The Best 18650 Flashlight Buying Guide

Key Features Of 18650 Flashlights To Consider Before Buying

Admittedly, 18650 batteries have lots of merits but there’s more to using 18650 flashlights. You also need to understand how certain features such as the beam type, application, lumens, bulb type, run time, and more work. Having that understanding will guide you in deciding what’s best for you.


Lumens help to measure the level of light output. It allows you to determine how intense the light is when you use the flashlight in its highest setting. The spectrum for luminous designation is huge and ranges from 20-3,500. That said, you will get brighter lights from a flashlight that comes with higher lumens.

Type of bulb

LEDs happen to be the most preferred bulb types because of their longevity. These bulbs are also better than incandescent bulb types since they have higher energy efficiency.

Run time

When we talk about run time, we refer to how long a flashlight takes for its power to drop to 10% of the output rating. This depends on the light mode in use most of the time. When searching for better quality flashlights, go for those with higher run time, even when the mode is on its brightest.

Type of beam

Flashlight beams come in 3 forms mostly, namely – adjustable, flood, and spot. Flood beams refer to single beams that come in handy when doing things like camping or hiking. On the other hand, the spotlight denotes a kind of beam that is condensed, making it great for far distance illumination. With adjustable beams, you can switch between flood and spot.


When we begin to analyze the distance that the light beam of a flashlight can travel before it starts to reduce in intensity, then we have an interest in the flashlight’s throw. The brightness mode in use at the time can influence the distance of the beam. This is one of the most important parameters to consider because the throw gives you an idea of how best to use the flashlight. Flashlights with a narrow beam and long reach are best for search-and-rescue missions. For camping or hiking, you’ll be better off with floodlights as they guarantee you wider light displacement. If you need a flashlight for hunting, you want one that can switch to various color modes.

Your budget

It’s normal to think that the higher the cost, the more quality the product but this isn’t always the case. Finding replacement batteries for specialty batteries, AAs, or AAAs are most times more difficult and incur a higher cost. A good choice would be to go with a sturdy, high lumen flashlight that works with a 18650 battery.

The Best 18650 Flashlights Review

It is safe to assume you now know why 18650 flashlights are the better option and what some of the key features are. So, let’s take you through 5 top 18650 flashlight recommendations chosen from the very best products on the market.

Cree XM-L2 Rechargeable Flashlight

What you have is a very durable flashlight known for its resistance to shock, abrasion, and water. The Cree XM-L2 is a rechargeable flashlight that you can power up using your car adapter, wall adapter, or USB cable. We also like that it comes with a battery indicator that tells you how much battery power you have left in the flashlight. Also, this flashlight has a temperature control system that is quite impressive and highly accurate. Two CR123A can also power the flashlight.

The Cree XM-L2 has 1,000 lumens as its maximum output and should run for up to 90 minutes with a 232 meters max beam distance. The best part is that you can get up to 320 hours of light supply from the lowest lumen. It also has 6 available modes allowing you to make adjustments to the brightness. This flashlight works via a system known as aviation electroplating reflection. What you get on buying this flashlight is an indispensable tool that features lithium-ion protected rechargeable batteries (18650, 3400mAh, 3.7V), as well as a charging port that you can adjust.


  • Easy charging and very durable
  • Shockproof, anti-abrasive, water-resistant
  • Temperature control system
  • Long beam distance
  • Battery indicator


  • Quite expensive

Nitecore MH25GTS

Thanks to the fusion of the Precision Digital Optics Tech optical system of Nitecore with the Cree XHP35 HD LEDs, this flashlight offers you an unmatched quality of light. The optic and LED systems collaborate to provide up to a 1,800-lumen beam that boasts a massive throw of 332 yards.

Included with the light, the Nitecore MH25GTS draws its power from a rechargeable, single, high-powered NL1835HP battery. It also has an inbuilt charging system, which gives you the flexibility of recharging wherever you are. With this system, you also have a flexible charging port that can integrate with solar panels, power banks, laptops, and a wide range of power sources.

You will notice a side switch, as well as a tactical tail switch, that allows you to control the flashlight in its entirety. With the help of the tactical switch, accessing constant and momentary-on illumination shouldn’t be an issue. The flashlight also comes with 3 special modes and 5 light brightness levels, all of which you can access using the side switch.

This flashlight has as much as 1-meter impact resistance ability and an IPX8 rating. Another aspect of the Nitecore MH25GTS that should get you impressed is the tactical style light’s bezel that serves as a self-defense option during emergencies.


  • Dual-layer tube design
  • Comes with mode memory
  • Power indicator


  • You’ll notice that the charging gaskets oftentimes pop open
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Author: Justin

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Camping, Outdoors