What are the best spotlights? The first thing to consider is spotlight brightness. In deciding between LED and halogen models, keep in mind that the former ones are more energy-efficient and, therefore, preferable. The brightness of LED lights is measured in lumens, with spotlights producing more than 1,000 lumens being considered very bright. Secondly, we recommend buying adjustable devices with several brightness settings. Thirdly, if you are going to use spotlights for your outdoor activities or emergencies, opt for battery-operated models. In this case, make sure that the device has long battery life. One more thing to take into account is convenience. Handheld spotlights should be comfortable to hold and operate as well as should be easily installed in place. We believe that the STANLEY FATMAX SL10LEDS Spotlight meets these criteria best.
What's Best: LED or Halogen?
With so many different forms of light out there, it can be difficult to make the right decision when it comes to handheld spotlights.
Similarly to incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs create light through mixing halogen gases with small tungsten-based filaments. Halogen can produce powerful light comparable to low wattage LED and lasts significantly longer than incandescent bulbs.
That said, halogen is still not quite as energy efficient as LED bulbs and generates significant heat. Since LED light doesn't convert as much energy to heat, LED spotlights last nearly thirteen times longer than halogen bulbs.
Moreover, LED lights are shatterproof since they don't rely on fragile filaments. While they require a greater initial investment, LED spotlights are well worth the cost.
Alkaline Vs Lithium Batteries
Alkaline and lithium continue to be the two most popular battery types in spotlights. Based on the battery used, some spotlights may be better suited for particular types of tasks than others.
Alkaline batteries are dry cell products that range in sizes from A to AAA. They're easy to pop in and out, yet will need to be frequently replaced every time the spotlight dies.
By contrast, lithium batteries are long lasting, compact power sources that can be safely recharged. Generally, spotlights with lithium batteries are two to three times the price of alkaline-based lights.
If you'll use the spotlight regularly for various kinds of work, it's recommended that you opt for a lithium-powered device. In the long run, you'll save yourself the cost of constantly replacing alkaline batteries.
Choosing the Right Lumens
Lumens are a measure of the total amount of light emitted by a light source. The more lumens a spotlight has, the brighter it appears to be.
Most spotlights feature different brightness settings that can produce between 500 and 2,000 lumens. Even for the most intricate task, it's unlikely you'll need more than 1,000 lumens to see what you're doing.
For reference, a light producing 400 lumens per square foot is suitable for reading small print text. Job site tasks, electrical wiring, or navigating complex terrain may require at least 800 lumens per square foot.
Types of Spotlight Power Sources
Spotlights can be powered a variety of ways. While many prefer rechargeable or replaceable batteries, plug-in and solar powered spotlights continue to be popular.
Unlike battery based options, plug-in spotlights can produce continuous, powerful light for however long is needed.
If you don't need to be on the go, this convenient spotlight may provide the best lighting option for you. Most plug-in lights are stationary and feature no handheld option since they're not designed to be moved.
By contrast, solar-powered spotlights can produce consistent lighting at night after charging during the day. However, most are unable to produce more than a few hundred lumens.
Best Spotlight Reviews
Below, you will find a review of the best spotlights at a price ranging from $20 to $150. These models have different brightness and battery life. Some spotlights are waterproof and impact-resistant, which makes them a perfect choice for outdoor activities like camping. You may choose a model with a pivoting head for hands-free operation or a spotlight that comes with a collapsible stand.
1. STANLEY FATMAX SL10LEDS Rechargeable 2200 Lumen Lithium Ion Ultra Bright LED Spotlight | Best Option with a Stand
Delivering over two thousand lumens of brightness, the rechargeable Stanley Fatmax can generate a powerful light for up to seven hours continuously.
Buyers state that the light is great for emergencies and power outages. With a collapsible pivot stand and trigger lock, it's easy to steady the light for hands free operation.
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Stanley Fatmax: Check the current price
2. Streamlight 44910 Waypoint 1000-Lumens Spotlight | Best Durable
What the Waypoint lacks in brightness, it more than makes up for inconvenience. Producing up to one thousand lumens on high, the Waypoint boasts a 50,000 hour lifetime and trigger style switch for easy use.
The Waypoint can even be charged up to 800 times without a single fault, unlike competitors lights that gradually lose charge capacity over time.
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Streamlight: Check the current price
3. DEWALT 20V MAX LED Work Light, Pivoting Head (DCL043) | Best for Hands-Free Operation
The Dewalt is constructed with three independent LEDs, one night vision red light, and two brightness settings for use in any situation. With durable over-molded lensing and a belt hook, the Dewalt is especially recommended for dark job site work areas.
In particular, buyers appreciate the 90 degree pivoting head and self balancing light stand that keep it convenient for hands free use.
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Dewalt: Check the current price
4. GOODSMANN Rechargeable Spotlight Waterproof LED Flashlight 3000 Lumen | Best Brightest
Impact-resistant and waterproof, the Goodsmann spotlight is constructed from thick polystyrene that keeps it protected against the elements. Despite its small size, this light can produce a whopping three thousand lumens and is light enough to float right to the surface of water.
Users appreciate the three different light modes, quick recharge cycles, and multi-functional use of the Goodsmann.
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Goodsmann: Check the current price
5. NoCry 18W Waterproof Rechargeable Flashlight (Spotlight) | Best Waterproof
Built with three powerful light settings, the NoCry can last up to twenty hours on a single charge. Thanks to its compact size, this spotlight is ideal for a range of sports and industrial tasks.
The light can illuminate up to three hundred yards with filtered red light or bright, 18 Watt LEDs. It's hard to go wrong with the NoCry, especially considering that it's waterproof up to three feet and comes with customizable stands.
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NoCry: Check the current price
6. ENERGIZER HC-600 LED Spot light, IPX4 Water Resistant, Super Bright LED Spotlight | Best Budget Option
Without requiring finicky lithium ion batteries, the HC-600 run on six double-A batteries that can run continuously up to twenty two hours. This durable, bright light is great for outdoorsmen that can't rely on frequent access to an outlet.
Though it only produces up 600 lumens, the HC-600 can easily illuminate up to four stadium fields. The waterproof light is appreciated for its cost efficacy and impact-resistant construction.
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Energizer: Check the current price