Tac Light Review: Does it Work?

Tac Light Review: Does it Work?
3 (60.09%) 644 votes

Tac Light is a military grade high performance flashlight. Read our Tac Light review plus additional information.

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About Tac Light

Tac Light is a small-but-powerful flashlight by Bell & Howell that has been advertised on television in 2016. The official product website is trytaclight.com, which was registered in April 2016. The screenshot below was taken of the official website in May 2016.

tac light review

Claims and Features

  • 22 times brighter than regular flashlights (600 lumens)
  • Can be seen up to 2 nautical miles away
  • Strobe feature to “stun” intruders
  • Small, light
  • Works in water or while frozen
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • By Bell+Howell
  • Regular model uses three AAA batteries. Upgraded model uses rechargeable battery.


Tac Light costs $19.99 with free shipping. A second light can be added for another $10. You can also upgrade to a model which uses a rechargeable battery for $29.99.

Tac Light can be found in stores, typically in the As Seen on TV section, for about $20.

Tac Light Review

Tactical flashlights (or “Tac Lights”) are high-performance flashlights made from high-grade materials. They are used by police and military due to their durability and power. They are used for a variety of purposes, including being mounted on weapons.

In addition to its regular bright setting, there are a number of other modes which Tac Light offers, such as zoom mode, self-Defense mode (strobe), low light mode, and SOS mode.

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Low light mode conserves batteries and works at a much lower brightness level, useful when 600 lumens is overkill. Self-Defense Mode sends a debilitating strobe in the direction of an intruder or attacker. Zoom mode focuses the light on a smaller area, useful if you need to hone the light in a specific location. SOS mode emits a blinking SOS signal.

Tac Light is well-constructed and offers a bright light, comparable to what you see in the television advertising. The unit is small, lightweight, and sports a comfortable grip. It can easily brighten a dark room, and the number of modes makes it highly versatile. You should be aware that Bell+Howell is a trademarked name that is licensed to third-party manufacturers, and should not influence your purchasing decision.

With the large number of similar products showing up online, tactical lights are a hot product in 2016. The number of options are dizzying, and it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. You can find competing products anywhere from $12-$130, with lumens ranging from 320-1600. It can be difficult to choose among such a wide range of competition.

Should you decide to choose the Bell & Howell Tac Light, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed, as it performs about as advertised. Because it is now available in stores, we recommend purchasing locally to avoid shipping costs and delays. This will also facilitate the return process, if necessary.

The price-to-lumens ratio is actually quite good. Overall, it’s not a bad entry-level tactical light for those seeking to test out this category of flashlights. You may want to compare Tac Light to the highly-rated Streamlight ProTac HL, which sports similar features, and costs about $60.


After about three weeks, the button for the Tac Light stopped working. While this is usually a relatively easy remedy for other LED flashlights, the tail cap on Tac Light does not sport a standard design and there appears to be no (easy) way to access the parts within. Thus, a broken button will render the product useless.

Our Video Reviews

Below is our hands-on video review of Tac Light, along with a follow-up which discusses the broken button.

Your Tac Light Reviews

Have you used Tac Light? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below and a star rating above.

Updated December 2016.

If you’re looking for a review of Hands Free Tac Light, see our review here.

  • Eric Grootveld

    are these taclights as good as they claim to be???

  • Ryan

    Well idk how good the light is but the customer service and the information you need to know is not good. I ordered mine a week ago once I ordered they give me very little information I had to go on the website and search around myself and I just happened to come across a link to view the oder statues so I’ve been doing that for a week still hasn’t shipped and now today I checked and it’s out of stock and they didn’t even tell me. When I ordered it was in stock and now it’s not because they took so damn long to ship it out but if I didn’t look around myself I would have never known there was a order statues link and I would have never known it is now out of stock because they don’t give you any information you need at all. The customer service and the need to know information is the worst I’ve ever seen and dealt with and I’m a big online shoppers so I’ve dealt with hundreds of online company’s and this is by far the worst. Wouldn’t recommend ordering from Bell Howell company at all ever again no matter how good this flashlight is which I have some doubts about it. Just the customer service alone isn’t worth the money I saved, I would have rather paid the $56 from https://www.shadowhawkflashlights.com/ss8/?AFID=103&SID=ZENSHADOW9&AFFID=300238 and have gotten the shadow hawk flashlight which is also 800 lumens and this tac light from Bell Howell is only 600 lumens.

    • Claire Sands

      you haven’t even used the light, yet you are claiming that you should have bought shadowhawk’s? you even include a link to theirs. so are you paid by them? own the company? I hate fake reviewers.

      • Deb

        I just received mine. It did take a few weeks but so what! It’s a flashlight ! It looks like a good flashlight, just as described. $15 each becUse I bought two. I’m gave one to my husband and my one to my son.

  • Bearcat6

    I have no idea about the quality of the light, since I ordered it about 3 weeks ago and my credit card hasn’t even been billed yet. The receipt I received via email said the order qualified for free shipping but didn’t even state what shipping charges were. It had a link to click on that took you to freeshiipping.com. and you had to join that to get free shipping. Well, that costs 12.97 a month and I sure don’t want to pay for that. So I guess my order won’t be processed unless I join. Screw that.

    • Rameen

      On their website they direct you to customerstatus.com to check the status of the orders. mine says that they are out of stock… i’m calling them tomorrow to see how long it will be. sucks that they are still filling orders and running commercials despite being out of stock. you’d think they would at least tell you that it’s on back-order before you put in your credit card info

      • Bearcat6


    • JR

      Thanks for telling us about that odious website.

  • jb1955

    JUNK! I bought two and neither one worked. What a hassle now!!

  • Burnerjack

    No mention of battery life. As I use mine daily for work, I bought a Fenix UC35.
    It uses a rechargeable, replaceable battery, UTTERLY dependable, AND has a USB charging port for charging with a USB phone charger in your vehicle, etc.
    I bought this from “Brightguy” and except for a chintzy holster, I can’t say enough about it! Cost 5 times what this “quick buck carnival barker” type offer here, but, if your serious, don’t screw around, just get the “real deal”.
    BTW, that website has a jazillion flashlights for sale, but not THAT one. What’s that tell you?! I’m no shill either, just a satisfied customer who invested serious (for me) money in what I hoped was a serious tool and I got what I expected. NO BS.

    • Oni West

      I have 2 Fenix UC35s as well. I use one every single day and keep one in my car for backup. People who know about flashlights buy these instead of the el cheapo as seen on tv flashlights. Nearly 970 lumens, rechargeable battery using a micro usb cell phone charging cable, slim design, and several different brightness levels and a strobe makes it an excellent choice!

  • Linda

    I’m appalled that Bell and Howell has associate their name with this product. First of all, I placed and order on 6/12/16, and as of today, 7/9/16, I have had NO communication regarding my order. I’ve spent WAY MORE time than necessary, trying to actually find a ‘customer service’ contact. All I want to do, at this point, is to CANCEL my order, and make others aware that this product/ordering process is a SCAM…SCAM…SCAM!! Shame on you, Bell and Howell, for trading in your successful name and reputation, to associate with trash. In the past, I honestly thought that B&H was a reputable company. Now…NOT so much!

    • For what it’s worth, I was able to reach a customer service rep at 877-415-4824 on a weekday. Would be interested in an update after you either contact someone there or receive your product. Good luck!

    • Solinas

      FYI – Bell and Howell is a “zombie brand.” Bell and Howell is gone – out of business. Someone bought the rights to their name, and can put it on any crap they want. “Zombie brand” is an apt term for this – bringing a dead company back to life, in a manner the new brand stinks.

  • Rameen

    ***30 days since ordering*** My order has still not shipped and my credit card has not been charged. Customer Support website says they are still out of stock.

  • Rockyone

    So how does “Just pay a separate $10 fee … ” make the second Tac Light free? By my math, that makes the cost of the first Tac Light $19.99 and the cost of the second Tac Light $10.00. If they were really honest, they would say “Get a second Tac Light for half price” – because that’s what it really is. Almost all telemarketers are dishonest scoundrels trying to take advantage of gullible people. If I have any interest in a product I see marketed on TV, I wait to see if the product shows up in stores and if it does, I’ll check it out and buy if it passes my hands on inspection. All of those “ceramic/copper” frying pans, for example, failed my inspection when they appeared in Bed, Bath, and Beyond stores. Cheap crap not worth the $20.00 price tag.

  • Buy 1 get 1 free……only pay $10……..so its NOT free is it???? They insult u right to your face!!!

  • LibHater5796

    They don’t bill your credit card immediately. It’s charged to your card when they actually ship it. As for The lights? Well… My wife ordered these for me and they talked her into upgrading to a brighter light. The price for that light was $29.95 and the second for $15, ended up being like $50 something dollars. What a damn joke!! They basically just ripped her off for more money cause its the same light they offer for $19 & $10. Their sneaky thieves, the light I definitely descent but after being conned by Bell & Howell the lights are going back and they will be reimbursing me for all shipping charges. I’m sending these lights back just for the principle. They lie about the lumens also, its comparable to 300 luman Coleman Max. Bright yes but not even close to what they say

  • jim rodgers

    I’m glad I came here before ordering. They are selling nation wide. Customer service will be slow. This flashlight appears to be just like the commercial says. With so few complaints, I’ll place my order. Thank you for your posts.

  • PaxRomana

    Folks why all the mishaps just order it from Amazon it’s actually less $15 free shipping plus anything goes wrong they will refund your money

    • JR

      Why spend even $15 and waste your time ordering it if it’s a piece of junk.. I don’t understand the “logic” behind that.

  • davina romant

    Do not buy this, this company places orders when you just look at their website without actually placing the order!!! rude and not helpful!! Will never recommend and to me this is fraudulent.

  • Amanda H

    on the last page of ordering there was a submit order button. i had second thoughts and decided not to hit/push that confirm/submit order button. i even backed up a few pages to the start of the order form trying to delete all my payment card info, it so happenedd to auto-filled & locked my card info in the payment field. i closed the webpage. i went to my settings to delete all history, cookies, auto-fill data. I went about my day thinking i had successfully deleted all my information & not submitted my order since i NEVER hit that cofirm order button. Few hours later, i check my email inbox and see an ORDER CONFIRMATION from surprise surprise a “[email protected]” no customer service number nothing! What kind of effed up sh*t is this?!?! I am so annoyed & frustrated. I only entertained ordering this cause my 75 year old father kept bugging me about wanting this flashlight ad he’d seen on tv! This scamming company is majorly effed up! How do they even get an ad on t.v. Im going to find there customer service number and give them a piece of my mind!

  • Graham Ungar

    Great flashlight. Bought it at Bed Bath and Beyond.

    • JR

      Mr. Ungar, are you one of the owners of this business by any chance?

  • Vickie Herndon

    I did not order this light. I filled out the info and they kept adding stuff and I did the page, BUT WHEN I GOT TO THE PAGE WHERE IT SAID CLICK TO PROCESS, I DID NOT CLICK. An hour later, I got an order #. I can’t call them because there is another number to call to call them and they aren’t open in the middle of the night so I am going to sleep. I have no intention of buying it or of paying for it. I will call BBB if they send it, but will try calling the fools tomorrow and with a 3-4 wk ship time, they had better not tell me they have sent it. I never hit PROCESS and I went back and deleted all my information.

    • JR

      It’s a piece of junk, just like the people who own this scam business. The owners probably did a search for the cheapest piece of junk they could find that had a high desirability factor and then just set up this almost bogus business. What we as consumers need to accept is that there are no free lunches. We should spend our money wisely because like the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for” is going to be true, with few exceptions. Spend more and get a quality product – something we can be proud of. It’s as simple as that.

  • a soldier in Gods’ army

    Screw this POS. The casing resembles the Sure Fire Digital Ultra 2. We all had the Sure Fire model mounted to our M-4’s, if you want a bright, durable and a flashlight to see a long distance…. Get a Surefire!!

  • michael

    I ordered both the flashlight about 3 months ago and the lantern about a month ago. The flashlight’s button to turn it on and off broke within the 1st 2 weeks. I was able to rig it so that it works. I didn’t drop it or anything else, other than turn it on and off while walking my dogs. Also the batteries on the flashlight wear out very quickly. No, I would not order another one. The lantern that I ordered on 1/2/2017 has still not been delivered. When I check the order online, it states it’s out of stock….yet, they continue to run the ads on TV for this product every hour. They haven’t charged my credit card yet, but it’s annoying when you order something and it takes so long to be delivered. I called customer service and they said they have no control over the distribution of the product. Bottom line is this. I will NEVER order from this company again. Oh, and of course when you go online to order the lantern, you have to go through many upsale screens before you’re able to actually purchase the lantern. This is a horrible company to deal with and based on what I received, the quality is not very good either.

  • Follow Me Boys

    The lantern took 2 months to arrive. As a former Army Ranger and infantryman I can advise you that the lantern would not last outside in any environment I worked in. It’s nice for the inside. If you drop it the batteries inside will dislodge making you think it broke. What makes me mad as hell; is the deceptive BS “throwing it in the back of a Deuce in half. It’s plastic hence it will melt. Like I said it does alright inside the house. Battery life is alright. Should sell for 10.00

  • Derek7777

    I can honestly say the lantern sucked! The lighting was good when it worked. Just recently I replaced the batteries and poof, nothing! I took it apart and could not put “humpty dumpty” back together again! So much for durability and reliability!

  • JR

    After reading a lot of comments from people who did buy this product and their bad experience with both the flashlight and customer service, I don’t trust James White’s reviews. He seemed to think it was an OK product, even though it failed to do some of what it claimed it could. And he didn’t seem to use it over a period of time to test its lasting qualities. Oh well dot dot dot

    • My initial thought was that it was a decent flashlight – while it lasted. It’s hard to test it over a period of time when it breaks after three weeks.

      • JR

        Well, duh. Doesn’t breaking after just three weeks tell you it’s a piece of junk? I’m just saying, if people trust your reviews, then maybe you should put more time into the product before posting them.

        • Hah! I have no idea how I could continue to use it beyond three weeks after it broke. It worked fine, then it broke. How could I possibly put more time into it after it stopped working?

          • JR

            I meant maybe you should have waited for at least a month then before reviewing the item and you would have seen that it was a piece of junk and reviewed it that way. But it’s your call, of course.