Whether you’re a city slicker or a country bumpkin, a long haul driver or a medical professional, at some point in your life you’re going to need a good flashlight. Unforeseen circumstances have a way of creeping up on us, and there’s nothing worse than being unprepared in an emergency! Just like you always make sure you have a spare tire in your car, keeping a flashlight around is just prudent planning.
We’ve reviewed and written buying guides for a lot of different types of flashlights (tactical, EDC, keychain & heavy-duty), but now it’s time to present the brightest flashlights in the world.
These magnificent lights push the LED and battery technologies to the max, turning night into day and evoking emotions of wonder.
The flashlights on this list will leave you in awe and with a smile on your face. Choose any one of these, and you will never find yourself stranded in the dark again.
Choose any one of these, and you will never find yourself stranded in the dark again.
1. Imalent MS18
Max. Brightness: 100,000 lumens | Peak Beam Distance: 4,429 feet (1.35 km) | Runtime on Max. Brightness: 100,000lms~25,000lms, 60 seconds + 52 Minutes
Read our hands-on review: Imalent MS18 – The World’s Brightest Flashlight
This is the king of all flashlights, and quite literally the brightest in the world. The Imalent MS18 can put out a whopping 100,000 lumens on its highest setting, which is 50 times brighter than a car’s headlights. It has an incredible throw distance of 4,429 feet (1.35 km), and contains 18 Cree XHP70 second high lumens LEDs with a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours. It has a rechargeable battery pack, and the OLED display screen will keep you up to date with the remaining battery charge.
The Imalent MS18 is a one-size-fits-all flashlight, made to replace all others, with 9 strength settings, ranging from 700 to 100,000 lumens, which means there is a setting for almost every possible occasion. This flashlight is designed to be tough, and with a covering of Aerospace-grade high performance aluminum alloy, and a heat pipe cooling system, it is all but indestructible. It is also both waterproof (IP56) and dustproof.
The flashlight is fairly heavy, weighing in at just under 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms), but who doesn’t like a bit of weight in their hands while moving around in the dark?
2. Acebeam X70
Max. Brightness: 60,000 lumens | Peak Beam Distance: 3,658 feet (1.1 km) | Runtime on Max. Brightness: 60,000lms~15,000lms, 55 seconds + 50 minutes
The Acebeam X70 Ultra Bright Rechargeable Flashlight contains 12 Cree XHP70 second high lumen LEDs, and one Cree XHP35 high intensity LED which is capable of an output of 60,000 lumens on turbo mode.
The flashlight comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack which is removable for ease of charging, and it has a removable handle which contains a cooling fan. This flashlight has six modes, ranging from 625 to 60,000 lumens, allowing for well-rounded, general use of the product, and it has an eco-mode which goes up to 35,000 lumens, and increases the battery life significantly.
The Acebeam X70 flashlight has a throw distance of 3,658 feet (1.1 km) at full power, and an LED indicator which will change from green to red to let you know when the power is waning. And just to add luxury to convenience, it is waterproof, and submersible up to 32.8 feet (10 m). All-in-all an excellent all-round high powered flashlight.
3. Acebeam X80-GT
Max. Brightness: 32,500 lumens | Peak Beam Distance: 1,223 feet (342 m) | Runtime on Max. Brightness: 1 hour 15 minutes.
This little flashlight will fit in your hand like a soda can, and is lightweight at only 1.79 pounds (870 grams). For its size, it packs a real punch, with an output of 32,500 lumens at maximum power, and a peak beam distance of 1,223 feet (342 m).
The Acebeam X80-GT contains 18 Cree XHP50.2 LEDs, and creates an optimized wide beam for a maximum area of visibility. It comes with a small handle, and has a power mode, an eco-mode, and a lock mode to prevent accidental button pressing. The Acebeam X80-GT is made with high quality military grade materials, and is waterproof to IPX-8 standards, submersible up to 98 feet (30 meters), though this is intended for accidental submersion – it is not a diving light. This is an excellent choice for extreme conditions, as it is shockproof, and can be used in heavy rain.
The flashlight has seven setting options, and can be used for a range of applications, including search and rescue, hunting, security, and even as a photography light. A battery warning light will inform you when your battery power is getting low, but this little flashlight has some serious oomph, and its battery will last up to 34 hours on the lowest setting. As an added bonus, you will find a lanyard and a holster for the flashlight included in the box.
4. Imalent MS06
Max. Brightness: 25,000 lumens | Peak Beam Distance: 1,683 feet (512 m) | Runtime on Max. Brightness: 25,000lms~4,000lms, 70 seconds + 120 minutes
Another “soda can” flashlight, the compact Imalent MS06 is dynamite in a small package. It produces a cold white light in both spot and floodlight configurations. It contains 6 Cree XHP70.2 LEDs, and has five general lighting modes ranging from 200 to 9,000 lumens. It has two emergency strobe light modes at 25,000 lumens, and it remembers the last mode you used, and starts in that same mode when you turn it on again.
This reliable little flashlight is made with aerospace grade aluminum alloy, and is finished with a wear resistant Type III hard-anodized surface treatment. It has an anti-slip grip, is drop resistant to almost 5 feet (1.5 m), and is certified IPX-8 waterproof up to a depth of 6.5 feet (2 m). At a length of only 4.68 inches and a weight of just 5.6 ounces, this little light is perfect for hunting, search and rescue, patrols, and even cave exploring.
It has a built-in thermal control module which adjusts to the surrounding temperature, so it will maintain a safe temperature in harsh weather conditions. The battery will last up to 31 hours on the lowest setting, and is fast rechargeable via the magnetic USB port. A battery level indicator will ensure you always know how much power you have left, and the included lanyard and holster will prevent you from losing this tiny flashlight.
5. Olight X9R Marauder
Max. Brightness: 25,000 lumens | Peak Beam Distance: 2,067 feet (630 m) | Runtime on Max Brightness: 25,000lms~6,400lms, 3 minutes + 100 minutes
The Olight X9R Marauder is a sleek and beautiful looking flashlight which combines modern technology perfectly with the comforting feel of a traditional flashlight. It comes with a 10-year warranty, and 6 high performance LEDs with a maximum output of 25,000 lumens.
Your purchase will include a professional looking carry case and shoulder strap, as well as a car charger, making this a very convenient flashlight for the avid traveler. One of the best things about this flashlight is that it has an intelligent display showing you both the current battery level (or charging level when plugged in) in real time, and the current output level, so you will always know exactly where you stand.
It has an eight-level output selection, and intuitive proximity sensors which will lower the output when you approach an object. The built-in heat dissipation system will keep your light output constant, while the thermal management system will maintain the safety of the device by lowering the output should it become too warm. The Olight X9R Marauder has an ergonomic design with milled finger grooves for a comfortable grip, and is waterproof for accidental submersion up to just over 3 feet (1 m).
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6. Fenix LR80R
Max. Brightness: 18,000 lumens | Peak Beam Distance: 3,707 feet (1.1 km) | Runtime on Max. Brightness: 2 hours
Both durable and powerful, the 18,000-lumen Fenix LR80R comes highly recommended — especially for search and rescue missions and exploration. It has a reach of 1235 yards and a peak beam intensity of 318,000 cd. With an IP68 rating, the flashlight is ingress-proof and completely submersible in water. Weighing only 57.71 ounces and being relatively ergonomic, it’s easy to carry and store.
This bright flashlight is equally long-lasting, featuring an up to 300-hour battery life, depending on the chosen output and setting. Choose from low (50-1,000 lumens) and high (3000-18,000 lumens) output and various other light settings, including SOS, strobe, eco, and turbo. While its powerful 7.2V 12,000 mAh battery pack is built-in, you can charge it using a compatible external battery pack.
Fast charge at 45W is another feature, as long as you use the USB-C charging cable provided. Plus, there’s also a handy battery life indicator on the flashlight to make battery saving easy. Bonus — the Fenix LR80R operates as a power bank, allowing you to charge small electronics via USB-A. It even comes with a LumerTac battery organizer to keep all your cables and parts organized.
7. Olight Marauder 2
Max Brightness: 14,000 lumens | Peak Beam Distance: 2,624 feet (800 m) | Runtime on Max. Brightness: 14,000~3,200~1,600lms, 5 minutes + 140 minutes + 45 minutes
The Olight Marauder 2 is a surprisingly versatile little flashlight, offering both a 14,000 lumen floodlight with a throw distance of 1,475 feet (450 m), and an 850 lumen spotlight with a 2,624 foot (800 m) throw distance. The spotlight is created by a central LED, and the floodlight by the 12 surrounding LEDs, and they can be easily toggled between with a handy switch.
A rotatable knob will allow you to choose between 7 different brightness levels on either output type. Attractive indicators will inform you of your current battery level, charge level and power output, and the built-in rechargeable battery will provide up to 59 hours of light on the lowest setting. Thermal sensors and cooling fins will ensure the safety of the device, and prevent overheating, and proximity sensors will dim the output when your focal point is nearby.
The Olight Marauder 2 offers extended runtime and fast charging, as well as reverse charging, allowing you to charge other USB-C devices directly from the flashlight. The charging port is water and dustproof, and the surface of the flashlight is a comfortable silicon finish for a good grip.
8. Imalent MS03
Max. Brightness: 13,000 lumens | Peak Beam Distance: 1,063 feet (324 m) | Runtime on Max. Brightness: 13,000lms~2,000lms, 45 seconds + 70 minutes.
This is the most powerful miniature flashlight you will find on the market today. It offers up to 13,000 lumens of cold white light at a distance of up to 1,063 feet (324 m), all in a palm-sized device that can fit easily into your pocket.
This tiny device is only 4.33 inches (11 cm) long, and weighs just 6.59 ounces (186 grams). It contains 3 Cree XHP 70.2 LEDs, and boasts 5 output levels as well as a strobe for emergencies. Despite its superior build quality, reinforced with aerospace grade aluminum, the Imalent MS03 Tactical Flashlight is designed for everyday use. It is waterproof to 6.5 feet (2 m), impact resistant at 5 feet (1.5 m), and has a knurling pattern on the shaft for a comfortable grip. It is lockable, and has a low power warning indicator so you don’t get caught in the dark unawares.
A great choice for security, camping, or everyday handyman work, there is no better choice of flashlight if you are looking for something really small.
9. ThruNite TN36 Limited Version
Max. Brightness: 11,000 lumens | Peak Beam Distance: 1,160 feet (353 m)| Runtime on Max. Brightness: 85 minutes
This small, convenient flashlight comes with a premium Type III hard-anodized shell, and is waterproof and impact resistant to 6.5 feet. It contains 3 Cree XHP 70B LEDs, and puts out a cool white light.
The device has only 3 modes – the infinity mode, which allows you to scroll anywhere between 96 and 8,000 lumens; the turbo mode at 11,000 lumens; and the firefly mode, which is a very soft 3 lumens. Firefly mode is perfect for midnight trips to the bathroom without waking up the rest of the household.
The ThruNite TN36 is just 5.24 inches (13 cm) long and 14.6 ounces (413 g, making it easy to handle, and convenient to carry around. It has a built-in temperature control that will dim the output if the device gets too hot, and it has a low voltage indicator to let you know when to charge the flashlight. It will also remember the last mode you used. This little flashlight doesn’t come with any batteries so you’ll have to buy them on ThruNite’s website.
What To Know Before Buying a High Lumen Flashlight
When shopping for powerful flashlights, it’s important you do your research to ensure you buy the right one. Read this insightful buyer’s guide to find out which specs, features, and ratings to look out for.
High-Lumen Flashlight Uses
Bright flashlights have a variety of uses but are usually best suited for times when maximum visibility is needed. Think search and rescue missions or exploration of dangerous and treacherous terrains, such as caves or trekking trails. While ideal for nighttime use, you can also use one during the day, specifically to illuminate dark alleys, outbuildings, and basements.
Law Enforcement & Tactical: Officers need extra visibility when on patrol, in pursuit, or on the clock. High-lumen flashlights offer improved visibility compared to regular models, helping officers easily spot suspects, targets, and more when critical.
Exploration, Hunting & Personal Use: It can be dangerous to explore without adequate lighting, particularly in remote or unlit areas, such as cave systems and parks. Taking a high-lumen flashlight that’s also reliable and durable with you is a must. You can also use yours at home, if necessary, perhaps for blackouts, nighttime backyard check-ups, and repairs.
Search & Rescue (SAR): Search, and rescue parties rely heavily on high-lumen flashlights, specifically on nighttime search and rescue missions. When searching, the additional brightness and beam reach make spotting people, objects, and movement that much easier.
What to Look For in a High-Lumen Flashlight
High-lumen flashlights come with plenty of features and capabilities. Here are the main things to look for in a high-lumen flashlight.
Brightness: High-lumen flashlights vary in brightness, with some maxing out anywhere from 1,000 up to 100,000 lumens. That said, claims can be misleading. However, the good news is that you usually don’t really need a flashlight at the higher end of the spectrum. That is unless you’re performing SAR activities. The brighter a light, the further away its beam can usually reach, making higher-lumen flashlights best for this purpose.
Variable Settings & Output: High-lumen flashlights vary when it comes to brightness, but also settings. Premium flashlight models and brands often feature a variety of variable settings. From lower to higher lumen, lower to higher output range, and more, these settings help conserve battery and adapt to your needs. Additional intermittent lighting patterns and eco modes may also be available with select flashlights.
Color Rendering Index (CRI): CRI is an important consideration for those needing truer color rendering. Higher Kelvin (7,000 – 8,000) flashlights tend to emit a bluish tone, which can obscure the true colors of illuminated things. Lower Kelvin (3,000 – 5,000) models offer a more accurate and warm illumination. A CRI rating denotes how accurate colors truly are when seen by flashlight compared to natural sunlight, a CRI of 80 – 90 being the closest.
Price: High-lumen flashlights have a lot to offer but can be pricey. While cheaper options are available, these can feature fewer settings and offer inferior illumination. However, not everyone can afford to pay hundreds of dollars for top-of-the-range models. Just take into account what you wish to use yours for and balance the price with this and the most relevant capabilities.
Interface & Design: As with any tech, each high-lumen flashlight has its own unique interface. This could have buttons, analog, digital, or LED displays, battery indicators, and more. The design may also feature clips, wrist-straps, carabiner clip brackets, grooves, rubberized coating, and ergonomic curves to maximize ease of use. Just take weight and suitability for your purpose into account.
Battery Type & Life: Being a standalone device, it’s necessary for a high-lumen flashlight to have a battery or battery pack inside. However, while some may feature internal batteries, others may have removable ones you can swap out for a fresh set without charging. The size of the battery matters, with higher volt and mAh batteries being best, particularly for power-hungry higher-lumen models. How and how fast the battery charges also matter, depending on where you plan to use and charge yours.
Ingress & Water Resistance: More often than not, high-lumen flashlights are designed for use outdoors. As such, it’s necessary they be somewhat protective of and resistant to ingress (dust, dirt) and liquids. Look for an IP or IPX rating, which tells you just how much. An IP rating may inform you only of the ingress protection if one numerical digit. Or both it and water resistance, if it’s two numerical digits. However, an IPX rating speaks of only the water resistance — the higher, the more resistant or waterproof.
Low-Voltage Protection: High-lumen flashlights tend to feature lithium-ion batteries, which can be dangerous if not discharged properly. Low-voltage protection reduces this risk, ensuring that the battery does not get damaged or start a fire. While some cheaper models may not come with this safety feature, many premium models do, so be sure to check.
Warranty: Warranties and guarantees cover you in case of damage or manufacturing faults. Since many high-lumen flashlights are on the costlier end of the spectrum, you may want to opt for one with a better warranty. Just be sure to check what these cover, as many warranties are very specific about what they do. Lifetime and limited lifetime warranties are best, but so are longer warranties of a few years and up.