Best LED Flashlights of 2020
Let`s face it.. Can there actually be a "best flashlight of 2020"? Probably not! It all depends, right? But with 10 years of experience, we know quite a bit about flashlights.. We'd like to point out some of the best flashlights currently available! Getting ANY of these flashlights will be awesome. The list also includes some older models (read 2018-2019) that are still very, very popular. When a newer one surpasses them, we will replace them. Do you have any better recommendations? Please let us know what it is, and why you think so! BTW my native tongue is Dutch, so please ignore the spelling mistakes.
I will be adding flashlights that are very popular throughout the year. At the end of the year, I usually do some polls at Candlepowerforums, Budgetlightforums, and Reddit /r/ flashlights to see what people's most popular light was of the past year.
Best AAA Flashlight of 2020
Still most popular AAA flashlight at Budgetlightforum
- 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.
Best AA Flashlight
Immense popular budget AA flashlight
- High output even on NiMH batteries
- Mechanical switch (no parasitic drain)
- Works on AA and 14500 batteries
- Max output of 650 lumens on 14500 battery
- Cree XPL HD
- 5 modes
The Lumintop Tool line-up includes the AA, double AA, and single AA. The Tool AA 2.0 is the latest addition to this lineup. It works on either an AA or a 14500 battery. Don't forget to check out our Lumintop Tool 2.0 AA titanium review. You don't need to be afraid to slip it out of your hands because the knurling has been done really well and feels very grippy. On top of that, the Tool AA 2.0 has a simple and straight forward UI, going from Low, all the way up to High, and back to Low again. Lumintop also adds a nice little diffuser so it can be used as a candle. Just another great light from Lumintop. And if you need to choose an AA battery, go for Panasonic Eneloops. Never, never use Alkaline batteries in your flashlights.
Best Flashlights with 18650 type batteries (Single cell)
- 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 flashlight. 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.
- Powerful XHP35 LED
- 1300 Lumens
- Single 18650 battery (not included)
- IPX8 waterproof
Zebralight entered the top 10 most popular flashlights of 2018 twice. The SC64w has several models, so you can choose from a variety of emitters, from Cool White to High Cri, to Netrual white, and High intensity. My suggestion would be going for the Neutral White, High Intesity, so you got a good tint, and a throwy beam. This would help lighting up thing close by as well as far away.
- LED choices:
- SST-20 4000K
- Cree XP-L Hi 3D (neutral)
- Cree XPL Hi 7A (warm)
- ~2800 Lumens @ max output
- Uses 1*18650 batterry (not included)
This is one of the most anticipated flashlights ....ever... A group of BLF members and TLF members put their heads together in 2017 to make one of the best budget flashlights ever! In 2019 it finally came into production and thousands of flashlight enthousiasts got one. It's one of the smallest 18650 and brightest flashlights currently available. Please read our Lumintop FW3A review to see if this is something you would like to own!
Best Flashlight Lantern
- 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
Fortunately, protected, unprotected button top cells will power the lantern. Recommended batteries are batteries from 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 been the most popular flashlight (lantern) of 2019 on BLF and Reddit combined!
Best Flashlights with 21700 type batteries (Single cell)
- Large amount of LED choices
- XPL HI, SST20, Nichia etc.
- Max power only possible with good high drain cell like the sony VTC6 or Samsung INR21700 40T
- Works on 21700 and 18650 batteries (with adapter)
The Fireflies E07 (which I hope to review soon) blows every single-cell flashlight out of the water, including the #2, by a fair amount.. Almost doubling the amount of lumens.
The light can be used with a single 18650 or 21700 cell. It has a Narsil UI firmware on its driver that is also used in the Fireflies ROT66 we reviewed. The E07 includes 7 LEDs instead of the 4 used in the Emisar D4. 1 thing to keep in mind that Fireflies is still a rather new flashlight manufacturer so there have been a few small issues with quality control.
Discount at Nealsgadget: NDFFE07 for 10% discount
Best Flashlights running of a 26650 type battery
- 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 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.
Most popular Multi Cell 18650 Flashlights
- Available with XPL Hi, Nichia 219B and SST20
- 12* Leds with total output of 12000 lumens
Fireflies has been a new manufacturer and has put out a couple great flashlights in 2019, with the ROT66II been a powerful flashlight with Hi Cri leds. The 2nd generation has more leds and more lumens. Don't forget to check out my full review of the Fireflies ROT66II
- LED choices: SST20 (6500K cool white / 5000K neutral white / 4000K/3000K Neutral 95 CRI)
- 18* LED emitters for a max of 14,000 Lumens
- The new high power flashlight for tint snobs
Emisar is definitely one of the most popular flashlights of 2019! It's below the $100 and you'll nog be disappointed. The only drawback is the use of high button top unprotected batteries. There is a way around of course, but still. Beesides that it includes the highly popular Anduril firmware that by default uses a smooth ramping up and down from 1 lumen to 14,000 Lumens. It is one of the most exciting lights of the year!
- 100,000 lumens
- Built-in cooling fans and liquid cooling
- 8x21700 non-replaceable battery pack
Not many flashlights have fans to cool down the light. The MS18 has an inlet and outlet fan, for maximum airlfow. Beside the 2 fans, the MS18 also contains some liquid within the head of the flashlight to keep the head cool. This is an amazing powerful flashlight! Don't forget to check out our full, in-depth review of the Imalent MS18.