We all would want our flashlights to be the brightest and that is the main criterion that anyone would base their flashlight buying research on. This is an article that was decided to be as organized as possible by keeping this need in mind. The main organizing entities were battery type and quantity. But before going straight into the list, let us see the different units that would be used in measuring the light outputs of these lights and the stick to one of them.
How is brightness quantified?
Most manufacturers in the illumination industry pursue to match the abilities of their products along the industry standards that have been formulated for these flashlights. These standards are the ANSI FL1 Standards. These standards cover a wide range of benchmarks and ratings for all the criteria including brightness/light output. Since we are focusing more on the light output, we’ll stick to that. In these standards, there are 3 ways in which the light output is measured. They are Lumen Capacity, Beam intensity which is the distance that the beam of a particular flashlight can cover before it reached 1.25 lux which is approximately equal to the brightness produced by a full moon during a clear night. and Peak Beam intensity which is the brightest point of the beam and is measured in Candela.
To determine the brightest flashlight, we decided to go with the measurement of Lumens as all the manufacturers flaunt these numbers the most in their advertisements. This is the more straightforward measurement of the three. And easier to understand. It is simple. The more the lumen output, the brighter the flashlight will be. The Beam intensity and the Beam distance can be easily altered to immense amounts by changing the angle and the size of the reflector that has been used in the flashlight. The lumen capacity doesn’t mean that the throw of these flashlights would be very far. For that, you have to check out our Throw Flashlight article as that has been formulated with the throw distance criterion in mind and not brightness.
It is best to go with flashlights that are actually manufactured along the guidelines of the FL1 standards as the less reputed companies just state the theoretical output of the LED’s used in these flashlights and that can be widely inaccurate as those theoretical values are assumptions and might be numbers tested in a controlled environment and can never match the real world conditions. The less reputed manufacturers just lie point blank about their outputs and there would be no manufacturing FL1 standards used in their products. For this article/guide, only the flashlights that have lumen outputs that have been measured from the front of the light have been included.
Types of Flashlights
There are different types of light sources that can be found in flashlights. There are LED’s, incandescent bulbs and even HID’s. The LED technology has been a great addition to the lighting world as almost all lighting solutions nowadays make use of these LED. They are light, extremely power efficient and are also very durable. They can withstand more abuse than the other two and that is the main reason for their popularity. They are cheap too.
The incandescent bulbs are slowly dying away as they no longer are in any way a better choice than LED or other lighting solutions. They consist of a metal filament which is in most cases tungsten and that heats up and produces light. A lot of the energy is wasted as heat and they are not as reliable as LED. They are not as bright as them as well but can produce some great temperature colors in their output.
The HID stands for High Intensity Discharge. These are extremely bright and they include a gas encased in a quartz capsule and when electricity is provided, the gas lights up and produces a light output. The reason that they are not included in this list is that they can prove to be very expensive and are not as durable as LED either. The cheapest range of these lights can start well above $300 and that is not exactly cheap. Hence, all the flashlights that feature in this article are LED-based flashlights.
Brightest Flashlight by Battery
Brightest AAA/10440 Flashlight
AAA batteries are very popular everywhere in the word. Buying a flashlight that runs on these batteries is a clever move. Because these batteries are compact and are very cheap to purchase. And these are very easy to come by. The flipside is that they do have very mediocre power outputs though. The voltage these produce on an average scale is 1.5 volts. That is an average power output. Usually, 10440 batteries push out nearly 3.6 volts. It is not really recommended to use 10440 batteries in the place of AAA as it can lead to hazardous events. Due to the vast voltage differences, there might be overload and leading to fuses. But the usage will definitely boost the lumen output if your flashlight can handle such power. The best way to clear this dilemma is to check out these candlepower forums to get to know the experience other users might have faced with the same flashlights to get a better idea.
Since you’re showing a keen interest in purchasing the brightest of flashlights, you might be interested in getting to know some batteries that would feed your flashlight with good power so that they are always at your service. The best recommendations we can give for AAA size are given below. Firstly, you have to decide whether you are going for rechargeable or non-rechargeable batteries. The problem with rechargeable is that you need to purchase a good charger along with the batteries. The best rechargeable battery in the AAA size is the Eneloop AAA Ni-MH. The best charger that can cater these AAA batteries is the La Crosse BC-700. The charging quality is top notch and it can even work with AA batteries. If you are opting out for a cheaper charger, just make sure that it charges each battery independently instead of doing so in pairs. If you are opting for a non-rechargeable battery, the best you can get is the Energizer L92 Lithium batteries. They are better all round to standard alkaline batteries. These are not to be confused with the Li-ion batteries that are rechargeable.
1 x AAA – Budget Option
Manker E02 is probably the smallest right angled flashlight that can be purchased today. This unique design is totally different from the flashlights we would have come across in our day to day lives. This design makes it very easy to grip onto the flashlight.
The E02 is equipped with a CREE XPG3 LED or the Nichia 219C LED. You can choose between the two variants. The XPG3 has a highest output of 220 lumens and the Nichia has a highest output of 180 lumens. The Peak beam intensity is around 760 Candela and the maximum beam distance is around 55 metres.
The E02 is manufactured with Aero grade Aluminum with a premium type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish on the surface. The lens is toughened and also anti reflective coated. This flashlight is IPX8 waterproof rated. That means it can survive a water immersion depth of upto 2 meters. This flashlight is also impact resistant to about 2 metres.
This flashlight is powered by 1 AAA battery and it weighs about 1.2 ounces without the battery in it. The runtimes are 3 minutes in Turbo mode with a output of 220 lumens and automatic regulation to 70 lumens which will stay for 1.50 hours. The lowest output of 0.6 lumens can withstand for 84 hours. This flashlight is very compact with its dimensions being 2.8 inches long and 0.7 inches in diameter.
- Lanyard, Pocket clip and a spare O ring are given as standard accessories.
- The inclusion of the Magnetic tail cap can help in easier storage.
- Lockout mode included preventing accidental activation.
- UI not best for fast operation.
1 x AAA – Brightest Option
Surefire is an American company that started out as a different name in 1984 by an engineer with a Ph.D. from Caltech named, Dr. John Matthews. They had first started out on making lasers accompany handguns and other weapons to give better aiming. It is one of the most known names in the illumination industry. They The Titan is manufactured with nickel plated brass so resist scratches and also corrosion. It is also weather resistant. There is a stainless steel split ring so that you can attach this to your main key bunch and use it as a keychain light.
This flashlight uses a high performance LED and a proprietor faceted reflector to mold the LED light into a smooth and wide MaxVision beam.
This flashlight features a twist ON feature and also quick twists to cycle through the brightness modes. This can be a concern for people looking for one-handed usage lights. This flashlight needs 1 AAA battery to power it. It can take normal AAA alkaline or AAA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries.
There are 3 output modes for this flashlight. The high mode gives out an output of 300 lumens for a runtime of 1 hour, a medium mode with a output of 75 lumens for about 2 hours and a low mode with an output of 15 lumens for 7 hours.
The flashlight weighs about 2 ounces without the battery and the dimensions are 3.4 inches long and the bezel diameter is about 0.6 inches.
- Well built.
- Pocket Clip has been included as standard and can be removed.
- Twist to ON feature demands two handed usage.
- No memory mode.
2 x AAA – Brightest option
The PT10 is a product manufactured by Acebeam which is a subsidiary company setup in 2014 by the parent company ShenZhen Zenbon technology Co. Ltd. This company might be only a few years in the running but they already are in over 100 countries and they specialize in premium portable lighting equipment.
The entrant to this list from this company is the Acebeam P10. The PT10 is a penlight but way brighter than most in the market. This flashlight comes equipped with a CREE XP-L HD W2 high intensity LED with a lifespan of over 50,000 hours. The peak Beam intensity is about 1046 Candela and the maximum beam intensity is about 65 metres. There are 3 brightness modes on offer. The lowest output is 3 lumens for 36 hours, the mid range of 30 lumens for 10 hours and the highest is 360 lumens for 0.8 hours. There is an incorporated copper base plate for the purpose of being heat efficient.
The PT10 has been manufactured with aircraft grade aluminum with Premium type III anodizing anti abrasive surface finish. The lens is toughened and also with anti-reflective coating and it is equipped with a orange peel reflector for a nice wide beam throw. This flashlight has been given a waterproof rating of IPX8. The PT10 is also impact resistant to about 1.2 metres.
The dimensions of this flashlight are 5.2 inches in length and 0.6 inches in bezel diameter. The PT10 weighs about 0.7 ounces.
- Spare O-rings and gift package box included.
- Well built and easy to use switchgear.
- Reliability is still a concern.
- No special modes included.
Brightest AA/14500 Flashlight
For batteries of this size, the recommendation from our side still remains the same as before with NI-MH instead of 14500 Li-ion as most manufacturers do not make their flashlights handle the extra power that these would be stuffing in. The only way to not destroy your flashlight is to do some research in forums where people with the same flashlights might have tried different batteries and recorded their results. If you’re looking at rechargeable batteries, the best recommendations from our side would be the Eneloop AA Ni-MH batteries. And the best charger that would go with those batteries is the La Crosse BC-700 charger. If non-rechargeable batteries are your thing, we recommend you to try out the Energizer L91 AA Lithium batteries.
1 x AA – Budget option
Klarus Lighting Technology Co. Ltd. is a company that specializes in tactical and civilian illumination established in June 2011 with a professional R&D team to bring out innovation to the lighting world. They have been new players in the field but have already been making their presence felt in the USA, EU, Africa, Canada and so on. They are striving towards becoming a global LED flashlight brand altogether.
The entrant from this company to this article is the Mi7.
This flashlight has been equipped with the CREE XP-L HI V3 LED with a lifespan upto 50,000 hours. The working voltage range for this flashlight is around 1-4.2 V. Due to this higher bandwidth of operating voltage range, this flashlight can work with rechargeable and non rechargeable AA batteries and also Li-ion 14500 batteries.
The Mi7 has been manufactured with a titanium alloy with a permanent body colour and it is corrosion and scratch resistant. The flashlight has been rated with IPX8 for waterproofing which means it can survive an immersion to about 2 metres. It is also impact resistant upto a meter. The switchgear is a side switch which is Stainless Steel. The lens used is an Anti-Reflective hardened Mineral lens for scratch resistance. This flashlight has an orange peel reflector for a good throw.
The flashlight has 3 brightness modes and 2 special modes. The brightest mode has an output of 700 lumens for 53 minutes, a medium mode which has an output of 90 lumens for 3 hours and 47 minutes and a moonlight mode with an output of 5 lumens for 67 hours. The strobe mode gives out 700 lumens for 1 hour and 46 minutes (with the usage of 14500 batteries) and the SOS mode gives out 90 lumens for 5 hours and 30 minutes. The peak beam intensity is around 3025 Candela and the maximum beam distance is around 110 meters.
This flashlight weighs around 0.93 ounces without battery and its dimensions are 3.43 inches long and 0.75 inches in diameter.
- Has Reverse Polarity protection.
- Has a Lockout mode for preventing accidental activation.
- Has a battery capacity indicator.
- Gets hot after substantial usage.
- Lockout feature doesn’t work that well.
1 x AA – Brightest option
ZebraLight is an American owned and American operated company that specializes in high quality and affordable EDC illumination. The entrant from this company to this article is the SC5w MKII. This is a handy and compact flashlight with an array of features.
The SC5 comes from the factory with a CREE XP-L2 EasyWhite LED which can have a runtime of over 20,000 hours. This LED has a hotspot angle of 10 degrees and a spill/flood angle of 80 degrees.
The power source is taken care of by 1 AA size Alkaline, NiMH or lithium battery. The company recommends the use of Panasonic Eneloop or Eneloop Pro for powering these flashlights. The operating voltage range is about 0.7-2.0V. There are 3 main brightness levels with sublevels and a Beacon Strobe Mode. The runtimes are as follows. The highest output is 550 lumens for 3 minutes and then it gets automatically regulated to 407 lumens which are the sublevel for High for a runtime of 0.9 hours. The lowest output level is 0.09 lumens and a runtime of 4.3 months. All these runtimes tests were performed with the Panasonic Eneloop Pro AA batteries. There are different sublevels in between and they can be programmed as per the user’s taste.
The SC5 is made with premium aluminum precision machined unibody which also types III hard anodized surface finished for better grip and feel. All the electricals are potted with a special resin so that they don’t get scattered around in the unfortunate event of a drop or impact. This flashlight is IPX8 waterproof which means that it can handle and survive a water immersion up to a depth of 2 meters for 30 minutes.
The SC5 weighs around 1.8 ounces without the battery and its dimensions are 3.2 inches in length and 1 inch in diameter.
- Battery level indicator incorporated.
- Battery reverse polarity protection included preventing damage during improper battery installation.
- Spare O-rings are provided.
- No memory feature included in the UI.
- Complex UI. Takes some time to get used to.
2 x AA – Budget option
Thrunite is a company based out of the Guangdong Province in South China founded by a man called David Chen who is a school dropout. This company was established in 2009 and has been devoted to making high quality illumination which are also pretty affordable that would be a guide for the customers through the night and hence the name Thrunite.
This model is a step up or an improvement over the previous model which is the Thrunite Archer 2A V2. This flashlight is packed with some interesting features. The Archer is equipped with a CREE XP-L V6 LED with a lifespan stretching over 20+ years. There are several brightness modes and also a strobe mode included. The optimum working voltage range is 0.9V- 5.0V. This flashlight requires 2 AA batteries as its power source. The peak beam intensity is around 2912 candela and a maximum beam distance of 108 metres.
As discussed before, there are 5 modes to this flashlight. They are Firefly mode which has a lumen output of 0.2 for a runtime of 28 days, Low mode which as a output of 17 lumens for 4 days runtime, Medium mode which has a output of 75 lumens for a 11 hour runtime, High mode with a 500 lumen output for 96 minutes and a Strobe mode that gives out 500 lumens for 140 minutes of runtime.
This flashlight is made up of Aircraft grade aluminum and premium type III hard anodized surface finish. It also has a strike bezel. It weighs 1.7 ounces without the batteries and the dimensions are 6 inches long and 0.8 inches in diameter.
- Incluse of Memory feature saves valuable time instead of cycling through the modes from the start.
- Two button setup is easy to use.
- Has a strike bezel for self defense.
- The switchgear malfunctions after mild usage.
- Small impacts might make cause the battery contacts to loosen up.
2 x AA – Brightest option
Armytek Optoelectronics Inc. is a company based in Ontario, Canada which was established in 2010. Even though it is a new player, they have their product sales in more than 50 countries. They are specialists in producing rugged and extremely durable flashlights that can take a serious beating and still work fine. They have their factory in Canada with the production done with tried and tested materials from USA and Japan. The Partner is a mixture of some mind blowing numbers. It utilizes a powerful CREE XP-L White LED that can give a highest output of 850 lumens and about 700 lumens as OTF (Out The Front) value. The peak beam intensity is about 5080 candelas and the maximum beam distance is about 143 metres. It makes use of a TIR lens. The Hotspot angle is 20 degrees and the Spill/flood angle is 80 degrees. The lens is a impact resistant glass with sapphire and anti reflection coating.
There are 6 brightness modes, 2 strobe modes and a momentary ON mode on offer.
The flashlight is manufactured with Aircraft grade aluminum with a premium type III hard anodizing 400HV surface finish. This is impact resistant to upto 10 meters. It is also IP68 waterproof rated which means it can survive a immersion depth of 10 metres for a time of 2.5 hours. Most phones today don’t have that rating.
The optimal operating temperature is between -25 degrees to +40 degrees. This flashlight uses 2 AA batteries. The flashlight weighs 2.7 ounces and the dimensions are 6.6 inches in length and 1 inch in bezel diameter.
- Memory feature included.
- Incredibly bright and durable for the price.
- Number of accessories included such as Lanyard, Holster, Clip, Rubber button and 2 spare O-rings.
- Also weapon mountable with anti-shock protection.
- No battery level indicator.
Brightest CR123A Flashlight
CR123A’s are pretty versatile once you get to know them. Now we are moving on to flashlights that have been manufactured in such a way that they can handle Lithium and Li-ion batteries as to make use of the bump in power for maximising the lumen output. CR123A’s are usually the standard for small cameras and they are tiny. They are half the size of a 18650 Li-ion battery. Hence they can double up in the place of one single 18650.
When you are in the market to purchase CR123A’s, it is advised to stay well clear of manufacturers who have ‘fire’ in their name. This is because there are usually cheap and the build quality is below par. This is the reason we tend to stick with US manufacturers as they have a undeviating quality to them. We recommend the StreamLight CR123A batteries as they are favourites due to the fact that they are made by a flashlight manufacturer and Who knows better than them? If 18650’s are to your liking and fulfilment of needs, we recommend to go with the batteries built around Panasonic cores as they are reliable and great to use.
As discussed before, if you are going on the path of Li-ion batteries, you have to add a good quality charger to your list. Getting a great battery and skimping out on a cheap charger isn’t really ideal for your battery’s performance and life. Hence we recommend Xtar VP2 Li-ion Battery charger as it is well built at a compelling price and is also our favourite. It also has USB connectivity and you can use it as a battery pack too.
1 x CR123A – Brightest option
Olight is a global technology-driven lighting company that has one goal that no one should be left in the dark. The belief in providing quality illumination products for everyone.
This flashlight is equipped with a CREE XM-L2 LED coupled with a TIR lens for a smooth and wide beam output. The maximum beam distance this light can reach is 145 feet. The peak beam intensity of this flashlight is 5250 candela. This flashlight is perfect for close up illumination with a wide hotspot. Brightness levels with the highest being 900 lumens for a runtime of 30 minutes and the lowest being 0.5 lumens for a runtime of about 15 days. There is also a strobe mode included.
This flashlight can be powered by 1 CR123A non-rechargeable battery or even an RCR123A rechargeable battery as per the preference of the customer. It also has a reverse polarity protection circuit for preventing damage during an improper installation. This flashlight is also IPX8 waterproof rated which means that it can survive an immersion to the depth of 2 meters. It has a variable output mode that can change the brightness levels as per the surroundings.
This flashlight has a magnetic end that can be used to connect the magnetic charging cable that has a USB on the other side and this can be charged using power banks, cell phone chargers, and laptops.
The switchgear is on the side. This flashlight weighs 1.27 ounces without the batteries and the dimensions are 2.6 inches in length, 0.83 inches in bezel diameter and 0.78 inches in body diameter.
- Reverse polarity protection for damage from probable improper battery installation.
- Lockout mode for prevention of accidental activation. The switch can also double up as a battery level indicator.
- Magnetic tailcap for easier securing.
- Rechargeable when used with RCR123A battery.
- Switchgear not reliable.
1 X 18650 Budget Option
Wowtac is a company that is a subsidiary of ATACTICAL company that manufactures small EDC flashlights that are affordable too with the technical support of another famous flashlight company named Thrunite. They have a near 10 year experience is this field and they possess a impressive lineup of flashlights in different price brackets and different features.
The entrant to this list from this company is the A1s. This flashlight comes from the factory with CREE Xp-L V6 LED. The maximum peak beam intensity is about 19200 candelas and the maximum beam distance is about 277 metres.
This flashlight is powered by the USB rechargeable 18650 battery that is included in box and the runtimes and outputs are as follows. There are 4 brightness modes. The lowest output is 24 lumens for a runtime of 6 days and the highest output being 1150 lumens for 4 hours. There are also SOS and Strobe modes on offer. If the voltage of the battery is low, there is an indicator for that. There is an USB cable included to charge the battery.
This flashlight is made up of Aircraft grade aluminum body and the lens used is a ultra clear lens that is toughened with anti reflective coating. This flashlight is impact resistant upto 1.5 metres and it is also waterproof rated upto IPX-7 which means it can survive an immersion upto 1 metre in depth.
The flashlight weighs about 3.04 ounces without the battery. The dimensions appear to be 5.3 inches in length and the bezel diameter is about 1 inch.
- Battery level indicator included.
- Reverse polarity protection for prevention of damage from improper battery installation.
- Memory feature included.
- Lumen output is not the same as advertised.
1 X 18650 – Brightest option
ZebraLight is a American based company that has a wide range of illumination products in its inventory. This is the second entrant from ZebraLight to this article. This flashlight gets its light output from a CREE XHP50.2 Neutral White LED. The operating voltage range for this flashlight is 2.7V to 6.0V. The spill/flood angle is 80 degrees and the hotspot is a 14 degrees. There are 3 main brightness levels and one Beacon strobe mode. The runtimes and the power outputs are as follows. At high mode the lumen output is 2300 for a runtime of 1.8 hours with PID thermal regulation. The medium settings gives out 171 lumens for a runtime of 12 hours and the low mode gives out 5 lumens for 13.5 days. There are programmable sub levels too.
The battery that is used to power this flashlight is one 18650 size Li-ion battery. The parasitic drain is so low that it is better to keep the battery in the flashlight when not in use than to keep it stored away.
This flashlight has been manufactured with premium grade aluminum bar stocks. It features a unibody precision machined construction with a premium type III natural hard anodized surface finish. The electrical internal circuits have been potted and sealed. The LED itself has been bonded to the unibody design with heat sinking techniques. This flashlight is water resistant rated to IPX8 which means it can be immersed in water for half and hour at a depth of 2 metres and can still come out unscathed.
The SC600 weighs just about 2.26 ounces and the dimensions being 3.8 inches in length, 1.2 inches in bezel diameter and 0.98 inches in body diameter. The flashlight comes with a pocket clip, lanyard ring and two spare O-rings.
- Includes a battery level indicator for better usability.
- Includes a multitude of programmable sub levels of brightness.
- UI is very complicated and takes time to get used to.
Crazy Flashaholic Option
Mountain Electronics, a illumination company based out of Utah, USA makes the Emisar D4. This company was founded by a flashlight enthusiast in the pursuit of offering affordable and high quality flashlights in the market.
The Emisar is one of the most compact quad LED setup flashlights you can buy from the market nowadays. There are two tube options to make it even more compact than it can be. This flashlight uses 4 XP-G2, XP-L HI or Nichia 219C LED’s in its body as the light source. The lens used is a Carcelo 10622 Spot Optics that features a unique gate crop design to it which might be deceptive as a crack. But rest assured. It is a design element. There are different light temperature choices to choose from too. The output ranges from 0.6 to 100 lumens. This company has recommended the use of 18650 batteries.
This flashlight has a memory feature that enables the user to catch up to the mode he/she used before switching it off to save valuable time instead of wasting it on cycling through the modes from first. There are lockout and memory features available too.
This flashlight weighs 2.35 ounces without the battery installed. The dimensions of the flashlight are 3.7 inches in length and 1.11 inches in diameter.
- Extremely compact.
- Variable dimensions can be attained with different tubes for different battery accommodations like 18350’s and 18500’s. .
- Lockout feature available for preventing accidental activation.
- Not all body colors are available in all LED tints.
- No reverse polarity protection.
1 x 18650 Flood
ZebraLight is not new to this list here. This is an American owned and American operated company that has a multitude of flashlight options for every customer. They are one of the most popular names in the business. This is the third entrant to this list from ZebraLight and that says it all.
This flashlight features a CREE XHP50 LED which has a neutral white tint to it. This LED is capable of operating in a voltage range of 2.7V to 6.0V. The beam spread angle is 90 degrees and the lens is frosted and is a tempered optical grade glass.
The runtimes and the lumen outputs are given as follows. The highest output is 1500 lumens for a PID regulated runtime of 2.3 hours and the lowest output is 2.9 lumens for a runtime of 15.5 days. All these runtimes are tested with SANYO NCR18650GA batteries and the light outputs are OTF values. Batteries are not included.
The SC600Fd is made up of precision machining of premium aluminum bar stocks with a unibody construction. The surface has a premium type III hard anodized finish. The LED is fused to the unibody construction with a Heat sinking process. All the electricals are potted and sealed to give a shock proof environment to an extent. This flashlight is waterproof rated to IPX8 which reveals that this flashlight is capable of survival even after being immersed for 2 hours for a time of 30 minutes.
The parasitic drain of the batteries is almost negligible and it is way lesser than a self discharge of a battery when stored. Hence the batteries will be better off in the flashlight than storing them away.
The dimensions of the battery are 1.2 inches of head diameter, 0.98 inches of body diameter and 3.8 inches in length. The SC600Fd weighs about 2.7 ounces and it comes with a lanyard, a pocket clip and spare O-Rings.
- Reverse polarity protection available.
- Extremely wide beam throw angle.
- Various programmable sublevels available.
- Not Impact resistant.
Brightest Headlamp (18650) Budget option
Nitecore is one of the world’s most popular illumination brands and they have offerings for every field. They have presence in over a 100 countries and regions. They have received various awards for their products over the years.
This headlamp is aimed at outdoor activity and camping tasks. The Nitecore HC33 boasts a CREE XHP35 HD LED with a beam colour of White. The lifespan of this LED is about 50,000 hours. There is a flood lighting system which produces a 100 degree beam angle. There are special modes such as Location Beacon, SOS and Strobe.
The peak beam intensity given is 8750 Candela and the maximum beam distance is 187 metres. There are 5 brightness modes being Turbo, High, Medium, Low and UltraLow. Turbo gives 1800 lumens for 30 minutes, High gives 780 lumens for 1 hour and 45 minutes, Medium gives 240 lumens for 5 hours and 45 minutes, Low gives 70 lumens for 16 hours and 30 minutes and UltraLow gives 1 lumen for 330 hours.
The HC33 features Advanced Temperature Recognition that regulates the output as per the adaptation to the environment characteristics.
This headlamp is waterproof rated IP68. This is the rating most phones dont have nowadays. It can be immersed in water at a depth of 2 metres. This head lamp is also impact resistant up to a metre.
This headlamp can be removed and used as a handheld L shaped flashlight. It has a magnetic tail cap that is greatly useful for storage and placing the light in handy areas. There is only one switch which makes it easier to operate while on the headband and
The recommended batteries for using this headlamp is NL1829LTHP for cold temperature operation. This headlamp weighs around 1.8 ounces and the dimensions being 4.14 inches in length and 1 inches in head size.
- Can be detached from the headband.
- Compatible with 18650’s and 2CR123A’s.
- Battery level indicator installed.
- Reverse Polarity Protection.
- There are some useful accessories offered too.
- The headband is not durable.
Brightest 18650 Headlamp – Brightest option
Olight is a technology company that is in the global range with one motto of not letting anyone stranded in the dark. Their products are all ANSI/NEMA FL1-2009 standards.
The H2R is the second entrant from Olight into this article. It comes from factory with a CREE XHP50 LED as standard. There are 5 brightness levels on store. The Level 1 has a lumen output of 2300 and a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. Level 2 has a 600 lumen output and a runtime of 2 hours and 30 minutes. Level 3 has 150 lumens for output and a runtime of 10 hours. Level 4 has a lumen output of 30 lumens and a runtime of 50 hours. Level 5 has a lumen output of 1 lumen for a runtime of 45 days.
There is a SOS/Beacon mode too.
This headlamp is IPX8 waterproof rated which means immersion under water for a depth of 2 metres shouldn’t be a problem.
The maximum beam distance of this flashlight is around 153 metres. The peak beam intensity is around 5850 candela. The beam is a wide hotspot type suited for close up illumination. The lens used is Total Internal Reflection lens and the beam angle is 90 degrees.
The battery included is a customised 18650. The charging is done by a magnetic Charging Cable with a USB at the other end. So most of the power banks and the cell phone chargers should be sufficient for charging.
This headlamp weighs around 2.26 ounces and the dimensions are 4.33 inches in length and 0.95 inches in head diameter and 0.91 inches in body diameter.
- Lanyard and a pocket clip are included as accessories.
- Detachable from the headlamp.
- Rechargeable with MCC technology.
- Heats up too much.
- A bit on the heavier side.
Brightest Larger Flashlight
This flashlight is the third entrant from Olight to this article. The R50 Seeker was designed with inputs and requests from the Law Enforcement. This is a redesigned version of the original.
This is fitted with a CREE XLamp XHP70 LED with a cool white tint which is incredibly powerful. The lens is slightly concave and there is an orange peel reflector fitted in for a wide and smooth beam output. The peak beam intensity is around 15600 Candelas and the maximum beam distance is about 250 metres.
There is a lockout and low power indicator available. The setup is a side switch layout.
This flashlight uses a customized 26650 battery. The lightform is a standard hotspot. It is rechargeable through a Magnetic Charging Cable. There are 4 lighting levels. The first output is 3200 lumens for an output of 2 hours and 30 minutes. The second output is 1500 lumens for an output of 2 hours and 40 minutes. The third level is 400 lumens for a runtime of 7 hours and 30 minutes. The level 4 is 60 lumens for a runtime of 50 hours. There is also a strobe mode included.
This flashlight is IPX8 waterproof rated which means that it can withstand a immersion in water up to 2 metres.
This flashlight weighs about 9.3 ounces and the dimensions are 5.03 inches in length and 1.65 inches in diameter.
- There is a battery level indicator available.
- Magnetic tailcap for easy placing.
- Reliability is still a concern.
- A bit on the heavier side.
Brightest 4 x 18650
Olight is familiar name for everyone who reached till this point of this article. They just seem to have lighting solutions for every type of customer. This is the fourth entrant from Olight to this article. The model in question is the Marauder X7. This is a model that rakes up some impressive set of numbers.
This flashlight uses 3 CREE XHP70 LED’s with 12 emitter cores. The tint is cool white. The maximum beam distance is 313 metres and the peak beam intensity is 24500 candelas. The light form is a standard hotspot diameter.
There are 6 brightness modes. Level 1 has a 9000 lumen output for 2.5 minutes and regulates to 1800 lumens for a runtime of 3 hours and 20 minutes, level 2 gives out an output of 5500 lumens which regulate to 1800 lumens for a runtime of 3 hours and 25 minutes, level 3 gives out 3000 lumens for 32 minutes and then regulates down to 1800 for 3 hours and 20 minutes, level 4 gives out 1000 lumens for 6 hours and 30 minutes, level 5 gives out 300 lumens for 18 hours and level 6 gives out 3 lumens for 30 days. There is also a strobe mode.
This sports a side switch. This flashlight is IPX8 water resistant which means immersions of upto 2 metres will not affect it in anyway. This flashlight weighs about 16.64 ounces and the dimensions are length of 5 inches, a head diameter of 2.7 inches and a body diameter of 2.04 inches.
- Competitively priced.
- Reliability is doubtful.
- No lanyard provision.
The Brightest Flashlight Ever
Imalent is a sub-company created by Guang Tong technology HK International Ltd. that specializes in a variety of illumination products. They are located in Shenzhen, China.
The Imalent earns its place into this article as it is the brightest ever flashlight. Its output figures are beyond belief. The tagline for this flashlight is, “End of Darkness.” It is fitted with 8 2nd generation CREE XHP70 LED’s which have a lifespan of about 50,000 hours. There are 5 brightness modes. The runtimes and outputs are as follows. The high mode gives out 13000 lumens for 8 minutes and then regulates to 7000 lumens for 120 minutes, the middle high mode gives out 5000 lumens for 2 hours and 9 minutes, the middle mode gives out 1500 lumens for 7 hours, the middle low gives out 500 lumens for 22 hours and the low mode gives out 120 lumens for 60 hours. The turbo mode gives out a burst of 32000 lumens.
The maximum beam distance is about 806 metres. The peak beam intensity is about 162600 candela. It has a Intelligent Temperature Control module which regulates the output according to the temperature of the flashlight’s body.
The reflector used is a OP reflector and the lens is a toughened ultra clear mineral and anti-reflective coating glass.
This flashlight has been built with aerospace grade aluminum alloy body with a premium type III hard anodized wear resistant surface finish. This flashlight is impact resistant to up to 1.5 metres and it is also IPX8 waterproof rated which means it is capable of working fine even after a 2 meter depth water immersion.
This flashlight features a built in battery pack with 8 18650 Li-ion batteries to provide the massive light source. It can be charged via Standard 19V-2A charger with a charging time of about 3 hours.
The flashlight weighs about 42 ounces and it is 8.4 inches long and 3.7 inches in diameter.
- Has a OLED display for monitoring various parameters.
- Extremely bright.
- Rechargeable along with the flashlight without removing the batteries.
- A bit cumbersome and needs time to get used to.
Thrunite is a company founded by David Chen who was a school dropout in the year 2009. This company is based in the Guangdong province in South China. Thrunite has been making high quality products that will help its customers guide throughout the night and hence the name, Thrunite. Thrunite Ti3 is a EDC pocket flashlight that has been designed in such a way that it can fit almost all pockets and can also be fitted to keychains. The flashlight has been manufactured with Aero Grade Aluminum which is hard anodized and has knurlings to prevent slippage. It is also rated at IPX8 waterproof.
This flashlight makes use of a CREE XP-G2 R5 LED which has a lifespan of over 20 years. The beam distance is around 50 metres. The peak beam intensity is around 625 Candela.
This flashlight is very tiny with the dimensions being 2.7 inches long and 0.5 inches in diameter. This is a very small flashlight and can take one AAA battery as the power source. The run time is around 115 hours in the lowest output and 0.5 hours in the highest output. This has a hidden strobe mode in it which is used to disorient enemies and can also be used as a signalling mode.
This flashlight weighs around 0.42 ounces without the battery. This is a twist to ON flashlight.
- Can be used as a keychain light.
- The contact points are weakly built and don’t provide the best of performance.
- The keychain ring is made poorly.
This is the second entrant from the company, Thrunite to this list. This company is definitely worth the check out as they have some extremely compact flashlights in their product lineup that might be your next EDC flashlight. This model, the Ti4 is the successor or the next in line to the previous flashlight in the article which was the Ti3.
This flashlight has a penlight style to it. It still is very compact and can be used as a EDC.
This flashlight is equipped with the same CREE XP-G2 LED as the Ti3 and has a lifespan of over 20 years with regular use. The peak beam intensity of this light is around 1120 Candela and the beam distance is around 67 metres. This flashlight is manufactured with aero grade aluminum and it is impact resistant upto 2 metres. The Ti4 is waterproof rated with IPX8 and the body is premium type III anti-abrasive hard anodized with a finish.
This flashlight needs 2 AAA batteries to take care of its appetite for power. The runtimes tested with 2 Ni-MH batteries are given as follows. In the lowest output of 0.3 lumens, the runtime is 137 hours and in the highest output of 252 lumens, the runtime is 51 minutes.
This flashlight is pretty compact with its dimensions being 5.2 inches long and the face diameter being 0.6 inches. It weighs 0.7 ounces without the batteries.
- Extremely compact.
- According to the customer reviews, the batteries are drained out very quickly.
- The tail switch is weak and breaks off easily.
This is the third entrant to this article from Thrunite. We think that says it all. This company seems to have a flashlight for just about every customer. The Neutron 2A is very versatile. It has the unusual ability of working on either on one AA or two AA batteries. This flashlight also has reverse polarity protection incase of a wrongly done battery installation.
This flashlight has been manufactured with aero grade aluminum with Premium Type III Hard Anodized anti-abrasive finish. This flashlight is impact resistant upto 2 metres and it is also waterproof rating of IPX8.
This flashlight is equipped with a CREE XM-L2 U2 LED that has a capacity of 408 lumens for 90 minutes on one AA battery and a capacity of 730 lumens for 212 minutes in turbo mode. The beam distance produced with one battery is 120 metres and the peak beam intensity is 3600 Candela and the beam distance produced with 2 batteries is 164 metres and 6800 Candela.
There is a memory function that would make sure that you start the last mode you used when you switched it on again except for Firefly and Turbo modes.
- A number of accessories are included like lanyard, holster and spare O-rings as standard.
- Easy to use switch gear.
- The contact points on the Extension tube tend to loosen up after heavy usage.
The zebralight SC5 is an extremely compact flashlight. It can easily be used as an Everyday Carry light due to its tiny proportions. Even though this light is small, it can produce some high amounts of light very easily. This flashlight also has a step down feature that lowers the light output according to the power level of the battery so that you get the most out of the flashlight. Some flashlights switch off completely when the power level goes down to a point. But the SC5 can keep going.
The runtimes have been tested with Panasonic Eneloop Pro AA Batteries with parasitic drain estimated. The parasitic drain is measured to be 2.4 uA. Hence your battery will discharge way lesser when it is in the flashlight than it is kept stored. All the light outputs given are Out Of The Front (OTF) values. The highest output this flashlight is capable of is 535 lumens for 3 minutes and then will regulate to 325 lumens to a total of 0.8 hours. The lowest lumen output would be 0.1 and the runtime is 4 months. A flashlight with a drained battery is just of no use in a demanding situation. This flashlight makes sure that the user gets every single percentage of the power left in it.
This flashlight has been manufactured with Premium grade aluminum with type III hard anodized finish. The electricals in the torch are potted to make them shock resistant and this flashlight is also IPX7 waterproof rated.
The dimensions of this flashlight is an added bonus. It is 3.2 long and 1 inch in diameter. The SC5 weighs 2.75 ounces without the battery.
- Has a lot of modes and a easy cycle through feature.
- Extremely compact.
- Soft Touch switch is not reliable.
Thrunite is a popular company from China that specializes in compact well built flashlights that can be used as Everyday Carriables. You might be puzzled as to why this flashlight is re-appearing again in this list. That is due to its split personality. It can work with one or two AA batteries. This is definitely the brightest flashlight in the ‘uses 2 AA batteries’ class. This knack makes it enter twice in the same article. Thanks to the extension tube, this flashlight is able to achieve this awesome feat.
This flashlight can produce some impressive figures. With the power source of 2 batteries this flashlight can give out a hefty 730 lumens.
This flashlight uses aero grade aluminum with premium type III hard anodized finish to make sure it is durable.
The Neutron gives 5 light modes to choose from. They are Moonlight, Turbo which gives a high surge of lumen output for a short amount of time and the High, Medium and Low light levels for different brightness. When the extension tube is attached to accommodate the extra battery, the dimension of this flashlight changes to 5.7 inches. The lowest lumen output is 0.04 lumens for 288 lumens.
- Extension tube gives a distinct split personality to the device.
- Well priced.
- The addition of the extension tube reduces compactness.