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 5 most popular flashlights of 2021 according to flashlight enthusiasts at Budgetlighforum

This list starts out with the most popular flashlights of the past year, where more than a hundred votes have been counted.

Link to the list: https://budgetlightforum.com/node/79636

Most popular flashlights

Lumintop FWAA

Small, yet powerful flashlight

#1 most popular flashlight at Budgetlightforum

Lumintop FWAA in hand

#1 (Most popular)

  • Max output: 1400 lumens (measured 2070 at turn on)
  • Max beam intensity: 2250 cd / 95 meters
  • Versatile User Interface
  • Battery: Lithium-Ion, type 14500

This is the excerpt from Nick, or see the full review of the Lumintop FWAA.

The FWAA is important for the FW series not because it’s new, but because it takes everything good about the FW format and shrinks it down. Furthermore, it does this without sacrificing much usefulness or practicality. It’s worth noting that if you don’t like 219C’s or SST20’s or XP-G3’s, you can swap in whatever 3535 size LED. Also, did I mention this just looks amazing?

Okay, I really like the FWAA and it will be my go-to EDC light for a while. It’s light, elegant, and smartly designed. The advances in 14500 size batteries have made 2000+ lumens possible, and Anduril2 does a great job managing those lumens (and heat). This light is a fantastic value to boot. However, it isn’t perfect, and although the switch is beautiful and sized right, the click action is rubbish and I would have liked a little more throw out of it. Although Anduril2 retains the original’s functionality, it has become even more complicated (I didn’t think that was possible, but here we are). With muggle mode missing, even in Simple UI, the full output is available at a newbie’s disposal. Lastly, yah, it gets hot fast, but so do all pocket rockets.

Those shortcomings aside, Lumintop hit it out of the park with the FWAA and I can only see it getting better as time goes on. I am looking forward to improvements down the road, but for now, 4.5 stars for the Lumintop FWAA.

Sofirn IF22A


Received the #2 popular vote

Sofirn IF22A holding

#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.

Emisar DT8


One of the most popular EDC flashlights with a 18650 cell,

Emisar DT8

#3 most popular

  • Max output of 6700 lumens (only with the XP-L version)
  • Available in 3 body colors
  • Available in 6 different backlit colors
  • Large choice of emitters: Nichia E21A R9080 , XPL Hi, XP-G2 S4, SST20 (from warm white to cool white)
  • Available Options: 18350 and 18500 battery tubes, pocket clip, extra (magnetic) tail cap.

Emisar flashlights are built for flashaholics, so you won't find them in any brick-and-mortar stores. With Emisar lights you'll get the latest and greatest technology and the most options currently available in the flashlight world.

Although its design looks a little out of the box, The DT80 is immensely popular in the flashlight communities. It's powered by a single 18650 battery (which should be High Drain), and has lots of features because of the Anduril 2 firmware.

No, it's not the best performer, but it has many tricks up its sleeve. 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 not for the average user.

WildTrail WT90

A must-have SBT90.2 light

WildTrail WT90 holding

#4

  • Max output: 5,500 lumens
  • Max throw: 1,000,000 cd / 1Mcd / 2000m
  • Battery: 3*21700
  • LED: Luminus SBT90.2

Summary from Nick's WildTrail WT90 review

I can honestly say of all the awesome lights I’ve reviewed and tested, I wasn’t as excited about them as I was the WT90. This light is the culmination of years of planning, brainstorming, delays, and production pains, but here it is at last and it’s brilliant! One thing I really love about manufacturers like WildTrail is that they are as passionate and concerned about their lights as their customers are, and they really do embody the enthusiast culture in products like this. Make no mistake, the WT90 is interloping into a very crowded market segment full of great SBT90.2-equipped throwers, but it offers something the others don’t…style. I mean, like Doc Brown’s DeLorean time machine, if you’re going to build a thrower, do it with style, and this thing looks slick without sacrificing functionality. Performance is as good as expected from an FET-driven SBT90.2, with high Lumen output and very good throw for a sub-90 mm reflector. Remember, this is quite a bit smaller than a BLF GT, Astrolux MF04, or Acebeam K75, with the closest competitor being the MF02S V2 and Acebeam K65 GT. It has excellent sustainability, holding high output for long periods. Anyone used to SBT’s in smaller hosts will be pleasantly surprised with the thermal performance. Plus, with 5000 mAh cells, you can get long runtimes as well.

The build quality is completely acceptable, and although there were some ‘growing pains,’ WildTrail worked with the community and remedied those (at least on my sample). This is a great-performing, easy to handle light that won’t give you tennis elbow after carrying it around for 5 minutes. I wasn’t thrilled about the sharp edges on the battery carrier, NarsilM is still complicated (alas, I get it, though…enthusiast light), the charging is begging for PD, the switch is just meh, and the fit and finish aren’t Acebeam or Fenix-level. However, for the price, I can’t fault it too much. 4.5 stars for the WildTrail WT90. Get one while you still can!

Emisar D4 v2

A must-have EDC flashlight

Sand colored d4v2 in hand

#5 popular flashlight

  • Max output: 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, and tint ramping as of 2021
  • 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, and is upgraded with new features like tint ramping.
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 likely not fit for the average user. Don't forget to check out our in-depth review of the Emisar D4v2.

BONUS flashlights

Selected by 1Lumen.com:

Maxtoch Xsword L2K


Reaching 3.1km / 2+miles

Use discount code: 1L60M3 at checkout

maxtoch xsword l2k in normal position in hand

Best LEP flashlight

  • Farthest reaching LEP Flashlight of 2021 (this is not an LED flashlight)
  • LEP flashlight (Laser Excited Phosphor)
  • Max output: 600 lumens
  • Works on 2*21700 batteries

LEP flashlights have become immensely popular this year. We reviewed a dozen of them, and the Maxtoch Xsword L2K came out as one of the best-performing ones. Its specs rating claims a beam intensity of up to 1.82 Mcd, but mine was able to reach 2.50 Mcd. This means a beam distance of 3167 meters / 3464 yards.

The information about this flashlight spread like a wildfire around the community, and many people jumped on it. The Low mode is still able to reach up to 1734meters with a beam intensity of 752000 cd, while the medium mode was still good for 2500 meters. Most flashlights can only dream of these numbers.

Interested in reading more: check out our review of the Maxtoch Xsword L2K.

Acebeam E70-SS


Best looking flashlight of 2021 in my opinion

Acebeam E70 SS

Most beautiful designed flashlight

  • Max output: 4,000 lumens SS version
  • Max beam intensity: 12,100 cd
  • Works on 21700 batteries

We reviewed the Acebeam E70-SS (Stainless steel) which is specced lower than the aluminum version (4,600 lumens), it's still an eye-catcher.

In Turbo and High mode, the light produces around 1000 lumens for almost 3 hours, while Medium 2 produces around 500 lumens for almost 6 hours. That's quite a performance for such a light. And last but not least, Medium1 lasts for more than 20 hours at roughly 140 lumens.

Interested in reading more: check out our review of the Acebeam E70