Bell and Howell Tactical Lights Review - Flashlights In Focus
Bell and Howell Tactical Lights review featured images

Bell and Howell Tactical Lights

  • Durable
  • Resistant to extreme temperatures
  • Waterproof
  • 5 different light modes
  • Powerful bulb
  • Versatile
  • The on and off button tends to break
  • Have to switch all the modes before selecting just one

About the company

The market for tactical lights is growing by the day, and Bell & Howell claim that they offer only reliable and high-quality products.

They implement all of the standard features for these flashlights, such as using aircraft-grade aluminum in their construction, a number of different light modes, and a powerful bulb that is over twenty times stronger than a standard flashlight. That means that TacLight works well as a self-defense weapon too, but it's also ideal for outdoor lovers, hunters, workers, and so on. Having one of these torches in the glove compartment in your car could help you get out of an emergency situation.

The company promises 100,000 hours of light for each bulb, and the flashlight itself is so durable and resistant, it will work even if you place it in boiling water or a frozen river. We have to say that their promises sound great which is the reason why we went on and tested their products in a series of carefully designed tests that will push it to the limits. So, let's take a closer look at what we have here.

Things to consider when buying a Tactical Flashlight

Getting a flashlight does require some research. You have to figure out what features you need depending on what you plan on doing with it. There are a couple of more questions you should ask yourself first, and when you answer them, these are some of the features you should compare before making your final choice:

Light output

The light output is measured in lumens. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter and more powerful the flashlight is. Most models that fit in the Tactical Flashlight category provide at least 60 lumens, but some, more expensive lights can provide up to 1600 lumens of light. That may not sound like much, but keep in mind that regular flashlights put out only 15 to 20 lumens.


With so much power, it's important that you know how much light you have left on a full battery. That mostly depends on the light output you are using. If you put it on a higher setting, the runtime will become shorter. Most flashlights will last for days if set on low settings.

Beam Distance

The distance of the beam is crucial when you find yourself in an opened dark area. Depending on the model of your flashlight, that distance can be anywhere from 100 to 1000 feet.

Impact Distance

When you spend lots of times outdoors doing things like hiking, camping, rafting, or whatever, you can expect your flashlight dropping to the ground or falling from your hand. The impact distance is the hight from which you can drop the torch without it damaging upon landing.

Extra features

Some flashlights do include extra features that could come in handy in critical situations. Small details like a hexagonal bevel, window breaker, and a clip are just some tiny useful things that could prove helpful.

TacLight promise that their products all have the best features and functions, but we didn't take their word for it. We bought one ourselves and put it through every test we had. We then compared the results with other similar flashlights to figure out which ones are worth it. Keep on reading and find out all the details in our full review of Bell + Howell 1176 Taclight.

Bell and Howell Tactical Lights in ice

Who is Behind Taclight and Is Their Reputation Good?

Bell & Howell were originally founded over 100 years ago in 1907. They produced motion picture machinery, and they became the biggest company to do so. The years and the market demand has pushed the company in a new direction at some point, and today they manufacture consumer electronics.

The company is responsible for countless innovations when it comes to electronics. You probably came across their most popular products that include Solar Charges, Ultra Sonic Pest Repellers, and many many others that were widely advertised on TV channels.

As for their reputation, we can't call it spotless because we could find negative reviews of their products stating that they don't perform as promised or they had problems with the customer service. That's all normal because you can't make everyone happy. The bottom line is - their reputation fits right into the same category as most other similar companies.

Is it Worth the Money?

Perhaps the most important question you can ask about any product is about its worth. Do you get all of the things you expect for the price that you're paying? Our review has all of the important info that will help you figure that out, but we can say right now that TacLight gained our trust.

They offer all of the useful features in their products, standing right next to their competitors. That's one way to determine the value, and the other is understanding how much you get with a purchase of a TacLight product. Products that are advertised on TV channels often lack in quality and are overpriced. Plus it costs, even more, to send them back after the trial period.

So, is this company worth your money? Well, we think that in the end, it's your decision to make. We did our best to provide you with the details you need to make that decision. So, without further a due, here is our complete in-depth review of Bell + Howell 1176 Taclight.

Bell + Howell 1176 Taclight - The Basics

The 1176 TacLight by Bell & Howell is sturdy and durable as flashlights get. It is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum, and it provides 40 times more light than a standard torch. When set on high, the sun is so powerful; it can be seen from 2 miles away. It's highly reliable as it's waterproof and shockproof, but it's also resistant to extremely cold or hot temperatures.

We can't regard this product as a super-compact type because of the dimensions, but it's still small enough so you can fit it in a backpack or a larger pocket. This flashlight will definitely light your way even through the darkest alleys, but you can use it as a defense weapon too. Point it in your attacker's eyes set on high or strobe, and he will be disoriented for enough time for you to escape.

The bulb lasts for 100,000 hours (which is something we couldn't test) and it runs on three AAA batteries you can buy in any store. It is undoubtedly a product designed for military personnel and police officers, but it also works well for any everyday task you might have around the house. One thing is for sure - you won't have problems finding your way through the dark.

The Features

Extra features are what makes this product stand out in the crowd. We found it very interesting after performing the harshest tests on it yet. We went over the basics like batteries, light modes, design, a drop test, and we also did tests in low and high temperatures. Here is what we think.


On the first glimpse, the 1176 TacLight looks like any other tactical flashlight. It is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum, which is a standard for this type of product. The aluminum makes it light and durable at the same time, both being important qualities during outdoor activities. It is also water and impact resistant. The flashlight can be submerged in 10 feet of water, and it will still work. We had to push our impact test further than before, and this torch survived a drop from the 5th floor with only scratches.

Before we get to the self-defense properties it provides, we had to test it in extreme temperatures as the manufacturer claims that it survives ice and boiling water with no damage. This one really got us excited, so we froze the flashlight in a bucket of water while it was turned on. The water froze, and the flashlight was still working. We were very surprised, so we left it on ice until morning, and sure enough, it was still working.

That really got us excited because we never did that before. The test was successful, so we had to try the boiling water test. Again, the flashlight held strong with no visible damage. It was still working after 15 minutes in the boiling water. The flashlight was designed to be able to cope with extreme temperatures and prolonged exposure to the sun. The most incredible fact is that this model costs only about 10 bucks.

Furthermore, this flashlight can be used as a self-defense weapon in a number of ways. When set on high it can disorient an attacker or a wild animal so you can make your escape. Since it's very durable and impact resistant, you can use it to break a window during an emergency. The model is 5.4 inches L x 1.6 inches W, which means that it's not the smallest flashlight out there, but it's still compact enough for concealment.


Like most flashlights that fit in the same category, the 1176 TacLight needs three AAA batteries to work. The bulb is resistant and it will light your way for 100,000 hours. The battery life depends on the light mode you set. The highest settings will give you about an hour and a half of light, and on the lowest, the flashlight will work close to 90 hours in one go.

Keep in mind that the batteries are not included upon purchase. Also, if you plan on using the flashlight for days on end, make sure you bring some extra batteries.

Bell and Howell Tactical Lights product image


If you want a flashlight that provides plenty of bright light, this one is a safe choice. It is 40 times stronger than a standard flashlight which means that you'll be able to illuminate objects that are hundreds of feet away.  In fact, you can use the zoom option to widen or tighten the beam of light, and that can be useful in some situations.

That can be very useful, especially in case of an attack. You will be able to narrow the beam and point it at your attacker's eyes. The brightness of the flashlight will be enough to confuse and disorient your assailant so you can make your escape or fight back. It is also very useful against wild animals.

Light Modes

There are five light modes to choose from on this model: low, medium, high, strobe, and SOS. The standard light modes are the first three. The difference between them is in the brightness of the light. When set on the lowest settings, you can use the lamp to navigate through the dark, but you won't be able to see that far ahead. The battery holds the longest on this mode. Medium is a bit brighter, it covers a wider area and it still preserves your battery. When set on high, you have only about an hour and a half of light, but it will shine so bright that you can be seen from miles away.

The next two settings are designed to be used in certain special situations. The Strobe light is ideal for sending signals or in self-defense, and the SOS light is designed to flash in Morse code, signaling your rescuers in case something goes wrong. That can be a life-saver in a dire situation, so it's a nice little feature, that's for sure.

The 1176 TacLight is a tool that's designed to make traversing dark areas easier, but it can also make the difference between life and death sometimes. All in all, it's good to have one around, just in case.

bell and howell tactical flashlight

What Do the Users Say?

Well, reading through hundreds of user reviews, we have to say that the opinions fluctuate from great to poor. Some users get their flashlights that work as promised, while others complain about the on and off button malfunctioning right away. It seems that some units have an issue with the switch.

As far as the power of the flashlight, it seems to deliver as promised. You just have to insert three AAA batteries. Try buying the ones that are of higher quality or your light could die on you when you need it the most.

Bell+Howell Tactical Lights-Conclusion

The Conclusion

Yes, there are many tactical lights you can buy these days, but we have to say that testing this one was a blast. The main reason for that is in the fact that it's completely resistant to ice and hot water, and we've never tested that before. The flashlight is well-constructed, it offers 5 different light modes and it fits right into the category with the other manufacturers.

The Zoom option is also quite nice in certain applications, and you don't have to worry about the flashlight breaking in case it falls to the ground since it's impact and shock resistant. We didn't even get to the best part yet. The best thing about this flashlight has to be the price. You get a lot of useful features for just a fraction of what you'd pay for a similar model made by some other company. So, is it worth the money? We think yes. It's a nice little gadget that's always good to have around.

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