The Handy Flashlight Lumens Chart for All Your Needs

A flashlight lumens chart could be the determining factor between whether or not you purchase a unit that gets the job done. Back in 2005, a unit with 100 lumens was considered a lot. In 2023, the brightest flashlight you can buy is 100,000 lumens, with standard units weighing in around 1,000. 

Recent advancements in light technology have left a lot of questions surrounding how much light you really need – and there is no easy answer. The number of lumens you need depends on the quality of your unit, the type of task you are performing, and many other factors. 

To help you find the best flashlight for your specific needs, we have created a flashlight lumens chart that outlines everything you need to know. 

Quick Takeaways

  • Lumens are a unit of measurement for how much light output, or “brightness”, is projected from a light
  • Units with less than 400 lumens, like penlights, are ideal for home-use and small, everyday tasks, like reading
  • Flashlights with over 1000 lumens are usually equipped with several lighting modes, including strobe for self-defense
  • Military personnel, firefighters, and rescue squads use flashlights with extreme durability and 3000-7000 lumens 

Choosing the best flashlight with the right lumen count ultimately comes down to understanding your needs and intended use. 

What Are Lumens?

Before you jump into our flashlight lumens chart, you need to understand what lumens are and why they are important.

Lumens are a unit of measurement for how much light output is projected from any given light. In many cases, a higher lumen count delivers a brighter output. Although, there are other factors that also can impact the intensity of a flashlight’s output, like:

  • Luminance, illuminance, and luminous intensity
  • Candelas
  • Beam distance & intensity
  • Battery type & charge

image shows examples of luminance, illuminance, and luminous intensity

Keep these factors in mind while shopping for a unit that best suits your needs. 

Fenix’s Flashlight Lumens Chart

When it comes to buying the best flashlight, you need to consider the number of lumens compared to its intended use. For example, if you are looking for a unit to perform search & rescue, you need something much higher than 100 lumens. 

Below, we have included a flashlight lumens chart that outlines lumen counts and preferred unit types according to activities. 

Flashlights Less Than 100 Lumens

Flashlights under 100 lumens are enough for home and everyday use, but have very low brightness when compared to units with higher lumen counts. 

Flashlights with less than 100 lumens are usually:

These kinds of units are ideal for everyday carrying (EDC) purposes, due to their minimal weight and compact size. Keeping one in your pocket, purse, or car is convenient. They typically have a beam range of about 3-5 feet, and are inexpensive due to their low output. 

Flashlights Between 100 and 400 Lumens

If you are looking for something affordable that can be helpful while camping, fishing, or hiking, flashlights with about 400 lumens are effective. 

flashlight with 320 lumens to use while camping

Flashlights with lumen counts between 100-400 are typically compact and lightweight, and equipped with a reliable battery life. These are also useful for power outages, everyday carry, or storing in your vehicle in the event of an emergency. 

Flashlights Between 400 and 1000 Lumens

Flashlights in this range are ideal if both brightness and energy efficiency are a priority. These units are not only compact, but also bright enough to illuminate an entire room.

Flashlights with a lumen count of 1000 are most often used by:

  • Law enforcement
  • Patrolling police offices
  • Construction workers
  • Technicians 
  • Campers, fishers, and hikers

Since these are more powerful units, they are typically both rechargeable and designed to use lithium cell batteries in the event of an emergency. This feature ensures access to light when you need it most. 

It’s important to note that if you need a unit for home use or everyday carry, a unit with 1000 lumens is not ideal. Although, most high-performance units offer several lighting modes and can use less than 1000 lumens at a time. In this case, purchasing a unit with a maximum output of 1000 units can still serve your needs. 

Flashlights Between 1000 and 3000 Lumens

Flashlights with lumen counts between 1000 and 3000 are used by:

  • Military
  • Special forces
  • Search and rescue teams
  • Hunters and advanced camping

These units have an impressive output and are exceptionally bright. Flashlights in this range can be seen by humans and animals at a greater distance, and pointing this amount of light into human eyes will cause temporary blindness. This makes these units ideal in situations where non-lethal self-defense weapons are needed. 

image shows Fenix flashlight with lumen count between 1000 and 3000

Flashlights with 1000 to 3000 lumens are designed to endure high levels of impact and are equipped with several lighting modes. In most cases, these units also feature a strobe mode to aid in self-defense. 

Flashlights Between 3000 and 7000 Lumens

Units in this range are extremely bright and durable. They can withstand extreme amounts of weight, as well as extended encounters with water, fire, and ice. Because of their impressive resistance to threatening conditions, they are most commonly used by:

Because of their high output, these units will also offer the option to switch between multiple lighting modes, including strobe. They are also equipped with light beams that can reach as far as 1 km (>0.6 miles). 

Flashlights Between 7000 and 25,000 Lumens

Flashlights with a lumen count between 7000 and 25,000 offer extreme performance and high power. With light beams reaching over a mile, these units are naturally larger in size and weight. 

mage shows Fenix flashlight with lumen count between 7000 and 25,000

Because of their extreme output, the battery life of these units is limited when used on the highest level lighting mode. These units are primarily used on military shops and seafaring vessels to ensure visibility in extremely dark conditions. 

Secure The Right Lumen Count Today

By using a flashlight lumens chart, you can determine which kind of unit you need to illuminate your tasks productively and safely. Understanding your lighting needs before purchasing is essential to finding the best unit for you. 

Want to learn more about how high performance lighting can maximize your productivity? Visit Fenix today to find quality lighting solutions, or keep learning about our equipment here on Fenix’s blog.