World’s Brightest Flashlights of 2020


(Last Update: May 19th, 2020)

Welcome to my regularly updated list of the brightest flashlights in the world.

The average halogen high beams on a car only produce a combined 3000 lumens. By contrast, even the smallest flashlight on this list produces 4000 lumens!

Needless to say, these flashlights are not toys. Keep them out of reach of children because they can all start fires, cause burns, or even damage vision.

World’s Brightest Flashlights by Category

CategoryNameMax Output (in lumens)
Largeimalent ms18Imalent MS18 (10% off Code: WELLRIGGED850)100,000 L
LargeAceBeam X7060,000 L
MediumAceBeam X80 GT32,500 L
TacticalNitecore TM9K9500 L
EDCImalent MS03 (10% off Code: WELLRIGGED850)13,000 L
MiniImalent LD70 (10% off Code: WELLRIGGED850)4000 L
HeadlampLupine Betty RX145000 Lm

Be my eyes! Help me keep this list up to date: leave your suggestions in the comments section at the end of this article.

I do my very best to stay on top of the latest flashlight technology and cross-reference lumen claims with reliable sources. There are plenty of overhyped lumen ratings in the flashlight world and even more misleading reviews out there. I do my best weed those out for you.

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Brightest Large Flashlight: Imalent MS18

Just 4 years ago the most powerful flashlight on the market could only produce 10,000 lumens!(source.) The Imalent MS18 produces an astounding 100,000 lumens. Needless to say, LED technology has grown by leaps and bounds.

Behold the “Ambassador of Light!” The Imalent MS18 is truly a revolutionary flashlight producing an astounding 100,000 lumens of light. Now we’re in the territory of police helicopter searchlights.

This thing is practically an assault weapon! It’s just a matter of time before flashlights like this attract the attention of regulators. 

As you might expect, it is expensive (check the latest price at Imalent)

However, when you consider that this handheld flashlight is brighter than a police helicopter’s searchlight… its actually not a bad deal at all.

MS18 Features

  • 100,000 lumens turbo output
  • Forced-air cooled
  • IP56 weather resistant..but not truly “water proof”
  • 18 high-quality CREE XHP 70.2 LEDs
  • Range 1350 meters(.85 miles)

The MS18 can produce a turbo burst of 100,000 lumens for a minute or so before stepping down to 25000 lumens for around an hour. That is still extremely impressive and better than any other production flashlight.

Here’s a video of some beam shot comparisons

Runner Up: AceBeam X70

Can you say, “light cannon?”

The X70 was the most anticipated flashlight of 2018, it unseated the Imalent MS12 (53000 lumens) for the title of world’s brightest flashlight.

At 60000 lumens, the X70 beam can reach out 1100 m(.68 miles) away. That means it will cast shadows behind objects that far away!

The X70 features a carry handle with an integrated fan to cool the flashlight since it develops a lot of heat.

Like the MS18, the X70 is an expensive flashlight (Check the latest price on Amazon.) However, the MS18 only about $100 more. $100 for 40,000 more lumens and 300 more meters of throw? Yup, I’d pay extra the MS18.

X70 Features

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Brightest Medium Flashlight:  AceBeam x80GT

AceBeam calls this thing their “trail blazing soda can.” At 32500 lumens it’s 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 underwater. 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.

Features:

  • 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.

X80 GT in Action(Credit:Youtube Peter von Panda)

Brightest Tactical Flashlight:  Nitecore TM9K

At 9500 lumens, the Nitecore TM9K just delivered a 2020 beat-down to 2019’s champions- the Wuben T70(4200 lumens), and the AceBeam L30 Gen 2(4000 lumens). Yup, 2020 has started with a bang for tactical flashlights.

In true tactical form, the Nitecore TM9K is waterproof to 2 meters is operated by two dual tail buttons. One is for is for cycling modes and the other for on/off and momentary on. The flashlight is also capable of producing a dizzying full 9500 lumen strobe to completely disorient bad guys.

I think this flashlight is actually quite a good deal considering what it is capable of. You check the latest pricing here on Amazon.

Features

  • Max Runtime: 60 hrs
  • Turbo output: 9500 lumens
  • Power Settings: Strobe(9500 lm), High(1900 lm), Mid (460 lm) Low(130 lm), Ultra-low(30 lm)
  • Beam Throw: 268m (293yds)
  • Battery: 5000mAh High-drain 21700
  • LED: 9x CREE XP-L HD V6 LEDs
  • USB C fast charging
  • Beam Throw Distance: 250 meters
  • Waterproof: IP68 – 2m submersible
  • Length: 4.92
  • Weight: 218 g / 7.68 oz
  • Body: Anodized Aircraft Grade aluminum
  • Holster included

Brightest EDC Flashlight: Imalent MS03

Imalent MS03

Imalent just released the MS-03 which cranks out 13,000 lumens and reaches out to 324 meters. Here’s my complete review of the MS03

The MS03 crushes 2019’s Fireflies E07(6900 lumens) which was 2019 reigning champion for the EDC category. I reviewed the E07 here.

Imalent has offered a 10% discount to all my readers. Cool! Just use the Discount Code: WELLRIGGED850 when you buy the MS03 or any of their other flashlights.

My Imalent MS03 Review

The Imalent MS03 is able to crank out this massive amount of light by utilizing a high-drain 21700 battery driving three 2nd-generation American CREE XHP70 LEDs.

Of course heat becomes an issue so the turbo lumen burst is only available for 45 seconds before stepping down to a sustained 2000 lumens.

here are the published specs:

Brightest Mini Flashlight: Imalent LD70

IMALENT LD70

How it’s possible to flog 4000 lumens from a flashlight as small as the Imalent LD70 is beyond me. It’s pure witchcraft! 

Move over AceBeam TK 17 because the Imalent LD70 just landed.

The LD70 (4000 lumens) absolutely dwarves the AceBeam TK 16’s 1800 lumens. The tough aluminum housing is waterproof down to two meters and the small size makes it a great pocket flashlight.

The LD70 employs a 2nd-gen CREE XHP-70 LED driven by a high-drain 21700 lithium rechargeable battery. Here are the published specs:

A cool little Oled display lets you keep track of the mode and battery life remaining. A handy magnetic USB charger makes it super easy to keep this little monster fed.

Brightest Headlamp: Lupine Betty RX14

Lupine Betty RX 14

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 as the Lupine Betty RX14 (5000 lumens).

Betty is truly 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.

The nearest competitor is the 4000 lumen Acebeam H30 which, mercifully, you can get for a fraction(1/20th!) of Betty’s price. However, big Betty’s strength is that she can sustain her brightness much longer than the Acebeam.

Betty is German engineered and features a wireless bluetooth wrist band to control the headlamp without touching it.  I presume it’s because you’d melt your fingers if you actually touched the light.

This thing requires so much juice that you’ll be umbilically connected to a rather large lithium ion battery pack.  So bring a rucksack 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.

If you’re prepared to buy Betty. You can check the latest pricing on Amazon here, but I strongly recommend the AceBeam H30  instead.

Below is a comparison video demonstrating big Betty’s capabilities. (Credit: johndotdoedotee)

Acknowledgments:

I big shout out 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.

You might also be interested in the 5 Best Knife Warrantees.

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