Best flashlight of 2024, according to an expert

Here's how to choose the best flashlight for your needs.

During a power outage or other home emergency, it's always a good idea to have a few flashlights on hand. After all, when the lights stop working and night falls, it's much safer to use a flashlight than to depend on candles to light your way, which can be a fire hazard. Best 200 Watt Solar Panel

Samantha Penta, an associate professor in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the University at Albany, calls flashlights an "important tool" to have in any home emergency kit for both indoor and outdoor use. "Power outages are a frequent feature of emergency situations," Penta says. "Having a separate light source not dependent on the power grid can be essential for moving around in the dark, particularly in areas where there may be physical hazards like downed trees or debris from damaged buildings."

Penta says that, beyond safety concerns, flashlights can be crucial in passing time during an emergency situation, where it's normal for kids and adults alike to miss their beloved screens. "When days are short, simple activities like reading a book become substantially easier when not locked into daylight hours," Penta says. "Options that offer more of a lantern function that allow light to be shone across an entire room can be especially helpful for tasks like preparing food or group activities that may occupy young children."

Read on for 10 of the best flashlights that come highly recommended — including battery-operated, rechargeable and crank-powered options — to add to your home emergency kit.

Maglite D-Cell Xenon Flashlight - $25 at Amazon (was $35)

This water and weather-resistant flashlight from Maglite is made of lightweight aluminum and runs on two D batteries. It has three settings — on, off, and flashing signal — and runs for 8.5 hours on one set of batteries.

This Maglite flashlight has received more than 5,500 five-star reviews on Amazon, and gets high marks for its long battery life and the bright light it provides. "The adjustable focus allows for wide flood to tight spot [lighting] with a range that allows you to see considerable distances with clarity at night," says one purchaser. "[Maglite flashlights] are tough, long lasting and powerful."

Bercol USB-Rechargeable LED Flashlights, 2-Pack - $40 at Amazon (was $46)

This two-pack of LED flashlights comes with two USB charging cords. The flashlights charge quickly and have seven different lighting modes, ranging from bright white light to flashing red signals. The emergency lights also has close to 500 five-star reviews on Amazon.

"[The flashlights] plug in to recharge like your phone as opposed to taking rechargeable batteries out, putting them in a charger and then reassembling," says one reviewer. "[It] is the brightest flashlight I have ever seen … amazing, really."

EverBrite LED Flashlights, 6-Pack - $16 at Amazon (was $18)

This set of six battery-operated flashlights comes with enough AA batteries to power the whole fleet. Perfect for making sure everyone in your family has their own torch, the lights have a wide beam and each comes with a lanyard that makes them easy to keep up with.

The beloved set of flashlights receives nearly 12,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, with reviewers saying they're the perfect size for everything from carrying in a backpack or purse to stashing in the glove box for on-the-go emergencies. "I like to keep little flashlights like these in various places in the house and cars just in case," wrote one purchaser. "These are inexpensive enough that it's cost-effective to do that."

Simpeak Hand-Crank Solar Flashlights, 2-Pack - $15 at Amazon (was $21)

These hand-crank flashlights provide about 10 minutes worth of lighting for each one minute of cranking, making them a great option for continuous light that doesn't depend on having a set of batteries or remembering to charge your light. There's also a solar panel to provide backup power.

More than 2,000 Amazon shoppers have given the flashlights five-star reviews. "Love this light," said one purchaser. "I crank it when there is no sun but leave it out to charge when there is sun. It comes in handy when there are emergencies and I love the fact it doesn't take changing batteries."

Evelots Hand-Crank Emergency Flashlights, 4-Pack - $9 at Amazon (was $10)

This four-pack of hand-crank flashlights is another fantastic option for making sure everyone in the family has a personal flashlight in an emergency. The lights have two powerful LED light bulbs inside that are perfect for everything from reading in low light to navigating the house in the dark during a power outage.

More than 1,500 Amazon shoppers have given this four-pack of lights a five-star review. "Love the flashlights," wrote one reviewer. "No more batteries to replace — just crank it and you have light for those emergencies."

Lepro LE Dimmable Camping Lantern - $27 at Amazon (was $30)

This camping lantern has adjustable brightness, so it's great for everything from reading to illuminating an entire room. It runs on D batteries, lasts up to 12 hours and adjusts between lighting modes like daylight, full brightness and flashing.

The lantern has received more than 32,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. "[The flashlight] takes D batteries which is nice, since I won't have to worry about recharging this thing in a power outage or when outdoors. It has a few light settings and a strobe setting which is a nice feature if you ever need it," wrote one purchaser. "It's an affordable item that provides great value."

MalloMe Camping Lanterns, 4-Pack - $20 at Amazon (was $25)

This four-pack of colorful camping lanterns is perfect for giving each family member their own AA battery-operated lantern in an emergency. Each of these portable lanterns requires four batteries to operate and has a lengthy battery life and easy-to-transport, foldable design.

More than 8,000 Amazon users have given these lanterns a five-star review, calling the devices "inexpensive and bright" and praising them for being "durable" with "good battery life."

Coleman Personal LED Lantern - $15 at Amazon (was $35)

Powered by four D batteries, this personal lantern lasts for 30 hours at high power and 70 hours at low power. Its handle is carabiner-style, allowing it to clip onto bags or bins easily and its bright red color makes it easy to spot when rummaging through emergency supplies.

"The color quality of this light is bright enough without being harsh and it has two intensities," wrote one of the nearly 3,000 Amazon reviews who have given this lantern five stars. "I also like that it has a handle for carrying or hanging and it's lightweight with large, easy-to-use settings."

Yierblue Rechargeable Spotlight Flashlight - $36 at Amazon

This spotlight-style flashlight has rechargeable batteries and lasts up to 20 hours on a single charge. It's also equipped with three different brightness settings and charges super fast thanks to its USB-C charging cord. 

Nearly 1,500 Amazon shoppers have given the device five-star reviews, saying it's bright, lightweight and useful in a variety of situations. "We bought this light to keep on our boat in case of emergencies," shared one reviewer. "We used it when returning back to the dock in the dark after a boat parade and were amazed as to how bright and powerful the light was. It also has a red lens that pops on if needed and a blinking S.O.S. feature."

Lepro LE Rechargeable Headlamp, 2-Pack - $15 at Amazon (was $20)

This super-bright headlamp has six lighting modes — from bright white to flashing red — and comes in a two-pack, making sure multiple members of your household have a hands-free light in an emergency. The lights are USB-rechargeable and provide up to 15 hours of light before the next power-up.

More than 9,500 Amazon shoppers have given the headlamps five-star reviews. "I've used these quite a bit and haven't had any problems with them," said one reviewer. "They're plenty bright for hiking at night or working under a sink … they're comfortable and the battery lasts surprisingly long."

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solar christmas stakes Terri Peters is a freelance writer for Hearst. A writer and editor based in a small Florida beach town, Terri loves crafting a good story, traveling with her family, and watching "Grey's Anatomy" with a glass of Cabernet and her two dogs. When she's not reading or riding her Peloton, she can be found seeking out the best Indian food, poutine and theme park treats she can get her hands on. (Any Mickey-shaped food is usually a favorite).