Brightest flashlight of 2018

All the ones listed below are separated into categories. Each category is divided into 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 during the year. 

AAA battery flashlights

thrunite TI3 flashlight

Thrunite Ti3

Thrunite Ti3 is one of the brightest and cheapest currently available AAA flashlight that can do over 100 lumens on a single (rechargeable) AAA battery. Not recommended using Alkaline batteries.

  • 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

This mini 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 flashlights out there. The kurling is aggressive enough to use with 1 hand. Definitely a winner. 

manker-e02

Manker E02

The Manker E02 is a rare flashlight, or better said: right-angle flashlight. It can do over 200 lumens on 1 AAA flashlight. Plenty bright, and the brightest AAA right-angle light on the market.

  • 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. 

Acebeams_pt10-penlight

Acebeam PT10

Acebeam being famous for their extremely bright and powerful flashights. They have this PT10 series on the market since 2016, but there aren't any other ones that beat this one in brightness on 2AAA batteries! This one holding the brightest flashlight with 2AAA batteries!

  • Available in different colors: Black, Silver, Grey, Copper.
  • Work on 2xAAA batteries (eneloops recommended)
  • With XPL-HD max output of 360 lumens. 
  • 3 Modes
  • 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. This is rather unique for any light running of 2*AAA batteries, and you can get this by using 2 rechargeable AAA batteries, not alkalines.

In High mode the Acebeam PT10 will run for about 40 minutes. And with the lowest mode up to 10 hours (30 lumens). Lovely little pen light. Current price for the aluminum version is about $32 and copper version around $70. I would recommend this for indoors and safe for kids as well.

AA battery flashlight

utorch ut01 flashlight

UTORCH UT01

Extremely bright Budget AA flashlight with almost 450 lumens from 1 AA eneloop battery. One of the cheapest on this list, but still one of the brightest flashlights using simple AA (rechargeable) batteries.

  • 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
  • Ultra bright
  • 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. It's an obvious copy of the Manker E11, which is about $20-30.

lumintopEDC05

LUMINTOP EDC05

One of the latest models of Lumintop, with a very pleasant output of 400 lumens on 1 AA battery. This makes it the brightest flashlight in the medium-budget segment.

  • 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. It has 7 output modes, (4 main modes and 3 blinky modes (beacon, strobe and sos). It has a length of 87mm and is therefore very well a pocket light. Runtime is 1.2 hours on Max with a rechargebale battery (Eneloop) and 15 minutes on a 14500 with 400+ lumens for maximum outpu. The average price is $32 for the brightest flashlight in its category.

Although a BLF member has tested the EDC05 being less bright than the much cheaper Utorch UT01, mentioned above.

sc5wii

Zebralight SC5W mkii

Premium AA flashlight from a top manufacturer Zebralight. Get this AA powered one if you want the brightest AA flashlight!

  • 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

Zebralight is well known for the world's highest output drivers for AA flashlights since about 2013. 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. Keep in mind that the batteries you are using can make a huge difference. Eneloop PRO are the top pick for these.

An awesome choice for people who want to have the best and brightest flashlight on the market. If you don't mind the $70 price tag, this is the one to get. Zebralight is an American owned and operated manufacturer, based in Irving, TX!

4AA / 8AA batteries

nitecore-ea42-new

Nitecore EA42

Almost 2000lumens from a 4AA light, which was impossible to reach about 2 years ago. Therefore the EA42 is currently the brightest light running off 4 AA batteries. 

  • 1800 lumens claimed on 4AA eneloops
  • Throw of 31000cd (equals 353 meters / 0.21 miles / 1158 feet)
  • Made of Polycarbonate (heat resistance/impact resistance)
  • Max of 280 hours on lowest mode
  • Stainless steel bezel ring

Nitecore has been upping their game with more and more powerful flashlights. A few years ago, the Sunwayman D40A was one of the most powerful lights running off 4AA batteries, peaking at 1000 lumens.

Now about 4 years later the Nitecore EA42 is almost doubling that by using an XHP35 HD LED, which not only is much more powerful than the older XML2, it can also throw further. Besides the Main modes, the EA42 also includeds beacon, SOS and Strobe, like it or not. I'm not a huge fan of these. 

Keep in mind that you won't be able to reach that power with Alkaline batteries!!!

nitecore-ea81-flashlight

Nitecore EA81

2150 lumens with AA batteries. The most powerful AA powered flashlight available.

  • 21500 lumens claimed on 8AA 
  • Throw of 53000cd (equals 462 meters / 0.28 miles)
  • Micro textured reflector for throw and flood.
  • Low of 1 lumen

About 4 years ago I owned the EA8 which was at that time the most powerful 8AA flashlight with XML2 LED. This time, Nitecore added the XHP50 LED. The LED makes the light to be able to hit 2150 lumens from 8AA batteries. Again, these numbers are only achieved by high quality NiMH batteries, and not Alkaline. They renewed the buttons.

I for myself didn't like to use 8AA batteries, but this is definitely the most powerful 8AA flashlight currently available. Also, some people like to look for a tactical flashlight, this might not be very "tactical" so to say.

Make sure you get the latest XHP50 version and not the XML2. Or use the link to buy it.

Lithium battery powered flashlights below!

Single-cell lithium powered

Emisar D4

Emisar D4

The brightest of 2018 running off a single 18650/18350 battery. Reaching approximately 4300 lumens!

  • 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
  • Low voltage protection

So it is a real sub 10cm hotrod that blows everything out of the water that is currently available in stock format! The Emisar is only available at 2 stores worldwide at the moment. Those include 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.

It's the brightest currently available single-cell flashlight.. that was a mouth full. And only around $40. 

the light itself

Lumintop ODF30

The first single 26650 powered flashlight with a XHP70.2. Reaching approximately 3500 lumens!

  • CREE XHP 70.2 LED (xtra high power?)
  • Running of a single 26650 battery or 18650 with a spacer
  • Super bright for a few seconds in Turbo mode
  • 3 main modes, 1 Turbo, 1 Low lumen, and Strobe
  • Low voltage warning
  • Fits very nice in the hand.

It's just a bit bigger than the palm of your hand, and runs of a lithium-ion 26650 battery. If you have a spacer you can even use 18650 Li-Ion batteries. Or check out my ODF30 review.

Turbo mode will give you 3000+ lumens for a few seconds. The light quickly turns down to a more steady output. It's ultrabright, but with the step-down you can have some fun with it, and still have good battery life.

If you're looking for a single 26650 powered flashlight with a XHP70.2 this is the one to get!

18650 headlamp

Armytek-wizard-pro-v3

Armytek Wizard Pro v3 XHP50

Claiming 2300 lumens off a single battery, this is one of the brightest headlamps in 2018.

  • 2300 lumens from 1 single lithium Ion battery
  • The brightest single cell headlamp available
  • Charge the battery while being installed with the USB magnet charger
  • TIR optics for a floody beam!

When searching for powerful headlamps, this is probably the brightest available. Specs show 2300lumens, but I imagine this is very optimistic. If you're getting 1600 lumens OTF (out the front) you should be really happy.  The Cree XHP50 is powered from a single 18650 Li-Ion battery, which is included in the package. It's waterproof with a rating of IPX8, and has a low-battery indicator in case you run out of juice.

Armytek is a Canadian brand and sells worldwide.

multi lithium cell flashlights

Flashlights with multiple batteries.

In order to provide enough power, these lights always use Lithium Ion batteries. These are not meant to be used by children... They can burn down your bed, tent or even worse... your house, when left powered-on unattended.

BLF-Q8

BLF Q8 with Quatro XPL

The best budget flashlight currently available on a budget. Nothing beat this in this price range.

Super bright light specd by the BLF (budgetlightforum) team in order to get the most bang for the buck. This resulted in the brightest flashlight 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 best output). A must have. Use code: ec06b4 at Banggood.com for discount. And at Amazon use code: BLFQ8

It's currently standing on my bedside table and sometimes on my drawers so I can find my way out of the bedroom without disturbing the wife.

Astrolux where to buy

Astrolux MF01

18*XPG3/Nichia leds. One of the greatest Flooder lights of 2017/2018.  Maximum output of 12000 lumens, and that for something below $100

  • 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: 4BLF for 9% discount at banggood

acebeam_most_powerful_flashlight

Acebeam X80

12 white, 5 colors LEDs.  Extremely bright flashlight.  Max 25000 lumens.

  • 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 segment. The head size is only 65mm wide, and the light itself is merely 12 cm/4.7" long. A 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. 

Although officially the Imalent DX80 is the brightest flashlight on paper, it is also known for a few little problems. Check out the best flashlights of 2017, which had the DX80 listed, but now has a warning.

Acebeam X70 flashlight

Acebeam X80

12* XHP70.2 LED and 1 XHP35 HI. Currently brightest in production (on paper) in 2018. 40,000 lumens.

  • Acebeam X70

  • Brightest flashlight currently in the world in stock format. Not modded. 
  • Claiming 40,000 lumens 
  • 1000 meters  throw with the XHP 70.2 LED (brightest led available)
  • Built-in cooling fan!

Not many flashlight manufacturers have built-in fans to cool down the light. So this can only mean a huge amount of heat is built up within the flashlight. Besides having a huge beam sideways (flooder), it can also illuminate opbjects as far as 1000 meters (0,6 miles) (throw).

When this beast becomes available, this is going to be the brightest manufactured of 2018. Can't wait to see how it performs. This is not a one-hand handheld flashlight. The Max output will surely have a step-down.

Brightest flashlight in the world?

The above lists of brightest flashlights that are bright, and not necessarily the best. Some budget flashlights like the Utorch can have some problems with programming modes. So please decide for yourself which is best for you. 

Note: some of the above links are affiliate, so that I can earn a small % for running this website.