(Last Update: April 8, 2023)
The brightest flashlight in the world for 2023 is the 120,000-lumen Imalent SR32 released in April 2023. Imalent claims this monster can throw a beam down-range two kilometers! The SR32 unseats the 100,000 lumen Imalent MS18 which I already reviewed here.
World’s Brightest Flashlights by Category
Welcome to my regularly updated list of the brightest flashlights in the world. I do my best to stay on top of the latest flashlight technology and cross-reference lumen claims with reliable sources.
The average set of headlights on a car produces no more than 3000 lumens. By comparison, even the smallest flashlight on this list delivers 4000 lumens!
5 years ago, the most powerful flashlight on the market could only produce 10,000 lumens! Needless to say, LED technology has grown by leaps and bounds since then.
|Category||Name||Max Output (in lumens)|
|Large||Imalent SR32||120,000 L|
|Imalent MS18||100,000 L|
|Medium||Imalent MS12 Mini||65,000 L|
|Tactical||Nitecore TM20K||20,000 L|
|EDC||Imalent MS03||13,000 L|
|Headlamp||Lupine Betty RX14(Amazon)||5000 Lm|
World’s Brightest Flashlight: Imalent SR32
For years Imalent has remained serious about holding the title of the world’s brightest flashlight. With the release of the 120,000-lumen SR32 this record continues. Beyond the 20,000 lumen boost in output, over its predecessor, the MS18, the SR32 has a number of other improvements. These include USB-C charging, power bank function for charging devices with 100w fast charge, new active cooling system, detachable handle.
This is a big flashlight weighing in at over 2kg(4.4lbs.) Thankfully the Imalent SR32 ships with a shoulder strap. Despite the huge battery bank it only takes 90 minutes to fully charge it from empty.
- Max output: 120,000 lumens(turbo)
- Throw: 2030m(candela rating)
- Weight: 2166g
- Cooling: Forced air
- USB-C Fast charging
- Power bank function
- OLED multifunction display
2nd Brightest Large Flashlight: Imalent MS18
It is no overstatement to say that the Imalent MS18 rivals police helicopter searchlights. The Imalent MS18 is a revolutionary flashlight in its own right. It produces an epic 100,000 lumens and cools itself via a built-in vapor-cooled, forced-air radiator. It held the title of world’s brightest flashlight for over 3 years until recently.
In my opinion, It’s just a matter of time before flashlights like these attract the attention of regulators.
I own the MS18. You can check out my full review here.
As you might expect, the MS18 is on the expensive side (check the latest price at Imalent). However, on a lumens-per-dollar basis, it is actually one of the cheapest flashlights on the market.
- 100,000 lumens turbo output
- Forced-air cooling
- 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 its 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 current production flashlight.
For a more affordable option, I’d recommend the 3rd place ACBEAM X75 (80000 lumens) which I fully reviewed here.
Brightest Medium Flashlight: Imalent MS12 Mini
In early 2022 the 65,000 lumen Imalent MS12 Mini was released. The ACEBEAM X50 2.0 @ 45,000 lumens is the second brightest flashlight in the medium-size category.
The MS12 Mini can deploy a 45-second turbo burst up to 65,000 lumens before throttling back for a sustained 13,000 lumens for 45 minutes.
13,000 lumens is roughly equivalent to 4 sets of care headlights on high beam! Impressive.
The MS12 Mini ships with 4 high-drain lithium 21700 batteries included. On paper this flashlight can throw a beam downrange about 1km. However, as a rule of thumb, for useful range I count about half of whatever the a flashlight’s spec sheets says(so 500 meters).
To get this hand-held light canon the MS12 Mini will set you back aroud $400. Get the latest price here.
Brightest Tactical Flashlight: Nitecore TM20K
With the release of the 20,000 lumen Nitecore TM20K, Nitecore re-asserted their dominance in tactical flashlight category by crushing their own 9000 lumen TM9K.
The key difference is that Nitecore was able to cram 2 high-drain 21700 batteries into slim profile. TM20K is a refreshingly unique design boasting multi-tail switch control, epic power, and up to 13 hours of endurance on low. Nitecore makes premium professional-grade flashlights so you’ll be paying around 300 bucks for this puppy.
This flashlight has won a 2022 Reddot design award. It’s a beautiful and original-looking flashlight that is ideal for law enforcement.
Brightest EDC Flashlight: Imalent MS03
Imalent just released the MS-03 which cranks out 13,000 lumens and reaches out to 324 meters.
The MS03 crushes 2019’s Fireflies E07(6900 lumens) which was 2019 reigning champion for the EDC category. I reviewed the E07 here.
Here’s my complete review of the MS03.
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 and Nitecore T4K
I don’t know how it is possible to flog 4000 lumens from a flashlight as small these pure witchcraft. These tiny monsters outperform flashlights way above their weight class.
Both the Imalent LD70 and Nitecore T4K are tied for the brightest mini flashlight category with 4000 lumens each. Independent testing of these flashlights give numbers slightly less 4000 lumens, nonetheless, these flashlights are evenly matched for the top spot.
The LD70 and T4K are closely matched in terms of size and output but they are distinct in many regards. The T4K is wider, more expensive, and has dual top-button controls while the LD70 has a single tail button and is charged via an included magnetic USB cable as opposed to USB-C on the T4K.
The T4K has 4 emitters and the LD70 has one.
|Nitecore T4K||Imalent LD70|
|Output(turbo)||4000 lumens||4000 lumens|
|Max runtime||67hrs @ 1 lumen||15hrs @ 20 lumens|
|Length, Weight||82mm,77grams||81mm, 87grams|
|Waterproofness||No IP54(dust)||Yes (submersible 2m)|
Brightest Headlamp: Lupine Betty RX14
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(1/8th!) 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)
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.
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