What is the Best Flashlight 2018?
Whether it’s for tracking game, getting to the deer stand, or any other application where having a dependable light to find your way is important, this Best Flashlight 2018 review will help find which flashlight is best for you.
Through a combination of testing different products and online reviews, we’ve develop this list of the Best Flashlights of 2018. We’ve narrowed it down to the Top 10 Best Flashlights of 2018.
Best Flashlight 2018
|Flashlight||Bulb Type||Lumens||Battery Life|
|J5 Tactical V1-Pro Flashlight||LED||300||1 Hour Continuous|
1 Week Daily Use
|PeakPlus Super Bright Flashlight||LED||1000||1 Week Normal Use|
|J5 Hyper V Tactical Flashlight||LED||400||Hours with Continuous Use|
Days with Normal Use
|Premium Quality Bright LED Flashlight||LED||900||Hours with Continuous Use|
Days with Normal Use
|Prosvet A100 Flashlight||LED||1200||Hours with Continuous Use|
Days with Normal Use
|Streamlight 88040 Tactical Flashlight||LED||750||1.25 Hours Continuous|
1 Week Daily Use
|SureFire G2X Tactical Flashlight||LED||320||1 Hour Continuous|
1 Week Daily Use
|Streamlight 88061 ProTac||LED||350||1 Hour Continuous|
1 Week Daily Use
|Vizeri Tactical Flashlight||LED||460||1 Hour Continuous|
1 Week Daily Use
|Decaker 501B XM-L T6 Flashlight Torch||LED||1000||1 Hour Continuous|
1 Week Daily Use
1. J5 Tactical V1-Pro Flashlight – Best LED Flashlight
The J5 V1-PRO Tactical Flashlight is one of the most popular flashlights around. It’s dependable, affordable, and is equipped with a very bright LED light powered by just one AA Battery. It tops the best flashlight 2018 review as one of the lightest (3.2 ounces) and brightest with a beam capable of extending 600 feet.
Constructed of Aircraft Grade Aluminum, the J5 V1-PRO Tactical Flashlight will stand up to most every day uses. It’s available in several different color variations, including Black, Hunter Orange, Forest Camo, Desert Camo, Blue Aqua, and Pink.
This flashlight runs on a single AA battery that can power the bright 300 Lumen beam approximately 1 Hour under continuous use. This is a pretty great feature considering 1 AA battery is always easier to find than 2 or more if you are in a pinch. The J5 V1-PRO Tactical Flashlight battery power can be extended to one week under light to moderate use on just one AA battery. It’s even compatible with 14500 Rechargeable Batteries.
- 300 Lumens
- Powered by (1) AA battery
- 600 foot beam length
- Adjustable beam focus (Narrow to wide)
- 3 Different Modes ( High / Low / Strobe (for Cycling))
The J5 V1-PRO Tactical Flashlight is a great compact unit that is only improved upon by the low price that it’s currently offered at. It’s hard to believe such a compact tactical flashlight could be this affordable and still provide the features that it does, but who are we to complain. The J5 V1-PRO Tactical Flashlight will do the job of other flashlights 3X’s it’s price, which is why it tops the best flashlight 2018 review.
2. PeakPlus Super Bright Flashlight – Rechargeable Flashlight
It’s overall length is 5.3 inches, which is considerably larger than than the previously listed J5 V1-PRO Tactical Flashlight. it can also be extended to 6.1 inches due to the adjustable focus.
Unlike the J5 Tactical Flashlight, the Peak Plus comes with a few great additional features, including:
- (1) Long Lasting 18650 Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery and Sleeve,
- (1) AAA Battery Holder,
- (1) Lithium Ion Battery Charger; and,
- (1) Protective Case.
Capable of an astonishing 1000 Lumens, it’s one of the brightest devices in the best flashlight 2018 review with a range of 200 to 500 meters. It includes 5 zoom modes from x1 all the way up to x2000, and 5 light modes including Full Brightness, Medium Brightness, Low Brightness, Strobe Brightness, and SOS. This is a pretty versatile flashlight that lets you adjust it for almost any environment.
3. J5 Hyper V Tactical Flashlight – Police Flashlight
- 400 Lumens (100 more than the J5 pro)
- 800 foot beam length (200 feet more than the J5 Pro)
- 5 inches Long (1 inch longer than the J5 Pro)
- 3.7 ounces, (.5 ounces heavier than the J5 Pro)
- Requires 3 AA Batteries (J5 Pro needs 1 AA)
As you can see, the J5 Hyper V Tactical Flashlight offers improvements in Lumens and Beam length, but it’s not as light or compact as the Jr Pro. If these aren’t concerns of yours, than the J5 Hyper is a good upgrade to the J5 Pro. However, it does come at a slight price increase (still under $20).
The 3 AAA batteries will give a couple hours worth of continuous use, while moderate use can last weeks or months on one charge.
4. AYL Premium Quality Bright LED Flashlight – Bright Flashlight
Along with it’s unique look, it’s also is compatible with both AA batteries and rechargeable batteries. It comes with a 18650 Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery and charger that can be plugged into the flashlight itself.
It’s 900 Lumens is plenty bright for most applications and environments. The click button located on the shaft allows for three different modes, high, medium, and the strobe function. The LED bulb is capable of withstanding 100,000 hours of use.
It includes a magnetic tip so you can stick the AYL LED Flashlight on a metal surface like a vehicle to work hands free.
5. Prosvet A100 Flashlight – Cree Flashlight
The Prosvet A100 Flashlight is the brightest in the best flashlight 2018 review with 1200 Lumens. It’s quipped with the High Power CREE XM-L T6 LED which is designed for very high efficacy at very high drive currents, delivering 1000 lumens with 100 lumens-per-watt efficacy at 3 A in a compact, 5-mm x 5-mm footprint.
The body of the Prosvet A100 Flashlight is constructed of lightweight aluminum which is quite durable. It’s designed to be water resistant and shock proof, however, it’s not submersible. The beam can extend just past 600 feet and is capable of zooming for wide or narrow views. At 5.4 inches long, it’s one of the longest flashlights in the best flashlight 20918 review. It’s 1.5 inches longer than the J5 Tactical Pro.
With a click of the button located on the rear of the handle, you can select 5 different settings including High Beam, Medium Beam, Low Output, Strobe, or SOS.
The Prosvet A100 Flashlight is compatible with one 18650 Lithium-ion Battery or three AAA batteries, neither of which are included.
6. Streamlight 88040 Tactical Flashlight – Brightest Flashlight
The Streamlight 88040 Tactical Flashlight is the only light on the best flashlight 2018 review that features the improved C4 LED technology. Streamlight has re-engineered the reflector to produce a beam that pierces the dark like no other. It produces 750 lumens which is plenty capable for most light to moderate tasks.
The C4 LED produces up to a 18,300 candle peak beam stretching up to 270 meters or 900 feet. This flashlight is capable of running 1.25 hours on continuous use with the high beam activated. The low beam mode produces 35 Lumens and 900 candle power stretching up to 60 meters or 200 feet. The Streamlight 88040 Tactical Flashlight can run 18 hours on low beam mode.
It’s made of durable anodized machined aircraft aluminum that will withstand even the harshest of uses. The o-ring sealed glass provides a water tight seal for outdoor use. It’s waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes (IPX7 rated).
The Streamlight 88040 Tactical Flashlight is impact resistant to 1 meter and uses two long lasting 3V CR123A lithium batteries.
7. SureFire G2X Tactical Flashlight – Best Tactical Flashlight
Even thought the GX2 is rated as 320 Lumens, it’s so much brighter. In the world of lumens, more is not always what it seems, and the Surefire is no exception. it puts out just as much light as some of the higher lumen flashlights out there.
- Indestructible high-efficiency LED emitters
- Precision reflectors
- Tough Nitrolon polymer body
- Single or dual-output modes
- Professional grade dual output with the G2X LE
- Batteries are Made in the USA to SureFire specifications
- Weatherproof—O-ring and gasket sealed
The G2X Tactical provides a single output level—a brilliant, penetrating 320-lumen beam, and the G2X Pro is a dual-output version that features 320 lumens of max output, and a useful low 15 lumens output mode for extended runtime. The G2X LE is designed to meet the needs of law enforcement professionals with a higher 400 lumens maximum output of blinding light, along with a low 15 lumens output of useful light.
8. Kootek Tactical Flashlight Knife – LED Torch
This versatile flashlight can be converted into three modes:
- long flashlight
- a knife
- a short torch light
It features a 3.5 inch premium aluminum alloy blade that makes this the ideal survival flashlight. You can saw limbs with the serrated edge and cut just about anything around the camp or out in the woods. It’s also a very capable tool for seat-belt cutting or using as a window breaker.
The LED rechargeable flashlight is zoomable and the Kootek Tactical Flashlight features 3 modes: high, low, and strobe.
This Vizeri Flashlight comes with a very bright CREE T6 XML LED capable of 5 different modes: High, Medium, Low, Strobe, and SOS (460 lumens). It’s capable of being submerged up to 3 feet making it perfect for outdoor use in all weather conditions (IPX7 rated).
It comes with a handy holster with clip that can attached easily to most packs or belts. Carrying it around easily and have it ready to use at a moments notice.
The Vizeri Tactical Flashlight uses either AAA or CR123 alkaline batteries which reduce the overall weight. It’s compact size make it the perfect tactical flashlight.
How Many Lumens is Enough?
When it comes to the best flashlight 2018 list, the amount of Lumens can vary greatly from flashlight to flashlight. For led flashlights, 1000 Lumens seems to be the standard which you should aim for, but what exactly is 1000 Lumens anyways? To understand it better, let’s compare Lumens to something we are already familiar with…..Watts.
Watts vs Lumens in Bright Flashlights
A typical incandescent bulb produces the following amount of Lumens:
40 Watts = 450 Lumens (Equivalent to a small porch light)
60 Watts = 800 Lumens (Equivalent to a standard lamp light)
75 Watts = 1100 Lumens
100 Watts = 1600 Lumens (Equivalent to a Flood Light)
As you can see, comparing Watts to Lumens puts the brightness level into perspective. Most people are familiar with Watts through extensive use of different bulbs, so converting Lumens to Watts will easily let you know how bright a flashlight might be.
More Lumens are Always Better!
Since Lumens are the measurement of how bright a bulb is, always get the most Lumens you can afford. The Best Flashlight 2018 Review Table up top conveniently breaks down the amount of Lumens for some of the Best LED flashlights available right now. It’s important to note that all Lumens are not created equal, so be skeptical of any flashlight that promotes unrealistic amounts of Lumens compared to other similar flashlights. Be sure that the specs listed meet the ANSI Standards for Lumen Brightness.
Lumen Output vs Beam Distance
Most people would think that the more Lumens a flashlight has (brighter flashlight), that the beam distance would also be greater. This is not the case though, as Lumens do not always equal a greater beam distance. In fact, a flashlight with a smaller amount of Lumens can also have a greater beam distance (measured in meters) than a bright flashlight with more Lumens. How is this possible?
Because Lumens are a measurement of how much light a bulb is generating, but not necessarily how that light is being directed outward. Beam Distance on the other hand gives us a measurement of how well that light source is directed outward. This is the reason why a flashlight with a smaller amount of Lumens can have a greater beam distance than one with more. The light source s is directed more efficiently.
Lumens + Beam Distance = Great Flashlight
It’s easy to see which tactical flashlights are made with quality products, since they will have both a greater amount of Lumens and their beam distance will also be high. This is mainly due to the use of high quality optics to channel the light source to be used in the most efficient manner possible. Quality optics can also reduce the overall wattage consumption of the flashlight.
Hopefully this info helps you when selecting your next flashlight.
LED Flashlight Battery Life
All LED flashlights are different and battery life is hard to predict. Factors such as Lumens, optics quality, and battery type all come into pay. As seen in the best flashlight 2018 review, many of the top flashlights will last 1-hour with continuous use and a week or more with casual use. But what should you look for to get the most battery life out of an LED Flashlight?
Calculating LED Battery Life
LED current is measured in milliamps (mA). A single LED typically runs 20 mA’s at full brightness. Typical RBG LED’s need to run each pixel at 20 mA’s for a total of 60 mA combined at their brightest. 1 hour of use would mean that 60 mA of power would be needed (60mA x 1 hour = 60 mAh).
If you know the mAh (milliamps per hour) that your batteries are rated for, you can then estimate the amount of battery life you might get out of an LED flashlight based on the mA rating. A typical 18650 Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery found in the PeakPlus Super Bright LED Tactical Flashlight is rated at 2200 mAh. An 8 LED Flashlight typically draws around 420 milliamps which will give you approximately 5 hours of continuous use (2200 mAh ÷ 420 mA = 5.2 hours).
Often regarded as the some of best flashlights available, Cree Flashlights offer another option over standard LEDs. Cree is the name of the light manufacturing company that produces these types of high output bulbs. Since Cree doesn’t make LED flashlights, you’ll often see tactical flashlights with another manufactures name, and then they will mention that it’s quipped with a Cree Bulb.
Cree LED bulbs are engineered to last a lot longer and provide a higher output than standard LEDs. This is evident with the Prosvet A100 Flashlight w/ Cree Bulb that was listed previously in the Best Flashlight 2018 list. It’s brightness and beam distance are unmatched due to the Cree Bulb it has installed. Check it out as one of the Best Flashlight 2018.
While flashlight apps and torch apps are all the rage these days, they will never replace the output of a dedicated LED flashlight. Most light apps do work well with your smartphone and are bright enough for casual use, but drastically fall short of a compact tactical LED flashlight. So ditch that free flashlight app and get a compact LED flashlight for an all-around better experience. If you really need a flashlight app, check out the Super-Bright LED Flashlight App from Google Play.
Wrapping It Up
The flashlights available for 2017 and 2018 are some of the most compact, affordable, and brightest to come along in some time. The J5 V1-PRO Tactical Flashlight was the best flashlight 2018. It’s brightness, low price, and compact size are hard to beat all in one light. The Kootek Tactical Flashlight Knife is the best survival/defense knife for 2018. It’s design is perfect for camping or outdoor use where multiple functions are a top priority.
All the Flashlights listed in the Best Flashlight 2018 review are very capable lights. Hopefully this comparison was able to shed some light on some of the best flashlights available today, and aide you in located the one that is right for you. Updates are sure to follow as new flashlights hit the the market.
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John is our resident expert on the outdoors. He writes about outdoor gear, camping, traveling, and anything outdoors related. He has over 20 years experience camping and hiking the backwoods of Montana and the plains of Texas. He has traveled extensively all over the world.