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Most of us have cell phones with flashlight feature. How many Lumens is a cell phone flashlight? Is it enough to be an EDC or you still need real flashlights?

A great number of people have been very dependent on our smartphones. It’s a mini-computer with all the features we need in one, including compass, calculator, step counter, and even a flashlight. Speaking of the flashlight functionality, is it bright enough compared to EDC flashlights? How many Lumens is a cell phone flashlight? Will it be wise to rely on your cell phone flashlight, rather than bringing a regular flashlight? These and more will be expounded in this article.

The Flashlight in Your Cell Phone

Even before the advent of smartphones, some keypad phones do have a flashlight feature already. It’s very handy because you just have to press a button or two and the flashlight is on. It’s enough to illuminate the walkway and helps you find small things in a small area.

For smartphones, there are a lot of simple ways to access the flashlight. While some phones have a built-in flashlight app, you can also download flashlight apps available in App Store or Play Store. For those with a built-in app, either you can tap the shortcut on the quick settings or you can dedicate a shortcut to access the flashlight. You can set a long press or double-tap the home button or the power button to access the flashlight.

In general, cell phone flashlights utilize the battery of the cell phone. Although it doesn’t take up too much battery juice, it’ll still drain your battery. Like watching videos or listening to music for an extended time, your smartphone will feel hot when you keep the flashlight on for a certain period.

What Kind of Flashlights do Cell Phones Have?

Most smartphones use LED bulbs for the flash. And, in most cases, the camera flash will double as the flashlight. Therefore, cell phone flashlights are LED lights. You’ll get bright light that can shine directly into your eyes. Latest smartphones have brighter flashlights compared to previous models.

Lumen Ratings of Cell Phone Flashlights

Lumens refers to the measure of a flashlight’s total light output. Although it’s not the only basis to know the brightness, in mostcases, the higher the Lumens rating, the brighter is the flashlight. Other factors that may affect the brightness include the beam type, bulb type, battery type, beam distance, and more.

Cell phones indeed have flashlight features, but manufacturers didn’t give any specifications. Some users perform tests using light sensors, while others simply compare the brightness. An example of a manual comparison is shown in this YouTube video. Perhaps, you possess the cell phone with the brightest flashlight.

Several online sources confirm that most cell phone flashlights have approximately around 50 Lumens. And, if you turn your flashlight on right now, you’ll notice that they have a flood or fixed beam type. This kind of beam type has a wide pattern of light that gives broad illumination at shorter distances.

As mentioned, some users have used equipment to read the Lumens rating of the cell phone’s flashlight. A Reddit forum ( has a few useful information on certain products. Samsung S3 has 44-Lumens flashlight, while the Nexus 5 has 47 Lumens. Additionally, Samsung S7 Edge, which is the second brightest in the video above has 60 Lumens.

Cell Phone Flashlight vs Small Tactical Flashlight

Tactical flashlights have a minimum Lumens rating of 120 Lumens. Given that the average number of Lumens for your phone’s LED flashlight is only around 50 Lumens, it’s still practical to have a small, yet durable flashlight in your pocket.

With technology and the competitive market, there are so many small, yet reliable flashlights available. They are compact enough to fit into your pocket and still have a space for your cell phone. Also, some powerful flashlights have a simple interface, water-resistant, and shock-resistant. The good news is, they won’t cost you so much, unlike your rugged phone priced at several hundreds of dollars.

Can You Rely on Cell Phone Flashlight?

Yes, you can rely on your phone’s flashlight for some tasks. But, it’s always wiser to have an EDC flashlight when doing outdoor activities — hiking, camping, walking in the forest, etc. Having a flashlight feature on your phone seems very practical, but it’s still not enough for the above-mentioned activities.

During blackouts or emergencies, your cell phone is the first thing that can help you — the source of information and light. However, as mentioned earlier, when you use your phone for an extended period or when you turn on your flashlight for long, you can feel the heat of the phone. It’ll drain your phone’s battery and eventually, it’ll die.

Unlike your regular flashlights that you can buy cheap backup batteries, you can’t do that with your cell phone. So, it’s still wise to have a flashlight ready, even though your phone already has it all. It’s better to have a backup and your phone is a good backup, not the main source of light.


No one thinks of the flashlight feature when buying a cell phone. And, when the need arises, you’ll just surprise yourself that your phone has a very bright/dull flashlight or doesn’t have that feature at all. The moment you need the flashlight on your phone, that’s the time you’ll ask how many Lumens is a cell phone flashlight? However, you don’t know how bright your phone’s flashlight is, until you turn it on and see.

While it’s very handy to have a flashlight in your smartphone, it’s not recommendable that you’ll use it as your EDC or to replace normal flashlights. Yes, your phone may have 4000mAh juice or more, but it’s not only dedicated to power your flashlight, it also has tons of applications to keep running.

Your phone’s flashlight is good, but it shouldn’t be the only light source you have during emergency cases. You still need your regular flashlight, which is brighter, more reliable, and long-lasting.

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