UK’s most powerful and best LED torches on the market [Summer 2020]
Table of Contents
Best LED Torches Reviewed UK
We all remember those 80s and 90s horror movies where the next victim is walking in a dark forest or creaky, old, house armed with just a torch. We would watch, knowing what was coming next: – the inevitable failure of the torch. A few shakes and bangs with the hand and it would start working again, only to fail again a few moments later.
Back in those days, torches were quite cumbersome and could be very unreliable, especially if left out for the weather to do its damage.
They also used to eat through batteries like Pacman on power pills, and so weren’t really all that useful unless you shelled out for a pricey top of the range torch or carried around a load of spare batteries.
These days, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to the best torches. Improvements in technology have made it possible to get your hands on a waterproof, shockproof, high beam, LED torch for under a tenner!
They are no longer big, bulky, things either, and many of them can easily slip into your pocket without being a hindrance to movement.
The best LED torches can be used for a wide range of activities, from working in the garden or greenhouse at night, to hiking and camping trips. They produce outstandingly bright light that can have an impressive range and spread. They can even replace work lights in some situations! So, which models are considered the best?
This is truly a difficult thing to say with there being so many excellent torches available, but to make things a bit easier for you, we spent some time with the top rated torches, at the time of writing this article, and wrote up what we thought about them in our reviews.
And don’t forget to check out our in depth buyer’s guide on this page if you feel you need more helpful info.
1. Anker LC90 LED Flashlight
While the LE brand LED torch we just reviewed offers great value for money and should be enough for most people, we know that there are always those of us that will be wanting a bit more from their LED torch, and don’t mind paying a little more for the pleasure.
If that sounds like you, then take a look at our next best LED torch review: – the Anker LC90 model.
This quality of this LED torch is simply excellent and well worth the extra fifteen pounds or so you pay over the LE model. The anodised aluminium body is both lightweight and very strong and the whole product just has a premium feel to it.
This is a great LED torch to have if you spend a lot of time out in the wild, particularly in winter, as it works in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius and as an IPX5 waterproof rating.
And it’s not just on the outside where the quality lies, inside this outstanding LED torch are little features like a gold plated conduction spring, and an overcharge prevention circuit to keep it running perfectly for years to come.
The Anker is around 4-5cm longer than the LE model, but it is still very compact and lightweight. The longer handle design has been purposely done that way for use by police, firefighters, or security personnel and, when combined with the solidity of the head of the torch and the excellent grip, makes a nice striking tool for breaking glass in cases of emergency or in self-defense situations.
With a brightness rating of 900 lumens, this little bad boy can light up a wide arc around you or be focused into a beam that can shine for miles (not literally, but around 150-200 metres and still be bright).
The beam can be focused in the same way as the LE model, by extending or retracting the front part of the torch, and with the Anker you have five different light modes to choose from.
These modes are cycled through by clicking the button on the bottom of the torch and give you the option of high, medium, and low brightness, strobe mode and SOS. The latter two would be useful for security workers and hikers, respectively.
Included in the very nice packaging is a rechargeable 3350mah lithium ion battery and a micro USB charger cable. The battery charging time is between 6-7 hours and you get around 6 hours use out of that, so that’s a pretty good ratio.
This product comes with an 18 month warranty and also excellent customer service from Anker, who are a trusted name in this business.
This is an outstanding little LED torch that is built to last and has an extremely bright beam for something so compact. Definitely one of the best LED torches out there.
2. LE Rechargeable Camping Lantern
We already featured this product in our best work light reviews age, so that just goes to show just how versatile this LED torch really is, and how bright it can be.
Fitted with CREE XML LED lights, it is capable of emitting up to 1000 lumens on the highest setting and is a perfect little tool to take on camping trips with you.
At 25cm long by 17cm tall this is not in any way a pocket torch, but it does have a large handle on top that makes it really easy to carry around and at 850 grams it is hardly what you would call heavy. There is also a good quality shoulder strap that comes with the torch.
There are three lights on this LED torch, one on the front, and one large light on each of the sides. The front light acts as the main torch beam and has a very impressive range, and the two side lights have different functions. One can be used as a lamp around the camp site, and the other can serve as an SOS light with red flashing LEDs.
The side lantern is not as bright as the main torch but also has two modes. On high mode it emits around 130 lumens, while low mode is 70 lumens and great for reading with in your tent.
The LE camping lantern is solidly constructed from very heavy duty plastic and I have no doubt would be able to withstand a few hard knocks, and it is also certified as IPX4 so it is rain proof.
This LED torch is powered by 3600mah lithium ion battery that has great running time. On a full charge, which takes about 6 hours, you can get up to 12 hours of use depending on which light you use and at which brightness setting. The torch comes with a USB charging cable included in the box.
One feature which I think most of us will appreciate these days is the ability to use this LED torch as a power bank and charge up your mobile phone while you’re out in the great outdoors.
This could be a life saver, not only if you need to call out for help, but also if you have device addicted kids who you’ve dragged out on your camping trip who you are pretty sure will jump out of the highest tree if they don’t have their I-pad to play with.
This is not the best choice for someone looking for a small torch to slip in the pocket, but it is absolutely ideal for families who go camping regularly. It’s well made, very bright on the highest settings, and available at an affordable price.
3. Maglite ML300L-S3016 ML300L 3D LED, Black
Maglite torches have been used by police, the armed forces, and emergency services for years, in countries all over the world, particularly in the USA where the company is based.
These LED torches have a reputation of being extremely hard wearing and that makes them ideal for both professional and private use.
Now, you do have to pay a premium for a Maglite but when you consider that people report having got over 10 years of regular use out of theirs, it starts to look like very good value for money.
Maglite LED torches are highly resistant to shock and even a drop from about 1 metre in height onto pavement won’t do much but slightly scratch the anodised aluminium casing.
They are also very water resistant and feature rubber O-rings on both ends of the torch to provide a nice seal that’ll keep both water and other particles out of the inner workings.
I saw one piece of customer feedback that mentioned dropping his into a ditch filled with water and it still worked fine after being retrieved and allowed to dry out.
This model is called a 3D torch because it takes three D-type batteries to power it, but that gives it an incredibly long running time before you have to change them, from 16 hours on high mode to an amazing 117 hours on eco mode.
This is another reason why they are the choice of many professionals whose lives can depend on the reliability of their LED torch.
At a max of 625 lumens, this isn’t the brightest model out there, but quality of the LEDs themselves give this torch an impressive beam distance of around 406 metres with a very high intensity when fully focused in. There are momentary, full power, low power, eco mode, and strobe modes to choose from.
Measuring 12.7 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm and having a little bit of weight to it at 331 grams, this LED torch feels substantial when held in the hand and could quite easily be used to defend oneself if needed, something very useful for security workers.
Easy to use is something I would like to say about the Maglite LED torch, as the beam is adjusted simply by twisting the head. However, setting the lighting modes is a bit more complicated than that and you would have to follow the instructions carefully to set this up, or watch a YouTube video. Once you get the hang of it though, it is fairly straight forward.
If you need a solid LED torch for work that you know won’t fail on you, this is one to go for.
4. iGadgitz Xtra U4456 5m Waterproof Eco Rechargeable Solar & Hand Crank LED Torch Flashlight
With so many products that are virtually clones of each other flooding the various markets these days, it’s nice to see something that is a little more innovative and that stands out amongst the crowd.
iGadgitz Xtra U4456 LED torch is just such a product. It features a rechargeable battery, nothing new there I hear you say, but there is a difference with how this LED torch charges that could make it such a handy tool for so many different situations.
You see, this LED torch has been made with the environment in mind and can be recharged using either the solar panel or by using the hand crank mechanism on the side.
Now, the makers claim that from 1 hour of direct sunlight you will get 90 minutes of torchlight but I would say that is an overestimate even on the lowest brightness setting, and from our tests it needed more than a few hours to charge up that way.
The hand crank on the other hand worked really well. It has a reassuring level of resistance when turning it so it actually feels like it’s doing something, and after turning for a few minutes it’ll give you decent amount of operating time in return. If the light starts to dim, simply crank it up some more.
I see this product as an excellent emergency or back up LED torch that would be great to have handy at home in case of power cuts, in your backpack for camping or hiking, or as part of your car or motorbike emergency kit.
This isn’t as bright as our other LED torches, but that is to be expected and probably an intentional design decision to save battery life. Still, for emergency situations it will give you enough light to see what you are doing or where you’re going and you don’t have to worry about the battery going dead.
The iGadgitz Xtra LED torch is compact and measures just 16.8 x 6.8 x 4.8 cm. It’s also very light and comes in at just over 180 grams, so it’s perfect for travelling with.
You don’t have to worry about breaking this little fellah either, as it is really solid and robust despite being a largely plastic construction. On top of that, it is waterproof up to 5 metres and will easily survive being dropped in the odd puddle or two.
Priced at under fifteen pounds I would say this is good value, and one of those things that you could easily buy hoping that you never need to use it, but be so happy you did if the time actually comes when you do.
5. Ledlenser 501046 P7 Professional LED Torch
If there’s a brand that matches Maglite in the premium LED torch category, it is definitely Ledlenser. This company have an incredible range of LED torches that are used by professionals worldwide, including the UK Police.
The quality of the light you get from a Ledlenser LED torch has to be seen side by side with its competitors to really see the difference, but suffice to say it beats them all hands down in my opinion.
Ledlenser products are a great example of how a products lumen rating can be a little misleading. You see, the thing with LED torches is that the quality of the actual LEDs is not always equal, and there are other factors to consider such as lenses and reflectors that play a big part in how the torch performs.
With patented technological advances such as the smart light and X-lens features, the Ledlenser P7 offers three light settings of 450, 250, and 40 lumens that are far brighter and have a much better range than other LED torches with higher lumen ratings.
When the makers claim that this torch has a 300 metre range on the highest setting, they aren’t exaggerating. I could clearly see the beam illuminating trees far, far off in the distance and the brightness level was outstanding. Even the 40 lumen setting had a range of about 90-100 metres.
The speed focus feature on these LED torches is without doubt the smoothest action I’ve had the pleasure to use, and a simple movement of the thumb gives you incredible control over how much of a flood or spot light you want.
Powered by for AAA batteries that come in the very nice packaging, you can expect to get around 25 hours of torchlight on the lowest setting and obviously less if you use the brighter modes. This excellent energy efficiency is a product of the premium CREE LED chip inside the torch.
Measuring just 13cm long by 3.6cm in diameter, you’ll have no problems carrying this baby around with you, and you can always hook it onto your back pack or jeans using the supplied strap.
Made from high quality aluminium alloy, it is highly resultant to rust and this material also keeps the weight of the product down to 177 grams. What’s more, these LED torches are built to last and Ledlenser are so confident they offer a 7 year warranty.
What you should consider when buying the best LED torch
What are features and factors are important when it comes to the best LED torches?
Well, there are a few, and some of them will be more important than others depending on your intended use of the torch, and how much you want to pay for one.
Below we have highlighted a few of these aspects so you can better make up your own mind about which model suits you.
You may have seen a number followed by the word ‘lumen’. This is a basic measurement of how bright a torch’s light is and usually a higher lumen level means a better and brighter light with a longer range.
However, there are other things to consider. As we mentioned in our reviews, some LEDs are higher quality than others and will give off more light. Not only this, but things like the type of lenses and other technological features can also affect the performance of the torch, so it is quite possible to see a model with a lower lumen rating actually emit a brighter and more intense light. These products are usually higher up on the price range though.
Rechargeable or standard batteries
There are LED torches that run off AAA batteries, some that take D-type batteries, and plenty with rechargeable lithium ion batteries.
So which one is best? To be honest, that is a personal preference. Rechargeable li-ion batteries save you the hassle of always having to have spares lying around but you also have to make sure you remember to charge them after each time you use the torch. These days though these can be charged using a wall socket, power bank or car cigarette lighter so it isn’t the end of the world.
There are also eco LED torches that can be charged using built in solar panels or crank handles that activate the dynamo. These can be great for emergencies but not the most convenient for everyday use.
Keep an eye out for the run time and charging times with any rechargeable model and be aware that what is often featured in advertising is the battery life on the lowest settings.
Size and weight
Led torches come in a very wide range of sizes and weights, from mini pocket sized models that you wouldn’t even notice were on your person, to larger and heavier torches that could be used in tactical situations as a weapon or tool. Here’s an example of one that fits nicely in the hand:
The type you need will depend on your intended purposes. If you are going to be taking it with you while travelling or hiking, you’ll probably want a compact pen size torch. On the other hand, security guards might like the feel of something a bit more substantial.
Make sure you get an LED torch that has a decent IP rating as this indicates it has been tested to be resistant to water splashes. Not all IP ratings are the same though, but you can check them easily by doing a google search.
The material used for the torch’s casing is another important factor but these days, most of the best models are made of aluminium alloy which keeps them lightweight while still being very robust.
Other things to look out for
Other things to look out for are different light modes and how it easy it is to cycle through or select them, the range of the beam on spotlight mode, how good the grip is on the torch, the focus controls, warranty length, and what accessories come with the product.