Are Flashlights Allowed on Planes: What You Need to Know


Sometimes, a valuable item like a trusty flashlight may disrupt your onboarding process. Hence, it’s crucial to explore security regulations before a check-in. So, the big question remains: Are flashlights allowed on planes?

Flashlights are handy items to have on oneself, but some rules determine what kind you can bring or pack in your luggage. So, we’ll explain how flashlights can make the trip with you on an airplane.

What Flashlights Can You Carry on a Plane?



Usually, you can take specific flashlights with you on your trip. For example, flashlights smaller than 7-inches are not potential tactical weapons. Hence, they are safe for airplane travel.

Also, if you must take any flashlight size through your checked-in luggage, ensure the lithium batteries are in your carry-on bag.

Are Flashlights with Batteries safer than Removable Batteries?

Flashlight with removable battery

Flashlight with removable battery

Yes, you can travel safely with non-removable lithium-ion or lithium batteries. Also, airport security will let you take flashlights with these batteries in your carry-on or checked bags.

In contrast, flashlights with removable batteries require more attention. You must remove batteries from your item and place them in your carry-on luggage. However, it’s not without some rules and regulations.

For instance, the USA’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) states that Lithium-ion batteries of less than 100wh are safe for travel in carry-on bags (without quantity limitations). But, those between 101-160wh can only travel when approved by the airline.

In addition, you’re free to carry spare batteries in your carry-on pack. However, the rules about battery wattage still apply. 

Typically, damaged lithium batteries are potential fire hazards. Hence, most airlines prohibit them for passenger and flight crew safety.

Can You Carry Tactical Flashlights on Your Flight?

Airport terminal

Airport terminal

Tactical flashlights are items law enforcement agencies use with weapons to identify targets in dark areas. Since most agents pair them with weapons, many airlines consider them dangerous items and may not allow them inside cabin luggage.

However, tactical flashlights are somewhere in between restricted and unrestricted. Sometimes, you may take them past airport security, while others may have them confiscated.

Moreover, tactical flashlights may be potential weapons. Hence, we recommend packing these items in your checked luggage to avoid issues.

What are the Rules for Controlling Flashlights on Airplanes?

Airport security

Airport security

While the TSA states you can take a flashlight with you in a checked or carry-on bag, they fail to give any specifics. The TSA doesn’t indicate any restricted flashlight and will confiscate any item they deem dangerous. But you won’t get in trouble if you abide by the rules.

Asides from the 7-inches and lithium battery rules, here are others you must note before boarding a flight.

  • Avoid carrying a multitool flashlight combined with a blade.
  • The flashlight must not be a self-defense accessory.
  • Ensure you store your flashlight safely and appropriately.
  • You can’t carry any flashlight with potential weapon capabilities, like tactical variants.
  • You can pack any flashlight in checked luggage safely.

Can You Board a Plane with Headlamps?

Airport security checking personal items

Airport security checking personal items

Most headlamps feature small sizes that may not measure more than 7-inches. Hence, you can travel safely with these lights on most airlines. Interestingly, some headlamps have small boxes that allow you to place them safely in a backpack or traveling bag.

Rechargeable headlamps with non-removable lithium batteries are safer in checked luggage. Remember to carry any removable batteries in your carry-on bag.

What is the Best Traveling Flashlight?

Hand holding flashlight

Hand holding flashlight

Flashlights will always come in handy for your next adventure, but it’s best to consider some crucial factors before purchasing one.

The rule of thumb is to consider lightweight, compact, and easy-to-carry options. However, these shouldn’t come at the cost of lamp brightness. In addition, you can opt for items that fit in your pockets or backpack easily.

Why Carry a Flashlight on a Plane?

Flashlight with a light beam

Flashlight with a light beam

Many possible reasons can make you take a flashlight on your trip. For example, you can use them for camping & other outdoor activities, a job requiring flashlights, lighting up the dark, and self-defense.

However, we recommend researching before taking a flashlight–especially if you’re planning a camping trip. It will help ensure you’re taking an item the TSA won’t seize. So, you’ll avoid the risk of staying in the dark or purchasing a new flashlight.

Rounding Up

Flashlights are mostly allowed on planes, but it depends on the type. Airport security will seize any item they perceive as a threat and prevent you from traveling with the device. However, we’ve discussed specific rules you must follow to avoid your flashlights from falling into the TSA’s hands.

As mentioned above, you can take any flashlight less than 7-inches long. Also, the item must lack dangerous features. 

Additionally, ensure you pack your batteries and flashlight correctly.  In short, you won’t be able to keep your accessory if it looks like a weapon.

Do you have any questions? Please, contact us, and we’ll be happy to assist.

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