Best EDC flashlights

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EDC Flashlights

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Unlike the authors of most of the "Top 10 best EDC flashlights" lists you will find on the internet, our team has owned and reviewed hundreds of flashlights. Many of those Top X lists are evidently written by people with little knowledge of flashlights or first-hand experience with them, to judge by their very poor recommendations!


Popular rechargeable EDC flashlights / Smallest EDC light

Some of the most popular small flashlights

Nitecore T4K : 4000 lumen flashlight

4000 lumen flashlight on your keys?

  • Two user modes: Constant and Press only.
  • 4000 Lumens
  • Plastic TIR optics for
  • 4*XP-L2
  • Built-in USB C charger

The Nitecore T4K is a performer. In-person it looks a little unusual with the two buttons and the OLED display. But when you press that button.... you will be dazzled by a solid 4000 lumens! We evaluated the Nitecore T4K, and it reached 3736 lumens! Unlike many other brands on eBay or Aliexpress, this can really produce almost 4000 lumens.

If you are searching for something lightweight and don’t mind a somewhat chunky-sized keychain light, this is a great way to get ahead of the game. The OLED display reports precisely how many minutes of battery life remains. The peak brightness is only maintained while the mode button is pressed, so the highest continuous mode is 200 lumens.


Popular AA EDC flashlights (including 14500)

Lumintop FWAA

Extremely popular flashlight in the Flashlight communities!

  • #1 most popular EDC flashlight in the community!
  • Anduril2 Firmware
  • LED choices:
    • Nichia 219C 4000K (neutral)
    • Nichia 219C 3000K (warm)
    • SST20 4000K (neutral)
    • Cree XPG3 6500K (cold)
  • ~2800 Lumens @ max output
  • Uses a 1*14500 lithium-ion battery (doesn't work on an AA battery!!!!)

Lumintop has become a household name in the flashlight community and therefore needs no introduction. They are most known for partnering with flashlight enthusiasts to develop and design new lights.

Since the size is about the same as a normal 18350 flashlight, you get the both of best worlds. And besides the size, you need to take a little bit more caution with this one than a regular flashlight. That is due to the nature of this beast.

Dimensionally, it’s a small flashlight, and at under 3 inches is smaller than most of my other AA/14500 size lights. And for pocket carry, the included stainless pocket clip is a captive or collar-type two-way design so you can switch between bezel up or down carry without removing the clip.

The Lumintop FWAA has a triple LED arrangement, and you can choose from a nice selection of LEDs. The optic is frosted slightly for a wide beam (flood).

Turbo started at 2070 lumens (advertised as 1400), which is incredible as it is short-lived, lasting just 2 seconds before the aggressive step down ensued. At 10 seconds the output is 1656 lumens and just 20 seconds later, the output was 621 lumens.

This light is a fantastic value to boot.


Popular 18350 EDC flashlights

Thrunite T1s

Small and powerful little flashlight with a Luminus SST40 LED

holding naturally
  • Max output: 1212 lumens
  • LED: Luminus SST40
  • Versatile modes and easy to use User Interface
  • 18350 battery (included)
  • Rechargeable with USB-C (cable included)

The Thrunite T1s is a small, yet powerful, 18350 flashlight. The business-end of the ThruNite T1S is where you’ll find one of the biggest changes over its predecessor, the T1. The T1 featured a Cree XHP50 in a short orange-peel reflector. Those have gone out the window, to be replaced by a Luminus SST-40 and a TIR optic. Plus, the UI is very easy to use.

Thrunite advertises Turbo mode with 1212 lumens. But this is what we found: Turbo mode started out at 1255 lumens and dropped slowly over the first 2 minutes, at which point it was at 1065 lumens. Over the next 7 minutes, output ramped down to 324 lumens which is where it stayed until output began dropping out fast at 1 hour and 29 minutes. It crossed the 10% output threshold at 1 hour and 30 minutes.

his light is pretty much everything that I personally look for in an EDC flashlight: very compact, good UI, USB-C charging, and it looks pretty sharp too. I think ThruNite has packed a lot of value into this small package and I was pleasantly surprised by the price.

Check out our in-depth review of the Thrunite T1S


18650 EDC flashlights

The following few flashlights use Anduril firmware. This is a very sophisticated user interface, which may not fit your needs. Please read the full review before buying one, if you're new to the world of flashlights.

Emisar D4v2

One of the most popular EDC flashlights. Uses an 18650 cell, but optionally supports the 18350 and 18500 as well.

Emisar D4v2 in hand
emisar d4v2 runtime
  • Max output of 4300 lumens
  • Available in 3 body colors
  • Anduril Firmware
  • Large choice of emitters: Nichia 219C, XPL Hi, XP-G2 S4, SST20 (from warm white to cool white)
  • Colorful aux LEDs with 7 configurable colors
  • One of the most popular 18350/18500/18650 EDC flashlights
  • Available options: shiny stainless steel bezel, 18350 and 18500 tubes, pocket clip, extra tail cap.

Emisar flashlights are built for flashaholics. You won't find them in any brick-and-mortar stores. With Emisar lights you'll get the latest and greatest technology currently available in the flashlight world. The D4v2 is the second version of this immensely popular EDC flashlight.
The D4v2 uses the extremely popular (amongst flashaholics) Andúril UI, which features many interesting modes. To name a few: battery voltage meter, smooth ramping, momentary on, temperature check, candle mode, party strobe, and even a lightning storm mode. With such an array of capabilities, this light is probably not for the average user. Don't forget to check out our in-depth review of the Emisar D4v2.

  • Uses Anduril firmware
  • LED choices:
  • Nichia 219C: 3000lm
  • Cree XP-L: 4300lm
  • SST20 4000K
  • SST20 5000K
  • SST20 6500K
  • ~2800 Lumens @ max output
  • Uses 1*18650 battery (not included)

Check out all the details in our in-depth Noctigon KR4 review. Beautifully machined and beautiful looking. Uses the Andúril firmware and includes aux LEDs behind the glass.

Its size is just slightly larger than the average 18350 flashlight, but the output is staggering at over 4000 lumens at turn on- and is even higher with the right battery. When you buy the Noctigon KR4, make sure you have a good battery, or order the optional Samsung 30Q with the flashlight.


21700 EDC flashlights

  • Max lumens: 3757lm (we measured 2700 after 30 seconds)
  • Powerful Cree XHP70.2 LED
  • 21700 type battery with 5,000mAh included
  • USB-C rechargeable

Thrunite has become a familiar face here at 1Lumen, and not surprising since they’re a pretty popular brand and have brought the flashoholic and regular consumer market some great lights.

As usual, Thrunite includes their very comprehensive kit, something mirrored across their product line. It’s great for a first-time buyer, who doesn’t need to make additional purchases (li-ion charger, batteries) to get up and going.

For around $60-70 US, you get a lot for a little, especially these days when a tank of gas runs $50. Milled from 6061 T6 aluminum, the machining quality is nice and tidy, with no tool or machine marks, and everything fits together with no gaps or parts that don’t line up.

The UI is simple and has 5 modes, including Turbo, a Firefly mode, and a single Strobe.

Turbo started way down from the advertised output at 2855 Lumens, and it was short-lived, only lasting for about 10 seconds before stepping down. However, the sustainability is pretty decent for a small light, making better than 2000 Lumens for over 2 minutes.

Thrunite once again proves why boost drivers, or any current-regulated drivers are awesome and I think worth the added cost.

Check out more info in our awesome detailed review of the Thrunite T2.

  • Max lumens: 4600lm (we measured 3576 after 30 seconds with the stainless steel version)
  • Powerful Cree XHP70.2 LED
  • Available in aluminum, copper, titanium, and stainless steel
  • 21700 type battery with 5,000mAh included
  • USB-C rechargeable

The Acebeam E70 is the biggest of the bunch. It's probably bigger than most people are used to for EDC. But it's definitely one of the best-looking EDC lights on the market.

It comes with everything to get you started, including 5,000mAh battery with USB-C port. And it also includes a USB-C cable, which can also be used as a power bank cable, because the battery can also charge your phone with this cable. Pretty neat!.

The CREE XHP70.2 LED is one of the most powerful LEDs used in flashlights, making it a great choice. Which, during our test, reached over 3800 lumens at turn on, and 3576 lumens after 30 seconds. After the drop, it stayed consistent at around 1000 lumens for about 2.5 hours. That's pretty good performance, especially considering ours is the stainless steel version (doesn't dissipate heat as well as aluminum or copper).

Like with all our reviews, we also did runtime tests for High, Med2, and Med1. Check out the full review here:


EXTRA: EDC accessories

Do you want to pimp your EDC light? Here are a few accessories to help you do that.

Tritium accessories

Tritium vials (or trits) are made in nuclear reactors by neutron activation of lithium-6. They have a glow effect that lasts for years without the need for a recharge. It simply glows for years on end. You don't need and you can't recharge the glow effect.

Tritium vials

tritium inserts for flashlights

Tritium vials

Tritium pendants

EDC flashlight accessories trits pendants

Add this to a paracord

Keychain pendants

EDC tritium

For on your keychain. 

Glow accessories

The following accessories are glow in the dark. These will glow for a short time after you charged them up by pointing light upon them. If you use UV light, they charge even quicker and brighter. The effect lasts only for a short time. And because of this, the price is much lower than their tritium equivalents.

Glow tubes

glow tubes

They look like tritium vials, but are glow in the dark. 

Turboglow button

glow gasket buttons

Specifically made for the Lumintop FW1A, FW3A, FW3C, FW3T, FW9x

Triple LED glow gasket

EDC flashlight accessories glow in the dark

Fit: Carclo 105xx (10507/10508/10509/10510/10511) triple LEDs. Example: Lumintop FW3A, Hanko, Boss, Okluma, Reylight

Quatro LED glow gasket

EDC glow

Fit: Carclo 106xx TIR optics (10622/10623) quad LEDs. Example: Lumintop FW4A, Emisar D4

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