One of the most important things to look for in a flashlight is brightness. In most cases, you want the brightest flashlight for your budget, don’t you? However, brightness varies greatly by the type and size of a flashlight. Today, LED lights are very common that can be quite bright, but there are other options as well. If you are looking for the brightest flashlight, the first feature to look into is lumens.
- 1 What is Brightness?
- 2 Why Brightness is Important When Buying Flashlights?
- 3 What to Look for in a Brightest Flashlight?
- 4 The 16 Best Brightest Flashlights By Types
- 4.1 Brightest Tactical Flashlight – Fenix PD35 TAC Edition 1000 Lumen CREE XP-L LED Tactical Flashlight
- 4.2 Brightest LED Flashlight – Klarus Upgraded XT11GT LED Compact Flashlight
- 4.3 Brightest Flashlight on the Market – ThruNite TN36 Limited Version
- 4.4 Brightest Rechargeable Flashlight – OLIGHT R50 Pro Seeker Rechargeable LED Flashlight
- 4.5 Brightest AA Flashlight – ThruNite Archer 2A V3 LED Flashlight
- 4.6 Brightest Keychain Flashlight – SureFire Titan Ultra-Compact LED Keychain Light
- 4.7 Brightest Pocket Flashlight – BYB F18 LED Rechargeable Flashlight
- 4.8 Smallest Brightest Flashlight – Super Bright 9 LED Mini Aluminum Flashlight
- 4.9 Brightest Pen Flashlight – Streamlight 66121 Stylus Pro PenLight with White LED and Holster
- 4.10 Best Handheld Flashlight – Anker Ultra-Bright Tactical Flashlight
- 4.11 Brightest Police Flashlight – Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL Weapon Mount Tactical Flashlight
- 4.12 Brightest EDC Flashlight – LUMINTOP AA 2.0 EDC Flashlight
- 4.13 Brightest 18650 Flashlight – Thorfire 18650 Flashlight
- 4.14 Brightest AAA Flashlight – PeakPlus Super Bright LED Tactical Flashlight
- 4.15 Military Brightest Flashlight – SureFire P2X Fury Tactical Single-Output LED Flashlight
- 4.16 Brightest UV Flashlight – Escolite UV Flashlight Black Light
- 5 Conclusion
What is Brightness?
Brightness represents the intensity of light. Here are the important factors to look into when brightness is your preference.
- Lumens: In a flashlight, brightness is measured in lumens, or the light it offers. A lumen refers to a unit of light. In most cases, it is the measure of the highest brightness output offered by the flashlight.
For example, if the flashlight says 800 lumens, this means, this is the highest brightness it offers. In most flashlights, you can find options to lower the brightness to make it more multi-purpose.
Generally, the more amount of lumens your flashlight has, the brighter the light would be. Any flashlight with a brightness of 500 lumens or more qualifies as highly bright. Anything over 1000 is considered as ultra-bright.
Lumens can also be calculated corresponding with the watts. For instance, an LED light of 9 to 13 Watts would emit a brightness of 1100 lumens. There is another term you should be familiar with: Candela. Candela is the unit used to measure the intensity of the beam.
- Beam Distance: Lumens is not the only thing that makes your flashlight brightest, you also need to look into the beam distance, or how far the light can travel. The beam distance is the distance that the light covers until it diminishes to the level of full moon brightness.
- Run Time: Another aspect of brightness you should keep in mind is the runtime. Obviously, higher brightness uses up more power so the runtime of the flashlight would reduce. In most cases, you would be able to keep it ON longer at low brightness. This is why if you are buying a highly bright flashlight, make sure to double check its battery’s runtime.
Why Brightness is Important When Buying Flashlights?
Brightness is, of course, one of the most important things to consider when buying a flashlight. Brightness directly depends on your flashlight needs. If you just want a flashlight to keep in your house or perhaps take on camping, you can do with average brightness (around 500 lumens). However, if you are a cop or rescue worker, you need the brightest and most reliable flashlight.
What to Look for in a Brightest Flashlight?
When buying a flashlight, brightness is not the only thing you should look for. There are other things to consider as well that will ensure that you get the bang for your buck. Here is what you should look for in a flashlight:
Type of Batteries: There are many different kinds of batteries, some more powerful than others. You can recharge some as well which is much more convenient and economical. In flashlights, you will most commonly find AA, AAA, and Li-ion batteries.
The more powerful the battery is, the higher the runtime of flashlight even with high brightness.
Flashlight Bulbs: While LEDs are more common nowadays, there are several types of bulbs including incandescent and High-Intensity Discharge (HID).
Beam Type: This is how the flashlight disperses the light. These include flood or fixed, that offers a single beam width. The second option is a spot or focused beam, that penetrates to a long distance in the form of a condensed, single beam. Most modern flashlights also allow you to adjust light beam from wide to focused.
Design and Weight: The design should meet your purpose. Ideally, it should be lightweight. A heavy flashlight is only going to make it difficult to use it.
Ergonomics: It should be comfortable to hold for hours and have a strong grip so that you do not drop it.
Water-resistance: Another thing to consider is water-resistance, especially if you are going to use the flashlight under rainy conditions. You need to look into IPX system ratings to check on the water-resistance of the flashlight.
IPX 4 means you can use it in rain, but not under water. IPX7 and IPX8 are both submersion ratings, which means you can use the flashlight underwater. For IPX7, it will work for half an hour, while for IPX8, it will work for four hours.
The 16 Best Brightest Flashlights By Types
Here are the brightest flashlights in different categories:
Brightest Tactical Flashlight – Fenix PD35 TAC Edition 1000 Lumen CREE XP-L LED Tactical Flashlight
The Fenix PD35 TAC Edition Flashlight gives a brightness of up to 1000 lumens. It is an LED flashlight powered by lithium-ion batteries with a life-span of over 50,000 hours. It requires one 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery or two of the CR123A 3V Li-ion batteries. Both of these are included with the flashlight, along with Fenix ARE-X1 charger for the battery.
The tactical turbo mode gives 1000 lumens of brightness and lasts for an hour and ten minutes. You can use this light to disorient temporary blind your attacker. The low mode gives 60 lumens and lasts for over 29 hours on a fully charged battery. There three more outdoor modes with varying lumen outputs that include:
- High: 500 lumens
- Mid: 200 lumens
- Eco: 8 lumens
It has a slip-resistant body with high-quality construction. There is a low-voltage reminder feature to alert about battery charging. It has a waterproof IPX 8 rating and can be used underwater up to six and a half feet deep for about 30 minutes.
- Control over brightness
- Clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating
- Compact and lightweight (0.89 gram without batteries)
- May get hot when turned on continuously for hours
Brightest LED Flashlight – Klarus Upgraded XT11GT LED Compact Flashlight
You know you are getting the brightest LED flashlight when the output is 2000 lumens. Klarus XT11GT is a powerful tactical flashlight that offers you superbly bright output with many handy features. It uses CREE XHP35 HD E4 LED with one of the most advanced LED technologies in the world. With rechargeable batteries, it is going to last a lifetime.
You can also find a battery capacity indicator. The modern design features two switches, one on the tail and one on the side which are easy to access. The flashlight comes with a pocket clip, car and wall adapter, a 18650 IMR battery, and a USB mini light.
- Highly bright output
- Easy to use
- Well-designed body
- Many accessories
- USB recharged
- A bit too advanced for regular use
Brightest Flashlight on the Market – ThruNite TN36 Limited Version
This is like a stadium light in your hand. With a brightness of 11000 lumens and a throw of 386 yards, it is one of the brightest flashlights out there. It features triple CREE XHP70B LEDs packed in a small body – as small as a soda can. It is just 5.24 inches in length and 2.52 inches in diameter, yet the most powerful in terms of brightness.
The brightness can be adjusted by long pressing the button. Simply press the button twice to turn the turbo mode ON that emits 11000 lumens. It is a smart flashlight that remembers the last mode expect a few high-power modes. Even in turbo mode, it can give up to 85 minutes of light. It comes with a holster, battery carrier, lanyard, and spare side switch cap.
It runs on four IMR 18650 batteries. The weight of this flashlight is just 14.6 oz. As for the color of the LEDs, it is cool white.
- Extremely bright
- Durable and waterproof
- Long battery life
- No adjustable light zoom
Brightest Rechargeable Flashlight – OLIGHT R50 Pro Seeker Rechargeable LED Flashlight
For those who don’t want to change batteries after every few days, the best option is to buy a rechargeable flashlight, like the OLIGHT R50 Pro Seeker Rechargeable LED Flashlight.
It comes with powerful rechargeable batteries that include 26650 4500mAh lithium battery that offers an impressive runtime. You can use a magnetic USB charging cable to charge it. It also features a battery indicator that tells you when to recharge batteries.
This flashlight from OLIGHT has a maximum output of 3200 lumens. There are four brightness levels: turbo, high, medium, and low. These levels give 3200, 1200, 400, and 60 lumens respectively. It can run for up to 50 hours on low brightness and 150 minutes on turbo level.
It features Cree XHP70 cool white LEDs and multi-function side switch. Instantly turns on turbo and strobe mode when the access switch is double-clicked. It is designed for professional use, for example, search and rescue work. The package also includes batteries, magnetic charging cable, power adapter, LumenTac adapter, and a holster.
This flashlight has a very firm grip. Its beam distance is 273 yards. Weighing just 9.42 ounces without the battery, it is super light. It may just work great underwater too as it is waterproof with an IPX8 rating.
- Highly comfortable and easy to use
- Quick brightness adjustment
- Multiple charging options
- Durable and ergonomic body
- A bit overpriced
Brightest AA Flashlight – ThruNite Archer 2A V3 LED Flashlight
The ThruNite Archer 2A V3 LED flashlight is the brightest AA battery run flashlight you can buy online. It is economical both in terms of battery usage and price. Whether you need it for your job or some activity like camping or search operation, this should come in quite handy. Its highest brightness level is 500 lumens which is quite high for an AA powered flashlight.
It is a sleek-design flashlight made from airplane-grade aluminum and finished with the hard anodized anti-abrasive finish. The company claims it has over ten years of shelf life and backs it by a limited lifetime warranty.
It has a two button operation: a tail switch and a side button. One is used for on/off and the other for mode adjustment.
Since it is so compact and sleek, it is super lightweight. The weight of this flashlight is merely over 2 ounces. The length is 155 mm, and bezel diameter is 22 mm.
- Long-lasting LEDs
- Durable and waterproof flashlight
- Easy to use
- No charging required
- Limited beam distance
Brightest Keychain Flashlight – SureFire Titan Ultra-Compact LED Keychain Light
The SureFire Titan LED Keychain flashlight is perhaps the world’s brightest flashlight. It is a regulated LED that has a maximized output of 300 lumens. There are three levels of brightness: 15, 75, and 300 lumens.
The faceted reflector of this flashlight can create a broader beam to match the view field of your eyes. The modes can be switched with the head switch which makes it easy to use. It is powered by one AAA NiMH battery that can be recharged.
It features a removable pocket clip that can be used to attach it with a key ring. It is made from the high-quality aluminum core. The body of the flashlight is nickel-plated brass which is strong and highly durable.
- Compact and lightweight
- Highly bright for a small keychain flashlight
- Can stay on till 7 hours on low mode
- Highly portable
- No quick detach
Brightest Pocket Flashlight – BYB F18 LED Rechargeable Flashlight
The BYB F18 is a compact, pocket-sized rechargeable flashlight that is super bright. Its highest brightness is 800 lumens. However, there are few other modes as well that include medium, low, and ultra-low. The latter most can last up to 60 hours.
It is waterproof as well with a rating of IPX7. The body is made from military-grade aluminum and is scratch and impact resistant. The anti-slip grip makes it easy to hold it under any condition. It can easily fit in your pocket or a small backpack pocket. The metal clip makes it even better.
It is a rechargeable flashlight that takes about 4 hours to charge fully with 5V 1A USB output. There is a charging indicator light as well. Every component of this flashlight is of top-quality.
- Compact and portable
- Multiple brightness modes
- Long-lasting and rechargeable
- 18-month warranty
- Battery is built-in
Smallest Brightest Flashlight – Super Bright 9 LED Mini Aluminum Flashlight
These are tiny LED flashlights that are bright and can come in handy in many situations. In an emergency, camping, reading, searching or any other situation where you may need some light, these can come in very handy. The four-pack includes four different colors: black, blue, red, and silver. It uses three AAA batteries. The 9 LED light has a brightness of 30 lumens.
Even though it is so small, it has a decent beam distance of 20 feet. The tail cap has a switch button that serves as the on/off button. The diameter of the small flashlight is just one inch whereas the length is 3.5 inches. The hand straps are already attached to the flashlight which makes it easy to attach a keychain or to simply hang it on your finger.
- Extremely lightweight
- Can fit any pocket
- Decent brightness for a small light
- Batteries are not included
Brightest Pen Flashlight – Streamlight 66121 Stylus Pro PenLight with White LED and Holster
The Streamlight 66121 Stylus Pro pen flashlight is a stylish and efficient flashlight that produces a maximum output of 100 lumens. It is a tiny pen flashlight that can be carried in bag or pocket. It is roughly the size of a marker, but still offers a beam distance of 58 meters.
It is also waterproof and has an impact resistance of 2 meters. The pen clip can be removed although it is very helpful in clipping it to your pocket. Even though medical practitioners mostly use pen flashlights, this one is versatile enough to be used by anyone.
You will need two AAA batteries to power this flashlight which will last for about 6.5 hours. It is available in multiple colors (matte black, red, blue, and silver).
- Sleek pen design
- Portable and lightweight
- Made from high-quality aluminum
- A solid circle of light (useful for doctors and nurses)
- Will need battery replacements
Best Handheld Flashlight – Anker Ultra-Bright Tactical Flashlight
This is a hand-held bright flashlight from Anker giving an output of up to 1300 lumens. It features three Cree LED lights that provide a beam distance of over 1200 feet. The lifespan of these LEDs is over 50,000 hours which makes them pretty much useful for a lifetime. There are five different brightness settings: high, medium, low, SOS, and strobe.
The battery included in this light is a rechargeable 5000mAH battery. The USB cable for charging is included, but the adapter is not. It is waterproof at IP67 level and can stay lit underwater for up to 30 minutes. The anti-slip coating makes its grip strong and weather resistant. It takes full 8 hours to charge fully.
The wrist strap keeps it secure and safe from falling or slipping when you are holding it in your hand. You can also use the strap to hang the flashlight.
- Very long beam distance about the size of a football field
- Easy to use
- Long life
- Backed by 18-month warranty
- A bit heavy (1.05 pounds)
Brightest Police Flashlight – Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL Weapon Mount Tactical Flashlight
If you are a cop looking for a flashlight to mount on your weapon, the Streamlight 6920 TLR-1 HL is the brightest flashlight you can find. It features C4 LED that has a max brightness of 800 lumens and a beam distance of 245 meters. It can be attached to a variety of weapons. The single-hand snap on makes it easy to use.
It has a concentrated beam with optimal peripheral illumination. You should be able to see everything at the pointed position. It is made using aircraft-grade aluminum. The glass lens is also shock resistant that makes it durable. It is 3.39 inches in length and weighs only 4.18 ounces with batteries included.
It is IPX7 waterproof and can remain in water for 30 minutes. The batteries are two 3-volt CR123 lithium batteries. All in all, this one is a sturdy flashlight built for cops specifically.
- Well-made body
- Easy to attach without the hand in front of the muzzle
- High brightness and beam distance
- Long-lasting (10-year storage life)
- Battery life is not quite long
Brightest EDC Flashlight – LUMINTOP AA 2.0 EDC Flashlight
The LUMINTOP AA 2.0 is a super bright every day carry flashlight. It has five different brightness modes with the highest brightness being 650 lumens. There is a;so a mode memory feature that remembers the last mode you had on. The company has used high-quality XPL-HD LED that promises up to 50,000 hours of operation.
With a waterproof rating of IP68, it can be submerged in water for about 6.5 feet. It is quite compact and uses just one AA battery. You can keep it in your bag or pin it to your pocket with the pens trip. The modes can be changed by the switching through the tail end switch.
It is also the lightest flashlight as it just weighs 0.83 ounces. You can keep it on your person without even feeling like you have a flashlight on you. The runtime depends on the battery you use.
- Extremely lightweight and compact
- Multiple modes that are easy to switch
- Great value for money
- Batteries not included
Brightest 18650 Flashlight – Thorfire 18650 Flashlight
The Thorfire 18650 battery powered flashlight is super bright. This one gives five modes: Firefly, low, medium, high, and turbo. The highest brightness from this flashlight is 1070 lumens, which is quite bright. On the other hand, the firefly mode only gives 0.5 lumens.
It requires just one 18650 battery and can give a very long running time. This tubular flashlight is just 4.8 inches in length. It is compact, portable, and lightweight. The weight is 2.78 ounces. On/off switch and mode change are all done by the tail switch. It automatically steps down from turbo mode after 3 minutes to prevent overheating the battery. It also remembers the last mode of the light.
- IPX7 waterproof
- Multiple levels of brightness
- Strong grip even in bad weather
- Stainless steel bezel
- Tail switch not quite easy to use
- The battery has to be purchased separately
Brightest AAA Flashlight – PeakPlus Super Bright LED Tactical Flashlight
The PeakPlus LED Tactical Flashlight comes in a whole kit. This includes a lithium-ion battery, a battery charger, a AAA battery holder, a case, and a manual. It can run on three AAA batteries or just one 18650 battery. This flashlight offers up to 800 lumens brightness. The beam range is 200 to 500 meters.
Even though it is not a high-end flashlight, it is heavy-duty, skid-proof, and waterproof. It has five brightness modes as well as a zoom feature. The zoom function throws intensive light up to 600 feet. It can also be used to throw light at a wide area. Made from high-quality aluminum alloy, it is impact and scratch resistant.
- Great value for money
- Very durable construction
- Ideal for professional use
- Zoom feature
- Long charge time of 8 hours
Military Brightest Flashlight – SureFire P2X Fury Tactical Single-Output LED Flashlight
It is one of the best and most powerful flashlights on the market. It has a single output of 600 lumens. The LED emitter is sturdy and regulated to maximize the output. On top of that, the micro-textured reflector optimizes the beam.
SureFire is a very popular company and this flashlight, in particular, is also quite popular. They serve as the official supplier to the military and navy. This flashlight illuminates the peripheral area. It is also quite easy to operate. The coated and tempered glass window helps optimize the light emission
It features a tail switch lockout which prevents accidental turn on. Made from aero-grade aluminum, this is a heavy-duty and impact-resistant flashlight. The company gives a 90-day guarantee for their flashlights.
- Sturdy construction
- Optimized brightness
- Designed for military use
- Compact and can fit in a pocket
- Long-lasting battery
- Quite expensive
Brightest UV Flashlight – Escolite UV Flashlight Black Light
The Escolite UV Flashlight features 51 LEDs that cover a large area. If you are looking for a UV flashlight that cuts through bright lights, this is the one you are looking for. It works on three AA batteries. It is a high lumens UV flashlight that is 30% brighter than the usual flashlights. You will be able to see every hidden stain.
It gives a runtime of 4 to 6 hours on a full battery. A compact, 4.5 V flashlight that is made from high-quality materials. It can be used for a variety of purposes where you may need ultraviolet light. Also, using it is a breeze as there is just a single button.
- Bright UV light
- Easy to use
- Good value for money
- Should not be used with rechargeable batteries
These are the top choices for bright flashlights. This list is exhaustive as it covers nearly every purpose for a flashlight from everyday use to military use. Some of these are quite expensive while others are cheap and offer great value for money.
It just comes down to your need and budget. If used properly, these should last a long time. When a flashlight is not in regular use, it is best to take out the batteries as they may damage the flashlight.