Best headlamp on AAA batteries


Manker E02

The Manker E02 is a rare flashlight, or better said: a right-angle flashlight. It can do over 200 lumens on 1 AAA flashlight. Plenty bright, and the brightest AAA right-angle light currently on the market. This is an excellent choice for using as a headlamp! Also for kids!

  • 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 around $20! It's 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.  Add $5 for the head strap. 

Brightest AA headlamp

right angle light made by Zebralight

Zebralight H53w

Zebralight has been the #1 manufacturer for powerful AA flashlights and headlamps. And the H53w is no exception. 

  • Max Output: 330 lumens (on 1 Eneloop AA battery)
  • LED: XP-L2 EasyWhyte (80CRI which is above average)
  • Modes: User selectable levels. 3 main modes and each can be set to its sub-level output
  • Length: 75mm long / 2.9 inch
  • Weight: 79gr / 2.8 oz with battery
  • Operation voltage 0.7-2V, so no 14500 batteries!

Zebralight has been the leader when it comes to high powered AA flashlights and headlamps since about 2014. They have had records in most powerful AA flashlights and also in headlamps. The H53w is very very bright with only 1 AA Eneloop battery. I do not recommend using Alkaline batteries in any flashlight. Because Alkalines are weak batteries, they can never reach the highest output in a flashlight. Never. Always use rechargeable batteries like Eneloop or Fujitsu.

Brightest headlamps on lithium batteries

Brightest 18650 headlamp

thrunite th30 headlamp with strap

Thrunite TH30

Claiming 3350 lumens off a single battery, this is one /if not the brightest 18650 headlamp.

  • Brightest rechargeable 18650 headlamp
  • Micro USB port for charging
  • Right-angle headlamp can be used without headstrap
  • XHP70.2 high power LED

When searching for powerful headlamps, this is probably the brightest available. Specs show 3350lumens, but I imagine this is very optimistic. If you're getting 2000 lumens OTF (out the front) you should be really happy.  The Cree XHP70.2 is powered from a single 18650 Li-Ion  IMR battery 3100mAh, which is included in the package. It's waterproof with a rating of IPX8. It can also throw a reasonable bream up to 155 meters (roughly 500 feet/170 yards).

Most right angle lights can also be used without the headstrap. And in some cases they inlcude a strong magnet in the tailcap so you can attach it to metal.

Brightest headlamp below $25

  • Led: CREE XPL HD
  • Max output: 1200 lm
  • Battery: 18650 (for an additional $3 they'll include one)
  • Charge: Micro USB

We reviewed the Sofirn SP40 here. Basically, this is a great bargain. For less than $25 you'll get a nice-looking, yet high quality and affordable headlamp. There's USB charging onboard, using a Micro USB port. The headband feels comfortable, even from the word go. No need to get an upgraded headband for this one.

Although the highest setting drops (as 99% of all flashlights do) to medium in 7 minutes. It will run for 3 hours and 53 minutes until the Low Voltage Protection kicks in. We highly recommend it.

Brightest headlamp on a single 21700 battery

bright headlamp

Acebeam H30

4000 lumens from 1 battery.. on your forehead. That is what the H30 can do, albeit for only 1.5 minutes. 

  • 4000 lumens
  • XHP70.2 high power LED
  • CREE XPE2-R2 630nm red light
  • CREE XPE2-G2 530nm green light
  • 4 brightness modes
  • USB C port for fast charging
  • Includes a 21700 type battery with 5100mAh

Not really for jogging or running because of its weight and size. If you want something smaller, you should look at something totally different and smaller. This bad boy is to beat the darkness. Turbo Max (4000 lumens) can only run for 1.5 minutes when it drops down to High (1100 lumens). Turbo (2200 lumens) will do 5.5 minutes before it drops down to High for another 2.5 hours. Charge current with the USB C up to 2A. Use our special code: 1lumen323 at for 11% off.

Brightest headlamp in the world

lupine rx brightest headlamp with 5000 lumens

Lupine Betty RX

A gigantic output of 5000 lumens. We are talking about the Lupine Betty RX 

  • Max output: 5,000 lumens
  • LED: 6*XML2 + 1* XP-G2
  • Available with a 9.9Ah battery pack (RX 7) or 13.8Ah battery pack (RX14)
  • 11 different brightness levels

The Lupine Betty RX is not your average kind of headlamp, weighing in at 500 grams with the smaller battery pack and 660 grams with the larger battery pack. It's not just for wearing on your head, it can also be mounted to your bike.

With 11 different output modes, you should be able to get 1 hour of runtime in the highest output mode, will reaching 150 hours on the lowest output mode. The highest is claimed to reach 5000 lumens and the lowest at 30 lumens. The Betty RX shows the battery voltage on the head of the lamp as well as on the Bluetooth remote control. The Bluetooth remote control is a great feature, especially when riding a bike. The remote switch uses a battery indicator LED that can be switched of to conserve battery power.

The Betty RX is supposed to be the brightest headlamp, but we haven't tested it.

Missing any headlamp in the list, that is proved to be brighter? Let us know.

We're not talking about eBay listings with 1000000 lumens.

What's the best headlamp?

I'm not going that route since that depends on the application. If you're going to use it for jogging, none of the above headlamps would be a great fit. You'd better get something light-weight and the least amount of batteries. Not specifically the least amount but with the least weight and best balanced. 

Secondly, it depends on the distance you are running. If you're running for a couple of hours, you better look for a decent battery and don't use AAA batteries.

If you just want the brightest headlamps, check the ones above.