- Update October 2018: The brightest flashlight is now the Imalent M12 which shines at 53000 lumens in turbo mode. It uses 23 CREE XHP70 LEDs. It sells for around $600.
- Update October 2018: The Acebeam X80-GT is the brightest compact flashlight — it shines with an impressive 32500 lumens. It costs around $280.
- The brightest headlamp is the Lupine Betty Rx14 — it shines with 5000 lumens and costs around $1095.
- The brightest flashlight that uses AA batteries is the Nitecore EA81. It shines at 2150 lumens. It takes eight AA batteries and costs about $120.
- The brightest headlamp that uses AA batteries is the Fenix 15-U. The maximum output is 900 lumens. See the full review.
- Surefire has released the Titan Plus, a new keychain flashlight that produces 300 lumens at the highest light mode. It costs about $90. See the full review.
Brightest Compact Light: Acebeam X-80-GT
The Acebeam X8-GT0 shines at 32500 lumens — impressive for such a compact light!
It runs on six 18650 rechargeable batteries and it has a beam range of 525 meters.
It is waterproof and impact resistant to 1.2 meters.
Home page: Acebeam
Another Bright Compact Flashlight: Thrunite TN36 UT
The Thrunite TN36 UT6 is a compact flashlight that outputs an impressive 7300 lumens. It runs on four 18650 rechargeable batteries. It’s waterproof to IPX-8 Standard (1.5 meters) and impact resistant to 2 meters.
The Thrunite TN36 UT6 is available on Amazon for about $230
The Brightest LED Flashlight That Uses AA Batteries: Nitecore EA81
It’s waterproof to IPX-8 Standard (1.5 meters) and impact resistant to 1.5 meters.
The Nitecore EA81 is available on Amazon for about $280.
The Brightest Keychain Flashlight: Titan Plus
Surefire has released the Titan Plus, a keychain flashlight that produces 300 lumens in its highest light mode. Prior to this release, the brightest keychain light produced about 80-120 lumens, so this threefold increase is significant.
I’ve purchased this light and will be testing it soon. The 300 lumen mode is said to last about 1 hour with using a AAA Ni-MH battery.
All Surefire flashlight are designed and built in the USA, although some components are still sourced outside the US. Surefire says:
We do import a few components – most notably, the finest light emitting diodes (LEDs) from top-notch manufacturers outside the country – to incorporate into our products. All of that said, we do rely on as many American-made parts and components as possible, and the assembly of these components is done under our watchful eye in the U.S. to ensure optimal quality.
The Titan Plus is available from Amazon for about $90.