Sometimes you need a light and the flashlight on your phone just won’t cut it. If you’re going camping, or on a long hike where you might lose the sun, or just having an outdoor bonfire and don’t want to fumble around all night, you’ll want a high-quality spotlight that will get the job done. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best handheld spotlights. We want you to be able to find the best portable light to help with all your night-time outdoor activities.
Carry on reading to see our full list, followed by a special section of budget handheld spotlights, and finally, a summary of what each spotlight brings to the table. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
What Should You Look for in a Handheld Spotlight?
Especially if it’s your first time buying a portable spotlight, you’ll want to have what you’re looking for in writing. Even if you’re a pro outdoors person, it helps you organize your priorities. We believe in transparency, and we want to show you the criteria we used when evaluating handheld spotlights, so that you can see how we came to our conclusion, and so that these criteria can help you if you decide to do your own further research.
Criteria #1: Strength – This isn’t a list of flashlights to help you find something in that hidden corner of your basement. We’re looking for lights that are strong enough to illuminate the great outdoors and help you feel like you’re in a wired and lighted house during your camping trip. The strength of spotlights is measured in lumens. The more lumens, the brighter the light.
Criteria #2: Battery Life – We definitely don’t want your spotlight’s battery dying on you in the middle of your hike or camping trip. A light with a long-lasting battery is critical for making sure you don’t get stranded in the dark. We want to make sure you’re able to use your handheld spotlight without having a mental timer counting down in your head.
Criteria #3: Size – You want your handheld spotlight to be, well, handheld. No matter how strong it is, a spotlight the size of a chandelier won’t really do you any good once its time to load the truck or set up camp. Of course, as with most products, there is somewhat of a correlation between size and strength. We’ll weigh the pros and cons and try to help you find those hidden gems that are portable but still strong enough to light up the whole area and let you set up camp without holding your hands out in front of you.
Criteria #4: Price – I’ve done my fair share of camping and hiking, and I (unfortunately) know from experience how quickly the expenses can start to stack up. We don’t want your spotlight to be part of that. I’m not going to tell you to go out and buy a low-quality light just because it’s cheap, but we tried our hardest to keep things cheap when making this list. We looked for the deals that give you value far above the price they charge.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Handheld Spotlight
In addition to the criteria listed above, we also kept an eye out for certain supplementary features, such a whether or not a spotlight has a handsfree option or is waterproof. We measured most aspects of a spotlight based on the officially listed specifications offered by the manufacturer and checked multiple reviews from paying customers to make sure these spotlights performed as advertised.
#1: Limechoes Portable Handheld Spotlight (Best Value – All-Purpose)
This Limechoes handheld spotlight is the full package. It’ll have a little something for you no matter what you’re looking for. To start things off, this product is equipped with LED lights that give off a super bright 6000 lumens that will help you see everything no matter how dark it is. But if you want to make sure not to wake anyone up or completely ruin the stargazing, this light gives you three different options to work with.
The first option can irradiate 2600 feet for around 10 hours, while the second option gives off 1600 feet of light for 24 hours, and the final option lights up 2600 feet in flashing mode for 24 hours. That gives you the option of giving off as much light as you want and saving the battery by keeping things a little darker. Plus, no matter which option you go with, you’ll get an amazing battery life that will be sure to get you through the whole weekend, and even longer if you limit yourself to the more conservative options.
In addition to the strong rechargeable lithium-ion battery, this high power handheld spotlight has a USB port and doubles as a power bank, so you can dip into that amazing battery life to charge your phone or speakers. I know you don’t want to be checking your phone while you’re enjoying the great outdoors, but it’s good to have a power source in case of emergency or if your significant other wants to check in on you.
The Limechoes spotlight can also be used in multiple ways. Besides its ergonomic handle, this spotlight can be fitted onto a strap or a tripod (both of which are included) for hands-free use and can even be attached to a bicycle for those late-night rides around the neighborhood. Plus, while you can’t exactly bring it for a swim, this light is IPX4 waterproof which will protect it from any splashing, so you won’t have to be nervous leaving it by the pool or lake while you go for a swim.
Did I forget to mention the price? Despite all you’re getting out of this high-quality spotlight, it’s actually one of the cheaper options on the market. The rest of your hiking buddies will be mad they spent so much on their spotlights once they see you showoff your new Limechoes.
Customers love this Limechoes spotlight. Reviewers raved about the raw power of the Limechoes and were a huge fan of the strap and tripod, as well as the waterproof casing.
So as a quick recap, this machine is giving you an amazing rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can give you 24 hours of light. It doubles as a power bank. It gives you a high light and low light option, and it can be used in a myriad of different hands-free ways. All of that in a handheld spotlight that’s being sold at a cheap price. This machine is one of the best handheld spotlights out there no question about it. This rechargeable spotlight is our best handheld spotlight.
#2: Stanley Fatmax SL10LEDS (Most Convenient Option)
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The Stanley Fatmax SL10LEDS is a rugged rechargeable spotlight that’s designed to take a tumble and is perfect for any serious hiker or cave diver. While this handheld spotlight gives off fewer lumens than the Limechoes spotlight – 2200 compared to 6000 – and costs a tiny bit more, it has plenty to offer that you can’t get anywhere else.
As far as handheld spotlights go, the Fatmax really stands apart. There are a few reasons you might decide to go with this spotlight over our number one pick in the Limechoes.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: The Built-In Stand
You may be able to attach the Limechoes to its tripod or strap, but the Fatmax SL10LEDS comes with its own stand built right into the spotlight. This means one less object to pack, and perhaps more importantly, one less item to keep track of.
This stand comes in the shape of a collapsable pivoting stand that is located on the top of the spotlight. It blends in well with the design of the light and won’t get in the way when the stand isn’t in use. To support this feature, the light switch on this handheld spotlight has a trigger lock to make sure it stays in place and to make sure you get the best hand-free experience from the Stanley Fatmax SL10LEDS when using its pivot stand.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Charge It Anywhere
On top of the fact that this spotlight doubles as a power bank, just like the Limechoes spotlight, it’s equipped with both an AC and DC adapter, and charges through a singular USB port that’s also used as the output source for the power bank feature. Besides the convenience of having everything in one port, the USB port is in and of itself incredibly convenient compared to the cylinder full-plug charger of the Limechoes product.
With everything going more and more towards a universal USB approach, having one device that uses a different charger can be incredibly annoying. Using the same USB charger that your phone and speaker most likely use means that you only have to carry around one wire, and you don’t need to worry about having an actual outlet because almost every modern car will have a USB port for you to charge your spotlight. You can charge it through your computer while you’re at home.
You won’t have to worry about scrambling to charge this spotlight the night before your trip. You can charge it on your way up to the mountains. I can’t count how many times I’ve been helped out of a jam by borrowing a USB charger from a friend and adding another product to that rotation of items really goes a long way.
While the battery of this spotlight doesn’t last as long as the Limechoes handheld spotlight, it does boast lasting an incredible 12 months while not in use. This means you can basically forget about it once camping season ends and pull it out of your closet next summer only to find it still has a full battery life ready for your trip.
Plus, its durable impact-resistant housing and rubber bezel will keep this spotlight safe and ready to go if you happen to drop it.
My personal opinion is that, due to its weaker battery, this spotlight is probably not as good for a full-weekend camping trip as the Limechoes, but with its durability, its built-in stand that will help you pack light, and its easy-to-charge design, the Stanley Fatmax SL10LEDS is one of the best portable spotlights for a one-day hike or a trip exploring a dark cave.
#3: STANLEY SL5W09 (Best Compact Spotlight)
I know how annoying it can be to have to carry around multiple bags, or how difficult it can be to be limited to one bag if you’re on a restrictive budget airline ticket. I also know how liberating it is to only have one bag that you can easily carry and to not feel weighed down by too much weight. If you prioritize that freedom and just want the most compact handheld spotlight for your trip whether you’re going to the campsite, to the mountains, or abroad, then look no further than the Stanley SL5W09, the second Stanley product on our list.
This handheld spotlight emits 1000 lumens at its highest setting and 500 lumens at its lower setting. It has a lithium-ion battery with a battery life that lasts up to 10 hours. It has a micro-USB charging port, so in that sense, it’s just as convenient as the other Stanley spotlight on our list. Just like it’s bigger brother, its battery can last up to 12 months when it’s not being used, and it has an impact-resistant polymer housing.
You might be a little put off by the lower amount of lumens, but the selling point of this spotlight is its size. It weighs less than an ounce and has a much smaller frame than the Fatmax. You’ll have no problem fitting this spotlight into your bag, and it’s perfect for staying under that pesky luggage weight limit while flying.
In most senses, this product really is just the smaller version of the Fatmax. It has the same basic design and the same amount of different light settings. However, it has fewer lumens, doesn’t double as a power source, and it doesn’t have a built-in pivot stand. But it’s cheaper, and of course much smaller.
If you’re just focused on keeping things light, this spotlight will still give you all the illumination you need and will help you prioritize your packing. Plus, it’s cheaper than the Fatmax. But if you want the stronger spotlight with all the extra features, you should spend the extra money and go with the Fatmax.
#4: Limechoes Searchlight (Best Low Cost)
If you decided to save some money and buy the Limechoes Searchlight, you won’t have to worry at all about sacrificing strength for a cheaper price. This handheld spotlight has the same 6000 lumens as the other Limechoes spotlight on this list, which earned our number one spot and is just about as bright as they come.
This spotlight also lasts up to 10 hours while on high mode, which has a range of about 2600 feet just like the Limechoes Portable Handheld Spotlight. The rechargeable battery lasts well more than 20 hours on low mode and can give you more than a full days worth of illumination. It also has the same flexibility you saw in our other Limechoes product. It can be fitted to a strap, a tripod, or your bike in a similar manner, and has output capabilities to charge your other devices.
The standout feature of this product is its sidelight. This extra LED bulb allows you to place the main bulb of the spotlight down on the ground and press a separate button to turn on the sidelight. So, this spotlight can be used in a hands-free manner even without attaching it to any secondary stand. As long as you have a tall enough surface, this sidelight can even be used as a lamp for the entire camping crew.
I’m almost struggling to find a flaw in this spotlight. Despite its price, it’s one of the best products on the market. I will say that, even though at 1.5 pounds it’s fairly light, the Limechoes Searchlight is pretty bulky. It has the old-fashioned grip-handle design as opposed to the ergonomic pistol-grip design of the other handheld spotlights on our list, so it will be a little more awkward to pack and to hold for a long time.
This might seem like a small price to pay for a high-power, super-bright, handheld spotlight like this one that also has a solid battery life that will last a long time, but some people might find it’s worth it to pay a little more for a smaller light that will fit better in your hand. The choice is yours, but the Limechoes Searchlight is one of the best handheld spotlights out there, and it costs next to nothing.
Reviewers loved the cheap price and were very impressed by how bright this spotlight is. Plus, users praised this product for being very durable. So, for your cheap price you’re still getting a high-quality handheld spotlight that will last a long time.
#5: Stanley Fatmax FL5W10 (Best Waterproof Spotlight)
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Stanley is back on our list, and if they keep it up, I may just have to go ahead and give them their own list entirely. This time, they bring us the Fatmax FL5W10, which has all of the features we’ve come to expect from Stanley. It has the same rechargeable lithium-ion battery, though the battery life on this spotlight is weaker than that of the other Stanley products. Even on the lower setting it only lasts 10 hours, which is a little disappointing considering that this handheld spotlight only has 520 lumens to back up its 5-watt LED bulb. That being said, it has the same rubber bezel to protect the lightbulb and glass, and it has the same sleek rubber pistol-grip handle with one switch for all three settings of low, high, and off.
Just like our other Stanley products, this handheld spotlight uses a convenient micro-USB charging port to make sure you don’t have to carry around too many different wires, though it doesn’t have the output charging feature of its Fatmax counterpart, the SL5W09. The charging port is hidden behind a cap that’s designed to give this spotlight its waterproof feature which earned it this spot on our list.
The Fatmax FL5W10 is waterproof and submergeable up to 6 feet, so you can bring it in the boat with you without having a care in the world. This spotlight can assist you in a romantic night-time boat ride, or you can light up the sea during a late-night snorkeling session. Best of all, it floats, which means you won’t have to worry about losing it if you drop it while swimming or if it goes overboard.
As far as handheld spotlights go, this product is a bit more niche. Because of its lower brightness and the fact that it’s missing the built-in pivoting stand and power bank feature of our other Fatmax, I’d only recommend this spotlight if you spend a lot of time near or in water and will get a lot of use out of the waterproof feature. But if you love to camp near the water, bring the boat out at night, or go for a late-night swim, there’s no other handheld spotlight for you.
The spotlights we’ve reviewed might not have been what you’re looking for, or they might cost a bit more than you’re willing to spend, and that’s okay. We want you to find the handheld spotlight you’re looking for no matter what, and that’s why we’ve added this special section of budget spotlights to the article on top of our main list. We hope this helps you find the spotlight you’re looking for without breaking the bank.
#1 Budget: Samlite Rechargeable LED Lantern Flashlight
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Our first budget option, just like the cheapest option on our main list, comes in the traditional hand-grip style instead of in the modern and more comfortable pistol shape. Its handle is only connected to the base of the spotlight on one side, which will be nice if you have larger hands but might feel a bit awkward in terms of weight distribution.
Just like the Limechoes Searchlight, this handheld spotlight has a sidelight that has some great secondary benefits. It has a longer battery life than the main LED light. The Samlite also comes with a strap and has a convenient storage pocket built into its handle which is perfect for storing the strap and a USB cable. On top of that, this product has rechargeable batteries and features output charging capabilities.
The Samlite handheld spotlight emits 520 lumens at its highest brightness setting with a range of 1600 feet, so that is definitely where you start to see a bit of a trade-off compared to the brightness of the other handheld spotlights on our list. On top of that, this product has the worst battery life on our list so far, with a battery that can support only 3 hours of use and takes 5 hours to charge. However, the spotlight’s base does have a convenient series of LED lights that shows you approximately how much battery you have left.
If the brightness is enough for you though, this spotlight is a great budget buy that has all of the features you could ask for. Customer reviews claimed that this product is very lightweight, so you’re getting a convenient package of all the best features while keeping your spending to a minimum.
#2 Budget: Glandu Heavy Duty Super Bright Searchlight
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Our second budget product offers you the sleek pistol-grip design that fits perfectly in your hand and provides the most comfort during use and is still cheaper than all of the pistol-grip style spotlights on our main list. The Glandu Heavy Duty Super Bright Searchlight also features a main lamp and a side lamp which each have 3 different brightness settings. One is an SOS signal on the side lamp, meaning you have 5 total brightness settings aside from the SOS signal to help you find the exact amount of light you’re looking for.
This spotlight is also incredibly strong for its price and maxes out at 6000 lumens in the brightest setting. On top of that, this Glandu product offers output charging support and can be attached to a shoulder strap to help with carrying it and make dragging all of your camping gear around a bit easier.
The Amazon review section for this product is basically one 5-star review after another with the caption “super bright” so you can be pretty sure you’re getting a steal of a deal at this price.
There are very few downsides to this handheld spotlight, especially considering how cheap it is. When it’s on the lowest brightness setting, this machine has an amazing battery life of up to 30 hours of use. It even features IPX4 waterproofing to protect it from splashing, but it won’t be able to handle being completely submerged in water.
Its actual brightness is exceptional, but other than that, this product is a bit of a “jack of all trades excels at none” spotlight. There are certain tradeoffs for your saving. You might want our number one Limecheos spotlight that can be attached to your bike or a tripod or the convenient built-in stand of the Fatmax SL10LEDS.
That being said, while the Glandu is more expensive than our other budget products, it’s still very cheap. And for that extra spending (which is a very relative term here) you’re getting an exceptionally powerful spotlight that has all of the main desirable features in that sleek pistol-grip shape that we’ve come to love so much.
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Beating out the Glandu Heavy Duty Super Bright Searchlight as the cheapest pistol-style spotlight on our list, this handheld spotlight features the less convenient AC adapter style port for its rechargeable battery. It does come with an adapter that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter, so charging it on the go shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
There’s really not too much else to say about this spotlight. It’s incredibly compact and features a great lightweight design plus a trigger lock to give your hand a break. And while it doesn’t feature any stand of its own, the trigger lock means you can get creative and use your environment to prop up this spotlight and give yourself a hands-free experience.
The Luminar also comes in an impract-resistance housing. The 3-watt LED light won’t exactly light up the whole forest, but it’ll get the job done and help you find what you’re looking for.
There wasn’t a lot of information on this handheld spotlight in terms of customer feedback, but almost all of the reviews were very positive, and it’s hard to beat this price. The glaring flaw in this spotlight is that its battery life only lasts for 3 hours of use, but I guess you get what you paid for sometimes.
Verdict: Your Best Handheld Spotlight
There you have it – all of the best handheld spotlights, followed by the cheapest spotlights you can find. We know that that was a lot of information to process at once, and that’s why we’re going to offer a quick recap below on some of our favorite spotlights from the list.
It’s hard to find a flaw in this amazing handheld spotlight. It gives you the ability to charge all of your devices, has an amazing battery life that can last up to a day on the lower brightness settings and still give you 10 hours of battery life on its highest setting, and its one of the strongest spotlights available with a bright light of 6000 lumens.
On top of all that, you can fit it to your bike or on a tripod, and it comes included with a tripod and a shoulder strap. Finally, it’s water resistant and is amazingly cheap for everything you’re getting. There’s a reason this product earned the number one spot on our list of the best handheld spotlights.
If you need the most convenient product, pick the Stanley Fatmax SL10LEDS.
I can go on and on about how convenient this handheld spotlight is. On top of its USB charging port and built-in pivoting stand, this Stanley Fatmax spotlight gives you power-bank capabilities, multiple brightness settings, a 10-hour battery life, and a battery that can hold a charge on standby for up to 12 months.
This spotlight will bring your camping and hiking to the next level and help you enjoy the great outdoors in style. If it weren’t for its weaker light and slightly higher price, the Stanley Fatmax SL10LEDS would be our number one spotlight over the Limecheos light.
If you need a waterproof spotlight, pick the Stanley Fatmax FL5W10.
Stanley really has a spotlight for everyone. The Stanley Fatmax FL5W10 is the only handheld spotlight for camping and hiking enthusiasts who can’t say no to a quick swim or boat ride. It has a weaker light than most of the other products on this list, but for anyone in love with the water, the fact that it can be submerged in water up to 6 feet is just too much to pass up. Plus, it floats, so you won’t have to worry about diving after it.
We hope you found this list helpful, and we hope you feel our criteria gave you the tools to do your own research. We managed to keep this list of handheld spotlights nice and cheap, which gives you more freedom to focus less on the price and more on which features you want.
Do you want the Limechoes Searchlight with its LED sidelight? Or maybe you want the incredibly lightweight and compact Stanley SL5W09 to help you limit your packing to one bag? There’s also always our long list of budget options, and the top products we already recapped above. If you still don’t know which spotlight you want to purchase, it might help to think about your next outdoor adventure and keep in mind what you’ll need for that occasion.