What We Like
Can be charged with a USB cable
What We Don't Like
Recharging takes a long time
Very expensive for a flashlight
If you ever wondered what a high-end flashlight is like, take a look at the Anker LC130 Ultra Bright Tactical Flashlight. We’ll admit it: The last flashlight we purchased was in the clearance section of a pharmacy. This flashlight goes beyond anything we could have ever imagined—though unfortunately, that includes price. Still, the pros outweigh the cons if you’re looking for a flashlight that’ll last years. See if this top-rated flashlight outshined the competition in our tests.
Performance: The most powerful flashlight ever
Using the Anker LC130 flashlight is very straightforward. Upon taking it out of the box, we found the assembly very intuitive. All we had to do was unscrew the tail cap and then the battery cap in order to insert the included rechargeable 26650 lithium-ion battery. Once reassembled, we attached the lanyard cord to the bottom of the flashlight. (We appreciate that this lanyard makes a handy bracelet-style handle.)
This was the highest lumen measurement of any of the flashlights we tested.
Turning the flashlight on is easy as well, although the power button isn’t on the side as it is with the majority of flashlights. Instead, it’s located on the bottom. Here, a firm press allowed us to cycle through an impressive five different light settings: high, medium, low, a blinking strobe light, and even the SOS signal in Morse code. That last light setting could be extremely useful if you are backpacking or boating, or if your car broke down on a quiet highway. You’ll definitely be visible in any situation, thanks to the high lumen rating.
According to the manufacturer's specifications, the brightest setting is 1,300 lumens (which gives it a visibility range of 1,200 feet). This was the highest lumen measurement of any of the flashlights we tested. It goes without saying, but you don’t want to look directly at this light.
In fact, its brightness might work against you if you are really just looking for a way to illuminate the night while walking the dog in a crowded neighborhood. The range was so impressive that, while doing so, we ended up accidentally lighting up a nearby first-floor condo. Not the best way to meet the neighbors.
Design: Rugged and durable but still traditional
At first glance, the LC130 looked like most common flashlights we have seen. But once we picked it up, we immediately noticed the differences. The flashlight is made out of aluminum, which usually leads to a lighter product. Still, the rugged metal frame makes this flashlight feel heavier than most—and the three LED bulbs only add to its weight. With the battery inserted, it weighs almost a full pound.
That said, the LC130 is a very durable flashlight. It can be safely dropped from heights up to a meter. We dropped it from a much loftier height (a two-story staircase!), and the flashlight didn’t show any signs of damage. It is also rated as waterproof; it can be submerged in up to a meter of water. Though we didn’t have access to that depth, we did test it by submerging it in 2 feet of water for five minutes, and the flashlight still worked perfectly. It’s also easy to hold, thanks to the gripping ridges around the body and the included lanyard.
With the battery inserted, it weighs almost a full pound.
It might not impact the usage of the flashlight at all, but we do appreciate the packaging that Anker designed for it. The LC130 comes in a really nice-looking blue box, which makes it perfect for gifting. It made us feel better about purchasing a flashlight that is almost $60!
Battery Life: Rechargeable, but may not be ideal for everyone
The LC130 is powered by a battery that can be recharged via a standard USB cable, which plugs into the base. It takes eight hours to fully recharge the battery; a light indicator turns red when charging and green when fully charged. We had mixed feelings about the power supply on this flashlight. We do appreciate that the rechargeable battery makes the flashlight more environmentally friendly. Plus, it’s nice to not have to always have a supply of batteries on hand. However, this feature means that it might not be the best flashlight if you are camping or backpacking for an extended period of time, due to it needing a power source for charging. In this circumstance, it’s good to know that the battery that powers the LC130 is fairly standard and that you can purchase additional back-ups. But the fact that the additional batteries aren’t included and the standard powering mode is through charging makes the LC130 better suited to household or office use.
We had mixed feelings about the power supply on this flashlight.
We tested the LC130’s battery, and at its highest setting, and it ran for six hours (exactly what the manufacturer listed). We attempted to test it at the medium light setting and found it was still working even after 11 hours, at which point we decided to throw in the towel. The one concern that we had was that it does tend to get warm after prolonged usage. It’s not alarmingly hot—it’s more like a laptop that’s been in use for a while—but this is something to be aware of if you’re picking up the flashlight after having it on for a while.
Price: The most expensive flashlight we’ve seen
The LC130 is an amazing flashlight. It is super bright, the body is probably indestructible and it recharges with a simple USB cable. Everything about this flashlight impresses us. Ultimately, the only thing that makes us hesitant about purchasing this is the price. With an MSRP of $59.99, this is probably the most expensive flashlight we have ever encountered. The features do explain the higher price tag, but for most people this will be hard to justify, unless you primarily work outside at night or have security concerns.
This is probably the most expensive flashlight we have ever encountered.
Competition: It’s a heavy (and we mean heavy) hitter
Compared to other flashlights, the LC130 is a shark among goldfish. Not only is it heavier and a bit larger than the other flashlights, but it is also way more powerful (remember those 1,300 lumens?). In fact, it is stronger than the combined light output of two others we tested: the ThruNite Archer 2A V3 Flashlight and the J5 Tactical V1 Pro Super Bright Flashlight. Together, the two have only 900 lumens! The LC130 and the ThruNite are also waterproof, while the J5 is simply water-resistant.
Size, weight, and price aside, the one thing that the LC130 falls short on is the battery. We’re impressed that Anker designed this model to be powered by a rechargeable battery, but that limits some of the usability. ThruNite and J5 Tactical products use standard batteries, which are easier to replace on the go, so they may be better suited for camping and backpacking.
Worth the cost in some cases.
If you can get past the initial shock of this super-powered product costing about $60, the Anker LC130 Ultra Bright Tactical Flashlight is a great buy. It is super durable and powerful, and the rechargeable battery will help you save money in the long term. However, it might not be ideal in certain situations, considering it requires a power source.
- Product Name LC130 Ultra Bright Tactical Flashlight
- Product Brand Anker
- UPC 848061039627
- Price $59.99
- Weight 13.5 oz.
- Product Dimensions 2.36 x 7.09 x 2.36 in.
- What’s Included Flashlight, lanyard, rechargeable battery
- Battery Life 6 hours
- Warranty 18 months