4 Characteristics of the Best LED Flashlights

Finding the best LED flashlight can be a challenge without the right knowledge. With new advancements in technology and an array of special features, determining which flashlight is best for you can be overwhelming.

Fenix is here to help. Below, you’ll learn which 4 characteristics make up the best LED flashlights and why these features deliver high performance technology. Keep reading to find your perfect flashlight that can last a lifetime! 

Why LED?

LED flashlights ensure that you have a powerful, effective light source without wasting battery life. This specialty lighting is designed to produce high energy for long periods of time, leaving you with a reliable flashlight.

LED light bulbs use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. With more power, light and durability, you’ll spend less time and money getting your LED flashlight to provide the best light. 

When determining which LED flashlight is best for you, there are 4 important characteristics to consider: 

- Brightness 
- Battery Life 
- Size & Weight 
- Durability 

See below to learn more about how these qualities can impact your light and find the best LED flashlight for you! 

4 Characteristics of the Best LED Flashlights 

With so many types of LED flashlights on the market, finding the best one for you can be daunting. After learning about 4 characteristics that can make or break your light source, you’ll find the best LED flashlight in no time!

1. Brightness 

The best LED flashlight shines bright. That’s why it's important to understand what aspects determine a flashlight’s brightness. For a strong output that fits your needs, pay attention to: 

- Lumens
- Candelas
- Watts


Lumens refer to the overall brightness of light produced whereas candelas refer to the direction in which the light is focused. Watts are representative of how much power a light source consumes and ultimately determine the efficiency of your flashlight. 

Depending on the end use of your LED flashlight, you’ll have to determine how many lumens are best for you. Generally, the smallest number of lumens needed per use are as follows: 

- Reading & everyday tasks: 1-300 lumens
- Night walks, runs & camping: 300-900 lumens
- Mechanics & work light: 1000-1300 lumens
- Hunting, law enforcement & military: 1250-2500 lumens
- Search & rescue: 3000+ lumens 

These are the minimum recommended outputs. It never hurts to have more! Plus, most lights have multiple brightness levels, so you don't have to use them on the highest output all the time.


This unit of measurement refers to the intensity of light. o determine candelas, decide how intense you need your light beam to be. 

For light to cut through the thickness of fog and smoke, you’ll need to choose a flashlight with a high candela rating. If you plan to work closely with your light or need to illuminate a space, it’s best to stick to a lower candela rating. 


Once the necessary lumens and candelas have been identified, use the chart below to determine how many watts are appropriate for your LED flashlight. 

Lumens to watts conversion chart

2. Battery Life 

For the best LED flashlight, you’ll need the best performing batteries. When it comes to choosing batteries, there’s two basic types: disposable and rechargeable. 


Disposable batteries are also referred to as alkaline batteries. These batteries can provide the power needed for low-light situations but don’t have the capacity needed to power LEDs above 1000 lumens. 


That’s why rechargeable batteries are a great option for your flashlight when you’re looking for the best.

Not only do rechargeable batteries provide enough power for LED lights to flourish but they’re also more sustainable and financially efficient. Although initial cost is higher than alkaline batteries, investing in the high-quality power provided by rechargeable batteries will minimize future purchases. 

Your battery life can be detrimental to your safety depending on the designated use of your LED flashlight. 

To learn more about battery options, assess the chart below.

disposable and rechargeable battery chart

3. Practical Size & Weight 

When it comes to the size and weight of your equipment, it’s important to keep a couple things in mind. 


While large units don't always guarantee more light than small units, it is important to note that large flashlights typically have the capacity for larger, more powerful batteries. Generally speaking, large batteries often provide more powerful outputs and longer runtimes than small batteries.

If you need a long-lasting power source, larger lights will often offer extended runtimes compared to units with smaller batteries. Not only that, but you'll likely get more lumens out of the deal too!


It’s also important to note which materials make up your flashlight. Materials used will greatly impact the heaviness of your device. 

Although aluminum is the most common material used, many of the best LED flashlights feature stainless steel heads for extra impact resistance. Stainless steel is more than two times heavier than aluminum and will have a noticeable impact on weight. 

In addition to material, you must also consider the size of your batteries. Large batteries will often compose most of your unit's weight and will impact the heaviness even more than material makeup. 

While shopping for your perfect LED flashlight, note whether the weight listed on the product description includes the weight of its battery. If not, keep in mind that the size of the required batteries may make your unit heavier than expected.

The bottom line: size determines battery capacity and material makeup determines weight. Ask yourself what size & weight make the most sense for your LED flashlight. 

4. Durability 

Just as materials impact the weight of your LED flashlight, they also impact durability. Paying attention to materials and water resistance will help determine the most durable LED flashlight. 


If you need a heavy-duty flashlight, anodized aluminum is a great material to consider. It’s tough, resistant to corrosion and lighter than stainless steel. These characteristics make anodized aluminum one of the best options when durability is a priority. 

Water Resistance 

When it comes to a durable light source, water resistance is key. All flashlights are susceptible to moisture and accidents, so investing in a waterproof option will likely leave you with a longer-lasting light. 

Levels of water resistance are outlined by the IPX scale. See below to determine which IPX level fits best with your flashlight’s purpose. 

IPX scale for waterproof flashlights


The Ultimate LED Flashlight Guide 

Now that you’re familiar with what qualities characterize the best LED flashlight, you’re ready to determine which style is best for you. Below, you’ll find 5 of the best LED flashlights that provide bright, long-lasting, practical and durable light. 

Fenix LR80R 

Fenix LR80R

With 18000 lumens and a built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery, this flashlight is sure to turn heads. Capable of 1130-meter beam visibility and submersible to 6.5 feet for up to 30 minutes, the Fenix LR80R embodies all 4 characteristics that make up the best LED flashlight. 

Fenix PD36 TAC 

Fenix PD36 TAC

This LED flashlight shines when it comes to its compact size. At only 5.5 inches to comfortably fit in your pocket, its output doesn’t disappoint at 3000 lumens. Remember, that’s enough light to aid in search & rescue! The PD36 TAC’s aluminum alloy body provides an extremely tough yet lightweight exterior, ultimately delivering an impressive experience. 

Fenix TK20R V2.0

Fenix TK20R V2.0

This ultra-bright, 3000 lumen flashlight has inner waterproofing and impact resistance up to almost 5 feet. The Fenix TK20R V2.0’s rechargeable battery allows for a 48-hour run time and minimizes the production of disposable battery waste. Perfect for patrolling, search & rescue and self-defense, this model is sure to satisfy when it comes to power and durability. 

Fenix E18R V2 

Fenix E18R V2

Rechargeable and small enough to fit in your pocket, the Fenix E18R V2.0 is an ideal option when it comes to choosing the best LED flashlight. Its body is made up of A6062-T6 aluminum making it incredibly strong and resistant to impact. With 1200 lumens and a beam distance of almost 500 feet, this flashlight is perfect for any outdoor nighttime activity. 

Fenix E03R 

Fenix E03R

If your priority is compact size, this is the light for you. At just 1.8 inches in size, this rechargeable, impact resistant flashlight is extremely lightweight. With a max output of 260 lumens, keep the Fenix E03R on your keychain for convenient, everyday use. 

You Deserve the Best 

At the end of the day, choosing the best LED flashlight depends on your individual needs. Whether it’s hiking, emergency use, camping, or fighting a power outage, Fenix has you covered. 

Investing in the best quality light source can seem like a lot to undertake but it doesn’t have to be – finding the highest quality lighting equipment is easy at Fenix-Store.com.