Travel

TOP 8 LIST: Best Flashlight Under $30 in 2022 | Etramping Adventure Blog


Not all flashlights have to break the bank! If you’re looking for a high-quality flashlight for home or work use, you can actually find some really great ones for under $30. Being able to light your way is definitely affordable with these flashlights. If you’re looking for a cheap, affordable, yet effective flashlight, take a look at our compiled list below of some of the best options available online.

What is the Best Flashlight Under $30?

We could say that we traveled the world to find for you the Best Flashlight Under $30 and it’s partially true – we’ve been on the road since 2011 after all.

More importantly, we have done a very thorough research online and have gone through most of the available under $30 flashlights that you can buy today. We read the comments left by people who bought and used these flashlights under $30.

We also wrote a brief flashlights under $30 Buying Guide and FAQ sections to address most questions you may have.

Without further ado, here’s the list of top 8 under $30 flashlights based on their pricing, specs and ratings by real users.

1. GearLight S1000 LED Flashlight

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.3 Pounds (0.1 kg)
Size: 6.1 x 1.6 x 1.6 Inches (15.5 x 4 x 4 cm)
Batteries: 3x AAA
Brightness (Lumens): 800
Type: LED

This classical design of Ben & Howell’s TacLight reached Chinese OEM factories. Now, you’ll find it under different brand names while browsing online listings. It’s not bad news!

S1000 is an indestructible pack of value with two military-grade flashlights and accessories! It integrates sought-after features, such as multi-mode and zoomable settings. And it goes the extra mile by providing cases of battery holders too!

Gearlight’s tendency to drag older LED technology is problematic. As a result, the torch’s brightness lingers below 1000 lumens despite its potential. Overall, it makes an amazing purchase. And the polite staff is quick to resolve issues if there are any.

Pros

  • Classic all-weather design,
  • Order one and unpack two,
  • Anti-roll bezel,
  • Proactive customer service

Cons

  • Older LED chips,
  • Quality control issues

2. Streamlight MicroStream USB Rechargeable Pocket Flashlight

Streamlight MicroStream USB Rechargeable Pocket Flashlight
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.1 Pounds (0 kg)
Size: 3.6 x 0.6 x 0.6 Inches (9.1 x 1.5 x 1.5 cm)
Batteries: Rechargeable
Brightness (Lumens): 250
Type: EDC

MicroStream has rebranded for the 250-lumen variant this time. It’s a fivefold surge from older versions. The high setting has also been given precedence after consumers’ demand. However, you might miss medium-level brightness between two extremes.

Brace yourself for stylish shades of brown, blue, and red.

It’s made to withstand aggressive use. The military-grade machined aluminum boosts durability and finishing of the product. Its polycarbonate lens is scratch-proof; tested for 1m impact and water resistance.

You’ll get a mighty battery, USB cable, high-strength lanyard, and user guides with the flashlight. There is an option to choose clamshell packaging instead of regular boxes.

Pros

  • Extended brightness,
  • USB rechargeable,
  • MIL-SPEC Type II case,
  • Modish color schemes

Cons

  • No medium mode,
  • Charging adapters are sold separately

3. HAUSBELL Handheld Luminous Flashlights

HAUSBELL Handheld Luminous Flashlights
Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.1 Pounds (0.1 kg)
Size: 4.3 x 2.2 x 1.3 Inches (10.9 x 5.6 x 3.3 cm)
Batteries: 1x AA
Brightness (Lumens): 300
Type: EDC

Hausbell has no parallel in manufacturing aviation-grade accommodating frames. Take its lotus-shaped head, for example, providing tactical arms for an emergency.

It holds an enormous amount of brightness which is rare in alkaline-powered mini flashlights. The focused beam can hit 300m distant objects. Or zoom it out into a wide circle to illuminate an entire room.

The output is adjustable to flashing and medium mode. However, the switching mechanism turns this spec into strain. There is no memory or separate on/off switch. So with each click, the high brightness flares up only to kick in successive modes with intermediate turn-offs before recurring.

Pros

  • Small and shimmering powerhouse,
  • Hard-wearing construction,
  • Lotus-shaped head,
  • Up to 50% coupon at 4-pack

Cons

  • Disappointing mode switch,
  • Temperamental output

4. Streamlight Stylus Pro Pen Light

Streamlight Stylus Pro Pen Light
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.2 Pounds (0.1 kg)
Size: 5.3 x 0.6 x 0.6 Inches (13.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 cm)
Batteries: 2x AAA
Brightness (Lumens): 100
Type: Penlight

In the world of ProTacs and Streams, Stylus penlights often get less acknowledgment. But they feature all the rugged and reliable characteristics with one upside. The head-to-tail diameter is only 15mm, fitting most compact places and adding no weight.

It also has a white C4 LED that shines like a full moon at 100 lumens. And HPL downrange beam pattern allows you to inspect from 60m afar.

Its stiff tail switch makes the only challenge. You need an iron thumb to turn it off. Otherwise, the momentary application is seamless. If you’re looking to send Morse code embedded signals, this might be your guy!

Pros

  • Sleek pen-sized design,
  • Abrasion-resistant,
  • High-performance beam,
  • Six colors available

Cons

  • Strenuous switching,
  • Single-mode

5. VIPERTEK VTS-195 Tactical Flashlight

VIPERTEK VTS-195 Tactical Flashlight
Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.8 Pounds (0.3 kg)
Size: 8 x 3 x 2.3 Inches (20.3 x 7.6 x 5.8 cm)
Batteries: Rechargeable
Brightness (Lumens): 350
Type: Tactical

VTS-195 is a flashlight plus stun gun combo. With a rechargeable battery, it provides reliable nighttime assistance. The deadly, whirring electroshock is enough to put off an attacker. And having a brilliant flashlight at your side will never go useless. A multi-stage switch controls its features. However, the torch and taser work separately. Also, an on/off button is tucked within the tail cap to prevent accidental discharges.

The stun gun is wonderful, given the price point. Although the specifics are not mentioned, we estimate it shoots 1μC of charge. Its potential downsides are only limited to the metal prongs that block the spotlight.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty stun gun,
  • Bright illumination,
  • Rechargeable battery,
  • USB cord included

Cons

  • Non-adjustable flashlight,
  • Illegal in many states

6. Anker Bolder LC40 Flashlight

Anker Bolder LC40 Flashlight
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.3 Pounds (0.1 kg)
Size: 5 x 1.3 x 1.3 Inches (12.8 x 3.3 x 3.3 cm)
Batteries: Rechargeable Li-ion
Brightness (Lumens): 400
Type: LED

Bolder LC40 packs a powerful punch in its small dimension. It produces 400 lumens at the brightest setting that can be diminished to 120 and even 20. Strobe and SOS modes come next. Hold the switch for a little longer, and it quickly turns off.

The battery is amazing. It’d exhaust after 20hrs of medium-level output and require six hours to be able to join the field again.

The industry-leading XPG2 bulb has a 50000hrs lifespan. Its dedicated IC supplies non-fading brightness consistently. Also, LED’s rubber wrapping makes it water-impregnable to an extent. It has your back in extreme conditions, whether polar chilly or desert dusty.

Pros

  • 20hrs average runtime,
  • Integrated pocket clip,
  • Weather-resistant,
  • 18-month warranty

Cons

  • Slow charging,
  • No adjustable focus

7. NICRON N7 90-degree Tactical Flashlight

NICRON N7 90-degree Tactical Flashlight
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.1 Pounds (0.1 kg)
Size: 4.4 x 0.8 x 0.8 Inches (11.2 x 2 x 2 cm)
Batteries: 1x AA
Brightness (Lumens): 600
Type: Magnetic

Sometimes, you need both hands without having to hold a wobbly torch in a drooling mouth. In such times of dexterity, you can affix magnetic flashlights to the chassis or fuse box.

The N7 has a 90-degree rotatable head for positioning of the beam’s focus at any desired angle. The standard AA battery emits 200 lumens. But a 14500 rechargeable can turn it into a workhorse by maximizing the output three times over.

You can clip it to your pocket or purse for worry-free trekking, fishing, and dog walking whether it rains or snows. The tough construction is up to sustain any accidental drops.

Pros

  • Rotatable head,
  • Four mode switching,
  • Super strong magnet,
  • Waterproof and fall-proof

Cons

  • Batteries are not included,
  • Low brightness at AA battery

8. OLIGHT I3T EOS Dual-Output Flashlight

OLIGHT I3T EOS Dual-Output Flashlight
Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.1 Pounds (0 kg)
Size: 0.7 x 4.5 x 1.5 Inches (1.8 x 11.3 x 3.7 cm)
Batteries: 1x AAA
Brightness (Lumens): 180
Type: EDC
Tail Diameter: 0.59
Head Diameter: 0.59

The I3T has leveled up the convenience of EDC (every day carry) flashlights. It’s a palm-sized solution with mind-blowing features.

Talk about portability – it clings to your pocket with dual-direction clips and little weight. Its TIR optic lens spreads out the intense beam. With a tail switch, you can shift the output from momentary to constant and low to high. The first setting produces 5 lumens of brightness, whereas the second one skyrockets to 180.

Nonetheless, it’s expected to last no more than an hour in the latter case. The silver lining is that alkaline batteries are widely available!

Pros

  • Balanced beam,
  • Light and Portable,
  • Waterproof,
  • Anti-slip DNA design

Cons

  • Premium pricing,
  • Short battery life on high setting

Verdict

TLDR: Quick summary of our findings as to what can be considered the best flashlight under $30 is below:

Overall best flashlight under $30 out there: GearLight S1000 LED Flashlight

Premium Pick if money is not much of an issue: Streamlight MicroStream USB Rechargeable Pocket Flashlight

Budget Choice – there’s no shame in spending prudently: HAUSBELL Handheld Luminous Flashlights

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying Flashlights Under $30

Lumens And Light Output

Lumen is a measure of the flashlight light output – so the ideal lumen number will depend on your situation. Usually, a flashlight with 300 to 1000 lumens is considered versatile enough for everyday use and frequent nightly tasks. But the number can go up for certain tasks that require more light output.

For reading or random everyday tasks, you will find a 300 lumens flashlight to be useful enough. For camping or similar outdoor activities like nightly walks or running, a 300 to 900-lumen flashlight will work well. If you’re hunter or military personnel, you may need to spot your prey or a threat from a considerable distance – for such situations, pick a flashlight with a light output of 1250-2500 lumens.

Flashlights with a higher light output than 2500 lumens are usually used in search and rescue operations as such operations require a much-focused illumination.

Run Time

The run time of a flashlight primarily depends upon its batteries. Li-Ion batteries have the highest energy capacity and they are also rechargeable. While alkaline and lithium are long-lasting disposable batteries. Other factors that affect the run time of a flashlight are its power draw i.e., its brightness setting, light output, and the number of batteries. A flashlight will last longer on a lower brightness setting than on a higher one. Flashlights with the lowest lumens will last the longest. Also, the higher the number of batteries the longer the run time of a flashlight. Choose the variables that best suit your situation.

Battery Type

The best battery type for your flashlights depends entirely upon your use. Whether you want it to be rechargeable, or disposable. Do you need to use them right away or after a while? The size and the weather in which the flashlight will be used also matters. The most common rechargeable batteries are alkaline batteries. Found in AAA, AA, C, and D types, their nominal voltage is 1.5V and they have a self-discharge rate of approx. 2-3% per year, making them an excellent and easily available choice if you want a disposable battery for an emergency flashlight that is stored most of the time. If you want better performance in rechargeable batteries, go for lithium batteries. With a nominal voltage of 3V per cell and extreme weather endurance, they are perfect if you are looking for a disposable battery with a lower discharge rate than alkaline batteries. The only con is that they are more expensive than alkaline batteries.

If you want rechargeable batteries, as they are far more cost-effective in the long run, there are two options available – Lithium Ion and NiMH batteries. NiMH can be found in standard alkaline battery sizes but Li-Ion batteries come in their own standard sizes like 18650. NiMH batteries last longer than standard alkaline batteries despite having lower (1.25V) voltage owing to their lower discharge rate.

With a nominal voltage of 3.7V per cell Li-Ion batteries beat every other battery in terms of energy density, although its prices are reflective of that. Read the instruction manual of your flashlight to pick the best battery option for yourself. Also, consider your requirements and the use of your flashlight (emergency use, everyday use, etc.).

Durability

Best flashlights are those that provide consistent high performance for a long period without succumbing to wear and tear. When it comes to durability anodized aluminum and titanium-made flashlights score the highest. Aluminum is the lighter and more portable option – anodized aluminum is also highly resistant against corrosions. Titanium is heavier than aluminum but provides higher durability, making it perfect to be used in a rugged or outdoor setting. A flashlight also has to be water-resistant to be durable, so make sure to purchase one with a high IP rating.

Portability

The portability of a flashlight directly depends upon its size and weight. Pocket-sized LED flashlights made from aluminum are the best when it comes to picking the ideal portable flashlights. Not only are LED bulbs long-lasting but they also do not produce excessive heat – while aluminum is extremely lightweight and durable, making the combination of both an ideal portable flashlight option. Most compact LED flashlights to have a light output of 500-1000 lumens making them far superior to mobile phone torches. Consider a water-resistant LED flashlight with a belt clip for maximum performance, portability, and endurance.

Questions and Answers About Flashlights Under $30

How many lumens is a good flashlight?

This depends on what function you want the flashlight to fulfill. An EDC (everyday carry) used to illuminate the indoors and maybe even outdoor camping activity only requires 20-150 lumens. If you require a longer throw and better light, such as required in a search-and-rescue, it can go up above 1000 lumens.

What is the strobe function on a flashlight for?

Bright, flashing lights are disorienting and can be used as a self-defense measure. Flicker vertigo or Bucha effect is a result of flashing pulses of relatively bright light which can induce disorientation/vertigo/nausea. The strobe function can also act as a distress signal as a secondary function.

How do I adjust the brightness of my flashlight?

First, you have to check if your flashlight has the function to adjust the brightness. Some simple everyday flashlights cannot adjust the brightness. Once you’ve ascertained that, there will most probably be some sort of a twisting mechanism at either end of the torch or a button where you can slide to varying levels on the handle that will allow you to adjust the brightness.

Are tactical flashlights waterproof?

Yes, most if not all tactical flashlights are waterproof. Tactical flashlights as the name suggests, are used mostly for tactical or enforcement purposes. This means that they will have to be designed to cope and deal with most of what the external environment deals with, including water.

What makes a flashlight tactical?

There are a few main factors that make a flashlight tactical. They are usually smaller and more lightweight than the average flashlights. Made with weapon-grade aluminum, it is designed for maximum durability and can double up as a weapon on its own as well. In terms of functionality, they will usually be of higher lumen; have the ability to navigate the settings to change the light intensity or even the type of lighting, and have a more user-friendly and easily accessible design.

Bettina Cabana is a web designer and a freelance fashion blogger. She loves to write about the latest trends, women's fashion, and a lot more in the industry. Bettina has been working for multiple clients in the past many years. She likes to explore new places, cultures, and cook in her free time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.