The 10 Brightest High Lumen Flashlights of 2022

By Andrew Peloquin  |  June 1, 2022

The 10 Brightest High Lumen Flashlights of 2022
Courtesy of OLIGHT
 

In this post, I want to focus on the best of the brightest flashlights on the market—the flashlights with insane amounts of lumens that can turn even the darkest night into day. 

If you want a game-changing, ultra-bright flashlight read over the list below to find the one that works best for you. 

But first, we’ve got a few important FAQs that need answering:

What are Lumens?

When we talk about how bright these flashlights are, you’ll probably notice that we say “40,000 lumens” or “20,000 lumens”. Not familiar with the term lumens? That’s probably because it’s a fairly new term, officially established in 2018 as the “SI derived unit of luminous flux, a measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source per unit of time.”

Or, put another way, the unit by which light is measured. 

What’s the Difference Between Lumens and Watts?

Watts are all about the energy required to make the light, while lumens are the amount of light/brightness the light emits.

Often, when researching flashlights (and pretty much any kind of light in general), you’ll run into products that mention “X number of lumens” while others say “X number of watts”. 

You know what I’m talking about: those old-school light bulbs were 40 watts, 60 watts, 100 watts, and so on. You bought those bulbs based on wattage, never thinking about how many lumens they gave off (mainly because lumens hadn’t yet been established at that time).

There is a pretty simple difference between the two. AnyLamp has a nice, easy-to-understand explanation: 

  • Lumen (as we saw above) is the term used to describe the total amount of light emitted by a light source.
  • Wattage, on the other hand, indicates the amount of energy that light source uses.

Typically, the higher the lumens (light output), the more wattage (energy) is needed to generate that light. The above table from our friends at AnyLamp depicts the general wattage used to create a certain number of lumens. For example, an LED light bulb uses just 2-4 watts to produce 200 to 300 lumens, but 13 to 20 watts to produce upwards of 1250 lumens. An incandescent (old school) bulb may use 40 watts to create just 300 to 500 lumens, and a full 150-250 watts for the 1250+ lumens.

What are the flashlight beam types?

When we talk “beam types”, what we’re really talking about is called (officially) the “light image”, the way the light is dispersed as it emits from the flashlight.

There are four beam types:

  1. Broad Beam – As its name suggests, this is a broad beam that lights up large areas but only at a short distance. Floodlights, for example, will light up a wide swath of ground, which is why they’re typically used for parking lots, warehouses, and other areas where multiple lights can be combined to provide a lot of illumination over a large amount of space. Typically, you’d take a broad-beam flashlight camping, use it for on-site surveillance, or carry one as a security guard with a lot of ground to cover.
  2. Focused Beam – As its name suggests, the beam is far tighter and more focused, which means it covers less ground overall but is highly effective at illuminating distant objects. Spotlights use focused-beam lights, which makes them perfect for hunting, law enforcement, spelunking, and search-and-rescue operations. 
  3. Combined Beam – This is a very cool (and typically expensive) option that combines both focused and broad-beam lights. Not only does it cover a lot of ground, but it can illuminate distant objects as well. They’re often used for search-and-rescue operations, and are great for hiking and trail running in the dark.
  4. Convergent Beam – Convergent beams are a unique (and not always considered “official”) type of flashlight beam. With a convergent beam, the light moves toward a single point, but it’s far more specific and focused than a focused-beam light. It’s excellent at illuminating a small, distant object, and may typically be combined with a focused beam to maximize spotlighting capability.

The cool thing about these beams is that they aren’t generated by the light source (the bulb), but by the reflector and lens built into the head of the flashlight. You can find flashlights that emit either focused or narrow beams, flashlights that emit combined beams, or (and these are really cool) adjustable flashlights that let you switch between the two types. They’re far more versatile and make it easier to see what you’re doing/where you’re going, but also spotlight distant objects should that prove necessary. 



100,000 Lumens (with a caveat)


IMALENT MS18 - the brightest flashlight in the world


 

Yes, you read that right: this flashlight is capable of generating an eye-searing, blindness-inducing 100,000 lumens! That’s enough to light up even the darkest night—absolutely insane brightness.

There’s just one caveat to that: the manufacturer states that on “turbo” setting, it can generate 100,000 lumens, but only for up to one minute. After that (if your eyeballs have survived), it drops down to 25,000 lumens, and runs for an additional 46 minutes before the battery needs re-charging. So basically the 100,000-lumen light really only runs for a minute at a time, but while it lasts, you’ve got essentially a portable sun in your hand.

With an ultra-wide beam of 1350 meters, it’s the perfect camping companion, with nine mode settings (between 700 lumens and 100,000 lumens) that let you choose how bright you want it. Thanks to the OLED display, you can always see where your battery life is at. The rechargeable battery pack (which is included) is easy to connect to DC power when you’re running low. Best of all, it’s IP56 dustproof and waterproof.



41,500 Lumens


Mankerlight MK38


 

This Mankerlight is built to be a searchlight, generating up to 41,500 lumens in a beam that can cast up to 874 yards. That’s perfect for search-and-rescue, camping, hiking, and pretty much anything you need to use it for.

The flashlight comes with its own built-in 10.8V rechargeable battery pack and is fully compatible with Fast USB-C charging, so you can plug it into any wall socket or computer port to re-power it. The user interface is easy to learn, with a one-hand operation that lets you switch between various power/brightness settings with a flick of your thumb.

One very cool feature: the handle is detachable to make it both compact and ultra-portable. Built into the handle are all the extra setting controls you want, including the switch that toggles the fan to keep it from overheating. It can even be mounted to a tripod, allowing you to turn your handheld light into a fixed light source.



34,000 Lumens


IMALENT MS08


 

With a 34,000 lumen light and a cast distance of 738 meters, this is one of the most practical, law-enforcement friendly ultra-bright flashlights on our list. It’s also made from an aerospace-grade aluminum alloy that is impact-resistant and IPX8 waterproof, so you can use it in even the heaviest downpour or snowstorm without worry.

Weighing in at around 1.5 pounds, it’s a sturdy, solid flashlight that can double as a self-defense weapon. The ultra-toughened/clear mineral and anti-reflective coating glass will maximize visibility but also withstand impact like a boss. It’s capable of generating a wide beam and has a strobe setting perfect for disorienting attackers. You’ll find it’s one of the toughest, most reliable ultra-bright flashlights on the market.



34,000 Lumens


Acebeam X80-GT2


 

This flashlight needs four 18650 3100 mAh Acebeam High Drain rechargeable batteries to generate the full 34,000 lumen output, but when it’s on full power, boy is it bright! Though it only casts a beam over 369 meters, this wide-beam light is capable of illuminating broad swaths of open ground—perfect for security guards, campers, and law enforcement alike. Best of all, it’s strong enough to generate a 30-meter beam underwater.

The light comes with 8 settings, ranging from 200 lumens to 34,000 lumens, and includes a strobe feature in case of a self-defense situation. Runtime on the lower settings hovers between 3.5 and 34 hours, though you’ll only get 1-4 minutes on the ultra-bright settings. Weighing in at less than one pound (without batteries), it’s tough as nails thanks to its aircraft-grade aluminum body and ultra-grippy because of its premium type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish. Come rain, hail, sleet, or snow, it’s a flashlight you’ll want to consider for sure.



25,000 Lumens


OLIGHT X9R Marauder


 

What makes this flashlight worth considering? Aside from its excellent brightness, it features eight light settings, a built-in heat dissipation system that keeps your hand safe, an ergonomic design you’ll find stays securely in your hand (thanks to the milled finger grooves), and a shoulder strap so you can go hands-free should it prove necessary.

It’s got a beam range of up to 630 meters, operates for 19-27 hours on the lower light settings, and features a built-in rechargeable power pack that eliminates the need for batteries completely and charges in just 4 hours. The side switch makes it easy to adjust your power settings one-handed, and it’s perfectly comfortable in your grip no matter what size your hands. It’s even got proximity sensors that lower power setting if you get too close to an object, so you’ll never have to worry about the flashlight or anything around you overheating.



20,000 Lumens


NITECORE TM20K


 

This is the most insanely compact ultra-bright flashlight around. At just 8.5 inches long and weighing nearly 15 ounces, it’s light and small enough to sit on your tool belt or fit into any pocket. But once you switch it onto full brightness, it can generate a whopping 20,000 lumens—bright enough for any dark, stormy, or powerless night.

The compact flashlight delivers up to 13 hours on the lowest setting, casts a beam of up to 290 meters (surprisingly powerful for such a small size), and comes with its own built-in lithium ion battery pack. The unibody CNC technology used to build it makes it both ultra-tough and incredibly reliable. It’s just what you need for industrial security, law enforcement, trail running, or search and rescue.



18,000 Lumens


Fenix LR80R


 

This light may not be the brightest on our list, but it’s one of the absolute best spotlights with a focused beam that shines up to 1235 yards. If you’re searching the mountains or ocean, you’ll want this bad boy in your gear. Heck, the built-in lithium ion battery even doubles as a power pack, allowing you to connect your devices (via USB-C port) to re-charge them on the go.

The flashlight includes a shoulder strap, a hanging ring screw so you can clip it to your belt, and can even be mounted to a tripod or stand to provide a fixed light source. Thanks to the LED battery indicator, you’ll always know how much juice you’ve got left. One-handed carry and operation is an absolute breeze because of the well-placed, user-friendly button controls.



16,340 Lumens


ThruNite TN50


 

You’ll be amazed by how powerful this stubby little flashlight is! Capable of casting a 16,340 lumen beam across 410 meters (1345 feet), it’s the perfect camping companion to light up the forest, lakeside, or campsite in style.

One very unique feature is its “firefly mode”, which generates just 1.3 lumens but can last for up to 62 days. Yes, that’s days! It’s the perfect solution for any emergency situation where you need light to identify yourself to search and rescue but need to make sure you’ve got power enough for a long wait. Set it to low and medium output, and you’re getting between 11 and 50 hours of run-time—that blows away most of the competition by a healthy margin!

Best of all, it’s IPX8 waterproof, impact-resistant, and backed by a 2-year warranty. Talk about reliable and durable!



12,000 Lumems


WUBEN A9


 

This little light has an insane battery life! When on the highest setting (generating 12000 lumens), it can last for up to 3.6 hours (while most of its competitors last for just minutes, at best). Drop it to the low setting, however, and you get up to 23 days while still getting more than enough light for any task around your campsite or hiking trail.

The flashlight is made of anodized aircraft grade aluminum alloy, waterproof and dustproof (IP68), and built tough enough to use as a self-defense weapon in a pinch. It’s also got a strobe function for disorienting attackers, and SOS function for signaling help in an emergency. For the price, you won’t find many better options.



6,300 Lumems


ACEBEAM K75


 

Let’s be honest: 6300 lumens isn’t a lot compared to some of the other ultra-bright flashlights on this list. Well, what makes the ACEBEAM such a great option is the fact that it can cast its (reasonably bright) light up to 2500 meters. Yes, that’s right: 2.5 kilometers! It’s a searchlight and spotlight you’ll absolutely want to have handy in case you need a focused-beam.

The flashlight features 14 power modes, including “eco” to conserve energy, ultra-bright to max out the lumens, or strobe/SOS for emergency situations. Made of high performance aluminum alloy, it’s designed to be “virtually indestructible”, with an IPX8 waterproof rating and backed by a 5-year warranty. On its low modes, you get a runtime of up to 7.5 days, making it perfect for cave exploring, trekking trips, and overseas kayaking/canoeing expeditions.



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