A hand holding a bright yellow old flashlight against a blue background.
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Right now, there’s a good chance you’ve got a bright yellow or red flashlight in your junk drawer and, well, it’s a real piece of crap you can’t depend on. No time like the present to replace it with a super bright and reliable new one.

Even If Your Old Flashlight Works, Toss It

Listen, we get it. Nobody wants to be wasteful and that cruddy old flashlight you’ve had banging around in your junk drawer for years still works. But does it work well? Probably not.

In fact, if you haven’t bought a flashlight in a few years (or decades) you’ll be blown away by how much flashlight technology has advanced. That old clunky yellow plastic flashlight in your junk drawer runs off C or D cell batteries and only throws enough light for you to, possibly, avoid falling down the stairs in a power outage.

New flashlights, though? That’s a whole different story. You can pick up compact, rechargeable, and highly efficient LED flashlights these days for so cheap. They’re so bright you won’t just be able to find your way around your house in the dark with ease, but you could even signal ships out at sea with the things.

Given how great modern flashlights are, there’s just no good reason to rely on some clunky old hardware store flashlight that barely throws more light than a candle. Toss it and upgrade to something with some real blast-through-the-night power.

Want Flashlight Suggestions? We’ve Got ‘Em

A rugged flashlgiht sitting on a riverbank.

At the risk of outing myself as a flashlight aficionado, allow me to assure you that you can spend a lot of money on a flashlight. There are some really fancy models out there, especially marketed to the Every Day Carry crowd.

If you want a high-quality finely-milled flashlight capable of throwing 2300 lumens of illumination, I will absolutely be the last one to stop you from living your flashlight dreams. But $120 to replace the $2 flashlight in your junk drawer is a bit of an extreme upgrade. And picking up a 14,000-lumen model that you could use to blind the pilots of low-flying aircraft is a bit excessive for casual home use.

Instead, I’d encourage you to buy some of these more practical and economical options. The old plastic 2 D-battery flashlights found in junk drawers across America only put out about 25 lumens. And the cheap plastic flashlights that replaced them, despite now having LED bulbs, are still only about that bright.

So literally, anything off of this list will blow that old clunker or its new cheap counterpart out of the water. There’s no good reason to spend $8-10 on a low-quality flashlight when you can get so much more for your money.

Our recommendations are a mix of models that use traditional batteries and rechargeable batteries so you can select a model that meets your needs.

LE LED Compact Flashlight

This model is compact, runs off 3 AAA batteries, offers 140 lumens of illumination, and has an IP44 dust and water resistance rating. There's no fancy modes, so if you hate flashlights that make you cycle through high, low, and strobe, this one is just single-click on or off.

Anker Rechargable Pen Light

Use your flashlight more for home repairs and finding lost items and less for power outages? Grab a penlight. This model has a high/low mode with 120 and 40 lumens of illumination, recharges with a USB cable, and is a perfect little light for poking around your house.

Beieverluck Mini LED Light 10 Pack

Forget just the junk drawer, this inexepensive 10-pack of pocket-friendly flashlights will ensure you have a flashlight in every room of your house, your bag, and your car too. Throws 200 lumens of illumination and runs off 2 AAA batteries.

Anker Bolder LC90 Rechargeable Flashlight

Want something a bit brighter? This Anker rechargeable flashlight has a high, medium, and low mode (as well as a strobe and SOS mode) that can throw up to 900 lumens. It's IPX5 rated, and good for everything from power outages to hiking.

If it’s been a long time since you’ve bought a flashlight, I promise you that you’ll be blown away by how good they are now. After picking up one of the models above you’ll be looking for reasons to use it.

Profile Photo for Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Senior Smart Home Editor at How-To Geek. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at How-To Geek, Review Geek, LifeSavvy, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
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