Best Flashlights Reviewed & Rated for Quality
So, you’ve decided to go through with that big camping trip up in the mountains that you’ve always been talking about. Or maybe you’re working on your house and need to be able to see in the darker parts of your home. Or maybe the power just decides to give out on you at complete random, and you need to find your way around. Either way, darkness has a funny way of coming up on us when we’d really rather it not. Which is why you need a way to see through the darkness when you need to. Enter the flashlight.
- J5 Tactical V1-Pro
- Low Power Usage
- PeakPlus Super Bright Tactical
- Outlite Portable Ultra Bright LED
- Multi Light Modes
We’ve been using flashlights for decades, and over that time, they’ve become one of the most essential and commonplace household items in the country. Which isn’t hard to see why, as flashlights help you see in the dark during a storm, and help you work on darker areas of the house without nearly as much guesswork. And today, we’re counting down the ten best of these devices to help show you where to go when you need a new one. Get ready, because we’re counting down the:
10 Best Flashlights
1. J5 Tactical V1-Pro
When you need a flashlight, you want to make sure that it isn’t going to give out on you at random because it eats through batteries like a 2-year-old eats spaghetti. This is definitely not a problem with the V1-Pro, which only needs a single AA battery to run, and will make the most out of that single battery for all its worth, while not using all that much battery life in the process.
The range of your flashlight is just as important as its lifespan per battery. After all, if you’re traveling down a spooky road in the middle of the night, you want to make sure that you see as much in front of you as you possibly can. Hence this flashlight having a light range of up to 600 ft.
Cost and Value
The best part about this flashlight is its price. Not only is it of excellent quality, but it’s also one of the cheapest entries on this list. So, if efficiency at a great price is what you’re looking for, then you can’t go wrong with this flashlight.
Low power usage
Long range of up to 600 ft
Not as durable as more work-related flashlights, which is to be expected for lights this size
This kit includes everything you could possibly need with your flashlight in general. Not only carrying a 18650 rechargeable battery, but also a case for the light and even a holder for the AAA batteries that this flashlight runs off of. Pretty much everything you could want out of a flashlight kit, this one includes.
But it isn’t just the accessories that put this flashlight so high up the list, the flashlight itself is also worth considering. Not only does it have a decent range, but it’s also anti-abrasive, skid-proof, and water resistant. Meaning you can basically take this flashlight anywhere you want.
Cost and Value
While not as cheap as our #1 pick, this is still a very good price for a flashlight, all things considered.
Takes a few clicks to get to the brightest setting
As is standard by now, this flashlight can reach distances up to 600 ft. But what it can also do is focus its beam down to a fine point or expand until it’s basically a spotlight in your hand. So, if you need to point your flashlight down into a crawl space under your house, or if you’re trying to find something outside in the middle of the night, this flashlight will help you in either case.
Multiple light modes
Almost every flashlight out there has more than one light mode, and this one is no exception. Of course, it has the three basic modes of varying brightness, but it also has a strobe mode to get people’s attention, and an SOS mode if you really need to get someone’s attention.
Cost and Value
This flashlight usually sits between the first and second entries in terms of price, while offering very similar services as both. Which makes this a very good price considering what’s being offered.
Multiple light modes
Battery drains fast
So far, we‘ve seen lights that extend up to 600 feet. But this flashlight runs circles around all of those flashlights, by extending out to a whopping 1000 feet. Add onto that the fact that this flashlight is brighter than most incandescent lights, and this flashlight will be one of the best you’ll ever use.
This flashlight is built to like it rough. This device is designed to be able to survive 10-foot drops, and still work just fine the minute you pick it up again. You can keep it in the freezer until it’s a block of frozen metal, you can run it over with your truck, you can even dunk it to the bottom of your pool. None of it will have any effect whatsoever on this powerhouse of a flashlight.
Cost and Value
Obviously, this flashlight wouldn’t be as cheap as the other entries we’ve covered thus far, but thankfully the price isn’t that much higher than the others. You’ll often find it for about $5 or so higher than the 2nd place entry, which isn’t much when you’re buying such an excellent product.
Great for indoors, not great for outdoors
5. Nebo Big Larry Magnum
When you’re working on a car or a particular spot on your house, you may end up finding yourself working upside down, or with your hands completely full, and thus unable to hold your flashlight. This is where the Big Larry comes into play, with its powerful magnetic bottom, which can attach to almost any surface.
There are two things helping the durability of this flashlight. The first of these is the anodized aluminum body, which is a much stronger variant on normal aluminum. The other half is the recessed LED housing, which in turn protects the bulk from damage or impacts. Both of these factors lead to this being one of the most durable flashlights on the market.
Cost and Value
For a high-quality LED flashlight, the pricing of the Big Larry is actually very average. Very much what you would expect in terms of price from one of these LED flashlights.
Connections may be loose
While this is a list of the best of the best flashlights, these are flashlights that we recommend you buy in tandem with whatever another flashlight you buy, so that you have one for emergencies. You can keep this flashlight in your car in case of a crash, or you can keep it on your person while hiking. The hand crank means you won’t have to rely on batteries to keep yourself illuminated.
When in an emergency situation, it’s best if all items that you have on you can take some kind of physical scrutiny, because if they get damaged, oftentimes, that’s the end of it. Which is why this flashlight is made so durable, one of the most durable, in fact, on the entire list.
Cost and Value
For emergency flashlights, flashlights that a lot of people may need in case of a crisis, the price of this flashlight may raise some eyebrows. But the price really isn’t all that high, and they’re so sturdy that you likely won’t need to buy another one in the future.
Perfect for emergencies
Not as bright as other flashlights
When you first use this flashlight, if you haven’t already read the label for some reason, you’ll be utterly shocked to find that this tiny little flashlight puts out over 300 lumens of power, which is more than most larger flashlights can put out. And on top of that, the light doesn’t even use all that much power in the process, which more than adds to its quality.
Light zoom feature
Like any good flashlight, you can either go with a wide spotlight function that spreads the light outward and covers a large area, or you can focus it down as narrowly as you need to. This is great if you’re, say, holding it in your mouth to help you work on a car, and you need that extra focus.
Cost and Value
The best part about this flashlight is the price, which is one of the cheapest on this list, especially if you find the right retailer for it.
Small light, big power
Light zoom feature
Few real modes
Let’s say that you want to get the smaller version of this flashlight. If you go with that route, then you can go for much more than a simple one or two pack of flashlights. If you are so inclined, you can even go with a four or even a six pack of flashlights. Perfect for the family who wants to keep a flashlight with them at all times in case of an emergency.
Tough against the elements
As you can imagine, these are meant to be flashlights used for hiking or other physically demanding activities. So, it makes sense that these flashlights are much more resilient when it comes to the outside elements like water or long drops. These flashlights are incredibly abrasion and water resistant.
Cost and Value
If you go for the small version, which is what we’re focusing on now anyway, then you’ll find these flashlights being sold for a very reasonable, downright cheap price.
Comes in packs
Tough against the elements
Brief but annoying wait period between clicking through each mode
9. Mizoo LED XML-T6
When it comes to rechargeable batteries, people are generally simple to please. All we ask is that the batteries be quick to recharge and long-lasting. And in that regard, there are few as good at this as the Mizoo flashlights.
The brightness that this flashlight can attain given its size is, quite frankly, nothing less than astounding. This flashlight can achieve up to 1000 lumens, making it one of the brightest flashlights on this list, as well as elsewhere.
Cost and Value
Once again, we have a set of flashlights that are priced very fairly, given the power output they have. You’ll rarely have to spend all that much on these flashlights. As we’ve seen, the average price of a flashlight is pretty cheap, especially when going for smaller, tactical flashlights.
Batteries are a pain to switch out, recharge battery recommended
While by no means the most powerful output on this list, given the compact size of this flashlight, an output of 800 lumens is definitely something worth perking up your head in hearing. It’s one of the most powerful Lumen outputs for a small flashlight on the market.
The average range for a flashlight, especially a small tactical one like this, is about 600 feet, give or take. But sometimes you need a bit more out of your flashlight, which is why this flashlight has an average range of up to 700 feet. And considering the wide range that the beam travels in, not only will you be able to see deep into a forest when looking for your dog at night, you’ll be able to cover a much wider area.
Cost and Value
While not as cheap as previous entries, it isn’t the most expensive flashlight on this list. The price itself is actually very tame, all things considered.
Long range of about 700 ft
The battery could be better
It really is hard to articulate just how important flashlights are, but only because they are so ubiquitous in our society. If your job has you working at night, flashlights are standard issue. If you live in the country, or in an area that has a lot of power outages, you probably have two or three flashlights laying around somewhere. Flashlights are like chairs, they’re one of those things that you just have and never question the fact that you have them because, well, why would you, they’re flashlights.
Much like seatbelts, flashlights are seen as one of those objectively good inventions that everyone agrees are good to have. They help keep areas illuminated, they’re great for signaling for help when needed, and they’re a boon if your job or hobby has you working in a lot of dark places. We looked through countless flashlights to find you only the absolute best ones, and we can safely say without a doubt that the three on this list are the absolute best of the best. So, if you need a really good flashlight, then one of these high-quality torches will do you just fine. Try one out and be amazed at how it lights up your life.
Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Flashlights
There’s a lot that a flashlight has to get right in order to get on this list, and even more to determine how far up the list each entry got once they were chosen. After looking through what we love most about a flashlight, and then digging into what made those things possible, we came up with this list. Here, in no particular order, are the most important criteria for any flashlight to meet in order to make it onto the list.
Quality of light
This refers to, of course, the brightness and beam density of the light being put out. As you’ve no doubt noticed throughout this list, LED’s are a bit of a common item found in high-quality flashlights. And indeed, LED’s have basically revolutionized what it means to make a flashlight, making it easier and more energy efficient to reach a bright, all-encompassing light. So for this list, having LED’s in their system very quickly became a requirement. While it’s not impossible to make a high-quality light without resorting to LED’s, it’s definitely a recommendation if you want the best light quality across the board.
One keyword you’ve likely noticed being thrown around this list is “lumens,” a measurement of light intensity. Measuring the lumen output of a flashlight is to essentially measure how much strength is behind the light being thrown out by your flashlight. However, that is not the only way to measure light output, as there is one other method: the way by which the beam is being delivered, to begin with. And when you talk about that, you need to talk about the two main types, which are as follows.
Floodlights: A floodlight has far wider coverage than its sibling type, blanketing pretty much everything immediately in front of you in blinding light. These are perfect for when you’re walking through the woods at night and need to have as much area as brightly illuminated as you possibly can. They’re also great for when you need a replacement for a campfire at a campsite.
Throw lights: A throw light is meant for more specialized lighting. For instance, if you’re on a boat, and searching for something or someone onshore, then you will most likely use a throw light to see what’s there. Throw lights are what you go with when the width is not your concern, but rather range. Not spreading out as wide as you can, instead of going for as far as you can possibly go.
When you need a flashlight, then the last thing you want is for that flashlight to randomly go out on you because it gobbled up all of the batteries inside while you still needed it, and of course, there aren’t any more batteries in the entire house. This is why, for emergencies, it’s recommended that you get a hand crank flashlight as a backup, just in case you need it during a mass blackout (which, considering the high amount of hurricanes these days, seems increasingly likely). But battery life is important, whether you’re going with normal AA or AAA batteries, or rechargeable batteries. And it was definitely a huge deciding factor in choosing what got on the list and where.
It makes sense to choose a flashlight that can actually take a few licks a still work properly. Old flashlights definitely got this right, as most millennials can attest to their parents owning at least one flashlight that you can easily use to beat someone within an inch of their lives. Fewer flashlights and more iron bars with one end that just kind of light up.
And this proud tradition continues into the modern-day, with flashlights made from high-grade aluminum and even solid steel. So durability was never really a problem with these entries, at least in terms of exterior durability. No, the durability that concerned us was internal, because just because an impact didn’t crack the shell doesn’t mean the stuff inside wasn’t shaken up. Internal, as well as external durability, was an important trait that we looked for when judging these entries.
Quality of extras
But there’s more that makes a good flashlight than just that, there’s also a cadre of other accessories that can make yours much more worthwhile, and even convince the consumer to spend more money. For instance, if it has the ability to use a rechargeable battery, then a kit for that flashlight would, of course, include a rechargeable battery that’s compatible with it. The quantity, as well as the quality of these extras, were all considered when we judged this criterion.
Finally, one criterion that gave us basically no trouble compared to what we thought we would have to deal with was the price. But lo and behold. Basically, all of the entries we found were very reasonably priced, despite being of very high quality. It makes sense, of course, as flashlights are one of the most commonly bought items out there. You’ll rarely find a household without at least one sitting in a drawer somewhere. Add onto that the fact that most of these entries are tactical, or smaller, flashlights, and what you have are two factors that, on their own, reduce the price significantly, combined to make a price range across items that are very easy to deal with. You won’t have trouble at all finding a good one on a tight budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
But despite that, there may be some questions you have about owning a flashlight. This can happen if you’re living on your own for the first time and want to know as many obscure details about something as you can before buying it. Understandable, which is why we bring you, in no particular order, the most frequently asked questions from consumers.
Q: What even are lumens?
A: Now this is a lot of science that we’re boiling down into one paragraph, so forgive us if this leaves out some important details. Basically, lumens equate to the brightness of a product. The higher the lumens, the brighter the flash. Some choose to judge by watts, and that was the preferred method for a number of years before the popularization of lumens. But since their discovery, lumens have become the preferred way to measure the brightness of a light.
Q: Since this list is pretty much dominated by smaller flashlights, is smaller the way to go with a flashlight?
A: There’s nothing wrong with going with a larger flashlight if you don’t mind the bulkier design. However, the advances made with compact options shouldn’t go ignored either, as there have been a wide variety of advancements in the field of making smaller ones as excellent as possible. When it comes to price, though, there’s simply no comparison, smaller lights will win out every single time. But on the other hand, When it comes to lumens and sheer power and output, you can’t beat a nice big flashlight, at least not right now. However,m the biggest sticking point is in battery usage, where smaller flashlights will always have their bigger brothers beat. Smaller ones simply don’t use up as much battery life as a larger model. So while small lights aren’t objectively better than larger ones, for what we were looking for in a larger one, smaller models just ran circles around them.
Q: Why are LED’s such a big deal when it comes to flashlights?
A: There are actually a lot of reasons for this, the first of which being cost efficiency. An LED bulb, on average, will always be cheaper than your average bulb. And the strange part is, while LED bulbs are cheaper than regular bulbs, barring a few exceptions, they’re also way more powerful than those other bulbs as well. An LED bulb is also lighter in weight as well as a lot longer lasting than normal bulbs. So with all of that in mind, it’s no wonder that most manufacturers tend to lean more toward LED lights these days than normal bulbs.
Q: What are the most common ways to carry a flashlight and which is the best?
A: There isn’t really a better way to carry a flashlight than other ways, to be perfectly honest. But with that said, we can go over the various ways to do so.
Keychain: Since the entirety of this list is made up of smaller, tactical flashlights, it makes sense first to list the most common way that people carry smaller items like these that they want to access at a moment’s notice. The keychain method is simple, and you’ve probably employed it for other items yourself in the past: you simply take the little hook that the flashlight is attached to, and you hook it onto any looped part of your attire.
Headlamps: These aren’t featured on the list, but they’re still a viable option for a means of carrying your flashlight. If what you’re doing requires that you have both hands at the ready at all times, and you don’t like holding your flashlight in your mouth, then having it strapped to your head is also an option. You just have to be okay with looking a bit silly for a little while.
Toolbox/pack: Again, while not featured on this list, sometimes you really do just need a flashlight that’s too big to be carried by any other means than just carrying it in a toolbox or other kind of pack. This is what you’ll resort to when you have to use, say, one of those heavy-duty flashlights that you see people like police officers use. The main drawback is obvious, you need to have a means to conveniently carry it around that won’t affect you negatively in the process by being too bulky.