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The Best Spotlight for Long Distance

Top 12 Rankings & Application-wise Top Picks

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Updated: 17-September-2023

Are you looking for the best spotlight for long distance applications? With so many models and brands available in the market, it often becomes confusing to decide which is the best spotlight for long distance use in your specific application.


With a variety of applications come a variety of requirements making the choice even harder. Therefore, today’s post is based on ranking the 12 best spotlights for long range applications on their overall performance attributes.


Their suitability for particular long range applications is also emphasized for each spotlight because you may not need the overall best.


At the end of the rankings, we have also explained an important spotlight concept i.e., beam spread vs. beam tightness. Moreover, we have also discussed at length what to look for when buying a spotlight, some common buyer's guide questions as well as a piece on explaining the science of lumens rating in spotlights.

Ranking the 12 Best Spotlights for Long Distance Use

Let us present our rankings now. These rankings are based on the performance, ergonomics, features and durability. So without further due, let's begin.

12

Stanley SL5HS

Under $30 | 100 Yards Range | Holds Charge for a Year

Our Rating: 8.2 / 10

Image(s) Courtesy of Amazon

Breaking the ice on our list is the Stanley SL5HS pistol grip spotlight. Powered by a Li-ion rechargeable battery, it produces 1,200 lumens of light from its 5 watt LED at its highest brightness making objects a 100 yards away. You can easily watch your dogs across your property with this light.

Lumen Throw Score70%

(Throws 1,200 lumens at a distance of a little less than the length of a football field. It is a fairly good lumen throw).

While most spotlights have just two levels of brightness, the Stanley SL5HS has three plus a bonus mode. It can give you around 10 hours of runtime at full charge on an average usage in which all three modes are used interchangeably.


The bonus mode is the halo mode in which the outer ring of 8 lights turn on to provide good ambient lighting for inside the house use during a power outage.


It is made of hard plastic and is not the sturdiest but also not the flimsiest. Given a price tag of under $30 (at the time of this review), there is nothing to complaint about and plenty to gain.

Pros

Holds charge for 12 months so you don’t need to worry about charging if you use it after a while.

Apart from the commonly featured high and low brightness settings, a medium brightness level is also available.

Also features a Halo mode that shines a low light like a halo.

Supports both AC and DC charging with both charging adapters included with the spotlight.

Also supports car charging.

Lightweight (1.6 lbs.)

Built-in pivoting stand and hands-free trigger lock so you may leave the light aimed at a target while you get busy with something else.

Compromises

Battery runtime could’ve been better. Runs for around 10 hours at average usage which is not bad but there are better runtimes in competition.

Not impact tested for durability, however, hard plastic body does not feel flimsy.

Not IP rated for waterproofing.

Strobe light mode not available.

Battery and LED element/bulb not included in the 1-year warranty offered by manufacturer.

11

Stanley FATMAX SL10LEDS

100 Yards Range | Good Value for Money | Red Lens Included

Our Rating: 8.3 / 10

Image(s) Courtesy of Amazon

At 11th on our list is another Stanley, this time the FATMAX SL10LEDS. It is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion battery that takes around 6 hours for first charge and gives a backup of around 1 hour on highest brightness setting and around 7 hours on low brightness.

Lumen Throw Score76%

(Throws 2,200 lumens at a distance of a little less than the length of a football field. It is a good lumen throw).

From using it to inspect your yard spread accross several acres (maybe for a wild bear) to using it as a distress signal in emergency (especially with its red color lens), this is a great long range spotlight.


Distract racoons off your yard using its floodlight mode or find your lost kittens using it low brightness mode, this spotlight gets majority of common jobs done. It is also a suitable choice for night shift construction workers.


Its charge can up to 12 months if left unused making it a great choice for people looking to buy a spotlight for contingencies only.

Pros

Very high brightness (2,200 lumens).

Holds charge for 12 months so you don’t need to worry about charging if you use it after a while.

Supports both AC and DC charging with both charging adapters included with the spotlight.

Also supports car charging.

Supports battery bypass i.e., it can also work once plugged in with charging cord (even if batteries are dead).

Can also charge your smart phone on its own battery like a power bank.

Comes with a red lens to turn the spotlight red good for game viewing.

Compromises

Battery runtime could’ve been better. Runs for 1 hour at full brightness (2,200 lumens) which is not bad but there are better runtimes in competition.

Not impact tested for durability, however, ABS plastic body does not feel flimsy.

Not IP rated for waterproofing.

Strobe light mode not available.

At 2.25 lbs., it falls towards the bulkier side in competition.

Battery and LED element/bulb not included in the 1-year warranty offered by manufacturer.

Tidbit

We just used the term ABS Plastic above. ABS stands for "Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene". It is a type of thermoplastic. It is commonly used in LEGO blocks and computer keyboards. It is also used in power tools. It is a relatively inexpensive type of thermoplastic.

10

Streamlight 88047 ProTac HL 3

+400 Yards Range | Great for Tactical Use | Compact+Lightweight

Our Rating: 8.5 / 10

Image(s) Courtesy of Amazon

10th on our list is another Streamlight, this time the 88047 ProTax HL 3. It throws 1,100 lumens at a distance of 413 yards (379 meters rated). It has the reputable CREE LED at its core.

Lumen Throw Score82%

(Throws 1,100 lumens at a distance of more than the length of 3 football fields. It is a good lumen throw).

It is powered by three Li-Metal CR123A batteries (not a rechargeable spotlight). The added flexibility of using AA size batteries (apart from the standard CR batteries) is a big plus also.


This light has received positive feedback in tactical applications such as security and police. It can be used by police officers as their pocket spotlight or even as surefire light for a shotgun. It is also a good addition to your mobile toolkit and survival bag. However, it does not mean that you can't use it for inspection purposes on your ranch or keep it in your radio strap as a firefighter to be used in emergencies.

Pros

Durable construction. Aluminum body is 1-meter impact tested.

Features the reputable CREE LED.

Very long range (413 yards).

IPX7 waterproofing rating means it can resist being submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

Has strobe light mode for emergency and distress signaling or self-defense use for blinding a threat.

Comes with a holster.

Features belt clip.

Extremely compact (7.1” length and 1.64” outer diameter).

At 0.58 lbs., it is the second lightest spotlight in competition.

Comes with anti-roll face cap so you can leave the light over a surface without having to worry about it rolling away.

Compromises

Battery runtime at highest brightness could’ve been better. Runs for 1.5 hours at full brightness (1,100 lumens) which is not bad but there are better runtimes in competition.

Body heats up if kept at full brightness for long.

Battery and LED element/bulb not included in the lifetime warranty offered by manufacturer.

Tidbit

We just used the term CREE LED above. CREE Inc. was an American company now acquired by Wolfspeed Inc. The company deals in production of semiconductor products. Their LEDs have developed a reputation for their high quality and long life. Therefore, spotlight brands boast if they have a CREE LED inside their product.

9

Energizer PRO600

+300 Yards Range | Under $50 | Very Compact | Lightweight

Our Rating: 8.6 / 10

Image(s) Courtesy of Amazon

The 9th position on our list is taken by the spotlight model PRO600 from one of the world's largest manufacturer of batteries from Missouri in United States i.e., Energizer.

Lumen Throw Score75%

(Throws 600 lumens at a distance of nearly the length of 3 football fields. It is a good lumen throw).

Throwing a rated 600 lumens 1017 feet away (339 yards), it keeps going at full brightness for 4 hours before you need to recharge its Li-ion battery. However, beware that it does not have an indicator to show it has low battery so you'd have to time your charges.


From being used as camp security light and reaching far tree tops to lighting up your horses 200 yards away in the pasture, this spotlight finds its use in a variety of long range applications.


Energizer has included a very unique and rare little feature. The charging cord of the spotlight is stored inside the spotlight in a small rear compartment. Its warranty terms are not readily traceable which is a minus given the big brandname but overall it is a good spotlight.

Pros

Durable plastic construction (3 feet impact tested).

Long range (339 yards).

Supports car charging.

Type-C charging port opens a world of possibilities so you may charge your spotlight wherever you can charge your smartphone.

IPX4 waterproofing rating means it is resistant to splashes of water.

Most compact pistol grip spotlight in competition (3.54” x 0.84” x 8.39”).

Lightweight (1 lbs.)

Built-in pivoting stand and hands-free trigger lock so you may leave the light aimed at a target while you get busy with something else.

Stores the charging cable in a small compartment inside the spotlight so you never loose or forget it.

Compromises

Battery runtime could’ve been better. Runs for 4 hours at highest brightness of 600 lumens which is not bad but there are better runtimes in competition.

Strobe light mode not available.

8

Buysight B743-G

+750 Yards Range | Highest Lumens | Under $50 | Great Battery Runtime

Our Rating: 8.8 / 10

Image(s) Courtesy of Amazon

At 8th on our list is the Buysight B743-G handheld pistol grip spotlight. At its heart is the reputable CREE XHP-70.2 LED. Buysight has claimed the highest rated light emitting capacity on our list at 10,000 lumens. However, the manufacturer has overpromised here.

Lumen Throw Score98%

(Throws 4,000 actual lumens at a distance of more than the length of 6 football fields. It is a the best lumen throw).

The actual light feels around 4,000 lumens at best which is further validated from the XHP70.2 data available from CREE stating maximum luminosity of 4,124 lumens for the referred LED model.


It is powered by three rechargeable Li-polymer batteries having a combined capacity of 9,000 mAh. They give the spotlight a battery runtime of 8 hours at full brightness which is really impressive as some spotlights wouldn't give that runtime even on lower brightness levels.


The build quality however is not as impressive as the battery runtime. It is somewhat flimsy as compared to other spotlights you'd see towards the top of our list. However, we wouldn't complaint considering the price point of under $50 (at the time of this review).


What's more? Buysight has added a great side feature - the side lamp (check the second image). It serves as a floodlight as well as alarm light with flash Function switching the light between red and blue colors.


Conclusively, Buysight has packed a lot of punch under $50 for this spotlight.

Pros

Features the reputable CREE LED.

Highest lumens in competition (Rated 10,000 lumens but actual around 4,000).

Highest range in competition (rated 872 yards).

Best battery life in competition. Runs for +8 hours at full brightness.

Has strobe light mode for emergency and distress signaling or self-defense use for blinding a threat.

Can also charge your smart phone on its own battery like a power bank.

Features a side light that works as a flood flashlight mode or alarm light mode having flash Function of red and blue colors.

Compromises

Does not support car charging (charges on 4.1VDC and not on the standard automobile 12VDC).

Not impact tested for durability. Body construction not at par with competition.

Not IP rated for waterproofing but does offer a small degree of water resistance.

7

Streamlight 44904 Waypoint

+680 Yards Range | Great for Boating | Good Battery Runtime

Our Rating: 8.9 / 10

Image(s) Courtesy of Amazon