Best Flashlight

Time to re-tool. Hope to save some time on research…best flashlight anyone?


I own three of these. Small, light, bright and rechargeable.

There are many out there. Rather than a make model, what to look for.

  • LED - I think that CREE XM-L is current top of the heap (won’t be for long due to rapid evolution)
  • Lithium Ion batteries - 18650 (get two (protected) with a charger and rotate daily)
  • Recommend separate button/control for mode (H/M/L/Stobe/SOS) rather than one dual function button
  • Anti-roll bezel

Lots of brands out there from very expensive to mid expensive, even direct from Hong Kong for ultra cheap (free shipping but long wait)

I use a Fenix TK series for most times at work but have several direct from China and quality is remarkable for the cost difference.

Where do you order those from?

Fenix is my favorite brand. Many to choose from here

There are other webtailers for cheap lights shipped free from overseas too.

Looks like the CREE XM-L2 is current top of the LED emitter heap.

Thanks Chuck. I’m going to order a backup light and check it out.

Are Lumens the measure of power to LED as candle power is to the halogen type??

I agree wholeheartedly. Best flashlight I have ever used. Quick recharge and if by chance you let it go completely dead and don’t have time to recharge, you can put 2 CR123 batteries in and keep on going.

Has a high, low, high slow strobe, high fast strobe and high SOS strobe.

Fenix takes first prize. Big Streamlight fan though- lifetime warranty ha never been questioned- sent back 2 different streamlights over the years in law enforcement and got new lights. Keep a Streamlight Stylus Pro in pocket at all times- don’t even know its there.

Fenix has it though. I used mine (forget model off top of my head) all throughout Manhattan blackout/Sandy. Low setting will stay lit literally hundreds of hours on a set of batteries. Kept it on 3 days non-stop underground at work.

Lights that use CR123 batts are great to have in the bag for that oh s–t when you left other lights on charger cause the battery shelf life is awesome. They will be there for you in a backup situation. But I steer clear of them for inspections cause batteries can be a bit pricey, even in bulk. They are good for tactical lights.

Do an eBay search for “Cree led flashlight” and you will find hundreds. I have been using these types from china for 5-6 years now. The only reason I purchase new ones is to upgrade the lumens. The quality is good for the price, especially considering you can but four of them for the price of most U.S. versions.

Explains it much better than I can.

Lumen ratings on lights seem to be somewhat flexible. Other key factors are beam patterns (e.g., doughnut holes), throw and spill.

Look to online reviews (surprisingly there are whole online communities devoted to flashlight technology) and Youtube reviews for subjective info on beam characteristics. The ideal light for a crawlspace or photographing something in the far end of an attic is very different than the ideal light to supplement in the visible light camera on my infrared imager when doing a flat roof inspection at night.

Most, if not all, of the 18650 powered lights will accept a pair of CR123 batteries. As you mention they make great backups and I keep several in my truck at all times.

Thanks Chuck.

Here’s what I use… 3500 lumens!!!

Awesome! Does it come with cables so you can jump start your truck from it?

I haven’t needed a new flashlight in eight years. The last time I bought one, I also came to the message board for recommendations because I was tired of buying a flashlight every three months. Someone recommended going to a place like Big 5 Sports or Sports Authority and buying a rugged outdoor flashlight like mountain climbers and hikers use. That’s what I did, and it’s lasted 8 years at this point. Bright, quick charging, and rugged. It’s been dropped/knocked out of many an attic and been in puddles of water many times. Like the Energizer Bunny, it keeps going and going and going.

Russel, can you get me a link or a model number? I’ll get members a discount on them, even if I have to buy a few hundred. Thanks.

If you want to know anything about a flashlight, batteries and chargers go to
I have multiple lights