The Best Spotlight for Long Distance
Top 12 Rankings & Application-wise Top Picks
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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.
Overall Best: Coast XP11R
Runner-up: Streamlight 78101 Stinger
Most Efficient: NEBO Redline 6K
Best for Police & Self-defense: Streamlight 77551 Ultrastinger
Best for Rural Areas: Dewalt DCL043
Best for Tactical Applications: Streamlight 88047 ProTac HL 3
Best for Boating: Streamlight 44904 Waypoint
Best on a Budget: Stanley SL5HS
Let us present our rankings now. These rankings are based on the performance, ergonomics, features and durability. So without further due, let’s begin.
Under $30 | 100 Yards Range | Holds Charge for a Year
Our Rating: 8.2 / 10
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.
(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.
100 Yards Range | Good Value for Money | Red Lens Included
Our Rating: 8.3 / 10
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.
(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.
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.
+400 Yards Range | Great for Tactical Use | Compact+Lightweight
Our Rating: 8.5 / 10
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.
(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.
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.
+300 Yards Range | Under $50 | Very Compact | Lightweight
Our Rating: 8.6 / 10
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.
(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.
+750 Yards Range | Highest Lumens | Under $50 | Great Battery Runtime
Our Rating: 8.8 / 10
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.
(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.
+680 Yards Range | Great for Boating | Good Battery Runtime
Our Rating: 8.9 / 10
At 7th on our list is the 44904 Waypoint from Streamlight – the Pennsylvanian spotlights and flashlights brand. Its lumen rating (550 lumens) may look modest but how far it throws the light is a whole another story with a range of 625 meters (equivalent to 683 yards).
(Throws 600 lumens at a distance of more than the length of 5 football fields. It is a very good lumen throw).
It is powered by four C-Sized alkaline batteries (not rechargeable). With fresh batteries, it lasts an impressive 10 hours at full brightness. Alternatively, you can also run it directly from a 12VDC cord (that comes with the spotlight).
It is the best spotlight for long distance boating where you may want to survey the docks, spot the channel markers across the lake or maybe light up your local lighthouse with it. It’s a suitable choice for spotting wildlife whether you are on a hunting adventure spotting deer or red lighting predators. Or maybe spotting the creatures making noises in the woods around your house.
+100 Yards Range | Great for Rural areas | Red Light Mode | Great Warranty
Our Rating: 9.0 / 10
Making 6th on our list is the Dewalt DCL043 throwing 1,500 lumens of light 100 yards away. It can be powered by any of the Dewalt’s 20V Max line of batteries.
(Throws 1,500 lumens at a distance of nearly the length of a football field. It is a fairly good lumen throw).
Typical runtime is up to 4 hours on high setting and 13.5 hours on red beam setting with the DCB201 1.5 amp hour 20V Max battery. You’d get a much better runtime if you use a higher amp hour rated battery which is an added flexibility.
If you have two Dewalt batteries, you can even eliminate any charging time by simply switching the used up battery with freshly charged battery.
It is a good choice for rural areas where you may want to spot your dogs cattle or maybe an owl sitting some 100 yards away on a pole. You may take it in your RV camping trip to survey the wilderness. It is important to highlight that it is too bright for any indoor work even on low brightness mode. Therefore, don’t buy this if you also want to use it for working under the hood of your car or fixing a backyard pump.
Red color light is the preferred choice for people using their spotlights in game viewing (wildlife viewing) in a Safari park because of an interesting reason. Red light does not interfere with animal behavior because most mammals are color blind to the red color. Therefore, with a red light, you observe natural animal behavior without dazzling, alerting or disturbing them.
+200 Yards Range – Highest Rated Lumens – Best Battery Performance – Best Water & Dust Resistance
Our Rating: 9.1 / 10
Opening the top 5 rankings on our list is the NEBO Redline 6k. It produces an impressive 6,000 lumens and converts it into a beam reaching 239 yards.
(Throws an impressive 6,000 lumens at a distance of the length of 2 football fields. It is one of the best lumen throw out there).
The Li-ion battery performance and attributes are ahead of competition in this spotlight. It runs for 2 hours at 6,000 lumens before requiring a recharge (which takes 5 hours on a fast micro-USB charger). Turned at a lower brightness level of 1,200 lumens, the spotlight will last for 5 hours.