The 6 Best Rechargeable Flashlights of 2022

The best all-around rechargeable flashlight is the Streamlight LED.

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Best Rechargeable Flashlights

Treehugger / Chloe Jeong

If you haven’t bought a flashlight in awhile, you might be surprised to hear that rechargeable versions rank just as highly as those that need disposable batteries. While it used to be the case that you might expect a rechargeable flashlight to be less-bright or not last as long, that’s just not a problem these days. 

Thanks to LED bulb technology, which can produce a bright, clean light using very little power, new flashlights may provide even more light than you might expect—or need, which is why the lights in this list all have variable settings. 

This new generation of rechargeable flashlights all are reviewed as shining bright, steady light for tens of thousands of hours. The differences in price reflect how long they’ll hold a charge and how far the beam will reach, as well as waterproofing and some various light configurations (some have extra lights on the body of the flashlight, not just the front).

Below, you'll find the best rechargeable flashlights for all these situations.

Best Overall: Streamlight LED High Lumen Rechargeable Flashlight

5
Streamlight 74751 Strion LED High Lumen Rechargeable Professional Flashlight with 120-Volv AC/12-Volt DC Charger and 1 Charger Holder

Amazon

This flashlight is bigger (but not heavier) and more expensive than most of our other recommendations, but it gets rave reviews, even after two to three years of regular use by police officers, building inspectors, and other regular-flashlight-using professionals. They’re tough too—and can withstand being dropped numerous times on pavement without issues, probably because it’s made with LED technology that’s impervious to shock.  

The Streamlight’s rechargeable battery can be powered up with an AC or DC charger (wall or car), and its High setting puts out 500 lumens for an hour, Medium is 250 lumens for two hours, and Low is 125 lumens for over three hours. It fully recharges in three hours. The exterior is made from anodized finished aircraft aluminum. When you set it down, this flashlight’s head is designed to keep it from rolling, a smart little hack.

Price at time of publish: $243

Key Specs

Weight: 5.2 ounces | Charge Options: 120-Volt AC/12V DC Charger | Warranty: ‎Limited lifetime warranty | Max Lumens: 615

Best Budget: Anker L90 Super Bright Tactical Flashlight

2.9
Anker Super Bright Tactical Flashlight

Courtesy of Amazon

You’ll be covered in a storm with the Anker’s slip-proof frame and a tolerance for drenching rainstorms. This flashlight provides serious brightness when needed, thanks to a 900-lumen LED bulb that can reach almost 1,000 feet. The battery charges up via wall plug or USB. The beam can be zoomed from a wide beam to a narrow one, and it has five light settings: High, Medium, Low, a strobe function, and an SOS.  

While a bit heavier than some of the others on this list, the Anker gets solid performance. Those who contacted the company with an issue often mention the excellent customer service, which is something you don’t hear often these days.

Price at time of publish: $47

Key Specs

Weight: 6.2 ounces | Charge Options: Micro USB cable | Warranty: 18 months | Max Lumens: 900

Best Solar: Goal Zero Torch 500 Multi-Purpose Light

Goal Zero Rechargeable Solar Flashlight

Not only can this flashlight from Goal Zero charge itself using a built-in solar panel, but it also comes with an impressive suite of features. You can also charge it via a USB port, and the light’s battery can be used to charge a phone or other device that uses a USB-A port. As a light, it has floodlight and spotlight settings, and three levels of brightness. It has a maximum brightness of 500 lumens, and is waterproof. On the low power setting, it can run for up to 50 hours.

The flat sides mean it stays put to charge and won’t roll while in use, but one drawback of this shape is that some users find it more awkward to hold. 

Price at time of publish: $50

Key Specs

Weight: 12.8 ounces | Charge Options: Built-in solar panel, USB-C | Warranty: 2 years | Max Lumens: 500

Best Spotlight: Stanley FATMAX Rechargeable Lithium Ion LED Spotlight Flashlight

4
STANLEY FATMAX SL10LEDS Rechargeable 920 Lumen LED Lithium Ion Spotlight
Courtesy of Amazon.com.

Sometimes you want a big light in case of emergency, for a night work project, or to light up a whole room when the power’s out. True to its name, this flashlight is on the bulky side, at 11 inches (plus handle) and weighing in at 2 pounds. But with that bulk comes options, like a pivoting stand that means it can be set up for hands-free use. The FATMAX can be charged with either AC or DC current, so car charging is an option, or you can plug it into the wall, and USB charging is an option too. 

At 2200 lumens and a 10-Watt LED bulb, this flashlight produces a strong light. The lithium-ion battery will last for an hour at the highest setting, but closer to seven on the lowest (for a total of two brightness settings). It will hold its charge for a year, which is particularly useful if you want to keep on standby for emergency needs. Users most give this flashlight high ratings, but as with most rechargeable products, some users report the battery failing after a few weeks or months of use—but this seems to be a random issue and most don’t have this problem. The FATMAX comes with a year warranty in case you do encounter any issues.

Price at time of publish: $70

Key Specs

Weight: 36 ounces (2.25 pounds) | Charge Options: AC, DC, USB | Warranty: 1 year | Max Lumens: 2,200

Best Small + Best with Magnetic Base: Fenix E18R V2.0 Ultra Compact Rechargeable Pocket Flashlight

Fenix E18R V2.0 Ultra Compact Rechargeable Pocket Flashlight

Fenix

This little flashlight slips easily into your pocket, purse, or glovebox. It has a two-way pocket clip on the side (connect it to your tent’s roof) and a magnetic base (to connect to the inside of a car hood). At under 3 inches long and weighing about 2 ounces, this is the smallest flashlight on our list. There are two “lockout” options, which allow you to prevent the flashlight from turning on when you’re not using it. 

It can last 15 hours on low light or an hour and 20 minutes on high light. You can charge the included 16340 lithium ion battery with the included USB-C cable, or use a non-rechargeable CR123A battery. There’s a charge indicator light that shines green when the battery is full.  

Price at time of publish: $61

Key Specs

Weight: 1.98 ounces | Charge Options: USB-C | Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty | Max Lumens: 1,200

Best Headlamp: PETZL Actik Core Headlamp

Petzl Actik Core Headlamp

Backcountry

Headlamps solve two issues with one smart design: They’re hands-free, and the light is always directed where your eyes go since they move with your head. The Petzl runs on a quick-recharging micro-USB (it takes three hours) or via AAA batteries, so you will have backup if you are away from power for long periods and don’t want to carry a larger power bank

This headlamp can take getting splashed with water or sweat, and the headband is detachable for washing. The light has three settings: It will run for two hours on the highest setting, and 130 hours on the lowest one. It also has a red light option for preserving night vision.

Price at time of publish: $75

Key Specs

Weight: 3.5 ounces | Charge Options: USB-C or AAA Batteries | Warranty: Not Listed | Max Lumens: 350

Final Verdict

Our pick for most durable and all-around best rechargeable flashlight is the Streamlight LED High Lumen. If you're looking to go solar, consider the Goal Zero Torch 500 Multi-Purpose Light.

What to Look for in a Rechargeable Flashlight

Brightness

You’ll see lumens used as a light measurement scale in this and other discussions about flashlights. Don’t worry, even if you’ve never heard of lumens before, it’s fairly straightforward. A lumen is simply a measurement of the amount of visible light emitted by a source over a specific time period.

The number you see attached to the word lumens is simply how much light it gives over an area. So, for the most part, a higher number means a brighter light. However, brightness can be affected by how much the light is spread out. For example, a pinpoint beam vs. a spotlight beam could both emit 500 lumens, but the single beam might look brighter and travel farther because it’s concentrated.

Most of our recommended flashlights have multiple brightness settings and some have filters or allow for different thicknesses of beam as well, or may have colored filters (red is popular for easier night vision). Any manipulation of the beam can alter the perception of how bright a light appears.

Recharging

Most of these flashlights use a USB port or wall attachment to recharge. However, some are also compatible with disposable lithium batteries or have a built-in solar panel, which could be handy options in some emergencies.

You should consider how you plan to use your flashlight: Is it for emergencies, to keep in the car, to use regularly for projects, or camping? Consider your particular needs when parsing the various options, and make sure your flashlight comes with the appropriate cables and connectors for the settings you want to use it in.

Warranty

When it comes to flashlight warranties, manufacturers vary a lot. While some flashlights don’t offer any warranty at all, others have limited lifetime warranties. If you plan on using your flashlight on a daily basis, a robust warranty policy is something you’ll want. However, if you flashlight is only going to get occasional use, this may not be a priority for you.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are rechargeable flashlights better for the environment?

    The flashlights don’t differ much in terms of their impact—the materials, energy, and shipping costs are similar (and in fact, many flashlights that take a rechargeable battery can also take conventional throwaway batteries too).

    But the batteries have a significantly different impact. Assuming you recharge your flashlight more than 50 times, the overall impact (including air pollution and waste) will be lower than using a flashlight powered by disposable batteries. No matter what kind of electronic you choose, it's also important to recycle batteries and other e-waste, don't just toss it in the trash.

  • How often do rechargeable flashlights need to be charged?

    This completely depends on the quality and type of rechargeable battery, the age of the flashlight (batteries get worse at keeping a charge over time, though how quickly this happens depends on the battery), but most of all, how much it is getting used.

    Many of the flashlights on this list can go for a year without a recharge if not used at all. That could mean that if you just use the flashlight a few times a year for a few minutes, you might only need to charge it up twice a year. If you are using the flashlight every day for multiple hours, you’ll need to charge it a couple times a week, since most have a max range of 15 hours on lower settings, and half that or less on higher settings.

  • What flashlight features are most important in an emergency?

    The two most important functions in an emergency situation are light when you need it (so a reliable battery that keeps a charge) and where you need it. Emergencies could include a variety of situations, but life-threatening scenarios include treating an injury with first aid, and navigating your way out of a dangerous space. Both of those situations call for a strong, focused beam, rather than a light that fills a room (that’s more useful for camping or project work).

    So for emergencies, look for a flashlight with a strong, directed beam (rather than one that is spread out) or a function that gives you that option. You also might want to consider two lights in your emergency kit — the flashlight with a powerful beam, and a headlamp, which gives you hands-free option if you need to do any close or detailed work with both your hands in an emergency. 

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At Treehugger, we want to help our readers live more sustainably and be prepared for the next climate disaster. Author Starre Vartan has been an environmental and science journalist for more than 15 years. She founded an award-winning eco-website and has written a book on living green.