A flashlight can be a powerful tool to have in many situations. Once we step away from the city lights and into the darkness, our ability to see well becomes more difficult. Our ability to locate and find people and things is dependent on keen eyesight and what natural light is available. While there are some people out there that can probably use a little moonlight to navigate in dense forest at midnight, for the rest of us, we use a flashlight.
Flashlights come in all different shapes and sizes. The most common flashlights today are generally LED and powered by batteries, either rechargeable or replaceable. However, they can range from very small and low powered, 10-50 lumens, to large and very powerful, 500-10,000 lumens. With new technology, we can now have a handheld and battery-powered flashlight that can cast a beam over 300 meters.
Powerful flashlights are also vital to the first responders and emergency personnel that respond into the wilderness when something goes wrong. Search & rescue crews depend on powerful flashlights with long distance beams to sort through the darkness and find people who are lost and injured. If you are looking for a headlamp for hands-free use or to wear while hiking, check out this article, The Brightest Headlamp For Every Camper.
Regardless of why you may need one, these flashlights are immensely useful and can be a great addition to any pack. Flashlights can be a valuable safety tool in many ways. They can be used to signal first responders or aircraft and to light up an unseen danger ahead. In this article, we are going to look at four of the most powerful flashlights currently available on the market.
Table of Contents
- #1- ThruNite TN36- 11000 Lumen CREE XHP 70B Powerful LED Flashlight
- #2- EdisonBright Fenix TK75 CREE LED USB Rechargeable Flashlight (5100 Lume, 929 Yard Beam)
- #3- Streamlight 88060 Pro Tac HL 4 2,200 Lumen Professional Tactical Flashlight
- #4- ThorFire S70S LED Tactical Searchlight
#1- ThruNite TN36- 11000 Lumen CREE XHP 70B Powerful LED Flashlight
Price: Check on Amazon
One of the most powerful flashlights currently available on the market is the ThruNite TN36- 11000-lumen CREE XHP 70B LED flashlight.
This light is of high quality and high performance, designed to produce a monumental beam of light. This helps you see what you are looking at even if it is a long distance away. The flashlight uses 3 CREE XHP70B LEDs and has four separate operational modes:
- Infinity Low- 96 lumens
- Infinity High- 8000 lumens
- Firefly mode
- Turbo Mode- 11000 lumens
This flashlight can produce up to 11,000 lumens in Turbo mode. It can cast a beam 386 yards. Since 11,000 lumens is much too bright for day to day activities around camp, the light also has the other three modes. This allows you to dial in the needed power.
The TN36 is about the size of a 12oz soda can. It measures 5.24 inches long with a head diameter of 2.52 inches and a tail cap diameter of 2.05 inches. It weighs 14.6 ounces. The light also has a built-in memory function, which allows it to remember the last mode the light was in before it was shut off.
It also has an intelligent temperature control which prevents the flashlight overheating during heavy use. Also present is a low voltage indicator light so that you know when the batteries are getting low. A two-year manufacturers warranty protects the flashlight from damage or defects.
The TN36 is a perfect light for use in emergencies, or as a robust backup light. With the lower level modes, the light functions well as a primary flashlight for camping and hiking. You also have the added advantage of having the high-level modes as a touch of a button.
This light is perfect for expedition leaders, guides, scout leaders, search and rescue personnel, rangers, or anyone who may need to locate something or someone out in the darkness.See on Amazon
#2- EdisonBright Fenix TK75 CREE LED USB Rechargeable Flashlight (5100 Lume, 929 Yard Beam)
Price: Check on Amazon
Next up on our list is the TK75 from EdisonBright / Fenix. This super powerful 5100 lumen light can throw a beam 929 yards. It has six different modes to allow you to dial in the amount of power you need. It is rechargeable, so it can always be topped off and ready to go. This light also uses a micro-USB to charge. This allows many more opportunities to keep the light charged. You could even use a portable power supply for camping.
It features Four CREE XHP35 HI LED’s that have a total lifespan of 50,000 hours. The flashlight uses four 18650 batteries but can also use 4 CR123A’s in emergencies. The body is constructed using high-strength and oxidation-resistant aluminum with a hard-anodized finish. It has an anti-reflective lens made from toughened ultra-clear glass. The flashlight is also IP68 rated (submersible up to 2 meters for 30 minutes).
Six different modes plus strobe and SOS
- Turbo-5100 lumens (2 hours 15 minutes)
- High II-2000 lumens (3 hours)
- High I-1000 lumens (6 hours)
- Medium-450 lumens (17 hours 45 minutes)
- Low-150 lumens (46 hours)
- Eco-50 lumens (95 hours)
- Strobe-5100 lumens (No time given)
- SOS-150 lumens (No time given)
The TK75 is a great all around flashlight for the outdoors. This light is versatile with six modes. The power distribution throughout the modes allows for a mode that suits most outdoor activities. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, this light is perfect for you.See on Amazon
#3- Streamlight 88060 Pro Tac HL 4 2,200 Lumen Professional Tactical Flashlight
Price: Check on Amazon
Streamlight’s new 88060 ProTac HL 4 Tactical Flashlight is their latest addition to the ProTac series of lights. The HL 4 offers powerful light in a small and lightweight body that is built to last. This light runs on two Streamlight 18650 Li-Ion batteries. It can also use four CR123A batteries as a backup.
The ProTac HL 4 comes ready to work. Some of the prominent features are:
- Built from 6000 series machined aircraft aluminum
- Anodized finish
- Glass lens with anti-reflective coating
- Gasket sealed
- Waterproof (IPX7 standard or 1-meter for 30 minutes)
- Tested to withstand an impact from one meter
- Rubber sleeve which provides thermal insulation
- Serial numbered, so you know which light is yours
Different from the other lights on the list so far, the ProTac HL 4 has a wide, “floodlight” style beam that will illuminate a large area. This style of beam makes this particular light better for things such as setting up tents in the dark or lighting up a work area when compared to the other lights on the list.
This light would be great for a flashlight to keep in your vehicle or as a general purpose, everyday use light. However, if you are looking for a flashlight that will reach over large areas, the wide beam would make this light not very useful for that kind of work. This flashlight is popular with law enforcement officers and security personnel. This is due to its ruggedness and powerful beam.See on Amazon
#4- ThorFire S70S LED Tactical Searchlight
Price: Check on Amazon
Last but not least is the ThorFire S70S LED Searchlight. The S70S is made from aircraft grade aluminum and has a CREE XHP70 LED. It is powered by 2×18650 or 2 button-top 26650 3.7V batteries. This combination produces a beam of 3960 Lumens (max). It also has a reach of 740 yards.
This flashlight has six modes to allow you to adjust the power to suit your needs.
- Low (65 lumens)
- Mid (320lumens)
- High (1800 lumens)
- Turbo (3960 lumens)
- Strobe (1800 lumens)
- Moonlight (1 lumen)
The modes on this flashlight genuinely make it a universal light. The low and mid modes are great for hiking, fishing, or work around camp. The high mode is excellent for when you need to reach out such as looking for someone or a trailhead. The Turbo kicks it into high gear and is great for emergency use such as search and rescue or lighting up a cave. The strobe is also suitable for emergency use and signaling.
The moonlight mode is only 1 lumen. This is perfect to find something in your tent at night or changing your lure while night fishing.
The ThorFire S70S is the perfect light for an outdoorsman that needs a universal, general purpose light to use for all of their outdoor activities. The flashlight has loads of power that can handle any large job you might encounter. It can also be restricted down to a single lumen for the smallest tasks. It is lightweight weighing approx 20.81 oz excluding the battery. The light is small measuring approx 9.6 inches long, 1.38-inch body diameter and 2.91-inch head diameter. It is also waterproof (IP68 standard) so it can be carried comfortably and will last through hard use in the outdoors.See on Amazon
How is the power of a flashlight rated?
With new LED technology lights are now measured in lumens. The old standard was wattage. However, due to the efficiency of LED bulbs, wattage is no longer an accurate way to measure a light’s output.
What is a lumen?
A lumen is a unit of measure in the International System of Units. It is defined as the total quantity of visible light emitted by a particular source. A lumen is “equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one candela intensity radiating equally in all directions.” You can read more about how a lumen is defined here.
Are these lights dangerous?
Flashlights this bright can cause damage to a person’s eyes. You should never look into the beam and avoid shining it directly into someone’s eyes. Children should not use these lights.
How many lumens do I need?
The amount of power needed depends on what you are doing. For hiking in the dark 60 to 100 lumens would be sufficient. If needing to light up a large area such as fields or open areas 400 to 1000 would be adequate. If searching for people or things in the outdoors you want a light with at least 1000 lumens. If you’re want to read more in depth about how many lumens you need for different tasks, here is an excellent write up by BestFlashlightReport.com.
Is multiple power source options important?
With most powerful lights on the market today being rechargeable there is a possibility that the flashlight could die when you need it most. Being able to carry a spare set of disposable batteries helps to ensure you have a working light when you need it.
If you needed the flashlight for a life or safety threatening incident, it would be best to have the multiple power source option.
Will such a powerful light burn skin or start a fire?
The LED technology is much different from the old filament bulb style that flashlights that were used manufactured flashlights in the past. That being said, the Hollywood depiction of a flashlight that burns so hot you can start a fire is severely overblown. While it is possible with the old lights, it takes a powerful light and specific, intentional conditions.
With LED, it would be virtually impossible with any conditions. The reason is that LED technology is much more energy efficient than bulbs, and therefore need much less power to provide high levels of output. The body of the flashlight dissipates most of the heat that is given off of an LED. If you are using a high-output flashlight for a long time, you will notice the flashlight body will begin to get warm. This heat is the metal of the body dissipating the heat from the LED.
There have been some reports of powerful LED lights melting plastic or damaging holsters. This occurred when they were accidentally left on in an enclosed space such as a pack or a vehicle glove box. However, most people don’t seem even to notice the temperature change of the flashlight body.