Light ‘Em Up: Nightstick LGL-160 Long Gun Light Review

Nightstick is making waves in the weapon light industry. They’ve been doing that for a while, but Nightstick products are establishing a track record among professionals, demanding that skeptics take notice. I’ve been one of those skeptics. Not because I have anything against Nightstick. But I’ve always been a “wait-and-see” guy with accessories, and Nightstick is a relative newcomer to weapon lights. They are also priced very competitively, and I wanted to see what that meant.

Nightstick LGL-160 weapon light on an AR-15
The Nightstick LGL-160 is competitively priced. But does it run? [Photo: William Lawson]
I’ve been running several Nightstick lights for a couple of months now, and I’ve come around. “Affordable” does not always mean “cheap.” Certainly not in this case. I’ll eventually have several Nightstick reviews here on the Mag Life Blog. Today, we look at the LGL-160 Full Size Long Gun Light. Let’s start with the specifications.

Nightstick LGL-160 Specs

  • Maximum Lumens: 1,100
  • Maximum Candela: 22,541
  • Maximum Beam Distance: 304 meters
  • Length: 5.3 inches
  • Case Diameter: 0.9 inches
  • Head Diameter: 1.4 inches
  • Weight: 6.3 ounces
  • 2 Meter Drop Rating
  • IP-X7 Waterproof/Dustproof Rating
  • Run Time: 2 hours
  • Switch Function: Tail Cap or Remote Pressure
  • Light Source: LED
  • Case Material: Aircraft Grade 6061-T6 Aluminum
  • Finish: Type III Black Hard Anodized
  • Power Source: 2 CR123 Batteries (included)
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
Man shooting an AR-15 rifle
We’ve been running the Nightstick for two months now with great results. [Photo: William Lawson]

Nightstick LGL-160 Features

Brightness and focus are usually the first things we want to know about weapon lights. The LGL-160 throws 1,100 lumens with an impressive 22,000+ candela. Candela ratings can get very technical in ways that confuse my non-mathematical brain, but higher candela indicates a better-focused beam better capable of penetrating fog and smoke. It also impacts effective range. The high-efficiency deep parabolic reflector also helps with focus, providing a clear central beam with plenty of halo.

The LGL-160 ships with a tail cap push-button switch and a remote pressure switch. The pressure switch attaches directly to a Picatinny rail with the provided mount. Nightstick also includes adhesive Velcro strips for alternate mounting.

The LGL-160 includes two Picatinny rail mounting choices. The first goes directly on the rail if you have, say, a quad rail or a side-mounted Picatinny rail section. The other offsets at 45 degrees. Both attach with large, textured thumb screws.

You also get an M-LOK wire management clamp, which is a nice addition. It’s not a necessity, but it comes in handy. And it looks better than the zip ties I’ve used in the past. The wire can run directly through the clamp, or you can double it up for even less drag. Nightstick even includes an Allen wrench for the mounting processes.

Nightstick LGL-160 pressure pad and wire management clamp
The control switches are positive, and the wire management clamp works very well. [Photo: William Lawson]
Finally, two CR123 batteries are included. The LGL-160 is also compatible with Nightstick’s USB Single Battery Charging Kit, which replaces the CR123s and makes the battery rechargeable.

Running the Nightstick

I’ve been running the LGL-160 on my IWI Zion 15 rifle. I didn’t want to use Picatinny rail space, so I picked up a Nightstick LGL-ML2 M-LOK mount kit. All the mounts are attached easily.

I also used the wire management clamp. I found that running the wire through it once gave me good control while also allowing flexibility with mounting the pressure switch. Doubling it up made pressure switch mounting more difficult since I had less wire to work with. The photos show the doubled-up wire because I didn’t want to detach it again until I was done. Make sure you read the instructions for the clamp. I found myself not doing it in the correct order since I tend to dive right in and only look at instructions when I have an issue.

The push button tail cap and pressure switch are tactile and responsive. The pressure switch has momentary and constant-on capabilities. I mounted the pressure switch up top for easy use with a C-clamp grip.

Outdoor light beams
Nighttime recognition at 40 and 50 yards. Note the bright central beam. We dismounted the light from the rifle for these photos. [Photo: William Lawson]
I like the LGL-160’s performance. The central beam is noticeably focused, with a wide halo for peripheral illumination. It brightly lights up dark rooms, and I can positively identify potential targets at night within reasonable ranges. Your idea of “reasonable” may differ from mine, but I have no intention of trying to light up a target at 300 meters. Tests reveal the light does indeed reach that far, but few people will take a shot at that distance. I tested recognition at 40 and 50 yards with great results. The bright central beam held, and the halo was very good.

The only knock I can see on the LGL-160 is the lack of low and high brightness settings. That affects battery life, and the 1,100 lumens can dazzle the user when reflected in small rooms.  The light does not have a strobe function, which isn’t a big deal for me, but it might be for you.

Final Thoughts

I like the LGL-160. It runs well, the controls are easily manipulated, and I love the beam. My Zion 15 is my test rifle, so it won’t stay there. But it has earned my trust and will get a permanent home on one of my general-purpose AR-15s, though not my home defense carbine, because I prefer optional brightness settings for that application.

Nightstick LGL-160 on an IWI Zion 15 rifle
Nightstick LGL-160 on an IWI Zion 15 rifle. [Photo: William Lawson]
This light is rugged and well-made. I have no doubt it will hold up to whatever I do with it. It also helps that the LGL-160 has been tested and recommended by the National Tactical Officers Association.

Finally, the LGL-160 is priced very competitively. You get an awful lot for your money, which I appreciate very much. I think this light is a great value. Nightstick has worked hard and is respected in the industry and shooting community. The LGL-160 represents that hard work very well. If all that sounds good, maybe consider grabbing one. Gun Mag Warehouse can hook you right up.

William "Bucky" Lawson is a self-described "typical Appalachian-American gun enthusiast". He is a military historian specializing in World War II and has written a few things, as he says, "here and there". A featured contributor for Strategy & Tactics, he likes dogs, range time, and a good cigar - preferably with an Old Fashioned that has an extra orange slice.

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