We all know the sheer convenience of flashlight apps in a quick pinch. While your iPhone’s native utility may prove itself worthy when you’re fumbling in the dark in search of a light switch, they’re far from convenient when it comes to power and efficiency. Thankfully, dedicated LED (light-emitting diode) flashlights excel in terms of size, longevity, and overall brightness, rendering the devices the perfect companion when it comes time to hit the trail or explore the darkest corners of your basement.
Though they can be relatively expensive, most LED flashlights boast a shelf life of more than 25,000 hours, easily surpassing that of their conventional counterparts while producing less light pollution and using a mere 85 percent of the power. LED flashlights aren’t the most visually attractive — unless you want to drop a whopping $300 on something like the Orbita Lighthouse — but they will give you the most bang for your buck in the long run, whether your prefer a traditional cylindrical torch or a modern headlamp. Here our our top picks for the best LED flashlights around. I guess it’s time to load up on those D cells.