So how important is it to make the right choice when it comes to a predator hunting light?
Well, the wrong light will give you a massive amount of frustration as you attempt to scan across fields trying to find those elusive coyote eyes. It may not cast a beam far enough to catch those beady little eyes.
Or you may have a great light for hunting, but it’s not well suited for your hunting style and you are left trying to juggle your gun, your light, and other gear.
Choosing the right light for your hunting style can be the line between success and failure. Hunting at night is always a challenge, and coyotes are cunning creatures that can be difficult to even see much less shoot.
Your hunting light is insanely important for hunting predators like coyotes at night and without a well-made, powerful, and easy to use light you’ll walk your way off a cliff.
There are tons of good night hunting lights out there but not every good light is a good predator light.
In this article:
- First, we’ll discuss some of the best lights available for hunting coyotes, predators and varmints
- After that we are going to give you the proper tools to isolate bad lights from good predator hunting light.
The 8 Top Predator Hunting Lights Of 2018: Outdoor Empire Reviews
These are our top recommendations for predator hunting lights in 2018:
- Best handheld: Get the Streamlight Vulcan (Read 40+ Amazon customer reviews)
- Best weapon mounted: Get the Streamlight TLR-1 HPL (Read 135+ Amazon customer reviews)
- Best headlamp: Get the Bushnell Rubicon H250L
- Best for coyote hunting: Get the Predator Tactics Coyote Reaper
- Get the Nitecore P30
- Best for hog hunting: Get the Predator Tactics Killbone
- Get the Streamlight UltraStinger (Read 175+ Amazon customer reviews)
- Brightest handheld hunting light: Get the Surefire Dominator
*Looking for a specific feature? Check out our quick-reference chart below:
|Light Output||70 - 145 Lumens||775 Lumens||250 Lumens||300 Lumens|
|Beam Distance||566 mm||1423 feet||90 Meters||300 yards|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion x 1||CR123A||3AA||Rechargeable 18-650|
|Length||7.50 in||4.83 in||2.1 x 3.3 in (height x diameter)||not specified by manufacturer|
|Weight||1.85 lbs||5.6 oz||7.1 oz (w/ batteries)||1.8 lbs|
|Cost||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
1. Best Handheld Hunting Light: Streamlight Vulcan
The Streamlight Vulcan is one massive handheld light. It’s a powerful light that gives hunters a low lumen, but long-range light.
The Streamlight Vulcan’s most impressive feature is its wide lens that features a large and powerful reflector. This allows the light to burn at only 145 lumens but still cast a powerful and intense beam.
The Vulcan lasts up to three hours when fully charged when set to its highest power level and up to 6 hours on low intensity.
The Streamlight Vulcan is waterproof and can be submerged up to a meter for 30 minutes and still function. It’s powerful enough to blast through smoke and fog, and it’s more than powerful enough to spot coyotes.
Streamlight makes amazing lights and they are designed for durability. The Vulcan is a big light, but it’s also lightweight, weighing only 1.85 pounds.
- Lumens – 70-145
- Weight – 1.85 Pounds
- Effective Range – 300 Yards
- Battery Type – Rechargeable Internal
2. Best Weapon Mounted Hunting Light: Streamlight TLR-1 HPL Long Gun Kit
So, we’ll use Streamlight one more time, and go with their Streamlight TLR-1 HPL long gun kit. This light system is extremely portable and extremely powerful.
The TLR 1 is super bright, producing about 775 lumens and a 48,000 peak candela power. This little light is insanely bright and shoots a sharp and bright beam out to 200 yards.
This ultra-modern light is designed for use with modern weapons, like the AR 15 ( see our recommended AR-15 flashlights here ). This allows it to be mounted to any Picatinny rail system. It comes with a pressure switch that allows you to mount the light a foot away from the pressure pad.
The Streamlight TLR-1 series is waterproof for up to a meter for half an hour.
The downside has to be the short battery life. The system itself lasts only an hour and a half. You’ll need to bring a few extra sets of CR 123 batteries for a long hunt.
- Lumens – 775
- Weight – 4.2 Ounces
- Effective Range – 200 Yards
- Battery Type – CR123s
3. Best Headlamp: Bushnell H250L
Choosing a good headlamp for coyote hunting is difficult. It’s such a hassle trying to find a good headlamp that’s a compromise between weight and power.
My preferred headlamp for coyote hunting is going to be the Bushnell H250L. This powerful headlamp weighs less than a pound and gives you 250 to 312 lumens of power.
It offers both a floodlight and a powerful precise spotlight for cutting through the darkness.
The Bushnell H250L even offers a short range red light that allows you to maintain your night vision while checking maps, gear, or simply scouting a position to set up in.
The Bushnell is a tough and dependable light that’s well suited for hunting coyotes. The runtime is impressive and varies between the modes you use. It can last up to 161 hours on the lowest setting.
At the highest setting, it will last 12 hours. The six different modes offer the user an unparalleled advantage in versatility, not just for spotting, but for navigation, map reading, and other more mundane tasks.
- Lumens – 250 – 312
- Weight – 3.8 Ounces
- Effective Range – 150 Yards
- Battery Type – Triple A
4. Best Coyote Hunting Lights: Predator Tactics Coyote Reaper Hunting
The Predator Tactics Coyote Reaper Hunting light kit is by far one of the most powerful, and most versatile hunting lights out there. It can be used as either a weapon mounted light or as a handheld light.
It’s designed for hunting coyotes and features an outstanding 300 to 500-yard recognition range. It is a rechargeable light and comes with two pairs of batteries. The full kit includes a vehicle and wall charger, as well 3 different weapon mounts.
One is designed for mounting a light to a scope, one mount will attach the light to a pic rail, and the third is designed for use with shotguns. There is also a remote light switch for mounting it to a gun which is nice and handy.
The Coyote Reaper is supermodular, with the ability to easily swap LEDs to give you different colored lights.
There is an IR adapter kit for use with night vision, and you can even mount the light to a bow and arrow. If modularity, dependability, and long-range capability sound good to you this is the light to go with.
- Lumens – 300
- Weight – 1.8 Pounds
- Effective Range – 300 Yards
- Battery Type – Rechargeable 18-650
5. Nitecore P30
The Nitecore P30 1,000 lumens is a full on hunting light that comes complete with a full rifle kit. The Nitecore P30 is a powerful light that offers hunters true long range capability.
It throws a beam of light over 650 yards and allows you to see easily and of course identify your prey.
The P30 is an aluminum flashlight that’s extremely strong and can take a beating. It’s a big light, but what else can you expect from a 1,000 lumen light that reaches beyond 650 yards?
The kit comes with a rifle mount, but the light can be used handheld with ease. The kit also comes with rechargeable batteries and a charger of course.
The kit comes with a car and wall charger, as well as a pressure switch for use on a gun. Finally, the kit is wrapped up with a red and green filter to dial down the intensity and allow you to keep some of your natural night vision.
- Lumens – 70 to 1,000
- Weight – 5.83 ounces
- Effective Range – 676 yards
- Battery Type – Rechargeable
6. Best Hog Hunting Lights: Predator Tactics Killbone
The Predator Tactics Killbone Hog Hunter’s Edition is the archer’s choice for hog hunting capabilities. It’s one of the few systems that comes with a bow adapter to connect your light to your bow.
There is even a Picatinny rail adapter that allows you to mount your light to your firearm. Lastly, you can rock the light in handheld mode too.
The Killbone comes equipped with a remote switch known as the Quiet Intensity control. The Remote allows you to control the light and adjust it from 0% to 100% without making a sound.
The Killbone has an effective range of 225 yards and packs 3 different LED bulbs. You have white, red and green lights.
Green lights are perfect for hog hunting because of a hog’s vision color spectrum. The Predator Tactics Killbone light also rocks an adjustable focus and comes with a rechargeable battery and battery charger.
- Lumens – 350
- Weight – 8 ounces
- Effective Range – 225 yards
- Battery Type – Rechargeable
7. Streamlight UltraStinger
The Streamlight UltraStinger is a powerful handheld light that gives you an easy to carry and long-range light that’s perfect for hunting over fields. Hogs love to root up fields and destroy pastures.
The Ultra Stinger casts a wide 295-lumen beam which is ideal for lighting up fields and spotting pigs as you scan.
The UltraStinger is a big light, and weighs a little over a pound and is nearly a foot long. The light packs rechargeable batteries and gives you an excellent long light life.
The light is made from aircraft grade aluminum and gives you nice firm grip through a rubberized comfort grip.
The light is IPX4 for water resistance and has a 1-meter impact resistance rating as well. The UltraStinger wears an adjustable beam that allows you to adjust the light from spot to flood beam.
- Lumens – 295
- Weight – 16.1 ounces
- Effective Range – 200 Yards
- Battery Type – Rechargeable
8. Brightest Handheld Hunting Light: Surefire Dominator
The Surefire Dominator is a monster of a light. It’s an extremely powerful light that gives hunters what’s a lightsaber. It blasts a powerful 2,400 lumens on high setting and can go down to 14 lumens on the low setting.
This massive light has 9 different brightness settings so you aren’t always running ultra bright, or painfully low.
The Surefire Dominator packs constant on/off, momentary activation and Maxblast modes. Maxblast gives you an instant 2,400 lumens of power regardless of what the selection ring is set to. The Dominator also packs a strobe, mode for emergency marking.
This rechargeable light can be plugged into a standard wall outlet or a 12V car charger and you don’t have to remove the battery. It can also use 12 CR123A batteries should you run into a situation where you can’t get to a charger.
- Lumens – 14-2400
- Weight – 2.4 pounds
- Effective Range – 600+ yards
- Battery Type – Rechargeable or 12 CR 123s
Important Choosing Factors
I only advocate ethical hunting, and ethical hunting means shooting at a range you know you’ll kill an animal at. At night your ethical hunting range is limited for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, you need to be at a range you can properly identify an animal at. You aren’t just shooting at glimpses of hair, you need to have positive identification of the animal you’re hunting.
So, at night, you are limited to about 100 yards. Coyotes are small animals in general, and a dog and a coyote aren’t much different.
So, to be sure of your target you want to be hunting at no further than 100 yards, if you are exceptional shot, or using night vision optics you can extend that range.
You’ll need a hunting light that reaches at least 150 yards. This way you have a little extra range and a little extra power.
Longer range lights are always suggested because you can spot an animal, or pack of animals, and then move towards them to ensure identification and then take a shot.
150 yards is the minimum, and there really is no maximum.
There are three main types of predator lights you can use. Which style of light is best is really dependent upon the user. It’s really opinion based, and you’ll need to choose based on your hunting style.
We’ll cover the pros and cons of each style of varmint hunting light, and give you an idea of the pros and cons of each style.
Handheld lights are going to be the most common style of flashlight, and they will offer you the most options. Handheld lights can also be the largest lights, with massive power outputs and exceptionally long ranges.
Handheld flashlights are great if you are hunting with a partner who can hold the light while you take the shot. They are difficult to use when you hit the field alone unless you are mounting them to a truck, an ATV, etc.
Weapon mounted lights are my personal favorite lights for predator hunting. I like to be able to scan and aim at the same time. Weapon mounted lights can be quite powerful while being relatively lightweight.
The issue is they tend to drain batteries faster because they have to use small and lightweight batteries.
The downside to weapon lights is that you are effectively flagging everything you shine with your weapon when scanning. I prefer to back my weapon mounted light up with a small handheld light for safety reasons.
Headlamps are great compromises when it comes to the ability to scan and the ability to shoot one-handed. Headlamps can be quite powerful, but have the same issues weapon lights have.
The most powerful models will quickly drain batteries.
Due to their size restrictions, they are also going to be less powerful than handheld lights.
The main downside of headlamps is you are not going to be able to aim and use the light very well, so a backup weapon mounted light, or a partner with a handheld light works well.
Size and Weight
Size and weight are almost always one of those compromising factors that come with flashlights.
There is always a bit of trade-off when it comes to power, battery life, and size. You’ll want a light that is easy to carry, and easy to use.
Predator hunting requires scanning across fields and too heavy of a flashlight is going to fatigue you quite quickly.
There are several different types of lights for predator hunting and size is more important with some than others.
1. Too heavy of a flashlight on a rifle will throw your rifle off balance and make it difficult to carry and slower to aim.
Too heavy of a headlamp is just going to suck. You’ll start feeling that pain grow quickly when scanning and wearing the headlamp.
2. For a handheld light, anything over 3 pounds is a bit much. You don’t need a baton style Maglite for hunting predators. On a weapon light, you really want to stay under a pound and a half.
A pound and a half is going to be excessive, to be honest.
3. Headlamps need to be nice and light, about a pound or so. Some lights actually get way up there in weight, and these can be great lights.
However, they will need a lot of supportive straps, even then you’ll get fatigued and you’ll need to train your neck a bit for them.
There are a few different theories regarding the proper light color for hunting predators. Each type has different fans and critics. This will be largely personal preference and up to the shooter and hunter.
Let’s increase our knowledge base light colors in this section.
The brightest and most intense light will be white light. White Light has the longest range and brightest beam. The downside is it kills your natural night vision.
Some coyote hunters claim white light is too intense for coyotes and you are forced to use the edges of a white light over the center of the beam.
Red light is a bit dimmer, but most animals aren’t able to spot that spectrum of light. Red light also preserves your natural night vision. Red light is dim though and doesn’t have a very long range.
Green light is the compromise between red and white light. It’s brighter than red but not as intense as white light. This helps preserve natural night vision while retaining an intense and bright light.
Check the video to get more insights about light colors.
You won’t necessarily need some superbly powerful light. You aren’t calling Batman to come to the rescue. You just need a beam than reach out and illuminate a small area.
It’s better to have a focused beam that’s bright than a flood style light. You need a good reflector system that can really increase the intensity of your beam.
An adjustable lamp is great for changing between a high-intensity beam and a wide flood lamp.
A few hundred lumens will do, it’s all about the reflector when it comes to hunting. You aren’t trying to blind an opponent, just trying to spot a coyote.
As a rule, smaller lights are going to need more lumens due to their smaller reflectors.
- Weapon lights and headlamps will need to be in the 300+ lumen range.
- Large handheld lights can be less powerful, with 150 lumens being an excellent range to work in.
Spotting predators is difficult, but man it’s fun. Having the right light makes a big difference in your chances of being successful.
For an example, coyote lights got to be bright, easy to use, and capable of spotting those beady little coyote eyes.
Predator hunting is an adrenaline-fueled experience, and to be successful you’ll have to be equipped with the right gear.
Take your light selection seriously, it’s just as important as your firearm.