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The Brightest LED Flashlights Of 2016

by Justin Thomas •

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In A Nutshell

  • The brightest flashlight is now the Acebeam X60M which shines at 7500 lumens and costs about $400 (it’s rated at 10,000 lumens but commentators here say this is not correct).
  • The brightest compact flashlight is the Thrunite TN36 UT. It outputs around 7300 lumens and costs about $240.
  • The brightest flashlight that uses AA batteries is the Nitecore EAX. It shines at 2000 lumens. It takes eight AA batteries and costs about $200.
  • Update Dec 2015: Surefire has released the Titan Plus, a new keychain flashlight that produces 300 lumens in its highest light mode.  The brightest keyring-size LED flashlight: Fenix LD02, it outputs 100 lumens on the brightest setting it costs around $30. 

The Details

Brightest Overall: The Acebeam X60M

brighest-led-flashlight-acebeam

The Acebeam X60M is the brightest flashlight I’ve come across. It’s rated at 10,000 lumens by the manufacturer, but owners say the output actually about 7500 lumens, which is still extremely bright.

The flashlight runs on six 18650 rechargeable batteries and it has a beam range of 525 meters. It is waterproof and impact resistant to 1.2 meters.

Brightest Flashlight: Acesbeam X60M

Home page: Acebeam

It’s available on Amazon for about $400: Acebeam X60M

Brightest Compact Flashlight: Thrunite TN36 UT

Thrunite TN36: Brightest Compact LED Flashlight

The Thrunite TN36 UT6 is a compact flashlight that outputs an impressive 7300 lumens. It runs on four 18650 rechargeable batteries. It’s waterproof to IPX-8 Standard (1.5 meters) and impact resistant to 2 meters.

The Thrunite TN36 UT is available on Amazon for about $240

The Brightest LED Flashlight That Uses AA Batteries: Nitecore EAX

The Brightest LED Flashlight That Uses AA Batteries

The brightest flashlight that uses AA batteries is the Nitecore EAX, which shines at 2000 lumens. It takes eight AA batteries and costs about $200.

It’s waterproof to IPX-8 Standard (1.5 meters) and impact resistant to 1.5 meters.

The Nitecore EAX is available on Amazon for about $200.

The Brightest Keychain Flashlight: Titan Plus

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Update Dec 2015: Surefire has released the Titan Plus, a keychain flashlight that produces 300 lumens in its highest light mode. Prior to this release, the brightest keychain light produced about 80-120 lumens, so this threefold increase is significant.

I’ve purchased this light and will be testing it soon. The 300 lumen mode is said to last about 1 hour with using a AAA Ni-MH battery.

 

titan-b_3

All Surefire flashlight are designed and built in the USA, although some components are still sourced outside the US. Surefire says:

We do import a few components – most notably, the finest light emitting diodes (LEDs) from top-notch manufacturers outside the country – to incorporate into our products. All of that said, we do rely on as many American-made parts and components as possible, and the assembly of these components is done under our watchful eye in the U.S. to ensure optimal quality.

The Titan Plus is available from Amazon for about $90.

Comments 98

  1. Trevor

    Hi,
    Is there any reason you haven’t reviewed the LED LENSER range…?
    I live in Australia, and apart from Fenix, NITECORE, EagleTac, KLARUS, JetBeam, NITEYE,
    LED LENSER seems to be the the most popular..? perhaps because it covers such a broad range..? or is it their marketing..?

    Anyway I’m looking for a torch similar to the P7-2 or the M7RX I’ve attached their catalogue in case you’re not familiar with them ( which I’m sure you are..), if you are I would appreciate your general feedback.?

    http://www.ledlenser.com.au/downloads/LEDLENSER_Catalogue_MSeries.pdf

    Thanks for your & your readers comments,

    1. Lummy

      If you like their focussing system, then go for it. I don’t like it that much and I’m not very impressed by beamshots from LED Lensers (neither focussed nor defocussed). Btw. there is a great beamshot comparison post here:

      Part 1:
      http://www.taschenlampen-forum.de/beamshot-vergleiche/27575-406-beamshots-lampenbildern.html

      Part2:
      http://www.taschenlampen-forum.de/beamshot-vergleiche/27575-406-beamshots-lampenbildern-2.html

      … and so on …

      Part7:
      http://www.taschenlampen-forum.de/beamshot-vergleiche/27575-406-beamshots-lampenbildern-7.html

      which is regulary updated.

  2. goeser

    What about the 3300 lumen JET Beam DDR30 3-CREE LED flashlight for $300 that has a range of 400-450 meters? Uses three 18650 rechargeable batteries, has a digital display that shows battery level and modes, also has a tripod mount and glass breaking spike! No mention of this one yet!? Great performance videos of it in action on YouTube.

  3. Daniel N

    Acebeam X60M with 10.000 lumens should be on top of the list (3×MTG2 LEDs). The next is Acebeam X60 with 7500 lumens (5 XML2 LEDs) then Niwalker MM15 with 5.000 lumens (2 MTG2 LEDs). Also Olight Marauder has 5000 lumens. Of course there is Foursevens XM18 with 15.000 lumens but it is a little big to be called a flashlight.

    1. Ghettogadgets

      The acebeam x60 is advertised as 6500 lumens(not 7500), but only 5100 lumens testest.
      Also the x60m is advertised as 10000 lumens, but only puts out around 7500 lumens (tested)

  4. Divya

    I find the reviews of this website really very useful, I am looking forward to buy a flashlight which has car charging facility with a budget of 100 to 150 USD, I would appreciate your suggestions. I would like a very bright High Beam torch, I was about to purchase the Auraglow Alphalux G194 10w Rechargeable High Intensity 800 lumen CREE LED Torch Flashlight with Tent Light Diffuser, but after seeing this website, I thought your advice would be more valuable on the purchase.

  5. gary

    Need best of 2014 of basic quality flashlight . Lumens between 80 and 1000 lumens .I be leave a lot of people would love to be able to pick a great flashlight . Oh like I like the olight s10r 4lm.

  6. Jim Fisher

    Just received my new flashlight. 1000 lumens. But, one thing concerns me. The name of the manufacture is not displayed on the light, just Made In China. Have I bought a “knock-off”?

  7. Sam

    I have both TM26 and TM06.

    The TM06 does NOT use AA batteries. It uses 4x 18650s just like the TM26.

    The TM26 comes in 2 versions. A 3500LM version using 4x CREE XM-L and a 3800LM version using the newer 4x CREE XM-L2.

  8. angel

    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

  9. Bill

    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.

    1. master

      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!

      1. Richard

        I also have an UltraFire CREE XML T6 and I absolutely love it. It has been bounced off the road, the ice, and has been dropped into a few puddles. The light is extremely bright, clean crisp edges and focuses very well. I have ran it for over 30 min and it never got much over warm. Great light for around $25 after batteries and charger.

  10. wayne

    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.

  11. david

    anyone know anything about the deltastream lumitak !000 lumens with rechargeable batts? thanks David

    1. john

      Yes, its a fraud! They will actually send you a UltraFire flashlight (made in China) that you could buy on EBay for less than $15 delivered. Falsely advertise DELTASTREAM! BUT THAT AINT WHAT THEY SEND YA.

  12. Greg

    Excellent post! I do not recall seeing the Fenix RC-40 listed here, data claims 1.5 hrs at 3500 lumens with 710 meter throw. probably worth adding to the list.

  13. Adam

    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!

  14. john w

    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!

    1. master

      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.

    2. Jerry

      I agree with Mark. The Duracell 1000 lumens is a awesome flashlight. Very high quality. Very inexpensive.

      So for $19.00 you get a name-brand LED flashlight with more lumens than the average Joe needs (1,000), a zoom lens, multi-modes, that runs on inexpensive “C” batteries and is guaranteed locally. And if all you need is a flashlight with 300 or 500 lumens (different versions on different weeks).

      1. master

        I’m glad that the Duracell 1000 works for you, but the article is about flashlights that are 6000+ lumens — the brightest currently available.

  15. ryan

    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?

  16. Gordon

    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,

    1. master

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

  17. Pingback: Best Flashlights of 2013 | angryid

  18. MB

    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?

  19. R.B. Mathis

    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.

      1. Rudy Verdin

        Sorry about grammar my smart phone isn’t so smart after all lol any how each emitter takes over 5 amps though cheaply adequate the buiesness end has a deep triple reflector the same size as the BTU shocker and if you pull up cree new data sheet the emitter at 12 volts and 5 amps reads over 4000+lumens and it has a decent it doesn’t have the fancy magnetic control ring bit it is a monster and under 200.00 dollars please if the op could do a review on it would great to see
        Driver

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