The Brightest LED Flashlights Of 2014

brightest led light

In A Nutshell

  • The brightest flashlight is now the Olight SR96 Intimidator which shines at 4800 lumens. It costs about $350.
  • The brightest compact flashlight is the Nitecore TM06 which can output 3800 lumens in Turbo Mode and it uses AA batteries. It costs about $200. Another bright compact light is ThruNite which shines at 3338 lumens with a 440 meters beam distance. It costs about $110.
  • The brightest flashlight that uses AA batteries is the Nitecore EAX, which shines at 2000 lumens. It takes four AA batteries and costs about $120.
  • The brightest keyring-size LED flashlight: Fenix LD01 — 80 lumens — costs around $40
  • Update: This flashlight is listed as a 8500 lumen light. It’s a huge light (16.6 x 8.4 x 4.5 inches) and it weighs five pounds. It costs around $160. So far it has good reviews on Amazon, but I can’t be sure the reviews are real.

The Details

Nitecore Tiny Monster 26: 3800 Lumens

The Nitecore TM26 Tiny Monster LED Flashlight achieves its brightness by incorporating four CREE XM-L LEDs. The flashlight runs for 45 minutes on turbo mode (3800 lumens). It uses 4 x 18650 rechargeable batteries, or 8 x CR123 batteries.

The Nitecore TM26 is available at Amazon for around $300.

Update December 2014: See also the Nitecore TM06 which can output 3800 lumens in Turbo Mode and it uses AA batteries.

Fenix TK-41: 860 Lumens

The Brightest LED Flashlights: Fenix TK41

The Fenix TK-41 U2, which shines at 860 lumens, is the brightest flashlight that runs on AA batteries. It uses eight batteries, and these can be rechargeable NiMH or alkaline AAs. The TK41 produces four brightness levels, the lowest (10 lumens) allows the flashlight to run for up to 240 hours.

The Fenix TK-41 U2 is available from Amazon for about $111.

Fenix TK-35: 1800 Lumens

The Fenix TK-35  is another bright flashlight with good ratings — it gets an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars from 159+ reviewers on Amazon. The first flashlight to use a Cree XM- LED, the TK-35 shines at 1800 lumens in turbo mode.

You can find the Fenix TK-35 on Amazon for about $120.

Here it is in action:

See also the Fenix TK75  shines at 2900 lumens. It costs about $200.

Comments

  1. R.B. Mathis says

    I agree on your comments about Fenix torches, as they are tops in almost every way. However, I did recently purchase an Xtar s1 which I am very impressed with. Solidly built and throws quite a beam. I want to see the Fenix tk 75 and compare with the Xtar. Any comments on the above would be appreciated.

  2. MB says

    What about the Nitecore TM15 Tiny Monster LED Flashlight with 2450 Lumen Triple CREE XM-L? It says it stays lit 60 minutes on bright, but says nothing about cooking your hand. I don’t have one, but it proposes to be smaller and brighter than Olight SR90 Intimidator. Although, I do like the heft and beam configuration better on the Olight. BTW: $200 for a fire starter that will blind the neighbors and permanently attached itself to your hand if used for the full 15 minutes from one charge seems WELL WORTH IT!!! Long live TORCH! Or, for however long 1000watt hours on a halogen bulb might be?

    • master says

      Because the quality of manufacturing is awful, and they give out half the number of claimed lumens.

  3. Gordon says

    I think that ThruNite TN-32 should be included in this review… TN-32 is the only light that comes from the manufacturer already overclocked to stunning ~230 000 cd. ( 1702 Lumens)
    It is one of the best thrower on the market today,

  4. says

    I’m on the verge of buying a torch from Olight. The Olight SR96. Has 4800 Lumens and uses 3 Cree MK-R LEDs. Its advertised as a rechargeable outdoor search and rescue light. Curious, why didn’t this guy make the list?

  5. john w says

    just bought my ‘brightest’ led flashlight at 1000 lumens at Costco for $19. It’s a Duracell Durabeam and the switch (always an issue with a flashight) works great. The great flashlight competition for brightest light for the buck, is on!

    • master says

      Sure, if that flashlight works for you. When you pay more you get a flashlight that is more reliable, and tends to have a better quality beam. Remember also that the flashlights listed here are about 3-5 times as bright.

  6. Adam says

    This post is perfect. I wish Google was smart enough to differentiate brilliant content (like this) from trash more consistently. These smart, succinct, posts don’t often get ranked above content specific written for Google’s robots – content which often annoys the heck out of human beings who just want critical information. THANKS for saving me a lot of time!

  7. wayne says

    I have a Skyray King 9,500 lumens and over a 1000 meters reach, came with batteries 4x 18650,s and charger £40.00, been using it all year its superb,best value for money by far,well built aircraft alloy construction.

  8. Bill says

    Serious question: I’m new to high tech flashlights/lights and use them for nighttime mountain biking…. I’m using lights with single (zoomable) cree xm-l t6 with Panasonic 18650 batts.
    From what I can figure out, the Fenix TK-35 is about twice as bright??? but A LOT more expensive than my $ 10 ones ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/2000-Lumen-Zoomable-CREE-XML-T6-LED-18650-Flashlight-Focus-Torch-Zoom-Lamp-Light-/221207837184)
    I’ve used lights like the ones above for two years with excellent results (with real batteries).

    Any comments, advice? Thanks.

    • master says

      Cheap flashlights from China listed on eBay tend to have heat sink problems or they just break down after a few months of use. Also, the beam shape and quality of light is often inferior.

      Having said that, I’m glad you’ve had a good experience with the flashlight you choose!

  9. angel says

    Just want to share my newly bought flashlight from Nitecore… It’s TM06, 3800 lumens and a pocketable size.. i always bring it at night together with my friends.. it surely light my whole path, with advance ATR technology, you can feel a little hot in your palm.. i was holding it like 20-25 minutes, just normal hot.. but i did not really hold for an hour… not sure if the hot will increase, but with 3,800 lumens and the size of the body, i did not expect i can still hold it with that long period of time… but surely goodbye to overheat problems… please include it to your list… thanks

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