The Best Flashlights For Urban Exploration 2023

February 21, 2023 1:00 AM ‐ UndergroundUrbEx

This article is more than one year old and was last updated in February 2024.

Urban Exploration Flashlight
Urban exploration, also known as "urbex," involves exploring man-made structures and abandoned buildings in urban areas. In order to navigate these often dark and unpredictable environments, it's essential to have a reliable and durable flashlight. In this list, we've curated a selection of flashlights that are specifically suited for urban exploration. Whether you're a seasoned urban explorer or just starting out, you'll find a flashlight on this list that will meet your needs.

OLIGHT Baton 3

OLIGHT Baton 3
Photo: © Amazon

This tiny flashlight really packs a punch with a 1200 lumens beam that can reach distances of up to 166 meters. It's made with aluminium and is rated as waterproof and impact-resistant. It also features a rechargeable battery and has a magnetic tail cap, which allows you to attach it to metal surfaces. Its lowest setting provides enough light in an emergency to help you find your way out of any dark and abandoned location and will run for up to 20 days in this mode.

Anker Bolder LC90

Anker Bolder LC90
Photo: © Amazon

With slightly less power than others on this list and a cheaper price tag, this IP65-rated water-resistant aluminium flashlight comes from Anker, a name you can trust. So although it may not be the most powerful, you know you're never going to be left in the dark. This flashlight has a maximum output of 900 lumens, a beam distance of up to 200 meters, and features a zoom function for adjustable focus.

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Nitecore MH12SE

Nitecore MH12SE
Photo: © Amazon

This flashlight, the 6th generation of Nitecore's MH12 series, has a maximum output of 1800 lumens and a beam distance of up to 405 meters. It's made with sturdy, waterproof, lightweight aluminium and has an impressive maximum runtime of 1,500 hours, allowing a consistent usage of up to 60 days on the ultra-low brightness setting.

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Petzl Actik Core

Petzl Actik Core
Photo: © Amazon

This waterproof and durable headlamp has a maximum output of 450 lumen, and has a variety of brightness modes, including red light and strobe mode. It also features a rechargeable battery and a lock mode that prevents accidental turn ons. It's lightweight at just 75 grams and comfortable to wear, making it perfect for hands-free use during urban exploration.

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Iynor Work Light

Iynor Work Light
Photo: © Amazon

These flood lights are designed to spread light over a wide area, making them ideal for illuminating larger spaces or objects. They can be used to provide background or fill light in photography, and can also be used to create interesting lighting effects such as backlighting or side lighting.

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Petzl E + Lite

Petzl E + Lite

The Petzl E + Lite is a compact and lightweight headlamp at only 26 grams, that is designed to fit in a pocket or a survival kit for emergency situations. The Petzl E + Lite has a long battery life, giving you plenty of light in an emergency situation. It's worth noting that it's not as bright as some of the other headlamps available and may not be suitable for all urban exploration activities, but it's a cost-effective headlamp for use in emergency situations.

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Fenix LD22

Fenix LD22
Photo: © Amazon

This penlight-sized flashlight has a maximum output of 800 lumens. What makes this reliable flashlight good for urban exploration is that if you run out of power, you can simply switch out the two, regular AA batteries. However, this is really your last resort as the light does come with batteries that can be recharged via the USB charging port, and are rated for 50,000 hours of operation.

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Steve Higgins - Hidden, Forbidden & Off-Limits

If you're looking to delve deeper into the world of urban exploration, be sure to check out 'Hidden, Forbidden & Off-Limits' by Steve Higgins. This new book delves into dark and forgotten places where a good flashlight is essential. It offers tips and insights on how to safely and responsibly explore these unique spaces. Paired with a reliable flashlight, this book is a must-have for any urban explorer looking to take their explorations to the next level.

What To Look For In A Flashlight For Urbex

Brightness: Look for a flashlight with a high lumen output, ideally in the range of 500-1000 lumens. This will ensure that you have enough light to navigate through dark and poorly lit areas.

Durability: Urban exploration can be tough on gear, so it's important to choose a flashlight that is built to withstand the elements and rough handling. Look for flashlights made with durable materials like aluminium and that are rated as waterproof or water-resistant.

Beam distance: Look for a flashlight with a beam distance of at least 100 meters. This will give you the ability to see far in the dark, making it easier to navigate through large buildings and outdoor areas.

Battery life: Since you may be exploring for long periods of time, it's important to choose a flashlight with a long battery life. Look for flashlights with rechargeable batteries or that accept common battery types such as AA or CR123A.

Size and weight: A compact and lightweight flashlight is easier to carry around during long explorations. Look for flashlights that are easy to hold and can be easily stored in a pocket or bag.

Adjustable focus: Adjustable focus flashlights allow you to zoom in on specific areas and get a closer look. This feature can be particularly helpful when exploring small or tight spaces.
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