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Enlighten me. What are the best flashlights these days?

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Hm, case-in-point: went on one of those Ghost Tours last night, walking with a large group. Full moon, but city shadows. Fenix light I brought helped/out performed the costumed guide's light. Helpful. E28, a discontinued model. Got warm on full blast but a 18650 can dump photons at a rapid rate!

Thanks for the input, guys! I'll definitely be picking up one or two of these flashlights after the holidays when I start putting together the camping kit. Of course, the Maglites aren't going to be put out to pasture, and will go along with us, and I always have propane lanterns at the campsite and fishing spot for overall lighting.
Note- I fully acknowledge that Fenix/Olight/Nitecore make quality lights with extensive feature sets.I am simply making a choice not to buy goods made in China particularly, but not exclusively, by Chinese owned companies when I can help it, even if that means I have to spend more money.

I fully acknowledge that Chinese manufacturer can make superlative gear i.e. Arcteryx and Apple.

I fully acknowledge that there are an ever growing number of spaces where certain things are almost exclusively being made in China making my goal more difficult to impossible.

I fully acknowledge that one's budget may drive this train toward intersection of quality/value v Tier 1 hopefully caught on sale.

Having said all that:

For headlamps, I like Black Diamond/Petzland Streamlight

For handhelds, I like Surefire, Malkoff, Pelican and Streamlight.


I didnt know
Staff member
I just jumped on the Olight train. I gave away my Nitecore P30 last night because I bought an Olight Marauder Mini last week so I could have more useful flood. What a light. Runtimes are crazy with the new battery and when I had to fix a fridge the other night I put it on turbo, set it on its tail on the stove and didnt even notice a step down while I fixed the fridge. It was hot, but not hot enough to not handle. It gives an immensely powerful wall of light and, with the flip of a switch, a nice tight spot with very nearly the same reach as my P30 without any flood.

You mention a camping light. The next light I have in mind you might find interesting but it doesnt have RGB emitters, although the Marauder Mini does, in both spot and flood at all light levels.

Olight Baton 4

On the next sale I'll buy one. The case is used for charging and can also be used as a power bank. A lot of power in a very small package. In one review I watched, he used it for a weeks camping trip, recharging it through the case every day and didnt drain the power bank.


Likes a fat handle in his hand
What an awesome topic discussion, because guess what? I LOVE FLASHLIGHTS!


I been around since the square Duracell incandescent AA flashlights were a thing, and 4 D-Cell Mag-lights were considered king. Back in the day, those were considered bright, and they were also an awesome self defense bonk over the head weapon too, thats why police used them! But like many companies, Mag-Light, Circuit City, Radio Shake, they think they will be king for life, and rest on their laurels, and never innovate, or update to the times, and thus, fall by the wayside, while other brands follow suit, to take up the mantle. I still own my 4-Cell Mag-Light though, I won't get rid of it, even if its outdated.

My first foyay into modern day CREE LED fired flashlights, was a Chinese brand known as Ultrafire. The same flashlight is made with many different brand names, but they are all the same. they can be summed up as pure garbage. They like to use words like, 20,000 lumens, aircraft aluminum, tactical, and look a zoom lens. Then when you use them, you realize the light is nowhere near 20,000 lumens, more like possibly 500 lumens if that, and the supposed aircraft aluminum chips easily when knocked into something, and the zoom lens turns into a square bulb shape when zoomed in and becomes useless.

I have a family member who also bought one of those himself, and his had all those failings, plus an additional one, the cheap non-protected 18650 Chinese cell, decided to stop taking a charge, because it got bloated, and was leaking, and only the exterior plastic sleeve, kept the battery acid from getting onto his fingers. So it got a wonderful retirement, in the 5-gallon bucket of sand spa, for all eternity. Enjoy the sand scrub Mr. battery, cause your never getting out of your sand prison, its for our protection.

9-years ago, I went to a popular flashlight forum ( I won't say the name, but you already know who it is ) and I asked for help, and to be properly educated on modern day flashlights, so as to prevent mistakes like that again. Well, I got quite the education, not only in flashlights, but also in lithium batteries. This is when I decided to get my first Nitecore Ec4 flashlight, which was an amazing light for its time. I still got it BTW, and it still works great.


Now, that EC4 is the real deal, 1000-lumens on turbo, and they have independent testing to prove that BTW. Its got a real aircraft aluminum body casing, a combination of square and round design, with heat sink fins that remind one of a Westinghouse industrial power plant complex. It holds 2 Nitecore or Japanese Panasonic 18650 lithium cells in it, accessible by a thumb screw in back. It has a power on/off button, as well as a mode button to cycle through the different power levels of brightness.

This was never a tactical flashlight by design, because it doesn't have a single or two button operation on the back of the flashlight, nor does it has a strike bezel in front. This was considered a home use budget flashlight. I think its slightly too big however to be considered an EDC flashlight, so more of a keep in your utility kitchen drawer, on your night stand, or keep in your car light. It would also make a perfect camping light, cause I mean come on, do you really need more then 1000 lumens walk around your campsite? Sadly, this light had its 9-year run, has since been discontinued.

After 9-years of technology improvements from Nitecore, I decided that January was the time, for late Christmas gifts. Both a family member and I, are getting new flashlights, so what did we pick? Well, I am so glad you asked! 😁 Nitecore MH25 PRO & Nitecore MH12 PRO



Since I am not in law enforcement, or military, I don't need a true tactical flashlight, as I find the single or double button design on the end to be quite cumbersome and unnecessary for someone like me. My family member is less techy then me, and would hate true tactical lights for the same reason. I however don't mind that the power on/off button is on the back end though, since thats its one true function, other then being a combo button to turn on ultra low night mode, or change from daily mode to tactical mode.

Both of these lights are essentially the same, other then the fact that the MH25 PRO has longer throw distance, but both support the same modes and light power. What I like about this design, is that it has a separate mode button, like my EC4 had, for changing light power. But a huge improvement IMO, is that they included a battery level gauge, so you now know how much battery power you have left. And it also has a light power level gauge as well, confirming which mode you are in, which is truly excellent IMO!

These lights also have the typical modes that most Nitecore flashlights support these days like, alternating strobe, beacon, SOS. And beings that it does have a tactical mode, technically law enforcement, or security could use these lights, in a light duty operation, even though they were not specifically designed for that use case. These lights are unique however, because they use both Nitecore's own Nitelab's UHI-40 LED, as well as Nitecore's 21700 Lithium batteries, making them a true 100% Nitecore product!

Both the Nitecore MH12 PRO and MH25 PRO, have a max light output of 3300 lumens, and up to 63,500 candela for the MH12 PRO, and 124,300 candela for the MH25 PRO. So, if I am being honest, the reason we got these lights, were not just for lighting up the darkness to find our way, but seeing those ratings, its not difficult to see, that these would also be excellent self defense lights against an assailant who wishes us harm. If we hit a bad guy with 3300 lumens of 124,000 candela light power in a full strobe, we will be able to blind and disorient someone for plenty of time to get away.

In the original SuperMan movie, Louis Lane could have used such a light, against the guy who mugged her with a revolver in that ally. Imagine if they had such technology like this back then? In the end it was SuperMan who saved her, but of course he did, he was the chosen one to be everybodies everyday hero, fighting for truth, justice, and the American way, who could say no to that right? Well, America has changed a ton since then, so those words fall a bit flat now days, but lets not get into that boulder rolling down the hill to flatten your hopes into broken dreams.



The only negatives I've heard about these two lights are, ( 1 ) it can only do 3300 lumens for up to 30-seconds, due to heat buildup, the sensor triggers a reduction to high mode, which is 1200 lumens, for heat dissipation. And ( 2 ) the new Nitecore UHI-40 LED produces a slight green tint. But if you read the way folks speak about it, you'd think it was the end of the world and somebody just killed their hero or something. A slight green tint to the LED is not a big deal folks, its not going to end the world as we know it, grow up sheesh lol.

And because Nitecore makes truly awesome flashlights now days, of course they are both IP68 waterproof up to 2m in water. You can also see the lighting times in the technical data sheet. I research the crud out of stuff like this before I buy, although my family member is technically the one buying both of these lights for us lol. So, I am pretty sure we are both going to absolutely love our new lights, talk about an upgrade from the 9yo EC4! These are also both sold for an excellent price too, you don't have to pay a lot of money to get these lights, thats another benefit.

I would say 99% of all people, don't really need anything more then 600 to 1000 lumens. But being able to sustain 1200 lumens for a long time, or 3300 lumens for a short time, is absolutely superb. And being able to also have 1 to 300 lumens for the lower modes, is also superb. I can't wait till we get our new lights. Thanks for providing me a wonderful thread to talk about flashlights, it really made me happy to talk to you today. Thanks for your eyeballs, I hope you have a wonderful day!


Likes a fat handle in his hand
Hello everyone, I certainly am having a brighter day! ( Get it brighter? Oh HaHa ) The flashlights came, the MH12 PRO went to the family member, and so I only bothered taking pics of my new MH25 PRO. Enjoy the pics!

@Ad Astra This is the light you want buddy, take your pick, they are both awesome...












I am absolutely loving this flashlight, its freaking bright, great combination of solid throw for distance, as well as a bit of floody, to light up my immediate surroundings. Works great both indoors and outdoors. Solid build construction, feels like an actual tool, not a toy! Mode button feels good, and the power on/off button feels real tactile clicky, super solid. Cap threads are super tight tolerance, and threads are smooth, not scratchy like on a cheap light, it threads like butta!

I attached the wrist strap to the rear cap, and I keep it in the holster it came with, when not in use. Currently I am putting a charge on it, USB-C cable charging is such a pleasure to use, as I don't need to buy a new Nitecore charger unit or remove the battery to charge. I tested the strobe without looking at it, and just the bright flashing 3300 lumens reflecting off my white walls, was enough to make me panic.

I think I have fallen in love. 😍
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