All the ones listed below are separated into categories. Each category is divided in a Budget, Medium Budget and Premium price (when available). This list includes the brightest flashlights available in 2018 but are not limited to this production year alone! The list will be updated once there are brighter flashlights available.
Brightest AAA light
Thrunite Ti3 is one of the brightest and cheapest currently available AAA flashlight that can do over 100 lumens on an eneloop AAA battery. Not recommended using Alkaline batteries. Avg price $13
Brightest AAA budget flashlight
- Available in XPL (130lumens) and XPG (120 lumens)
- Doesn't turn on accidentally in your pocket easily.
- One-handed operation
- AAA batteries
- (can be used with 10440 with no modes, and lost warranty)
- 3-modes, low-medium High
- Strobe mode is hidden
The flashlight comes at a measly $10-$15 but is still used by many flashaholics as their keychain light. You loose it? Buy another one. Although this one is already 3 years on the market, it still is one of the brightest AAA flashlight out there. The kurling is aggressive enough to use with 1 hand. Definitely a winner.
The Manker E02 is a rare flashlight, or better said: right-angle flashlight. It can do over 200 lumens on 1 AAA flashlight. Pretty bright, but still great for younger kids! Avg price $19
Brightest right-angle AAA budget flashlight (headlamp)
- Available in XPG3 (200+ lumens) and Nichia 219C (180 lumens)
- Brightness step-down from Turbo to High after 3 minutes.
- High is about 60 lumens
- Built in magnet in the tail
- Pocket clip included
- One-handed operation
- Works with (eneloop) AAA batteries
- 4-modes, Moon- Low-High-Turbo
- 3 hidden strobe modes
Available for around $20 this is on the edge for some people to be called a budget light. But there is literally no right-angle flashlight that can beat this one for under $20! Its 72mm long with a head diameter of 20mm, which is really tiny. You can choose between the XPG3 (with a cooler white beam) or the Nichia 219C ( with a more neutral beam). It can be used as a headlamp as well. It can be bought with and without a headband. With headband it's about $5 more expensive.
Acebeam being famous for their extremely bright and powerful flashights. They have the PT10 already on the market since 2016, but there aren't any other ones that beat this one in brightness on 2AAA batteries. Avg price $32
Brightest penlight LED (2*AAA)
- Available in many colors. Black, Silver, Grey, Copper.
- With XPL-HD max output of 360 lumens.
- Older XPG version is less bright (Amazon info is a little off)
The Acebeam PT10 has been upgraded to the XPL-HD led, with a max brightness of 360 lumens. You can get this by using 2 eneloop AAA batteries. Wit max power the batteries will run out after about 40 minutes.
Brightest AA flashlight 2018
Extremely bright Budget AA flashlight with almost 450 lumens from an AA eneloop battery. Avg price $15
Brightest budget AA flashlight
- Max 450 lumens on 1 eneloop AA battery
- Max 900 lumens on 14500 lithium ion battery
- Side switch
- AA and 14500 (not protected 14500 due to the length)
- 4 standard modes
- Reversible clip
- Good low output mode
- Hidden strobe
Launched in December 2016, it has been a very popular light throughout 2017 and 2018.It is available in Neutral white as well as in Cold White emitters. Please take note that protected 14500 may not fit! Running the Utorch on a eneloop AA, it can provide up to 450 lumens in Turbo mode. The light is usually between $12-$17, but can be had for $10 when on sale.
Please not the following things:
The output is programmable, but there have been reports of people that had some difficulty getting this to work. Also being a budget light, there have been reports of bad switches. But for a budget AA flashlight, this is the #1 brightest budget AA flashlight.
One of the latest models of Lumintop, with a very pleasant output of 400 lumens on 1 AA battery. Avg price $32
Brightest AA flashlight (medium budget)
- Max 400 lumens on 1 eneloop AA
- Max 800 lumens on a 14500 cell
- Side switch
- Multi chemistry: NiMH and Lithium Ion
- 4 standard modes
- 3 strobe/flash modes
- Magnetic tail cap
The Lumintop EDC05 was launched in the 4th quarter of 2017. It is available in Neutral white as well as in Cold White. 7 output modes, with 4 main modes and 3 flashy modes. It has a length of 87mm and is therefore very well a pocket light. Runtime is 1.2 hours on Eneloop and 15 minutes on a 14500.
Zebralight SC5W mkii
Premium AA flashlight from a top manufacturer Zebralight. Avg price $70
Brightest AA flashlight of 2018 (premium)
- 550 lumems on 1 eneloop AA
- Battery capacity indicator
- Current regulated
- Automatic step-down when battery runs down.
- Quick access to High, Low Medium and strobe
Zebralights are known for their highest output drivers for AA batteries for the last 4 years or so. The Zebraglight SC5W mk2 is one of their latest models. Sporting an XP-L2 emitter with 4500K and 83 Cri, this is the brightest AA currently on the market. Not only great for outdoor activities, they are safe to use around the house as well.
Brightest single cell flashlight 2018
The brightest single cell flashlight of 2018. Up to 4300 lumens from a single high drain cell. Avg price $40
The brightest single cell flashlight
- With a Nichia 219C 5000K you can get up to 3800 lumens
- With the XPG-2 you can get up to 3300 lumens
- With the XPL-HI you can get up to 4300 lumens.
- Max power only possible with good high drain cell like the sony VTC6
So it is a real sub 10cm hotrod that blows everything out of the water that is currently avaiable in stock format! The Emisar is only available at 2 stores worldwide at the moment. Those are Intl outdoor in China (see link) and Mtn Electronics in the US (see link).
The light can be used with a single 18650, 18500, 18350 or 16340 cell. For each battery type there is a special body part. Because the body can be replaced for a shorter or longer version. It has a simplified Narsil UI firmware on its driver.
Brightest multi cell flashlight
BLF Q8 with Quatro XPL
The best budget multi cell flashlight currently available. Avg price $50
Brightest Budget Multi cell multi led flashlight below $50
Specd by the BLF (budgetlightforum) team in order to get the most bang for the buck. This resulted in quality and power for a budget price. It was produced by flashlight manufacturer Thorfire. It has been a very, very popular light amongst many flashaholics. Its driver is running the NarsilM firmware, with the standard UI being ramping with a direct access to turbo with a double click. Press and hold for ramping up, and same for ramping down. 4x XPL LED for 5000 lumens. (need to use good cells to get the most output). A must buy.
use code: BLF for 8% discount
18*XPG3/Nichia leds. One of the greatest Flooder lights of 2017. Max 12000 lumens. Avg price $100
Brightest multi cell Upper Budget flashlight
- Compact light and very powerful
- Your choice of emitters, XPG2 or Nichia
- Cool white and NW available
- 53kcd throw for 450 meters
- Max 13000 lumens
- 18x Powerful XPG3 or Nichia 219C
- 4 modes, Low, Medium, High, Turbo
- Strobe, SOS and Location beacon
- 2x 18650 or 4x 18650
A soupcan sized light, but with the power of a workhorse. Only a fraction longer than the infamous Convoy S2+. The battery carrier is 2S 2P (so 2 batteries in series and 2 batteries parallel. (so it would work with only 2 batteries installed as well, at reduced output). At 2.9V the low-power indicator starts blinking. At 2.7V the light turns off. Max output is about 120W, and 12000 lumens. use code: BLF for 8% discount at banggood
12 white, 5 colors LEDs. Extremely bright light. Max 25000 lumens. Avg price $270
Brightest flashlight in the world
- Brightest flashlight currently in the world in stock form. Not modded.
- 25000 lumens (22000 real)
- Multi colored leds! RGB and UV
- 322 "throw"
- 330 grams and 520 grams with cells.
- 118 mm length
- One of most powerful production led lights
- Including protected 18650 high drain cells.
Another soupcan sized flashlight, but in the premium market. The head size is only 65mm wide, and the light itself is merely 12 cm long. Reviewer Maiden found out that the light produced about 22000 lumens max, and 130 lumens at the lowest setting. You need to use button top, and at least protected cells to really fit the battery carrier.
This is a list with the brightest flashlights in each category. There are no throwers involved, as they do not count as "brightest" but rather as farthest throwing flashlights Currently available.
Note: some of the above links are affiliate, so that I can earn a small % for running this website.