The Best Flashlights of 2021

This list includes flashlights that have lots of interaction in the flashlight forums and Facebook groups. Most of them are tested by one of our team members.

The greatest flashlights of 2021

This list starts out with the most popular flashlights of the past year, where more than hundreds of votes have been counted in the flashlight communities.

During the year, we will be adding some really cool and great flashlights that we have reviewed, and at the end of the year do another survey on BLF, CPF and Reddit.

We'd like to point out some of the best flashlights currently available! Getting ANY of these flashlights will be awesome.

BTW my native tongue is Dutch, so please ignore the spelling mistakes.

9 Most popular flashlights

Emisar D4v2


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

#1 most popular

  • Max output of 4300 lumens
  • Available in 3 body colors
  • 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.

Sofirn SC31 PRO


Received the #2 popular vote

#2

  • Max output: 2000 lumens
  • Uses 1*18650 battery
  • Anduril firmware

The Sofirn SC31 PRO is the third version of the Sofirn SC31. The latest Anduril firmware is added and powered by a single Luminus SST40 LED. You can choose the 6500K (cool white) or the 5000K (neutral-cool white).

When you buy the kit, which includes the battery and charge cable, you are ready to go. No need for a separate charger because it has a built-in charger with a USB-C port. Behind the switch is a small indicator LED that can be turned off in the firmware.

One thing that you should always keep in mind with Anduril based firmware, is thermal calibration. You should always manually calibrate the temperature, so the output is much more stable. 2000 lumens looks a lot, but some reviews show it could even produce a bit more than that.

Noctigon KR4


A must-have

Shared #3 (3 flashlights had the same number of popular votes)

  • 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 details in our in-depth Noctigon KR4 review. Beautifully machined and beautifully looking. The driver is built with the Anduril firmware that will also light the AUX LEDs behind the glass.

This is probably the #1 EDC flashlight of 2020. (people in the flashlight community). The size is just slightly larger than the average 18350 flashlights. The output is staggering at over 4000 lumens at startup.. even reaching higher with the right battery. When you order the Noctigon KR4, make sure you have a good battery or order a Samsung 30Q at the same time.

Noctigon KR1


A must-have mini thower

Shared #3 (3 flashlights had the same number of popular votes)

  • LED choices:
  • Osram W1, Osram W2, CREE XPL Hi, SST40
  • W1 (Osram CSLNM1.TG): 900lm, Lux : 110Kcd (110,000cd)
  • W2 (Osram CSLPM1.TG): 1300lm, Lux: 100Kcd (100,000cd)
  • XP-L HI 6500K/5000K/4000K: 1300lm, Lux: 45Kcd (45,000cd)
  • SST-40 5000K/6500K: 2200lm, Lux: 29Kcd (29,000cd)
  • Uses 1*18650 battery (not included) and adapter available for 18350

Check out all details in our in-depth Noctigon KR1 review. Beautifully machined and beautifully looking. The driver is built with the Anduril firmware which is the most sophisticated firmware for flashlights at the moment.

The size is just slightly larger than the average 18350 flashlights. The distance it can throw is just enormous. With the Osram W1, you can get up to 110 kcd. This translates into a reach of up to 663 meters or 725 yards. Make sure you use a high discharge battery like the Sony VTC6, VTC5a or Samsung Q30 to name a few.

Astrolux EC01


Another very popular EDC flashlight

Shared #3 (3 flashlights had the same number of popular votes)

  • Max output: of 3500 lumens
  • LED: CREE XHP50.2 or Luminus SST40
  • Color: available in Black, Green, and Brown
  • Max output: 3500 lumens
  • Battery: 1*21700 (or 18650 with adapter)
  • Includes a USB-C port for charging batteries inside the flashlight

In our review of the Astrolux EC01 with the XHP50.2 LED we found that it was able to reach just below 3500 lumens at the start. This is pretty good for this size of a flashlight. It does drop in output relatively quickly, so make sure you get a high quality 21700 battery.

If you choose the Luminus SST40 version, (I would recommend getting the 5000K version (Neutral White) instead of the 6500K (cool white) the beam will reach farther than the XHP50.2 version, but with less power. That is the trade-off.

Astrolux FT03


Farthest throwing single 26650 cell flashlight available. Priced between $30-$40

Shared #4 (4 flashlights had the same number of popular votes)

  • Available with:
    • Luminus SST40
    • CREE XHP60.2
    • Luminus SBT90.2
  • Rated at 2400 lumens for the SST40 version
  • 190000cd / 190Kcd / 500kcd for SBT90.2
  • Ramping brightness, so no modes
  • Momentary on (which means it can be used with morse coding)
  • Battery check
  • Using 26650 batteries

The Astrolux FT03 is a budget thrower with great, great capabilities. Just 3 years ago we would have trouble reaching this far with a highly modded single-cell flashlight. Now we can have almost 200kcd for $30-$40, which is amazing. Peter reviewed the Astrolux FT03 as high as 240Kcd, which is extremely good for this price. The only downside is that you need to buy a 26650 battery and a charger. There are many chargers who would not be able to charge this size of batteries.  If you are looking for a great bang for your buck thrower, this could definitely be the one you are looking for.

Don't forget to check out our Astrolux FT03S with SBT90.2 review as well.

Lumintop X9L


Small, yet very powerful flashlight

Shared #4 (4 flashlights had the same number of popular votes)

  • Max output: 4800 lumens (rated at 6500)
  • Max beam intensity: 158000 cd / 795 meters
  • Versatile User Interface
  • Battery:  Lithium-Ion, type 21700

This is the excerpt from our reviewer, on the Lumintop X9L.

Let’s be real – this is a trick pony. An SBT90 in a body this small? The sheer drop in output after 30 seconds on turbo is phenomenal. But what a trick pony. Ordinarily, I’d be annoyed at drop-offs like this, but I just keep laughing every time I blast this out. I know it has its limitations, but I just don’t care. It’s a similar feeling to the first time I turned on my GT90 – I expected something pretty impressive, but I wasn’t quite prepared for it.  Is it an expensive toy? Sure, but it doesn’t pretend to be anything else, and it’ll always put a smile on your face. I give the Lumintop X9L five stars, and I think I need to stock up on 21700s now.

Noctigon K1


Extremely far-reaching flashlight

Shared #4 (4 flashlights had the same number of popular votes)

  • Osram KW CSLNM1.TG
  • 780 Lumens
  • 600,000 Kcd (1.5 km / 0.98 miles)
  • Advanced UI

The Noctigon K1 is the first Noctigon flashlight using the famous Osram KW CSLNM1.TG LED. The LED die is only 1mm in diameter. Without producing a high amount of lumens (780 Lm measured), it still throws extremely, extremely far. Please check out our full Noctigon K1 review for all details.

The User Interface is versatile. The K1 out-throws every other single battery LED flashlight on the market. It throws exactly 600 Kcd /1.5 km /0.98 miles,  which is remarkably far. The hotspot is small and has the typical pencil-beam. The spill of the beam is weak, so it is 100% dedicated to throwing far.

Sofirn C01


The Sofirn C01 has been the most popular AAA flashlight on the forums

Shared #4 (4 flashlights had the same number of popular votes)

  • One-handed operation
  • Runs on AAA batteries (don't use Alkaline batteries)
  • Uses a 5mm High Cri 94 Yuji LED 
  • Available in 3200K (Warm) and 5600K (Cold)
  • 1 mode
  • Available in blue and black.

Although not my favorite kind of emitter, it made the top of the list for the most popluar flashlights on Budgetlightforum because of it's very High Cri LED. It reminds me of the very old and popular Fenix E01. Which has been used by many flashoholics, but I don't care for it that much.

BONUS

Sofirn BLF LT1


Most popular Camping Lamp/ lantern

Best Lantern for camping

  • Lantern designed and developed with the help of Budget Light Forum members
  • Built-in USB-C charger
  • 4*18650 batteries (not included)
  • 4*5000K (neutral white) and 4*2700K (warm white) LEDs
  • Output 600 Lm
  • Anduril Firmware

Do you like camping? You can taking the best of the best gear? How about a lantern?

Fortunately, protected, unprotected button top cells will power the lantern. Recommended batteries are batteries from a known source like LG, Panasonic, Sanyo, and Sony. You can charge them with USB-C. Although the output of 600Lm doesn't seem much, it's pointing into all directions. It's still the most popular flashlight lantern of 2020 on BLF and Reddit combined!

 

Best LEP flashlight

  • Farthest reaching LEP Flashlight of 2020 (this is not an LED flashlight)
  • LEP flashlight (Laser Excited Phosphor)
  • Max output: 560 lumens
  • Works on 21700 and 18650 batteries (with adapter)

LEP flashlights have become immensely popular this year. We reviewed a dozen of them, and the Weltool W4 came out as one of the best-performing ones. Its specs rating claims a beam intensity of up to 1.78 Mcd, but mine was able to reach 2.18 Mcd. This means a beam distance of 2956 meters / 3232 yards.

The information about this flashlight spread like a wildfire around the community, and many people jumped on it. Besides a Turbo mode, it also includes a Low mode. The Low mode is still able to reach up to 1716 meters / 1876 yards with a beam intensity of 736000 cd. Most flashlights can only dream of this number in Turbo.. and the Weltool W4 does it in its lowest mode. LOL.

You can get the W4 from numerous sources including directly from Weltool. Continue reading our Weltool W4 review.

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