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Hunting Light Review - Spotlight 12v Compact Rechargeable LED Flashlight

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (3 Reviews)

By

Essential Gear Spotlight Compact Rechargeable Flashlight

Essential Gear Spotlight Compact Rechargeable Flashlight

Photo by Essential Gear, Inc.

The Bottom Line

The Spotlight rechargeable 12v compact flashlight is a neat little item, which charges when you put it into a vehicle's cigarette lighter socket. It's light, handy, and convenient, and I don't notice one when I carry it in a pocket with my other stuff. It's also very bright, and holds a charge for a good while.

While I'm not positively impressed with the attachment of the flashlight head to its body, I think this is a good product that fills a need, and it may cause a scramble by other light manufacturers to produce compact lights that charge in the same way.

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Pros

  • Charges in 12 volt vehicle cigarette lighter socket.
  • Compact and tough; manufacturer says it's even submersible.
  • Very bright light for its size, and seems to hold a charge well.
  • Comes with "Fit Clip" adaptor for use in 12v accessory sockets.
  • Easy to turn on and off.

Cons

  • Made in China.
  • "Fit Clip" doesn't work in any sockets I've tried.
  • Light head should be more securely attached to the body.

Description

  • Compact rechargeable flashlight that charges when you plug it into a vehicle's cigarette lighter.
  • Less than 2" long; weighs in at just 45 grams (1.6 ounces).
  • High power 0.5 watt LED bulb (25+ lumens); shines 90 feet per manufacturer.
  • Water resistant; submersible IPX 7 rating (should withstand a half-hour under 3 feet of water).
  • NiMH battery; draw 8-10 milliamps when charging.
  • Anodized aluminum body, available in ten colors.
  • Red charging indicator lets you know when it's charging.
  • Manufacturer says overcharging is not possible.
  • Plug it into your lighter, make sure it glows red, and leave it. It'll be there when you need it.

Guide Review - Hunting Light Review - Spotlight 12v Compact Rechargeable LED Flashlight

When I first saw this light at the 2009 SHOT Show, my eyes lit up. What a great idea! A handy little rechargeable light that plugs into your vehicle's 12v power, always ready to be grabbed to help you gather hunting gear or find your way to a stand.

I'm still impressed with this little booger, but not as much as I was. I'm very happy with its small size and weight, and I don't even notice when it's in my pants pocket. I'm also impressed by its durability, having carried it in pockets full of keys, pocketknives, coins, and ammo, and it shows no sign of scratching, even on the lens.

What didn't thrill me was the very tight fit in the lighters of both my vehicles (2001 Chevy 1500HD pickup & 2002 Chevy Impala). The manufacturer quickly sent a replacement, which speaks well for their customer service. The new light fits perfectly in both lighters. There's no visible difference between the two lights, and I was told this was the first time they'd heard of this tight fit.

The light fits snugly in cigarette lighters, but loosely in 12v accessory sockets. There's a "fit clip" included with each Spotlight, intended to make it work in accessory plugs - but it didn't work for me. I tried it in both of the above vehicles, in my Arctic Cat ATV, and in some others. The fit was loose, and charging unreliable, in all of them.

When I had a problem with tight fit, I feared pulling the head off the light when removing it from the lighter. I looked closer and found that this could happen, although a manufacturer's rep said they hadn't heard of it happening. The head of the light isn't attached to the body as securely as I would like, and a hard pull can separate them, but it's not going to fall off.

All in all, I think this is a very good light, but the cheapskate in me balks at the price ($19.95 from manufacturer, but I've seen it as high as $24.50).

- Russ Chastain

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