General purpose household use


Newly Enlightened
Sep 28, 2015
I'm looking for a flashlight that is

top priority requirements:
USB-C rechargeable without taking out the battery
user replaceable 18650 battery

one click on/off that does NOT cycle through different brightness or modes. I should be able to click once to turn it off, and click another time to return to the same brightness before I turn it off.

only one brightness level, or multiple brightness level but is controlled by a second switch so that I can still turn on/off the flashlight with one click

secondary requirements (nice to have but not critical)
no parasitic drain when off
has multiple brightness level, as long as it does not affect the one click on/off
can zoom in/out

What would be even better is in addition to recommending the light, tell me which web site has a buying guide that can help me find the right flashlight on my own for future reference.

1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

either mail order or from local stores but local stores have such limited selection I don't think it would work

2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :)

I assume something like this can be found for $50 or less. But I don't have a rigid budget.

3) Format:

handheld traditional shape flashlight.

4) Size:

Small to medium, though probably dictated by 18650 battery requirement. Not critical

5) Emitter/Light source:

LED. Color temp white, which I also think is the most efficient color.

6) Manufacturer:

don't care, just be a reputable manufacturer that will be around to honor warranty should the need arise

7) What power source do you want to use?

18650, because they are commonly available and I already have other devices that use this battery

7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option

USB-C rechargeable

8) How much genuine out the front (OTF) light do you want/need? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is not a happy experience).

____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (1-10 lumens).
____I want an indoor "blackout" light (15-50 lumens)

I want a light to look for stuff under the bed, in a dark cabinet, etc If the light has multiple brightness level, then having brighter modes would be extra bonus.

9) Flood vs Throw: Flood covers an area, Throw reaches out to a distance.

____All Flood: I am doing "arms length" tasks like reading and campsite cooking.
____Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car.

Probably one of the above. I use it to look for stuff in dark places (e.g. search for item in a drawer in the dark).

9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check all that apply)

most often within 2 feet

10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum continuous output).

Given the 18650 battery and brightness requirement. I expect it to be way more than 10 minutes.

11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase "you get what you pay for" is very accurate for flashlights.

____Not Important (A "night-stand" light).

12) Switch Size, Type, and location (choose all that apply):

Any type of switch is ok. But it must be an on/off switch that doesn't not require clicking more than once to turn on to the desired brightness.

13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.

____A simple on-off with only one output level is fine for me.
A second switch that controls multiple brightness level would be welcome bonus.


don't care

15) Water resistance
don't care

16) Storage conditions
____In house (temperature/climate controlled environment)


Newly Enlightened
Apr 22, 2016
Is the budget flexible? For a good starter light that takes 18650's, I think the FENIX PD35R at $~90 isn't a bad choice

BUT! Are you willing to deviate from 18650 and maybe go to the newer, larger capacity 21700? The Fenix TK20R V2 is $110 on Amazon right now and is pretty great

I have the original (Much dimmer) PD35 and its a good all round light. The TK20R is also very good as an all round light for a good price

Of course, once you get this, you'll end up looking for $200+ lights, because flashlights are neat


Newly Enlightened
Jul 28, 2023
Mount Isa, Australia
The Acebeam T35 seems to fit most of those requirements. Tailswitch on and off with memory, so it's always the same brightness you left it at, and the side switch changes the brightness. I think it's around $60usd

USB C charging on the side, nice runtime and throw. 18650 battery.

It's beam is dedicated to throw though, but I still find beams like this very useful for up close on lower modes