World’s Brightest Flashlights of 2020

(Last Update: Dec 30, 2019)

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

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.

Brightest Flashlights by Category

For some perspective: The halogen high beams on your car only produce 3000 lumens at best (2×1500 lumens).

These flashlights are not toys. Keep them out of reach of children. You can easily light fires with most of them.

CategoryNameLight Output
LargeImalent MS18100,000 lumens
LargeAceBeam X7060,000 lumens
MediumAceBeam X80 GT32,500 lumens
TacticalNitecore TM9K9500 lumens
SmallFireflies E076900 lumens
MiniAceBeam TK171800 lumens
HeadlampLupine Betty RX145000 lumens

Be my eyes! Help me keep this list up to date: If you are a flashaholic and find any deserving new candidates for the title of brightest flashlight in world for the categories below. I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments section at the end of this article.

Disclosure: This article includes Amazon affiliate or other affiliate links(including the table above) but only if it is indeed the brightest flashlight in the world for the category.

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Brightest Full-Size Flashlight: Imalent MS18

Just 4 years ago the most powerful flashlight on the market could only produce 10,000 lumens!(source.)

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 on Amazon.)

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 Small Flashlight: Fire Flies E07

Fireflies E07 colour options

Crushing the Emisar D4 XP-L @ 4300 lumens) for the top spot in 2020 is the Fireflies E07 @ 6900 lumens.

You can check out the full review of the E07 here.

The Fireflies E07 caters to customizers who can tinker with its Anduril UI.  It’s a firmware that lets you geek out on settings and output levels.

There are several versions of E07 with different emitters.

For the maximum 6900 lumens make sure to choose the XPL HI V3 CW 6500K or 3A NW 5000K versions.

You should also note that E07 does not ship with a battery or charger. In order to get maximum performance, you will need a high quality 20700/21700 or 18650 with at least a 20A discharge rate.

The Fireflies E07 is by far the brightest single cell flashlight on the market today.

Brightest Mini Flashlight: AceBeam TK16

How it’s possible to flog 1800 lumens from a flashlight as small as the Acebeam TK16 is beyond me. It’s pure witchcraft! 

Make sure to get the 3xCREE XPG 3 version along with a good RCR123 battery to get the full 1800 lumens.

The TK 16 only weighs 1.3oz(37.3g) and is 2.6 inches long. It will throw a beam out 158 meters.

Alternatively, many folks opt for the Osram version (Amazon) which produces fewer lumens (1300), but can throw its beam a whopping 338m!

The AceBeam TK16 spanks the second & third place flashlights by a long shot: 4Sevens Mini MK II @ 1020 lumens and the Olight S1R II Baton Mini at 1001 lumens-(Price Check it on Amazon).

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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Comments

  1. Acebeam has increased the lumen rating of the X70 to 60,000. 🙂 we are eagerly waiting the release!

    1. Author

      Thanks for the heads up, was away traveling. I’ve updated the List to reflect the updated specs fo the X70.

  2. You should consider adding the olight S1R II it is 1000 lumens out of the box. Individual reviewers have gotten over 1200 lumens at startup its rechargeable with the battery in the light with built in battery indicator. It’s so powerful it can burn dark materials at close range!

  3. For a small light the TK16 is amazing. It absolutely blows away every other similar light in terms of output and options. Triple LED and a choice of 3 great emitters – Cree for high lumens, Luminous for a nice warm tint and Osram for throw. Definitely the best choice in 2019 for a 16350 flashlight.

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