What is the brightest flashlight on the market?

I stuck this in GQ since there is probably a factual answer.

What is the brightest hand-held flashlight on the market? Obviously, there is some leeway in which model you can choose, but I’d like to keep it to flashlights rather than things like spotlights that one must plug in to your car’s lighter, and whatnot.


A small portable video camera light (which I have used as a flashlight) was more powerful by orders of magnitude than any flashlight I have ever used, but the usable light was maybe 10- 12 minutes at best because of the power draw off the rechargeable battery exhausted it quickly.

Like most “what’s the best and brightest?” questions, you’ll get better results if you tell us what you want it for.

But anyway, here's a 75,000 candlepower flashlight on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00008BFSL/104-3700006-0901515?v=glance).    The downside is that it's a rechargeable battery with a 1 hour life.     Not too good for camping...

One of the comments mentions a Surefire 10x Dominator flashlight (and with a name like that, you * know * it’s gotta be bright :slight_smile: ) that produces a 500+ lumen beam, but unfocused.

You can buy a green laser pointer that's insanely bright, partly because the eye is quite sensitive to the particular wavelength -- this will light up objects miles away.

And, because you can find anything on the internet, here’s a list of flashlights sorted by overall output: http://flashlightreviews.home.att.net/articles/output_vs_throw/chart_overall.htm

The best flashlights are made by SureFire (www.surefire.com) and Streamlight (http://www.streamlight.com/)

I have a Surefire 6P with the 120 lumens lamp. Very very bright.

Yeah, that wasn’t good planning on my part. In my defense, I didn’t really have a particular use in mind. I saw in a catalog something about a 1 million candlepower mini-light. When I googled for it, I came to a forum devoted to flashlights, where an ostensibly informed poster said that you may be able to see the bulb from a mile away, but it won’t illuminate anything usefully.

My newly piqued curiosity was not satiated by a search of that forum’s archives, and google kept returning stuff that had a lot of info which I couldn’t repackage usefully in my mind.

So I was left wondering: What flashlight lights stuff up more brightly than all the rest? I was thinking of general purpose flashlights, but I left it open so that stuff I didn’t anticipate wouldn’t be categorically eliminated.

When the green laser pointer lights stuff miles away, does that mean that it puts a dot on them, or does the beam spread enough to illuminate objects?

You’ll get some spreading from any laser. But mostly you’ll get a fuzzy dot. The best green laser led I’ve seen claims to have a range of 18,000 feet. (http://www.extremelasers.com/GP.htm). Whatever “range” really means.

As for the person who said you might see a million candlepower bulb from a mile away, they were off by about six orders of magnitude. According to this site, you can see a * single * candle from about 1 mile (well, 1.4 kilometers). Being charitable, I assume this person meant that a million candlepower bulb would perceptibly but not usefully illuminate something at a range of a mile.