It is always a good idea to find out what other people think of a light before buying. There are some good places online that provide professional reviews with information about light output, runtime, and features of a specific light. If you look under Flashlight Manufacturers and click a brand listed there, there are often links to reviews of lights. Here are a few websites that offer flashlight reviews:
- Tactical Flashlights
- - A nice website with hundreds of reviews of lights, constantly being updated with the latest flashlights.
- CPF Reviews
- - CandlePowerForums posts reviews in a special subforum. Reviews by user Selfbuilt are well-written and include a wealth of beamshots, runtime graphs, and comparisons with other lights, but all reviews in the sub-forum are generally good (the CPF moderators hand-pick reviews from other subforums to include in Reviews). See a list of all of Selfbuilt's reviews here.
- Budget Light Forum
- - Reviews for budget lights are stickied in each subforum based on battery type. Some lights will have reviews by different authors in separate threads. The budget light reviews wiki page has a compilation of all the reviews in a sortable table.
For China-based budget light brands, always check out the reviews and comments at DealExtreme. While some sites use fake comments, DealExtreme comments seem to be genuine. Because they don't rate reviews as helpful like Amazon does, sometimes you need to read older reviews to get a better picture of light performance. Be aware that specifications and quality can be variable and budget lights seem to start out higher in quality and degrade over time.
- Fonarevka Reviews
- - Posts reviews in a special subforum. Reviews by users (Selfbuilt, HKJ, turboBB, ti-force and other) are well-written and include a wealth of beamshots, runtime graphs, and comparisons with other lights. And reviews compiled in Russian..
These sites don't do full reviews, but offer some good information.
Fonarevka - This site has tons of outdoor beamshots of popular lights. It is a Russian site, but this link goes to an English version.
Lumen Readings - This post at CPF by bigchelis has lumen readings taken in a calibrated integrating sphere. There are a lot of readings of custom-made lights and P60 drop-ins, but also production lights. Older readings taken by MrGman are posted here.