In more than a decade of product testing, I’ve only gotten nervous testing a product a few times. A couple involved using bizarre firestarting tools. I got sketched out once backcountry skiing in unfamiliar boots. And I nearly broke my ankle running in a pair of awful trail running shoes.
But pressing the “turbo button” on the IMALENT SR32 flashlight was more than just an odd experience; it was one that made me worry about potentially blinding a stranger or even having the cops called on me.
That’s because, while it’s simply a flashlight, the IMALENT SR32 goes beyond the pale. It is to flashlights what the Nissan GT-R is to cars — over-the-top madness.
Let’s put it into perspective: If a good EDC flashlight pumps out 2,000 lumens, this beast is equivalent to firing 60 of them at the same time, all from the same modest lens. To say the IMALENT SR32 is bright is to call the sun “warm.” It is astounding.
So as I fired up the turbo button in the foothills of Colorado, I triple-checked that nobody was coming down the trail before I fired it up. And then I unleashed an orb of light unlike anything I’ve seen outside a football stadium at night and turned that trail into daytime. It made me feel a little naughty. But this tool definitely has a place, although probably not in most camp kits.
Read on for more details, or check out my article on the best EDC flashlights for those looking for something a bit more practical.
In short: The IMALENT SR32 is the brightest flashlight you can buy as of the time of this writing. But more than just bright, it has a nicely functional low-power setting that trickles out 30 very useful lumens for an amazing 360 hours. This light is ideal for people who need insane power — search and rescue, industrial workers, maybe farmers or ranchers, or those on motorized expeditions. It’s bonkers bright, big, heavy, and expensive at $680.
- Max lumens 120,000
- Max beam distance 2,080 m
- Max runtime 360 hrs.
- Lighting modes Seven plus strobe
- Battery included 32,000mAh Type-C fast-charge battery pack
- Bulb type 32 high-power CREE XHP50.3 Hi LEDs
- Color temperature NA
- Length 138mm (head diameter) x 56mm (body diameter) x 225mm (length)
- Weight 4.77 lbs. (2,166 g)
- Incredibly bright
- Very useful low- and medium-power modes
- Nice storage crate
- Easy user interface
- Good color rendering and beam
- Big, heavy
- Overkill for most people
IMALENT SR32: Reviewing the World’s Brightest Flashlight
As GearJunkie’s primary lighting writer, I have the opportunity to test a vast array of flashlights. But the SR32 is cut from a different cloth. And when it showed up in the office, I realized I had no business messing with this thing. But well, duty called, and I won’t be one to shirk responsibility when it comes to playing with a ridiculously powerful tool. Note the GT-R reference above.
Over the past month, I’ve used the SR32 a handful of times. But it’s not a practical tool for everyday use. Household use with this light is like using a semi-truck to pick up groceries. It’s just way too much tool for the job.
But to try and get a good taste of how it works, I leashed up my dog, grabbed the light cannon, and went for a night hike in the foothills.
I can’t overstate the brightness of the SR32. Using it while hiking a trail at night, I left it in “moonlight” mode, which produces 30 lumens. This was a lovely light for hiking, easily illuminating the trail for a remarkably long distance of probably 40 yards. While that isn’t a lot of lumens, I suspect that the large reflectors and multiple LEDs working in unison make the light more visually appealing.
Bumping it up to low, an insane term for 1,500 lumens, and you’re immediately in the very-bright-flashlight realm. And the light is wonderful. Every step up after this is more astounding.
At the 25,000-lumen “middle two” setting (seriously, this isn’t even high yet!), a cooling fan turns on to keep this light cannon from overheating. It makes a soft, reassuring purr while light floods out to illuminate every nook and cranny for as far as you can clearly see — up to 55 minutes straight. Insanity!
Then the turbo modes — well, it’s kinda like turning on the sun. Not many people will ever need this level of brightest. But damn, it’s sure cool.
IMALENT SR32: The Details
The SR32 is not just a very bright flashlight. It’s also wonderfully easy to use and feels well-made. It has a solid handle. It also has a robust shoulder-carry strap, which I think you’d want if you plan to carry it for much distance outside of a backpack.
To turn it on, you press one of two buttons. They both accomplish the same tasks, and I found the one mounted near my thumb while carrying the light with my right hand was the easiest to actuate.
Short press it to turn the light on and off. Press and hold to scroll through the brightness settings. Once set, the light will turn off, and then turn on at that same setting. Double tap the button at any time to unleash 120,000 lumens of dazzling turbo mode into the night. Be sure to squint.
The monstrous battery recharges via USB-C, which comes with its own large wall socket. I suspect this will charge it a lot faster than the standard USB-C outlet, but regardless, I’m glad it uses the gold standard.
Conclusion: The Brightest Light I’ve Ever Used
The IMALENT SR32 is remarkably bright. For context, and you can see this in the photo below, I fired it up next to my truck’s headlights set on high beam. With both lighting scenarios pointed at a hill in front of my truck, it was no contest. The headlights were barely visible compared with the whopping power of the SR32.
This makes sense because, let’s be real, this thing will blind anyone looking at it, and cars outfitted with this kind of power would lead to nonstop traffic accidents. But the level at which the flashlight outperformed my headlamps still shocked me.
So yes, this is really bright. The brand pitched it to me as the world’s brightest flashlight. I did some Googling and can’t find anything brighter, at least today. I’m sure a brand, maybe IMALENT itself, will escalate the brightness wars even further very soon. But as of today, I’ve experimented with the brightest flashlight on the market. And it blew my mind.
Do you need it? Probably not. That is, unless you work in scenarios where a large, very nice flashlight with a long throw is a good tool. Then, this bad boy is probably as good as they get.
It’s a niche product, for sure, but for that person who needs long battery life, good light quality, and retina-melting power, well, the IMALENT SR32 reviewed here is a strong choice.
I know it’s the light that will pierce the darkest night and turn it into day. I’m not sure when I’ll need that capability, but when I do, I know which light I’ll grab.