Battery Junction's Flashlights of the Decade
Battery Junction's Flashlights of the Decade
Since 2010, our team of product specialists at Battery Junction has helped launch 4808 flashlights (yea, we kept count) from dozens of brands large and small. We've seen triumphant successes that led to brand new series, 'unbeatable' records topped time and time again, and admittedly a few flops that still haunt the deepest corners of our warehouse. As the decade rapidly comes to a close, we've been reflecting on some of our favorite lights we've seen over the years.
You might be wondering how we chose just 10 lights out of thousands– but in actuality, you chose them. We crunched the numbers and found the most popular lights that flew out our doors over the past 10 years (excluding the free keylights we include in orders- that's cheating). Then we dug deep- crawling through forums and Reddit and Youtube to find what all the buzz was about.
We want to put the spotlight on innovation– flashlights that took chances or perfected new technology to a degree that you still see it in use today. We're talking about OLED screens, magnetic charging ports, the rise of 18650/21700 power sources, and so much more. So read on to check out the lights that broke the mold and made this decade bright.
The P12 is most notable for being Nitecoreís flagship flashlight over the last decade and itís easy to see why. This light has continuously been a best-seller since its launch in 2013, and shows no signs of slowing down. Complete with tail stand capability, classic two button interface, and four brightness levels, the P12 launched a new era of flashlights and made Nitecore a brand to contend with.
- New Nitecore P12
- Just released in Fall 2019, the New P12 takes the leap to a 21700 battery for extended runtimes and comes bundled with a NTH10 tactical holster!
- Olight M2R Warrior
- The M2R has been a fan-favorite tactical EDC light for over two years, offering 6 output modes from 1500 to 1 lumen, all accessible from a dual-switch design just like the P12.
In terms of LEP flashlights, the Acebeam W30 made a huge splash. When it arrived on the scene, the W30 was quickly labeled the farthest throwing flashlight on the market and itís obvious with its 1.5 mile throw a practically unheard of distance, even today. The W30 kicked off what would quickly become the rise of 21700 flashlights, being one of the first lights we ever sold to run on this high capacity cell.
- Acebeam W10 Gen II
- While the W10 Gen II throw is "only" just over 3/4ths of a mile, it offers twice the runtime (3.5hrs) at 450lm, practically the same brightness as the W30.
- Acebeam K75
- Need some lumens with your throw? The K75 offers 10 outputs modes from 6300 to 7 lumens, while still boasting a max throw of 27 football fields (1208m)!
The V11R was one of the first models to popularize variable brightness rings on EDC lights. Choose any brightness between 1 and 500 lumens which is great for adjusting to any time of day or situation. One of our reviewers said, ďI have WAY too many lights; yes I'll admit I'm a flashaholic. And of them all this is the one I like the best to carry in my pocket.Ē And we couldnít agree more. While the popular V11R is unfortunately discontinued, we've picked some similar lights for you to check out:
- JETBeam RRT-01
- Love the variable twist-ring but want a bit more power? The RRT-01 is a palm-sized EDC with infinitely variable brightness from 1 to 950 lumens.
- Nitecore SRT7GT
- 3rd Gen Smart Ring technology allows for effortless switching between 1000 and .1 lumens, as well as the secondary red, blue, green, and ultraviolet LEDs!
Fenix PD35 TAC
In terms of compact tactical lights, itís hard to beat the Fenix PD35 TAC. Following in the footsteps of its fellow PD series brothers, this flashlight stresses the importance of having a well-rounded tactical / EDC light. With its proficient use of a single 18650 battery, the PD35 carved out its own corner of the industry by being an all-around light for either tactical or EDC use. With a 1000 lumen output, LED indicator, plus tactical and outdoor modes, the PD35 shines an importance on being a well-rounded, simple flashlight.
- Fenix PD36R
- The PD36R is the lastest of the PD series, boasting new features such as a 21700 battery and USB-C charging. The dual switch UI makes swapping from EDC to tactical use a breeze.
- Fenix UC35
- This V2.0 of the classic UC35 is a compact tactical torch with all the fancy bells and whistles, including a dual-switch design and a 1000 lumen turbo that lasts over 2 hours!
When you think of magnetic charging and flashlights, your mind instantly goes to any Olight flashlight on the market today. The launch of the original S1R is what changed the game. Not only did it change the way Olight would integrate charging systems into their lights, but also allowed people to go completely hands-free with the magnetic tailcap Ė stick onto anything metal and it wonít budge! The original features of the S1R are now staples in Olightís lineup of lights, itís hard to find a flashlight from them that isnít magnetically rechargeable, and itís clear that it adds versatility to your average EDC light.
- Fenix E16
- While not rechargeable, the E16 is the perfect example of an ultra-compact 2" EDC that sports a magnetic tailcap for hands-free lighting.
- Olight S1R II
- While the S1R is long-since discontinued, its remake is better than ever and available now! The S1R II features an even-stronger magnetic tailcap, and works perfectly with a bundled L-Dock with MCC charging cable.
The Klarus XT11GT expanded on what has quickly become known Klarusí flagship XT series. Complete with Klarusí own patented dual tail switch UI model, this light makes it easy for tactical users to operate single-handedly. Plus, innovative ďone-touchĒ functions allow for quick access to strobe and turbo modes. These brand new features revolutionized what it meant to be a tactical light during this decade Ė not only did you need to offer incredible lumen outputs, runtimes, and throw, but also quick access to some of the most-used features in tactical lights.
- Klarus XT21X
- The XT21X is the latest edition to Klarus's XT series, and utilizes a 21700 battery to power a wide range of brightness modes from 4000 to 5 lumens.
- Klarus XT12GT
- The XT12GT offers a 2000ft throw in addition to all the great features you'd expect from a well-rounded tactical light.
The beginnings of the Nitecore TINI series show how far keychain lights have come in the last decade. This compact keychain light boasts a 380 lumen output, practically unheard of for keychain lights, and micro-USB charging, a stark change from AAA and non-rechargeable battery packs. Available in a wide array of colors, the TINI was driven by personality and over the last decade has seen many upgrades, additional colors, and increasing competition.
- RovyVon A6
- Almost any of RovyVon's Aurora keylights could go here, but we think the A6 is the closest match in terms of output modes and runtime.
- Acebeam M50
- We really love the rotary-twist UI for the M50 keychain light, and users also love the option between 3 LEDs to focus on runtime, brightness, or CRI rating.
Building on the success of the Tiny Monsters before it, the Nitecore TM26 featured an innovative design, a bold OLED screen, and impressive features. The integration of the multi-function OLED screen was a game-changer and has been integrated in even tinier models since the release of the TM26. Able to quickly alert a user to runtime, output level, battery life, and more, this light changed the way users get information from their light while out in the field.
- Nitecore TUP
- The TUP keychain light was an instant hit when launched just last year, and this compact EDC with an informative OLED screen has yet to be topped.
- Fenix TK72R
- If 4k lumens wasn't enough for you, the TK72R boasts an ultra-bright 9000 lumens in addition to its large OLED screen for battery and runtime monitoring.
The Acebeam X70 quickly wormed its way onto this list purely because of the massive amounts of lumens itís able to generate. Packed with 13 LEDs, this flashlight easily emits a 60,000 lumen output, an output that is rarely found in mass-produced lights today. Great for search and rescue with its handle with a built-in fan for additional cooling, the X70 wowed us with its brightness and continues to be a light that impresses any flashaholic.
- Olight X9R Marauder
- Lets be honest, 60,000 lumens isn't for everyone. Olight's X9R "only" reaches 25,000 lumens, but does offer a few more hours of overall runtime and eight overall brightness levels for versatile usage.
- Fenix LR40R
- For a more budget-friendly pick, the LR40R is a 12,000 lumen searchlight with nearly 4x the runtime and 150m more throw than the X9R. This light is almost sold out, so don't wait too long!
Since the launch of this light in 2011, the PA20 has demonstrated that a flashlight need not have all the bells and whistles to be a complete star. The twisting interface combined with a U-shaped tailcap makes for a quick and efficient user-interface that never goes out of style. The main calling card of this light is the alkaline AA batteries, a power source that is timeless and makes changing batteries super easy even in an emergency. While the PA20 is unfortunately discontinued, we picked out some other single AA battery lights that are just as great:Similar Lights
- JETBeam PA12
- Keeping it in the family, the PA12 offers over 3x the lumen output compared to the PA20 when using a 14500 battery (can also use a traditional alkaline AA).
- ThruNite T10 II
- The T10 II by Thrunite can use either AA or 14500 batteries, and features a nifty magnetic tailcap for 100% hands-free mechanic work or reading in the dark.
Now itís time to look ahead at the lights that are quickly rising to the top. Here are some of our favorites that are too new to have made a considerable impression over the last decade, but will definitely have an impact on whatís to come.
The Fitorch P25 takes the standard soda can formfactor and cranks it up to 100. Utilizing a unique 26350 battery, this light illuminates any space with an unprecedented 3000 lumens and itís barely even the size of your hand. You can also get an extender for the light so it can fit a more standard and easier to find 26650 battery. However, it is clear to see that going forward, smaller lights with higher, extreme outputs will be all the rage.
RovyVon Aurora (Series)
The RovyVon Aurora series made a splash this year. Challenging the idea of what it meant to be a keychain light, the Aurora series packed numerous features into lights designed to rest on your keyring. Some of the hallmark features of the Aurora series are the glow-in-the-dark bodies, UV sidelights, hidden strobe modes, and 3+ brightness levels. There is an Aurora light for every occasion and are great lights to give to newcomers in addition to flashaholics.
The past year has brought about the rise of the 21700 battery, and the Fenix PD36R is one of the lights that paved the way. Keeping the features that made the PD series successful in the first place, the PD36R, with its 21700 integration, also added USB-C charging to the list of must-haves in a light. In particular, thanks to the built-in charging port, this light can recharge in 10 minutes for 5 hours of illumination! The PD36R is great for EDC, tactical, and outdoor uses and has proven to be a great all-around light that rivals some of the best lights over the last decade.
It's always sad to see another year go by, but we're excited to see what the new decade brings for the flashlight community. Innovation is happening all around us, and we want you to be the first to know about it. To get the latest in flashlight news, be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter! You can also follow our socials on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter to get sneak peeks at newly-released lights. Until next year – The Battery Junction Team