LED Torches and Solar Lamps

The latest and best torches tested and reviewed by Fred-in-the-shed

Updated 2nd September 2021


LED torch technology is racing ahead and I here at Fredshed I have been testing the best since 1999.

The latest developments are Chip on Board (COB) Led panels and super powerful mini torches with rechargeable batteries.

Prices have fallen as a result of technological improvements but many of the "bargain torches" are VERY low quality.

I will attempt to show you the best of the best and some acceptable quality alternatives.


On This Page

Hand Size and Zoomable LED Torches

Best Small Torch

New Tactical/Police Torch

Best Key Ring Torch

Ultra Violet Forensics Torch

Head Torches

Best Camping Lantern

Best Garden Solar Lamp


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Best LED Torch Reviews

Hand Size and Zoomable LED Torches

Years ago my metal bodied Maglite was my favorite torch because it was solid, reliable and didn't fall apart just when you needed it like many plastic torches. The other attractive thing about the Maglite was its "geek appeal". It felt hi-tech and cutting edge.

Sadly Maglite didn't move with the times and other companies developed the new technology bulbs and reflectors that enable torches to be significantly brighter AND last longer!

German company LED Lensor introduced the LED Police Tech Torch. It was only 5 inches long and 148g but is bright enough to dazzle any mugger. It gave out 115 Lumens which was quite a lot back then for a small torch.

I have used my Police tech torch for more than 10 years and it has been 100% reliable. It has been replaced with the more powerful P7 model, that I also have and totally love.

Led Lensor torches make fantastic gifts and you never see one in a charity shop along with the foot spas, electric steamers and other unwanted gifts.

If you register your torch with Led Lensor you will get a 7 year guarantee, (from a company likely to still be around in 7 years).

The image above shows the Led Lenser P7  tactical torch and the Police tech model that preceded it.

The P7 is only slightly larger but twice as bright!

This incredible torch uses 4 AAA batteries to give 320 Lumens .

 It comes with a sturdy case and presentation box if you want to give it as a present. I think using 4 AAA batteries instead of 3 is a great idea as they tend to come in packs of 4 anyway. Use the links below to buy this tried and tested LED torch and also help my work testing products.

The battery cartridges use gold connectors that will not rust and cannot corrode.

There are similar, cheaper torches like the one from Vansky that come with rechargeable batteries and accessories.

There are all made in China and most of the cheap ones fail after a few months.

My Vansky torch seems well made and has performed well and has lasted a year so far with no issues.


Ledlenser P7 Professional LED Torch

 Vansky 800 Lumen ,LED Torch, 3 x AAA Batteries Included


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If you found this page useful and decide to buy a torch please use my links when you do as this helps keep my site going, thanks, Fred


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Latest and Best Small Torches - With Rechargeable Batteries

The on/off switch also lights up to show you the level of battery power.

This torch is waterproof at 2 metres and only weights 51g!

It is top quality and has a 5 year warranty.



My Orange coloured torch shown is a limited edition model which may not be available.

The standard model is black, and equally beautiful.

Black Olight S1R Baton 11

This superb Olight S1R Baton II is a 3 inch Torch powered by a rechargeable Li-ion battery.

The IMR16340 battery is charged using a magnetic clip and USB port for extra convenience.

The 2nd generation of this amazing torch is IXP 8 rated waterproof and throws its light up to 145m.

I am so impressed with this torch that I am happy to call it SIR !

It has 4 levels of power and the brightest (turbo mode) gives 1000 Lumens and lights my garden and houses in the next street as if they were in daylight!

Use the links below for the standard Black version. (choice of 2 retailers)

Black Olight S1R Baton 11

Olight S1R Baton II LED -Black


New Multi-Function, Police and Military Tactical Torch

New For 2021 - Olight Freyr - 1750 Lumens and Colour Signalling Functions.

This incredible torch has so many functions and new features that I don't know where to start!

Firstly it has 4 LED bulbs in the head, for white, red, green and blue light.

The choice of coloured light is for use in different environments and for signalling.

To aid signalling and to turn the torch into a lantern it comes with a silicon cone to diffuse the light.

Buy the new Olight Freyr

A new and unique feature is having 2 switches to access different functions

The end cap switch is for the white light modes and doubles up as a charging point

The front/side switch does the colours and white moonlight modes

This is a top quality torch that can survive a 1.5m drop and 2m immersion in water

It is powered by a 3.6v 5000ma Lithium ion rechargeable battery

New Olight models have the superb magnetic USB charging system as shown above with the S1R baton model.

The 3 white light modes are moonlight 5 lumen, low 300 and turbo 1750, dropping to 850.

The turbo mode will only last 2 minutes and then drop to 850 Lumens.

 Buy the new Olight Freyr

It has a maximum throw of 360m which I can believe from my use on the beach.

The head also contains a proximity sensor so the light level will drop if it senses something close.

The torch comes with a superb holster with a magnetic catch.

The performance of this small torch is fantastic and is so well made.

It took me a while to master the 2 switches but this is just a matter of practice makes perfect.

Olight make many other tactical torches including weapon lights with laser guiding

The Freyr is the most innovative torch I have seen and covers many uses.

This new torch will be available from 28th January on the link below RRP 129.95

The Freyr has a 5 year guarantee

Buy the new Olight Freyr

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Best Key Ring Torch

 Olight EOS Keychain Torch

Having a little torch on your key ring is so useful but most of them will only just about light up a keyhole and often fall apart after a few knocks.

I used a LED Lenser K3 for over 3 years but found it a little bit large at 7cm.

I have now moved on to the much smaller and brighter new Olight 1R2 EOS.

The new model is 4cms long, weighs only 12gms, and has a rechargeable Li-ion battery.

The battery is charged in the torch by a USB cable so no more fiddling about with those little button batteries.

Olight are having a sale from the 24th August and you could get a free torch using the link below.

 Olight i1R 2 EOS Rechargeable LED Keychain Torch 150 Lumens

 Ledlenser K3 Key-Ring LED Torch (Black) - Gift Box


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Do you lose your keys all the time?     Find your keys in the dark - every time

 Firefly Mega Glow Tritium Marker (Green)

Being over 40 and slightly erratic I often forget where I put my keys and cant find them. Do you frequently hear the words, "bollocks! where are my keys?

If so,  you need the amazing tritium filled Nite Glow keyring. I own  4 of these and have bought them as presents for many people too.

I have tried all 3 colours and my advice is only buy the green ones as they are the brightest. Blue and Pink just don't give out enough light.  The Tritium gives out a powerful glow and lasts up to 10 years. There are no batteries and if you cant find your keys at night just turn the lights off and look for the green glow! My Nite Glow has stopped me losing my keys on numerous occasions.

p.s I also bought one of those voice activated keyfinders -but it was set off by random noises and was a total waste of time and money.

Never lose your keys with the Tritium Nite Glow keyring.

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Best Ultra Violet Forensics Torch

Ultra Violet Forensics Torch

This clever torch shows up all hidden organic substances and some artificial ones too.

I showed this to a real forensic scientist who was amazed at it's performance and low price.

It's 51 LEDS powered by 3 AAA's  makes this torch is powerful enough to show everything!

It is scary to use this on your kitchen and even more so when staying in hotel rooms.

 UV Torch, ,51 LED Ultraviolet Blacklight Detector for Dog Urine, Pet Stains,3 x AA Batteries Included)



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Head Torches

Ideal for electricians when the power has to be off!

Being a keen gardener, DIYer and a wheelchair user I use a head torch a lot as it keeps my hands free to push the wheelchair, use my tools and crucially - hunt snails at night!

For so many jobs a head torch is more useful than a normal hand torch and you don't have the problem of dropping it.

If you do drop the Petzl Pixa is wont break as this one is designed to survive explosions!

Over the years I have tried many makes and types of head torch and my favourite is my Petzl Pixa because it is comfortable to wear, bright, easy to adjust and the batteries last ages. It has 3 LED bulbs and runs off 3 AAA batteries that are securely held in a watertight rubber box at the back of the headband. It has a simple, easy to access on/off switch and the lamp can be tilted up or down to throw the light beam exactly where you need it.

Sadly the Petzl is no longer available but a simpler cheaper version built to the same high standards is available.

 Petzl Tikkina HeadLamp

Waterproof, dustproof, shockproof - Fredproof!


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Best Lantern Torch - Great For Cars and Camping

This moderately priced lantern torch is ideal to keep in your car and bedside table.

It has a standard end beam from an LED bulb and a separate lantern beam on the side from a COB LED panel.

The torch is 6 1/2 inches long and is waterproof and shockproof.

It runs off 3 AAA batteries and has a pocket clip and a magnetic end to hold it to your car.

I bought a couple of these in March 2019 and I use them frequently and they both work very well.

HeroBeam Emergency Torch - 2 pack



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Aityvert Solar Torch Light Upgraded-Flickering Flames Torch Lights- 4 Pack

This new solar lamp uses 96 LED bulbs to create the very realistic effect of flickering flames.

It is charged by the sun and automatically comes on as darkness falls. I have been testing solar garden lamps for around 15 years for this website and this is one of the most effective and impressive lamps I have ever seen, just check some of the reviews to see what people say.


If you would like a non solar powered lamp with the effect of flickering flames, then the Olantern from Olight is superb.

It charges by magnetic USB like most Olight torches and is robust and waterproof.

It can be uses in warm white tone flickering flame mode or you can switch the bulb to cold white for brighter modes.

The flickering flame is fantastic in a room or tent but not bright enough outside to do much apart from look pretty.

If you switch to the other bulb you have 3 brightness settings for 30, 120 and 360 lumens!

The 360 lumen setting is bright enough to light my medium size garden.

I also really like the motion sensor that illuminates the on/off switch as soon as you touch the lamp.

The Olantern is solid and has a heavy base and hanging hook and is available in 3 colours.

I like the flickering flame effect so much I use it in my bedroom as a night light!

Buy Olight Olantern with Flickering Flame


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If you found my advice helpful and would like to support my work, please return to this page and use my links when purchasing your tools.

Also any other products bought from Amazon at the same time will produce a small commission that helps cover my hosting costs.


Or if you prefer, you can make a small donation using the PayPal button below.

 Thanks - Fred




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