A flashlight belongs to such things that you may not remember up until you’re really need it right now. And when it happens – you may get very upset finding out that it is not so quick task to locate the best fitting flashlight for you. Why you may need rechargeable flashlight is that batteries often get discharged even if you’re not using the flashlight. This kind of electronics is consuming power even when switched off. So you are in need of light urgently and batteries are gone, well done. Go for rechareable option and you won’t ever get in such a trap. You just need to put the flashlight to it’s charger after each usage and forget about it, the electronics will do all the rest. Saving money on batteries is also a nice bonus.
Recently rechargeable tools are becoming more and more popular due to usability and growing reliability of this technology. Besides that, such tools use custom batteries that fit tight into the case and thus save a lot of space. Your resulting tool would be a lot more compact comparing to battery-driven one.
In order to make your choosing process easier, we gathered 100 flashlghts and gave those to testers. The testers chose only the best models and provided reviews of those. We have have compared all and made up a comparison table for you to quickly find out your perfect flashlight. Moreover, there are quick reviews of the best ones below.
First that you need to know is that flashlights can be different in their types: tactical, emergency, searchlights. You need to choose the type that you most often use. All of the flashlights presented in this review are based on LED technology and we advise you to use it only due to it’s indisputable advantages (lifespan, shock resistance, battery economy, luminance) over all other technologies.
So, let’s go check which is the best one for you.
Tactical, emergency or searchlight?
The term “tactical” means heavy-duty military standard use or qualified professional setup.
A great example of such type is our best pick, Fenix PD35
Tactical torches were at first developed for military and police for usage together with or mounted on a weapon. The light was used this way in order to see all that is covering in dark areas and blinding enemies. To be lightweight and tough their case is typically made from aero grade aluminum, or otherwise – aluminum alloy. Besides being sturdy and light weight, such case would greatly resist scratching and all other kinds of impact.
Tactical equipment tends to have good grips to let people hold it in the course of extreme activities. Such equipment also should be as small as possible for specifications in order to save space in backpack or pockets.
Such a combination of advantages made tactical flashlights very popular in large audience besides initially targeted user groups.
Originally, searchlights were used in military and SAR operations to spot and assist in illumination of wide areas on large distances. Nowadays they are don’t have to be as strong and are applied in areas that tolerate lower lighting power. However, main principles stay the same – to illuminate on larger distance than usual flashlights and provide greater lighting power than average lights.
A perfect example of such light is STANLEY FATMAX
Due to their requirements, searchlights should have larger case, bigger capacity rechargeable batteries and stronger LED light source. For convenient and reliable handling a good handle is a must.
You surely can use any flashlights that you can quickly take in case of emergency. However, using “emergency” grade would be advisable in such case due to their exceptional reliability and ease of usage. Usually such flashlights are not as nice-looking and more rough/bulky in appearance, they are usually plugged into specific places on the walls for easy access.
The best model in this category that we have evr saw is: Ivation emergency light
There are 2 kinds of rechargeable power elements – removable / non-removeable. Here we try to present all the flashlights with removable elements. However, searchlights and emergency torches usually have non-removable type.
The advantage of removable type is ability to replace the elements when they get nonfunctional or low-performing. Another benefit is that you can have spare batteries at hand so that you can prolong light’s working time when it runs out of power. And if you don’t have spare rechargeable – you can buy same type of non-rechargeable batteries in urgent necessity.
On the other hand, non-removable batteries have their own advantages: first of all, it charges quickly. There are also more space saving and not as much of moving parts. Suchbatteries are always made specifically for corresponding flashlight model.
You could also take battery life into consideration. However, it’s always a depending feature where you have to sacrifice the luminance in order to let it live longer. There is quite a big gap in such specification: 1-7.5 hours.
The most frequent type of removable battery is 18650-type. They are convenient because you can buy replacement in the majority of shops anywhere. It will take you around 4-6 hours to charge it depending on the capacity and charging current. The discharging shows the brightest illumination during first hour, then you have around 3 hours of acceptable light, and then light will get darker gradually.
Usually batteries supplied with the flashlights are not of the best capacity and overall quality. Sometimes they may lack overcharging or over discharging protection. This way you will increase lighting time for up to 2-3 hours. So you’d better to buy better ones from a third-party manufacturer and leave default ones as emergency power-up.
Quick reviews of best-performing flashlights
This is truly tactical flashlight that many people get in love with as soon as the they try it. The case is well-thought. There is a mode-switching button on the case’s side. the size is quite small so you can easily carry it on a daily basis.
Really small form-factor with straight slim barrel is very convenient while holding in hand and easy to put in your pocket. It is almost invisible when inside. The handle is designed with anti-roll grip and shape so you can safely use it in any conditions.
The light is provided by Cree XP-L ver.5 which is a very powerful LED with 50 thousands hours of working lifetime and nominal luminance is 1000 Lm. You can use one 18650-type battery or two of 3V CR123A. Overall length is 137mm (5.4 inches), the width and diameter is 1 inch (25.4 mm). The flashlight is very lightweight with 3.1 oz without batteries.
STANLEY FATMAX 10W LED
This flashlight proved to provide the most brightness over all tested ones. The field test has revealed 110 thousand lux on the distance of 3 feet from the head. The reflector is large and focused to provide a sharp beam far away. You can place it on the foldable stand or use it to hang the flashlight on the wall. You can use it for as long as 7 hours if you adjust the luminance to lowest setting. If you want the brightest light – you will have 4 stable hours of light.
If you forget switching off the light, it will do it itself for you to save the power – after one hour of working. It also switches off on brightest mode after a quick time. if you want it to stop saving light switching off – you need to change the mode to less bright one.
The battery is very effective and can hold the charge for tremendously long time when unused – up to 1 year.
This model predetermines easy charging without detaching anything from the flashlight. Therefore you can even use the light endlessly when charger is plugged in and charging the flashlight.
Ivation Emergency Light
We found this flashlight to be the best among the emergency type. You can use it simply as a night light, which is a fine additional function. It starts working as a flashlight as soon as you pull the charger cable out. The main material used for making this flashlight is a robust plastic. It’s edges are quite rounded and there is a glossy surface.
As with almost all emergency lights – it’s look is not a nice, seemingly robust or applicable for everyday usage. It was made for very specific purpose – using in emergency situations. There are 3 modes which basically means brightness levels.
This type of light is perfect for illuminating indoors where short distances are ok.
This searchlight has usual design with a huge reflector. It has tough case and it’s handle is top-mounted, which is convenient if you want to use shoulder-strap. The charging cable is compact and is designed to be hidden in the case of light when unused. The charging is being made with cable attached to the light directly, no parts detaching. Foldable stand is also provided as a convenient accessory for usage as a floodlight.
This is almost the best flashlight in terms of brightness that we have ever saw. The first was STANLEY FATMAX. The difference comes from the spotlight shape.
This light may not feel as aestetic as our other best options shown here. However, this is compensated by the reliability and price. The weight is only 1.4 pounds so it’s very comfortable to carry. This one is perfect for camping and outdoor purposes.