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5 Best Flashlights of 2022

Looking for the best flashlight? Whether you’re looking for the best lantern to light up a work site or the brightest flashlight without batteries, read on to find the best flashlight for your needs.

Best Overall
Best Battery Powered
Best Rechargeable

What Are Lumens?

Lumens are the new watts. Both lumens and watts can describe a flashlight, but lumens have overtaken the watt as the more descriptive measurement for brightness.

Watts measure how much power is required to produce light. While this used to give a general idea of how much light a flashlight produced, it fell out of use when LEDs replaced incandescent lightbulbs. LED lighting produces light more efficiently than the once-gold-standard incandescent lightbulbs. In other words, LEDs can produce the same amount of light as an incandescent lightbulb with just 10 percent of the power.

With such a wide range of power requirements for different light brightnesses, it became meaningless to describe a lightbulb’s brightness by the amount of power it needs.

Hence the new and more descriptive use of lumens. Lumens measure the total amount of light emitted by a light source. It doesn’t get much more specific than that.



How Important Are Lumens When Choosing A Flashlight?

There is one thing to note when comparing the best flashlights by the number of lumens it emits. Because lumens measure the total amount of light emitted from something, brightness can vary depending on the density of the light.

For example, two flashlights can both emit 200 lumens. However, one concentrates the light on one very bright area, while the other dissipates the light across a larger area: same lumens, different brightnesses. The actual brightness of a flashlight depends on the lens, or reflector, inside of it.

Consider this when choosing the best flashlight for your purposes.

What’s Better, Battery-Powered Flashlights or Rechargeable Flashlights?

Battery-powered flashlights tend to be slightly dimmer than their rechargeable-batteried counterparts, you have to replace the batteries semi-regularly (which can be expensive in the long run), and disposing of them can be a hassle. 

Rechargeable batteries on the other hand are more powerful and can produce a brighter, longer-lasting light (as long as you have a power source to recharge it when it does run out). You can go longer without access to an outlet if you have an external power bank, some of which can be solar-powered if you don’t need to make it through the night.

However, there are some serious pros to battery-powered flashlights, too. For true outdoorsmen and women, battery-powered flashlights will always be the most reliable. You may have to lug replacements with you, but if you’re on a real trek, you’re just not going to be able to stop by a Starbucks to find an outlet that can recharge your flashlight. Plus, they’ll be easier to carry than a bunch of external power banks. This holds true in case of a power outage as well. 

If you’re looking for a flashlight that will be available whether you have access to a live outlet or not, battery-powered will likely be the way to go.

Best Batteries for Your Flashlight: Lithium Vs. Alkaline

Replaceable batteries are more susceptible to harsh conditions than rechargeable ones. 

A good rule of thumb when picking a battery for harsh conditions (think below freezing) is to use lithium batteries over alkaline. Lithium batteries last much longer, have better low-temperature performance, and as a bonus, are more environmentally friendly. They’ll come with a higher price tag, but if you need power, you’ll want a power source that you can count on.

The Five Best Flashlights

And without further ado, the five best flashlights for every purpose.

The Lighting EVER Flashlight offers 140 lumens for intense brightness but is also equipped with adjustable zoom that lets you focus that brightness for use as a spotlight, or can be used to fill a larger area by “zooming out.”

This hardy, water-resistant flashlight has a beam distance of approximately 500 feet and is compact enough to fit in your pocket.

Reliable enough for emergencies and durable and compact enough for camping, this battery-powered LED flashlight is a top choice among buyers, not to mention its economical price point.

This versatile flashlight is a gamechanger. A magnetic bottom makes it ideal for hands-free lighting while working, four lighting modes including high, low, COP SOS, and COB side light mode make it a go-to for a variety of scenarios, and with 1,000 lumens, this 6-inch, waterproof flashlight can cast a beam as far as 600 feet.

Whether you’re camping, hiking, or working, the iToncs Pocket Tactical Flashlight can probably do the job. And with over 2,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, you can trust you’re choosing a fan favorite.

The NEBO BIG POPPY is a great all-in-one style lantern that can double as a spotlight. The adjustable handle strap can be attached length-wise for easy spotlight use or attached across the top to carry or hang for use as a lantern.

The rechargeable flashlight-lantern duo features an impressive 300 lumens as a lantern and has a power bank that can charge other small USB-powered electronics like a smartphone.

As a spotlight, the BIG POPPY casts a 492-foot beam that lasts up to 15 hours.

This NEBO flashlight also sports a third mode: the flame emulator. This mode emits a flickering warm glow ideal for cozy backyard gatherings without the dangers or inconveniences of an actual fire.

For a handheld, needs-to-be-bright spotlight option, the BUYSIGHT Bright Rechargeable Searchlight is it. Rechargeable and water resistant, this will get you through an unexpected power outage just as well as a camping trip. However, with 6,000 lumens, this LED spotlight won’t fit in your pocket.

This searchlight can cast a beam as far as 2,600 feet away and can last for up to 20 hours on its high setting.

This rechargeable LED flashlight claims the spot for the brightest flashlight on this list that will fit in your pocket, boasting a whopping 2,000 lumens. This is the best flashlight for serious night workers, and the price reflects that. With features uncommon in a traditional emergency or household flashlight, the NEBO SLYDE King 2K is a favorite among night workers.

Astronomers and hunters will appreciate its unique Red Light feature that doesn’t interrupt night vision and can help identify nearby animals.

The USB-C rechargeable Nebo flashlight gets its name from its slide-to-reveal work light that can illuminate a space with 500 lumens of light.

How To Find The Best Flashlight For You

The best flashlight for you will depend on what you want to use it for. Whether you’re camping, preparing for an emergency, or working, the best flashlight for you is on this list.

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