Best flashlight for the money

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

In one of our articles, we shared 24 differences between a premium flashlight vs a cheap flashlights. Instead of calling the flashlight in the following list cheap, we rather use the term: budget- or affordable flashlights. So what is the best flashlight for the money?

Word of warning: Even though you can find many cheap flashlights online including a battery and charger, you just need to take into consideration that they are usually garbage and dangerous.

Although a flashlight might only cost $15, you still need a reliable charger and battery to use with it. 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, check out the Banggood flashlight deals for awesome discounts and great deals.. usually once or twice updated per month with new coupon codes.

Cheap AA flashlights

Although eBay, Aliexpress are full of AA flashlights, 99% are not worth the money. Especially not the ones that say: 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.

 

utorch ut01 flashlight

Utorch UT01


The Utorch UT01 is one of the most powerful AA flashlights, and costs less than $20

Most AA flashlights can push out about 150-200 lumens using a rechargeable AA battery. Only more premium brands like Zebralight and Olight are able to push passed the 200 lumens mark. And most, if not all, budget flashlights will not be able to push passed this mark. Except for the Utorch UT01, which is not only a budget flashlight but also able to push out 400 lumens of a single Eneloop NiMH battery.

Pros

  • Usable with AA rechargeable battery and 14500 Lithium battery.
  • Side switch for easy operation
  • Available in Cool White and Neutral White

Cons could be that since it's a budget light, it can be difficult to find a replacement or replacement parts.

convoy-t2-1-2

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 has a few drawbacks like the Max output only being about 200 lumens (check out our Convoy T2 review), where turbo sometimes kicks in and reaching 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.

Pros

  • Usable with AA rechargeable battery
  • 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 in Cool White and Neutral White
Lumintop-tool-aa-2

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)

Cheap 18650 flashlights

When you start using 18650 battery-powered flashlights, you should always take into consideration paying the 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 alway beter safe than sorry. Recommended batteries are Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic to name a few. Please check out the great amount 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 don't need high amp batteries!

Convoy-S2-gray

Convoy S2+


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

The convoy S2+ already exists 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).

Pros:

  • Straightforward and easy UI
  • Easy to fix
  • Cheap and reliable.
  • A great amount of LED emitter choices and tints
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Prices range from $9-$16 depending on the driver, and LED choice. If you are new to flashlights, order the XML2 T6 4C for a neutral beam tint
blf-a6

BLF A6


The BLF A6 is a high quality powerful 1600 Lumens flashlight!

The BLF A6 is a flashlight specced and recommended by the Flashlight community at Budgetlightforum a few years ago. We (the BLF community) were looking for an affordable high-quality flashlight under $20. The BLF A6 is available from around $18 up to $25. The price depends on the LED you choose. The BLF A6 is able to reach above 1000 Lumen with ease by using a high amp battery. The mode spacing is very well laid out and has an A17DD FET driver in order to produce this amount of Lumens. No battery is included but the Samsung 30Q is recommended.

Unfortunately, this flashlight is not available at Amazon.com

Pros:

  • High quality
  • Easy to fix or replace
  • Choose your emitter (tint) (neutral, cool, or warm white)

Cheap 21700 flashlights

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-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 Throwers

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

astrolux-c8

Astrolux C8


An extremely good and affordable "thrower'.

When you are looking for a flashlight that can throw a beam over a long distance, have a look at the Astrolux C8. First a word of warning: don't go out and look for the same model but from another brand, unless the Convoy C8, which is also a great flashlight. But the C8 style flashlights have been around for around 8 years. They have been very popular among flashaholics because it's  a great 'thrower'. It was only pretty recently when C8 flashlights improved on their quality. The Astrolux C8 is one of the best throwers below $20.

Pros:

  • Straightforward and easy UI
  • Easy to use
  • Very affordable
  • Nice choice of LED emitters and tints
  • XPL-Hi for max throw.

Cheap rechargeable flashlights

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

convoy s9 with lanyard

Convoy S9


One of the cheapest but reliable rechargeable flashlights

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 S9 has been tested by our reviewer Richmond, have a look at his Convoy S9 review and decide yourself whether it is worth going for this flashlight. You can run it off either a single 18350 as well as a 18650 lithium battery.

Pros:

  • Straightforward and easy UI
  • Easy to use
  • 4 Modes
  • USB rechargeable (Micro USB)
  • 18350 battery tube available separately
  • XM-L2 LED with a choice between Cool white (6500K), Neutral white 4500 and 5000K
astrolux-m01

Astrolux M01


Mini rechargeable flashlight with built-in charger!

Looking for something small and rechargeable? Yet another Astrolux flashlight entered the affordable flashlights list. Astrolux started out focusing on the more budget-friendly flashlight enthusiasts, but in the mean time have built their lineup all the way into the $100's ballpark. The Astrolux M01 is about the size of your pink and puts out over 100 lumens. Great keychain flashlight that doesn't require a special battery or charger. The built-in charger and included battery take care of all that. Other brands like Jetbeam have something similar but cost about 3 times the price of the M01!

Pros:

  • Straightforward and easy UI
  • Easy to use
  • 2 Modes: 8 lumens / 100 lumens
  • USB rechargeable (Micro USB)
  • 10180 rechargeable lithium battery included
  • Nichia 219 (HI CRI) or CREE XP-G3
cheap orange nitecore flashlight

Nitecore T Tube


Rechargeable keychain flashilght with infinitely variable brightness and USB charging.

Nitecore is a premium flashlight brand that produces great craftmanship. Although usually in the higher segment, they also have some affordable flashlights like the T series Tube. Available in multiple colors, including pink, blue and green, it might be a great gift for the non-flashoholic friends or family. Simply add them to their keychain and they can be happy. Don't expect anything bright, since it uses a 5mm led, and not a high power LED!

Check out https://flashlight.nitecore.com/product/tube for more info and colors!

Pros:

  • Impact resistance to 1.5 meters
  • 2 brightness levels and infinitely variable output mode
  • USB rechargeable (Micro USB)
  • Built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery with a runtime of up to 48 hours in lowest output mode.
  • Also available with a green LED!

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 Convoy. The owner of Convoy, Simon has a line-up of flashlights that have good quality for a budget price. He has his own Aliexpress shop, so the links above are linking to his shop directly!

If you look for a good single cell flashlight take a look at the Convoy S2+ or the Convoy C8 if you want a little more throw. Both of these lights are very much liked by flashlight addicts. Both are mentioned in the list.

Sofirn, Astrolux and Thorfire

Other well-known budget brands to look out for are Astrolux, Sofirn and Thorfire. They have some nice flashlights for cheap. Most of the above 'problems' don't count for these 3 mentioned brands.

List of bad quality lights you shouldn't buy!

Here follow some flashlights that you shouldn't buy! They are cheap but not reliable. Maybe they are good for the kids, but those are horrible to fix, let alone to find spare parts for. They can be fun to play with, but don't trust their output claims or anything they claim in their ads or product description. I also try to stay away from flashlights that use 3 AAA batteries!

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