Best Flashlights for Technicians in 2023
The world of flashlights can be a crazy one – there is an entire subculture of people who seem to live their lives with the sole goal of buying (or making) the brightest possible lights. We've gone from 100's of lumens to tens of thousands, and the old flashlight battery brick has made way for forced-cooled lithium-ion energy packs. Lights that used to point the way can now light up the night sky.
But don't worry, today we'll keep things limited to the lights that can make the life of the technician a bit easier, especially those that can benefit technicians either as a keychain light or a light that can clip to a shirt or belt. So here's a list of the best flashlights for technicians in 2023.
We've made sure that every type of tech-friendly flashlight is represented here – so we've selected some of the best lights we could find:
- Streamlight MicroStream USB Pocket Light
- RovyVon 550 Aurora A1 CREE XP-G3 S5 LED Super Bright
- NITCORE TUP 1000
- DeWalt 20V MAX LED Flashlight
- Coast A94 Rechargeable Inspection Light
- NITECORE P12 Tactical Waterproof Flashlight
- BUYSIGHT Rechargeable Spotlight
- Streamlight Bandit COB Headlamp
- CAT Pocket COB LED Flood Light – CT1000
- Coast G20 inspection light
Top Rated Flashlight
Streamlight MicroStream USB Pocket Light
The award for the highest customer-rated flashlight on the list of the best flashlights for technicians goes to Streamlight’s one and only MicroStream USB Pocket Light. With 250 lumens of eye-searing brightness, this flashlight will zap away the shadows that cling like cobwebs to crawl spaces, control panels and just about every cable that’s not in a window-lit room–so, like, all the cables ever.
Its solid construction fits reassuringly in the palm of your hand, and its 3.87-inch case translates to 223 feet of visibility. That's almost the distance of a football field! With its rechargeable battery, you can light the way for 3 ½ hours of continuous use on low or 1 ½ hour on high. Your choice.
Gone are the days of cumbersome headlamps with this nifty, little clip you can attach to the rim of a baseball cap or the hem of a shirt for easy storage. Maybe, just maybe, you won’t lose it this time. And hopefully, you don’t since this flashlight comes in a little on the pricier end at $29.40.
Top Rated LED Flashlight
RovyVon 550 Aurora A1 CREE XP-G3 S5 LED Super Bright
Not only does the RovyVon 550 Aurora A1 CREE XP-G3 S5 LED Super Bright earn a prize for the longest (and weirdest) name in our list, but it also wins the award for best output to weight ratio.
The light is tiny – but still manages to push out an incredible 550 lumens. How it does this is probably through LED magic and voodoo.
Looking into this 550-lumen light will give your vision dark spots for the next 10 minutes – it is that bright. Not only does it output a lot of light, but it does this using a tiny aperture of about 9mm. The light has a single button to switch between its two brightness settings and strobe mode.
Just under the keychain opening is a rubber plug for the MicroUSB port. In my testing, I found the cap tough to remove and usually had to resort to using a small knife to remove it.
The light is only rated IPX5, which means it'll survive a few splashes from rain, but can not be submerged. The RovyVon 550 Aurora A1 CREE XP-G3 S5 LED Super Bright comes in several colors and retails for a very reasonable $27.
Most Versatile Flashlight
Most Versatile: Nitecore TUP 1000
Take all the coolest features you can think of in a tiny flashlight, and you get the Nitecore TUP 1000:
USB charger port, multiple brightness settings, programmable custom modes, a lock feature, an OLED display, and an incredibly bright LED with a TURBO mode capable of 1000 lumens.
The TUP is also the only flashlight in our list that required a glance at the instruction manual. The light arrives in demo mode, locking out some of the other features. With a variety of button presses, you can change the mode and switch it to retail mode, unlocking the 1000-lumen setting.
All these cool features come at a price – the light retails for $65. While most technicians wouldn't dream of dropping that much on a tool they'll probably lose in a year, those with a love for the finer things tend to ignore the price and only focus on the lumen rating.
Best Inspection Flashlight
DeWalt 20V MAX LED Flashlight
DeWALT isn’t just a beloved power tool brand, they take care of your worksite lighting needs, too. That's why it comes as no surprise that this tool makes the top ten best flashlights for technicians. This inspection flashlight in particular comes highly recommended by professionals in the trade with outstanding ratings in brightness, battery life and night vision.
It certainly isn’t the brightest flashlight on the list at 110 lumens, but that’s certainly enough to keep you from falling asleep. Because of this, this tool is better for focused use rather than lightening up an entire workspace.
Critics aside, one of the best features of this tool is the 120-degree rotating head for the option of hand-held or hands-free lighting. With 11 hours of use on high and up to 25 hours on low, this flashlight will definitely get you through to the end of the workday – or two or three. When it does finally die, you can have it recharged and ready to go in less than an hour.
At $40.99 for the bare tool, it’s also not the cheapest. However, DeWALT diehards can save a little on battery costs. Unfortunately, for those who are breaching the DeWALT market, to complete your collection with a 20-volt MAX battery and charger, it’s going to run you an additional $60.
Best Small Flashlight
Coast A94 Rechargeable Inspection Light
The Coast A9R inspection light is one of the thinnest flashlights we've ever seen – at about the thickness of a pencil. Despite its slender frame, it still sports a replaceable Lithium Polymer battery, external charging contacts, and a highly focused LED light designed for inspection work.
Of course, given how thin this light is, you won't be lighting up the sky here, but it is bright enough to find your way around a dark machine or point at parts that may need replacing.
The LED runs for up to 3 hours off a full charge, and the light is water-resistant up to the IPX4 norm.
Longest Lasting LED Flashlight
NITECORE P12 Tactical Waterproof Flashlight
NITCORE makes the list again with its P12 waterproof LED flashlight. It boasts truly impressive runtimes. 1000 lumens is equivalent to 1 ½ hours, 240 lumens gets you 6 hours, decreasing to 70 lumens will buy you 28 hours, and, finally, the energy-conscious lower setting of 1 lumen stretches your battery life to a whopping 520 hours.
This work light is first in its class not just in runtime, but also in lifespan and endurance. It eliminates user fatigue weighing in at only 3.10 ounces without its battery. Several more notable features in its arsenal of selling points are its preferred brightness settings, drop resistance up to 1.5 meters, waterproofing up to 2 meters, its clip and tactical ring.
With brightness and battery life factored in, this flashlight is the clear winner of the longest-lasting LED flashlight division.
Brightest Mechanic Flashlight
BUYSIGHT Rechargeable Spotlight
The BUYSIGHT rechargeable spotlight has unlocked the power of the sun with 10,000 lumens of pure light, making it one of the best flashlights for technicians. This flood light is perfect for illuminating an entire room, but direct its light at an engine or similar confined space, and the shadows will have no place to hide.
The rechargeable battery will last 8-10 hours on high and 20-24 hours on low. It also has a flash/SOS mode that can run for 12-15 hours just in case you find yourself servicing an HVAC machine in the middle of the forbidden forest.
It’s also a super affordable $34.76. BUYSIGHT backs its product with a 4-year warranty, so really, it’s about $8.50 per year. At 1.7 pounds, it’s light enough to hold in your hand or, if the need arises, perch it on its trifold.
Best Headlamp Flashlight
Streamlight Bandit COB Headlamp
This headlamp is one of my personal favorites. And as someone who regularly tinkers in a dark networking closet or drags himself through the crawlspace pulling cables, a headlamp is one of the best flashlights for technicians and definitely a piece of gear you should have in your kit.
One of the first headlamps with a COB LED, this rechargeable light is waterproof, using a MicroUSB port hidden behind a rubber plug.
The light clips into a hinged plate which doubles as a hat clip, and the elastic strap stays tightly on your head with virtually no discomfort, even when wearing it for over an hour.
Speaking of hours, the Bandit can stay on for up to 2 hours and 30 minutes, which is pretty amazing considering how small the unit is.
Best Flood Flashlight
Best Flood Flashlight: CAT Pocket COB LED Flood Light – CT1000
For those needing to brighten the workspace hands-free, this flashlight CT1000 from CAT will do the trick. One of the best flashlights for technicians, it performs a few other tricks as well–as long as you keep it well-fed on batteries. Speaking of which, it comes with 3 AAA batteries for 7 hours of glorious, uninterrupted runtime at 175 lumens of COB LED.
What could be better than that, you ask? A magnetic base and rear pocket clip give you plenty of versatility in placement. Attach it to an overhead pipe or support beam, for example, and watch as it single-handedly turns night to day.
At only $13.60, it will leave enough room in the budget for other toys. We know you have a list. But you can check out ours, too.
Best Cheap Flashlight
Coast G20 Inspection Light
Even though we already featured one inspection light on our list, some of you may be looking for a cheaper option, especially if you don't mind swapping out some AAAs now and then.
The Coast G20 is $14, but most retailers will gladly sell you one for a little over $8 – making it one of the cheapest brand-name flashlights on the market.
The G20 feels excellent, but its best feature is a very highly focused LED beam, making it perfect for troubleshooting equipment.
One feature that Coast is well known for is that all of its retail packages allow you to try the light before you buy it, which means every light you purchase comes with a set of Duracell batteries installed.