Get the best flashlight for the money in 2022 | Our Top Picks

Our mission: Cut the Crap...
Stop relying on Amazon customer reviews, top 10 websites, or even the manufacturer's specs.
We tested hundreds of flashlights to help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

Are you looking for the best cheap flashlight on the planet? But you don't know what to look for?

Word of warning: Even though you can find many cheap flashlights in online stores, including a battery and charger, you need to consider that those are usually garbage and dangerous.

Although one of our recommended flashlights may only cost $15, you still need a reliable charger and a good-quality battery. Please check out our "best 18650 battery charger list" if you will use lithium-ion batteries. At the bottom of this page, we'd like to point out some flashlights that are not worth your money!

Also, when updating this page over the past several years, it's not a secret that Convoy makes one of the most budget-friendly flashlights on planet earth. We aren't affiliated with Convoy, but this is just the truth. See for yourself, and read our reviews.

The best keychain flashlight

If you're not sure what to get.. start with a cheap keychain light!

Lumintop EDC01 holding in hand
Lumintop EDC01 runtime

Lumintop EDC01


Not the cheapest keychain flashlight, but much better than most of its competition. And still affordable at $10-$12

If you are new to flashlights, and you just want to get started, get yourself at least this keychain light. It's very affordable at only $10-$12 depending on where you order.

Once you get used to it, you probably can't live without anymore.. Kind of like your smartphone, lol.

The EDC01 is a tiny AAA flashlight that you can put on your keys. With 120 lumens (we measured 111 lumens at turn-on) you have plenty of light. Especially for simple tasks around the house.

It has 3 modes and uses a twisty switch. You have to tighten the head to the battery tube to turn it on. Loosen and tighten again to go to the next brightness level. The lack of a normal switch makes it so short, and also more durable.

It's also great you can use widely available disposable batteries during emergencies. Although these Alkaline batteries are not recommended for normal use, and especially not for long-term storage.

If you want to know more, check out our full review of the Lumintop EDC01.

Summary:

  • Usable with AAA batteries, but we recommend using rechargeable AAA's like Panasonic Eneloop.
  • Plenty bright
  • Comes with a carabiner clip and key ring.
  • Available in different colors
  • Waterproof
  • The price is usually between $10-$12

The best cheap AA flashlights

Although eBay and Aliexpress are full of AA flashlights, 99.9% of them are not worth your money. Especially not the ones that have: Police on them. When buying cheap AA flashlights you don't have to worry about the extra care you'd have to give to lithium-ion batteries. And on top of that, you don't have to buy another charger if you don't have one already.

Convoy T2 in hand
Convoy T2 runtime with AA Eneloop

Convoy T2


The Convoy T2 is a simple yet good AA flashlight.

Convoy is known for its affordable flashlights with great value for the money.

I would even argue that Convoy flashlights are the best value you can get! The Convoy T2 is an EDC flashlight , but has a few drawbacks like the Max output only being about 200 lumens (check out our Convoy T2 review).  Turbo sometimes kicks in and reaches 300-400 lumens, but this is not always the case. What I like about the T2 is that it's easy on your pockets, and it doesn't accidentally get activated while carrying. Some flashlights that use side switches suffer from this problem.

Details:

  • Usable with AA batteries, but we recommend using rechargeable AA's like Eneloop.
  • It has a mechanical switch, so it doesn't have any parasitic drain that causes a light to draw energy from the battery even when not in use
  • Available with a Cool White and Neutral White LED
  • Waterproof
  • Price: $13-$15
lumintop flashlight in hand

Lumintop Tool AA 2.0


Lumintop being a higher-end flashlight manufacturer still produces a rather good quality budget-friendly flashlight, called the Lumintop Tool AA.

Lumintop isn't really a budget brand, but it still produces an AA flashlight for less than $20! If you look through our reviews you will see that Lumintop has some serious flashlights including the BLF GT, GT Mini and many many more. The Tool AA is one of those lights you just can't go wrong with. We've reviewed the Titanium version of the Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 here. The price for the aluminum version is usually below $20 but sometimes reaches a price of just above $20. Check out our Banggood's deals section on the site to see if there are any active discount coupons. If you are looking for just a reliable but still affordable flashlight, take the Tool AA into consideration! (beware that there also is a Lumintop Tool AAA, which can only use AAA batteries)

Pros

  • Usable with AA rechargeable battery (120 lumens) and 14500 lithium battery (max 650 lumens)
  • Rear switch so it doesn't have any parasitic drain that causes a light to draw energy from the battery till the battery is empty
  • Available with high power XP-L HD (High Density)
  • Price: $20-$25
Sofirn SP v3 
Sofirn SP10 v3 runtime graph full

Sofirn SP10 v3


The Sofirn SP10 is an extremely affordable AA flashlight with side-switch

Affordable AA flashlight with a side switch

If you haven't heard of the Sofirn SP10 yet, take notice.

It's an affordable High CRI AA flashlight, and probably one of the best bang for the buck you can get.

You get a flashlight with a side switch and a high CRI LED. And that for less than $20. If you think that an AA battery isn't bright enough, you can upgrade to a 14500 lithium-ion battery to double the output, going from roughly 332 lumens for AA to 996 lumens with a 14500 lithium-ion battery.

Check out our in-depth review of the Sofirn SP10 v3 for more details.

Summary:

  • Can be used with Alkaline (not recommended), rechargeable AA, and 14500 lithium-ion.
  • High output with AA rechargeable battery and 14500 lithium battery (max 1000 lumens, we tested it)
  • Uses a High CRI Samsung LED (better color rendering)
  • Price: $17 without battery and charger
  • Price $20 with battery and charger

Best budget flashlights with 18650 batteries

When you start using 18650 battery-powered flashlights, you should always take into consideration paying a little extra for the batteries and charger. Check out our charger list, and decide which of them fits your budget. Don't cheap out on the charger or batteries! Unfortunately, this will bring up the overall price, but it's always better safe than sorry.

Recommended lithium-ion batteries are Samsung, LG, Sony, and Panasonic. Please check out the great number of batteries Henrik has tested to see which one fits your needs. High power flashlights need High Amp batteries, but most of the cheaper flashlights we listed don't need high amp batteries!

Convoy S2+ holding in hand
Convoy S2+ full runtime

Convoy S2+


The Convoy S2+ is one of the hidden gems amongst the vast amount of flashlight available online.

The convoy S2+ already existed for quite a few years, and that is also a sign of success. Simon (the owner of the Convoy brand) made a simple straightforward, high-quality 18650 flashlight. The S2+ didn't change much over the years, but still got upgraded with the newest LEDs and also different colored coatings. Now they are available in about half a dozen colors. The new coatings include Sand, Grey, Green, Blue, Purple and Orange. If you want a good, reliable but budget flashlight, this is the one to get! If you have to choose your desired LED, I would suggest going for the 3D or 4C tints, since they are neutral white. The higher the number the warmer the light, so 1A is very cool, and 7A is very warm. Also if you can choose between 7135x3 or 7135x8 choose the latter for the highest output (x8 means 8 chips, and x3 means 3 chips).

Check out our review of the Convoy S2+

Pros:

  • Straightforward and easy UI
  • Easy to fix
  • Cheap and reliable
  • Light output between 300 lumens and 1000 lumen (depending on what LED light you choose)
  • A great amount of LED emitter choices and tints
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Prices range from $10-$20 depending on the driver, and LED choice.

Best cheap flashlight with a 21700 battery

When looking for a 21700 flashlight you'll usually end up in the $30-40 ballpark. There are however a few good bargains. Check them out below.

Convoy S21A cheap 21700 flashlight

Convoy S21A


High quality, budget 21700 flashlight

Convoy is really dominating this list and not for any dubious reason. If you look at the quality and the price of their products, nothing can beat them. If you come along another brand in their price category that beats Convoy, I will eat my flashlights. LOL.

The S21A is a 21700-battery type flashlight with a SST40 LED. You can choose between a 5000K and 6500K LED, plus a 4 mode driver and a 12-groups driver. This kind of service for the price is just amazing.

Take note that the 12-groups driver is programmable. You can select 1 of the 12 different groups. The 4-mode driver has 4 non-programmable modes.

Just make sure you buy a high quality 21700 battery and charger along with the light. You can still use it with a 18650 battery if you'd like. But 21700 batteries tend to have much higher capacity. Max 5100mAh for 21700 batteries and max 3600mAh for 18650 batteries.

Pros:

  • High quality
  • Easy UI with 4 modes
  • 12-mode group driver gives you the ability to choose any group you like.
  • Choose your emitter  (neutral tint or cool)

Cheap flashlight throwers

Looking for something that can reach far without breaking the bank? Well, this is probably the place to be!

Convoy C8 plus

Convoy C8+


An extremely good and affordable "thrower'.

Best cheap flashlight thrower

When you are looking for a flashlight that can throw a beam over a long distance, have a look at the Convoy C8+. First a word of warning: don't go out and look for the same model but from another brand, like Boruit, or Wainlight. Those look the same but are inferior. Although the C8 style flashlights have been around for more than 10 years, only in the last couple of years have they become higher quality... Usually, it's the other way around. This is kind of a mix between a tactical flashlight and your average long-range flashlight because of the different mode options you can choose from.

There are tons of options with different colors and mode groups. I'd recommend buying the one that is linked below. This is probably the #1 best thrower around $25.

Pros:

  • Straightforward and easy-to-use interface
  • Very affordable
  • Nice choice of LED emitters
  • Spare parts easily accessible

Cheap rechargeable flashlights

In the past few years we have seen a huge increase in flashlights that have a charge built into them.

Convoy S21E hand
Convoy S21E runtime

Convoy S21E


One of the best cheap rechargeable 21700 flashlights

Great EDC flashlight

I am not affiliated with Convoy, but they are hands down one of the only trustable and good-quality affordable flashlights! I am actually quite surprised I had to add yet another Convoy to the list. There aren't that many rechargeable flashlights available below $20 that are also still trustworthy. The Convoy S21E has been tested by our reviewer Rob, have a look at his Convoy S21E review and decide whether it is worth going for this flashlight.

I think it is!

Pros:

  • Straightforward and easy UI
  • Easy to use
  • Multiple mode options
  • USB rechargeable (USB-C)
  • Multiple LED choices
  • Easy to disassemble

Cheap powerful flashlights | 3,000 lumen

Finding a super bright, and powerful flashlight below $25 is going to be impossible. Here is the brightest one to get below $30.

flashlight on white background
runtime chart

Sofirn SP33 v3


One of the best cheap rechargeable, 21700 flashlights

Bright flashlight

Like a lot of lights in this price range, build quality is perfectly acceptable – anodization is solid, and there are no protruding sharp edges. This version of the SP33 comes with an XHP50.2 3V and is much brighter than any other offering in this price category. The beam that the XHP50.2 makes has a clearly defined hotspot, and then a fade-off to the corona.

As the light includes USB-C charging (USB-A to USB-C only, though), it’s a simple matter to pop the battery to charge just about anywhere you go. Check out the full review of the Sofirn SP33 v3.

This flashlight is not without flaws, but it's the best one that reaches over 3,000 lumens (with the right battery) and still doesn't break the $30.

Pros:

  • Great size and weight
  • Easy to use
  • Multiple mode options
  • USB rechargeable (USB-C)
  • Easy to disassemble

Quality Budget flashlights!

I call them Budget, to distinguish them from the "Cheap" ones because they provide some serious bang for your buck.

Convoy

The #1 budget flashlight manufacturer is definitely Convoy. The owner of Convoy, Simon, has a line-up of flashlights that are very good quality at a budget price. He has his own AliExpress shop, so the links above are linking to his shop directly! He doesn't have his own website, though. Which is kind of a pity.

If you are looking for your first flashlight and don't want to break the bank, take a look at the Convoy S2+. Or the Convoy C8+ if you want a little more throw. Both of these two flashlights are very much liked by flashlight addicts.

Sofirn, Astrolux and Wurkkos

Other well-known budget brands to look out for are Astrolux, Sofirn, and Wurkkos. Thorfire was another good brand but hasn't been active lately. They build some nice flashlights for cheap. And are arguably the best flashlights on the market, when it comes to budget options.

Inexpensive flashlights: List of bad quality lights you shouldn't buy!

Here are some flashlights you should avoid! They might be affordable, but they're not reliable. They may be fun to play with or take apart, but there are just so many other great budget lights, that you should probably just ignore them. Don’t trust their output claims or anything they claim in their ads or product description.

Join the 1Lumen Newsletter

Sign up today!

Receive the latest reviews, the latest news, discount coupons, and perhaps some flashlight memes ;-) right into your inbox