Types and Purposes of Shield Lights

Types and Purposes of Shield Lights

Ballistic shield lights are devices to mount onto a ballistic shield to provide it with lighting functions. While some ballistic shield models come with a built-in lighting capability, you may need to reserve some freedom of choice for yourself and equip a normal ballistic shield with a retrofittable light. This way you can continue using the shield without the light as normal, or attach an LED light to it for night time operations.

Purpose of shield lights

The purpose of lighting shields is to bestow an additional level of protection to their wearers and to deliver better view in dark and night time conditions for quick assessment of the situation. Indeed: a sudden flash of light directed right in to the eyes disorients and demoralizes the opposing side, renders return fire more difficult and thus helps operatives to promptly suppress resistance of suspects.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each function.

  • Lighting. The main purpose of shield lights is, of course, to light up the area. This allows law enforcement officers or SWAT to better and faster assess the situation and respond quickly. A light mounted directly to the shield eliminates the need to hold a flashlight in the hand and hence to sacrifice safety for better vision.
  • Hampers vision of hostile shooters. Looking through the harsh light makes it very difficult for armed resistance to plan their actions and shoot in return. This means that the opposite light produced by the shield LED greatly damps down efficiency of the enemy, and hence can literally save lives of police officers or hostages.
  • Surprise effect. During assaults, light shields works as an additional surprise factor helping demoralize the criminals. The strobe mode can additionally disorient offenders by making it very difficult for them to trace officer’s movement. At the same time, a light-shielded SWAT, military or law enforcement officer becomes more efficient in his or her duties.

Shield light types

By construction, lights for ballistic shields are either:

  • Built-in. The light is a part of shield construction and cannot be detached from it. Such lighting shields have the built-in LED light source with controls embedded into the handle. On the plus side, such lights inherit all the features of the shield: they are water- and fire-proof, bullet resistant and do not have external wires or construction elements. The only disadvantage of such shield models is their relative inflexibility: literally, you have to take the light with you, whether you want it or not.
  • Mountable. Mountable and removable lights for shields can be quickly installed onto the shield when there is a need for it. The casing of such a light is strong enough to withstand the same damage as the shield itself, while professional fasteners guarantee the light stands firm on the shield even during crowd control operations. Conveniently, the light can be installed onto virtually any type of shield, so you don’t have to purchase a newer one just to have lighting functionality. Also, the light is quickly detached if not needed anymore.

By luminosity, there are several groups of light for shields:

  • Low luminosity tactical lights. Values below 600 lumens are considered low. This may be enough to light up your bathroom, but for tactical applications this is just the basic level.
  • Average luminosity. Normally, you should look for 1000 lumens lights. Such luminosity is enough for a wide range of possible applications, whether tactical or during training.
  • High luminosity. Powerful LED lights with more than 1000 lumens can deliver strong light impulses – the so called turbo-strobe mode, powerful continuous lighting or wide-angle beams of light for panoramic lighting.

By available options, you can distinguish several capabilities. Note that more than one such capability can be included in the same model of shield light.

  • Fastener type. The way the light is mounted onto the shield can be different. Common options are 3M specialized removable fasteners or VELCRO fasteners. You don’t have to drill holes in your shield jeopardizing its integrity and protection level.
  • Light modes. A shield light can work continuously or as a stroboscope, as well as produce momentary flashes or wide angle beams to quickly light up the entire area.
  • Water-proof as well as fire- and damage proof design ensures the light stays on in any situation.
  • Ambidextrous switch. The light should be equally comfortable to use both for right-handers and left-handed persons.


Battle Steel®️ offers a range of mounted lights for shields to choose from. Please browse our catalog and find the model you need. Surely, the process of picking the best fitting lighted shield may seem confusing at first, so please don’t hesitate to contact our online consultants whenever you need any assistance.

This article is the author's opinion and does not represent the official position of BattleSteel®️

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