I’ve recently, thanks to my father-in-law, have become a flashlight enthusiast and set out to find the brightest flashlight money can buy. Before I started my research, I figured a flashlight couldn’t cost more than a $100 and was shocked to find lights that run more than $2,000!
Below you’ll not only find the brightest flashlight at the most affordable price, but also an unbiased review of the brightest flashlights broken down into three prices ranges, less than $50, less than $500 and more than $500.
First, understand that Lumen is the measure of total light output falling on a surface of one square foot. Many people ask how to convert between candelas to lumen and it’s not possible to make a direct conversion, there are just too many factors. For example, here is a description of lumen:
A lumen is the quantity of light energy per unit time arriving, leaving or going through a surface. The unit of luminous flux is the lumen (lm). A dinner candle shines at about 12 lumens. If a uniform point source of 1 candela is at the center of a sphere of 1-foot radius, which has an opening of 1 square foot area at its surface, the quantity of light that passes through is called a lumen. The sphere has a total surface area of 12.57 square feet. Since by definition, a lumen flows to each square foot of surface area, a uniform point of 1 candela produces 12.57 lumens. – See book by Lauren B. Sickles-Taves, ISBN 0803126069, 9780803126060, page 35.
From the description above, one might think that a 1 million candle power flashlight would be 12,570,000 Lumens (1,000,000 x 12.57), not the case. A 1 million candle power spotlight may seem bright, but if the beam of light it puts out is only as big as a laser pen, then it’s not much use; the size of the beam is very important.
Imagine a dark room and a small beam of sunlight coming through a little hole in the door; think of the beam as candlepower with not much lumen (ability to light up the room). A small lamp on the table would light up the room far more than the beam of sunlight. That lamp has high lumens, but modest candlepower. Look at the difference between the 1 and 20 million lights below and you’ll notice the higher candle power doesn’t mean the lumens will increase proportionally.
Here are a few comparisons:
- A dinner candle provides about 12 lumens
- A 60-watt light bulb emits 730 lumens
- A 50-watt halogen lamp has about 900 Lumens
- A 100-watt incandescent bulb produces 1750 lumens
- A 40-watt cool white fluorescent produces 3150 lumens.
- A good LED flashlight produces around 150 lumens
- A 1 million candle power spotlight 580 lumens (VEC156BD)
- A 20 million candle power spotlight 3300 Lumens (VEC192)
A bit about Flashlight Blubs:
HIDs are bulbs that use a sustained electrical spark to create light. Very bright(and very efficient), can be focused really well as in can throw far) but requires a ballast which takes up space and is 10 Watts minimal. Smallest size I’ve seen them is around a normal 2D light size. You can choose from many different types, powers, color temperature and such. The lowest I’ve seen from a HID is around 500 lumen and highest goes over a million lumen. They usually have a longer life then an Incandescent bulb. Price is usually high though at over $100 for the cheaper ones. Usually powered by internal rechargeable batteries.
Incandescents, Halogen, Xenon, what ever that uses resistance from a thin wire to heat it self up to a glowing temperature to provide light I will group into incandescents. These are the most common, easiest to find lights. Efficiency is pretty low(compared to LEDs and HIDs) but it is found everywhere. There are also many powers to choose from(watts and lumen wise) but the max color temperature I’ve seen is in the high 3000ks(maybe 4000k). Sunlight is around 6000K. They give better color rendering then LEDs(things pop out more) but for the same output, have much shorter run time then LED or a HID for the same lumen. Many still use them for the color rendering or in hot wire mods (hot wire mods drive the lamps past their intended voltage and current for more output and a whiter light). They can give a good bit of throw(this depends more on the reflector then the emitting surface). The normal 2D incandescent light you see is around 15 lumen. Powered by all types of batteries, higher power ones use good rechargeable batteries.
LEDs give the best output to run time ratio for smaller lights. They can be dimmed without much change in tint unlike incandescent and HIDs (HIDs can be degraded faster by under or over driving). They have the longest life out of all the above two light sources. They come in a variety of different colors. They most common ones are the 5mm LEDs, you’ll need to use quite a few to equal one of the high power LEDs that most LED lights discussed here have and are hard to focus. They are very popular for smaller lights and many people here one at least one. The current gen of LEDs are the brightest ones out right now(they are the Cree XR-E P4-R2 bin, Seoul P4 U-V bin, Luxeon Rebel 80-100 bin, Luxeon TFFC 180 bin and up, Seoul P7 C bin). The better ones can easily hit over 200 lumen when driven within spec and can hit 300 if over driven. They are mainly powered by Li-ion batteries of various sizes, CR123s, and AA batteries. There are some that use other batteries. Many have multiple modes for longer run time, higher output, strobe and so on. Quote from candlepowerforums.com, an awesome resource for those looking to make their own high powered flashlight.
Brightest Hand Held Flashlight under $50
I recently purchased this Stanley FATMAX 2200 the kicks out 2,200 lumens at Walmart (7/30/2016) for $49.97. If you look online, there is one for $41.99, but notice that it say it’s goes up to 920 lumens – you want the one that says 2200 lumens!
The flashlight above came with a 12 volt AC Adapter, has a high and low beam, and can run up to 7 hours! I’ll be using this on my pontoon boat for fishing and at home for spotting wildlife. It does not have any repairable parts and comes with a build in Li-ION battery. This spotlight is amazing and you can’t beat the price – and if you’re not happy, you have Walmart’s no hassle return policy!
Outdated, but leaving for your review
The best deal I’ve found so far is the Dorcy 41-4269 which has 160 lumens and a high powered K2 Luxeon watt LED solid state diode that gives 12 hours of run time and will cost you around $25 There is also a Dorcy 41-4289 that kicks out 200 lumen, but your run time is a few hours. I like it because it uses standard batteries, inexpensive, bright and has a lightweight compact design and runs for about long time. Looking for something a little bigger? Twice the size but still lightweight and bright for about $30 is the Rayovac Sportsman Xtreme 4W LED 3C Flashlight (RAYSE4W3C) that produces 120 Lumen. It’s bigger than the the 3 Watt and powered by 3 C batteries. I should note that Remington Arms Company is offering a Remington High-Performance LED Headlight (RMHL4AA-B) (for your head) that puts out 150 lumens and they claim it is the brightest head light you can get. It runs about $50, has colored LED’s for night vision, and blood tracking (when hunting). It uses 4 AAA and runs 25 hours (low power) and 4 hours full power.
Remington Arms also offers a RM123A-B 150 lumens, 3W LED handheld flashlight, but it takes expensive 2 CR123A Lithium batteries.
Brightest Handheld Flashlight Under $500
Warning: Although very bright, these lights can generate enough heat to start a fire, so caution should be used and such flashlights should be stored out of reach of children! The Borealis burned a hole into a sheet of white paper in less than 60 seconds and the Torch melts a plastic cup in about the same time.
I found a ton of flashlights in this range but only one outshines the rest. Most were flashlights like the Streamlight Stinger LED Flashlight for $100 which boasted 80 lumens, but when you can get the sportsman extreme for $25 with the same lumens and smaller, why bother?
Another was the X7 Light Cannon with lumens output of 1068 (Model number: 8437) which takes Four D-Cells and costs $400. Expensive, but I love the run time on this light! The LED Lenser light engineered by Zwebruder Optoelectronics GmbH of Solingen, Germany and available in the USA from Coast Products of Portland, Oregon.
The one that stood out among the rest was the Borealis 1050 found at Black Bear Flashlights. This isn’t a small unit like the sports extreme 80 lumens, but it’s not big and clunky like a Spotlight. It’s the exact same size as a 3 D-cell Mag Light used by law enforcement (which by the way outputs only 82 lumens), but more powerful than those spotlights you see attached to police cars; in fact, this flashlight produces 1050 lumens – that’s 2 Million candle power!
The Borealis is so bright that it can burn a hole in paper in a little under 30 seconds; what I really like about the Borealis 1050 is the Spare ‘Safety Bulb’, a lower lumens bulb that not only makes this safe around children, but last even longer on every charge.
The Borealis not only holds the title of ‘Brightest light with longest runtime under $500’, but when used with the ‘Safety Bulb’, can also claim the ‘Brightest safe light on the market for under $500’. When you order, request that the ‘Safety Bulb’ be your spare. If you want the extra 1050 bulb as your spare, you can always buy the ‘Safety Bulb’; it’s only $10, is 500 lumens and still 6 times stronger than standard police issued flashlights!
The Borealis 1050 runs $260, has a run time of 50 minutes, is 12.5 inches long and weighs 28 oz. The batteries are rechargeable with a recharging capability of 1,000 times (That’s 833 hours of run time before another pack of $30 is needed). You can use your own charger or their RC fast charge for $48 which has two charge settings, 3 hour or 1/2 hour.
I have purchased one of these and I must tell you, it is fantastic! Find yourself walking in dark areas and need protection? The Borealis not only blinds your attacker, but can render them unconscious when used as a blunt weapon :)
Looking to cook eggs with your flashlight? Then the Torch is just the light; this flashlight generates 4100 lumens which is brighter than the 20 million candle power spotlight! (top right of first photo). As you can see in the video, it’s something that you don’t want your kids fooling around with and can start a fire in seconds! It uses a 100 watt halogen bulb and heat resistant glass that produces 4100 Lumens. Downside, the Torch lasts only 15 minutes at peak charge. Price is about $300.
The torch is the brightest flashlight you can buy for under $500 and gets so hot, that it can fry an egg in a matter of seconds.
Brightest flashlight in the world, and more than $500.
The Polarion PH50 ‘Helios’ HID Searchlight is (or appears to be) the brightest flashlight around – at $2,395, it better be! It puts out 5,200 lumens, runs 60 minutes, is very small and only takes 4 hours to charge! I couldn’t bring myself to spend the two grand necessary for testing, so I’ll just have to trust it’s really that bright :)
To my knowledge, the Helios PH50 is the brightest flashlight in the world and used by military personnel in operations home and abroad.
A bit about Spotlights
Spotlights are big and bulky, especially to 20 and 40 million candle power versions. When you get into spotlights, you need to factor in a few items, those being battery life and the ability to shine (operate) while on 12v battery power (once the internal battery is drained). You can buy a 20 million candlepower spotlight but it will last only 25 minutes (about 10 to 15 minutes really bright, then starts dimming). If you run the battery down to nothing, you can cause damage, so really, you can only run it for about 15 minutes if you want to play it safe. It takes about 16 – 18 hours to recharge the battery!
The brightest spotlight I’ve found is the Sunforce 40 Million Candlepower HID Spotlight Lantern, Model# 77782 for $169. I could not find out what the battery life on this spotlight was and am guessing much less than the 20 million model.
Best bet on Spotlights is the Decker 20 Million Power Series 3335 Lumens Spotlight #VEC192, really a Vector VEC192 20 Mil Candle Power Sport Spot Spotlight. I purchased mine from Tractor Supply and Feed for $44.77.
A bit about Flash
I’m into fishing and one question I have always wondered, is if it’s better to light up a glow spoon with a camera flash or use a high powered spotlight. After a lot of research, a flash is by far the best way to light up that bait. A standard flash pulse puts out over 10,000 lumens which is far greater than any spotlight; a flash is definitely the way to go!
Quality and Service:
If you’re going to spend over $50 for a flashlight, you want to make sure you are getting a quality product. Black Bear Flashlights is a company run by a former watch maker Juan, who builds the Borealis 1050. In fact, you can build these flashlights yourself using a Mag Light shell and parts from different manufacturers, but I prefer to buy the finished product and save myself the hassle.
Before I purchased the Borealis, I had a number of questions for Juan and received immediate responses, something you don’t usually find with the big guys or Amazon type stores.
I received my flashlight, the charger, and detailed instructions. In fact, when I received the package, my daughter immediately grabbed the flashlight and tried to click it on. Fortunately, Jaun shipped it with the back not fully tightened for safety reasons. It’s details like this that set blackbearflashlights.com apart from the rest.
What’s next for me now that I have finished my quest for the Brightest Flashlight? It’s a 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light and not really something you carry around with you, but something I must have. I’ll be donating a portion of its use to our local SETI project :)
Note: I’ve done my best in trying to provide accurate data; this information is based on my findings which may or may not be 100% accurate. if you have information you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment.
Stanley fatmax 220, This can be a torch that is bright. I’m enjoying it. Attempting when energy is out to maintain being an introduction torch.
I want to buy my darling husband a spotlight for his birthday – a week away! I’ve been searching. He mentioned he wants a spotlight that will see across our pasture down to the tree line. I found out the tree line is approx. 750′ away.
He got excited when he saw a friend’s flashlight but it was a taser/flashlight. So I know he likes the ‘flashlight’ style. I think it is so he can carry it with him. Help please! I can pay to ship it overnight but none of the spotlights indicate their RANGE.
Dear Sir / Madam,
Good day. This is Davy, Sales Executive from xyz Development Ltd. It is my pleasure to work with you.
XYZ is one of the world’s leading LED lighting products manufacturers. We were established at 1971 and with over 40 years’ experience, we have built strong and trusted relationships with many well-known clients over the years. We are now focusing on both ODM and OEM projects, and we are dedicated to deliver excellent and reliable service to our clients through the best quality products.
Furthermore, we will be releasing two new lanterns and a whole new range of aluminum flashlights at this coming October HKTDC Electronics Fair. Will you be visiting the fair? If so, please feel free to visit our booth. Would you like me to keep you updated on these new products?
Should you have any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you very much. Have a nice day.
awwww… the brightest light I see in that picture is that little girls cute smile. :)
I do search & rescue for lost pets and need a flashlight or spotlight with at least 850 lumens and a 2 hour run time. Light weight is better as I’m carrying it all day.
Prefer rechargeable. Any suggestions for under $75?
Hi: In your article you mention Black Bear Flashlights but I can’t seem to find any contact info for them. Can you help me out here please?
Oh how the times have changed. Just got a 5000LM SolarStorm 2 X CREE U2 LED Bike Bicycle Front HeadLight HeadLamp and Rechargeable 4 cell 18650 Battery with charger for $27. Gigantic beam that shines a very long distance, and lasts about an hour on full power, and has 4 modes: low, med, high, flash. I use it with the included headstrap for working hands-free. 100% waterproof and very durable, it’s my favorite light of my collection.
The CREE LED has changed the game, and now cheaper than ever.
Hi, I just bought a Guarddog Solaire 900 lumen flash light. I also have Guarddog Orion 400 lumen and it outshines the Solaire! Is there something wrong here? Please help. Thanks a lot!
I have the t6 3800lm flashlight mentioned earlier from Dbpower. bought it on newegg for 49.99, and it does appear to actually produce 3800 lumens. the runtime is just over 2 hours with the included 2×18650 batteries, and as i daid, it’s insanely bright. it uses 3 cree t6 xm-l led’s, and can easily blind someone. doesn’t pose a fire risk like the Torch, but is equally effective in tactical disorientation. It’s also lighter than the 3D cell maglight I used to carry and much brighter.
I’m a veterinarian and I often get called out to farms to do work and sometimes these calls are at night, used to use a 3d maglite, but the new 3800lm led flashlight is far superior in my opinion, and lightweight enough to hold in your mouth when you need both hands free for field work.
I’ve been using led lenser t7 and I’ve had good luck with it ,at 175 lumens and quad AAA batts it will last a 12 hr. shift, in a papermill and that’s using it a lot. I also have a coast that’s the same light but puts out 251 lumens , both of these lights are great for under 50.00 bucks
I would recommend staying away from the dorcy flashlight rated at 160 lumens. I bought two of them, one silver and one black at Target. Both have a 6 x AAA magazine inside of them. One top round piece on the positive end of the battery tray fell off and is unrepairable. Both battery magazines causes the batteries to leak acid and pretty much ruin both flashlights internally with duracells. Would recommend staying away from flashlights that have more than two batteries in their magazine. Even my Fenix tk-45 with 8 X AAs leaked when the tail cap was unscrewed partially to prevent accidental drain. The battery magazine and internal cylinder are ruined. Also would stay away from any flashlight that uses AAA due to their much higher cost than AAs.
Look slike a new dog on the for the title of brightest light, though at only $75 I question the validity of the 8500 lumen rating.
OEM No Logo 7xT6 7*Cree XM-L T6 8500 Lumens 5-Mode Memory Led Flashlight(2*26650/3*26650/3*18650)
Model: OEM No Logo
Special heat sinking finish construction
LED: Cree XM-L T6
Color BIN: White
Total Emitters: 7
Brightness: Max Output 8500 Lumes (manufacturer rated)
Battery Configurations: 2*26650/3*26650/3*18650 rechargeable batteries (not included)
Switch Type: Clicky/Clickie
Switch Location: Tail-cap
Mode Arrangement: Hi > Mid > Lo > Strobe > SOS
Mode Memory: Yes
Lens: Vacuum Plated Coated Glass Lens
Reflector: Aluminum Smooth/SMO Reflector
Thanks for your extensive work on flashlights! I’m a Cree fan, and I’ve noticed some 7-emitter, 8500-lumen lights for as little as $95. Game changer for me!
on the topic of lumens I just bought my 2nd HID flashlight ..said to be 8500+ lumens 3 positions and adjustable focus.. with case and 4 lens colors ..35w55w85w. the on befor that was a 55w HID with case.. so how does the buyer really know if a flashlight is putting what is said… hearing that the Torch is the brightest at 45oolm and yet on Ebay you see a bunch with much higher lumen and watt rating….
you might want to check out the new Olight X6.
As far as I can tell this brand new LED flashlight from Olight has up to 5000 lumens with an incredible run time of 2 hours! And the best is that you can buy it for less than 600$ I guess (at this time I couldn’t find any US dealer only in Europe).
Should be available sometime in April.
Can’t wait :-)
I just saw a 3800 lumin flashlight by Trustfire Cree Xm-l T6. Is this for real? 3 Cree LED bulbs. Is it really 3800 lumins? Please let me know your thoughts on this.
Well if you really want to have the brightest flashlight in the world. It’s at ultibeam, a 85 watt HID 8000 LUMENS.
I compare it with the Cyclops Thor 18 million candle power and there is no comparison and this runs for 70 minutes and it’s reflector is less than 4″ diameter and 3.5 pounds
Wicked lasers 4000 lumens and polarions 50 watt don’t compare either.
THIS IS THE BRIGHTEST FLASHLIGHT IN THE WORLD
Jim, can you email me back? I have some pictures to send you comparing the Torch with my new Flashlight. absolutly no comparison!!! 6500 Lumens
75 minute battery life can be run continuous without turning off due to heat!
will have website up shortly. this is not a homemade flashlight but Aircraft Aluminum/Military Grade CNC construction under $500. The torch actually cannot produce 4100 lumens, look up in the encyclopedia what a 100Watt Halogen can produce, max 17 to 24 lumens per watt, 100 watt means 1700-2400. but HID can produce 100 lumens per watt so a 65 watt HID produces 6500 lumens like the Polarion’s 50 watt produces 5000 lumens.
I am from Norway and have demo (maximum 1-2 hours of burn time) Polarion PH40, PF40, X1, NP1(P2) for sale. All in “as new” condition with battery, 110/220V AC charger, shoulder strap, extra o-ring seals and all packed in the waterproof hard case. User Manuals in English on file that can be e-mailed to the buyer.
In addition to that I have one new PF40 in box and new CF3 LED models.
Accessories as NEW batteries (for P and X series searchlights), HID bulbs, car chargers, filters (diffusion, IR [850nm], UV [365nm] and TI protective).
All for sale at very low prices.
E-mail me at email@example.com with interests and questions.
I also consider potting all this out at eBay.
You ain’t kidding on the how bright the new flashlights and battery operated led lantern have become. I bought the 300 Rayovac LED lantern for only $29 and it is something else. 1st off its the brightest battery operated lantern i have ever used and second it is lasted for over 100 hours on only 3 D Batteries. Amazingly bright, oh ya, durable enough to drop down the stairs. These new LED bulbs never burn out and never break.
I bought Borealis 951 from Black Bear Flashlights with the ROLLS ROYCE battery carrier and a custom flashlight head (for an extra $200.00). I tried different batteries, two sets from Black Bear and a set from the local hobby shop (GP 2600 mah). Results are the same, 15-20 minutes run time. And that is using it in 4-5 minute intervolts. NOT 50 MINUTES STRAIGHT RUN TIME! I test and test and emailed and emailed Juan, finally I just put it away and haven’t used it since.I’m sure Juan has done he’s best, but it never performed “As Advertised” on his web site. This is not a tool flashlight it’s more of a toy in that it’s function could not be used in the real world.
Note; If my results were unusual then Juan should have made it right. He know all my tests and we communicated for a long time, he know the issues with the flahslight. It was either the “bulb” or how I was “charging the batteries” or something else that I didn’t do or consider. It is bright and it is a cool flashlight but even my twin brother could tell you stories how I tested and tested over and over and over again and again…I think you get the idea.
You are not kidding on the battery life, what good is a flashlight with a live time like that except to produce bright light for show. Also don’t like that in the hands of a young child, it could do a LOT of damage! Battery life, fire hazard and price make the torch flashlight it a turn off for me.
I was recently researching the Torch. The short battery life is not impressive but the power that this thing generates is awesome. In my opiinion it is meant to be a defensive weapon more then anything else. Taking an evening walk around the block and some punk starts messing with you just flash them in the eyes with the torch and it will give you an opportunity to run from the scene or throw him off guard just long enough to attack. and get the upper hand.
wal mart has a small spot light that claims to be 315 lumens. its a black and deck that is orange and black in color. I like it more than my 3 mill spot light. I think they changed it up alittle because last time i went it was a remington now and its grey and black. It only cost 20 bucks and came with batteris (4 C cells). I like it for the price, it has a very bright tight beam. I think it get 10 hours on high and like 30 hours on low. Its worth checking out.
That’s some awesome info. However I have one question is the trustfire x6 2300lumen flashlight any good?
I need to get your sales department email. i have an attached enquiry to send you.
Great info. I’m looking for suggestions as to which flashlight would be best for camping/backpacking. Good ‘throw’ and extended battery life would be qualities I’m looking for. In addition, it should have some capability for emergency signaling.
I have The Torch (4100 lumens), and let me just say it is awesome, waited 3.5 months. I was nearly ready to cancel my order, but i am glad i did not. I also have a 10 million cp hand held rechargeable spot light that i love and that was under $20.00 and is over 5 years old and still works great. If you want the baddest on the block get the Torch (wicked Laser). I also would like a better headlight most seem to only be under 50 lumens. and i use one everyday for during the winter for about 15 minutes at a time. I would also like the best available headlight.
Note: Torch 4100 Lumens by Wicked Lasers lists for $150
I am a large loss property adjuster for a major carrier and spend a lot of time in burned boarded up fire homes. I needed a flashlight that was very bright, waterproof and small. I found the Browning Huntmaster LED – 400 Lumens, 6.5 inches and zoom 1x —4x. I love it but—- Cost was $100.00 and uses 3 – CR1-2-3 batteries. In my case, the company pays for the batteries but if you are looking for a great flashlight, this is the one. — I bought it on line at Bass-pro.
Juan Thomas Alvarez – I’m confused. You say it costs $150 in parts to build but you plan to sell it for $150? No profit? No charge for labor?
Gary in Kansas
I use a CREE 3 watt “LED” flashlight that has 240 LUMENS using ONLY 3 AAA batteries & it has adjustable beam,bright or dim,spot,flood,& STROBE settings for around $12.99 with FREE shipping & it also INCLUDES a NICE nylon pouch & lanyard strap.This is by far the BRIGHTEST flashlight I have EVER see or owned.
I am a Law Enforcement Officer & it is MUCH better then my 3 D-cell Mag Light with the LED kit installed.
ALL of my friends & fellow officers are buying them because they are AMAZED at the BRIGHTNESS & SIZE of this POCKET “TORCH”! }:>)
I am in the process of bringing to market a 65 watt HID flashlight that will be close to 6800 lumens. it will last 2 hours on a charge and will come with a spare battery pack. I have the prototype now and finalizing the testing. it will also have a car charger and wall charger. price range will be around $600. I hope I can generate a large market for this.
Just bought a pair of ROCKY 200 Lumens CREE XRE LED flashlights. Shockproof, water resist, emergency strobe, 50% and 100% output. Only 29.88 for the pair even came with 12 energizer batteries. SAMSCLUB.
So that equates out to 15 bucks per flashlight of 200 lumens with 6 energizers each; hard to beat. And if you dont like it take it back, Im impressed with mine.
we are lithium battery manufacturer in China, if you have any requirements, pls feel free to contact us, thank you.
Shenzhen World Electronic Co., ltd
Add: B1, Guantian Hengkeng Huafeng Technology Park, Shiyan Town,
Bao’an District, Shenzhen,China.
I also have a thing for flashlights and have for years have searched for the brightest light . I started with the minimag years ago and thought it was great. Then coast came out with some lights and I thought they were great. Then stream light made some nice lights along with palm blaze. The blaze and mini palm get very hot. Then I got a 35w hid light. It’s great for search and rescue or a vehicle emergency light, but to big for a carry light. Then I discovered an itp ro1 rechargeable light at a gun show and found my favorite light. It’s small enough to carry, throws a nice tight 190lm beam and recharges off a usb cord like you use for an iPod, for a mere 50 dollars. And it doesn’t get hot, and burns for 2 hours. For the money it can’t be beat. Itp and fenix make some nice bright lights for many applications, so if your looking for a nice light I’d start at these 2 company’s.
streamlight stinger led rechargeable best light for anything
Hi. I’m finishing the first prototype of my own LED flashlight. I used a 50W LED module, a generic metal casing from a regular flashlight, and 21 1.2V 2700mAh NiMH cells. I placed a small heatsink right behing the LED module and an old computer fan above it, and machined a grill-like pattern in that section of the casing to allow for good airflow. Right now it’s for my own use, but it should put out about 4500lm and last for several hours on a charge. The whole system cost me a little over 150 dollars to build, and from reading the list above I think there would be a market for a flashlight with this kind of brightness at this pricepoint. Of course this could be scaled up all the way to a 10,000lm model for about twice that much.
My question to the flashlight aficionados is: would you be willing to fork over 150 dollars for a relatively cool, blindingly powerful, lightweight flashlight? and if so, is there any other features you would like to see in it?
Eastward YJ J06 CREE XM-L T6 3-Mode 900-Lumen White LED Flashlight with Strap (1*18650) for $32.
In response to what luke said in dec of 2010, this is an insane light and almost meets your criteria. It has a 1.5 in diameter and is 6 in long. It has strobe and is around 840 lm out the lens. Like I said, insane and it runs off of a single 18650. With a fully charged 2600 mAh 1860 this little guy will run at full power for almost an hour and will not start any fires.
Anyone looking for an LED light needs to use Xstreem Torches!!!! This Australian based company doesn’t just sell these flashlights, they invent them…
Xstreem is Australia’s #1 developer, designer, manufacture and distributor of LED.
(9 significant patens) and phosphor (200 patens) Lighting.
Work lights, Flashlights, bike Lights and custom Lighting Solutions.
Hey, but have you heard about the SST-50 and SST-90 Luminous LEDs? They put out 1250 to 2300 lumens, respectively. They also use about 15-20 to 20-30 watts, respectively, with both LEDs able to reach efficiencies of over 100 lumens per watt!
while i did enjoy all the info im as confused as i was before i started. all i can say is im glad im not alone in my love of buying flashlights. i currently have a surefire g2 (i think) a cree type off of ebay 10 bucks and uses either 2 aa or one 123 (camera batterys) it came straight from hong kong and i think its almost as bright as the surefire plus it strobes, in addition i have the stanley hid spot and the little brother to it the led spot always looking for the next greatest thing. i thought the surefire was supposed to be so great but i see it dosent even get a mention here, oh well back to google lol thanks for the info.
I’m an nypd police officer looking to add a flashlight to my arsenal. It’s main purpose would be to temPorarily blind and disorient people in order to allow me to maintain advantage. Something like the torch you discussed here would be great however, I need something that will last longer than a lifespan of 15 minutes.
I’m looking for something possibly thats in LED (which i thought was the most blinding, correct me if I’m wrong) that’s over 500 lumens that is 6″ or less in length, and the diameter of the head doesn’t exceed about 1.25″ diam.
And preferably something that has the option for strobe which I find is very disorienting to a bad guy at night. Any input is very much appreciated. Thanks. You seem to know a lot about the topic.
military spec m16 mounted tactical light, is insanely bright dont know how it really compares, but it is absolutely blinding(the point) in a close combat situation.
got a 250 luman aa pocket light and was overpowered by 120 luman aaa poocket sold bu snap on … can you tell me why?
hi, where can one buy the sunforce h.i.d. spotlight 40 million candle power, i am based in uk. and have not been able to find one yet.
After reading all of this I still can’t get a grip on what flashlight throws a nice tight beam. Any recommendations. I need the beam to be tight and able to go out very far.
after reading this column and comments I purchased a Stanley HID Spotlight. It is terrific. It is a bit heavy.
I have the:
Malkoff MD3 Wildcat –750 lumen 12 degree beam
Surefire M6 Guardian –500/250 lumen
Surefire L2 Lumamax –120/20 lumen
Elektrolumens FireSword IV –3,000+ lumen honker
Elektrolumens EDC-MCE –700 lumen
All these except the M6 are LED lights.
The MD3 has more throw and brighter tighter illumination area than the EDC, but the EDC is twice as much flood area. So if I want a compact spotlight its the MD3, but if I want a compact illumination flood its the EDC, and it has a much warmer color than the MD3.
The M6 is warm colored incandescent and has an excellent tight throw for long distance illumination.
The discontinued L2 is great for walk around lighting in different circumstances, offering both low level and high level output. Most utilitarian for close up handiwork, and the low level light is very useful for that.
The FireSword is a thing to behold. Sure its costly at $400, but worth every penny. It has the most broad based flood I have ever seen and with its long illumination time I know video producers using a couple of them for night time shoots. They are like portable, evenly illuminated floods.
All of these flashlights have great build quality. If I had to suffice with only have 2, it would be the FireSword (massive wall of light – unit about the size of a big maglight) and the Malkoff MD3 (compact fit in your pants pocket and great beam throw), by the way both take rechargeable lithium batteries) and I would buy a cheapo to get the <50 lumen work needs covered. Wayne Johnson of Elektrolumens dot com and Gene Malkoff of malkoffdevices dot com make kick ass quality products, stand behind their work, and are simply the new wave of custom LED flashlights. They are not the cheapest, like the P7 and the Fenix and others, but these will be working flawlessly long after the competition lights for the same lumens have broken or failed.
If I had to only live with one awesome (and I mean awesome) flashlight it would have to be the FireSword IV, despite its large maglight flashlight size. I love the MD3 for its pocketable convenience, but the FireSword is the best investment you could make if you want to evenly light up everything out in front of you at once. If you need a nice sharp beam area and super long throw, and crave that pocketable size, then the MD3 Wildcat is clearly what you want.
Thats my 2 cents,
Follow-up by nelson: Here are the specs for the light I mentioned.
Wonderful and informative article. You’re a good teacher. I am looking at this light: Guide Gear® 700-lumen Tactical Light. It’s priced $90.00 and seems good but I don’t find it in any reviews of quality lites.
I am looking for something bright enough to light up an area of 500 square feet, with a strobe [if possible] as I want to use it for home defense to temporarly blind or throw off someone breaking into your home. We have had one murder and 10 breakins in our area the last 6 months.
My hansgun has the Veridan laser/light combe. It puts out about 100 lumens.
Nelson Retired USAF
quero 10 lanternas Stanley HID0109 hand-held para comprar
stanley hid0109 hid spotlight at Walmart for $70! Stanley HID Spotlight has a 12 Volt 3Ah SLA rechargeable battery and a 35 Watt high intensity discharge bulb. It consists of 3 LED’s at the top for area light, a metal roll bar for durability . This spotlight includes CEC AC charger (UL Listed), polycarbonate unbreakable lens and a carry lanyard. It offers 35 minutes constant runtime at full power.
Light Output is 3000 Lumen!
Reportedly, one of the brightest spot lights out there is the Humvee HMV-40MIL-110 40 Million Candle Power Search Light for around $250.
It is heavy at about 15 lbs, but it is a hybrid light using both a main Xenon bulb along with 4 L.E.D. assist bulbs so it last much longer than similar lights at approximately 40 minutes.
The light can also be used to jump start your vehicle.
Thanks for the information Jimmy but I have some disappointing results!
I too wondered how many lumens the ryobi tek4 flashlight had and was very excited when I saw the specs (2600 lumens) – I ran right down to Home Depot and an employee had a fully charged battery that he let me use to test out the flashlight. I was very disappointed and there was no way it was 2600 lumens! It was bright, but nothing that would shocking or that would warrant $45.
The flashlight cost a lot more than initially stated, but I’m guessing you already had the battery and battery charger, correct?
Here is the total cost of the flashlight:
RYOBI tek4 flashlight: $19.97
Total Cost: $44.91
I appreciate the comment and the time you took, but I would not say it anywhere close to the worlds brightest LED flashlight.
There is another flashlight I would say was over looked, Please take a look a RYOBI flashlight (8056 RP4400 Flashlight) which uses a rechargeable 4 Volt TEK 4 ion cell and take a ac wall charger. Price with charger ,light , battery is around 23.00 at Home depot.
I have put this LED light to the test under my jeep working on it with the light run time of 6 +hours. Its had gas on it, grease, oil and just about everything you can think about. I use it each night and the battery is over a year old now WOW! I just can’t think of all the streamlight and other 100.00 lights I had that wouldn’t even come next to this light. It is Oring seal metal rubber handle with a size of 1 1/4″DIA and x 4″ long.
The light is a little used now but still works great, I when and got a 2nd one and placed it up as you know Companies will stop making item overnight and I like this light . As for being brite it is just like a maglight LED D cell but better with the size being a pocket type work tool light. Check it out and post how you like this light, you have nothing to lose as Home depot has a 30 day no ask return on most items it you don’t like it.
I’m not a Homedepot saleman or RYOBI salemans just a plain old person who found a great little light and want to pass it on. This light has even been under water.
How many lumens is the ryobi tek4 flashlight? A total of 2,600 according to Home Depot specifications section.
* 6 Hours Continuous light per charge
* High intensity spot light shines over 100 feet with a clear spot
* Assembled Depth (in.) : 4.25 in
* Assembled Height (in.) : 8.75 in
* Assembled Width (in.) : 2.125 in
* Battery Type : Lithium Ion
* Battery Type Required : Lithium Ion
* Battery Voltage : 4
* Battery Voltage (volts) : 4
* Bulb Type : LED
* Casing material : Plastic
* Charge Time : .6 h
* Color : Green/Black
* Color Family : Blacks
* Color/Finish : Green/Black
* Cordless/Corded : Cordless
* Distance (ft.) : 100
* ETL Safety Listed : No
* Flashlight Length : 4.25 in
* Flashlight Width : 2.125 in
* Flashlight type : Handheld
* High/low switch : No
* Impact Resistant : Yes
* Item Weight : 0.27 lb
* Lumens : 2600
* Manufacturer Warranty : 2 Year Limited Warranty
* Number of Batteries Required : 1
* Product Depth (in.) : 4.250
* Product Height (in.) : 8.750
* Product Weight (lb.) : .49
* Rechargeable : Yes
* Waterproof : Yes
I would like to upgrade my 2 “D” cell maglite to LED. Could someone let me know the brightest/cheapest option.
HID country has a 50 watt, 4500 lumens rechargeable flash light that runs for 90 minutes. It shines 4900 ft. Price is $279.00. Any thing I need to know about this light after reading your info? Thanks
I’m a cop and a bit of a “kit monkey” and i’ve just bought “the torch”, ( not been delivered yet, i’ll let you know how i get on with it), i currently just use a two D cell mag light with the 20 watt led conversion, and my belt torch is an Inova T3 which is about 150 Lumens… it’s a good torch and just about as bright as the mag light but the batteries are camera batteries which inevitably seems to cost more and don’t seem to last very long.
The run time on “the torch” bothered me a little although it comes with it’s own charger and rechargable batteries that can be on every daytime if need be… i’ll be checking how it goes for you guys.
I was actually looking for a lantern that put out a good light output and run for a fair bit of time. I’d be using this to illuminate a 20X20 campsite.
I saw that Coleman had a Coleman® Twin LED HP Lantern for $70’ish.
At 580 lumens on high (10 lumens on low), its battery-operated lantern is the brightest Coleman currently offers. Uses four Cree 7090 XR-E Emitter LEDs.
Anyone know of anything better?
I see many articles/review of the Boralis 1050 lumen flashlight but no clue as to where one can be bought or the price. Any suggestions?
Tony, Jim and everyone else, you should have a look at the Duracell Daylight series flashlights.
LED flashlight has a spot to flood light beam and durable hard anodized aircraft grade aluminum construction. Note: the flashlight is not waterproof.
The two-C cell and two D cell models have 4w led emitters putting out 160 lumens, for less than $35 each by Google Product search.
Great site, Jim.
I was looking for a light myself that had a polymer frame,80+lumen rating, 5hr+ run time & around $50. The Rayovac mentioned above seems to be a good fit, but was wondering if anyone else had any suggestions?
After reading your reviews I really got interested in learning more about flashlights and since then it is one of my favorite things to google. There are so many out there and so many things to learn!!! I realized how little I knew and your info here couldn’t be a better starting point!
Thank you for your eye opening review and the recomendation!!!
That Stanley HID 3000 is a lot bulkier than the Borealis, something that would not be practical on walks, but $80 (what I found was the average) is a great deal for the power.
Excellent information, James: thanks for publicizing the results of your research. The $70 Stanley HID0109 hand-held spotlight has gotten a lot of positive notice and at 1,365 lumens it stands out in the “$50-$100” category. The run time isn’t great with the supplied SLA battery (20-25 min), but it’ll run indefinitely on a supplied car-cord, and there’s talk at CPF of using a LiMnNi battery pack to extend that to over an hour, at a total price still below that of the Borealis. Things are getting brighter out there!
UPDATE – I now see the Stanley HID0109 (aka Stanley HID3000) is said to produce *3,000* lumens, not 1,365. Things are much, much brighter it seems…!
We have used underwater flashlights that utilizes 250w HID bulbs, which give out roughly 25,000 lumens. It lights up a pitch dark underwater cave to look like it was outdoors when in its widest zoom setting. That’s not even the brightest out there.
Check out Cabelas XPG LED light. It is a 3 “bulb”cree unit with an AC/DC rechargeable LI-Ion battery. It is rated at 534 lumen for $175.00. 90 min run time.
Also Dorcy sells a one “bulb” cree unit that puts out 220 lumen. It is a Ni-Cad unit and comes with an AC/DC recharging system. It’s available at Sears or Amazon for about $50.00. Not sure what the run time is but I have left it on over night cycling the Ni-Cad and it still shined a dim light.
I have them both, while I like the Cabelas unit better, I’m not sure it’s worth the money over the Dorcy. I got them both as gifts.
Why would you want a flashlight that can set paper on fire in seconds?? What if you were in your home at night and you tripped and dropped the flashlight?? Then you not only have a possible intruder in your home but also a fire to deal with?? Not smart in my book, to me those lights are for search and rescue use only and should be used as such. Not for the average home owner
The above Dorcy flashlight is a very good light, I owned 2 of them, and love them, the problem with them are is the battery case, The first light I had I dropped it and cracked the battery case, the second one, I don’t really know what happened, or when it went.
and also, if I remember right, Target has them for 30 bucks
Stanley makes a 192 lumen Model SL5W09 that’s rechargeable with up to 10 hours of run time. Lowe’s has them for $29.95. It looks like a small spotlight and has plenty of brightness for camping and fishing.
Glad you found the flashlight you like! You might be interested in the Dorcy 200 Lumen LED Tactical Switch Flashlight which gives you 200 lumens for only $40, that’s a big savings!
Here is a picture of the 200 lumens flashlight:
Thanks for taking the time, there is a lot of great info here.
In my quest for a good light, there are countless lights that boast everything you need.
I am an engineer on navy ships so when the lights go out I need something reliable that can provide enough light for a few people to work. So far the company with the model and reputation that is the best has been Streamlight’s Stinger DS LED HP.
It is made for law enforcement applications but part of the Stinger line is coated with polycarbonate and has been rated for any aplication you need. These lights range up to 200 lumens and about $150. Decent price with dependable output.
Great find! Here is a picture for the flashlights:
And at Costco.com, I found these features:
360 Lumens Brightness
Aircraft-Grade Hardened Aluminum
Three CREE LED Bulbs
Law Enforcement Grade
Polycarbonate Optical Reflector
Full Charge Run Time: up to 96 hours
3 x C Batteries (not included)
The Life Gear Flashlight is going for $79.99 item # 415635
Great buy! Thanks for sharing!
Great information! Thanks for taking the time to publish it.
I just picked up two Life Gear flashlights from costco for $100 total.
They claim 360 lumens, but the reviews say more like 180. I have no idea how to rate it. It won’t quite light up distance objects like my old 2million CP spotlight, but it’s fairly close and pretty focused. The run time seems to be as claimed – around 10 hours for the 3 c-cells. It appears to be nicely made – typical aluminum and waterproof.
Seems like a good buy for a mid-sized LED light with a good run time.
I’ll compare it to that smaller rayovac – that also seems like a good buy.
$1,600 is a lot of cash for a custom made flashlight!
I have not checked out Elektro Lumens who claim to be the ‘Builder of the Brightest LED Flashlights in the World’, but I’d be more than happy to take a look at one of them and report on the quality, performance and service.
Elektro Lumens has the EDC-MCE for every day use (small hand held) that produces 700 – 900 lumens, the FireSword IV heavier hand held that delivers 3,000 lumens and the Kong 12 UltraThrow (two hands for this one) that kicks out 10,800 lumens – which is the one you are referring to.
I’ll do some research on the company and let you know if it’s legit and what people are saying.
If you find out more, let me know.
I would love to have the brightest flashlight in the world, have you heard of these guys? elektrolumens.com
They say this light is 10,800 lumens, and it costs $1599.00 . I would love to get your input on this.
I just bought a Fenix TK40, and it is extremely bright. The max output was 630 lumen and it seemed to be correct. I compared the TK40 with another flashlight that used Seoul Semiconductors SSC emitter (claimed max output 900 lumen), and TK40 out shined the other flashlight by far. The Fenix TK40 cost about $159, but it’s worth it.
Looks like you know your stuff and have done your homework. Perhaps you could help. I carry a 2 d cell regular old cheap rayovac flashlight. Why? its was company issued.
What I like is it uses disposable d cell batteries free from employer. It fits perfectly in the hammer loop on my pants and coveralls. It is a plastic housing so it is kind of light. I would like a LED model to replace it (longer battery life) Big enough to stay secured in a pants hammer loop (big lens) Plastic housing (light weight, doesn’t conduct cold through cloth against leg or in hand) Bright (around 200 lumens) inexpensive (under $50 preferably around 25 or less)
I have seen and read about some Husky models home depot has been selling that might be the ticket. Does anyone know of something else comparable or better?
I bought a Terra Lux flashlight here in Edmonton, AB that takes 2 AA batteries and puts out 220 lumens for about $38 Canadian. You look into that thing for half a second and your seeing spots for 30 seconds.
i think you should test the terralux flashlight under 40.00 up to 220 lumens with 2 AA … there’s a catch, it only last like 1.5 hour. but not bad for less than 40.00 dollars
I think you need to check out Coleman’s Max lights. I have a AA LED model that is comparable to tacticals five times it’s price.
Nice info, I recently bought a TrustFire P7-F16 which claims to have 900 lumen, I have no way to measure, but I compared the output to Steamer Scorpion LED (120 Lumen output from their site) and it sure looks a lot brighter, and cost under $40.
Here is some of the best pricing around for the TrustFire:
Google Products Pricing for TrustFire
The TrustFire P7-F16 has a Seoul Semiconductors SSC emitter and reviewers say the lumens is 250 max (yet the specs state 900 Lumens) with a battery run time of close to one hour (although the site claims 2 hours) on a full charge (1 x 18650 battery).
The beam can’t be adjusted and without the o-ring in the front, water could end up damaging the flashlight.
Mixed reviews were found…
eu gostaria de comprar uma lanterna polarion ph 50 e uma de 100 wats para entregar no Brasil.
I would suggest the Borealis because you’ll be dealing with a person that cares about what is being sold. Juan was a pleasure to work with and although I have not communicated with him since the original purchase, I feel that if something went wrong with the flashlight, I would receive first rate service.
When you are paying $100’s for a flashlight, service is everything! Perhaps Black Bear Flashlights (Juan) has a government discount? Can’t hurt to ask…
I’ll try to get a x7 light cannon and do a comparison to the Borealis- when I do, I’ll post the results here!
Thank you now I know where to find some of the brighter flashlights variety at a discount.
Your flashlight info was very educational and fun to read. I am a fire captain in the Honolulu Fire Dept. on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. The area I protect is a mix of both rural and urban, requiring a flashlight that produces big time light. After checking out your website, I would like to purchase either the Borealis 1050 or the X7 Light Cannon. Price, is a major factor in my decision, but a light beam comparison photo would definitely help me make the right choice. Any suggestions? What do you thinks my best choice?
Thank YOU for putting together all that information…I didn’t want to spend all night figuring out what to buy of the myriad choices.. I just wanted a flash light for night walks (I’m pretty much night blind)-
hola esta muy interesante..habia cosas que no sabia y otra preg donde se compra las linternas
Rayovac Sportsman Xtreme 4W LED Linterna 3C (RAYSE4W3C) y produce 120 Lumen
gracias y muy interesante
Interesting info about lumens, candlepower and etc.