Tactical flashlights are pretty similar to the conventional ones, with one major difference. These usually have LEDs which can emit brighter light beams. Some tactical flashlights are designed to be mounted on various firearms, while others are handheld models. The “tactical” in the name originates from the time when they were used exclusively by law enforcement officers and were illegal for civilians.
Most flashlights use one of three types of batteries. Performance-wise, the best ones are Lithium Ion batteries. They can withstand the biggest number of recharge cycles and are safer to use in general. Apart from Li-Ion batteries, some flashlight models use Ni-MH batteries. They are similar to the Li-Ion ones but can cause damage to the unit if not used properly. The last type is the standard AAA battery. Needless to say, these have less power and are not as safe as the other two types. The recommended battery type is Li-Ion.
There are a ton of different things you can do with a tactical flashlight. Apart from illuminating dark areas, some models also have integrated mechanisms for self-defense. While some manufacturers even design a serrated edge on the top of the unit which can be used to repel an attack, other companies integrate the strobe mode. As a matter of fact, some models even have a built-in stun gun. If you ever end up in a dire situation that requires self-defense, use the strobe mode to blind or the serrated part of the casing to hit the attacker.
While they were expensive a few years ago, they are not anymore, thanks to the development of the modern technology. One more thing that affected the price drop is the number of these units on the market. In simpler words, a lot of companies produce flashlights nowadays, and most of them are of good quality. However, there are still a ton of worthless models that simply don’t fulfill the user’s expectations. A tactical flashlight can cost from $20 up to a few hundred, it all depends on the number of additional features and its overall quality.
Not at all. If you ever used a flashlight (you definitely did), you won’t have a problem with tactical models. The principle is the same for years. However, make sure to read the user manual (or the box) to see how to treat the battery properly. Most batteries have the same way of charging, but there are some that are different.