There are many flashlights out there on the market currently. By now we all know the benefits of carrying flashlights and how important they are in our everyday lives. Even though we have a variety of flashlights to choose from, we may still be puzzled on which ones the best suites us.
A 18650 Flashlight comes in handy and convenient to use. What sets it apart from other flashlights is the efficiency of its 18650 Li-Ion battery. Its long lifespan and ability to be recharged ensures you always have the brightest flashlight on your hands at all times. It might be quite challenging buying a 18650 flashlight because not all the modes in the market are of good quality.
Most flashlights break down after few weeks of use and fail at the most inappropriate moments. This guide should help you avoid this frustration by providing detailed reviews on the 7 best 18650 flashlights you should consider.
Things to consider before buying a 18650 flashlight
If in any case you are wondering why you should choose an 18650 flashlight. This guide will highlight why it is different and a better type than all the other types of flashlights. One of the best reasons that stay on top of all is the durability and ability to be recharged. This functionality comes in handy for people on the move, professionals at work, rescue missions, camping and many other outdoor and indoor activities.
A single 18650 battery has proved to be more powerful than 3 to 4 AA batteries of the highest voltage. It also outputs the highest volts of 3.7 which is three times the amount of watt-hours on the same capacity. It is also almost 4 times powerful than standard AA batteries on the highest capacity. In addition to all the mentioned merits, the 18650 has the same length as 2 x CR123A batteries therefore can be interchanged. Its size also has a great size to the capacity ratio which makes it superior to similar sized batteries.
With the number of flashlights in the market, it is even more difficult to select the most appropriate 18650 flashlights. Manufacturers have cluttered their products with the most alluring words with the aim of selling. This guide will save you time by guiding you on things to consider before buying a 18650 flashlight.
Run Time: This refers to the time a flashlight takes while lighting before it power drops to 10% of the rated output. The runtime usually depends on a given light mode, some modes are brighter than others thus using more power than others. A higher run time while on the brighter mode the better the flashlight.
Bulb Type: LED bulbs are mostly preferred as they have a longer lifespan and are more efficient than the normal incandescent bulbs.
Output/Lumens: This is simple a measure of light output. It refers to the intensity of light on the highest brightness setting while on new batteries. They vary greatly from 20 lumens to (The lowest light enough to read) to a blazing 3500 or higher lumens (enough light to cause blindness). Lumens depend on the flashlight usage/purpose.
Application: This is basically how far the light beam will travel before it starts to diminish. It is also referred as “flashlight throw”. Depending on the brightness mode, the beam distance will vary. Consider selecting a flashlight that best suits your usage e.g. choose a longshot with a narrow beam for rescue missions, flood light for camping and hiking purposes or a flashlight with different color modes for hunting.
Beam Type: Most flashlights have three types of the beam: spot, flood and adjustable. Other names that may be used to refer to this beams are focused for spot and fixed for a flood. Flood beams can be used for simple tasks like walking or camping because they have a single beam. The spotlights in other words have a condensed beam which allows it to travel for distance. The adjustment beams allow adjustment of the width between spot and flood.
Budget: You don’t always need the most expensive flashlight in the market. When you are on a hunt for a flashlight that can power outages and light uses at night, it is always advisable you choose a durable inexpensive high lumen flashlight. Many flashlight that use specialty batteries are expensive than the normal AA battery ones.
6 best 18650 flashlights
ThruNite TN12 EDC LED Flashlight
This ThruNite TN12 EDC LED Flashlight model was updated in 2014 with a new emitter, higher max output, and a new dual-switch interface. It has dimensions that are fairly compact making it a lightweight flashlight compared to others in the same class. It hard-anodized with type III anti-abrasive matte finish that ensures protection from external damages.
It provides excellent grip with its reasonable aggressive knurling on the body and tail clip. This small beveled flashlight can be turned on/off through a switch by simply clicking and releasing constantly. It also provides different modes that can be activated by twisting (loosening or tightening) its head.
Weight: 86g (without batteries)
Dimensions: 143mm long and 25.4mm diameter
Lowest Setting: 0.3 lumens/ 1585hrs
Highest Setting: 11050 lumens/ 90min
The ThruNite TN12 EDC LED Flashlight is perfect for all users who consider having a flashlight. This is because it has different light modes and can be used almost in any situation. It is simple to use and guarantees a longer lifespan than most flashlights in the same class.
PowerTac X3000 3000 Lumen LED Flashlight
This revised heavy duty PowerTac X3000 3000 Lumen LED Flashlight has 3 dedicated colored XP-E emitters which include (red, green and blue). It also has Gen II sports 3x XM-L2 emitters that features innovative USB out ports which are suitable for charging small-hand held devices. The indicator at the bottom of the head indicated the currently selected mode. The modes can be selected by twisting either clockwise or anti-clockwise.
It comes with build in battery pack 4X2600mAh 18650 cells that cannot be accessed by users but can be charged through the base with a barrel plug connector or with a USB device. This is a smart feature that has been attempted by other manufactures. When charging users can know the status of the charger through a status indicator located at the far end of the tailcap.
Weight: 723g (without battery)
Dimensions: 177mm long and 50mm diameter
Lowest Setting: 500 Lumens – 7 hrs.
Highest Setting: 3000 Lumens – 1.5 hrs.
If you don’t mind spending extra bucks for a powerful, reliable, unique flashlight this is a flashlight that you need to check out for. It is best suited for professionals, Emergency responders, hunters and diehard persons who cannot live without flashlights. The unique GRB feature and it the various modes make this light extremely versatile. The user interface is unique and provides the best user experience.
NiteCore p16 TAC 1000 Lumens
The Nitecore P16 TAC is an upgrade from the Nitecore MT26. It is a high intensity, compact, bright flashlight designed to be the ultimate tactical flashlight. The compact design of this flashlight allows a one-handed operation using either the tactical tail switch or the side switch to adjust through three special modes and four special brightness levels.
This tactical flashlight is powered by either 1 x 18650 battery or 2x CR123A batteries making it lightweight and suitable for everyday carry. It comes with a rugged body construction and very high waterproof rating making it safe in all weather conditions. It is also optimized internally to absorb recoil when it is mounted on a firearm.
Weight: 136g (without battery)
Dimensions: 150mm long and 25.4mm diameter
Lowest Setting: 1 lumen – 600 hours
Highest Setting: 1000 lumens – 1hour 15minutes
The Nitecore P16 TAC is a durable flashlight that comes in handy when you need a bright light with multiple adjustments for specific missions. It lighter and has more features. The side switch makes it even easier to operate when changing light levels.
It can easily be turned on/off using the tail switch and has memory capability to remember last brightness and strobe settings. It is suitable for weapon mounting and compatible with many Nitecore accessories including the GM02 gun mount and the RSW1 pressure switch.
Fenix PD35 TAC Tactical Flashlight – CREE XP-L LED 1000 Lumen
The Fenix PD35 TAC is a tactical edition flashlight and an advancement from the Fenix PD35. It has innovative user features that have enhanced its tactical capability. It is one of the bestselling flashlights on the market.
It is a higher performer, lightweight and a compact flashlight that features a maximum output of 1000 lumens and has an impressive beam distance of up to 655 feet. It features two general modes: the tactical mode and the outdoor modes. In the outdoor mode, it delivers 6 output modes and delivers simplified and faster operation in tactical mode.
Weight: 87g (without battery)
Dimensions: 139mm long and 24mm diameter
Lowest Setting: 8 Lumens (140 hr.)
Highest Setting: 1000 Lumens (1 hr., 10 min.)
This product qualifies to be the best seller as it carries the most significant functionalities. One of the functionality that comes in handy in the Fenix PD35 TAC is the tactical mode and the Outdoor mode. This can be easily simplified as essentially two lights in one.
It is a powerful tactical flashlight, easy to operate, best size, versatile and has an excellent build quality. It simply delivers the best value for your money. One merit that exceeds user’s expectations is its build inability to keep consistent intensity as the battery runs down.
Outlite A100 Tactical Flashlight
The Outlite A100 is an affordable and multi-functional LED flashlight with a strong high-quality body. It is designed to be used in many different situations because of its versatile functionalities. It is a budget-friendly, good quality, multifunctional flashlight designed professionally to satisfy the users.
It is a versatile and reliable flashlight designed with different light modes to accommodate whatever situation one might find themselves in. It comes with and extremely bright beam and variety of light modes, making it the best choice for anyone in the military, police or security.
Weight: 150g (without battery)
Dimensions: 130mm long and 26mm diameter
Lowest Setting: 100 Lumens (7hrs.)
Highest Setting: 900 Lumens (4hrs.)
The Outlite A100 is an affordable LED flashlight that is durable and with solid construction makes it a great choice for outdoors. Despite the fact that it is not waterproof it still can withstand being dropped several times.
It comes with batteries unlike many flashlights out there. The different output modes and adjustable zoom make the Outlite A100 flexible for most situations, especially for hiking and camping.
Ledlenser M7R Rechargeable Multi-function LED Flashlight
The Ledlenser M7R is a unique tactical flashlight with more to offer with its small size and lightweight. This multi-functional, rechargeable torch comes with 10 micro-chip control options. With a durable anodized aluminum body, it features two energy modes and eight light options.
It comes with a patented advanced focus system, able to project universally consistent light from flood to spot. All this can be switched with a single-handed speed focus. The Ledlenser M7R is supplied in a hard original case, Main charger, wall-mounts, and 360 degrees belt and wrist strap.
Weight: 200g (without battery)
Dimensions: 153mm long and 29.5mm diameter
Lowest Setting: 27 Lumens (20hrs.)
Highest Setting: 210 Lumens (3hrs.)
The M7R is a highly rated high performer and an environmentally friendly flashlight that can be used in all situations. It has the ability to be recharged and uses an integrated floating charge system that is unique. This is the best contact chargers in the word today that enables the battery to be charged without the need to remove it from the main housing.