Best Flashlight

Article Contents

Best LED Flashlight:

LED flashlights have become the new norm for average consumers and professionals alike. These lights offer powerful brightness output that delivers longer beam distances and brighter hotspots with larger illumination areas than standard bulbs might afford. Many of them are designed and built to produce multiple output modes with varying lumens measurements. A lumen is a unit measuring visible light emitted from a source and the flashlights on this list offer varying levels of lumens output in flashlights that offer long beam distances of up to 200 meters and more. That means you can see further and more clearly than you might from typical D battery flashlights that you can buy at the local hardware store. The flashlights on our list have also been built to withstand all kinds of abuse, constructed of heavy-duty materials to ensure that you'll never be left in the dark. Take a look at the five flashlights we consider to be the best on the market at the moment, each one chosen based upon the following criteria: lumens output, amount of brightness levels, body construction, beam distance, battery life, ease of use, additional features, and price.

Surefire Kroma MilSpec Dual-Output Multi-Spectrum LED Flashlight

Surefire's LED flashlight offers two types of beams and multiple secondary choices for all kinds of environments. This is one of the toughest flashlights on the list, with impact resistant window and near invincible LED emitter, while providing a beam that is exponentially brighter than that of your standard D battery flashlight. It's so easy to use you can even control the unit's output levels by touch and the cabinet is weatherproof in case you find yourself exposed to the elements without a place to hide. Read Full Review

See it at:
    Surefire Kroma MilSpec Dual-Output Multi-Spectrum LED Flashlight

    EagleTac P100C2 MKII LED Flashlight

    EagleTac's P100C2 flashlight offers two white light outputs and is impact resistant throughout. Operation is as simple as twisting the top of the unit and clicking the switch at the opposite end for your desired brightness level output. Runtimes are pretty good here as well, with up to 17 hours of battery life on the lowest setting and almost two at its brightest. The P100C2 is also waterproof so if it ends up in the drink it'll still work as if nothing's happened. Read Full Review

    See it at:
      EagleTac P100C2 MKII LED Flashlight

      Olight M20SX-L2 Warrior LED Flashlight

      Offering three brightness modes and a strobe feature just for good measure, the M20SX-L2 LED flashlight from Olight brings the latest illumination technology to a product that is lightweight and easily portable. Body design has been carefully thought out and detailed to make the unit impact resistant and roll-proof. The Warrior moniker is apt here as well, since you can also mount the light to a variety of weapons. Read Full Review

      See it at:
        Olight M20SX-L2 Warrior LED Flashlight

        Inova T4RQMDB-HB T4R Rechargeable Lithium Powered LED Flashlight

        Inova's T4R LED flashlight is runs on rechargeable batteries, offers three brightness output modes, and gives off a clean, consistent beam without gaps or rings with a lengthy throw range. The unit offers a strobe mode as well, and one of the best highest brightness output runtimes of any other picks on our list. Even better, the user interface on the Inova couldn't be simpler to operate. Read Full Review

        See it at:
          Inova T4RQMDB-HB T4R Rechargeable Lithium Powered LED Flashlight

          Streamlight 74751 Strion LED HL Rechargeable High Lumen Professional Flashlight

          Boasting a maximum output of 500 lumens, Strion HL flashlight runs on rechargeable batteries, has a wider beam to illuminate more area and a long throw distance. The unit is easy to use with a simple click switch that controls all of the flashlight's functions and it's been rated for impact and water resistance. Read Full Review

          See it at:
            Streamlight 74751 Strion LED HL Rechargeable High Lumen Professional Flashlight

            Best Tactical Flashlight:

            A good tactical flashlight ain't cheap. You need to be prepared to pay for quality and the best tactical flashlights that are worth your hard earned dollar are made of high-performance materials and provide powerful and varied brightness level options. LED emitters in these flashlights are impact resistant and can deliver light output at up to a blinding 600 lumens or higher; considering that a mere 80 lumens of light brightness is enough to temporarily blind someone, these lights are more than ready, willing, and able to deter any approaching threats. They also have long beam distances with flood and/or spotlight capabilities for a clear view of your surroundings in the dark. Many of these units run on rechargeable batteries which helps cut down on the price of power cells, while some others use disposable versions of batteries that aren't as widely used as a common AAA cell. C123A lithiums are often the preferred type.

            While multiple illumination levels and lengthy runtimes for each are important (the average is about 90 minutes for most tactical lights on high power), you also want to make sure the flashlight body and lens window are virtually indestructible. The best tactical flashlights are made of high-grade metals and are covered in anodized coating with shock-resistant glass or other similar materials used to house the emitter. They're also weather resistant or even completely waterproof, and can handle hard impact when things get hairy out in the field. If your tactical flashlight doesn't meet all of this criteria, then you've chosen poorly. Luckily, the five picks on our list have all meet these exact specifications so you can rest assured knowing that each of them will serve you well.

            Pelican 7060 LED Tactical Flashlight

            Pelican developed the 7060 with participation from the Los Angeles Police Department to produce a flashlight that is suitable for use by police officers and the high-stakes environments in which they often find themselves. The unit is small, lightweight, and provides dual-output brightness with good beam distance and intensity. The company has also built their product with dual switch technology, offering multiple choice activation for a number of applications. Read Full Review

            See it at:
              Pelican 7060 LED Tactical Flashlight

              Streamlight TLR-4 Compact Rail Mounted Tactical Flashlight

              The TLR-4 is a tactical flashlight designed for use with small and medium sized handguns. Taking this type of unique functionality one step further, it also comes equipped with a red laser suitable for long range targeting. You can use one exclusive of the other or both simultaneously, whatever the situation dictates. The lumens output here is about average for a good tactical flashlight that can both see in the dark and temporarily blind oncoming attackers who are jumping out of it to harm you. Read Full Review

              See it at:
                Streamlight TLR-4 Compact Rail Mounted Tactical Flashlight

                TerraLUX Tactical 5 (TT-5) Flashlight

                TerraLUX gives us one of the brightest output levels of any flashlight on our list. In fact, there are three different output modes on this unit with notable runtimes for each, and a rugged construction design that makes it ready to handle any type of environment or tactical situation. That means it's waterproof, impact resistant and the dual-switch tail cap makes it easily operational with just one hand. Read Full Review

                See it at:
                  TerraLUX Tactical 5 (TT-5) Flashlight

                  Foursevens Quark Tactical Flashlight QT2L-X with Burst Mode

                  The QT2L-X has five brightness level modes, three special modes, a spot beam, a flood beam, and it's made of Type III hard-anodized aluminum along the body and bezel. It can memorize up to two modes of output from the eight available, and a has maximum runtime of 600 hours. The instructions for operating and memorizing the various modes sounds a bit confusing, but once you get your hands on it and start using the QT2L-X it's actually much easier than at first glance. Read Full Review

                  See it at:
                    Foursevens Quark Tactical Flashlight QT2L-X with Burst Mode

                    NEBO REDLINE 5610 Tactical LED Flashlight

                    One of Nebo's most popular sellers, the Redline has five brightness modes and comes equipped with an adjustable beam setting that lets you switch from a spotlight to a floodlight. The unit is easily portable and constructed to handle any type of misadventure, plus it's been given an aggressive design aesthetic that contributes to the flashlight's overall functionality in close quarter self-defense scenarios. Read Full Review

                    See it at:
                      NEBO REDLINE 5610 Tactical LED Flashlight

                      Best Pocket Flashlight:

                      The pocket flashlight is one of those items you don't think about until you really need it. By then it's too late. So be prepared ahead of time and check out our list of the best brands and models you can buy today. Obviously the distinction of a pocket flashlight is its size. These units are going to measure just a few inches in length and weigh very little. On the other hand, you want a product that's going to provide bright light output. Some of the models we look at have single output, which means it only shines so bright when you turn it on with no adjustments; while a few others are dual-output versions that have high and low brightness output settings. You want a flashlight that's also going to be rugged and tough, able to take some abuse in any type of environment. If you plan on taking it outdoors, you'll want it to be water-resistant and shock-proof, while indoors use might pose fewer threats with the exception of an over-filled backpack with heavy books or toolbag that has all kinds of heavy equipment inside. Give our list a look, we'll shine some light on the best pocket flashlights you can find, each one chosen for our list based on the following criteria; size, lumens output, durable construction, additional features, and price.

                      Fenix LD12 LED Flashlight

                      A simple user interface, four brightness levels, two flash modes, and last output mode memory; these are all the reasons we love the Fenix LD12. Combine that with an almost endless lifespan on the LED emitter and a tough, sturdy exterior suitable for indoor and outdor use; you get one of the best pocket-sized flashlights you can find on the market today. Read Full Review

                      See it at:
                        Fenix LD12 LED Flashlight

                        Arc AAA Premium LED Flashlight

                        The AAA Premium (AAA-P) from Arc is one of the smallest yet powerful pocket flashlights you can find right now. The company has chosen a brand of LED that provides a brighter whiteness from its output beam and the exterior is olive machine knurled aluminum for a hard protective shell. Read Full Review

                        Arc AAA Premium LED Flashlight

                        Inova X1 LED Flashlight

                        Inova's X1 is small enough to stick into any pants pocket or backpack and delivers dual-output light with less than average runtimes but long beam distance. All it needs for operation is one AAA battery and is weather-resistant in case you get caught in a downpour with it Read Full Review

                        See it at:
                          Inova X1 LED Flashlight

                          Sunwayman V11R Cree XM-L U2 Fully Variable LED Flashlight

                          This one means business. The V11R from Sunwayman is small in stature but gives you complete control of your brightness emissions with a variable output circuit that lets you choose exactly how bright you want your flashlight to shine. The exterior is built for durability and can run on different types of batteries. Read Full Review

                          See it at:
                            Sunwayman V11R Cree XM-L U2 Fully Variable LED Flashlight

                            Streamlight MicroStream C4 LED Flashlight

                            The MicroStream has a near infinite lifespan, comes in a hard-shell case that is scratch resistant and only runs on one AAA battery. It can emit a good amount of light with extended runtime for its lumen output and is easily affordable on any budget. Read Full Review

                            See it at:
                              Streamlight MicroStream C4 LED Flashlight

                              Best Rechargeable Flashlight:

                              Rechargeable flashlights are just like your typical flashlight, but these versions are driven by power cells that don't need to be tossed out when they're drained. This can save you a lot of money from year to year, not having to buy loads of batteries but instead keep re-using the ones you already have installed. Some of these flashlights can also run on disposables if you'd prefer, but the way they're built and equipped with certain features they really work most effectively with rechargeables. These are usually lithium ion but you have a couple other options as well. The rechargeable options on our list all feature high lumens outputs, strong body exterior construction and resistance to everything from impact to water. USB ports are installed on many of our picks making them easy to recharge with a computer or tablet instead of a wall outlet, though that is also an option available on some. Check out the five best rechargeable flashlights on the market right now, each one chosen for this list along the following critiera: lumens output, rechargeable battery life, recharge times for full replenishment, recharging options, functionality, ease of use, body construction materials, and price.

                              Nitecore MH25 Rechargeable Flashlight

                              Nitecore's rechargeable flashlight has an LED emitter with a lifespan of 50,000 hours and four standard light modes with two special modes as well for good measure. It's among the brightest lights on our list with long runtimes and uses a USB port for recharging. Read Full Review

                              See it at:
                                Nitecore MH25 Rechargeable Flashlight

                                Fenix RC40 Rechargeable Flashlight

                                The most powerful flashlight on our list could give the Bat-signal a run for its money. The most maximum lumens output of any other pick on our list, the Fenix RC40 offers five modes of light output and is built for impenetrable durability. But all that power requires a much larger flashlight in size and weight, and this one is also the biggest on our list in those departments as well. Read Full Review

                                See it at:
                                  Fenix RC40 Rechargeable Flashlight

                                  Streamlight Stylus Pro 66133 USB Rechargeable Flashlight

                                  Slender and portable, the Stylus Pro is part of Streamlight's USB Rechargeable series. It offers one mode of brightness and has long runtime after a complete charge, which lets you use AC power or a car charger to replenish the unit's power. You get an infinite number of recharging sessions before you have to replace the battery, but don't worry you get a lot of them. Read Full Review

                                  See it at:
                                    Streamlight Stylus Pro 66133 USB Rechargeable Flashlight

                                    Surefire R1 Lawman Rechargeable Flashlight

                                    Incredibly bright and built to withstand serious abuse in the field. The R1 Lawman isn't the smallest pick on our list; but it offer three modes of brightness with average runtimes for each and every conceivable option for recharging the batteries you could possibly want included with the device. Read Full Review

                                    See it at:
                                      Surefire R1 Lawman Rechargeable Flashlight

                                      Inova T3R Rechargeable Flashlight

                                      Inova's rechargeable is a tactical flashlight in every sense of the word. Two brightness output modes, each one featuring excellent runtimes, and two special lighting functions; the T3R uses a USB port to charge its single rechargeable lithium ion battery with a full replenishment time of only three hours. The flashlight is also crush-proof, shock-proof, water-proof, heck it's everything-proof and with a price tag of almost $100 it had better be. Read Full Review

                                      See it at:
                                        Inova T3R Rechargeable Flashlight

                                        Best Camping Flashlight:

                                        Any avid outdoorsman knows one of the essentials you need before you take the path less traveled is a good camping flashlight. You may be thinking to yourself any flashlight is fine for a camping trip, and you might be right. But why risk it? In the middle of nowhere, in the dark, is no place to realize you've made a terrible mistake in your choice of flashlight. So let's do this right the first time; camping flashlights need to be versatile and rugged, for starters. Lumens output is important, enabling you to see further in the dark and some of them are so bright they can be used to find base camp in the wilderness, their beams visible from long distances. Battery life duration is important, because the last thing you need is your flashlight dying when you least expect. You want a flashlight that can also weather the elements, constructed of hard materials that are tightly sealed to make them, if not entirely waterproof, at least splash-proof so they won't get damaged in the rain. Sometimes hands-free operation is necessary and there are units that offer bright beams without the need to carry them in your hands, but instead attach them to clothing or surrounding objects in the area. The five flashlights on our list each offer some or all of these options, and have been considered carefully based upon the following criteria: lumens output, brightness level options, beam distances, battery life, durability, ease of use, functionality, additional features, and price.

                                        Joby GorillaTorch Flare 125 LED Flashlight with Strobe

                                        It may look like something out of a science fiction movie, but the GorillaTorch 125 Flare is one of the most functionally complete flashlights you can take to the Great Outdoors. Six light modes, water and impact resistant, and mounted on three flexible multi-jointed legs; this light delivers a powerful flood beam that can be seen from far away and provides hours of output even on high settings. Read Full Review

                                        See it at:
                                          Joby GorillaTorch Flare 125 LED Flashlight with Strobe

                                          Dorcy 41-2510 Incredible Floating Flashlight

                                          Dorcy's floating flashlight is bright and offers good beam distance. Needless to say it's waterproof, and comes with a carabineer clip for easy portability. It's also compact enough so hanging it from your belt loop or backpack won't be ponderous and awkward as you walk. Read Full Review

                                          See it at:
                                            Dorcy 41-2510 Incredible Floating Flashlight

                                            Coleman CPX 4.5 Aluminum LED Flashlight

                                            Coleman might just be one of the most well-known brands for camping gear. So it comes as no surprise that one of their products makes our list of the best camping flashlights. The CPX 4.5 is that light; featuring a hard-shell exterior construction, disposable or rechargeable battery use, and it gives off an incredibly bright beam in a compact device. Read Full Review

                                            See it at:
                                              Coleman CPX 4.5 Aluminum LED Flashlight

                                              Barska BA11630 1200 Lumen High Power LED Tactical Flashlight

                                              The Barska BA11630 tactical flashlight delivers some of the highest lumens output of any pick on our list and comes in a shockproof exterior housing that is built for rugged environments and heavy abuse both indoors and out. The light comes with rechargeable batteries and charger, and has five operational modes for total versatility with easy push button access to cycle through each one. Read Full Review

                                              See it at:
                                                Barska BA11630 1200 Lumen High Power LED Tactical Flashlight

                                                Princeton Tec Point Hat Clip Task Light

                                                The smallest flashlight on the list weighs in at only 17 grams and offers dual output modes in a miniature unit that is so small you can clip it to the brim of a hat. It has a flexible gooseneck design to point it in any direction, and is rated waterproof for total submersion of up to half an hour. This is the perfect hands-free solution for an evening stroll under the stars. Read Full Review

                                                See it at:
                                                  Princeton Tec Point Hat Clip Task Light

                                                  Best Emergency Flashlight:

                                                  Any emergency flashlight needs to be on call and ready to work when the power goes out. They provide various modes of brightness in both single and dual-output capacities (some even more than that), and offer multiple power options with both rechargeable and disposable sources. Many of these units remain plugged into the wall for immediate activation when the electricity goes out in your home or office, while others are ready for activation when you turn them on yourself. Some of these flashlights are water-resistant (there's even one that activates when it falls into the water), and others can do double duty as nightlights while plugged into the wall as they await an emergency situation to occur. There are many emergency flashlights on the market at the moment but we've found five that we like the best, each one chosen based upon the following criteria: brightness modes, lumens output, battery life, battery options, additional features, ease of use, functionality, and price.

                                                  Eton Blackout Buddy American Red Cross Rechargeable Emergency Flashlight

                                                  Eton's combination rechargable is ready when the power goes out. In fact, it lights right up when it detects an outage so you can find it in the dark. The unit also doubles as a night-light for the hallway, the kids' room, anywhere you want some small amount of illumination. Plus, with the American Red Cross giving their official endorsement of the product you know you depend on it anytime. Read Full Review

                                                  See it at:
                                                    Eton Blackout Buddy American Red Cross Rechargeable Emergency Flashlight

                                                    FatCat Gear SunCat FC4030 Handcrank and Solar Powered LED Flashlight

                                                    The SunCat doesn't need the typical methods of charging its 3.6v nickel-metal hydride battery to keep it ready for anything. This flashlight can run on solar power or wind the handy old crank to keep the cells on standby. There are three lighting modes on the FC4030 from one or three LED's with a lifespan of 50,000 hours. Read Full Review

                                                    FatCat Gear SunCat FC4030 Handcrank and Solar Powered LED Flashlight

                                                    Eco-i-Lite 4-in-1 16 LED Light

                                                    Four lighting modes, sixteen LED's, fifteen hours of potential runtime and one flashlight has it all; the Eco-i-Lite 4-in-1. Plug the charging base into the AC socket in your wall and leave the unit in the cradle until the power goes out. That's when this flashlight shines, literally. It illuminates immediately when it senses a power outage, just like the Eton at the top of our list. Read Full Review

                                                    See it at:
                                                      Eco-i-Lite 4-in-1 16 LED Light

                                                      Life+Gear GLOW Flashlight

                                                      For around $12, you can get the Life+Gear GLOW LED flashlight. Not only is it a dependable light source that runs on three AA batteries and offers four lighting modes, with up to 400 hours of runtime on the strobe setting. The body of the unit is waterproof and is designed to act as a storage compartment for storing those small essentials that you can't afford to lose. Read Full Review

                                                      See it at:
                                                        Life+Gear GLOW Flashlight

                                                        Dorcy 41-1032 Failsafe Rechargeable Emergency Light

                                                        Dorcy's flashlight has good lumens output, great runtime duration and excellent beam throw distance. The exterior body is made of plastic but comes with a highly durable polycarbonate optic lens to keep the LED housing safe from harm. The 41-1032 runs on rechargeable AAA nickel-metal hydride batteries; and with four available light modes, this flashlight is well-suited for any home or office setting. Read Full Review

                                                        See it at:
                                                          Dorcy 41-1032 Failsafe Rechargeable Emergency Light

                                                          Best HID Flashlight:

                                                          There aren't a lot of companies producing HID (High Intensity Discharge) flashlights these days because they're expensive to produce and don't sell as well as their lower output LED counterparts. HID flashlights are so bright and powerful that they're often considered impractical for everyday use by consumers. These devices are essentially searchlights with high wattage power emitting penetrating beams of incredibly long throw distances that can reach up to a mile and a half out. The bulbs also run very hot and need extended periods of warm-up and cool-down time during operation. You're not going to find a lot of them at your local hardware store and there are only a handful of manufacturers still producing HID lights as part of their inventory. With all of that said, these devices are excellent search and rescue type of flashlights that can be used to cut a swath of illumination through even the darkest environments and can be mounted on vehicles or carried in hand. They offer the brightest lumens outputs of any type of flashlight that can be acquired for civilian use. Of course, all that power and brightness is not cheap and some consumers just don't need or want to spend upwards of a few thousand dollars for a flashlight. However, if you're in the market for one of these bad boys then read on; we've determined the five best HID flashlights among the waning manufacturers that still produce them, each one making the list based on the following criteria: lumens output, beam size, durability, functionality, ease of use, added features, and battery options.

                                                          SureFire Hell Fighter High Intensity Discharge Light

                                                          With a price tag of $5,000, the Hell Fighter from Surefire delivers some of the brightest lumens output in any light of its size. Despite its tremendous power, the unit is also amazingly lightweight and the exterior housing has been built to take all kinds of abuse in any type of environment. It's also been designed for mounting on a vehicle or .50 caliber machine gun. Read Full Review

                                                          SureFire Hell Fighter High Intensity Discharge Light

                                                          Larson Electronics HIDH-3550 Dual Mode Portable HID Flashlight

                                                          You thought the SureFire Hell Fighter was bright? You ain't seen nothing yet. Larson Electronics' HIDH-3550 offers almost double the lumens output as the SureFire lamp with dual-output options in a fully portable, compact flashlight. Manufactured almost entirely of machined aluminum, this one has good runtimes on a single charge of the included lithium ion batteries which don't take long to replenish to full power either. Read Full Review

                                                          See it at:
                                                            Larson Electronics HIDH-3550 Dual Mode Portable HID Flashlight

                                                            AE Light AEX25 Xenide 25W HID Handheld Personal Searchlight

                                                            The AEX25 isn't as bright as some of the other choices on our list, but it's no slouch either. Long considered the go-to brand for law enforcement, military, and government personnel; AE Light has made their tried and true product impact resistant and waterproof for extended periods of time without sustaining any damage. Read Full Review

                                                            See it at:
                                                              AE Light AEX25 Xenide 25W HID Handheld Personal Searchlight

                                                              Polarion PH40 Helios HID Searchlight

                                                              At a cost of around $2,000, Polarion's PH40 Helios delivers high wattage and powerful brightness in a lightweight yet resilient package. The lamp is driven by rechargeable batteries that offer decent runtime duration and a relatively short charge time to full replenishment. The user interface couldn't be easier to navigate here either, just twist the rotary switch and you've got light. Read Full Review

                                                              See it at:
                                                                Polarion PH40 Helios HID Searchlight

                                                                Stanley HID0109 HID Rechargeable Spotlight

                                                                Stanley's stout handheld lamp provides strong wattage and bright output and offers multiple options on recharging the included batteries. When those batteries run down (and they will with the limited runtime duration you get here), the light remains at constant brightness without dimming down. So you will have peak performance at all times until the last gasp of battery life that remains before the unit finally dies out and you need to recharge them all over again. Read Full Review

                                                                See it at:
                                                                  Stanley HID0109 HID Rechargeable Spotlight
                                                                  Leave a Question or Comment