In this guide we’ll take a look at the best LED torches for the UK market.
I’ve compared brightness, weight, design and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What is the Best LED Torch?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
Super bright LED torch with up to 117 hours battery life!
This Maglite ML300L LED Torch is incredibly bright – rivalling the power of a car headlight. With five different modes, including an ‘eco’ setting which will allow the battery to last for up to 117 hours. It’s durable, reliable, and has an adjustable beam that can change from ‘spot’ to ‘flood’ lit by simply twisting the head.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Torch Reviews
Maglite ML300L LED Torch Review
This Maglite ML300L LED Torch has all of Maglite’s typical reliability and durability, PLUS the efficiency of LED technology. This is probably the brightest torch I have ever used!
At full power it produces a brightness similar to that of a car’s headlights – it’s really quite astounding. You’ll never get left in the dark again!
The torch produces 625 lumens and has five modes: momentary, full power, low power, eco and strobe. You can adjust the settings simply and easily by repeatedly clicking the power button. The beam is also adjustable from spot to flood with a simple twist of the head.
In eco mode, the batteries will last for up to a whopping 117 hours and still produce 58 lumens. In full power, which is really bright, I ran it for almost 16 hours on one set of Duracell batteries. The torch requires 3 x D batteries which don’t come included.
In terms of construction, it’s solid and well built. Perfect for camping trips, night walks, and any other night-time missions. It’s also classically stylish with a black aluminium body and a textured band for extra grip.
The incredible power of this model makes it one of the best LED torch models available. If you’re after sheer power and a torch as bright as a car headlight, you don’t need to look anywhere else!
Ledlenser Professional LED Torch Review
This Ledlenser Professional LED Torch is the priciest out of all the models I reviewed; however, it’s definitely the best LED torch in terms of quality, performance and versatility. It just missed out on the top spot due to its slightly steep price tag.
It is a large torch made from tough, aircraft-grade aluminium with a matt finish for extra grip. It’s water resistant which is so handy in the UK – you never know when you might need to use a torch outside, and you don’t want to be left in the dark just because it’s raining.
What’s more, it’s got a very stylish, sleek design and looks very professional. Considering everything it offers, this is probably the torch I would go for personally!
It features an extra-large power button that is easy to use even when wearing gloves, and has three modes which are easy to ‘click’ through: boost, high power and low power.
The torch comes supplied with 3 x D Duracell batteries and has a belt clip for hands-free use. It also comes with a handy belt pouch, so you always know where to find it.
The beam is 450 lumens, so on paper it’s not as powerful as the previous torch. However, this model incorporates an Advanced Focus System and Smart Light Technology to generate a homogenous bright white light beam that can reach up to 420 m.
There is the option to turn thed light focus from a spot to a flood beam.
Ledsenser torches also have replaceable parts meaning that when a part fails you do not have to replace the whole unit. This is definitely the sign of a quality item as it has been built to last.
It also comes attractively boxed so would make a fantastic gift.
If you need a torch on a regular basis, that will shine extremely brightly whilst allowing you to use it in rainy weather and with gloves, this is a great option.
CVLIFE 1800 Lumens LED Flashlight Review
This CVLIFE 1800 Lumens LED Flashlight produces an incredible 1800 lumens and the beam is adjustable from spot to flood. It also has three modes: high, low and strobe.
The casing is well made and constructed from black aluminium alloy. It is not as sleek and stylish as the Maglite but it has a rugged, military-look style of its own.
The torch comes with a 18650 Rechargeable Battery, a wall charger and a car charger. You do not remove the battery to charge the unit but simply plug in the cable to the torch body. The battery will last a good 5-6 hours on full power.
If you’re looking for a rechargeable torch that has plenty of power and is fantastic value for money, the CVLIFE 1800 Lumens LED Flashlight is definitely an excellent choice!
ThorFire S70S Super Bright Torch Review
This ThorFire S70S Super Bright Torch is perfect for outdoor activities; it is fully waterproof and very powerful.
This is a large, weighty torch. It has a hard-anodized aluminium casing in black that looks quite stylish and comes with a handy carrying strap.
The power is impressive, with an outstanding output of 3960 lumens – the highest of all the torches on this list. It has 6 modes: low, mid, high, turbo, strobe and moonlight.
The different modes will not only change the brightness of the beam, but also how long the battery will last for. It will run for approximately 72 hours on low power and on its the highest output can last for just under 4 hours.
The low power mode still offers a decent amount of light, so if you’re camping or doing a similar outdoor activity you should be able to use it on low power and not worry about the battery dying during the trip.
Light modes can be changed by a simple press of the power button. Also, very handily, the torch’s ‘memory’ means that it remembers the last setting used and goes back to that when you switch it back on.
It requires 2 x 18650 batteries, or 2 x button-top 26650 batteries, which are not included.
Things to Know Before Buying an LED Torch
A reliable, durable torch is an essential too; whether it’s kept at home in case of a power cut, or packed away for use on camping trips. I am a firm believer that no home should be without at least one powerful LED torch!
LED torches tend to be brighter than traditional torches, plus they’re also more energy efficient, making them a popular choice. LED torches are also available in a range of sizes to suit your needs.
If you’re considering purchasing an LED torch but you’re not sure what to look out for, these tips should help inform your decision:
A torch’s brightness is measured in lumens, and LED torches tend to be very bright. In general, the higher the lumens, the brighter the torch and the longer its range.
That said, some torches use specially developed technology, such as the Ledlenser Professional LED Torch. This model only produces 450 lumens yet incorporates ‘Smart Light Technology’ so its beam can reach up to 420 m. As you can see, lumens can be a helpful indicator of a torch’s potential, but they may not tell the whole story. It also depends what filters and technology are involved.
For everyday use such as camping or searching for things in the shed, 450 lumens should be enough. Higher lumen torches are suitable for more specific tasks, and some of my recommendations can produce up to 4000 lumens!
Some torches come with blinking, strobe and SOS modes which are handy for attracting attention in an emergency.
The higher the lumens and power output of the torch, the quicker the battery may drain. Torches either come with built-in rechargeable batteries, removable rechargeable batteries or disposable batteries.
Torches with built-in batteries are very handy. Often these torches can be charged via a micro-USB, meaning they can even be charged in the car! However, you may need to replace the entire torch if the battery fails. These torches remove the necessity to rely on having spare batteries around, but the downside is they may start to dim even when the batteries still have some charge left.
Torches that use disposable batteries are generally the cheapest to buy, and the output is relatively even, up to when the batteries run out of juice. They usually have a good run time (although there’s always the risk someone will remove the batteries to use for another device!). Buying disposable batteries can be expensive, and they are not the most environmentally friendly choice because they release chemicals when disposed of.
Some torches have an eco-mode which will prolong battery life. When manufacturer’s advertise the battery-life-potential of their torches, the data shown usually refers to the torch being used on its eco or lowest-power setting. Regardless, it’s a good reference to have.
If you’re going to be using your torch on camping or hiking trips, durability and weather resistance are key.
Your torch should be able to withstand the odd knock and bump. The more durable models will have an aluminium body.
Remember that ‘water resistant’ and ‘waterproof’ are different:
A water-resistant torch can withstand splashes and a short amount of time being used in light rain.
A fully waterproof torch can withstand being submerged and used in heavier downpours. If you’re camping outside in the UK summer (a season not known for its reliably dry weather…) you might benefit from having a waterproof torch. These do come with a higher price tag though.
The torch’s IP rating will indicate how waterproof it is – it’s worth running the IP rating through google before purchasing a torch to check exactly what type of weatherproofing you’ll be getting.
LED torches are available in a range of sizes and weights.
If you’re going to be carrying your torch in a backpack, look for a small, lightweight model. Some models even come with belt clips which can be great for camping and hiking – they will also attach to the outside of your rucksack.
If you’re keeping your torch at home in the event of a power cut, a powerful and larger model is a great option – it’s less likely to get misplaced and will come to the rescue in a whole host of scenarios!
If you’re going to be using the torch with gloves on, or in especially wet conditions, there are a couple of additional things to look out for.
A larger power button will make the torch much easier to use. This is true of general use, but especially true if you are wearing gloves.
Making sure the button is relatively large and pronounced will make your life a lot easier. It will also mean that it’s easier to turn the torch on in the dark (because you can feel the switch!), and more convenient to click through the different modes.
Checking what type of grip the torch has is also worthwhile. If you’ll be using it in potentially damp or wet conditions, a rubber or textured shaft will make the torch less slippy and easier to use.
LED Torch FAQs
These are useful features to have if you’ll be using your LED torch on outdoor adventures. A blinking or strobe light helps vehicles see you more easily if you are walking by the roadside. The SOS mode uses Morse code – three short flashes, three long flashes, three short flashes – to signal for help in the event that you get into trouble.
The brightest LED torch available has 100,000 lumens – for everyday use, you won’t need a torch with more than 400 lumens!
Staring at a bright LED torch is very uncomfortable, but providing you have the appropriate brightness for the task at hand, it’s unlikely to do too much damage. A torch that’s too bright can temporarily damage your vision, especially in very dark conditions.