The AA and AAA are some of the most commonplace battery varieties known to almost everyone. If at all you have ever used dry cells in any electronic devices, there are high chances that you have used one or both of the two.
It is worth noting that there are plenty of other batteries out there, one of them being the 18650 battery. The 18650 battery is a lithium ion kind, mainly commended for its recharge ability as well as the fact that it offers plenty of flashlight-operating power. The 18650 flashlight give the advantage of offering you the ability to recharge your lighting accessory.
But does it mean that you should just walk into any flashlight store and pick any 18650 flashlights you come across? This article is meant to enable you to pick only best 18650 flashlights within your range.
- 1 Benefits of Using an 18650 Flashlight
- 2 Top 5 Best 18650 Flashlights on the Market
- 3 18650 Flashlights: Things to keep in mind while buying the best
- 4 Conclude
Benefits of Using an 18650 Flashlight
With all these battery types out there, why would someone encourage you to consider the 18650 flashlights? It is because of the unique high properties and features their batteries have. These include:
Recharge-ability: The 18650 battery, rather than a single use product, is a Li-Ion rechargeable battery. This allows you to easily charge them while you are on the move. As a result, your risks of being in a desperate situation have highly been reduced.
Power: The 18650 batteries are about 3 to 4 times as powerful as the AA batteries. The resultant is a three times amount of watt-hour production, for the same capacity offered by the AA.
Versatility: The 18650 batteries are of the same lengths as 2 x CR123A batteries. This makes it easily to interchange between the two battery types.
Portability: The 18650 series are characterized by an impressive size to capacity ratio, as well as high capacity and high discharge rates thus their superiority to similar sized batteries.
Top 5 Best 18650 Flashlights on the Market
1. Thrunite TN12
For a reliable, compact, single-handed operation, everyday-carry flashlight, the Thrunite TN12 is your destination. This product features an improved UI, hence more lumens are allowed. With a Cree XM-L2 LED having a 50,000 hours lifespan, the model uses not only the single 18650 battery operation but can also use the CR123A batteries. To enhance user comfort, the TN12 comes with both the side switch as well as a tail switch used to switch between models.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
- More lumen production means brighter light production
- Extended life when on firefly and low mode
- Comes with multiple modes thus allowing for versatility
- It’s pretty easy to switch between its different modes
- Comes with a highly durable design that features an aircraft-grade aluminum material
- A perfect beam of light, credits to the anti-reflective glass coatings together with the smooth reflector factored in the design.
- It lacks the tactical modes
2. Fenix PD35 TAC 1000
This is what those looking for ultra-bright flashlights that are durable and come with long-lasting bulbs should go for. The Fenix PD35 is a very portable as well as super-powerful flashlight coming with five different brightness levels as well as a strobe mode. Level 4&5 are so bright that they really throw the beams to very long, long distances. Most of those who have owned this flashlight along others from different companies have come to the conclusion that it is the best police flashlight on the market.
Our Rating: (4.6 / 5)
- Easy to use flashlight
- Accompanied with two batteries in the package
- Ultra-bright flashlight featuring 1000 lumen output
- Multiple modes to choose from
- Features a rugged design that ensures the flashlight is a super-durable one
- Ergonomic design with anti-slip grip
- Reverse polarity mode as well as advanced electronics thus respectively preventing improper installation of battery and enhancing and exceptionally extended battery life (eco or low mode)
- The product can become really hot after lengthy use
3. PowerTac X3000
This is the real “King of Flood.” The product has been engineered with three CREE XM-L U2 LEDs that result in the production of 3000 lumens. Did I mention 3000 lumens? Yes! And in addition, a 400-yard beam distance is ultimately also produced. Illumination levels range between 1 and 3000 lumens and the flashlight comes with six easy to control modes, the strobe mode inclusive.
Our Rating: (4.9 / 5)
- Its size is probably the most portable size you will come across on the market
- It is an ideal flashlight for those looking for the brightest compact search lights
- This product is a multi-mode flashlight that comes with six different output modes for you to choose form
- It is an easy-to-use flashlight comes with a control ring for switching between the modes
- It is durable enough to serve you your lifetime as its LEDs have a lifespan of more than 20 years of run time
- It is a bit too expensive
4. SoonfireCree XM-L2 U3 Rechargeable Flashlight
This Soonfire flashlight is the smallest and lightest, hence most portable USB 18650 flashlights. The compact flashlight is capable of delivering 6 different output modes, with the mode strengthening with fast and simplified operations. It produces a maximum beam distance of 232 meters and a maximum luminous flux of 13500cd. This makes it one of the best 18650 flashlights on the market.
Our Rating: (4.1 / 5)
- This product comes with a water resistant feature, a hard-anodized finish and a rugged shock-proof, anti-abrasive construction that ensures durability of the flashlight
- It features a monitor working temperature control system, a precise temp control feature, brightness adjustment and a friendly battery indicator for versatility and awareness.
- It produces a maximum 1000 lumen output which is a very bright beam that’s sufficient enough for most of the uses
- There is no other 18650 flashlight that is as portable as thisSoonfire flashlight both in terms of compact size as well as in terms of weight
- It is very reliable. This can be credited to the fact that it can directly be recharged by USB cables, car adapter or USB-to-wall.
- In case you have concerns you need to be addressed by the manufacturer, it is virtually almost impossible to reach them
- It is also the best within it price range but you only get what you pay for
5. Nitecore MT26
This is another very decent quality 18650 flashlight that is offered to the market at an incredibly great market price. Its main selling feature is its high mode that makes the flashlight to operate at 100%. The Nitecore MT26 also comes with four customizable modes, all of which are accessed by a simple twist of the flashlight’s head. When running under lower light intensity levels, the MT26 flashlight runs relatively longer as compared to other budget flashlights.
Our Rating: (4.2 / 5)
- Comes with four brightness modes with Strobe and SOS inclusive
- Features 800 lumens maximum output
- A premium LED (CREE XM-L U2) system
- Comes with a durable aero-grade aluminum alloy that necessitates for light durability
- Its anti-roll design is important in the prevention of most accidental falls
- The package contains a number of accessories such as a spare O-ring, a spare plastic cap, a tactical ring, an anti-rolling clip and a lanyard
- May not hold the 800 lumens high brightness for long and may randomly start changing modes after some time.
18650 Flashlights: Things to keep in mind while buying the best
18650 batteries are powerful, rechargeable, reliable and long lasting hence the reason why most survival and tactical flashlights use them. But how do you choose the right 18650 flashlights? Below are some of the factors to consider:
A good number of flashlights do list the run time. A flashlight’s runtime refers to the duration the flashlight takes before dropping to 10% of its output rating. Each light mode will have its own rating with the brightest mode consuming more power. You really want to consider the longest possible run time of a flashlight.
There are typically three main flashlight beams namely: the spot, the flood and ultimately the adjustable. Flood beams are only ideal for simple tasks as they only feature a single beam width. The spotlights feature a single condensed beam thus enabling it to travel long distances.
Adjustable beams enable you to adjust between the flood and spot beams. Ideally, the last two are the best, though if you are just looking for a flashlight to use for camping or walking, the floodlight will suffice.
This is a term used to refer to the measure of light output, referring to the light intensity on the flashlight’s highest brightness setting when the batteries are new. Lumens range between 20 and 3500. The least is just enough for one to read a book, while the 3500 lumens being enough to make you blind. Choose according to your needs. If you want to confuse intruders, probably you need the 3000 lumens and above.
This refers to the distance the light beam can go before the brightness diminishes. The beam distance varies depending on the mode of brightness. Try to ensure that at least one of the mode settings produces a Meters throw that suffices your needs.
Let it be a durable rugged construction featuring some of the durable, quality construction materials.
If you intent to own a flashlight for outdoor use, it is prudent that the accessory comes with the water resistance features. Some models will allow for temporary 30-minute water resistance whereas other allows for complete 4-hour submersion. Which one do you need?
There are numerous flashlight bulbs out there with the most common being the incandescent bulbs and the LEDs. The latter have a longer lifespan than the former hence should be preferred.
There are so many models and brands of 18650 flashlights, something that makes it a bit challenging for one to choose the best. Your choice will be governed mainly by your needs, how much you are willing to spend and product durability. On our list, PowerTac X3000 is the best 18650 flashlight. This is because other than the downside of being a bit too expensive, the flashlight comes with everything that can be sought for in a flashlight. These include the durability, maximum possible light intensity and the portability feature. In overall, no sense of buying what you won’t use. Therefore, do proper research, and choose wisely.