When it comes to lumen output, more is always better, right? Not necessarily, take the UltraFire-18T6-20000 for instance. The 18T6 produces over 20,000 lumens. To put that in perspective, your average car headlamp on high produces about 1,500 lumens. The 18T6 produces over 13 times the output of a cars high beams. Wow.
That’s enough power to set paper on fire and cause blindness. That’s not quite like staring into the sun, but it’s close enough. That’s cornea-searing power.
When would you ever need that much power?
The easy answer is: probably never.
It’s hard to think of a reason that you would ever need a portable sun in your backpack, but you never know.
Regardless of need, there are practical considerations as well.
These mega-flashlights produce a lot of heat. As efficient as LEDs are, some energy-loss in the form of heat is inevitable. In fact, in some cases, just the beam can set paper alight or char wood. Battery life is also a consideration. In order to power a light that produces a 20,000 lumen beam for any length of time you need a battery the size of a backpack, or you need to resign yourself to only using your flashlight for a few seconds before the battery fails.
So, rather than going for the most powerful flashlight on the market, why not instead choose a powerful flashlight that is also practical? Like the Nitecore TM26.
The Nitecore TM26 has a comparatively modest lumen output of just 3,800, but keep in mind, that’s still over twice as powerful as your car’s high beams. That’s plenty of light – especially when focused. The TM 26 – or Tiny Monster – is certainly focused. With Precisions Digital Optics Technology and toughened ultra-clear mineral glass lenses, there is very little loss of light from LED to target.
Nitecore’s Tiny Monster is a model of efficiency. In fact, it is the smallest 3,800 lumens flashlight on the market. You can discover much more about the Nitecore TM 26 in our product guide, but the point is this: You don’t need to invest in the brightest light on the market as long as the flashlight in which you invest can meet your needs.
So, don’t be dazzled by a high lumen number on the side of a box. Think before you buy. How much power do you really need, and are you willing to sacrifice ease of use, battery life and other elements for a brighter beam? Is the tradeoff worth it?
Just something to think about.
And yes, we think a 20,000 lumen flashlight that can start forest fires is still really cool too. Just not practical.