Similar to the megapixel arms race that digital camera manufacturers got caught up in, torch makers are instead hell bent on coaxing as many lumens from a handheld torch as they can. Even if it means massaging the definition of a compact torch like NiteCore has done with its portly TM26.
Made from aerospace-grade aluminium alloy, the TM26 weighs in at just over 425g, without the array of batteries needed to power it. And as you can see, with four separate LED housings the torch more than fills your hand. The girth is worth it though, as the TM26 can blast an impressive 3500 lumens which is roughly equivalent to what a conference room video projector can kick out.
And even though it uses LEDs the $390 TM26 still gets hot enough to require onboard electronics that prevent it from overheating, and an OLED display that shows how warm it’s getting, but also which of its eight brightness modes it’s set at. It even boasts an impressive 1000-hour runtime on a set of four lithium-ion batteries, which is great because a replacement set will cost you $55.