The World’s Brightest Flashlights of 2018 are:
- AceBeam X70 @ 60,000 lumens (Full Size Category)
- AceBeam X80GT @ 32,500 lumens (Medium Category)
- AceBeam L30 @ 4000 lumens (Tactical Category)
- Emisar D4 XP-L Hi @ 4300 lumens (Small Category)
- Four Sevens Mini Mk II @ 1020 lumens (Mini Category)
- Lupine Betty RX14 @ 5000 lumens (Headlamp Category)
*Last Update: Sept 17, 2018
This is the most up-to-date online list of production flashlights (no exaggerated lumen ratings.)
Beware: There are plenty of misleading lumen ratings in the flashlight world. The brightest flashlights today are built by reputable flashlight manufacturers and (I hate to break it to you) they aren’t cheap.
*You’ll notice plenty of AceBeams on this list. NO, I AM NOT SPONSORED BY ACEBEAM. They just happen to be leading the industry in lumen output these days. Imalent is close behind in a couple categories.
I’ve tried my very best to cross-reference lumen claims with reliable sources as much as possible.
Full-Size: AceBeam x70 (60,000 lumens)
The AceBeam X70 initially was due to ship in June 2018 boasting 40,000 lumens and price tag of over $700.
It turns out that the delay in delivery is actually a good thing because the MSRP has now dropped to around $550 and the output increased to 60,000 retina burning lumens.
As far as I can tell all this is the result of a pitched battle between Imalent and AceBeam for the title of world’s brightest flashlight.
It appears Acebeam held off shipping the X70 in order to counter the late breaking news of Imalent’s impending launch of the MS12 promising 53,000 lumens and 913 meters of throw.
As it stands, the Acebeam X70 will easily dethrone the current brightest flashlight: Imalent’s DX80 @ 32,000 lumens.
I highly recommend waiting for the X70 since the output and price per lumen will be quite a bit better than Imalent’s DX80. I’ve found a couple distributers who will carry the X70 at launch: One in the USA, One in China.
As I mentioned, the AceBeam X70 cranks out a scorching 60,000 lumens! That’s enough light to cast shadows behind objects just over a kilometre away (.68 miles)..
It’s still a hefty price tag, but for some professionals it’s definitely worth it.
The X70 relies on an automatic fan cooled system to produce this monumental amount of light without overheating. So far there are no videos of it in action.
I keep hounding AceBeam for an opportunity to review it, but no luck just yet. Here’s a short clip of it at Germany’s IWA 2018 exhibit.
Its just a matter of time until flashlights like this attract the attention of regulators. This thing is practically an assault weapon.
- Batteries: Rechargeable Lithium Battery Pack: 8 x 18650
- Throw distance: 1.13 KM!
- Controls:Side switch cycles through all modes
- Applications: Search and Rescue, Defence, Wildlife spotting, Night Guard Equipment
- Cooling: Thermostatically controlled forced air cooling
- LED’s:Twelve XHP70.2 LEDs and one centre mounted XHP35 HI LED.
Medium: AceBeam x80GT(32,500 lumens)
AceBeam calls this thing their “trail blazing soda can.” Its the world’s brightest flashlight in the medium category. It’s one crazy, redonculous handheld light-canon. Besides being super-tough its even water-proof to 30 meters.(AceBeam says not to turn on/off under water. Can you have it on before you go underwater? Would be nice to know). AceBeam also has a good dive light option.(Check the AceBeam D46 on Amazon)
The newer X80GT uses 18 Cree XhP50.2 LEDs powered by four 18650 rechargeable lithium batteries. It will only s throw the max lumen output for about one minute until it eventually dials down to 4000 lumens.
- Max Runtime: 34hours
- Modes: Low(200 lms/34hrs), Med1 (1000lms/7hrs), Med2(2000lms/3.5hrs), Med3(400lms 1.7), High (8000-4000lms/4min-1.5hrs), Turbo (15000lms-4000lms/2min-1.6hrs), Turbo max (32,500lms-4000lms/1 min-1.7hrs).Strobe (4000lms/3.4hrs)
- Beam Distance: 368 meters
- Intelligent temperature controlled light output
- Waterproof: 30 Meters(not a dive light though)
- AceBeam claims it is the toughest light they have ever produced
- Chassis: Anodized aircraft grade aluminum
- Usage: Military, Law enforcement, Hunting, Search and Rescue, for heavy duty outdoor use.
The X80GT can get quite hot and can also damage your eyes so don’t look right into it.
Check the latest pricing of the AceBeam X80 GT on Amazon.
X80 GT in Action(Credit:Youtube Peter von Panda)
Tactical: AceBeam L30 Gen 2(4000 lumens)
As I continue updating this list, I see how some might be suspicious that I’m being paid by Acebeam. So, no I’m not. AceBeam just happens to be leading the charge on brightest flashlights right now.
Credit goes to Zak from the subreddit: flashlight for quickly pointing out to me that the Fenix TK35UE isn’t actually the world’s brightest tactical light even though it throws a very respectable 3200 lumens. He pointed me to the AceBeams L30 with its behemoth 4000 lumen turbo mode. By comparison, most respectable tactical flashlights put out around 1000 lumens.
- Max Runtime: 45 days
- Batteries: 1×20700 (for max output)or optionally: 1×18650 or 2xCR123s.
- Charging: Built-in Micro USB charging port for 21700 or 18650 batteries. Includes charging indicator(red/green)
- Control: Side switch: On/Off, Mode cycle, Lock/Unlock. Tail Switch: one touch Turbo mode.
- Modes: Firefly(1 lm/59days), Low (200lms/12hrs), Mid (1000lms/2.5hrs), High (2000lms/1.1hrs), Turbo (4000lms/2min+1hr), Strobe (2000lms/2hrs)
- Beam Distance: 373 meters
- Waterproof: 5 Meters
- Length: 6.4 inches
- Body: Type III Anodized Aircraft Grade aluminum
- Uses: Weapon mountable, military, law enforcement, hunting, camping
Progressive beam shot of the L30 Gen 1 (Credit: anthon87 from Candlepowerforums.com)
Small: Emisar D4 XP-L Hi (4300 lumens)
Replacing the Olight H2R Nova for top spot in the small flashlight category is the Emisar D4 XP-L. The D4 XP-L is unique in that it caters to customizers. It comes with open source firmware and several emitter options. (make sure you choose one of the XP-L Hi emitters for the full 4300 lumens.)
A few things to note about the D4 is that it can get quite hot in the hand. Also, be sure to use the lockout feature so you don’t accidentally light your pants on fire when it’s in your pocket!
Be careful not to load the battery backwards. Although there is reverse polarity protection, apparently damage will occur if it’s left that way for very long.
You wont find this one on Amazon. The place to pick up this incredible piece of technology is at Mountain Electronics. Also one of the code developers for the firmware (Toy Keeper) did quite an in depth review of it over at BudgetLightForum.
Mini: Four Sevens Mini Mk II (1020 lumens)
How in the world it’s possible to flog over 1000 lumens from this tiny flashlight is beyond me. It’s witchcraft! The Mini Mark II earns a well deserved spot among the world’s brightest flashlights. It almost doubles its closest competitor: the Olight S1 Mini (600 lumens)! Four Sevens accomplished this by using a custom high-discharge rate rechargeable rcr123a battery developed specifically to power the Mini Mark II. It would be an excellent EDC. You can power it with standard cr123a batteries, but it will only manage 550 lumens. In order to get the 1020 lumens make sure you buy the combo with the included special battery. You can check current Amazon pricing here.
Headlamp- Lupine 2017 Betty RX14 (5000 lumens)
While not a flashlight per-say, I’ve included headlamps on the list of world’s brightest flashlights. No other headlamp on earth cranks out this many lumens.
The nearest competitor I have found is the Imalent HR70 @ 3000 lumens. Acebeam has also has a 4000 lumen H30 in the works.
Betty really insanely priced. She’s big, bad and ugly. That doesn’t matter because whoever wears this thing is the king of the world! Or maybe there just making up for something, but whatever.
Betty is German engineered and features a wireless bluetooth wrist band to control the light without touching it. I presume its because you’d melt your fingers if you actually touched the light.
This thing requires so much juice that you’ll be umbilicalled to a rather large L.ion battery pack. So bring a ruck sack along for that. Oh yeah, do your friends a favour and don’t look at them when you speak to them or you’ll burn their corneas out.
At 5000 lumens, Betty earns a well deserved spot on the brightest flashlight list. If you’re prepared to buy Betty. You can check the latest pricing on Amazon here.
Below is a comparison video demonstrating big Betty’s capabilities. (Credit: johndotdoedotee)
I give a lot of credit to flashlight forums and communities around the internet who have been immensely helpful in informing me of the latest flashlights that are pushing the envelope of what is possible.
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