A tactical LED torch is an important tool in to have with you, but doing a quick Google search for the best tactical LED torch won’t do you much good if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for in the first place.
Owning a bright flashlight lets you identify any threats to your safety, you can use them to temporarily blind an aggressor, and they also help to buy you a bit of extra time to consider appropriate actions.
Depending on what you do for a living or what your needs are for the survival equipment you need to carry, LED torches that are too small might not be the smartest option if you work in security, law enforcement, or often work in dark environments. In contrast, if you own a tactical LED torch that is larger than average the smaller EDC flashlight counterpart and then it can be a struggle to carry in your pocket.
Tactical LED torches, while many boast a lot of the same performance of the stereotypical torch, provide some major benefits not typically found elsewhere. Namely, they are always a bit more rugged than their run-of-the-mill counterparts, are equipped with different light functions (such as strobes and burst modes), have a higher lumen output, and are frequently constructed with self-defence programs in mind.
So whether you live in a shady part of town, or if you are in the army or police force, or if it’s to find your way around during a power cut, or to search the bottom of your rucksack at night on a camping trip, a torch can be a vital piece of kit.
The best Tactical LED Torch
It’s important to be aware that what might be the best torch for one person might not be the best torch for another. For example, somebody on the search for an EDC torch may be on the lookout for a more streamlined, pocket-friendly version. However, a police officer or fire fighter might be on the lookout for a lot bigger, frequently rechargeable tactical LED torch capable of generating greater burst of light that provides a great deal more functionality for example distinct brightness settings and a strobe style.
Further below are a number of torches that focus on size, weight and durability, as well as the brightness and focus of the light emitted by the torch. The brightness of the light is measured in lumens – a decent level to look for is around 200 lumens.
Measuring LED Torch Brightness
The torch industry is quickly trying to standardise how flashlights are rated with the ANSI FL1 standards. In the FL1 standards there are 3 different ways that light output is measured. The three methods are Light Output which is measured in Lumens, Beam Distance which is measured in meters and measures the distance a beam will travel before it reaches 0.25 lux which is the brightness of the full moon on a clear night. Lastly is Peak Beam Intensity which is measured in candela and tells the brightest point of the beam.
To determine the most powerful LED torch, this article looks at torches with the highest overall Light Output dimension of Lumens. Both the Beam Distance and the Peak Beam Intensity can be significantly altered dependent on the angle and size of the reflector that is used. Lumen is a straightforward level of the overall light output. With that said the flashlight with the most Lumens would not necessarily be the flashlight that will shine the farthest.
The last thing to consider when looking at a the Lumen amount a torch has is that FL1 criteria gauge the amount of light that comes out of the front of the torch not the theoretical max output of the LED emitter. Some of the less reputable torch makers will completely lie about the amount of Lumens that their LED torches create or they will say the maximum output of the LED emitter as recorded by the LED manufacturer.
The.. Brightest.. Torch.. Ever..
If you need a light to get rid of the shadow the Imalent DX80 is an excellent option. They do not call it “the conclusion of Darkness” for nothing as it can emit up to 32,000 Lumens on Turbo mode. The Imalent DX80 features an 8 piece CREE XHP70 2nd generation LEDs to provide a maximum throw of 806m. A display shows the parameters and settings to users.
The Imalent DX80 offers constant circuit to ensure to a high efficiency constant brightness in all manners.
The Imalent DX80 offers a side switch for easy one-handed control. The side switch allows users to cycle through six different output levels, plus strobe mode. Turbo mode can be accessed from any mode by double pressing the button. A built-in battery pack uses 8 high discharge performance 18650 Li-Ion batteries to power the light. The battery pack can be completely recharged in about 3 hours and 10 minutes using a typical 19V-2A charger. The battery symbol will flash 10 times per minute to warn users when battery levels fall below 13V.
With the total amount of lumens emitted through the torch, it’s easy to think that overheating might be an actual concern. The Imalent DX80 uses smart temperature control to automatically adjust the current to maintain the light’s internal temperature under 50 degrees Celsius.
- Tail standability
- IPX-8 rating
- No memory mode
- Weight: 42.47 oz with batteries
- Dimensions: 8.39 inches long and 3.62-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 120 lumens for 60 hours
- Highest Setting: 32,000 lumens for 3 minutes
Brightest Value for Money Torch
Fenix PD35 Tactical Edition Torch with XP-L LED & 1000 Lumens
A pioneer in their area, Fenix continues to advance the technology of both portable and outdoor illumination, especially using their PD35 Tactical Edition LED torch — an everyday carry favourite for all.
Small, incredibly powerful and extremely versatile, the Fenix PD35 TAC (Tactical Edition), remains pocket-size but higher performance and focuses on tactical use. Measured at less than 14cm long it delivers a 1000 lumens output and beam distance of up to 200 meters in the turbo mode. In outdoor more, it delivers 6 output modes including strobe mode, and a tactical mode strengthens PD35 TAC with simplified and fast output selection
Top of the class
The Fenix PD35 TAC is quickly establishing itself as one of the most popular models in the Fenix line up and for good reason! It is extremely compact and lightweight, yet with a performance comparable to searchlights many times larger and heavier. Combined with modes and brightness levels to suit any users requirements, this is one torch that should not be overlooked.
Olight S1R Turbo S
The Olight S1R Turbo S pairs a CREE XM-L2 LED with a TIR-optic lens to provide the best beam with a high transmission rate. The Olight S1R Turbo S looks just like all of the other Olight lights in the BATON series as it features an anti-roll design with a flat magnetic tailcap. The magnetic tailcap allows users a hands-free option as the light can be safely secured to various metal surfaces. The rechargeable Olight S1R Turbo S comes with an RCR123A battery that is able to be charged via the magnetic contact charging port with the magnetic charging cable that comes included with the light.
The Olight S1R Turbo S can be powered by other batteries, including the CR123, only the RCR123A can be charged via the charging port.
The Olight S1R Turbo S offers five different brightness levels ranging from as high as 900 lumens all the way down to 0.5 lumens. The light also features a strobe mode for emergencies. Every time the Olight S1R Turbo S is powered on the light comes on gradually so as not to blind the user from the sudden brightness changes. The light will also gradually increase or decrease as the brightness levels are changed to give the users eyes time to adjust to the different output levels. The Olight S1R Turbo S is operated through an easy to use side switch.
- Multiple battery options
- Lockout mode
- Weight: 1.27 oz without batteries
- Dimensions: 2.6 inches long and 0.83-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 0.5 lumens for 15 days
- Highest Setting: 900 lumens for 30 minutes
- S1R baton(S1R) is a side-switch rechargeable EDC flashlight which powered by one RCR123A rechargeable lithium battery of high discharging.
- The Olight S1R comes complete with a lanyard, accessories bag and a colour-matched 45cm Magnetic Charging Cable to conveniently charge the flashlight from any USB socket. If you wish, you may also purchase the Olight OL2153 “micro-dok” charging base as an optional extra. This micro-dok allows a second charging system for your Olight S1R and also allows for another USB device to be powered via its full size integrated 0.75mA USB output port
Brightest Keychain LED Torch
Surefire Titan Plus
The SureFire Titan Plus is an improvement over the original SureFire Titan. The Surefire Titan Plus improves the convenience and functionality of the original SureFire Titan. With the SureFire Titan Plus, users will get twice the maximum output with the lights ability to emit a maximum of 300 lumens. The ultra-compact light offers three brightness levels to choose from. The high-performance Led is paired with a specially-developed reflector to provide a perfect MaxVision Beam. The MaxVision Beam is a smooth and wide beam that is evenly dispersed making it ideal for close-range activities.
Powering the light on and off or switching between brightness levels is done by twisting the head switch counterclockwise for low output or to activate the light. To switch to a higher output you must rotate the switch clockwise and then counterclockwise again within one second. The virtually indestructible light offers a nickel-plated brass body with a heavy-duty removable pocket clip. The tail cap offers a key-ring attachment as a secondary carrying option. The SureFire Titan Plus is powered by a single AAA NiMH rechargeable battery, but can also be powered by a single disposable AAA alkaline battery.
- Extremely compact
- Removable pocket clip
- Weather resistant
- Weight: 2 oz. without battery
- Dimensions: 3.375 inches long and 0.58-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 15 lumens for 7 hours
- Highest Setting: 300 lumens for 1 hour
- Virtually indestructible, high-performance LED is regulated to maximise output and runtime
- Proprietary faceted reflector creates broad MaxVision Beam to match field of vision
- Powered by rechargeable AAA NiMH battery (charger sold separately) or AAA alkaline battery
- Includes stainless steel split ring on tailcap to securely attach to keyring