Firefighting is incredibly dangerous work. Not only are you faced with blazing flames and extreme temperatures, but you might also find yourself headed into situations where your vision is impaired by darkness.
This is especially true in environments where thick, black smoke is billowing out of a building.
For this reason, firefighters are equipped with flashlights. However, holding a flashlight and navigating your way through a burning building with heavy equipment isn’t the easiest thing to do!
But, there is a solution, and it comes in the form of firefighter helmet lights. As their name suggests, these lights can be attached to a firefighter’s helmet, leaving your hands totally free.
There are quite a few firefighter helmet lights to choose from, too. But, while this may seem like a good thing, it can make it quite difficult to find the perfect one for your needs. So, to make things easier, we’ve done the hard work for you!
We’ll also take a look at what you should look out for when you’re making your choice and, as an added bonus, we’ll dive into the world of firefighter helmet cameras.
What Is A Firefighter Helmet Light?
Before we start looking at the 10 best firefighter helmet lights available, let’s take a moment to talk about what a firefighter helmet light actually is. Put simply, they are a flashlight-style tool that is attached to a firefighter’s helmet.
Once switched on, they offer increased visibility in dark conditions while leaving the hands totally free to work.
In the firefighting world fires are known as ‘low visibility events’. The thick, dark smoke that a fire produces can make it really hard to see clearly around the room. By shining a bright light through it, the level of visibility is significantly increased.
In turn, the firefighter is able to see more clearly, navigate through a burning building, extinguish fires, and rescue people.
Firefighter helmet lights aren’t a new idea. They’ve actually been around for quite a while but they fell out of fashion as batteries died and hot temperatures caused them to fail.
However, thanks to advances in modern technology, this isn’t something that a firefighter needs to worry about anymore.
These modern firefighter helmet lights are usually equipped with both disposable and lithium-ion batteries. This provides extra power backup. They also tend to feature LED lights, which allows them to shine incredibly brightly through black smoke without draining too much power.
Why Would A Firefighter Need A Helmet Light?
We’ve touched on this above and the main reason why a firefighter needs a helmet light is to keep their hands free while simultaneously illuminating a smoke-filled room. However, there are some other instances where a helmet light comes in handy.
Oftentimes, flashlights are used as a way of alerting others to an emergency situation. If you become stuck or you find somebody and need help rescuing them, you can flash your helmet light as a way of drawing attention to yourself.
It’s also highly unlikely that a firefighter is going to be able to walk freely through a burning building. They may find themselves crawling through tight spaces or jumping over fallen items to get to the source of the fire.
Doing any of these while holding a flashlight is not easy! So, a helmet light allows them to maneuver themselves safely and confidently while lighting the way.
The 10 Best Firefighter Helmet Lights
Now you know what a firefighter helmet light is, it’s time to look at the 10 best firefighter helmet lights on the market.
Each of the choices we’ve listed below is ideal for cutting through thick smoke and illuminating a dark, smoke-filled room. Put simply, they’ll make it much easier for a brave firefighter to do their job safely and efficiently.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
This firefighter helmet light can be attached and removed in mere seconds. Best of all, you don’t even need any tools to do it! Simply loosen the C-clamp, slide the clip onto your helmet, and tighten it. This makes it perfect when you need it as quickly as possible.
It can also rotate 360-degrees, so you’ll be able to position it however you want without having to sacrifice the safety your helmet provides.
The LED bulb shines with 115 lumens, which is more than enough to fill a smoky room with light. It also features a convenient on/off button that is easy to operate when you’re wearing thick firefighting gloves.
It’s shock-mounted too, so there’s no need to worry about it shaking while you’re wearing it. It’s also heat-resistant, sealed for water resistance, and is powered by two lithium batteries.
- Easy to attach and remove - the simple C-clamp design means it can be attached and removed in a matter of seconds.
- 360-rotation - can be moved to illuminate certain areas when needed.
- LED bulb - shines with 115 lumens for excellent illumination in dark environments.
- Shock-mounted - the light stays completely stable at all times.
- Heat-resistant and water-resistant - essential when you’re fighting fires.
- Non-rechargeable battery - while the lithium-ion battery lasts a long time, it cannot be recharged and it will have to be replaced eventually.
Constructed from high-quality aluminum, this firefighter helmet light is incredibly heat-resistant while remaining lightweight.
This means it won’t weigh your helmet down or compromise your safety while you work. It’s also impact-resistant and waterproof up to 1 meter!
The LED light shines with 200 lumens and can provide up to 8 hours of continuous illumination from two CR123 disposable batteries. It can also be powered using a rechargeable 18650 battery if you prefer.
This also gives you the power to create a backup power source when needed.
You’ve also got two mounting options with this firefighter helmet light. It can be side-mounted either above or below the brim. Its C-clamp design makes it easy to attach and remove quickly as well.
Finally, you have three lighting modes to choose from; high, low, and flashing. This gives you more illuminative power in different situations.
It also features a highly visible flashing green light on the rear that can be seen from over 1 mile away! This allows your fellow firefighters to clearly see where you’re headed.
- High-quality aluminum construction - lightweight, heat-resistant, impact-resistant, and waterproof up to 1 meter.
- 200 lumen LED - easily cuts through smoke to provide excellent visibility.
- Disposable & rechargeable batteries - can provide up to 8 hours of continuous illumination using two disposable CR123 batteries or one rechargeable 18650 battery.
- C-clamp design - makes it easy to attach and remove the light in seconds.
- Three lighting modes - choose from high, low, and flashing depending on your situation.
- Tricky to remove with gloves - this helmet light can be removed from the mount and used as a handheld flashlight. However, some people found it’s quite difficult to do this when wearing gloves.
This firefighter helmet light has a different design from the first two we’ve listed. Rather than sitting in a mount, it wraps around the outside of your helmet and runs horizontally along the front.
This makes it much more difficult to accidentally knock off when you’re navigating through a dark building.
Its wide-angle beam also provides a wider field of illumination compared to a traditional flashlight design.
Powered by 4xAA batteries, this light shines with 100 lumens. It can also be positioned to shine upwards or downwards for increased visibility where necessary.
Constructed from high-quality nylon and polycarbonate, this firefighter helmet light is fire resistant up to 300ºF! It’s also impact-resistant and waterproof up to 3 meters.
There are three lighting modes to choose from; high, medium, and low, so you’ll be able to achieve the perfect level of visibility in every situation you find yourself facing.
There’s also a highly visible flashing LED in the rear for extra safety which can be seen from over 1 mile away.
- Horizontal design - has a silicone strap that runs around the outside of your helmet and lays the flashlight flat against your head.
- Wide-angle beam - provides a wider field of illumination.
- Adjustable - can be positioned both up and down for optimal illumination.
- Made from high-quality nylon and polycarbonate - impact-resistant, waterproof up to 3 meters, and heat resistant up to 300ºF.
- Three lighting modes - create the perfect level of illumination with low, medium, and high settings.
- The 65-lumen version is not powerful enough to cut through thick smoke - however, the 100 lumen version we’ve listed above is capable of illuminating a smoke-filled room.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in illumination, this could be exactly what you need. The NSP-4650B firefighter helmet light combines a 220 lumen flashlight with a 100 lumen floodlight.
The result? A light that can easily cut through even the thickest, darkest smoke.
It also features a super-innovative ‘survival mode’ that brings the light intensity down to just 15 lumens.
This helps to preserve battery life for as long as possible and it’s particularly useful when you’re moving in and out of a dark environment but don’t want to turn your flashlight off altogether.
The 360-degree pivoting clamp allows you to easily position this helmet light for optimal illumination, as well as quickly moving it out of the way when it’s shining in other firefighters’ faces.
This firefighter helmet light is heat-resistant, impact-resistant, and waterproof. It also features a rear-facing green safety LED, so you'll be visible at all times no matter which direction you’re facing.
- User-selectable brightness - allows you to switch between a 220 lumen flashlight and a 100 lumen floodlight for optimal illumination.
- Survival mode - brings the luminance down to just 15 lumens in order to preserve battery life for longer without having to switch off the light.
- 360-degree rotating clamp - can be easily positioned at any angle when needed.
- Durable construction - is heat-resistant, impact-resistant, and waterproof.
- Rear-facing green safety LED - alerts other firefighters to your current location.
- The clamp can be difficult to adjust - an Allen key is needed in order to adjust the tightness of the clamp. This can be quite inconvenient when you need it at a moment’s notice.
One of the best things about the Vantage 180X firefighter helmet is that it is chemical-resistant. This is hugely important when you’re dealing with industrial fires. It’s also heat-proof, impact-resistant, and IPX7 waterproof up to 1 meter.
It’s easy to attach and remove, and it features a ‘quick-release’ button that allows you to get it on and off your helmet in record time. It also features a stainless steel pocket clip which can be used to attach the light to your body or a variety of other firefighting tools.
There are two modes to choose from; high and low. The ‘high’ mode acts like a super-bright spot beam and shines with 250 lumens across 170 meters. The ‘low’ mode shines 100 lumens of light across a 103 meter space.
This firefighter helmet light comes with two CR123A lithium batteries included. It also features an ultra-bright blue LED safety light at the rear that helps you remain visible in heavy smoke.
- Chemical-resistant construction - super important when you’re tackling industrial fires.
- Durable - heat-resistant, impact-resistant, and IPX7 waterproof up to 1 meter.
- Easy to attach and remove - features a quick-release button that allows you to set it up and take it off in seconds.
- Two lighting modes - choose between ‘High’ (250 lumens / 170 meters) and ‘Low’ (100 lumens / 103 meters) depending on your visibility situation.
- Ultra-bright blue LED safety light - ensures you remain visible in heavy smoke.
- Heavy - some people found that this firefighter helmet light was a little heavier than they expected.
Unlike a lot of firefighter helmet lights, the PolyTac LED light is bright yellow. While this means it may not look as stylish as some of the others on our list, it makes it much easier to spot if you were to accidentally drop it anywhere - especially a poorly lit room!
It’s also incredibly durable and features an o-ring sealed borofloat glass lens. This means that, even if it were to suffer a potentially damaging knock, it'll keep working as if nothing ever happened.
The light itself is just one part of this kit. It also comes with a helmet mount and a rubber helmet strap, giving you two mounting options. You’ll also receive two lithium-ion batteries that have an amazing 50,000 hours of battery life.
Another thing that we really like about this 275 lumen firefighter helmet light is the tail cap push-button. This allows you to easily turn it on and off, even when you’re wearing thick firefighting gloves.
- Bright-yellow color - makes it easy to spot if accidentally dropped in a dark room.
- O-ring sealed borofloat glass lens - incredibly durable and almost impervious to any damage caused by impact shock.
- Complete kit - comes with a helmet mount and a rubber helmet strap.
- Long battery life - the 2 included lithium-ion batteries have a lifespan of 50,000 hours.
- Easy to use - features a tail cap button that is easy to operate even when you’re wearing firefighting gloves.
- Reports of missing accessories - some people that previously purchased this kit noted that certain accessories were missing from the package. However, after a quick call to customer services, they were sent straight out and arrived quickly.
This is one of the lightest firefighter helmet lights you’ll ever find, weighing in at just 3.6oz. This makes it ideal for clipping to a helmet without any fear of it weighing you down or shifting your helmet out of place.
Don’t be fooled by its seemingly compact appearance, though. This powerful little light is incredibly durable and is heat-resistant, impact-resistant, chemical-resistant, and IPX7 waterproof up to 1 meter.
It’s also really easy to attach to your helmet and features a C-clamp for quick securing and removable.
There are two C4 LED lighting modes to choose from (‘High’ and ‘Low’) which can be used to create the perfect level of visibility in different conditions. When it’s super dark, the ‘High’ mode shines with 350 lumens.
When you only need a little extra illumination, the ‘Low’ mode shines with 135 lumens.
Another standout feature this firefighter helmet light has to offer is the ‘Safe Off’ mode. This prevents accidental operation and helps preserve battery life for longer.
The batteries are disposable but long-lasting, and you’ll receive one CR123A lithium battery to get you up and running straight away.
- Super lightweight - weighs just 3.6oz, so it won’t weigh you down or shift your helmet out of place.
- Durable construction - heat-resistant, impact-resistant, chemical-resistant, and IPX7 waterproof up to 1 meter.
- Two C4 LED lighting modes - the ‘High’ mode shines with 350 lumens, and the ‘Low’ mode shines with 135 lumens.
- ‘Safe Off’ feature - preserves battery life by reducing the risk of accidental operation.
- Long-lasting battery - comes complete with 1xCR123A lithium battery
- The C-clamp needs frequent tightening - some people noted that after a few hours of wear, the C-clamp that holds this light in place needs to be tightened.
Just like the Streamlight PolyTac, this firefighter helmet light from Nightstick is designed to stand out if it gets accidentally dropped.
The bright orange color is hard to miss, especially in a dark room! It also features a textured body for enhanced grip so, when you’re using it as a handheld light, you’ll have an improved grip on it.
Powered by lithium-ion batteries, this light will give you up to three hours of continuous illumination. It also features a clamp that can be secured in place using the included Allen key.
This helps to keep it steady at all times and prevents you from having to retighten it.
The 180 lumens of brightness are perfect for cutting through a smoke-filled room and lighting the way. You can also adjust the position of the light up to 140-degrees for optimal illumination.
Unlike a lot of firefighter helmet lights, this one comes with a limited lifetime warranty. This doesn’t only cover you for a replacement in the unlikely event of it failing but acts as a testament to its quality.
- Brightly-colored body - the orange design makes it easy to spot the light if you accidentally drop it.
- Textured body - provides an improved grip both in the mount and when used as a handheld flashlight.
- Lithium-ion batteries - offers up to 3 hours of continuous illumination.
- Secure clamp - comes with an Allen key that helps you establish a more secure connection than a standard C-clamp.
- 180 lumens - perfect for shining through thick smoke, and can be adjusted up to 140-degrees for optimal illumination.
- Takes longer to attach and remove - since you need an Allen key to secure this light in place, it does take a little longer to attach and remove than a light with a C-clamp.
If you’re looking for a firefighter helmet light on a budget, the Streamlight 68201 could be the perfect choice. However, while it is the least expensive on our list, it doesn’t come with a mount or helmet strap, so you’d need to purchase these separately.
Don’t let this put you off too much though, as the quality speaks for itself. This flashlight is incredibly durable and is made from non-conductive polymer that is virtually indestructible.
It’s been impact and shock tested and also features a scratch-resistant face cap. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also waterproof and corrosion-proof.
The 115 lumens of power are bright enough to cut through a room filled with thick smoke and help you find your way. It also features a dual-direction on/off switch for super-convenient operation.
Its bright yellow coloring makes it easy to spot if you were to accidentally drop it. And, to help prevent this from happening, it features a wrist lanyard connection which is really useful when you’re using it as a handheld flashlight.
- Highly durable - made from non-conductive polymer that is impact-resistant, shock-resistant, waterproof, heat-resistant, and corrosion-proof.
- Scratch-resistant face cap - stops the glass from getting scratched which can dim the light.
- 115 lumens - capable of illuminating a room filled with thick smoke.
- Brightly colored - makes it easy to spot if accidentally dropped.
- Wrist lanyard connection - provides a secure grip when using it as a handheld flashlight.
- Doesn’t come with a clamp or helmet strap - however, these can be purchased separately for a fairly affordable price.
The last firefighter helmet light on our list is another budget-friendly option. And, unlike the Streamlight 68201, it does come with a mounting clamp!
This gives you the opportunity to save a little more money as you won’t have to worry about purchasing one separately.
The clamp is designed to connect securely to the brim of your helmet quickly and easily.
There are two small screws that can be tightened to establish the connection and loosened quickly when you want to remove the light. This means you don’t have to use any tools!
The light is also placed on a 360-degree rotating mount. This gives you the ability to position the light wherever you need to do without having to take it off and reattach it.
It also features a simple on/off button on the rear which is easy to operate, even when you’re wearing firefighting gloves.
All you need to power this light into action is one AA battery. Once inserted, it will shine with 300 lumens and you can select between several lighting modes depending on your circumstances.
- Budget-friendly - an inexpensive firefighter helmet light that comes complete with a clamp.
- Easy to attach and remove - simply slide the clamp onto the brim of your helmet and tighten the screws with your fingers.
- 360-degree rotating mount - allows you to position the light without having to take it off.
- Easy to operate - features a simple on/off button that is easy to use even when wearing gloves.
- 300 lumens - ideal for illuminating a dark room and you can choose various lighting modes.
- The battery may run out quickly - since this helmet light uses a 1xAA battery, you may find yourself changing it more often than you thought.
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of what a firefighter helmet light is. But how do they work?
The simplest way to think about them is as a tiny (but very powerful) flashlight that is attached to a helmet. And, just like a handheld flashlight, they use a battery pack to power them.
Most firefighter helmet lights have an LED light which is ideal as it doesn’t consume much energy. As such, the battery is able to last for a longer amount of time and doesn’t need to be changed as regularly.
This is something that’s pretty important when you’re working the long shifts that a firefighter works.
Battery life and LEDs are just one part of the puzzle, though. Firefighter helmet lights need to be tough! Think about the sort of conditions a firefighter might find themselves facing on a daily basis.
With this in mind, it needs to be heat-resistant, waterproof, impact-resistant, and generally tough enough to keep going even in the most dangerous situations!
So, which is the best? This will ultimately come down to personal preference. However, to help guide you towards your perfect match, we’ve put together some key points to keep in mind when you first start shopping for a firefighter helmet light.
Type of Helmet Light
The first thing you need to think about is the type of helmet light that would best suit your needs. You might be thinking that there’s only one type, but there are actually a few to choose from.
Each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages and, to make things easier, we’ll take a look at these below:
Headband Lights: This type of firefighter helmet light is designed to be worn around the helmet, usually using a rubber or silicone band to hold it in place. The main advantage of this type of light is that it will stay securely attached to your helmet and doesn’t have to be readjusted. The downside, however, is that they can lose their elasticity over time.
Helmet-Mounted Lights: These feature a small clamp that slides onto the brim of your helmet. They are then secured tightly in place using an Allen key to establish a strong connection. The main advantage of this type of helmet light is that they stay firmly in place and don’t lose any grip over time. The biggest disadvantage is that they tend to be the most expensive type of helmet light.
C-Clamp Helmet Lights: These are the most popular type of helmet lights. Their biggest advantage is that they don’t need any tools to secure them in place. Simply slide them onto the brim of your helmet and tighten the screws with your finger. Unfortunately, this is also their downside. If you don’t tighten them firmly enough, they can be prone to wobbling or, even worse, falling off.
This is something that is regularly overlooked. After all, a light is a light, right? Well, in actual fact, the beam that your helmet light uses to illuminate a space can differ depending on what you need to achieve.
For instance, a flood beam will fill the entire room with light. A spotlight will allow you to focus on a specific area.
Luckily, most firefighter helmet lights come with multiple lighting options that allow you to switch between flood beams and spotlights. However, it’s still something that is worth looking into beforehand!
You also need to think about the distance that the beam can travel. The further this is the better, as you’ll be able to see clearly across a dark room without having to venture too far in.
If you’re not sure what lumens are, the simplest way to explain them is as the measurement of light your helmet light creates. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light is.
With this in mind, when you’re looking for a firefighter helmet light, it’s a good idea to choose one with the highest number of lumens possible.
That doesn’t mean that low-lumen lights shouldn’t be considered, though. There are some circumstances where too much light may impair your vision as much as not enough!
The best thing to do, really, is to find a helmet light with variable light settings. This will allow you to switch from a high number of lumens to a low number. In turn, you’ll be able to create the perfect level of light for your current situation.
Just like a regular flashlight, a helmet light needs a battery pack to work. However, when you’re facing dangerous situations, you don’t exactly have the time to keep stopping and replacing your batteries!
As such, it’s important to pay attention to the type of batteries your chosen firefighter helmet lights uses. The best type of helmet to look for is one with a dual-power system.
This will let you use both disposable batteries and lithium batteries, giving you an extra backup of power when needed. However, this can be pretty expensive.
Generally speaking, rechargeable batteries are the best choice. These are made from lithium and can hold a longer charge (up to 50,000 hours in some cases) than disposable batteries.
You’re also able to keep some batteries charging while you use the others, meaning that you’ll never have to worry about running out.
Another important thing to pay attention to is the weight of your helmet light. If it’s too heavy you might feel yourself getting weighed down, which is less than ideal when you need to move with some agility.
Even worse, a heavy light could pull your helmet to one side and this could become a safety issue.
Luckily, most modern helmet lights are fairly lightweight so there’s not too much concern here. But, again, it’s something that is worth double-checking before you buy.
It might seem like an obvious thing, but this is something else that’s often overlooked. Your firefighter helmet light needs to be waterproof! After all, water is going to be used quite regularly in order to put out certain fires.
The lowest waterproof rating you should go for is IPX7. These are waterproof down to one meter and, while you won’t be diving while wearing your helmet light, this does mean that it’s able to withstand a lot of water without getting damaged.
A helmet light with an o-ring seal is also a great option to go for. This means that the inner workings of the light are completely waterproof and, as such, there’s zero risk of any water getting in.
Your light also needs to be impact-resistant. The reason for this is simply because you never really know what you’ve going to be facing when you enter a burning building. This is the whole reason why you’re wearing a helmet in the first place.
No helmet light is truly indestructible. However, those that have been shock and impact tested stand a much better chance of surviving if something falls on your head or you bump into something.
Extra Modes & Features
Finally, it’s always a good idea to see what extra features you can get for your money when you’re buying a firefighter helmet light. Some come with power-saving ‘survival’ modes. Others come with the ability to switch between loads of different lighting modes.
No matter how many modes and features your helmet light has, there is one thing that you’ll absolutely need. A flashing safety light located at the rear of the light. This alerts other people to your location and allows them to follow you to safety when you’re leading the way.
Firefighter Helmet Cameras
We felt it was important to take a moment to talk about firefighter helmet cameras. As you might imagine, these are quite different to helmet lights, but they still serve an important purpose.
If you’re wearing a helmet camera, you’re able to review what happened during a call-out. This footage can then be used for evaluation or training purposes.
These are quite niche products at the moment and, as such, there aren’t that many to choose from. However, we have included one below so that you can get a better idea of what they are.
When you think about it, cameras aren’t designed to withstand the high temperatures and water exposure that comes from fighting a fire. The MINI1080, however, is changing the game. In fact, it’s actually been designed specifically for firefighting purposes.
To begin with, it’s resistant to both heat and water. It can even be submerged in up to 33 feet of water and it won’t get damaged.
You might think this means that it has pretty bad recording capabilities but, again, you’d be wrong! This remarkable camera can record high-definition, 1080p video, and 30 frames per second.
It can also record 720p video at 60 frames per second when in ‘Wide Angle View’.
All of the footage this camera captures is saved on the included 32GB U1 microSD card. There’s also a time-stamping function that allows you to record the time and the date of the incident.
Finally, to keep it securely in place this firefighter helmet camera comes with a BlackJack Fire Cam Mount. This can be used on all US-style fire helmets as well as any other brim-style helmet.
- Incredibly durable - this helmet camera is both heat-resistant and waterproof up to 33 feet!
- High-definition video - records 1080p video at 30fps and 720p video at 60fps when in ‘Wide Angle View’.
- microSD card included - the 32GB microSD card saves all video footage.
- Time-stamp features - allows you to add the date and time to your footage while you record.
- Comes with a BlackJack Fire Cam Mount - fits securely to all US-style fire helmets and all other brim-style helmets.
- Expensive - if you want to record your firefighting adventures you’ll need to be prepared to pay upwards of $200.
As we’ve said before, firefighter helmet cameras are a fairly new thing on the market which means they are hard to come by.
However, as more brands start making them they will become widely available. Brand competition will also kick in and, in a few years, you may find that you’re able to find one for a lower price.
There you have it! 10 of the best firefighter helmet lights available and one firefighter helmet camera as an added bonus! If you’re still not completely sure which is the best for you, the easiest thing to do is check our buyer’s guide.
This will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision and, ultimately, find the perfect helmet light for your needs!