There are a lot of different reasons why you might need a high lumen flashlight. Perhaps you live in a rural area where the only light is from the moon and your trusty flashlight. Maybe you work an evening security detail, or you just want a solid flashlight for when you walk the dog late at night. Whatever your needs are, we’ll help you find the top high intensity tactical flashlight!
There is a lot of noise when it comes to judging a flashlight's brightness output. If you don’t care what the difference is between LED and an Incandescent is feel free to fly past this part.
The lumens of a light measures the bulbs output. This is important to note, just because a flashlight claims it has a max output of 1000 lumens doesn’t mean it operates at that level. It’s not uncommon to compare flashlights side by side that have identical lumen ratings only to find one of the lights is significantly brighter.
Why would a company advertise a 600 lumen flashlight that only operates at 300 lumens? Cheap flashlights will often do this because if their light operated at 600 lumens it would only last for 25 minutes.
This measures how bright, the brightest spot on a focused beam of light is. This metric is rarely given and again, can be pretty misleading. A tighter beam will have more candlepower than a flood style light.
Without getting Bill Nye on you the short answer to this question is LED lights were revolutionary when they were developed because they provide 100,000’s of working hours. Incandescent bulbs are going to have a much shorter life expectancy but generally can outperform an LED in terms of distance and power.
Now, you may be wondering if this is an article about the brightest flights why are most of them LEDs? In most cases the brightest Incandescent lights are impractical. There is not a lot of purpose to having a light that throws out a ton of.
I’ve found time and time again that Streamlight really is the best of both worlds. They don’t necessarily have the brand power that Surefire does and they’re not as cheap as some of MagLite products but they seem to have found their niche: high quality products at fair prices.
I can’t say the tactical flashlights they manufacture are cheap, because $70 for a flashlight isn’t cheap but man do they work and do they ever work well.
When you hear stories of $80 flashlights breaking within a year and the manufacturer fails to honor the warranty you love this kind of statement.
Streamlight's Limited Lifetime Warranty warrants this product to be free of defect, including the LED, for a lifetime of use. Switches and electronics have a two (2) year warranty with proof of purchase.
Needless to say, Streamlight stands behind the products they build. Like some of the other high end lights we review the Streamlight 88040 ProTAC is manufactured from high grade aluminum with an anodizing finish. and the glass is tempered.
The 88040 offers three settings, low, high and strobe.
Low: 33 Lumens -18 hrs – 60m
High 600 Lumens - 1h 15min – 250m
Strobe 600 Lumen – 2h 30mins – 250m
It also has a momentary on switch, which is handy in a wide range of practical situations.
At just $75 this is one of the best high lumen tactical flashlight on the market. There are others, which are comparable, but none that are in the same price range as the Streamlight 88040. It received 4.7/5 stars which is pretty remarkable from so many reviewers.
Wicked laser’s advertises their product The TORCH as the world’s brightest flashlight. It is an incandescent bulb that produces a whooping 4100 lumens of white light.
While many high end lights offer lifetime warranties the TORCH only offers a year warranty. The other downside to this flashlight is the bulb has an expected life of 2000 hours. Granted, 2000 hours is a long time and depending on how you’re using it could last a lifetime. However, if you’re in an occupation such as search & rescue that requires constant use of a flashlight it’s only going to take a few short years to burn it out.
The TORCH does have some upside, it’s light is unlike anything I’ve ever seen from other flashlights. They claim it’s powerful enough to fry an egg, and while I’ve never tried this, this video does the job for us.
Generally speaking when folks ask for recommendations on a bright flashlight I usually initially recommend some of the brightest LED flashlights. If you’re going to shell out $100+ for a high end flashlight you want to make sure you’re going to have it for the rest of your life.
Unlike some of the competitors Thrunite’s top selling lights are all their most powerful lights. They’re not cheap but they’re durable and throw a ton of light.
The TN12 is constructed out of aircraft grade aluminum and is water tight. The surface has been anodized as you would expect with any high quality light. Finally, the glass is tempered which helps absorb the shock if you do happen to drop this light.
To sum it up, if you drop this off a ladder it’s not going to break. If you’re going to pay for all those lumens it better damn well not crack on first impact. It’s a little heavier at 2.2lbs than some of the slimmer tactical flashlights we cover but chances are you can manage the extra pound.
This is an article about the most powerful flashlights on the market, the lumens is likely what interests you. This sucker throws off 1050 lumens and has great range at 218m. It’s entertaining to turn off all the lights in your house and then flood it with this light.
If your flashlight gives off 2780 lumens, you’re going to want multiple settings. The ThruNite TN30 has 6 settings, ranging from 1lm. to 2780lms.
0.3 lm 1585hrs
20 lm 74hrs
280 lm 2.5hrs
800 lm 1.5hrs
1050 lm 1.5hrs
And the last setting it comes with is a strobe function which throws 1050 lumens and lasts two hours. It’s worth noting these run times are based 2x 18650 batteries which are top of the line.
The ThruNite TN12 is a beast. For every day use this is a terrific flashlight that I would recommend to anyone outside of military and police officers.
There are a number of reasons I can’t recommend this light for servicemen and women. First off the number of settings is a little much to swap through. Also I find flashlights such as the Streamlight to be a little easier handle and not to mention if you want to rig one of these up to a firearm that’s clearly not going to work.
With all that said, if you’re an avid outdoorsman, need a high quality flashlight around the farm or want a powerful beam if you’re walking in rural areas at night the ThruNite delivers. Overall it received 4.6/5.0 stars on Amazon.
“FENIX TK76 2800 Lumen Triple Beam CREE XM-L2 U2 LED Flashlight with Two Smith & Wesson LED CaraBeamer Clip Lights and EdisonBright Battery Sampler Pack”. That’s a hell of a product description.
Truthfully, I’m not sure what you could possibly need this light for except for the simple fact that it’s badass and spills a ton of light.
As is the case with almost every solid flashlight on the market it’s manufactured out of aircraft aluminum, anodized to harden the outside and the glass is tempered to make it shatter resistant. Notice I didn’t say “proof” I said resistant, so don’t take a hammer to it you will be able to break it.
The ridiculous part about this flashlight is it actually has 3 separate bulbs. It features 2 Cree XM-L2 LEDs and one Cree XM-L2 T6 LED light. You can flick between general mode and tri-mode which toggles between using three heads or just a single head. From there you can choose between four separate modes, with a maximum output of 2800 lumens and a minimum of 7 lumens.
It also has a button which allows you instantly toggle between strobe and the normal setting. On the lowest setting the flashlight will last for 20 hours, while on the highest setting (tri-mode turbo) it will last just over an hour.
The TK76 is a fantastic piece of equipment but it is a little bit overkill. There aren’t a lot of practical situations, which I can see the FENIX TK76 excelling in. Search and rescue workers might find the flood functionality to be useful on a light with such immense power.
Overall, I would probably opt for something a little bit smaller that has less features.
The highest lumen tactical flashlight I was able to find was the Barska BA11630. However, after additional research this would NOT be the product I personally would buy.
After doing my research I quickly discovered the BA11630 isn’t made with the same quality materials as some of the other manufacturers. This may sound like lip service more then anything else but using aircraft grade aluminum followed by an anodizing process is critical.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that majority of the complaints are based around the flashlight being dropped or mishandled and then suddenly it stops working.
The tube diameter of this flashlight is 1” so technically you could mount it on most standard weapon mounts. I would advise against testing it on an AR or a shotgun, even a pistol might rattle it to the point where it no longer works.
Admittedly this light does produce a massive amount of light, and it’s rated for 1200 lumens. There is nothing in the similar price range that can touch that. However, there is a good reason for this, the overall quality of the light has suffered.
One positive is it comes with rechargeable batteries which is a significant enough investment to mention. At the highest setting it runs for 2 hours, while at the lowest setting it runs for 6 hours.
Reviewers have given this product 3/5 stars which is suspect at best. What’s even more significant about this product is the number of reports of the flashlight breaking and then BARSKA not honoring there one year warranty. As an aside, high end flashlight manufacturers will offer more then a one year warranty on a tactical flashlight.
Depending on what your budget and your needs are there are several quality high powered flashlights on the market. If you are really only interested in the very brightest flashlight the TORCH is your ticket.
Not everyone needs a high lumen flashlight, if you’re in the market for a quality light at a reasonable price we recommend the Maglite S4D016. Keep in mind the Maglite isn’t designed for intense weather or environments.
If you think you may want to mount the light to weapon or you want a slick, durable light for everyday use the 88040 really does outperform the competition in terms of price and quality.
Vital for just about any hiker who finds themselves outside when the sun goes down; headlights come in all shapes and sizes.
The first and probably one of the most important aspects that you need to remember when it comes to headlamps is the fact that manufacturers tend to give you a lot of misleading information about the headlamp; just to get you hyped enough to buy it.
If you can really get your hands on a headlamp that maintains brightness through the runtime AND deliver a great beam distance performance, then heck, you’ve found yourself the real deal!
To be perfectly honest, the time where you had to really think about this question has come and gone. There used to be a battle between incandescent, halogen and LED, but in modern days where LED lights deliver extraordinary brightness and great energy efficiency, there isn’t really much of a race going on anymore.
In any great headlamp fit for the tough terrains that hiking comes hand-in-hand with, you’ll need a headlamp with the most essential basic features. These include:
Spotlight mode – The spotlight beam shines brighter, but a little narrower, which makes it perfect for viewing objects in the distance, like for instance when you’re trying to navigate a trail that isn’t greatly defined. What’s important though is that you look for a lamp that comes with both a spotlight AND wide flood mode for closer proximity use. What the close proximity floodlight mode will do is cast a wide beam, with even lighting which is perfect for lighting up campsites when you finally get off the trail for the night.
Red Light – The red light is probably one of the most efficient in terms of battery life. What’s really great about this red light is the fact that it lights up your surroundings just enough, but doesn’t mess with your night vision. These lights are also perfect for SOS scenarios where you need someone to find you if you get into a tight situation.
Rechargeable batteries – batteries are expensive and the fact of making a once off investment that will keep on going for even longer than regular batteries just makes sense!
This little hard working headlamp offers you almost perfect optical clarity and a bright, even lit beam that is comfortably wide. Walking down a trail really becomes effortless due to this wider beam that lights up your surroundings without you having to turn your head around the whole time. What we really LOVE about the NAO is its awesome Reactive mode, which intensifies the light beam when you look at something at a distance, but then to save battery, dims down the light when you’re focusing on a closer proximity.
The Icon is lightweight and super durable. It’s also very bright, but nothing like the Fenix though. The Icon comes in in our middle section because it’s a-little-above-average headlamp which will cost you just enough and still give great working results, time after time. It’s small and comfortable to wear and is the perfect go to option for when you’re assembling your hiking backpack.
The Fenix has a narrower light, so this one is better for trekking through terrain that you’ll need to scout out meters in advance. The Fenix is the BRIGHTEST of the three we have on our list, which is great if you really need a lot of light. The really great thing about the Fenix is the fact that it also has a great low beam light that will run for days on end.
For more information of the best headlamps for camping click here.
When a flashlight manufacturer refers to their product as a “Cree Flashlight”, they aren’t actually talking about a name; it merely refers to the LED inside of the flashlight. Cree comes in a number of different models of high output LED’s
Here’s another explanation: “Cree bins individual models of LED on the basis of total flux or light output, typically measured at 350mA. Bin numbers might be P4, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, R2, R3, R4, and R5 with each bin being about 5% additional flux. The P4 is 80 lumens, a Q5 would be 107 lumens, and the R5 bins are 137 lumens. At higher amperage than 350mA, the brightness goes way up, with the XP-G producing 3 times as many lumens at a maximum current of 1500mA.”
Simply put…Cree LED flashlights light up your world when the only source of light is either the moon or an outdated flashlight. Along with their durability, CREE flashlights also bring you long-term benefits to your home emergency preparedness system. You’ll be able to handle any unexpected dark situation ranging from a home power outage to fixing a flat tire in the middle of a dark country road. A great high lumen flashlight is probably one of the best emergency tools you can have on you at all times.
That being said, here’s out pick of the best Cree LED Flashlights on the market today
We love it because:
And the bad?
There isn’t really anything bad about this flashlight at all, except for the price, because $75 for a flashlight isn’t cheap.
This is probably one of the very best tactical LED’s on available today, so if you do have the finances to invest it would be a great opportunity to grab
We love it because:
And the bad?
We love it because:
And the bad?
If you need a REALLY bright LED flashlight and you have the finances (we’re talking around $100 here), then The Torch just might be what you need
We Love It Because:
And the bad?
If you really want an extensive range of settings, something that’s going to light up your world and don’t need to mount your flashlight to a firearm, the TN12 is the beast of all LED’s and an investment you won’t regret making
Investing in a Cree LED Flashlight always mainly revolves around your budget, and then obviously also around what you’ll be using it for. There are tons of great flashlights available on the market today.
We’ve shown you what the BEST look like. For the very budget conscious consumer who isn’t going to want to use the flashlight ALL the time, the UltraFire Mini Cree is great. If you need something averagely priced, the Streamlight is your man. Need something super bright and powerful? Opt for The Torch! And if you have more to invest and need a great warranty, the ThruNite is your best pick.
So what’s our top pick for The Best Cree Flashlight? It has to be Wicked Lasers - The Torch! It’s been called the world’s most powerful flashlight, and with good reason! Wicked Lasers really put out their best product when they invented The Torch. Sure, you’ll have to fork out a pretty penny if you’re going to invest in it, but it just might turn out to be one of the best investments you ever made.
They say real men aren’t scared of the dark, but we all know that’s not entirely true. Armed with a great LED flashlight however, no dark corner is too shadowy; no garage too “stuffy”, the world becomes a brighter place.
If you’re in the market for a great new LED flashlight, you’re in the right place; because we’ve rounded up some of the best LED Flashlights for 2015 to help you narrow down the search…
Check out our thoughts on the best tactical LED Flashlights.
This flashlight has a runtime of 295 hours on the lowest setting and a runtime of 2.2 hours on the highest setting. It’s compact and the bright LED will help illuminate even the darkest of spaces.
Shining in at 600 Lumens thanks to the C4 LED, this flashlight from Streamlight is a real reliable and hardworking tool. It’s impervious to shock and water proof to one metre.
This is the double duty torch we talked about earlier, the one that can also help you out in a self-defense scenario. It’s still a great and real bright flashlight, but for night walking, this is the bomb because it was actually built with the intention of being strong enough to defend yourself with it from thieves
Yes, it’s a super long name, but the EagleTac can put out up to 1180 lumens for 1 hour and has a beaming distance of up to 295 meters. The EagleTac is also water proof. Batteries not included.
If you need something really strong and bright, the Supernova is a super choice! It offers 1300 lumens of light and runs on a rechargeable lithium battery; it also encompasses the BrightSmart technology, which helps to regulate the battery power.
Something POWERFUL and fully rechargeable AND has a long run time WITH a tactical security design? YES, the Solaray PROZX-1 seems to have it all in one hamper!
With a great Cree LED lifespan of 50,000 hours, you’re guaranteed never to be left in the dark again with this great Fenix LED flashlight. This bundle comes with two rechargeable lithium batteries.
Designed for law enforcement, hunting, tactical applications. The NiteCore delivers the very best and brightest results time after time. It is equipped with multicol5
red signal lights, charger, rechargeable battery, and two lithium batteries.
If you need bright in ALL its might, then The Torch is your answer! Capable of producing a whopping 4100 lumens of intense light, The Torch lights your world unlike any other flashlight out there. The halogen lamp lasts up to 2000 hours.
Offering you a powerful 2000 lumens of light, the Refun flashlight is sure powerful given its small size and the low price. Has adjustable focus range, is skid proof and water resistant, and 5 switch modes.
A bit more of an investment for the very best quality, that seems to be ThruNite’s motto. This flashlight is super powerful and has some great features, and you’re bound to see the world after dark from a totally new perspective once you have this beast in your hands.
This is one of the most powerful high lumen flashlights that you can buy today. By NO means is this one cheap, but the very best never are. You get 10,000 lumens that can reach up to 525 meters, which makes for one hell of a tactical flash light by the way although it’s going to cost you a pretty penny.
If you’re out and about at after dark and want to make sure you spot anything that goes bump in the night before you bump into it, then having a super bright LED Headlamp is your way to go!
You need something super bright, in order to ensure you can see perfectly the world around you. You also need something that’s small and durable and well as comfortable to wear!
LED Headlamps come in all shapes and sizes and their prices range from suitable for every pocket to downright ridiculous. As with most other outdoor gear, choosing one that’s right for you all depends on WHAT exactly you’ll be using your headlamp for.
Once again the idea that manufacturers can and very well DO overstate the output powers of their headlamps should always be at the back of your mind. The most powerful claims on the market out there today seems to be around 5000 lumens, but some lamps that were labeled this way, barely reached 1800 lumen.
All LED headlamps are essentially super bright, because frankly, their LED’s!
Its super bright, its durable and one of the most reliable hands-free lights out there. The Extreme Bright Headlamp is water resistant and will fit just about anyone, with its adjustable head strap that’s durable and secures the light source. It has an incredibly powerful zoomable light with multiple settings, and what’s best is that it comes with a Lifetime Guarantee! It’s a heavy duty, super bright LED Headlamp that has advanced focus systems (such as the fish eye lens) that helps to keep your focus clear and bright at all times. It comes with a low, high and flash light mode which gives you versatility for under $30!
The White Cree light produces around 168 Lumens and a beaming distance of up to 110 meters in super bright mode, which makes this one of the brightest LED headlamps out there. The Vitchelo also comes with 2 Red lights which can be used in either flashing or steady mode, perfect for either survival or alternatively star gazing. Switching between modes is super easy and is done via the 2 separated press buttons. As the name implies, this headlamp is waterproof for up to IPX6 and has a battery lifetime of up to 120 hours. The Vitchelo comes with a 60 day money back guarantee and a lifetime warrantee.
This is a high-tech, ultra-powerful, USB rechargeable headlamp definitely made with optimum nighttime lighting in mind! It has a fully adjustable lens which offers you the ability to switch between focused and wide beam effortlessly. The body of the headlamp tilts up to 90 degrees, so this means you really get to focus the light where YOU need it. It comes with an ultra-bright mode which puts out 280 Lumens up to 120 meters, a bright mode that does 200 Lumens up to 80 meters and an average mode which does 95 lumens up to 40 meters. Other than that it also has a minimum mode that puts out 12 lumens ranging up to 10 meters. AS if that isn’t enough variety it also has an emergency flashing mode which is great for SOS situations. The MX500 is constructed from tough, high quality yet lightweight materials and weighs in at only 4 ounces. It has a water resistance rating of a whopping IPX7 as well as cold impact resistance.
If you are also interested in the brightest LED flashlights click here.
The first and most important thing you need to know and keep in mind when it comes to LED headlamps is that what’s great today, might not be on-top tomorrow. The ever changing technology and advances in the quality makes it almost impossible to settle on one singular product and stick to it.
The best we can do is to advise you what LED’s are all about and why you should choose them, and off course recommend one or two that we love at the moment. That being said, the most obvious choice for a headlamp these days is the LED version, simply because it’s the brightest light available and uses the least amount of battery life, when compared to something like halogen.
In short…NO. Some lights have rings and bright spots in the beam of light while others have uniform beams. This is mainly thanks to the WAY the lights get manufactured. If the location of the right source then it causes an ill-balanced beam. Lower quality plastic and molds also cause the lenses to perform badly.
Yes! How your LED’s are pointed makes a big difference in the amount of light they will create. Normally LED’s have a 20 degree spread to the light beam. If you want a brighter spot, then all the LED’s would have to be pointed in the same direction, but this does cause you to loose peripheral vision. Want a broader illumination? Get something that has the LED’s pointing slightly away from each other, but again, this makes you lose brightness.
For cheap, you can pick up this great little LED Headlamp. It’s bright enough to make your way around the dark and the head strap is secure plus you get the adjustable light which allows you to manually change where the light focuses. It has 18 super bright LED’s ad 2 Red LED’s which gives you a little versatility.
So the headlamp from Divine LED’s might be a little more of a financial investment, but definitely worth the few extra dollars. The super bright headlamp illuminates even the darkest areas. It boasts an adjustable dimmer with 5 modes so you can choose just the right amount of light according to your requirements. It has a super comfortable wear and because it’s made from military grade metal, the XE Series headlamp was built with durability in mind. What’s really cool is the fact that it’s also totally water resistant. This headlamp is great for camping, hiking, boating, running and home improvement projects, really making it an all-round multi-purpose headlamp. It also comes with a LIFETIME warranty against defects as well as a satisfaction guarantee. The XE Series is perfect for all your focused-beam illumination needs.
The Spark Headlamp from Yalumi uses a sophisticated optical lens that gives you enhances beam and light efficiency and has 3 different modes; economic (great for power saving), high brightness (for lighting up even the darkest of areas) and strobe (for emergency situations). The white LED with its 105 Lumen light output covers an area of 90 meters with its light beam and can run for around 187 hours in the economy mode and around 95 hours on the super bright mode. This headlamp is great because it gives you a bright, uniform and narrow focused spotlight beam pattern. We love the fact that its super comfortable to wear, has an adjustable head strap and a lap illumination angle tilt and lock mode (which is great for preventing the lamp from accidentally switching on in your backpack and running out before you get the opportunity to use it). It’s compact. Its lightweight and it’s been designed with durability and flexibility in mind – it’s even water resistant!
For more information on the brightest LED headlamps click here.
To help you minimize on the time spent in search of a great Headlamp for camping, we’ve gone out of our way to bring you a guide as to what exactly to look for in the Best Headlamp for Camping.
Essentially, when you’re considering a great camping headlight, you’ll want to take into consideration the performance of the light around the camping site as well as how well it will light up your tent on the inside after the sun has set.
What you NEED to know is that there are literally THOUSANDS of good-enough headlamps out there that will do the job, and do it well. For something like camping you’re probably not going to need some sort of extreme, uber lightweight headlamp, but rather just something that will withstand the elements and light up you after dark experience. DON’T feel overwhelmed by the (sometimes mind-numbing) amounts of available products out there, just stick to what it will be able to deliver you with.
So WHAT do you want from a good headlamp for camping?
What a true gem this is! It weighs in at only 30 grams so it’s just about the most ideal headlamp to throw into your bug out bag, resting assured that you’ll be covered come nightfall! It’s light and it does what it’s supposed to do, really quickly too! What’s great about the Petzl is the fact that it basically fits in the palm of your hand and provides you with enough light to get cracking around the campsite as well as inside of your tent.
It has a low mode which is perfect for holding up battery life for extended periods of time. It’s also a little life saver! It has a built in Flashing Red LED for emergency situations, which will notify observers that you’re in need of help, and the beacon lasts for days at that!
We love the fact that the retractable zip-line headband also wears super comfortably, due to the fact that this little guy is so super lightweight, but just because it’s lightweight doesn’t mean it’s not durable. This headlamp is robust and waterproof for up to one meter.
Okay so it might be slightly more expensive than other low-end lights, and could use a little more battery power than many of its competitors but its size and weight remains unbeatable!
With so many different headlamps on the market today, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and make an impulsive decision when making a purchase. Always keep in mind that when it comes to headlamps for camping, you need something that’s durable and built to last. You obviously don’t want anything that’s going to drag you down, and you should be able to wear it with ease and comfort, allowing you to be the light source of the camping site. There really isn’t a RIGHT or WRONG here; it’s all about the headlamp’s functionality and what it can do for YOU. Investing hundreds of dollars into a camping headlamp is not something we recommend by the way, but obviously a cheap lamp will give you cheap results.
If you are looking for more information on the best headlamps for hiking click here.