BEST LED FLASHLIGHT:
The Definitive Guide
There are many different kinds of flashlights. We look at the different styles of flashlights and give you our recommendations of the top flashlights in that segment.
You want a light always have with you (Every Day Caring Flashlight)? You need a flashlight for tactical or self-defense?
So, what is the best flashlight? It is different for everybody. The answer depends on your purpose.
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Table of Contents
- Top 14 Best Flashlights For Different Purposes
- SureFire P1R LED Flashlights – Best Rechargeable Flashlight
- Streamlight 88033 ProTac Flashlight – Best AA Flashlight
- Fenix RC40 LED Flashlight – Best Brightest Flashlight
- ThruNite TN32 CW Cree XM-L2 LED Flashlight – Best 18650 Flashlight
- Fenix Flashlights TK61 – Best Throw Flashlight
- Streamlight 74301 Strion LED – Best Compact Flashlight
- SureFire X300 Ultra Series – Best Tactical Flashlight
- Streamlight TLR-2G HRail-Mounted – Best Pistol Light
- Streamlight Red Stinger LED Flashlight – Best Police Flashlight
- Streamlight MicroStream LED Pen Light – Best EDC Flashlight
- SureFire Titan Ultra-Compact LED Keychain Light Series – Best Keychain Flashlight
- Brite Strike EPLI Flashlight – Best Penlight
- Black Light UV Flashlight 100 – Best UV (Ultraviolet) Flashlight
- 36 Watt Golight LED Spotlight – Best Spotlight
- What Is A Lumen?
- What Is A Candela?
- Wrapping It Up
Top 14 Best Flashlights For Different Purposes
1 SureFire P1R LED Flashlights – Best Rechargeable Flashlight
Judging from the appearance, this flashlight is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes thanks to the fine measurement.
However, the build quality is almost opposite to the seemingly delicate design.
According to the manufacturer, this Superfire model is virtually indestructible with the aluminum body and anodization.
You can expect your flashlight to last for years, even under harsh weather conditions.
The head of this unit is somehow too long, but fortunately, it is not a dealbreaker. If you desire a tactical switch, feel free to fit a G2 Nitrolon tailcap into the product.
Press or twist the switch to choose between the momentary or constant mode of light. It is of maximum convenience, and we are completely delighted with that feature.
The product kit comes with a nice battery charger as well, which holds two batteries inside.
The rechargeable 18650 lithium-ion battery works as advertised although they are relatively obsolete.
Next, we would like to describe the most important factors when choosing a decent flashlight. Can you guess what they are?
The light emitted from this model is slightly green tinted. Strange as it may seem, the spectrum of this light aligns with the one humans can see best at night.
Therefore, you can get the best visibility out of the darkness when bringing along the Superfire. The hotspot is well designed, and there are no weird light patterns at all.
The unit comes with two light modes, one bright and the other full bright. On the first mode, the flashlight provides enough light for you to use during a power outage.
For maximum brightness, it has a single output level of 600 lumens, which is excellent compared to other competitors with a similar design.
- Sturdy material
- Lightweight and portable
- Maximum light of 600 lumens
- Slightly expensive
- Obsolete battery
2 Streamlight 88033 ProTac Flashlight – Best AA Flashlight
There is not even a compelling reason to skip this professional flashlight from Streamlight.
Can you imagine this mode is about the size of a marker only? The mini size has nothing to do with the light quality as this unit is compact and powerful at the same time.
More notably, this unit features C4 LED technology for extreme brightness. To be more specific, it provides 250 lumens and 4,250 candelas to shine bright in the darkness, and the runtime is approximately two hours.
Meanwhile, the dim mode offers 400 candela and 18 lumens to lengthen the runtime to 48 hours.
What sets this flashlight apart from the crowd is probably the three different user selectable programs, which allows users to choose freely via a programmable switch.
The programs are namely, high/strobe/low (factory default), high only, and low/high. The runtime of high, strobe and low mode is about 2 hours, 4 hours, and 43 hours respectively.
The Streamlight Protac 2AA is built to last with anodized aluminum construction with an O-ring sealed glass lens.
It also makes use of IPX7 for operation under 1 meter of water for roughly 30 minutes. Besides, this flashlight is tested and confirmed impervious to shock.
The estimated lifetime of this ProTac 2AA is 50,000 hours, and it claims to provide maximum light output throughout the battery life.
The additional accessories include anti-roll face cap, removable pocket clip, two AA alkaline batteries, as well as nylon holster.
There are a lot of fake models of this unit, so be aware when you make a purchase. Only order from authorized dealers to avoid such a situation.
- Great durability
- C4 LED technology
- Three adjustable programs
- Shock resistance
- Fake models
3 Fenix RC40 LED Flashlight – Best Brightest Flashlight
This Fenix product secures the first place for a top brightest flashlight for a reason. It features six Cree XM-L2 U2 LEAD to provide up 6000 lumens while lighting up at turbo mode.
Carrying this light with you at night and things are visible from nearly 800 yards. If you are planning to venture into the wilderness, do not forget to bring this Fenix unit along.
The other light mode includes high, mid, low, eco, and SOS mode.
Both SOS and low mode provide 500 lumens, and the light can operate for about 18 hours. The Eco settings last for the longest of time, about 125 hours.
The next impressive feature is undoubtedly the ultra-long beam reach of 739 meters and 90-degree wide. With these measurements, the flashlight will work like a charm for maximum close-range coverage.
Whether you need a rescue light or a general high-performing mode on your hunting trip, this Fenix unit can satisfy all your demand.
The product case comes with a tailored rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, which includes the battery, the charging and discharging port, and a protective circuit.
This battery is extremely efficient and convenient, as you can use it to supply power for other digital devices as a power bank.
The estimated lifespan of this flashlight is about 50,000 hours, the same as the Streamlight unit above.
- Ultimate convenience
- Maximum light of 6000 lumens
- Ultra-long beam reach
- Useful additional features
- Slightly big
4 ThruNite TN32 CW Cree XM-L2 LED Flashlight – Best 18650 Flashlight
This unit of ThruNite is one of the most powerful flashlights running on 18650 battery on the market.
It outperforms the majority of competitors thanks to the advanced CREE XHP35 HI LEDs, which reach 2000 lumens and an ultra-long distance of 1550 meters.
If the lumens do not impress you, perhaps the shining range will do. We have tested and found out that this unit could light up the object from approximately 1 mile away.
This is incredible considering the size and the provided lumens. Some flashlights do have more lumens, but they cannot shine that far.
When we first saw this model, we were deeply interested in its streamline design with elegant body.
The interface is ergonomically designed for users to take control of the whole item at ease.
On top of that, this Thrunite flashlight applies ITC technology to deliver better heat dissipation and avoid possible damage from overheating.
The unit includes an ultra-clear tempered glass lens with anti-reflective coating, which is ideal for both tactical and searches purposes.
Also, you can use the flashlight for military, law enforcement or during outdoor activities.
One minus of this ThruNite unit is that the manufacturer provides no battery or charger at all. You have to purchase the essential items from another dealer or website. Nobody is so glad to spend extra money on such a tool.
- Powerful flashlight
- Lightweight and compact
- Streamline design
- Improved heat dissipation performance
- No battery or charger included
5 Fenix Flashlights TK61 – Best Throw Flashlight
With only 1000 lumens of maximum output, how can this TK61 product be the best throw flashlight?
Let’s focus on the term “thrower” light. It means the parabolic reflector and recessed LED of this unit will produce a tightly focused beam, which resembles a spotlight rather than a floodlight focus of a normal flashlight.
To put it simply, go for this model if you want to “throw” a bright beam farther away.
For your concern, the throwing distance of this TK61 reaches 824 meters, an incredible number that few competitors can compare to.
More notably, while other high output lights need multiple LEDs to achieve their rated output, this Fenix unit only uses one high-quality Cree LED.
There are dual switches to allow rapid shifting between four brightness levels and two flashing modes.
At the brightest setting, the turbo, the model can operate for about four hours, which doubles the runtime of above flashlights.
The light output is digitally regulated, which helps maintain constant brightness during the entire lifespan of the product, about 50,000 hours.
In terms of the battery, this flashlight uses four 18650 rechargeable batteries. Alternatively, you can use a set of eight 3V CR123A batteries to function the light.
Are you curious about the construction? Similar to other products of Fenix, this unit is built to last with e the hard-anodized finish and toughened ultra-clear glass lens.
- Anti-abrasive material
- One Cree LED only
- Ultra-long throwing distance
- Dual on-body switches
- Only provide 1000 lumens
6 Streamlight 74301 Strion LED – Best Compact Flashlight
Another product from the Streamlight, and this time, it places portability as the number one priority.
This Strion LED flashlight is incredibly compact and lightweight for you to bring along in your extreme adventures to the backcountry.
The tactical switch allows users to select between three lighting modes and strobe. The runtime ranges from 2 to 7.5 hours, depending on the light mode.
We consider it as a real bargain since you can use the flashlight for about four hours at the high settings.
The Lithium-ion battery is rechargeable up to 1000 times, and after that, you can replace the old battery with a new one effortlessly.
Just unscrew the tail cap, and the battery will fall out. Note that it takes 3 hours to get fully charged, and at that moment, the small red light on the product will blink.
Does the flashlight get hot?
Of course, it does. We advise all future customers of Streamlight not to hold the bright end of the light in your mouth during use. Otherwise, you may hurt your lips and tongue badly.
This unit is made of an aircraft aluminum body with anodized finish. On top of that, it features IPX4 water-resistant material to function normally even when submerged 2 meters.
For added benefit, the Streamlight backs this flashlight with a limited lifetime warranty.
However, the durability of this model remains a question for us. We had a slightly disappointing experience when our tested unit broke after only four months in use.
- Portable and convenience
- Built to last
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Durability suspected
7 SureFire X300 Ultra Series – Best Tactical Flashlight
This Surefire model is undoubtedly the best tactical flashlight that you can purchase in the price range.
It provides 1,000 lumens of LED light output focused by a precision TIR lens. The beam is smooth and right with enough surround light to keep you aware of the situation.
Especially, the flashlight not only lights up the way, but it also impairs the adversary’s vision for a while. Perfect for a hunting trip, we admit it!
There is a dual switch located at the rear of the body which supports one-finger control. You can either press the switch for momentary-on activation or flip up or down for constant-on activation.
This flashlight allows instant attachment to a pistol or a long gun due to the Rail-Lock system.
Afterward, you can remove it effortlessly by either Universal or Picatinny rails. Feel free to activate this X300 Ultra via optional DG switches and a pressure activated XT07 tape switch without altering the grip on the weapon.
This unit also makes use of IPX7 waterproof material to support underwater use, for about 30 minutes under 1 meter of water.
Similar to other flashlights, the body is made of hard anodized aerospace aluminum to offer extreme durability.
Make sure your order from authorized seller to avoid receiving a box of fake Surefire flashlights that break after a few times in use.
- Rapid attachment to pistols or long guns
- IPX7 waterproof construction
- Dual switch
- Ergonomic design
- More fake models
8 Streamlight TLR-2G HRail-Mounted – Best Pistol Light
Overall, the features of this flashlight are mostly similar to those of the ProTac series. It applies C4 LED technology which guarantees to shine bright during the lifetime of 50,000 hours.
The reflector is capable of producing a tightly focused beam that can pierce through the darkness and leave other LEDs in the dark.
As a piston light, this Streamlight unit has more to offer. It comes with many rail locating keys for quick attachment to various styles of guns.
For example, the GL standard key fits Glock or other “universal” rails. Meanwhile, the Smith & Wesson key with an extended bar is there for a non-standard rail.
There is no need to worry about the build quality of this Streamlight flashlight. It comes with anodized aluminum construction and polymer laser housing to withstand external impacts and even chemicals.
The Boro Float glass lens is shock mounted and resistant to high temperature. The flashlight underwent a live-fire test as well, and it did survive!
However, the recommended temperature for the flashlight to function best is from -40 to +120 Degree Fahrenheit.
For detailed specs of the light, it can provide 800 lumens and 15,000 candelas in about 1.5 hours in the Laser and LED mode. On the other hand, the laser-only function can last 17 hours in total.
A small minus is this flashlight is relatively bulky, which may be off-putting to some. Ease-Of-Use needs improvement, too.
- Fit various guns
- C4 LED technology
- Bulky flashlight
9 Streamlight Red Stinger LED Flashlight – Best Police Flashlight
This model is constructed by hard anodized aluminum, which makes it ideal for self-defense as a blunt weapon.
With maximum light output and wide beam thanks to the C4 LED technology, this Streamlight is the best flashlight that the police offer may have at hand.
There are three lighting modes available plus the Strobe function. At the high mode, the flashlight produces up to 640 lumens.
What about the design?
The manufacturer took ease-of-use as a priority when manufacturing the light so that you can set your heart at rest about the control.
There is also an anti-roll rubber ring and a grip to prevent the whole item from rolling away.
The superior LED technology greatly contributes to the lifespan of the flashlight, which reaches approximately 50,000 hours.
The flashlight is an expensive equipment, so certainly you do not want to replace them twice a month, right?
Although advanced technology is brilliant, the battery lifetime is our main concern. The manufacturer claims that the battery can be recharged up to 1000 times, but we are not sure about the real number.
- C4 LED technology
- Aluminum body
- Three lighting modes and Strobe function
- Uncertain battery lifetime
10 Streamlight MicroStream LED Pen Light – Best EDC Flashlight
This Microstream penlight is incredibly useful to bring along in your daily life.
You can tuck the 3.5 feet long light into a purse, a wallet or a backpack just like a normal pen.
Do not worry about shocks or potential damage, as this product is made of corrosion-resistant and waterproof construction with virtually indestructible polycarbonate lens.
For optimized output and runtime, this flashlight provides up to 20 lumens for 1.5 hours featuring a super bright LED. The peak beam intensity reaches up to 683 candelas, and the beam distance is about 53 meters.
Additional features include a rubber push-button switch, a pocket/ hat clip, and a single AAA alkaline battery. All added to the ultimate convenience of that the flashlight can offer.
The exact measurement of this penlight is 1.04 ounces with battery, 3.5 inches in length, and the body diameter is about 0.60 inches.
When purchasing the product, you will get a limited lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. Carefully check out the product warranty to make sure you get what you are eligible for.
We would give the product a five-star rating if the manufacturer improved on the switch, which stops working soon after we tested. We are not sure if it is a typical or random flaw, however.
- Battery and pocket/ hat clip included
- O-ring sealed
- Extreme brightness
- Maximum build quality
- Switch failure
11 SureFire Titan Ultra-Compact LED Keychain Light Series – Best Keychain Flashlight
Tiny but powerful, this Surefire flashlight is a great tool to attach to your keychain right now.
The nickel-plated and brass-bodied flashlight measures 3.4 inches in length and 2.0 ounces in weight only, which is extremely stylish and convenient to add to your everyday carry.
It inherited the functionality and convenience of the original Titan series and provided several upgrades as well.
The maximum light output roughly doubled that of the original, with a proprietary reflector shaping a MaxVision beam.
How can we describe that flawless beam? It is broad and even dispersed, which works like a charm for close to mid-range activities.
The high settings come with 300 lumens to light for one hour, while the low mode provides 15 lumens for 7 hours.
As a keychain flashlight, this Surefire product features a removable pocket clip that allows users to choose among multiple secure pocket-carry options.
The flashlight is backed by Surefire No-Hassle Guarantee. Note that the warranty applies to conditions, so check out the manufacturer’s guide carefully before making an order.
Should you have any issues, feel free to contact the customer service. The technicians there are excellent; they provide aid instantly without complaint.
Once again, the problem lies in the twist switch. It flickers when turning it on and off, and sometimes we need to use both hands to activate the whole thing.
- Ultra compact with mini size
- Maximum build quality
- MaxVision Beam
- Removable pocket clip
- Defective twist switch
12 Brite Strike EPLI Flashlight – Best Penlight
Another penlight product, but this one is perfect for outdoor adventure rather than everyday carry.
Judging from the outside, this flashlight looks no different from a pen. It is slim and sleek with aircraft aluminum body and graphite anodized finish.
However, do not let the elegant appearance mislead you. This penlight is a powerful outdoor flashlight at heart.
The EPIL applies the latest Cree LED technology to deliver the maximum luminous intensity of 160 lumens on high mode.
The polished steel reflector creates a color-tuned beam that feels like natural daylight.
At the low setting, it provides the perfect light to use inside a tent or around your campsite. Meanwhile, the dazzling strobe is capable of distracting an intruder as well as SOS signaling.
The manufacturer did cover the product with a warranty as long as customers use batteries from certain companies such as Panasonic or Duracell. Otherwise, you would void the warranty.
This is quite inconvenient if there is no authorized store of these brands nearby. Also, their prices are not affordable at all.
Note that this product is not claimed as waterproof, so do not attempt to bring it along when raining.
- Maximum light
- Ultra compact
- Sleek design
- Build to last
- Poor heat dissipation
- Not waterproof
13 Black Light UV Flashlight 100 – Best UV (Ultraviolet) Flashlight
The Ultraviolet flashlight has a handful of brilliant applications, especially for those living with pets.
Have you ever struggled to find the pet stains on the carpet? Do the dark rugs bother you a lot? If yes, then this flashlight is undoubtedly your lifesaver.
The light will emit long wave, or ultraviolet light from 100 energy-efficient LED bulbs to detect every stubborn stain by making them glow.
The light is extremely bright, and the beam illuminates an area of 2 feet in diameter.
Take this brilliant lighting equipment everywhere with your pets, and let them play with the flashlight if you want.
Do not worry about scratches, as the product is covered with sleek aluminum construction. Despite the sturdy build, the light remains lightweight and balanced to hold.
It does not stop there! The function of this Arf Pets item is not limited to finding pet stains, but a wide array of additional purposes.
For example, it excels in detecting human fluids in a strange room. More notably, you can tell the counterfeit money from the real one, or detecting scorpions by illuminating them.
- Pet stains detected
- Human fluids and urine detected
- Bright light
- Compact and lightweight
- Not great durability
14 36 Watt Golight LED Spotlight – Best Spotlight
This is a 36-Watt motorized spotlight that produces wide spot beam of 900 feet long and 70 feet wide.
It guarantees to place anyone in the center of attention on the stage with 2500 lumens of light output and a 6000k color temperature.
Users can control the spotlight from afar via a remoter. The options provided include 370 degrees of rotation with a hard stop and 135 degrees of tilt.
The manufacturer provided everything for stable mounting. First off, it can be permanently mounted via three screws. There are interlocking brackets and a machine screw at the back, which will secure the plate to the Golight.
As most of the concerts are held outdoors, this product is designed to withstand all weather conditions, even abusive ones thanks to ASA Luran thermoplastic.
To be more specific, it is heat resistant, impact resistant, and UV resistant. Also, the light meets the marine standard for saltwater use.
You are guaranteed a long life and reliable operation with this spotlight unit from Larson Electronics.
The spotlight operates with 12 volt DC and draws only three amps. There is a 1-foot pigtail included allowing hard wiring to power sources.
- Permanent mounting
- The maximum light output of 2500 lumens
- Great durability
- Not constant brightness
What Is A Lumen?
Lumen either refers to the brightness of the light or the amount of illumination in a particular area.
Measuring the lumen values is a straightforward method to compare the lighting apparatus of different kinds, including halogen, bulbs, incandescent, CFL, or LEDs.
Once you determine your brightness demand, you can inspect other factors before jumping to buy a good light.
What is the difference between lumens and watts?
Perhaps you are familiar with selecting bulbs based on watts values, but in this age of energy-efficient lighting equipment, a watt is no longer the only deciding factor.
First off, you need to know that watt refers to the amount of energy consumed by light in a specific period.
A proper selection process takes place with searching for the lights providing needed lumens before picking out the ones which consume the least amount of energy.
What Is A Candela?
This is also a measurement for lighting devices, and its name originated from the “candle.”
In the past, people measured luminous intensity by the brightness of the flame of a candle.
Until 1948, scientists invented the term “Candela,” which refers to the amount of light in the range of an angular span.
To put it simply, Candela tells you the brightness of the source based on the distance you can see the object from afar.
This is different from the lumen, as lumen values illustrate the luminous intensity from any point in a single direction from the light source.
Wrapping It Up
A flashlight is an incredible tool for multiple purposes, from law enforcement, hunting, every day caring to outdoor activities.
Based on your demand, you can choose a suitable product out of thousands of models available on the market. Rest assured that there is always at least one unit that meets your expectations.
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