Updated: March 11, 2017
I’ve rounded up a great selection of the best led flashlights for the money for those of you looking to get a little more life out of your light. Since LEDs are more energy efficient, they generally last longer than their traditional counterparts. With no bulb to break, they also stand up to tougher conditions. That makes them a great option for every outdoor enthusiast! I know you drop your flashlight, everyone does, and you’re going to want one that won’t let you down when you do. You should also check out my review of the best tactical flashlights.
For a quick refresher, let’s look at the difference of LED versus traditional incandescent lights. LEDs generally have a cooler light than incandescent bulbs. That’s the “clear bright white” light if you’ve ever shopped for Christmas lights! They are so common now-a-days that you are probably already familiar with the difference. But you can also get them in other colors like red or green. It is a good idea to take these differences into account while you’re looking around.
I prefer the extended life units. If I take the time to pick a good piece of kit, I don’t want it dying on me any time soon. Unfortunately, for those who don’t obsess over these devices like I do, the entry price point of LEDs can be off-putting. It is true that they can run higher than the incandescent choices, but the extended life is a major positive. Some of you may already use LED flashlights as your daily tool and you don’t need any more convincing. For those of you wanting to give them a try, I’ve reviewed a few here so you can feel confident they are worth it. It was important for me to find the best led flashlight for the money in this review.
While testing this set of the best led flashlights, I looked at the usual list of battery life, light quality range, durability, and power options. I paid close attention to brightness to ensure my choices can hold their own against other light sources. You will not be disappointed with these.
So read on below to find the best LED flashlight for you. Be sure to check back often as I update my review with new reviews and information. If you’re looking for a more tactical or military grade option, check out my other roundups. And click on the check price next to each of the best LED flashlight reviews to read more reviews and get an accurate price for each!
Whether you’re a hobbyist, outdoor enthusiast, or professional looking for some dependable light sources, I’ve got something here for you and I’ve made sure that its the best for the money.
PRODUCT REVIEWS - TOP 5 FLASHLIGHTS
When testing the best flashlights for this round of reviews, I was positively excited to review this one, hands down the best led flashlight. Not only because of the look and feel, the fact that it’s compact and light, but also because of its very unique LED which creates an incredibly bright beam while being the best for the money.
The G2X is incredibly easy to handle, and due to its very light weight, it’s fantastic to have on your belt or attached to a firearm without it weighing you down which makes it one of the best small flashlights while being one of the best for the money.
The tactical tail switch works well and doesn’t seem to wear like the ones on other comparable units which is very nice. SureFire did a great job at adding a set of gaskets and O-rings to the build so that no moisture or dust can get into the device.
I usually test the battery life on all beam intensities to make sure that it is as advertised, what made this test unique is that due to the torches unique LED, the lower setting is already very bright. So much so, that I found it hard to believe that its only 15 lumen. On this lower setting, I found that the flashlight will run continuously for approx. 45 hours during my review which would come in handy during a long hunting or camping trip. On the very bright second setting, I found that the device could run for approximately 2.5 hours during the review.
I will say that this setting is so bright that it would only really be required while in extreme situations such as tactical assault, police work or maybe in a search party. In conclusion, this is one of the best led flashlights I have ever reviewed even while stacking it up against the best of the best at different price categories.
- 15 – 320 lumens
- 2 Light modes
- Virtually indestructible LED
- Tactical tail-cap switch
- Body made out of nitrolon
- 2 ounces in weight
- Dual light modes to suit your requirements
- Nitrolon body does not scratch
- One of the lightest flashlights reviewed
- Great battery life on 2 very bright settings
- Can be attached to firearms
- I cannot for the life of me find a downside to this flashlight
I have always been a big fan of the Klarus product range. No matter if you’re a hobbyist, outdoor worker or serviceman the XT11GT will serve you well. With 2000 lumens of pure clean cut power, it is able to throw a beam up to 316 meters. That is way farther than my eyes can clearly see.
During my led flashlight review I took this beast out into the woods and discovered that on all the light modes I can see extremely well.
The IPX-8 waterproofing means that you can submerge the XT11GT as far as 2 meters below the water surface, which makes it incredibly useful for search and rescue. But it also means that the flashlight will survive extreme weather conditions for extended periods of time. This makes it the perfect companion clipped onto your belt while out in rain for hours at a time.
One thing that I will mention is this, in order to get the full 2000 lumens turbo capability out of the flashlight you will need to operate it with very high quality batteries, lucky for you Klarus has included a set of these for you. I don’t consider this enough of a drawback to be a problem.
The only reason this flashlight is on spot 2 is that it’s slightly more expensive as the comparable SureFire G2X, which still makes it one of the best led flashlights, just not for the money.
- CREE XHP35 HD E4 LED
- 2000 Lumens maximum output
- CR123A or protected 18650 Batteries
- 5 ounces + battery weight
- IPX-8 Waterproofing (up to 2 meters)
- 316 meters’ maximum beam throw
- Incredible beam distance
- 2000 lumens in turbo mode
- Above standard water proofing
- USB charging
- Side and tail-cap switch
- Great manufacturing quality
- Great accessories
- A little pricier than others
Calling this LED flashlight “The Beast” is not an exaggeration! At 2000 lumens, it rivals the Klarus XT11GT in brightness and beam distance. Claiming a max beam distance of 400 meters, I honestly couldn’t tell a difference between the two. At that far out, I can’t see so clearly anyway. The floodlight nature of the frosted lens is more ideal for closer tasks needing a wide field of light at any rate. I took this one on a hike during my led flashlight review and was able to cast plenty of light on my surroundings. No worries about something jumping out of the bushes!
I got a little longer than 10 hours run time with the lowest setting, which is pretty bright itself. At the brightest setting, it lasted 2 hours.
The weight balance of The Beast means it was comfortable to hold for long periods of time. You won’t be dropping this one on accident. Though it is 3 foot drop tested, so dropping this one is not too much of a problem. I ran my own tests on this matter, and it held up to all I could throw at it. This is one sturdy device, truly making it a tool!
I will make a note that this one does require 4 CR123A batteries to work. These are included, but they are not rechargeable, so I suggest buying and keeping spares with you. This is a fantastic Beast for anyone, though its heavier weight keeps it at my number 3 spot. If the power of the beast isn’t enough for you, then I would highly suggest reading my high power flashlight review.
- 2,000 (high) and 530 (low) lumens
- Weight-balanced for easy handling
- 2-10 hours run time
- CR123A lithium batteries
- Dual-LED technology
- Extremely bright
- Good power settings to increase battery life
- Easy recharge
- Great floodlight
- Heavy and large
- Dangerous if pointed at ones face
Maglite has been making great flashlights since 1979, and for the last few years they have been releasing fantastic LED Flashlights too. I think everyone has that old Maglite somewhere in there garage that is way too big to be used for every occasion. It is time to upgrade to something more useful and while doing so, this may well be your best flashlight for the money.
In my experience Maglite’s are extremely reliable pieces of kit that will perform time and time again for you even under the toughest conditions. I’ve had a few different kinds over the years and have never been disappointed.
Maglites’ have been using D-cell batteries for as long as I can remember, which really means two main things for me, first that the LED Flashlight is pretty heavy, and secondly it’s extremely sturdy. You’re looking at a run time of about 15 hours with these batteries and a max lumen output at 625. The weight should be considered. Depending on what you need it for, this may be a good or a bad thing, I for one don’t like having the 26 ounces on my belt, so my Maglite lives in the glove compartment of my truck. It is dependable and ready for when I need it.
I will say that the waterproofing and manufacturing quality of the ML300LX, makes it a fantastic companion for just about any use other than sitting on your belt.
- 625 Lumens max output
- IPX4 waterproofing up to 1 meter
- Drop resistant design
- 16 hours’ max runtime on high
- 26 ounces with battery
- 406 meters’ max beam intensity
- Great quality product
- Very strong beam
- Long battery life on max setting
- Tons of accessories available
- Heavy weight
- Battery cost
I was pleasantly pleased at how durable and sturdy this LED flashlight felt. The ProTac HL is sturdy enough for all your outdoor needs. It fit in my hand perfectly, and had a nice heft to it without being overly heavy. I put this one in a nylon holster and it fit comfortably on my belt.
The anti-roll face cap was a nice added feature. I set it down on a flat surface and don’t have to worry about it rolling way from me. It stayed propped up just fine on its own, which means I don’t have to hold it the whole time.
On average, the battery lasted about an hour on its max setting of 750 lumens. It faded to half power after that and I was able to get another 45 minutes out of it before dying completely. The low setting, at 35 lumens or so, lasted the whole 18 hours it claimed to. Not my first choice for longer tasks, but in a pinch, the ProTac HL will be a great flashlight to have with you.
This is, of course, a fixed beam. I am happy to say that the spread of light is better than average and would be suitable for many tasks, but not for a long distance spotlight. I don’t intend to use this one for that, so it all works out.
For the price, you are not going to beat this quality. It is very bright and sturdy. Streamline also offers their lifetime warranty. In short, this is a reliable and durable option at a more than fair price.
- 750 Lumens maximum beam
- Weighs only 5.6 ounces
- Uses one 18650 rechargeable battery
- 5 hours’ average battery life
- Made from aircraft grade aluminum
- Extremely bright flashlight
- Very light for its class
- Rechargeable batteries
- Very durable material
- Lifetime warranty
- Short battery life at higher beam intensity
- No accessories
Other Flashlights To Consider
At 350 max lumens, this is not the brightest flashlight I tested this time around. It is bright enough for most tasks, but not bright enough for those requiring some serious strength. At this light level, the beam strong up to a decent distance. I measured it out to about 290 meters effectively. The medium setting was more than enough light, at just over half the intensity of the highest. I measured this beam distance to about 220 meters, so you aren’t losing much distance at the middle power. At the lowest setting, 85 lumens is not sitting in the dark! It reached a whopping 150 meters without a problem. I like having the different options available, and I think they chose three very handy light level settings. There is also a strobe setting.
On the highest, the battery lasted me about an hour and half. The battery charger included with the Stinger LED was better made than the ZX-1. It is compact and snaps in to mount in any position. It was very easy to use and charged quickly. It’s worth the minimal increase in price to get the charger included.
The size makes the Stinger LED another great flashlight to keep in your car. It’s around 12 ounces in weight and is a full 8 inches in length. It is not one I would suggest carrying around. It is just a bit too big to be convenient.
Depending on your needs, this is a great option.
- 85-350 lumens range
- 6-volt Ni-MH sub-C rechargeable battery
- 3 watt super high flux LED
- 5 to 3.5 hour run time
- 3 light settings and strobe
- Multiple light settings for better run-time usage
- 155 – 310 meter beam distance
- Durable for impact up to 1 meter.
- non-slip rubberized comfort grip
- Large at 8.41 inches
The ZX-1 is a great all-rounder LED flashlight that does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. No matter if you want to use it on the wide-beam or the zoom focus function it performs pretty well.
With a maximum beam throw of 150 yards I was pretty impressed of the clarity that this torch can create at such a distance.
I will say that this unit does feel slightly cheaper in make, and the charger doubly so. In fact so much so that I didn’t enjoy using it very much and preferred to use my safer Nitecore Intellicharger i4.
Once charged up, the flashlight will give you some good use, with its tailcap switch which lets you cycle through the 5 light modes with ease. The strongest one of course being the 1200 lumens setting which is seriously blinding, I would not recommend anyone to look directly into this LED. The low setting is still bright enough to get the job done.
Its a great small led flashlight, and its compact design makes it a good choice to carry along with you. It does take 3 AAA batteries, which everyone is familiar with, and these are not included with the device.
All in all, I would say that this is a great all-rounder led flashlight that is good for entry level users, but maybe not for those who need to use it every day.
- Ultra-bright XML T6 Cree LED
- Runs on 18650 rechargeable batteries
- 1200 Lumens max
- Weighs 5 ounces
- 5 light modes
- 6 months’ warranty
- Extremely bright flashlight
- Water resistant material
- Zoom function works well
- 150 yards maximum beam throw
- Feels slightly cheaper in make
I was so excited to see another USB chargeable flashlight. I really enjoy the great mobility this allows you for traveling. No need to panic about packing extra batteries or making sure you have the right charger. The cable is all you need! You’re looking at 6 hours run time anyway, which is pretty great on its own.
The quality of the Anker LC130 LED is also great. It has an IPX-7 rating, which if you’ve been reading along with my work here, means it is waterproof up to a meter. So it will stand up in all weather conditions, making it my choice for any range of outdoor activities. The sturdy construction and design will also hold up well when working outside. It can stand on end and light up an entire room. Or tent!
At 1300 lumens, this is an extremely bright light. The multiple settings add more options for use.
This one is priced at a great deal for the brightness. The downside is that extra batteries are pretty pricey. At 16.8 ounces, it’s weighing in at just a bit over a pound. That is a lot to carry around, despite its small size. If you don’t mind carrying that, by all means go ahead, but know there are lighter options. In all, I’d say this is a great choice if you plan to be out and about in the elements and are worried about charging options. Despite the weight I would say that this is one of the best small led flashlights.
- 1300 lumens maximum beam intensity
- 8 ounces in weight
- Rechargeable 5000mAh battery
- Waterproof up to 1 meter
- 6 hours continuous runtime
- Extremely bright flashlight
- Very easy to recharge
- 5 different light modes
- 26650 (5000mAh) battery included
- Comes with USB charging cable
- 18 months warranty
- A little heavy
- Extra batteries costly to buy
The EcoGear FX Tactical LED was fun to unpack. First off, it came in a kit with different battery and charger options. I’m a big fan of options. I noticed the AAA batteries were not included, but I had some spares and popped them in while I checked the charges on the 18650s. The device worked like a charm fresh out of the packaging. With the AAA batteries, I didn’t get the max lumens, but it was comparable to many other medium settings on other LED flashlights. That is plenty bright! Keep some AAAs nearby for when you’ve got to charge the others, and you’ll never find yourself in the dark.
The compact and sturdy build means this one feels great to hold and it’s not going to let you down. I felt good about bringing it along hiking. With zoom feature, I was able to easily choose what kind of beam and distance I wanted without sacrificing power.
I have heard mixed reviews on EcoGear’s customer service. Enough that I feel it’s worth mentioning that some people have had less than ideal experiences. With such a quality build, I don’t think I’ll ever actually need to contact them, but there you go.
At this price, other options are available. For even a bit cheaper, you could get the SureFire G2X. I’m not convinced the EcoGear performance is worth the price increase.
My conclusion, for a great out-of-the-package experience, the EcoGear is not a bad way to go.
- 2 Rechargeable batteries
- Dual channel battery charger
- 18650 plastic battery sleeve
- AAA battery holder
- CREE T6 LED
- 1200 lumens max
- 5 Light settings for all occasions
- Sturdy build
- Incredible zoom
- Compact size
- Potentially, customer service
- Doesn’t last long
As I’ve said before, I really like this kind of finish. With the Nite Ize Inova T4R LED flashlight, the anodized black finish and knurling pattern of the grip make this a very sleek and professional looking light that is easy to keep a hold of. Durable and waterproof, it is able to stand up to tough conditions. I am always happy to have something that can keep up with me!
Another great feature is the easy charging dock and the battery can be used before being fully discharged. So it is great to grab in a hurry. I managed to reach the 50 hour mark on the low charge setting and it is a great comfort to know that light will be there with you for a very long time between charges. The switch for changing through light modes is located on mid-body on this design, making it easier to hit with my thumb while I held it in a comfortable position. If the tail switches are annoying to you, give this one a serious look!
At the higher price point, the T4R is fine for those of you looking to spring for a quality product. It is durable and reliable and a professional choice. Not for the everyday hobbyist!
- 571 lumens max
- 7 volt Lithium Ion Battery
- 2 – 50 Hrs
- Anti-reflective coating
- Military-spec Type III hard-coat anodized black finish
- Incredibly durable
- Multiple light options
- Easy recharging
- Water and impact resistant
- Long battery life on low