Best LED Flashlights
LED flashlights are very popular and affordable light sources, differing in power source/battery type, type and number of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), housing material, durability, design, intended use, and similar.
When choosing the "best" flashlight, there are several important details to look for, including:
The most popular flashlight type is the so-called "tactical" flashlight, featuring a robust waterproof design, aluminum cast body, crown bezel, and similar. Other "types" of flashlights generally describe one or more of their features, so we have EDC (Every Day Carry) flashlights, rechargeable flashlights, lantern flashlights, diving flashlights, pen-size flashlights, keychain flashlights, etc.
One of the most important features of modern LED flashlights is their energy source.
Also, thanks to the advancements in electronics, many models support the use of several different batteries, with or without the use of a small plastic insert/battery holder.
Typical examples are 18650/CR123A, or 18650/3xAAA, or similar combinations.
Note: LED flashlights should be powered using batteries ONLY explicitly recommended by their manufacturers, or they can get damaged or even destroyed, rendering their warranty void!
Rechargeable LED Flashlights
Rechargeable LED flashlights allow the user to charge the batteries while the batteries are still in the flashlights.
Rechargeable LED flashlights should not be mistaken for flashlights that use rechargeable batteries, which must be removed from the flashlight prior to charging.
Camping Lantern Flashlights
Camping lantern flashlights are multifunction devices that feature relatively large batteries, commonly 6V lantern batteries or they use large, custom-built rechargeable lithium battery packs.
Camping lantern flashlights often come with features that help their users when camping and generally, being outdoors and off-the-grid like USB charging ports, small solar panels, holding magnets and hooks, and similar.
Some models have zoomable lenses, allowing the user to focus light on a single spot and achieve long beam range, or the flashlight can be used as the source of floodlight - a very wide light beam.
Note that some very tough and durable flashlights have fixed zoom in order to avoid any moving parts and to be as tough as possible.
Dust and Water Protection
Dust and Water protection is often given in the form of IPXX codes, where first "X" is the numerical value that shows the flashlight's protection level against the dust and the second "X" shows the flashlight's protection against the water.
In most situations, the second "X" is the one who is actually important and many manufacturers provide only protection level against the water, which may be:
IPX0 - no protection against water,
IPX1 - the flashlight is resistant to 1 mm vertical rainfall per minute for 10 (ten) minutes.
IPX2 - the flashlight is resistant to 3 mm rainfall per minute, tilted at 15°, for 2.5 minutes for every direction of tilt, but longer than 10 (ten) minutes.
IPX3 - generally, the flashlight is resistant to spraying water at any angle up to 60°, for 10 (ten) minutes. The actual test is slightly more complicated, but keep in mind 'spraying water' for ten minutes.
IPX4 - the flashlight is resistant to splashing water from any direction for 10 (ten) minutes. Personally, IPX4 is the minimum water-resistance level of any good outdoor flashlight.
IPX5 - the flashlight is resistant to water jet from a 6.3 mm nozzle, with the rate of 12.5 liters per minute, for at least 3 minutes.
IPX6 - the flashlight is resistant to water jet from a 12.5 mm nozzle, with the rate of 100 liters per minute, for at least 3 minutes.
IPX6K - the flashlight is resistant to water jet from a 6.3 mm nozzle, with the rate of 75 liters per minute, for at least 3 minutes.
IPX7 - the flashlight is resistant to immersion in water, up to a meter deep, for 30 minutes. Personally, if You are looking for an outdoor flashlight, it should have at least IPX7 water level protection.
IPX8 - the flashlight is resistant to water immersion at depths of 1 or more meters. Actual depth and test time must be specified by the manufacturer.
Maximum Beam Distance
Maximum beam distance is a value given in meters or feet at which the intensity of the light beam falls down to 0.25 lux, which is the average amount of light of a full moon on a clear night. Full moonlight is generally considered enough for safe travel/walk over even terrain.
LED flashlights may have one or more light modes. The most common light modes are Low, Medium, Max, Strobe, and SOS, but there are flashlights that have more or less light modes than that.
LED flashlight runtime depends on the amount of energy stored in the batteries and operating mode. Maximum brightness modes feature the shortest runtime, although some models automatically switch from the Maximum brightness mode to the Medium/Low brightness mode in order to protect the flashlight from overheating.
Some LED flashlights, when operating in Low, Dim, or similar low-light modes can operate for days.
Impact resistance is the maximum drop altitude on a hard surface that a flashlight can withstand without cracks or any other damage. In order to increase the drop height altitude, some models feature rubber or silicone protective coating/layer.
Of course, when choosing "the best" flashlight, always choose according to your own needs and requirements. After all, a good LED flashlight doesn't have to cost a fortune, on a contrary...
For more information, feel free to check:
- The Best Everyday Carry (EDC) Flashlight
- LR44 Battery Keychain LED Flashlights
- What Are The Brightest Flashlights In The World?
- Guide to the Best Portable Action Camera Flashlight
- Candela vs. Lumens: What Is The Difference?
- Best Hand Crank Flashlights
or check our Articles and Guides category.
Here is the list of our LED flashlight reviews, ordered according to their date added or modified:
NITECORE P20iX Xtreme is a tough and durable tactical LED flashlight with one of the strongest light outputs, while still keeping the battery's size and weight in check.
NITECORE P20iX Xtreme supports the use of Nitecore NL2150HPi 21700 battery, but also CR123A and RCR123A batteries, making it an excellent EDC (Every Day Carry) flashlight. However, the full potential of the flashlight can be achieved using only Nitecore 21700 rechargeable battery.
Published: January 17, 2023.
Streamlight 44931 Siege is a tough, durable and reliable LED lantern flashlight powered by three large D-cells and featuring white and red light, different light modes, removable glare-reducing polycarbonate cover, IPX7 waterproof level, etc.
Streamlight 44931 Siege can be used in many everyday situations, when camping, in emergencies, during blackouts, and similar.
Published: January 9, 2023.
Hatori Super Small Mini LED Flashlight is a very compact, popular, and rather affordable LED flashlight powered by a single 1.5V AAA battery, which is not included.
Considering its dimensions and price, the flashlight features excellent output, and a sturdy and durable body that can withstand plenty of abuse, just be sure not to overdo it.
As such, Hatori Super Small Mini LED Flashlight is commonly used as an excellent pocket-size Every Day Carry (EDC) flashlight, but also in any other imaginable situation.
Published: December 8, 2022.
OLIGHT Warrior Mini 2 is a versatile tactical/EDC rechargeable LED flashlight designed to be reliable and offer great performance in a relatively small and compact package.
OLIGHT Warrior Mini 2 is powered by a custom rechargeable 3500 mAh 18650 battery which is recharged using a magnetic MCC3 cable - there is no need to plug in the charger and no need to "open" the battery or charging port.
Published: October 27, 2022.
Acebeam W30 is a very specific flashlight powered by a strong rechargeable lithium-ion battery and featuring extra long range - it is an example of an LEP (Laser Excitation Phosphor) BLOS (Beyond the Line Of Sight) flashlight.
Acebeam W30 Long Range LEP Flashlight features a so-called PCC (Phosphor Crystal Coating) layer on a metallic substrate that produces the light beam. Using the convex lenses, the light beam is focused into a very narrow cone of only 1.8°.
Obviously, Acebeam W30 Long Range LEP Flashlight is anything but a typical LED EDC flashlight.
Published: July 20, 2022.
Nitecore TINI 2 is a versatile and rather advanced EDC/keychain LED flashlight with very high output, considering the size and weight.
Nitecore TINI 2 comes with a pair of strong and energy-efficient LEDs, low self-discharge built-in battery, OLED display, two control buttons, and a few more features not commonly found on such small flashlights.
Published: April 13, 2022.
IMALENT MS18 100000 Lumens LED Flashlight is one of the strongest LED flashlights on the market offering light that is ~100x stronger than the typical home LED or incandescence bulb, which usually features 800-1200 lumens.
Of course, such output power cannot be maintained for a long time despite an active cooling system, but even when reverting to "weaker" light mode, IMALENT MS18 100000 Lumens LED Flashlight still offers impressive 25000 lumens.
Published: April 2, 2022.
OLIGHT Seeker 3 Pro LED Flashlight is a very powerful, yet relatively compact and lightweight floodlight flashlight with sturdy and durable construction, a high-capacity customized battery, four extra bright LEDs, proximity and thermal sensors, and a few more features more than justifying the price of this flashlight.
OLIGHT Seeker 3 Pro LED Flashlight is a rather versatile flashlight that can be used for various outdoor activities like camping, hiking, or similar, for Search&Rescue, security services, in emergencies, as high-end EDC flashlight, etc.
Published: March 23, 2022.
The ThruNite TC12 V2 flashlight is a relatively compact, but sturdy and powerful LED flashlight, intended for various uses, including camping, emergencies, tactical, EDC, hunting, security, etc.
The thruNite TC12 V2 flashlight features strong output, several light modes, a high-capacity 18650 battery, aluminum body, built-in USB battery charger, etc. It is a versatile tool that can be used in many situations, planned or not.
Published: October 11, 2021.
Streamlight 88060 Pro Tac HL 4 is a strong and durable, medium size flashlight, which supports the use of two battery types, which features several light modes, with excellent waterproof protection and good impact resistance.
Streamlight 88060 Pro Tac HL 4 is a professional-class flashlight, recommended for both everyday use (with rechargeable lithium batteries) or as a standby/emergency/EDC flashlight (with non-rechargeable lithium batteries). Also, it can be an excellent gift.
Published: September 10, 2021.
OLIGHT Warrior X Pro is a LED tactical flashlight designed to be sturdy, tough, and reliable, suitable not only as Every Day Carry (EDC) flashlight but also as a flashlight for camping, hiking, security services, emergency services, and similar.
OLIGHT Warrior X Pro is powered by a customized OLIGHT 5000 mAh 21700 battery, storing 18Wh of energy ready to be used at the moment's notice.
Published: August 16, 2021.
DeWalt DCL043 20V MAX LED Work Light is strong, robust, and durable work light, suitable for illuminating construction sites and work areas, but also for general use when the occasion arises, especially in emergencies and other off-the-grid situations.
DeWalt DCL043 20V MAX LED Work Light features 4 LEDs, providing bight white light for everyday use and red light, for protecting the night vision. DeWalt DCL043 is anything but an everyday flashlight but can come extremely handy in many situations.
Published: May 11, 2021.
GearLight S2000 LED flashlight is a very bright, relatively compact LED flashlight, suitable as an EDC flashlight, but also for hiking, camping, hunting, and similar outdoor activities due to its robust body and resistance to dust, mud, and water.
GearLight S2000 LED flashlight is powered only by four AA batteries and it doesn't accept lithium CR123A or 18650 batteries.
Published: May 7, 2021.