Best 18650 Flashlight 2018 Review

Whether you’re working at home or in the garage, or maybe anywhere else, you’re going to need a good and a reliable light to help you do the job right. Therefore, the primary reason you are even reading this review is to choose the best 18650 light to aid your daily chores.

There are many types of flashlight and the ones that use 18650 batteries are among them. The advantage of utilizing them are that they last longer and have more power output. Check out the famous AA and EDC flashlight as well.

Hence, check out this flashlight review to choose the top rated 18650 flashlight.

Top 7 18650 Flashlight Comparison Table

Name of productWeightSettingsOutputBatteriesPricelink
ThruNite® TN12 EDC LED Flashlight: #1 Best Value Max Output 1050 ANSI Lumen with Cree XM-L2 U2 LED 5 Versatile Modes Waterproof to IPX-8 (TN12 2016 CW+MCC-2+2X3400)2.9 oz.610501$$$https://www.amazon.com/ThruNite-TN12-EDC-LED-Flashlight/dp/B00XMP3POS
Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Lumen CREE XP-L LED Tactical Flashlight with Two EdisonBright CR123A Lithium Batteries4 oz.610001$$https://www.amazon.com/Tactical-Flashlight-EdisonBright-Lithium-Batteries/dp/B00DR9GWX0
SKYRAY 2017 Tactical 7xCREE XM-L T6 LED Flashlight Torch 4*18650 Light 70W Lamp3.2 oz.210004$https://www.amazon.com/SKYRAY-Tactical-7xCREE-Flashlight-Torch/dp/B00J3GRH9Y
ThruNite TN32 UT/TN42/TN42C Thrower Flashlight2.3 oz.711503$$$https://www.amazon.com/ThruNite-TN32-TN42C-Thrower-Flashlight/dp/B00K4X0G02/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
Rechargeable Flashlight:Cree XM-L2 U3 LED 1000 Lumen Waterproof USB Rechargeable Flashlight,3400mAh 18650 Batteries,charging cable and Holster-Soonfire NS173.17 oz.610001$$$https://www.amazon.com/Rechargeable-Flashlight-Waterproof-Batteries-Holster-Soonfire/dp/B01CJJYZ78
Anker Bolder LC40 LED Flashlight, Pocket-Sized LED Torch, Super Bright 400 Lumens CREE LED, IP65 Water Resistant, 3 Modes High/ Low/ Strobe for Indoors and Outdoors (Camping, Hiking, and Cycling Use)2.08 oz.34001$https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Flashlight-Pocket-Sized-Resistant-Outdoors/dp/B01G8E3T4K
Super Bright Flashlights, Hausbell Magnet Base T6-C 800lumen LED Flashlight 5 Modes Zoomable Tactical Flashlight4.8 oz. 53001$https://www.amazon.com/Flashlights-Hausbell-800lumen-Flashlight-Zoomable/dp/B016UGGBHS

The top 7 in the flashlight review are choosen by certain factors:

  1. Weight
  2. Settings
  3. Maximum output
  4. Number of batteries
  5. Price

Weight

A lightweight flashlight might make it easy for you to carry it around on your daily use.

Settings

There are many type of settings which control the intensity of the brightness. If there are more settings, it will be more versatile to be used in various situations.

Maximum output

The more the maximum output, the brighter the beam will be. However, a very bright beam may be troubling sometimes.

Number of batteries

Some of these best flashlight use 1 or 3 batteries. Knowing the number of batteries required could help us to buy them if needed.

ThruNite® TN12 EDC LED Flashlight

ThruNite® TN12 EDC LED Flashlight

The first on the list in the best 18650 flashlight is the TN12 2016 Flashlight. It runs on one 18650 battery and adopts the latest Cree XM-L2 U2 LED. Furthermore, it is combined with ThruNite drive which is up to 1050 ANSI lumen.

There are 2 options to choose from in this product. You could either choose the neutral white output or the cool white output. However, the neutral white output will be 20% less bright than cool white.

The latest version of this product has the advantage over the former 2014 product in terms of LED focus function. It is around 5.63 inches in length and 1 inch in diameter. It weighs around 2.90 oz. which proves to be compact enough for military, law enforcement or any tactical use.

The flashlight is waterproof up to 2m for the duration of 30min. The compact resistance is up to 1.2 meters. The construction of the flashlight out of stainless steel side makes the operation more sensitive. The circuit design helps to make it obvious the brightness difference between High and Max Mode.

Although it’s very disorienting, it would work well in a defensive situation. Also, although the body of the 18650 flashlight is well built and solid, fortunately this best flashlight not feeling hollow like some other lights. This 18650 flashlight is shock proof to any standing height and comes with a sturdy clip which feels great to be used every day.

The flashlight is comfortable to hold and textured enough for a sturdy grip even if your hands are sweaty. If you don’t have 18650 batteries at the moment when you want to replace them, you could try using two cr123 batteries instead.

If you are clueless about which option to choose, let me give you a short review about Cool White option. Its advantage lies in the fact that it serves as a guiding star and more reliable for self-defense situations in the darkness.

Neutral White, however, has the advantage of its better color rendering and penetrability. Moreover, the flashlight protects the eyes with its gentle brightness to avoid any glare on your eyes.

One of the unique features of this best flashlight that I would like to mention in this flashlight review is that each battery is equipped with a built-in system in order to avoid overcharging and overheating. So, feel free to hold your 18650 flashlight yourselves after charging them to prove the aforementioned statement.

The LI-ION batteries weigh 35% less while at the same time producing the same energy as any NiMH counterparts. For environment enthusiasts as well, you would be glad to know that they don’t contain any toxic materials that may pollute the environment such as Cadmium or Mercury.

The Low mode is 20 lumens. This is great for general stuff at night or when you are illuminating something in front of you but you don’t want to blind yourself. The next level up is 280 lumens. This setting will give you more throw distance if you are searching around an area at night.

The flashlight adopts the improved CREE XM-L2 U2 LED. This feature allows the 18650 light to reach dazzling bright 800 lumens in Strobe mode. When you switch the light on, just press and hold the side switch for one second. If you do so, you get the Strobe mode (13 Hz).

With the light turns on, press the side switch to circle through five different mode outputs from firefly mode, low, medium,high and Max. With the light turns on, press and hold the side switch for about 1 second to enter into strobe mode(13HZ).

On the flip side though, the cool white is definitely not the standard cool white tint which is found in many other lights. There is also no SOS or Strobe to scroll through. However, the strobe function is available if you need them.

Suitable for:

  • Emergency situation
  • Camping
  • Hiking

Fenix PD35 TAC CREE XP-L LED Tactical Light

Fenix PD35 TAC CREE XP-L LED Tactical Light

The next product in this best flashlights review introduces the Fenix flashlight. This 18650 light features maximum 1000 Lumen utilizing Cree XP-L (V5) LED with a guaranteed lifespan of 50,000 hours.

This light uses only one 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery or either two 3V CR123A Lithium batteries. I would suggest you to use protected cells in rechargeable to reduce any potential problems.

The Fenix light has a tactical tail switch with a momentary-on function. It is 137mm (5.4 in.) in length and 25.4mm (1.0 in.) in diameter. It weighs around 0·89-gram (3.1 oz.) excluding battery. The bundle comes with two EdisonBright CR123A lithium batteries to prevent you from wasting some energy looking for the batteries yourselves.

The flashlight comes with 2 modes- tactical mode and outdoor mode. The tactical mode has 1000 lumens in turbo with the maximum longevity of 1 hour and 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in low, it has 60 lumens for 29 hour and 15 minutes. In strobe, it has 1000 lumens.

Looking at the outdoor mode, it has a total of 6 settings. The turbo has 1000 Lumens for 1 hour and 10 min while the high setting produces 500 lumens for 2 hours and 55 minutes. The middle setting could last up to 8 hours and a half with 200 lumens. The low has 60 lumens to last up to 29 hours and 15 minutes which is practically around the whole day.The Eco setting which is an unique feature of this model has 8 lumens for up to 140 hours.

To select the output mode under Outdoor Mode, you must use the stainless steel side switch. Meanwhile, the side switch is only used for mode changing under Tactical Mode so bear this in mind. There is a low-voltage reminder to indicate whenever battery replacement is needed just like how your phone may show when it is in low battery.

The memory circuit automatically enters the last-used output mode when the light is turned on. So, you don’t need to change the output frequently every time you use them. To protect your flashlight from improper battery installation, reverse polarity protection is equipped as well.

It is waterproof underwater up to 6 1/2 feet for 30 minutes. Personally, I tested it and there was no water or moisture left behind in the lens. Furthermore, there were no ingress of the water as I activated both of the buttons several times while submersed.

As a side note, it does come with an extra tail cap rubber with two spare O-rings as well as the lanyard. You could use the lanyard if you feel you just cannot afford to waste time on retrieval if you drop your light. I like how the charger has multicolor light. When the battery is empty, the light will be green. Once the battery is in, it turns red.

I would have preferred though if the light focus is tighter, like a spotlight. Also, the Mode button needs extra addition of some texture in order to allow quick tactile location of the button.

You can’t rely on the clip although it can be oriented as a pointer (to help you locate the button by touch) since the clip rotates on the barrel rather easily.

On the positive side, the light is about 3/4 of an inch longer and still quite compact for the power of the light. The LED and the reflector is obviously larger as well. The battery and switch compartments look to be nearly as identical with the changes that occurs in the control head and reflector area.

Overall in this best flashlight review, I 100% recommend this light beam for its broad, flood light type that lights up the night. This Fenix best flashlight is also very well made and very bright.

Suitable for:

  • Night time
  • Rechargeable

SKYRAY 2017 Tactical 7xCREE XM-L T6 Torch

SKYRAY 2017 Tactical 7xCREE XM-L T6 Torch 

The next flashlight review would be for the SKYRAY best flashlight. This flashlight adapts 7x CREE XM-L T6 LEDs for extreme brightness. This SKYRAY best flashlight is made out of aircraft grade aluminum body with LEDs that will last for 100,000+ hours of use!

This best flashlight is also waterproof with silicone sealed o-rings. It uses 4 18650 rechargeable batteries which unfortunately are not included with the purchase. In an emergency situation though, it can run on only one if necessary.

The batteries are wired in parallel and have a very effective strobe. You can access it by holding the button down for three seconds. It could probably last about 30+ minutes on a full charge. Therefore, you would need the highest capacity lithium batteries.

I would suggest you for the 500mah 3.7 units and a good digital charger. The manufacturer gives you 30 days of time limit in case you want to return it after purchasing.

The 18650 flashlight has two brightness modes- low and high. Low is about 1000 lumens but it makes a very high pitched noise on low setting. Although the best of SKYRAY is not as worse as being loud or disturbing, but rather you can hear it until it becomes very annoying!! I am also displeased with the buttons as they can be quite flimsy sometimes.

This light is ideal for around 50 yards since it is a flood beam, not a spot beam. Under 50 yards you may as well be actually dealing with a hand held Sunshine Machine. The barrel is pretty thick and short, but it may be due to the batteries being all side by side, not end to end.

It cannot be used as a baton in the way you may use a MagLight. This fits my large hand pretty well and I can even use it as an auxiliary light with my pistol easily. The light is capable of blinding anyone who may come in view with it.

The smooth reflector of the lens gives perfect throw and beam up to 218 meters while at the same time maintaining healthy peripheral illumination. One of the best feature is the perfect combination of tail switch and upgraded stainless steel side switch.

The design makes it more user-friendly UI for easy and convenient one handed operation. Only half press the tail switch gently for a momentary-on or you could wait until it clicks to turn the light on. Then, press again to turn it off.

After doing so, press the side switch to cycle through the modes. One advantage of using the 18650 battery is that you can have several on hand in case you need a quick replacement.

The battery works well in very cold temperatures do don’t fret to bring it along in any one of your travels. Despite its compact size, the light is amazingly bright.

Do take note that the reflector used also plays a pivotal role in how the beam is propagated onto what you’re viewing. This Skyray 18650 light has a smooth reflector to ensure even and consistent throw and light intensity.

The beam throws very far with a solid hotspot with just enough spill to be used as a good search light. The only difference I seen so far is that at long distance illumination at night, you might get a little bit of a stronger hotspot.

Overall in this best flashlight review, this SKYRAY best flashlight is a great powerhouse light in a portable package that should last and give you satisfaction for a very long time and this best one is a very good flashlight for tactical and search purposes.

Suitable for:

  • Tactical
  • Search purpose

ThruNite TN32 UT/TN42/TN42C Thrower Flashlight

ThruNite TN32 UT/TN42/TN42C Thrower Flashlight

The next flashlight review in this best 18650 flashlights review would be another ThruNite best flashlight. The maximum output can be 1150 Lumen while the maximum beam distance can be 1043 Meters. The copper circuit warehouse offers better heat dissipation performance.

The 18650 flashlight uses 3 18650 lithium batteries. The streamline body design is ideal for searching and rescue purposes and the flashlight has a hard-anodized anti-abrasive finishing. It weights only 650 grams; therefore it is very light to carry on.

The input voltage ranges from DC:8V to13V. The ultra-clear tempered glass lens that has anti-reflective coating provides a very bright and consistent beam. The beam is highly focused for maximum light output.

The flashlight is equipped with tactical knurling for firm grip which is further aided by a streamlined body design. The flashlight is also equipped with mechanical reversed polarity protection design for battery carrier.

At 0.6lumen, it can run up to 80days, 21lumen could last about 7days,and 307lumen to last for 11.5hours. At runtime of four hours, it can provide 709lumen and 1132lumen for a runtime of 2hours. The 1702lumen is for 1.5hours while in strobe mode, it can last for 2hours.

Unfortunately, there are no battery or charger included. So, you may need to make a separate purchase for it. The product only comes with just the flashlight with its accessories.

There are 2 options to choose from when you are purchasing this product which are NW(neutral white) and CW(cool white). Neutral white is closer to 5000k while the CW is bluer and likely closer to 6500k. For a thrower like this, neutral white is usually recommended since the blue light can produce more backscatter.

Not to mention, it did came with a spare O-Ring, a lanyard, and holster. The holster is really nice but the lanyard is not the best. Still, it is functional.

This 18650 flashlight isn’t good for an EDC light. It is not a compact pocket sized EDC light, but it is the perfect choice if you need to see a man or an animal over very long distance or at very close range.

Only the twist of the wrist is required to go from one moment a candle light to a 1376 lumen tightly focused intense beam to a rated distance of 840 meters. Plus, it has the most blinding Strobe function I have ever seen.

I would have preferred if there were 4 LED light inside instead of 1. The body of the flashlight’s diameter is a little larger compared to most lights which is good for me and my large hands.

The light will stand on either end; face down for storage purpose or face up for lighting. You can see if the light is on through the notches if face down.

The beam pattern is perfect and has lots of throw. It has a very nice pattern with just the ideal amount of spillage. The quality of the light is proven by its crisp patterns. I estimate the hot spot to be around 10′ at 100 yards.

I also like about the separate power output adjustment ring. It provides a good solid feel to the clicks. It is just where you left it and there would be no fishing with the on/off button for the power you require.

The lowest setting works great for reading something in your hand without being getting blinded or in minimal room lighting for long periods. Level 2 or 3 are more like a “normal light” which can be used for lighting a pathway, inside use or things out to around 40-50 yards.

The downside is the price. It’s not cheap, but you must factor in the quality as well. Overall in the flashlight review, I would highly suggest this one of the best to be used as an outdoor searchlight at long distances (50 -150 yards).

Suitable for:

  • Military
  • Law Enforcement
  • Self-defense
  • Hunting
  • Search & Rescue
  • Outdoor activities

Rechargeable Flashlight: Cree XM-L2 U3

Rechargeable Flashlight: Cree XM-L2 U3 

The next product in this flashlight review would be Rechargeable flashlight. It is water resistant with a hard-anodized finishing and it is shock-proof. You could recharge this 18650 flashlight by any USB cable, USB to wall or car adapter.

It has red and blue battery indicator to show you whenever charging is required. The dimensions of this flashlight are 106mm in length with a head diameter of 32mm and tail diameter of 25.5mm. The flashlight weighs 90g without battery and has maximum output of 1000 lumen which is very bright if you ask me.

It applies aviation aluminum vacuum electroplating reflecting system and has the maximum luminous flux of 13500cd with maximum beam distance of 232m. You could adjust the brightness reasonably and it has precise temperature control system.

6 modes are available in this flashlight which are Low/ Mid/ High/ Strobe/ Flash/ Slow Flash. The maximum 1000lumen could last for 151 minutes while the low lumen could make the flashlight last up to 320h.

One 3400mAh 3.7V 18650 Li-ion rechargeable batteries are included with Smart Li-ion battery charging circuit. An USB adaptable charging port is included as well.

Once I tested it out I was impressed with the sheer intensity of the light. It was enough to illuminate my entire backyard. Switching the modes or intensity was simple. Just one click on and add an additional click to progress to each light level.

You could double click at any time for maximum level. Changing to strobe and SOS were equally simple. To set them up, long hold to activate and one click to progress through them.

The finishing was nice and the seal to the battery compartment is heavy duty. They included an extra O-ring for future replacement as well. The free protection circuit makes sure that the 18650 batteries are not overcharged and ensures safety.

The 18650 flashlight features a built-in charging function which could be recharged without having to remove the battery from the flashlight. By using the included USB cable, you would just have to connect to your PC, laptop or any other USB power port. It is in a way the same as charging your cell phone.

There also is a low battery indicator LED light in the push button to let you know when to recharge.

The USB cable appears to be a good quality cable. The wire is reasonably thick and it also has a very firm, tight contact when it is plugged in on both ends.

There is an owner’s manual printed on the backside of the box which was a surprise as many budget price flashlights do not have any owner’s manual included. However, it is not the greatest translation. But at least it’s there.

The tint (beam color) is more of a pure white with no greenish/bluish tones. The lens is glass, and crystal clear and the clip couldn’t be any better. It is deep carry, strong and sturdy.

The operation of the best light is simple. Just click the switch once to turn it on. Subsequent clicks will scroll through the 5 brightness levels according to the ascending order.

Hold the button in to make it off. Another advantage with this flashlight is that you can turn it off from any mode, unlike some flashlights that requires you to scroll through the levels to get to off.

The huge plus is the quick access to Ultra Bright level (or “Turbo” mode which is the highest level of brightness) as well as the “hidden” strobe and SOS modes. From any level, a rapid “double click” instantly activates Turbo.

Hold down the button to activate the “blinding stroboscope mode”. The purpose of this mode is to disorientate an oncoming attacker or from there you could click again for the SOS signal mode. The slow flashing SOS could be useful as a locating beacon. It can also be used as a coon hunting light.

Suitable for:

  • Camping
  • Hiking

Anker Bolder LC40 LED Torchlight

Anker Bolder LC40 LED Torchlight

The third product in this best flashlight review would be the Anker Bolder. This AA flashlight gives 400-lumen at maximum output and CREE LED is equipped to provide bright light over a beam distance of 330ft/ 100m that reaches up to 600ft/ 180m.

This flashlight features 3 adaptable settings: High / Low / Strobe. It is water resistant and designed for use in heavy rain. Furthermore, this best flashlight is shock-resistant to endure rough handling.

It could last up to 4hours of non-diminishing brightness when using 3 AAA batteries, or 6hours from one rechargeable 18650 battery which is not included. The high-quality LED bulb provides consistent and optimum performance throughout 50000 hours of usage.

The design is compact and small to fit easily into any of your pocket wherever you go and it even has an anti-slip finish that holds fast in your hand. The manufacturer gives 18-month warranty in case you are not satisfied with this AA flashlight.

On the flip side, it does not feature adjustable focus. The light is a fixed beam. I would like to emphasize again that this flashlight requires three standard AAA (with holder included) or one rechargeable 18650. However, the output is not the same since you will get 400 lm on 18650 and only 250 lm on 3xAAA batteries.

After clicking off the 3rd feature, which is the strobe function, when you turn it back on the high powered setting will work. However, if you leave it for a while after turning off the 3rd feature; the 3rd feature comes back once you turn it on so bear that in mind.

The switch is a little awkward for one handed operations. Although it turns on easily, it seems more pressure is required to turn it off. This makes it somewhat difficult for one-handed turn-off, especially so if you have big fingers.

I would like to remind you again that the flashlight will only remember the previous mode if you leave it off for some time. If you click it on too early, it will cycle to the next mode (as a side note half clicks will also cycle modes). Therefore, be patient and wait a bit before clicking it once.

There is also a very faint high-pitched hum in low power mode. It is especially noticeable in extremely quiet environments. Also, in my opinion, the design is too cylindrical. It needs an additional anti-roll head or barrel to prevent it from rolling off uneven surfaces.

The range of light is extremely impressive and could be easily used as an emergency room lamp in power outages by just standing it on its end. I would prefer though for it to have a slower blinking setting. One flash per second maybe.

In this way, it will be more useful if you need to set up a location marker if you are in a search and rescue operation. I also wish there were a much dimmer dim mode. It is weather and shock resistant so feel free to use it in any situations without worrying about damaging it.

All the light patterns and the intensity are achieved through hold patterns of a single button. Unfortunately, there were no instruction manuals so you may need do some research regarding this product.

This torch focuses by shortening or lengthening the distance between the LED and the lens. Furthermore, there is no clip to hook onto a belt which makes it hard to be carried around. It’s a bit hard to turn on as well as it requires twisting and holding down the button.

Overall, I would like to sum up my flashlight review of this best one by saying that it is one of the best compact flashlight.

Suitable for:

  • Compact
  • Shock resistant

 

Super Bright Flashlights 5 Modes Zoomable

Super Bright Flashlights 5 Modes Zoomable

The last one in this best flashlight review is Super Bright. These flashlights has a powerful magnet to provide a high-strength magnet base which is powerful enough to securely place the light right-side up, upside down, or either out sideways to free your hands when you are repairing your car or to do whatever it is you’re doing.

The luminous ring which is attached on the end emits easy-to-see glow. This allows for easy accessibility at all times especially during a power outage or emergency situations.

The light has a total of 5 adjustable mode- high/medium/low/strobe and flashing SOS. There are different power options to choose from but the purchase does not include a rechargeable 18650 lithium battery or 3 x AAA batteries.

The practical design is a specially designed lotus-shaped head which is to protect the lens, break windows or to serve its purpose as a self-defense tool. The side-positioned ON/OFF button is an added advantage for easier operation.

It also has a memory function to remember the last power setting used. Therefore, you wouldn’t need to change the settings every time you use it. The smooth zoom from a wide angle beam is suitable to narrow down and focus on objects that are farther out.

The metal body structure with knurling is designed so to provide a firm grip while the flat tail cap with strong magnet can be used to secure to ferrous surfaces.

Avoid using flashlight in any inappropriate situations such as using it beside high temperature stove or when you are outside in the rain. These may cause safety incident to happen. Furthermore, don’t use one which has been not used for a long time as it may cause battery leakage.

This 18650 flashlight consumes 3.6 volts and 7 watts. It has a LED bulb to provide a luminous flux of 300 Im. You might also be pleased to know that this product comes with a battery pack.

It is weather and shock resistant so feel free to use it in any situations without worrying about damaging it. The wide beam (flood) is 250 lumen while the narrow beam (spot) is 2,000 lumen. Lumen is the total output whereas lux is the output at a specific point.

The wide beam is capable of completely lighting up a room. Meanwhile, the narrow beam can light up a house a block away. The 18650 battery would give a brighter light and lasts longer compared to the AA battery.

Lumen (total output) tend to decrease when you zoom in due to the optical inefficiencies even though the lux will increase because of the remaining light is simply more concentrated.

Unfortunately, you would have to cycle through each mode using the power button which is a kind of pain to do so especially when you are in a hurry. You don’t need to press the button fully. Just a simple light push will change the mode.

These 18650 lights are so affordable that you could even opt to buy a few to keep all over the place. It feels solid with there being no plastic on the exterior of the flashlight housing. The body is constructed out of black aluminum alloy body.

Furthermore, they are adjustable light beam or pattern. You could use a convex lens and a telescoping flashlight housing to zoom or focus on the light pattern. It also comes with a lanyard to put on your wrist to avoid dropping or losing it when you are in one of your walks.

On top of that, this best one is lightweight with the weight being just under 6 ounces. The dimensions are 5.5″L x 1.38″W (Closed) and 6.125″L when extended. The circumference is 3 5/8 at the thinnest point while at the widest point it is 5 1/4.

Suitable for:

  • Lightweight
  • Versatility

Conclusion

I hope this review has been helpful for you. Apart from that, don’t forget to get a blood tracking light if you plan on hunting at night.