Top Flashlights for Every Use

top-flashlights

Illumination is so underappreciated. We’re used to the lights coming on at the flick of a switch. In fact, we’ve become so accustomed to being able to see everything in front of us at any given time that we often take it for granted. In truth, light is as important a tool as any, and out in the field or during mission critical scenarios it certainly isn’t to a foregone luxury. Even the terrible disasters such as the one we saw in Moore, Oklahoma just a few weeks ago, or with Hurricane Sandy in 2012 remind us that we need to be ready for the worst.

So cast away the silly perception that you’ll always have the luxury of light, and prepare yourself. We’ve assembled a list of the top flashlights for every use, function, and circumstance that will be ready when you need them. Whether it be everyday carry, mounted, utility, or specialty, get ready to see Brown Safe Research Lab’s Top Flashlights for Every Use. We hope you enjoy.

 

EVERYDAY CARRY FLASHLIGHTS:

The most popular category in the flashlight realm is that of everyday carry (EDC) flashlights. These lights are the right mixture of compact, durable, and versatile, as those who use them need a light that they can carry on them without effort, yet use in a wide variety of situations. Whether you work the night shift or are commonly seen under buildings or where light is limited, here are the top everyday carry flashlights.

Inova X1 – The best slim and sleek low profile light for the money.

When looking for the top flashlights on the market, you might want to start with the Inova X1. Tried and tested since 2003, the X1 makes for the ideal introductory light for those interested in getting their feet wet in the wide world of lumens and LEDs. Cast in either black or silver anodized aluminum with stainless steel bezel and machined flat facets, the X1 is reminiscent of a B-2 stealth bomber (without the price tag). Matter of fact, this flashlight is considered one of the most affordable everyday carry (EDC) flashlights out there.

At just four inches long, the X1’s size makes it the perfect companion for everyday use, and its revised flood beam makes it one of the top flashlights in regards to versatility. The X1 also utilizes the common AA battery, which cuts out the hassle of rechargeable (and sometimes pricey) alternatives.

If you’re truly looking for a top flashlight for everyday carry at a rock-bottom price, you can’t go wrong with the Inova X1. And it’ll keep your wallet (and wife) a bit happier too.

Price: $23.99 – $25.99

 

Fenix LD12 – The pocket-sized flashlight that can do it all.

Our next top flashlight for everyday carry use offers a bit more flexibility and a bit more output for a few more bucks; the Fenix LD12. Made from aircraft-grade aluminum and designed to withstand the wear-and-tear we often inflict on our pocket arsenal, this light would proudly sit somewhere next to your wallet, knife, multi-tool, and other essentials.

Much like the Inova X1, the LD12 is a simple light that is both versatile and rugged, but the reason it’s one of the top flashlights on the market is because it has been outfitted with a multitude of additional features that are normally reserved for higher price points. In addition to its four brightness levels with the most intense putting out a whopping 125 lumens, this top choice boasts strobe and SOS mode, which come in handy when you decided to go Tom Hanks and end up on a random island. Plus, the LD12 is a smart little bugger – outfitted with an integrated intelligent memory circuit which both regulates beam power (to allow for steady light output) and memorizes which light output you last used…. Well played Fenix.

Fenix (sometimes mistaken as Feniz) also produces a variety of handy attachments for the LD12, including a diffuser lens, diffuser tip, traffic wand, head mount, bicycle mount, and quite a few more cool accoutrements  to adapt to whichever situation you happen to be in. This allows the Fenix LD12 to be one of the top flashlights for everyday carry.

Price: $51.95

 

WHAT IS A LUMEN?

Lumen – noun - \ˈlü-mən\
A unit of luminous flux equal to the light emitted in a unit solid angle by a uniform point source of one candle intensity.

Lumens are the most common unit of measurement listed by manufactures to indicate the brightness of a flashlight. This is helpful when comparing different lights, but be aware that lumens only tell a portion of the story when gauging usable light. You’ll also want to decide on the size and shape of the beam best suited to your needs, in addition to characteristics like spill and throw.


 

Sunwayman V11R “révolution” – Big blinding power in an impressively small package.

So you want truly impressive? When was the last time you saw 3.3 inch light fire out 500 lumens of resplendent rage? The Sunwayman V11R is truly an engineering spectacle, and that’s why it is one of our top flashlights for everyday carry use. Whether it is the interchangeable battery compartments or the interchangeable tail-cap switches, the light just screams “Customize me! Love me!”

Utilizing broad-voltage circuitry, the V11R allows itself to accurately regulate power usage depending on which battery you’re using. This allows for maximum output at the maximum efficiency, to make sure your light burns brighter, longer. While it comes standard with a battery adapter for one 16340 or 14500 battery, utilizing the AA attachment allows you to use the most standard battery in production. Again, customizability is valued by Sunwayman, and that’s why the V11R is one of the top flashlights in the industry.

The Sunwayman V11R is basically the secret weapon in your pocket. It’s sleek, small, and adaptable to your needs. It’s humble, yet impressive, and the Cree XML LED the light utilizes is one of the top flashlight LEDs on the market. Furthermore, Sunwayman’s excellent history of quality customer service has always impressed us, and their willingness to work with customers is rare in such a crowded market such as EDC flashlights. If the V11R is Sunwayman’s vision for the future of handheld flashlights, then viva la révolution!

Price: $84.00

It’s also worth taking a look at acclaimed flashlight reviewer Selfbuilt’s in-depth review of the Sunwayman V11r, complete with comparison shots and graphs.

 

Surefire E2D “Defender” – The go-to tactical beast built to take (and give) a beating.

To say that the Surefire is built like a tank is an understatement.”
- Mike Prunty, the self-proclaimed “Backyard Pioneer” in his review of the E2D.

The E2D Defender is at the crux of tactical, utilitarian, durable, and fashionable, making it an easy choice for our list of top flashlights in the everyday carry category. With a crenelated strike bezel proudly protruding from the front, the Surefire E2D can be your best friend when you decided to walk through Gotham when the Batman’s not in town. Matter of fact, this beast is Batman’s flashlight of choice.

With a virtually indestructible LED emitter, your flashlight will continue to operate, even after you’ve clocked “the Joker” who tried to steal your wallet. And whilst the E2D is a bit larger than other everyday carry lights mentioned before, it’s still small relative to the flashlight world, and it still easily fits in the pocket of your favorite pair of jeans.

It’s an interesting concept; using a flashlight as a method of self-defense. But the truth is that we all need to protect ourselves, and Surefire is known for building some of the top flashlights when it comes to durability, reliability, and capability.

If you still don’t believe that this light is one of the top flashlights available, watch this video. It features Jim, a guy who happened to be in Haiti at the time of the 2010 earthquakes, crediting his Surefire E2D with saving his and other’s lives.

Price: $235.00

Beam Shots for Everyday Carry Flashlights:

 

MOUNTED FLASHLIGHTS:

For those who often work under the cover of darkness but can’t be stuck with their hands full holding flashlights, then other solutions need to be devised. So, whether in the field, on a mission, or just doing a bit of mountain biking or cave dwelling on the weekend, one tool you’ll always want to have by your side (or on your head) is a mounted flashlight. On your helmet, gear, or handlebars, a high-quality light can help illuminate your path, keep you out of danger, or simply maximize your experience. We’ve reviewed a few different mounted lights over the past couple months, and found these three to be the top flashlights for mounting in the industry.

Spark SD6-500CW – The mount to anything powerhouse.

Multiple modes. Durable construction. Great output. The Spark SD6-500CW is everything you need in a mounted flashlight, and that’s why we’ve picked it as one of the top flashlights for mounted use.

The Spark SD6-500CW has a variety of really interesting features. Firstly, it can be used as a headlamp with the included strap, or you can screw on the included magnetic base, and use it for a variety of applications. The handy mag base also allows the Spark to be one of the few lights that you can use in situations like in-field vehicle repair, when a free hand isn’t available to hold a light. That little addition alone makes this light one of the top flashlights we’ve seen in some time. It also comes with a tripod mount, so that you can attach it to anything that uses a standard tripod screw.

The SD6-500CW offers four default modes of brightness, and also has a “super” mode, which amps up the output to 500 lumens. And if you’re worried about your light getting hot, Spark has bulked up the casing of the SD6-500CW, creating a large heat sink, and, in turn, keeps your new light cool.

Keep in mind that the SD6-500CW doesn’t have a reflector, so the light has great flood and enables you to see a great amount of what’s in front of you. But, if you’re looking for more of a spotlight, Spark also offers a reflector attachment for just $9.99. The SD6-500CW’s an overall great, adaptable mounted flashlight to have in your arsenal, and that’s why it’s one of our top flashlight recommendations.

Price: $99.00 and up (with attachments)

It’s also worth taking a look at GoingGear’s video review of this great mounted flashlight, if you’d like a second opinion.

 

Surefire Minimus – The tried and true hands-free tactical light.

And in the blue corner, making its second appearance on this list, weighing in at just 3.3 ounces, the one, the only, Surefire!

When the Research Labs team here at Brown Safe decided to bury ourselves in research to become as familiar with the industry’s top flashlights, one of the few lights we had extensively battle-tested was the Surefire Minimus. Helping one of our crew members find his way back while dragging a deer through the forest was just one of the instances where the Minimus came through. And it’s because of its constant ability to perform that we chose the Surefire Minimus as one of our top flashlights.

Surefire has always been a top flashlight choice for tactical professionals, law enforcement officials, and a plethora of other professions and the Minimus continues that Surefire record of excellence. Whether it be the sleek, simple design or its “virtually indestructible LED emitter”, this is a stellar mounted flashlight to have.

The Surefire Minimus’ lowest mode is just a single lumen, but boasts the ability to stay alive for up to 50 hours – making this flashlight a solid choice for those operators who need to be prepared to finish the job no matter how long it takes.  When the task at hand calls for a bit more, the high mode on this bad boy clocks in at around 100 lumens. It also features an SOS strobe mode, which is a handy feature considering we’ve never expect to find ourselves in trouble, but prepare for it anyway. Surefire has even created a video that showcases the Minimus’ abilities as a top flashlight in low-light situations.

Price: $149.99

 

Nitefighter BT40 – Cool and clampable with major league light output.

One of the newest lights sure to please hardcore tacticians, the Nitefighter BT40 is a drool worthy light built to turn night into day. That is, if you can ever find a vendor that has it in stock. With four Cree XP-G (R5) LEDs and an output of 1600 lumens, the BT40 is one of the most powerful mounted flashlights we’ve ever seen, and that’s why it’s one of our top flashlights for attaching to whatever we can squeeze its mounting bracket around.

When we received the Nitefighter BT40, we realized very quickly what caliber of flashlight this was. Professional, durable packaging, foam inserts, and a damn good looking flashlight inside. The light itself is crafted from high-quality aluminum, giving it strength and durability while keeping the weight low. It also has a much more unique design than the SD6-500CW or the Minimus, much because its intended applications are a tad bit different.

While the Spark and Surefire are primarily used for being mounted on your noggin, the Nitefighter BT40’s primary purpose is to be mounted on a cylindrical bar approx. ½” in diameter, like your handlebars, in your tent, or other unique locations where a mounted flashlight could be handy. It can still be used as a headlamp, but we found its standalone battery pack makes it much more useful when not attached to your head.

Although the Nitefighter BT40 throws out 1600 lumens, don’t be so concerned about sucking up the juice from the battery. The BT40 boasts the ability to stay on its maximum output setting for up to 2.5 hours. The light is also designed to have great heat dissipation, so that you can keep a cool head in tense situations. Although Nitefighter is a newcomer to the flashlight scene, the BT40 impressed all of us at the Research Labs, and that’s why it’s one of the top flashlights on our list, and definitely one of the mounted flashlights we’ll continue to use in our coming adventures.

Price: $142.24

Mounted Flashlights Beam Shots:

 

UTILITY FLASHLIGHTS

Whether it’s in your closet, next to your bed, in your tool bag, or on your belt, these are the lights you always want to have around. We’re talking high-powered, capable, and utilitarian lights that are no-frills and ready for when you need them most.

Dereelight Nightmaster XR-E – High-powered handheld searchlight.

I think the only words that can be used to describe the Dereelight Nightmaster is “handheld spotlight”. The Nightmaster boasts an aspherical lens that focuses its beam upon a fine area. Jack Baxter of Airsoft International shows a video of the beam out to 120 meters, showcasing the power of the Nightmaster. It’s truly a “you have to try one” type of product.

But the features on the Nightmaster don’t end with the beam. The Dereelight Nightmaster also allows great versatility when it comes to its batteries. Out of the box, the Nightmaster accepts two CR123A batteries, but when attaching the battery tube extension, you’re able to put a total of four CR123A batteries. This allows you to both increase the life of your Nightmaster when it’s necessary and to make it smaller when it’s necessary.

The Dereelight Nightmaster can also come with the XSearcher head, which is easily swappable. The XSearcher head is considered one of the most powerfully concentrated beams on the market, making it a must-have for those who need a handheld spotlight.

Price: $99.00 and up (with attachments)

 

Malkoff Hound Dog – Best mid-size light to go the distance.

A small mom and pop shop out of Enterprise, Alabama, Malkoff has puts its name on the map as a premier custom flashlight manufacturer. Gene Malkoff, the owner, called me personally to talk about his line of flashlights. His passion for the art of illumination was apparent, and it was excited to get such a personal touch on such an impersonal product. Gene suggested that I review the Hound Dog, simply due to its sheer power, durability, and utility.

The great thing about the Malkoff Hound Dog is its simplicity. Clicky button in the back for either momentary or consistent on, and a rotating head to switch between high and low output. Simple. Another reason why you may want to consider Malkoff is how custom you can build your light. You can choose the head (such as the Hound Dog) and the body (pictured is the MD4). Malkoff also offers drop-in LEDs for your Maglite, Streamlite, or Surefire flashlight.

The Hound Dog features the famed Cree XM-L2 LED, spitting out up to 1,100 lumens. It is powered by four 123A batteries (if you go with the MD4 body). This light was designed for far reach (throw) to be able to hit targets far away, but its beam isn’t nearly as concentrated as that of the Dereelight Nightmaster, mentioned above.

Read more about the Malkoff vision by taking a look at this feature in American Cop Magazine. Gene describes how his ideas for flashlights were born from his own frustrations and struggles with what was on the market at the time.

Price: ~ $180.00

 

LED VS. Incandescent Bulbs

LED stands for Light-Emitting Diode and they produce light electronically by changing energy state. The light produced is white, typically last 100,000 hours, and produce less heat than incandescent bulbs.
Incandescent bulbs contain a filament wire that when heated produces light. The color of the light emitted has a yellow tint, average lifespans range from 10 to 30 hours at the highest output and jump to 50+ hours at lower settings, and incandescent bulbs produce much more heat than an LED.


 

AE Light AEX25 – The time-tested mega light.

If the AE Light AEX25 had to be categorized, it would easily be the tried and tested grandfather of this group of top flashlights. Utilizing an HID bulb and having been released back in 2007, the AEX25 has only grown wise with age. Considered one of the most powerful utility flashlights during its heyday, the AEX25 is still very powerful when compared to the best utility flashlights today. The maximum output on the AEX25 is 1,500 lumens. The only downfall is that the ‘ol guy has to take a few seconds to get up to maximum output. How fitting.

One of the more unique features that the AEX25 offers over some more modern utility flashlights is that’s it’s “explosion proof”. AE Light explains it best on their website: “Based on the results of the tests it has been concluded that the AEX25-EP meets the intent of the standard for satisfactory operation in an explosive environment and would not cause an ignition of an explosive atmosphere during normal operation.”

So there you have it. This top flashlight won’t be igniting your explosive stash. The AEX25 is also backed by the reputation of its creator, AE Light, who has for years has provided their gear to police departments, NASA, the military, and other quality-demanding professions, businesses, and organizations. If you want tried, tested, powerful, and explosion-proof, then the AE Light AEX25 is your top utility flashlight.

Price: $483.00

Utility Flashlights Beam Shots:

 

SPECIALTY FLASHLIGHTS:

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently”
-
Apple Computer Corporation, 1997

Our last category of top flashlights is specialty flashlights; those lights with features or details that truly surprise, astonish, or impress. From lasers to works of art, these specialty flashlights are created in the name of innovation and pushing the limits, and truly amazed us in the Research Labs.

Wicked Laser Arctic with Phosforce Attachment – Turn your Lightsaber into a flashlight.

When you consider the world of flashlights, rarely do you consider it to be the realm of innovation and uncharted territory. But Wicked Laser has turned that preconception on its head with the Phosforce attachment on their Artic model, forcing itself on our list of top flashlights for specialty uses.

It converts a blinding 1.0/1.4 MW laser diode into 500 lumens of neutral, harmless light. How much more specialized does it get? The Wicked Laser phosforce attachment uses the same technology used on BMW and Mercedes headlights, making that much more of a conversation piece.

Wicked Laser truly pushes the limits and attempts to innovate in a realm once considered founded and finished, and for that, they deserve recognition. When moving from bulbs to LEDs, much resistance was put up, but LEDs have flourished and prospered with continual innovation. Could laser-power be the next move with flashlights?

Price: $299.99 – $399.00 for the Arctic laser, and $79.99 for the Phosforce attachment.

 

Wicked Laser Torch – Nearly too hot to handle…and that’s a good thing

”…if you want or need an extremely bright lantern/flashlight/handheld spotlight, there are none brighter than the Wicked Lasers Torch…”
-
Dave Rees of the Gadgeteer

Wicked Laser is known for having some interesting products, and the only one that could top their Phosforce attachment would be their Torch flashlight. Wicked Laser’s approach with the Torch is apparent: invent an angry flashlight. And angry the Torch is. Utilizing a focused lens, bulb, and reflector, the Torch’s intense beam is powerful enough to burn paper (or your old pager), and that’s why it’s one of our top specialized flashlights.

Clocking in at 4100 lumens, the Torch is as specialized of a flashlight as it gets. Sadly you can only run it for about five minutes before risking nuclear meltdown (of either your hand or the battery), but those five minutes will be the brightest of your life.

Wicked Laser is very prone to making wacky, out of the blue products, and the Torch is no exception. Everything down to the battery pack is custom (and expensive). If you’re truly looking for that “you guys gotta see this” toy, the Wicked Laser Torch will be that toy. Just be careful not to literally burn your own face.

Price: $199.95

 

Orbita Lighthouse – The stylish multi-function flashlight.

At Brown Safe, Orbita has become a household name. For nearly a decade now, we’ve utilized the industry-leading Orbita watchwinders in our custom safes, and have been impressed by the level of dedication and quality. Now, Orbita has announced a venture into a new industry: flashlights.

Orbita has now released three different models: the Slimline, the Goldlight, and the Lighthouse. Today, we’re taking a look at the Lighthouse: a unique luxury flashlight that maintains a very bold presence. The Orbita features six different modes, including one where you can activate all eight of the side LEDs, creating a candle-like presence, which is perfect for reading or maintaining low light output for a longer amount of time.

But more appealing than its modes is the Lighthouse’s style. Orbita provides the light in five different styles, including stainless steel, carbon fiber, and three different exotic hardwoods, allowing the Lighthouse to conform to your style. It’s the ideal luxury flashlight to have on your nightstand.

Though a newcomer in the world of flashlights, Orbita has quickly made an impact, telling us that their flashlights are selling wonderfully. In our experience with the Orbita Lighthouse, we’ve seen function meeting form to create a beautiful flashlight with a wide variety of applications.

Price: $155.00 – $295.00

 

Prometheus Alpha – Highly refined light for those who appreciate craftsmanship and quality.

When considering flashlights, very few of them strike one as artistic, but the Prometheus Alpha is the exception, not the rule. Handcrafted and made with artisan precision, the Alpha is one of the finest looking flashlights we’ve ever seen, and that’s why it’s on our list of top flashlights for specialized use.

When we first stumbled upon Prometheus Lights and their owner, Jason, we were stunned at how responsive and kind he was to our requests and questions. In spite of having to fill thousands of new orders from his recent Kickstarter project, Jason promptly sent us a Prometheus Alpha Ready-made (apprentice package) for review, and we were stunned when we received it.

Jason goes the extra mile with his flashlights. Packaged as if it came from a jewelry store, the flashlight comes in a custom cardboard tube, and the accessories come in a small, drawstring bag. Unveiling the Alpha makes you want to cleanse yourself with holy water beforehand. Once you finally get to using the Prometheus Alpha, the feeling is still there. With one of the most powerful outputs we’ve ever seen, the Alpha makes the ideal, all-around flashlight. It’s not too big as to not carry with you, it’s much brighter than almost any flashlight in its size, and its style makes you feel like Sean Connery. Actually, putting the Alpha next to a Walther might be insulting to the flashlight.

If you truly want the crux of bright, stylish, durable, and amazing, support a local, small-time American manufacturer and get the Prometheus Alpha. You won’t be disappointed.

Price: $225.00 – $299.00

Specialty Flashlights Beam Shots: 

 

Have you found which one works for you yet? Do you know which light you want for your car? Your home? Perhaps your emergency survival kit? Being prepared is always key, and that’s why we’ve provided a variety of the top flashlights in a variety of different price ranges to fit your needs, budget, and style. Hopefully, as we become more and more aware of how valuable it is to have light, the more prone we’ll be to preparing for when it’s not even there.

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103 Responses to Top Flashlights for Every Use

  1. Pingback: Massive Flashlight Review - Input Needed

  2. Norberto malcotti
    June 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    The flashlight I like the most is the Orbita Lighthouse, mainly go for the looks, it is just spectacular

  3. Pima Pant
    June 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Favorite flashlight is the Quark Mini 123. I wear one around my neck using the original lanyard. It has low, medium and high plus hidden strobe and signaling modes. My second favorite is my Maratac Copper AAA. It’s always in my shirt pocket.

  4. Derek Hanesworth
    June 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I like the Surefire E2D “Defender” for its utility and reputation.

  5. Darlinda Hanesworth
    June 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I like the Surefire Minimus for hands free reliability.

  6. tetsujin79
    June 18, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Surefire Minimus, can’t beat hands free to do what needs to be seen to do.

  7. JJ Knisley
    June 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Love my Fenix LD12, if there’s a better EDC flashlight for me, I haven’t found it!

  8. Anonymous
    June 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I’m still rocking my E1L Outdoorsman, so I have to say that it’s my favorite.

  9. Minnow
    June 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I’m still rocking my E1L Outdoorsman, so I have to say that it’s my favorite.

  10. Fishersjohn48
    June 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    M favorite light is the Surefire LX2 Lumamax.

  11. CB19
    June 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    My favorite EDC light is quickly becomming my new Olight O’pen (4Sevens Preon Penlight)… what’s not to like about a 180 lumen light that is the size of an ink-pen??

  12. lovemachine
    June 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I enjoyed the article. I carry the Surefire LX2 Lumamax, but will have to check out the Defender now.

  13. Sean
    June 18, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Dereelight Nightmaster XR-E in my opinion is the way to go. Nice sturdy host with plenty of throw, cant go wrong with that! Love a light that has plenty of throw, not that its needed all the time but when it is, you’ll be glad you have it.

  14. Rick Hamm
    June 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Love the looks of these lights, just have a Surefire now.

  15. Rutha73
    June 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I bought a Urefire G2 about 10 years ago and has served me well, I would have to say it is my favorite that I have.

  16. Todd Florman
    June 18, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I like the Surefire E2D. The crenelations make it a handy thing to have if you are accosted on the way to your car in a dark parking lot.

  17. John Paul Rea
    June 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I like the Fenix LD12.

    Does everything i need and fits in my pocket easily.

  18. Lruss
    June 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    i have a surefire E2D. i am very happy with the beam it makes.
    is a very good bright footprint and also good at distance.
    i like it a lot.

  19. andrew
    June 18, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    got to love some high quality flashlights!!

  20. JokerGirl
    June 19, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Surefire E2D all the way

  21. John
    June 19, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I like the Fenix for the compact size and the power saving settings. I don’t always need a laser to see what I’m doing.

  22. BShan
    June 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Gotta say, always liked the plated look of the prometheus Alpha. It’s a toss up, though, between the fenix and the DS Prometheus Alpha. The Sunwayman with different body tubes is a winner too. Big fan of 18650, less so of CR123a.

  23. Nicholas Brooks
    June 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    My favorite is the sunwayman v11r.

  24. Bill Mall
    June 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I like Surefire products, but am looking at the others you mentioned. The Minimis looks the right size for an everyday light.

  25. RJ
    June 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I like the Inova X1. Inexpensive yet still good quality…

  26. Jason
    June 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I’m a fenix ld12 fan as well, it’s hard to beat it for an edc light and it’s at a price where i don’t mind bonking it around.

  27. berto
    June 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I carry a fenix e05. The inova looks similar. Nice write up.

  28. Sam Sanders
    June 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I like the Sunwayman V11R due to its small size, solid feel, and brightness for its size.

  29. trusty
    June 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Fenix LD41

  30. Neal
    June 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    E2D for me edc needs.

  31. Joseph
    June 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I really love the TK75!!! What a great light!!
    Oh, and go LPF! Thanks for the giveaway!

  32. stilly
    June 20, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    That is nice to see a Wicked Laser Torch here. Those guys have a flashlight that can cook an egg if I recall correctly. Good loadout and nice reviews. Some of these are pricey but I am sure they perform.

  33. WASR10
    June 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    My favorite light is my EDC, a Fenix PD22. I prefer the rear push button toggle, the strong construction, the pocket clip option, and I like the short compact size.

  34. Gustavo Sanchez
    June 20, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    I like E2D for it’s ruggedness, quality material and straight and bright straight beam.

  35. Marc
    June 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    The flashlight that really tickle my fancy have to be HID’s. I will have to go with the Fire Foxes 4.

  36. cabinetguy
    June 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I like the fenix ld20 as a everyday carry light

  37. Jeff Wherry
    June 21, 2013 at 10:33 am

    My current favorite torch is the Fenix TK 15, although I’ve really been impressed with the Lighthound 300 Lumen LED drop ins for my Surefire G2 Nitrolon. Only issue with those is that the nitrolon isn’t a good heatsink, so the LED tends to heat up rapidly. It’s definitely not a long use light.

  38. Lucas
    June 21, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    I like the Orbital Lighthouse, aesthetically and functionally.

  39. the_t0ny
    June 24, 2013 at 8:50 am

    I love my surefire e2d led. I use it as my edc light as well as carrying on me when I go running at night/dusk. I use it with the rechargeable batteries surefire sells too to cut down on battery costs.

  40. Caleb Drake
    June 24, 2013 at 9:39 am

    I like my Felix tk30, long light and pretty bright. Has a good throw as well!

  41. Andrew Porter
    June 24, 2013 at 9:50 am

    I like the Fenix ld12. Great size, and i think 125 lumens is just right for me.

  42. Dire Wolf
    June 24, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I have been carrying a Fenix PD20 for a few years now….many have tried to steal it from me and my comment is always “get your own, they are well worth the $$$” I even recently had an officer at Heath Row comment on it as he was searching my carry on….he also had a Fenix light on his belt. We both agreed that these lights were awesome (my wife rolled her eyes). Mine has never let me down.

  43. Deqlyn
    June 24, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I need to pick up one of these flashlights soon, heard great things from the beretta forum. Particular need one for hunting Raccoons at night! Great Article.

  44. Donuil Celt
    June 24, 2013 at 10:17 am

    My favorite is the Orbita Lighthouse. What can I say I am a sucker for style. The lighthouse has a unique look to it, I like the carbon fiber version. It also has a very cool unique function. Being able to activate the side LEDs for a low level area light. A great looking EDC with exceptional functionality to boot.

  45. matt
    June 24, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Nice roundup! I’ve had great experiences with Sunwayman and Fenix!

  46. Robert
    June 24, 2013 at 11:24 am

    My EDC and favorite is the stainless Fenix LD-01, because it provides the light I need, and it has never let me down. I’m not thrilled with the UI, but it gets the job done. I refuse to purchase a flashlight that can’t take a beating; it exists to take care of me, and not the other way around. This LD-01 has been through plenty of use and abuse, and works like the day I got it.

  47. Mike Farwell
    June 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

    The Sunwayman V11R looks like a lot of light for the size. Definitely considering getting that one.

  48. CarpentryHero
    June 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Prometheus Alpha, looks really well made. The thing I like most about it is its made to your order like a custom light as reasonable price :)

  49. DJ
    June 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    My favorite light is my Surefire E2D Defender. Powerful and elegant at the same time.

  50. Chris
    June 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I love the sure fire, then again. I like anything by sure fire

  51. holepuncher
    June 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Very informative article, definitions, examples and images of lighted areas for the various models. Thanks!

  52. JD
    June 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks for the reviews, I haven’t purchased a quality tactical light yet and this was very informative.

  53. ImA4Wheelr
    June 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Great reviews. Love those Fenix and Surefire lights.

  54. sapien
    June 24, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Very nice. I started with a SF 6P and then a E2D, now my EDC is a ET D25C and my weapon light is a SL TLR-1 HL. Looking forward to getting a Fenex. Thanks.

  55. Gary Olson
    June 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Although you may have a great product line, the descriptions use an overly liberal surplus of advertising mania. “… the realm of innovation and uncharted territory…” is a prime example of continuous mind numbing advertorial blather. Not interested.

    • Davee
      June 25, 2013 at 9:13 am

      Has the tech that WL uses in their Phosforce ever been done before? If not, their description isn’t that far off. Perhaps sensationalist, but not “advertorial blather”.

  56. 24th id
    June 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    On the Fenix LD12 the “integrated intelligent memory circuit which both regulates beam power (to allow for steady light output) and memorizes which light output you last used” is a great feature. It beats wasting time toggling through intensity settings every time you turn on the light.

  57. outwardhound
    June 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Been a surefire fan for awhile, but looking at all the options out there nowadays think I’ll try some others – these recommendations will be useful.

  58. jmd_00725
    June 24, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Nice article. Thanks for the review and info!

  59. jdeere9750
    June 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks for the review. I always felt I wanted a E2D, but recently I’m thinking the Sunwayman V11R offers a lot of options for a much lower price.

  60. Wee
    June 24, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Nice article. Very well formulated and organised..

  61. brad
    June 24, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    The LD12 is a fine light.

  62. AdioSS
    June 25, 2013 at 3:55 am

    I’ve worked night shift jobs for years & definitely appreciate a nice torch. I’ve been carrying a cheap Maglite XL-50. Not the brightest, toughest, or longest lasting, but it’s been a good one for me. Some of these are very cool!

  63. Faez67
    June 25, 2013 at 6:47 am

    my EDC has been a Streamlight Mircostream, i like the small size, tail button, and pocket clip..

  64. lazerscort
    June 25, 2013 at 7:18 am

    thanks for the great article about the different options out there and showing how well they illuminate

  65. Scarecrow
    June 25, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I have always been a Surefire fan, but after this article I think I have “seen the light” and may pursue other options. Thanks.

  66. BrightKen
    June 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Just started in the flashlight addiction. My first light is the Fenix TK11 because for the quality for the price.

  67. Figuy
    June 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Inova is a great company for solid products at a fair price.

  68. RandyM
    June 25, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Great article – I love my Fenix E15, and the LD12 Looks great!

  69. nautilus
    June 25, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Big surefire man myself…

  70. Rutger
    June 25, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Hey –

    I have the Fenix LD20, a great light and runs incredibly long on a coupla AAs. I may have to add its little brother to my illumination toolbox.

    R

  71. anon
    June 25, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Own the Inova X1 and like it being what it is…

    Writing this for the lottery thing…

    Thanks.

  72. Steve
    June 25, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    I own the tk-12 and e-15 and both are great flashlights. The tk-12 has been my favorite and use it when I need to preflight my airplane at night. It’s key to be able to see every area and the more light the better. This fits the bill perfectly. I have my e-15 on my key ring and it also gets used frequently.

  73. Michael Wiesenburger
    June 25, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Like ‘em all.

  74. victor l
    June 26, 2013 at 12:08 am

    I like the surefire e2d its awesom.

  75. tatasal
    June 26, 2013 at 3:46 am

    I edc a Fenix LD12 in its accompanying holster. It is surprisingly a far thrower and bright. The best part is its last mode memory. Never missed a beat.

  76. wyntastr
    June 26, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I wish more review sites were this informative and well written. Can’t stand having cheesy crap flashlights around the house when I need one. I’ll be looking into a future purchase along these lines. Thanks.

    • Boomer66
      June 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      I had no idea of the range of lights available. I carry a PD20 Fenix and it has served me well. Great article. That I would have the money to buy all!

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  78. PCC
    June 26, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I bought the Spark SD6-500CW due to its versatility and the ability to take an add-on reflector which I’ve also purchased. It’s a really well made light that gives you many options as far as output and usage goes. It’s not my most used light, but, it does a lot of usage from me.

  79. Thoai
    June 27, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I’ve been carrying a Fenix PD20 for a handful of years now and it’s a great EDC. I’ve become a big fan of Fenix products after putting this one through it’s paces.

  80. ashby koss
    June 27, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I personally really like the Gerber Firecracker, but I find it very limited. I need to find something better. It is truly hard to beat a toolbox maglight though.

  81. Semperpie
    June 27, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Surefire Defender!! I carried one in the desert. It is bet your life on it tough.

  82. MtnDoc8404
    June 28, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I have the Fenix LD12 for my EDC since they were introduced and I love it. It works great and the separated button for the power settings is great and it returns to the last setting when turned off! It is the perfect size for EDC and is certainly robust enough, I know it have put it through the paces. I would get another in a heartbeat if I ever need another.

  83. julio cesar
    June 28, 2013 at 8:58 am

    great comparisons. I carry the streamlight microstream more times than not when im back home though it always gets packed when I hit the road/ fly somewhere.
    Small, effective and wont break the bank if I lose it.

  84. JROCK1
    June 30, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    This article has been very helpful. I have now picked out my next two purchases based on this article.
    Thanks,
    JROCK1

  85. Black Cloud
    July 1, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    After all these years, my go-to light is still my trusty old SureFire 6P. Always there when I need her, and still plenty bright. Though it may be time to look at something in the LED department…

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  89. Best Flashlight
    August 31, 2013 at 5:11 am

    My favorite flashlight is the Fenix PD35 I would consider it the best flashlight. However, the Wicked Laser here is pretty good too. thanks

  90. Myp2p Rugby
    September 7, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Great site. A lot of useful info here. I’m sending it to a few buddies ans additionally sharing in
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  92. LazerBrite
    December 24, 2013 at 11:05 am

    These flashlights are all great, but you may be overlooking one of the best and most versatile flashlights available on the market: the LazerBrite tactical flashlight: http://www.lazerbrite.com

    Not only is it made in the USA, but it is both lightweight and durable, as well as completely waterproof, and it is very affordable as well.

  93. Flashlight Man
    December 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Holy Cow!
    Thanks for the motherload of information hah!

    But some really crazy stuff, I never really knew about all the types of bulbs and different uses and styles of flashlights.

    Thanks again!

  94. researching flashlights
    January 24, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Awesome review – love the example photographs you provide!

  95. Brian
    February 20, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    This is a really good overview of the torches. A little out of my price range on a few of them, but hey I can dream. For me the Sunwayman and Fenix LD12 are probably the most practical for what I need.

  96. Garrett
    February 21, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    This is a great rundown of some very great lights. You mentioned that some lights had the added benefit of being powered with AA batteries, this is both a positive and a negative to some. I have some more reviews and my picks for the top AA flashlights here.

  97. matt
    March 19, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    That Nightmaster is an absolute beast!

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    April 5, 2014 at 1:26 am

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