Flashlights are an essential piece of equipment for many people; while the light built into your phone may be enough for poking around your own house in the dark, you’re going to need something a bit brighter and better for outdoor use, and something brighter still if you’re looking to use it for hunting or other similar purposes. Finding the best flashlight for your purposes can be challenging, however, as there are so many different types of flashlight on the market in 2020.
To help you to find the best flashlight 2020 for you, we’ve done extensive research and testing and put together a list of best flashlight reviews, exploring the significant advantages, disadvantages, and features of each of our top 10 flashlights 2020 in order to help you to choose the right flashlight for your needs.
With our helpful guide to the best flashlights available in 2020, you can find the best model of flashlight for your personal needs and preferences with ease, helping you to buy with full confidence that you’re making a great choice.
Related: Keychain Flashlights.
View the Best Flashlight, Below.
- Fenix PD35 V2.0 1000 Lumen Flashlight
- Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL Tactical Flashlight
- outlite A100 Portable LED Flashlight
- Anker Super Bright Rechargeable Flashlight
- Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight
- Streamlight 66118 PenLight
- SureFire Sidekick Keychain Light
- Escolite UV Flashlight Black Light
- Maglite LED 3-Cell D Flashlight
- GearLight High-Powered LED Flashlight
1. Fenix PD35 V2.0 1000 Lumen Flashlight
The Fenix PD35 V2.0 1000 Lumen Flashlight is one of the most powerful domestic flashlight models available in 2020, offering a high brightness of 1000 lumens on its maximum settings.
This model of flashlight features 5 different brightness settings, allowing it to easily fit a wide range of different user needs, and offers battery life ranging from 3 hours on Turbo brightness and an exceptionally high 430 hours on the Eco brightness setting.
The battery is rechargeable via the included USB cable, eliminating the need for spare batteries and simplifying the process of keeping the flashlight powered, and the solid casing is lightweight and comfortable to hold in most situations.
Offering exceptionally high brightness and maximum potential battery life for a pocket flashlight, the Fenix PD35 V2.0 1000 Lumen Flashlight is one of the most powerful premium flashlight options available on the market in 2019.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL Tactical Flashlight
The 800-lumen brightness of the Streamlight TLR 1 HL Tactical Flashlight may be a little lower than expected for a hunting flashlight, but the narrow focus of its beam means that this tactical flashlight for hunting can brightly illuminate objects up to 245 meters away from you with ease.
The durable machined aircraft aluminum body is exceptionally durable, as is the reinforced impact resistant glass covering the bulb, giving this powerful hunting flashlight a projected lifespan of 50,000 hours.
This model of flashlight is easy to mount onto most guns, thanks to its simple rail grip clamp system, requiring no specialist tools whatsoever to attach or detach.
Offering premium quality construction in a weapon mounted design, the Streamlight TLR 1 HL Tactical Flashlight is one of the best flashlight options available for mounting to the body of a wide range of different guns.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. outlite A100 Portable LED Flashlight
With its 1000ft maximum illumination range and wide angle beam option, the outlite A100 Portable LED Flashlight is a versatile and powerful model of flashlight for a wide range of uses.
This LED flashlight is powerful enough to easily illuminate an entire room of up to 100 square meters in area and offers enough battery life from 3 regular AAA batteries to allow it to operate continuously for up to 5 hours in most situations.
This is a durable, ergonomically designed flashlight that remains comfortable during long periods of extended use and features water resistance, skidproof design, and a high level of shock resistance thanks to its design focusing on surviving rough handling during regular use.
The outlite A100 Portable LED Flashlight is a powerful pocket flashlight that can illuminate a large area to a high level of brightness with ease, making it an excellent choice for most domestic users.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. Anker Super Bright Rechargeable Flashlight
The Anker Super Bright Rechargeable Flashlight offers an impressive 900 lumens of maximum brightness alongside more versatility and flexibility than most competing models of flashlight.
This flashlight features 5 different possible brightness settings: High, Medium, Low, Strobe, and SOS, allowing the Anker Super Bright Rechargeable Flashlight to adjust to fit any situation and user.
The beam can be zoomed from a wide angle option, illuminating a wide area, to a focused narrow beam with a 200m range. In addition to this, the flashlight is rechargeable with the included USB cable, making it easy to keep the battery charged and eliminating the need for spare batteries.
Flexible and powerful, the Anker Super Bright Rechargeable Flashlight is one of the most versatile flashlights available, with a maximum brightness of 900 lumens and a range of different settings.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight
The Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight is one of the most powerful models of headlamp flashlight available on the market in 2020, offering superior brightness, flexibility and comfort in a small and lightweight body for the best experience possible.
This flashlight headlamp features a wide range of different modes in both white and red light and a body that can be tilted for further control, allowing it to easily adjust to fit any user need.
The body of the Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight is durable and lightweight, as well as being water resistant to protect from spraying or splashing water from any angle with ease.
The 200-foot beam of light produced by the Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight is far brighter than most other models of headlamp flashlight can offer, making this a great choice for anyone in need of a headlamp style flashlight.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. Streamlight 66118 PenLight
The Streamlight 66118 PenLight packs premium design and construction into a tiny, lightweight case for an exceptionally small flashlight that offers high performance and a great lifespan.
Its anodized machined aircraft aluminum body is durable and well constructed, with impact resistance to being dropped from heights of up to 2 meters, and a high level of water resistance.
The LED lamp produces 100 lumens, a high brightness for such a small device, and can be operated for up to 8 hours of continuous use on a single battery charge. This high powered system all fits into a body approximately the size of a marker pen, and a removable pocket clip is included to help store it securely in a pocket when not in use.
Packing reasonably high power into a tiny body, the Streamlight 66118 PenLight is one of the most compact flashlight options available that does not compromise at all on build quality or interior mechanical features.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. SureFire Sidekick Keychain Light
The SureFire Sidekick Keychain Light packs the power and flexibility of a medium range flashlight into the tiny casing of a keychain light, offering an impressive 300 lumens of brightness despite its small size.
This brightness is the maximum setting; the SureFire Sidekick Keychain Light can be easily switched between 3 different output brightness levels, allowing it to fit a wide range of different user needs in different situations.
The battery can be easily charged with the included micro USB cable, allowing it to be easily kept charged and eliminating the need for a replacement battery. The keychain design of this flashlight allows it to always be accessible in any situation, allowing high visibility light in any situation for simple emergency preparedness whenever this is needed.
Offering a high level of brightness for such a tiny flashlight, the SureFire Sidekick Keychain Light is a powerful keychain light that’s great for easy access in any situation.Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Escolite UV Flashlight Black Light
The Escolite UV Flashlight Black Light is not a high brightness visible flashlight like most other models of flashlight, but rather an ultraviolet flashlight, emitting only UV rays.
This makes it a poor choice for standard flashlight use but allows it to effectively detect certain specific hazards such as scorpions, which glow brightly under the UV light emitted by this flashlight.
In more domestic environments, this type of flashlight is useful for detecting dried dog urine stains, helping you to keep your home clean and fresh. The wide 51 UV LED head of this UV flashlight allows it to illuminate a wide area, highlighting these specific hazards in a broad region with ease.
The applications of the Escolite UV Flashlight Black Light may be more specific than those of other flashlights, but there is no better option out there for detecting dried dog urine or dangerous scorpionsCheck Price on Amazon ➞
9. Maglite LED 3-Cell D Flashlight
Don’t let the low lumen rating of the Maglite LED 3 Cell D Flashlight fool you; the highly focused beam of light produced by this model of flashlight is unexpectedly powerful, clearly illuminating a small area and being easily adjusted for wider beam options. The 3 D Cell batteries required allow it to operate for an exceptionally long time, offering an impressive 80-hour battery life under normal usage conditions.
In addition to this, the Maglite LED 3 Cell D Flashlight is a water-resistant model of flashlight, allowing it to be used safely in poor weather conditions, and is sturdy enough to offer drop resistance from up to 1 meter in height.
Offering a long battery life, the Maglite LED 3 Cell D Flashlight is a long-lasting and durable professional quality flashlight ideal for most home use.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. GearLight High-Powered LED Flashlight
The GearLight High Powered LED Flashlight is a powerful and versatile model of professional quality flashlight that’s easy to use and provides great results. Its chunky body hides a durable and water resistant case to keep it running as if new throughout its long lifespan and a powerful set of internal specifications for premium illumination.
This model of flashlight has 5 different brightness settings: high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS, and can be focused to a narrow beam for pinpoint illumination of objects hundreds of feet away as well as functioning with an ultra wide beam to illuminate a wide area in front of you when needed.
This premium user-friendly flashlight operates with only 3 standard AA batteries, making it exceptionally easy to keep powered without requiring any specialist supplies whatsoever.
The brightness and flexibility of the GearLight High Powered LED Flashlight makes it an excellent choice for almost any user and almost any situation; this model of flashlight can be adjusted to fit a wide range of different needs with ease.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Flashlight Buyer’s Guide
Flashlights can be made of many different materials, from lightweight, flimsy plastic to durable metals and everything in between the two. More durably built flashlights will generally last longer, while lighter and less well-constructed flashlights break more easily and are likely to need replacing more often.
Price is a pretty good indicator of build construction for most models of flashlight, though; as a general rule, if you’re looking for a sturdy and well-built flashlight, you’re likely to be spending upwards of $100 to get a high-quality piece of equipment.
The $50 to $100 range can also be pretty good, with several relatively survivable options available, while it can be harder to find anything durable enough to last below the $50 range. Such models of flashlight do exist, but they can be challenging to find, as they are not particularly common.
Brightness in flashlights is measured in lumens (lm), a simple measure of the total amount of light visible to the human eye produced by a lamp, flashlight, bulb, or other light source. Higher lumen ratings equal more visible light and therefore a brighter bulb. For domestic lightbulbs, lumens are calculated in all directions, and much of this light output is wasted and of no great use.
For a flashlight, however, the light forms a focused beam, and therefore all of the lumens are useful, meaning that a flashlight will often appear brighter than a traditional bulb of equivalent lumen rating. As a general rule, most household lightbulbs provide approximately 300 to 400 lumens of light, giving a good baseline to consider when looking at the brightness of a flashlight.
When was the Flashlight Invented?
Flashlights were invented shortly after the invention of the portable battery in 1896. The first flashlight was invented by English inventor David Misell only eleven years after the invention of the portable dry cell battery and was patented in 1899.
This flashlight was powered by 3 “D” batteries, inserted into a paper tube with a standard incandescent light bulb mounted on the front and a simple contact switch to control the power. This type of portable light was known as a “flash” light because it could not emit light for a long period of time continuously and had to be switched off to rest after a short period of use.
This was because the zinc-carbon batteries in use at the time were unable to provide a stable electrical current for an extended period of time. These flashlights were not particularly successful, but once the battery technology had been refined and the carbon filament in the bulb was replaced with the more modern tungsten, they became reliable enough to begin to replace traditional fuel lamps.
Various designs of flashlight were available by 1922, at which point they were sufficiently reliable to be very widespread and of great use to most people. Modern flashlights generally follow similar design principles to some of these 1922 models, although now the incandescent bulbs are generally replaced with LEDs.
How Does a Flashlight Work?
Although there are many different types of flashlight available in 2020, all of them work according to the same basic principles. When any flashlight is switched on, no matter what style of the flashlight it is, the switch makes contact between two metal contact strips, which allow electricity to flow from the batteries and into the main flashlight circuit.
The batteries are arranged so that electricity can run between the positive and negative electrodes of the batteries and through the contact strip. When the contact strips are connected, they complete an electrical circuit, allowing the power to flow from the battery to the lamp, activating the flashlight.
When electricity reaches the bulb of the flashlight, the LED bulb or tungsten filament (depending on what type of flashlight you are using) will begin to glow, producing the visible light expected from a flashlight.
This light reflects from a shiny reflector surrounding the bulb, redirecting the light rays into a single focused beam of light, which is the beam visible from any flashlight. Generally, a clear lens covers the bulb and reflector array in order to protect it from damage.
When you turn your flashlight off, the two contact strips are separated from one another, breaking the circuit and preventing the electrical current from passing through the flashlight. This prevents electricity from reaching the bulb, and therefore stops any light from being produced; the completion of the electrical circuit is what allows a flashlight to operate, and problems with any of the above elements of the flashlight circuit mechanism will prevent your flashlight from operating properly.
What is the Brightest Flashlight?
As of 2020, the overall brightest flashlight on the market is the Imalent M12 flashlight, which can produce up to a massive 53,000 lumens when set to turbo mode. This is a premium LED flashlight, and the brightness it offers is far higher than necessary for most personal use.
The brightest compact flashlight is the Acebeam X80-GT flashlight, offering 32,500 lumens, again, far higher than required for personal use. Headlamps and AA battery powered flashlights are generally lower brightness, with the brightest headlamp in 2020 producing 5000 lumens and the brightest AA battery flashlight offering only 2150 lumens. The Imalent M12 flashlight’s 53,000 lumens far outstrip any of these, making it the brightest flashlight in 2020 by a considerable margin.
In general, you’re not going to need higher than about 1000 lumens for most purposes; 150 to 400 lumens is enough for household use, while 400 to 1000 lumens should be fine for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
For hunting or search and rescue, you’ll want 1000 lumens or over, but the impressive 53,000 lumens of the Imalent M12 flashlight goes far beyond this threshold, producing an exceptionally high level of light.
When looking to buy a flashlight, consider what you’re using it for as that will affect the brightness required. For household use, 100 to 300 lumens is enough, while for camping you’ll want 300 to 1000 lumens, and hunting flashlights should be 1000 lumens or higher.
Did you know?
Models of flashlights exist to fit almost every major battery type, but the most common design by far is that which fits two AA batteries, as these are the most commonly available batteries for any purpose.