. It also has a laser sight.

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I have one on both my carry gun and my home defense shotgun as well as an additional one on the night stand.

I like the option to use a light on my firearm. It is one less thing to hang onto in a situation that will be rather complicated. It is also not the end all for flashlight options, it is just another tool in the tool box.

I have a Streamlight TLR-1 HL on both my pistol and shotgun, and like that I can use it intermittently as well as with a strobe feature or simply just keep it on. It is not the most expensive or battle proven light, but it has been used and trusted by professionals, and keeps on shining after and during range time.


Like this one, @Craig6?

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