Cut the Crap...
Stop relying on Amazon reviews, top 10 websites, or manufacturer's specs.
We test flashlights to separate the wheat from the chaff.
We reviewed 453 flashlights!
There are many lists of "brightest flashlights" on the internet today, written by people who just copy and paste information and images. We are not like them, we actually reviewed hundreds of flashlights. Don't believe me? Just check out some of our reviews.
The list will be updated continuously and is not focused on a specific price range. Prices can range between $10 and $600. In case you are more interested in our other buying guides, like the best tactical or military flashlights, check out our best tactical flashlights here.
Disclosure: 1lumen selects and reviews products personally. We may earn affiliate commissions through our links, which help support our testing.
Some of the most powerful flashlights I own (this is only a fraction of the full collection)
What is currently the brightest flashlight in the world, as of 2022?
The top 5 most powerful flashlights in the world:
Best flashlights with AAA batteries
This is also the cheapest led flashlight on the list.
The Thrunite Ti3 is one of the brightest and cheapest currently available AAA flashlights that can do over 100 lumens on the highest setting with a single (rechargeable) AAA battery. (We don't recommend using Alkaline batteries)
- LED: XPL LED (130 lumens) and XPG LED (120 lumens)
- It does not turn on accidentally in your pocket.
- Easy to operate with 1 hand
- You can use it with a rechargeable battery (AAA)
- (can also be used with a 10440 battery, but it will lose all modes. You will also lose its warranty.)
- 3 light modes: High Medium Low
- Hidden strobe mode.
This mini flashlight is available for a price between $10 and $15, depending on the type of LED you choose. Many flashaholics still use it as their keychain light.
I personally use an older Fenix LD01, but this Thrunite is brighter. If you lose it, you can just buy another one. Although this one has been on the market for 3+ years, it still is one of the brightest AAA flashlights out there. That in itself is somewhat amazing! Going outdoors without a flashlight is no good idea. Get this small flashlight. The knurling is aggressive enough to use with one hand—definitely a winner.
Acebeam PT10 GT
Acebeam is famous for its extremely bright and powerful flashlights. The PT10-GT is a pretty powerful penlight with over 400 lumens with the included lithium-ion battery.
- Max output: 472 lumens (included lithium-ion battery) / 120 lumens (2x AAA Eneloop)
- LED options: Nichia 219C and Osram KW CSLNM1.TG and Samsung LH351D (the one we reviewed)
- 10900 type lithium-ion rechargeable battery included (micro-USB rechargeable)
- Lighting modes: 3: Medium Low High (No moonlight mode)
The Acebeam PT10 has been upgraded to the latest LED technology, with a max brightness of 470 lumens. This is rather unique for a penlight flashlight. You can only achieve that with the included high-power Lithium-Ion battery though. The PT10 GT can also be powered by 2AAA batteries, but the output comes down to about 120 lumens, right along with its competitors. Also, we never recommend using Alkaline batteries, but use NiMH batteries instead. The brand we recommend is Panasonic Eneloop.
Battery life: In High mode, the Acebeam PT10 GT will run for about 40 minutes with the Lithium-Ion battery, and 1 hour and 45 minutes on 2 AAA batteries. Medium mode is 1 hour and 20 minutes (with lithium rechargeable battery) and almost 8 hours on 2AAA batteries. For more details, continue reading our in-depth review of the Acebeam PT10 GT.
Strongest AA LED flashlights
AA flashlights are not the most popular, but if you don't like using lithium-ion batteries, this is the one to get.
Zebralight SC5W MkII
The brightest single cell AA flashlight
Premium AA flashlight from a top manufacturer Zebralight. Get this AA-powered one if you want a high lumen flashlight and don't want to use lithium-ion batteries!
- Max output: 550 lumens on 1 Eneloop AA
- EDC flashlight for everyday carry
- Includes a battery capacity indicator
- Driver is current regulated so constant output
- Automatic step-down when the battery runs down.
- Quick access to High, Low Medium, and strobe
Zebralight is well known for having the world's highest output drivers for AA flashlights since about 2013. Currently, Zebralight SC5W mk2 is their brightest AA flashlight. And even though it's been on the market for a couple of years, nobody else has been able to surpass it. Sporting an XP-L2 emitter with 4500K and 83 Cri, you can expect a neutral white beam. Keep in mind that the batteries you are using can make a huge difference on battery life. Eneloop PROs are the top pick for these, but normal Eneloops would also do.
An awesome choice for people who want to have the best and brightest flashlight on the market. If you don't mind the price tag, this is the one to get. Zebralight is an American-owned and operated manufacturer, based in Irving, TX!
Brightest flashlight with 8AA batteries
This is the brightest AA flashlight
(Brightest multi-AA flashlight)
The Nitecore EA81 with 2150 lumens on 8 AA batteries, making it the most powerful AA-powered flashlights on the market, even in 2022.
- Max output: 2150 lumens on 8 AA batteries
- Max beam intensity: 53,000cd
- Max throw distance: 462 meters / 0.28 miles
- Micro-textured reflector for throw and flood.
- Lowest output: 1 lumen
A few years ago, I owned the Nitecore EA8, which was the most powerful 8xAA flashlight, with an XML2 LED. This time, Nitecore used the XHP50 LED. The XHP50 allows the light to hit 2150 lumens from its 8 (yes, 8!) AA batteries. Again, these numbers are only achieved with high-quality NiMH batteries and not Alkaline batteries. Personally, I wouldn’t say I like to use 8 AA batteries, but this is definitely the most powerful AA-powered flashlight currently available. Also, this is not a tactical flashlight, like some suggest. It’s large and quite heavy with its 8 AAs.
Anyone who buys this light should make sure to get the latest CREE XHP50 version and not the older CREE XML2.
Single-cell lithium powered LED flashlights
Imalent MS03 is super bright. The brightest flashlight of 2021 running off a single 21700 battery. Reaching approximately 13,000 lumens!
- 3*CREE XHP70.2 (XHP70.2 is a super bright LED)
- High lumen output of 13,000 lumens.
- Max beam distance measured: 283 meters
- max beam intensity measured: 20,100 cd
- The brightest compact led flashlight in the world
- Max power is only possible with the best high drain cell like the Samsung INR21700 40T (battery included)
- Works on 21700 and 18650 batteries (with adapter)
- 5 normal brightness levels + 1 turbo mode
Imalent is known for being one of the few manufacturers that try to achieve the maximum output. The MS03 is no exception in that regard. Pushing out over 10,000 lumens from a single cell is insane!
If you are looking for a pocketable flashlight to blind 100 people at once, get the MS03. This thing is seriously ridiculous. Please check out our in-depth review of the Imalent MS03 for all the details. And yes, it does include a pocket clip, but it's easy to remove.
Imalent includes a high drain 21700 battery, so you are ready to go. Use coupon 1lumen for 10% off at Imalentstore.com
The Nightwatch shares its #1 spot of brightest flashlight running off a single 26800/21700 battery. Reaching approximately 13000 lumens!
Shared #1 Brightest single-cell lithium flashlight
- LED light source: 4*SST40 / 4*XHP50.2
- Maximum output of 13000 lumens.
- Super bright, and probably brightest led flashlight on a single cell
- Max power only possible with the best high drain cell like the Samsung INR21700 30T
- Works on 26800 batteries (package includes a 21700 adapter)
Nightwatch might be an unknown brand, but it surely has some appeal to the flashaholic within us. With a maximum brightness of up to 13000 Lumens, this is a different kind of beast. 130000 Lumens is only achievable by choosing the XHP50.2 K4 variant.
It is a 26800 type flashlight (very unique) but can be used with a single 21700 cell. Since it needs high-quality, high discharge cells, you are sure it heats up like crazy. Within seconds the head becomes extremely hot. If you are looking for the brightest single cell flashlight, and you don't mind the disadvantages, this is the one you should get! If you want to continue reading, check out the full review here: Nightwatch NSX4.
Powerful multi lithium cell flashlights
Still one of the best budget flashlights available under $50.
- Maximum output: 5000 lumens
- LED light source: 4*CREE XHPL
- Charging: no onboard charging
- Price range: $45-70
This is an extremely bright light, spec’d by the BLF (BudgetLightForum) team, to bring the most bang for the buck. This results in the brightest budget flashlight with multi-battery configuration made today, aptly named the BLF Q8 (4x XP-L + 4× 18650s). Check out our full review of the BLF Q8 here.
Flashlight manufacturer Thorfire produced it. It has been a very popular light amongst many flashaholics and has been a hit amongst flashlight enthusiasts from all around the world.
Using 4x XPL-HD 5000k LEDs to produce a mind-blowing 5000+ lumens, this flashlight is a monster to be reckoned with and a must-have for all flashlights users. The Q8 is an all-purpose light and can be used for anything, from lighting up the road in front of you to be used while camping to even being a great night light for some.
Good high drain 18650 cells like the NCR18650GA, Samsung 30Q, LG HG2, Sony VTC6, Samsung 25R, and many others have to be used to get the maximum performance. All of the cells are in parallel, so they need to be kept at the same charge level to prevent problems, and they need to be kept in the same group as well.
So, buy 4×18650s at once, and keep them only for 4×18650 lights. Do not separate them.
Its driver is running the NarsilM firmware, with the standard UI being ramping and direct turbo accessible with a double click. Press and hold for ramping up, and same for ramping down. It’s also very advanced and configurable. It can ramp all the way down to a minuscule 0.1 lumen, to a mind-boggling 5,000 lumens on maximum, even higher if you modify the BLF Q8 as many flashlight enthusiasts have. You also have access to standard modes if you don’t like ramping and strobes.
The Astrolux MF01s is powered by an array of 18*SST20 LEDs. One amongst the top of the flooder range, illuminating a whole soccer field with ease. It also throws well, but with a wide array of LEDs and small optics, it only throws far because of the sheer amount of brightness granted by its 15 000 lumen output.
- One of the highest power lights around $100
- Compact light and very powerful
- Your choice of emitters, SST20 6500k, 5000K and 4000K
- Cool white(6500k) has the highest output
- 95 000 candelas (double the amount of its predecessor, the MF01)
- Max brightness of 15000 lumens
- 18x Powerful SST emitters
- Anduril firmware (most advanced firmware available)
- 2x 18650 or 4x 18650 cells
- To get maximum output and the longest runtime possible, it is strongly recommended to use with 4x18650s, along with using 10A+ capable cells (4x Samsung 30Q)
As small as it is, this is still a tiny sun! Only a fraction longer than the venerable Convoy S2+. The batteries are arranged in a 2S2P configuration (so 2 batteries in series and 2 batteries parallel) at a total max voltage of 8,4V. . It has the advantage of only requiring 2x18650s to work in series, but as stated before, power output will be reduced.
On a final note, I would recommend the 5000K or 4000K version. It has a better Neutral White tint. And do yourself a favor and choose a colored flashlight instead of the boring black.
World's Brightest Flashlights
Most powerful flashlights above 25,000 lumens!
Check out the highest lumens flashlights.
The Acebeam X80-GT is the predecessor of the X80-GT2 and claims an output of a maximum of 32,500 lumens. If you have big pockets in your coat, you could probably carry the X80-GT....lol
- Max output: 32,500 lumens (we measured 27,000)
- LED: 18* CREE XHP50.2
- Battery: 4*18650 (included)
- Charging: this is not a rechargeable LED flashlight (you need to have/buy a dedicated 18650 battery charger)
The X80-GT has been replaced with the X80-GT2, but in terms of output, they are pretty close! So if you want to save a few bucks, get the X80-GT if you can get a good deal on it. Small like a soda can, but powerful like a boring 747, this little monster is a real pocket monster. Oh, and if you forgot a lighter during your trip, use this little monster to set paper on fire, it's that powerful.
We reviewed this (just like all the others) extensively, please check out the full review here: https://1lumen.com/review/acebeam-x80-gt/
Although it has a shared #6 on the list, the MS08 is actually less powerful than the Acebeam X80-GT2. This is the reason why you shouldn't trust other websites. They don't test them, and just put garbage out.
- Max output: 34,000 lumens (we measured 25,000 at start, and 19,000 at 30 seconds)
- LED: 8* CREE XHP70.2
- Rechargeable flashlight batteries: 3x21700 (included)
- Charge: includes USB cable
- Lighting modes: 5 + Turbo mode
- Moonlight mode: not available
Imalent has many flashlights on this list, and for a good reason. They try to build the brightest handheld flashlights for consumers. And with the MS08 they thought to increase their lineup with yet another crazy bright flashlight.
During testing, we learned that its specs are a bit exaggerated, and it didn't even reach 30,000 lumens, let alone 34,000 lumens. In order to reach that output, you need something bigger and more powerful.
If you want to read more about our testing results, check out our in-depth review of the Imalent MS08.
The Acebeam X80-GT2 is rated at 34,000 Lumens. It even fits in your (large) pockets. This is the smallest powerhouse on this list!
- Max output: 34,000 lumens (we measured 31,000)
- LED: 18* CREE XHP50.3 (new high powered LED)
- Battery: 4x 18650 (included)
- Charging: you need a dedicated lithium-ion battery charger. No onboard charging.
- 7 brightness levels, ranging from 150 to 30,000 lumens (as per our testing)
- Moonlight mode: not available. Lowest mode is 150 lumens
Since we reviewed the Acebeam X80-GT with 32,500 lumens, we couldn't lose out and reviewed the X80-GT2 as well. This has the size of a soda can and can fit in your pocket. But don't even think this isn't one of the most powerful flashlights on planet earth. Just like the X80-GT, the newer X80-GT2 also includes a tripod screw hole, for either the included carry handle or to attach to a tripod. That way, you have both hands free to help with work, etc. A great feature for a wide variety of applications.
We reviewed this (just like all the others) extensively, and can come to the conclusion.. this little pocket rocket is really insane. Make sure to also check out our Acebeam X80-GT2 review.
The R90TS with 36,000 Lumens is not just an extremely, extremely bright flashlight, it also is a great thrower!
- Max output: 36,000 lumens
- LED: 18* CREE XHP35 (high powered LED with main focus on maximum reach)
- Throw distance: I measured 1929 meters
- Battery: 8x 21700 non-replaceable battery pack
- Charging: Rechargeable flashlight with built-in charging
- Active cooling fans
- Light modes: 8 modes
- Moonlight mode: no ECO mode available. The lowest mode is 750 lumens
We were really excited when the R90TS and MS18 were announced. Both are in the top brightest flashlights of the world! We decided to get both of them, the moment they came out. During the review of the Imalent R90TS, we found that this is such a beast that is not only blinds you; it also throws a beam really, really far. If you doubt between an extremely powerful flashlight and a thrower, check out the R90TS, you wouldn't believe this is possible without seeing it!
For pictures and our test, check out the full indepth Imalent R90TS review here.
Acebeam added a powerful little bugger that puts out more lumens than many flashlights that are double its size.
- Max output: 40,000 lumens (Measured mine 35,000 lumens at start, and 30,000 after 30 sec)
- LED: 8x XHP70.2
- Charging: Rechargeable flashlight with USB-C charging (PD)
- Max beam distance: 800 meters of throw (Mine measured about 600)
- Weight: 690 grams
- Lighting modes: 6 main modes +1 Turbo mode
- Moonlight mode: no moon mode available. The lowest mode is 200 lumens
The Acebeam X50 is one of the latest and most powerful flashlights by Acebeam. It's likely a successor of the X80-GT, which is about the same size but with 'only' 32,500 lumens. Although not as powerful as the X70, but at half the size and 3/4 of its power, pretty amazing.
Besides the XHP70.2 LEDs, it's also available with high CRI LEDs especially made for photographers and videographers. They will render colors accurately, which helps textures, and color details stand out. If you point the beam onto a white wall, it doesn't have the prettiest beam pattern, but you won't notice this at a larger distance, especially not outdoors.
We reviewed the Acebeam X50, and it's the real deal. Very, very powerful for its size.
If you order it at Acebeam.com use our 1Lumen discount code for 11% off: 1lumen323
Manker's brightest flashlight built to date.
- Max output: 41,500 lumens
- LED: 8x XHP70.2 (with the highest output, but also available with NW and Luminus SFT40 which I personally have)
- Battery: 3*21700
- Charging: 2 options: Rechargeable flashlight with built in charging, and battery pack, and no charging built-in, at a much lower price.
- Max beam intensity: 160,000 cd (for the XHP, but 360,000 cd for the Luminus SFT40 version, the one I reviewed)
Manker lets you choose between white, grey, and black anodized aluminum. And besides the color of the flashlight itself, they also provide several LED options and an optional built-in battery. So in that regard, Manker gives a lot of bang for the buck.
Unlike the Acebeam X80-GT2, the MK38 has 2 fans built into the handle, that can be removed with a special screw. It helps to reduce the temperature of the head of the flashlight because it heats up very very quickly.
Check out our review of the Manker MK38, which is the 20000 lumen option (with Luminus SFT40 LEDs).
Imalent MR90: 50,000 lumens
Tame the darkness with the MR90! If you want a combination of a wide and narrow beam, this is it.
Use discount code 1LumenNEW or 1Lumen711 at Nealsgadgets
- Maximum output: 50,000 lumens (I even measured 52,000 at turn on)
- LED: 8*XHP 70.2 LEDs + 1 Luminus SBT90.2
- Battery: 4x21700 non-replaceable battery pack
- Charging: Built-in charger
- Internal active cooling fans, which really help sustain the output.
Don't be surprised to see so many Imalent flashlights in the top performers. Their main focus is building the brightest and coolest flashlights on planet earth.
The MR90 combines 2 flashlights in 1, with 2 different kinds of LEDs. There are 8 high-power LEDs in shallow reflectors to give you an extremely wide beam (see our review), and 1 separate LED inside a deep and bigger reflector to throw a beam 1150+ yards.
In our review, we confirm that the MR90 doesn't throw as far as they claim, but 1150 yards is still a distance many flashlight users would be jealous of.
That by itself is pretty cool, but the coolest is likely the extremely high sustained output! Imalent built 2 fans inside the body, to keep the light as cool as possible, and maintains an output of over 8,000 lumens for over 40 minutes. That's what I call amazing!
Hungry for all the details? Check out our Imalent MR90 review.
Get an extra 10% off at Imalenstore by using our unique discount coupon code: 1Lumen
Acebeam X70: 60,000 lumens
The Acebeam X70 posses 12 XHP70.2 LEDs for pure flood and 1 XHP35-HI for throw. 60,000 total combined lumen output! Super bright flashlight.
- Maximum output: 60000 lumens!
- LED: CREE XHP70.2*12 + 1* CREE XHP35 HI
- Maximum reach: 1130 meters throw with 1 emitter
- Charging: 8x18650 non-replaceable battery pack
- External active cooling
Not many flashlights have external fans to cool them down, and this is the first one actually. Power output is comically high, so heat management is crucial. Besides having a huge flood beam, or flood, it can also illuminate objects as far as 1000 meters (0,6 miles throw) with the small XHP35-HI LED and deep reflector. This beast is already available and is the brightest flashlight manufactured in 2018/2019 and blinds its competition...pun intended.
This is not a light for one-handed use, and output on max will surely have a step-down, although actively cooling it will help a lot. Check out our Acebeam X70 review for more details! Also, keep in mind that the highest output in turbo mode will only last for a short time.
These lights are monsters, and I would only recommend them to the most knowledgeable and careful people, along with those with deep pockets. Outputting 40k+ lumens of lights is extremely dangerous, which, unlike other lights, can not only burn materials but can actually cause fires if mishandled properly. More power to you if you have the responsibility and money to get it.
Get 11% off at Acebeam.com by using our special acquired 1Lumen coupon: 1lumen323
Imalent MS12 Mini: 65,000 lumens
The MS12 Mini is the successor of the much larger MS12, but at about 1/2 of its size. I kid you not, this one is even brighter at 65,000 lumens, and may even fit in your cargo or jack pocket.
- Maximum output: 65000 lumens (we confirmed this in our review)
- LED: 12*XHP 70.2 LEDs
- Battery: 4x21700 non-replaceable battery pack
- Charging: Built-in charger
- Internal active cooling fans
The Imalent MS12 Mini has been getting quite a coverage on social media. It is extremely bright and can lid a whole acre of land. The MS12 Mini is such a best that it uses a built-in cooling fan to lower the heat while in Turbo. Turbo lasts about 3 minutes when it reduces output to 15,000 lumens. Still an amazing amount of power!
Check out our in-depth review of the Imalent MS12 Mini.
Get an extra 10% off at Imalenstore by using our unique discount coupon code: 1Lumen
Acebeam X75: 80,000 lumens
The Acebeam X75 posses 18 XHP70.2 LEDs for pure flood with 80,000 lumen output! Super bright flashlight, and currently #2.
- Maximum output: 80,000 lumens!
- LED: CREE XHP70.2*12 (and XHP70.3 is also available)
- Charging: fast charging with 65 Watt USB-C PD
- Handle with 1 cooling fan (and spare fan included in the package)
- Powerbank feature included
There are only a handful of flashlight that can produce over 50,000 lumens, especially with only 4 batteries (inside the battery pack). The X75 is currently the highest output flashlight running of just 4 batteries and with a built-in fan. Well, the fan is actually very easy to replace, and Acebeam includes a spare fan in their package.
Even though we tested the Neutral White version (which is typically less powerful than the Cool White version) we reached over 80,000 lumens after several seconds. If you care about a high sustained output, look no further. This is one of the best high-sustained performers on the market. It stays over 20,000 lumens for 20 minutes. No other flashlight can do that, not even the MS18, the current number 1.
If you want to read the full test, head over to our Acebeam X75 review.
Get 11% off at Acebeam.com by using our special acquired 1Lumen coupon: 1lumen323
Imalent MS18 = the Brightest flashlight in the world
The Imalent MS18 is the #1 brightest flashlight in the world, with a blinding 100000-lumen output.
Get 10% off at Imalenstore with this discount coupon: 1lumen
- Max output: 100,000 lumens
- LED: 18* XHP70.2 High Power CREE LEDs
- Max beam distance: 1217 meters (we measured)
- Battery: 8x21700 battery pack
- Built-in cooling fans (probably not water resistant because of this)
- Built-in charging system
This is literally the #1 brightest flashlight in the world with a blinding 100000 lumens. Brighter than other handheld flashlights available anywhere on the planet. With this incredibly high output, you can light up an entire baseball field. We reviewed the Imalent MS18 extensively. Check out our Imalent MS18 review to learn more about this beast, and make sure to double-check our runtime graphs comparison with other bright LED flashlights. And because of how this flashlight is built, with the cooling fans built in, don't expect this to be a waterproof flashlight.
Even though many eBay sellers claim their flashlights are reaching 100,000 lumens, they are lying. The Imalent MS18 is the first flashlight officially claiming 100K lumens from a major flashlight manufacturer. If you want to have the most powerful handheld flashlight globally, there is only 1, this one.
If you don't believe me, check out the review and the comparison shots. Nobody else on the internet reviewed as many powerful flashlights as we do. Don't forget to use our coupon code to get an extra 10% off at Imalenstore. Our discount coupon for you: 1lumen
FAQ: frequently asked questions about the brightest LED flashlights
Imalent MS03 is currently the smallest best flashlight with 13,000 lumens. You need to use high-drain batteries for it to reach that high output. If you use mediocre batteries, you won't be able to reach the maximum brightness!
It's the Nitecore EA81, which uses 8 AA batteries and produces 2150 lumens. Unfortunately, it's an older model, but still, the most powerful flashlight running on AA batteries.
Please note to use rechargeable NiMH batteries like Panasonic Eneloop and never alkaline batteries. Alkaline batteries are too weak for these types of high power LED flashlights.
The brightest LED flashlight in the world is the Imalent MS18. It's a 100,000-lumen flashlight with cooling fans built-in to keep the temperature down. We also reviewed other high lumen flashlights, including the world's brightest #2: Acebeam X70, a 60,000-lumen flashlight. Check out all of our reviews.
We made a list with the 'brightest tactical flashlights' for the most updated list. Nitecore makes some of the best flashlights, including the brightest tactical lights: Nitecore TM9K, TM10K, TM20K.