For this list I’m going to showcase what I consider to be the best LED flashlight based on a few different things to provide the most perspective. Lumens, price, size, and features. This way you can get an idea of which flashlight meets your needs the best.
LED flashlights have largely dominated the flashlight market. This is due to a few reasons:
LED technology is just plain cheap compared to other types of lighting available for flashlights these days. That’s one reason there are so many chinese companies competing over the cheaper part of the market. High quality flashlights will always cost more but are generally worth it due to the quality of construction and features they offer.
Brightness is never an issue. LED lights will last generally around 25000 hours (this varies from light to light) and remain the same brightness until they go out. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone looking for non-led flashlights in the house only to find that they were either super dim or not functioning at all!
And thirdly you can’t overlook the diversity of the products. LED technology in general has so many uses (which is the main reason this site exists in the first place!) But even flashlights can vary a lot. Just look at the ones I’ve featured in this article. They are very different and suited for specialized use.
Streamlight 66318 MicroStream C4 LED Pen Flashlight
This is my pick for anyone looking for a compact LED flashlight that still packs a punch with a beam distance of 52 meters. Powered by a single AAA battery it has an impressive run time of two hours and fifteen minutes. It’s a great choice to carry every day because of how little space it takes up. Read more
Maglite LED 3-Cell D Flashlight
This flashlight while not costing much more than the previous light is quite the step up. Powered by 3 D-Cell batteries (not included), this one has a run time of 80 hours! Yes, you read that right. It also boasts an impressive beam distance of 412 meters.
Maglite is a well-known brand for its durable, well-built products and this light is no exception. Designed and manufactured in the USA means you can trust this light to hold up well over the years and take some abuse! Read more
Streamlight 88040 ProTac HL 3 High Lumen Tactical LED flashlight
This is the brightest LED flashlight on the list so far. With 1100 lumens packed in a small flashlight, it is the perfect light for anyone needing an intense flashlight. Now the cost of throwing that intense light is that its battery life is the weak-point.
However, It has three different modes of light that can be used depending on the situation that will improve it.
Streamlight Stinger LED Rechargeable High Lumen Flashlight with Charger
If you’re looking for a general use rechargeable LED flashlight, this would be my pick. It features 640 lumens and a beam distance of 297 meters. The battery life isn’t as impressive as non-rechargeable lights, but if you plan to use it for a long time it will eventually make up for that.
Or maybe you just don’t want to deal with replacing batteries at all that can potentially corrode if not taken care of!
As with any LED flashlight that I would recommend, it is very rugged and similar to the Protact HL 3 light listed above has three modes of light output to save on battery time, with an hour and 15 minutes of run time on its brightest setting. If you are looking for a flashlight is rechargeable, you won’t go wrong with the stinger. Read more
This isn’t the first time that one brand has been listed multiple times, and the reason is pretty straightforward. I think that Streamlight is potentially the best manufacturer of LED flashlights on Amazon, with Maglite coming in a close second.
The price is great and the build quality of the lights holds up. There are so many cheap knock-offs on Amazon that may sound great with high lumen counts and other features, but will break in a few months or less. I only recommend the brands that are doing it right and have excellent warranties backing up their products, which Streamlight and Maglite both do.
Even if you end up purchasing a flashlight that isn’t on this list, I highly suggest you stick to well-known brands and stay away from the cheaper ones. It’s better to spend a little more on a good flashlight than have to replace a cheap one.
Why LED Flashlights Are Great
There are many reasons to own an LED flashlight these days. Whether you’re out hunting, camping, or in any kind of situation where you need light, you absolutely cannot go wrong owning one. Here’s a few reasons why.
- Excellent battery life
- Great brightness
The battery life of an LED flashlight is going to outperform any incandescent light, purely because LEDs use such low power relative to other lighting technologies. This lends itself well to rechargeable LED flashlights as well as non-rechargeable. Now of course this will vary between lights as batteries differ and higher lumen lights use more power, but as a rule of thumb it’s true.
Another great point that ties into the battery life is the fact that LEDs themselves last a long time. Most have at least a 50,000 hour life time that will far out last any regular bulb. This is fairly standard of any product using LEDs, and some of the high end ones can last up to 100,000 hours.
Affordability is another factor that is great about these flashlights. There’s such a wide range of them out there, all the way from keychain to full size lights. Because LED flashlights are so cheap to make, there’s a lot of competition that ends up being good for the consumer.
However, that also means that there are a lot of cheap led flashlights out there that should be avoided altogether. Don’t hesitate to spend a little bit more to ensure you’re going to get a quality flashlight that won’t break from a small drop or decent amount of use.
Lastly, the brightness of these flashlights cannot be understated. The market for flashlights has pretty much entirely gone to LEDs, with very few manufacturers even bothering to produce incandescent flashlights at this point. I can’t say that is very surprising because LEDs do everything better when it comes to flashlights for the aforementioned reasons.
The Value of a Good Flashlight
Having a good flashlight is so important to have if you do any kind of outdoor activity or live in an area with a tendency for weather emergencies. We don’t really appreciate having electricity for lighting until it’s gone, then we realize the value of having at least a few good flashlights to get around. Having these in an emergency kit for your home can be a great asset to preparing for the future.
As someone who enjoys going outdoor trips, it’s essential to have the brightest LED flashlight possible. I’ve showed up late to the camp site and had to hike there in the dark, which would have been impossible without some kind of light source! Also essential just for navigating camp at times, since not all parks allow fires in certain areas or due to burn bans.
In any case, a little bit of preparedness goes a long way and it’s a great purchase for anyone to have a good flashlight. Hopefully my list helps you to choose one or at least get an idea of what is out there to suit your needs.