About TacLight by Bell & Howell

It’s true that you can’t have too many flashlights around, since they come in handy in so many situations. The problem is that most flashlights aren’t built to withstand regular use, often leaving you with a broken product that’s a waste of money.

Not with TacLight by Bell & Howell, though. The company claims that this tactical flashlight is similar to those used by “elite military units,” featuring a compact and lightweight design, along with key features like a knurling surface and strike ring for good grip, tail tap switch, aircraft grade aluminum casing, precision optics, and five preset modes.

The TacLight is so strong that it promises to work when frozen in ice, and even when sitting in boiling water. Not only this, but TacLight vows to be 22X brighter than regular flashlights, capable of being seen from up to two nautical miles away, and its bulb will last up to 100,000 hours!

Reading all of this, is seems like Bell & Howell’s TacLight might come in handy in a lot of instances, including camping, hunting, emergency situations, and more. But is it necessarily a unique product? Will it provide a solid level of value? Let’s start answering your questions by addressing tactical flashlights in general.

What Is a Tactical Flashlight? What Makes a Good One?

As the name implies, a tactical flashlight is generally intended to be used in tactical situations; e.g. during an emergency where your life might be in danger. Due to their compact design and bright output, tactical flashlights are designed to be used alongside firearms, allowing you to quickly sweep an area and check for combatants, and to blind/stun one if encountered.

According to Popular Mechanics though, a tactical flashlight is just as much about light and hardware quality as it is about brightness:

“Compared to conventional flashlights, tactical lights deliver more light from a more compact, lighter package. A conventional flashlight with two D batteries and a standard bulb puts out about 15 to 20 lumens. A tactical light cranks out a minimum of 60 lumens of solid beam with no holes or dark spots.” Note: In some instances, tactical flashlights can put out 1,000+ lumens.

Tactical lights get their blinding ability from a high-pressure xenon-filled bulb with a tungsten filament. Power comes from a pair of 3-volt AA lithium batteries instead of conventional 1.5-volt cells. … The 6 volts of juice burns the filament hotter and whiter than that in a conventional flashlight.”

To this extent, we’re not told how many lumens TacLight puts out, what kind of bulb it features, or what kind of batteries it uses. Other important features we’re not told about are TacLight’s beam distance, impact resistance, water resistance level, and more.

We are told that TacLight’s bulb can last up to 100,000 hours, although this is generally the standard run time for most LED bulbs, and doesn’t appear to be unique to TacLight.

Taking all of this together, we can see that a tactical flashlight involves not just a special design, but also a very specific set of features, many of which we’re not informed about for TacLight. Do we know much more about the competition?

Bell & Howell’s TacLight vs. Other Tactical Flashlights

Comparatively, if you shop for tactical flashlights online, you’ll generally find that all of these specifications are clearly listed. After all, they’re the primary criteria when shopping for tactical flashlights.

You’ll also find overall dimensions, weight, whether or not they can be attached to a weapon, product certifications (if any), primary material, and country of origin.

Now, the one area where TacLight stacks up well against the competition is price. But does this mean it’s a good value?

How Much Does TacLight Cost?

One Bell & Howell TacLight is priced at $19.99 plus free S&H. During checkout, you can order a second flashlight for an additional $10 S&H.

Regardless of how many your order, Bell & Howell offers a 30-day refund policy and lifetime guarantee on all TacLights, less S&H charges. If you ordered the BOGO offer, this means you’ll end up losing more in S&H charges than you’ll get back as a refund.

Still want to request a refund? You’ll need to call customer service at 877-415-4824.

​TacLight by Bell & Howell Test

We thoroughly tested the Bell & Howell’s TacLight to see if it delivers on its claims. To find out everything we experienced, be sure to watch the video below:

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Is Bell & Howell’s TacLight Your Best Option?

Based on the pictures on their website, TacLight seems to look the part when it comes to tactical flashlight design. But as we outlined above, a true tactical flashlight is also defined by high quality and feature set, much of which we’re not told about TacLight.

Also, while it might look similar to flashlights used by “elite military units,” the company doesn’t provide any evidence that TacLight—specifically—is used by the military, law enforcement, or fire rescue. And other than “regular flashlights,” we’re not told exactly what TacLight is 22X brighter than.

Nick Bolton? He seems to be a fairly well-known fitness model, and doesn’t appear to have served in the military or have personally used TacLight.

Admittedly, it might seem like we’re coming down a little hard on TacLight, but our goal is to make sure you have a complete picture of any product before handing over your hard-earned money, including any potential concerns. Given this, we’re definitely not saying that TacLight isn’t a quality product or that you shouldn’t purchase one—only that, just because TacLight is priced lower than much of the competition, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll provide a better value.

On top of this, when you add TacLight’s steep, non-refundable S&H charges to the mix, it might make sense to weigh all your options before placing an order.

What did you think of TacLight’s performance? Would you consider it on par with tactical flashlights from other companies? Give us the details by writing your review below!

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131 Consumer Reviews for TacLight by Bell & Howell

Average Consumer Rating: 1.9
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 19 4 star: 8 3 star: 7 2 star: 10 1 star:  87
Bottom Line: 23% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 131
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  • My last Bell & Howell light I buy!

    • Louisville, KY,
    • Feb 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is my second Bell & Howell TacLight. The first light the bulb went out. I contacted Bell & Howell and the amount of time I had to spend and BS they wanted to replace a bulb was ridiculous. Was just simpler to return to Walmart. Now the second light the bulb has come lose and can’t take it apart without risking damage to the flashlight. This will be the last Bell & Howell light that I buy.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Disgusted

    • Sanger, TX,
    • Jan 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am 76 years old and not able to drive, so I ordered this light via TV ad with an 800 number on December 15, 2018 as a Christmas gift for my husband. I received the order today, January 3, 2019. I was told the item to be shipped by FedEx from the Reno, Nevada distribution center. The shipping label was created on 12/17 and picked up by "FedEx" on 12/21 for shipment. It was delivered today via regular USPS. I have family contracted with FedEx to do their long haul and knew immediately this was not going to be shipped via FedEx. When I opened the box, I immediately found an "Arbitration Agreement" neatly rolled up with instructions. Evidently, they must receive a lot of complaints from buyers. Plus, shows free, "lifetime" warranty for the item but you must pay $9.95 when returning the item. What a scam! Now I am receiving at least 30 spam emails per day even though I have requested, repeatedly, to unsubscribe. People, do not buy anything via TV ads!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    I would not buy this product!

    • Shropshire, United Kingdom,
    • Jan 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Do not buy this product! Very bright light but does not come with rechargeable battery or charger as stated. When I contacted the sellers in the USA, they said the charger type was only for the US! But still charged full price. This torch eats batteries! AAA Duracell batteries only last 10 minutes. My torch has failed after three months. So much for military grade! Do not touch this product or any other advertised like it!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Poorly made product

    • Calgary, Canada,
    • Jan 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased four TacLights for Xmas gifts. Two out of four stopped working within a day; one didn’t work properly at all!

    When I turned it on, the orange button would not stay pushed in. I don’t want to have to constantly hold the button in for it to work.

    Secondly, a ridiculous return policy if purchased online. Why should one have to pay $10 in S&H to send it back and wait weeks for it to be fixed when the product was poorly made in the first place? Perhaps Bell & Howell should rethink how their products are made, along with their return policy! I will not be buying From Bell & Howell again!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Great product, I recommend for all!

    • St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada,
    • Jan 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have purchased three of these retractable Tac Lights from my local Showcase Canada store! Everyone loves them! I have even now ordered online (not Amazon!) two Lithium Rechargeable batteries (PKCELL ICR18650 2200mAh 3.75V) and charger. Even brighter with Lithium batteries. $20.00 Canadian plus tax in the store. I will keep buying this flashlight for everyone I know!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Garbage

    • Canada,
    • Nov 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have purchased two (buy one, get one free). First light lense popped out. Didn’t need to do anything, but clearly shows it’s not held in right. Second light dimer, which was the same as the first. After about 5 uses, the clicker started to fail. Pieces would separate inside the clicker. Changed clicker between the two to fix the issue. Shortly later the lense pops out of the second flashlight. Garbage.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Crap-light

    • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Nov 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased this light at a Showcase store which features TV products. I got it home, inserted the batteries, pressed the button...zilch, nothing. I tried other batteries, again...zilch. Showcase has a 30-day warranty, so I returned it. They thought it might be a faulty one, so they gave me another one. New batteries in, yeh, works great...very bright...for two days! The third evening, I switched it on and it won't stay on. I have to hold the button down continually for it to work, on only one setting. I replaced the batteries again, it worked OK inside. I took it outside, the same crap with the button all over again! It will not switch on and stay on! I only use it for about 20 minutes for a dog walk in the dark. When I got home, I dropped it 2 feet onto a tile floor and it stopped working altogether, pronto.

    This is one piece of pure crap and an absolute consumer rip-off! I have a $2 similar light from the Dollar store that works better!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    In the first hour

    • Many, LA,
    • Oct 29, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought a TacLight two days ago, got home, installed the batteries, and turn it on. THEN, as soon as I went to turn it off, the switch broke on the flashlight! So I feel like they are not telling the truth about how tough it is. I also have pics to prove it, but I can’t seem to figure out how to post them.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Total garbage

    • North Bay, Ontario, Canada,
    • Oct 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    We bought the TacLighter, which was a buy one, get one free, along with the TacLight. It took over a month to receive our order as they were out of stock but didn't tell us that when they took our money. One of the lighters didn't work from the get-go, the other died within a week, and the TacLight turns on, but won't turn off. It just keeps cycling the different modes. We have to unscrew the head off the light to turn it off. Total garbage. If this stuff is military grade, I feel sorry for our military!

    P.S. I haven't contacted the company for replacements as I read the other posters' reviews and won't bother wasting my time with it.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 11 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Three TacLights

    • Oregon,
    • Oct 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    My three TacLights have all stopped working for me. It costs money to return them, and I have had two replaced. They all worked great on the first day. But after that, they stopped working. I would love to have one that actually works, but after three tries, I gave up. You have to spend at least $10.00 for the replacements. After $45.00, it's not worth it. I have had really bad luck with them, or they are bad flashlights. If they would give me one that finally works, I would change my review.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Lantern is terrible

    • St. Michaels, MD,
    • Oct 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought the 2-in-1 package at BJ's near me. I hung them on the back deck about 3 weeks ago. I went to use them now that it gets dark so soon and neither worked. I checked the batteries but they are fine. A terrible product!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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Showing 1-11 of 131

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