13 Best Hunting Spotlights in 2021: Essential Gear Review for Hunters

No matter how skilled you are, night-time hunting is always trickier than daytime by orders of magnitude. Without proper gear and knowledge, it will be extremely difficult to take down anything in (often) complete darkness.

Plus, there’s also the problem of safety. Navigating in the dark is dangerous. It’s a lot easier to get lost when you can’t see where you’re going.

For all of these reasons, you must throw a good hunting spotlight to your night-time hunting kit. I have examined some of the best hunting spotlights that the market has to offer, ending up with 13 models. See if any suits your fancy!

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GOODSMANN Rechargeable 4500 Lumen

  • High lighting performance
  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Easy and comfortable to use
  • Comes with a red light filter

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Top Hunting Spotlight Comparison

The Best Hunting Spotlights in 2021

Lucky you, we’ve gone ahead and done the research and dug up five of the best spotlights that are currently on the market. While any of these will be suitable for most uses, picking just the right one can make all the difference for your final usage.

Best Spotlight for Hunting: GOODSMAN Waterproof Rechargeable Spotlight Flashlight 4500 Lumen

This GOODSMAN spotlight has a great combination between durability, ease of use, and lighting performance. Its balanced design easily makes it my top choice in this article. Though it is a little bit pricey, the spotlight has everything that you’d need to be successful at a hunt and more.

best hunting spotlight

Via: Amazon.com

The design is rugged. Its outer shell is made from impact-resistant ABS and the handgrip is padded with rubber for extra comfort.

Originally made for fishermen and sailors, the shell is completely watertight, giving it complete waterproofing ability. According to GOODSMANN, the spotlight will be fine when submerged in water up to 3.3 feet deep. A little bit of treading through swamp or being caught in the rain won’t bother it at all.

Aside from being waterproof, it is also dust-resistant.

In high power mode, the spotlight produces 6,000 lumens. Since the battery is a bit small, you will only get around 1 to 1.5 hours out of the spotlight in this mode. Use it sparingly.

There is a low power mode that decreases brightness, but improves battery life slightly. You can juice around 2 to 2.5 hours of battery life in this mode.

Last but not least, the emergency SOS mode brings the best battery life. You will get 8 to 9 hours easily on a full charge.

The light comes with a detachable red light filter. Place it on the front and the light will turn red, which is extremely helpful for a hunter.

Red light is excellent for hunting, especially if you’re hunting for varmint, predator, or even deer. Many animals are incapable of seeing red light. Thus, it makes target acquisition in the night a whole lot easier. Red light also enhances your natural night vision. It doesn’t dazzle like white light does.

As a result, this model fits the bill as one of the best spotlights for predator hunting.

What We Like

  • High lighting performance
  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Easy and comfortable to use
  • Comes with a red light filter

What We Didn’t Like

  • Pricey
  • Has only one lighting mode
  • Small battery

Best Runner Up Spotlight for Hunting: GOODSMANN Spotlight Hunting Camo Portable Handheld Light

From the very first look, it is obvious that this spotlight is made with hunters in mind. It is painted with Realtree Xtra camo pattern, allowing it to blend in with the surrounding as you stalk your prey. In addition, its performance is high and the spotlight is veritably durable.

best spotlights for hunting

Via: Amazon.com

Though it doesn’t boast any features aside from the basic lighting function, you will like it if you just want a pure spotlight to bring along with you on your hunt.

The outer shell is made from ABS impact-resistant plastic. As a result, it can be dropped, thrown, and bumped without suffering from any major damage. According to the manufacturer, the light is also water resistant. However, it is not waterproof (you shouldn’t soak it).

GOODSMANN painted the outer shell of the light with Realtree Xtra camo pattern. It is a very popular pattern that’s also used in many other hunter-centric products. Since it’s field-tested, rest assured that it will work for camouflaging purposes.

The GOODSMANN spotlight uses a halogen bulb that can generate 1,500 lumens. Its range goes as far as 2,000 feet. The halogen bulb is extremely useful for hunting since its color is naturally warm (reddish). Thus, it has a lower chance of startling animals.

Unfortunately, there is only one lighting mode. It’s either 1,500 lumens or zero. This makes the light quite inflexible as a result. But this doesn’t affect its standing as one of the best spotlights for hunting out there.

In order to make the spotlight easier to transport, GOODSMANN packaged it alongside an Oxford carrying bag.

Related: Best Hunting Tripods Reviews – Make the Perfect Shot with One of These Tripods

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Good lighting performance with halogen bulb
  • Camouflaged
  • Durable
  • Easy and comfortable to use
  • Comes with an Oxford carrying case

What We Didn’t Like

  • Has only one lighting mode
  • Not waterproof

Best Budget Spotlight for Hunting: LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern

Though highly affordable, the LE rechargeable camping lantern is packed with features.

hunting spotlights reviews

Via: Amazon.com

Made from impact-resistant plastic, you can throw it around and abuse it however you want and it would hold up great. The light also has a water resistant rating of IPX4 (resistant against splashing water from all directions).

Now, on to the light itself. The LE lantern has three different light bulbs. One at the front and two on either side.

The front light has two illumination modes.

The high-power mode can reach a peak brightness of 1,000 lumens, giving you a range of around 660 feet. The light’s internal battery can sustain this mode for 2 hours. The low-power mode only reaches 400 lumens, but still gives you a range of 350 to 370 feet. In this lower power mode, you can get around 5 hours of battery life.

This bulb is best used as a spotlight for rescue or for night-time navigation.

The secondary light to the side also has two modes: high-power and low-power. On high-power, the light provides 130 lumens and can run for 6 hours. Throttling down to low-power, the lighting output is reduced to 75 lumens, but the battery can run it for up to 12 hours.

To the right of the lantern is a red light for emergencies and hunting.

Lastly, this lanter has a built-in 3,600 mAh power bank. Plug a USB cable in and you can recharge your phone, tablet, GPS, or other electronic gadgets.

What We Like

  • Highly affordable
  • Durable and splash-proof
  • Has several lighting functions
  • Large battery
  • Can be used as a power bank

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not waterproof

Best Handheld Spotlight for Hunting: STANLEY FATMAX SL10LEDS

The Fatmax series is one of the most popular best hunting spotlights for hunters. Bright, dependable, has plenty of features, while also being relatively affordable, it is a good model to consider if you want a value-packed spotlight for night hunting.

hunting spotlights

Via: Amazon.com

In terms of design, the Fatmax has a familiar pistol-style body. Though fairly compact and can be easily fitted into a backpack, it weighs 2 pounds. So, not exactly ideal if you like to travel light.

Other than this tiny hiccup, everything else about the design of the Fatmax is great. It is impact-resistant thanks to the use of hardy ABS plastic. Though it is not submersible, it can handle some light splashes onto the body and can handle being used in the rain.

The LED bulb can produce 2,200 lumens at the highest setting. Unfortunately, the battery can only sustain this brightness for around 1 hour.

If you need better energy efficiency, you have to defer to the low power mode. The light only produces 930 lumens then, but battery life can be as high as 7 hours.

The light itself only contains a white LED chip. If you want red light, the Fatmax comes with an emergency red lens that can be attached to the front of the spotlight.

Other than serving as a hunting LED spotlight, it can also be used as a power bank. There is a USB port at the back for you to plug in your electronics.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Durable and splash-proof
  • Has a red light filter
  • Can be used as a power bank

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not waterproof
  • A bit heavy
  • Small battery

Best Spotlight for Deer Hunting: DeWalt 20V MAX LED (DCL043)

If you need something compact and light, try the DeWalt DCL043.

Its 1-pound weight and compact dimensions make transportation and storage simple. The DeWalt spotlight for hunting — according to my tests — is tough and lighting performance is as high as advertised, which is to be expected from a brand as well-known as DeWalt.

rechargeable spotlight for hunting

Via: Amazon.com

The selling feature of this light is its compact size. If you like to travel light, this handheld spotlight will be a fine choice. It weighs around 1 pound and can easily fit inside of a hiking backpack (11.13 x 4.75 x 14 inches).

The head of the light can be swivelled up to 90°. The base of the light is also quite wide, allowing it to stand on its own. As such, it can be used as a stationery light when you set camp.

The spotlight is built from impact-resistant plastic. Though I didn’t test its durability in detail, I’m certain that you can treat it roughly and it won’t be very bothered. After all, DeWalt’s products have a reputation for being hardy.

One small thing that I don’t like is that it is only rated for IP54 (dust resistant). It is not water resistant. So, if you hunt somewhere with plenty of rain, you may run into troubles with this spotlight.

The spotlight uses four different LED bulbs. Three white lights are used for the main illumination mode. The fourth one is a red light.

Using the high-power mode, the three LED bulbs can produce 1,500 lumens, allowing you to see as far as 1,500 feet. The battery lasts around 4 hours in this mode.

If you want to conserve battery, you can use the low-power mode. It only produces 500 lumens but in return, you get a stronger battery life at around 13 - 13.5 hours.

The red light setting is a lot less bright at only 90 lumens. However, it doesn’t need to be bright. For hunting, a red light that’s too bright will only scare preys away. And if you want to preserve your night vision, a low-power red light like this works best. For this reason, I also picked this model as my best spotlight for deer hunting.

What We Like

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Durable and dust-resistant
  • Multiple illumination modes
  • Has a separate red LED bulb for producing red lighting

What We Didn’t Like

  • Isn’t rated for water resistance

Best Rechargeable Spotlight for Hunting: EverBrite Rechargeable LED Spotlight

Though having several power modes is useful, it is not as useful as being able to flexibly dim and brighten the light at will. The selling point of this EverBrite spotlight is exactly that: you can control exactly how bright you want the light to be.

Best Dimmable Spotlight for Hunting

Via: Amazon.com

But first, as always, let’s talk about design. It is rugged and made from strong, impact-resistant ABS plastic. One design feature that I particularly like is the shock-absorbing rubber bumper at the front. It protects the light in case the spotlight ever falls on its head.

It is IPX4-rated and can withstand some light rain and splashes. Not submersible, though.

The light is a CREE LED chip and has a peak brightness of 1,000 lumens. But, through the use of two “UP” and “DOWN” buttons at the back of the light, you can dim or brighten the light to whichever level that you want. It makes this light a lot more flexible than others in this list.

You can approach a deer from afar and gradually dim down the light as you get closer to make it less likely to spot you. Thus, it is probably the best spotlight for shining deer here.

Though it is not capable of producing red light on its own, the EverBrite comes with a red lens. It makes it one of the best spotlights for coyote hunting out there.

In the box is a conventional USB cord for charging. There is also a cigarette lighter charger for juicing up in the car.

What We Like

  • Relatively affordable
  • Rugged design
  • IPX-4 rated
  • Dimmable lighting
  • Has a red lens

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not submersible

Best Emergency Spotlight for Hunting: BIGSUN Rechargeable Spotlight

A spotlight isn’t just used to spot animals in the night. It’s also immensely handy during emergencies while you’re hunting. For example, if you got lost or someone in your crew got lost in the night, proper lighting is extremely important. It’ll be easier to navigate, search, or signal for rescue.

Best Emergency Spotlight for Hunting

Via: Amazon.com

In this respect, the BIGSUN spotlight is worth investigating as the best spotlight flashlight.

The light weighs 1.12 pounds, which is light enough to not bog you down while you’re on the move. It can be fitted into a travelling backpack easily and deployed whenever you need. It comes with a shoulder strap for better ease of use.

The light comes with a durable plastic shell. It feels a little cheap, but so far, it has held up well. I dropped it and threw it around and there wasn’t any damage at all.

It has a dust-proof IP45 rating, but there doesn’t seem to be a rating for water resistance. This is a pretty great disappointment. So, if you choose this model, I recommend packing it up in a waterproof case.

There are two kinds of lights on the BIGSUN: a primary spotlight and a side flood light.

The spotlight at the front has a peak brightness of around 6,000 lumens, capable of illuminating objects as far out as 2,600 feet. The high illumination power is extremely useful for when you’re searching for a missing person.

Like many other spotlights, there is a low-power mode that reduces the output for better battery life. This is the preferred mode for navigating.

The spotlight also has an strobe mode for SOS calls.

The flood light to the side has lower lighting power than the frontal spotlight, but nonetheless, it is helpful for when you settle down and make camp. The broad lighting angle can shine more uniformly across an area.

It has a high-power mode and a low-power mode. But, more importantly, it has an emergency mode, too. When in use, the light will flash red and blue to signal for help.

The light doesn’t have a dedicated red LED bulb, but it has a red filter.

You can take advantage of the high-capacity Li-ion battery (10,800 mAh) to charge your electronic devices. There is a USB port on the light.

What We Like

  • Durable design
  • Lightweight and compact
  • IP45 rated (dust-proof)
  • Strong lighting performance
  • Two lights: a spotlight and a floodlight
  • Has emergency lighting modes
  • Comes with a red light filter

What We Didn’t Like

  • Doesn’t have water resistance rating
  • Feels a bit cheap due to the plastic material

Best Brightest Spotlight for Hunting: BERCOL Rechargeable Spotlight, 90000 Lumens

If you need extremely strong lighting performance, take the BERCOL rechargeable spotlight out for a whirl.

Best High Power Spotlight for Hunting

Via: Amazon.com

Although it was initially advertised as having a 90,000 lumens brightness, I only measured about 9,000 lumens. The advertisement may be faulty, but the product itself is decent enough. It is brighter than most spotlights that I had tested out thus far and can easily fit as the brightest hunting spotlight on this list.

Design-wise, the BERCOL spotlight is unremarkable. It has a fairly cheap feeling body and doesn’t look rugged at all. Because of this, I recommend that you exercise caution when you use it and don’t drop it.

While it doesn’t look like it’s impact-resistant, it is water-resistant. The light is IPX5-rated, so it can handle heavy water splashes and rain with no problem.

The light weighs 1.5 pounds. Though the back portion of the light is narrow, the conical housing at the front is very wide. It won’t be easy fitting the light into a backpack, so you should carry it separately.

A super bright LED chip is housed inside of the conical housing at the front. Despite the initial claim of it being 90,000 lumens, it’s actually not that bright. Around 9,000 lumens is my estimate. This is still plenty bright and can light up an area that’s well beyond 2,000 feet. It is the brightest spotlight for hunting on the list.

The light uses an 8,000 mAh Lithium-ion battery. It can sustain the light at the highest brightness setting for around 4 hours.

You also have three other modes that you can use: medium power, low power, and an emergency strobe mode. The less bright it is, the more power you can get. At the lowest power setting, I recorded about 7 hours of use.

You can also use the light as a power bank for your electronic devices, too. A USB port is available to the side of the body.

What We Like

  • Relatively affordable
  • IPX5-5 rated
  • Extremely strong lighting performance
  • Has multiple illumination modes
  • Can be used as a portable power bank

What We Didn’t Like

  • Flimsy design
  • Lighting performance isn’t as high as advertised

Best Intermediate Power Spotlight for Hunting: GOODSMANN Realtree Xtra, 750 Lumen

Between a low-power light like the Streamlight 44905 and more powerful best hunting spotlights, there are spotlights like GOODSMANN Realtree Xtra, 750 Lumen. Like its name suggests, the bulb only goes up to 750 lumens. In my opinion, this strikes a good balance between light performance and battery efficiency.

Best Intermediate Power Spotlight for Hunting

Via: Amazon.com

On the outside, this model looks exactly the same as the camouflaged GOODSMANN spotlight. Coated in Realtree Xtra camouflage pattern, it seamlessly blends with the surrounding wilderness and makes you more difficult to detect from afar. The light is built with impact-resistant plastic and shock-absorbing rubber parts, resulting in excellent durability.

The light is water resistant, but it is not submersible led spotlight.

Weighing 1.3 pounds, it is decently light. The dimensions of the spotlight are also compact enough that you won’t have any trouble carrying it around.

This GOODSMANN spotlight uses a CREE LED chip with a peak brightness of 750 lumens. The beam distance measures around 1470 to 1480 feet. Due to the lower peak brightness, battery life is a lot better. You can get about 10 hours or more, depending how often you use the light.

It doesn’t offer you the ability to change the brightness. ON or OFF is all you get. The limitation is quite disappointing and curtails the usefulness of the light significantly.

As expected, it doesn’t come with a built-in red LED light. If you need colored light, you will have to buy and use color filters.

What We Like

  • Camouflaged
  • Decently compact and lightweight
  • Battery efficient
  • Has a red light filter

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not submersible
  • Only one lighting mode

Best Low Power Spotlight for Hunting: Streamlight 44905 Waypoint

Brightness isn’t always a priority. Sometimes, you want a dependable spotlight that can run for a long time on a single charge while providing merely adequate lighting. For that purpose, the Streamlight 44905 Waypoint can satisfy.

best handheld spotlight for hunting

Via: Amazon.com

There’s not much to talk about design-wise. Like other outdoor spotlights, the Streamlight 44905 is made from impact-resistant plastic. Thus, it can handle some rough usage without breaking.

The Streamlight 44905 is weatherproof and has an IPX4 rating. It can handle some light splashes and some rain. However, it is not submersible.

As for lighting performance, unlike other models which usually go well beyond 1,000 lumens, this model only goes up to 550 lumens on the highest power setting. In return, it enjoys a decent battery life of 10 hours, which makes this the best rechargeable spotlight for hunting on the list!

The light will still be bright enough for night-time navigation and long-distance target finding. Its beam has a range of well over 2,000 feet.

It has a low power mode, which provides about 40 lumens. It is suitable for night-time navigation or for providing lighting to a campground. Battery life in this mode is quite impressive: 82 hours continuously.

A third mode is also available: emergency illumination. It is just a strobe light mode for you to signal rescue. This mode uses only 40 lumens to conserve battery life.

The light doesn’t come with a color LED bulb or filters. If you want to cast green or red light for easier night-time hunting, you can find color filters being sold separately on the manufacturer’s website.

Streamlight 44905 comes with a 12V cord. If you’re close to your car, you can plug the light in and use the car’s battery for power. It’ll give you near-unlimited lighting.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Rugged design with IPX4 rating
  • Extremely long-lasting due to low lighting modes
  • Has emergency lighting mode

What We Didn’t Like

  • Lighting performance is unimpressive
  • Doesn’t come with color filters


Best Search Spotlight for Hunting: GOODSMANN TACTICPRO 2,000 Lumen

Searching — whether for someone or for a prey — will require a focus-beam, high-power spotlight. That’s exactly what the GOODSMANN TACTICPRO spotlight offers.

best rechargeable spotlight for hunting

Via: Amazon.com

The design itself is very simple and, unfortunately, not very rugged. Yes, it is made from ABS plastic, but the design feels a little bit flimsy. It doesn’t feel like it would survive being roughly treated.

This spotlight, unlike others, does not have a battery. You will need to plug it to a power source like a car or a portable power bank. The light comes with an 8-foot coiled cord with a 12-volt DC plug.

Lighting performance is where this spotlight literally shines, though. With its 35-watt High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lamp, it can produce an intense beam of light that measures 2,000 lumens.

However, note that the xenon spotlight needs some time to brighten. After it’s turned on, it will gradually brighten until it reaches its peak brightness. In my test, it takes about a minute.

The light is designed to form a focused beam, so its range can be as far out as 2,780 feet. This makes spotting people or animals from afar easier, making this my recommendation for the best spotlight for long distance hunting.

What We Like

  • Very good lighting performance with HID bulb
  • Great lighting range (2,780 feet)

What We Didn’t Like

  • Flimsy design
  • Has to be plugged in

Best Waterproof Spotlight for Hunting: GOODSMANN Spotlight 6000 Lumen Boat Spotlight

If you need a hunting spotlight that’s waterproof, this GOODSMANN performs just as good as my top pick.

The spotlight is built for toughness. Most of its body is cast from impact-resistant ABS plastic. But, to strengthen the frame, some sensitive parts are made from aluminum. It can definitely stand up to the rigors of the hunting trail.

spotlights for hunting at night

Via: Amazon.com

Like I said earlier, this GOODSMANN spotlight is waterproof, too. So, you can bring it with you even to the wettest of environments and it will still hold up fine.

Its pistol-style grip is made from rubber. The grippy material will prevent the spotlight from slipping out of your hand when it’s wet while also improving comfort.

Lighting comes from three CREE LED chips which, together, provide about 4,500 lumens in the high-power lighting mode. It can illuminate anything in a massive range of 1,500 feet. It is easily one of the best hunting spotlights out there for long-distance target spotting.

The light will be less intense in low-power mode. Battery life is obviously going to be better, too.

Unfortunately, the drawback of this light is its battery. The battery lasts only 2-3 hours on high-power and 4-5 hours on low-power. Compared to many models on the market, this is quite low. Make sure to keep the spotlight close to a charger just in case.

What We Like

  • Waterproof
  • Durable design
  • Comfortable to use
  • Great lighting performance
  • Has a low power mode

What We Didn’t Like

  • The battery’s capacity is small

Best Impact-Resistant Spotlight for Hunting: BUYSIGHT Rechargeable Hunting Spotlight, 6000 Lumens, Aluminum Alloy

As an alternative to the GOODSMANN marine spotlight’s waterproofing ability, if it is an impact-resistant spotlight that you need, consider the BUYSIGHT spotlight, instead.

handheld hunting spotlight

Via: Amazon.com

Its key selling point is its aluminum alloy body, which is a lot more durable than all the other lamps in this series that are made from ABS plastic. The body is bolted in place using copper screws. As a result, this light will be able to withstand tougher falls than other best LED spotlights for hunting.

Other parts of the light are built for durability, too. At the front is a rubber bumper that protects a shatter-resistant glass piece covering the LED housing.

For such a rugged spotlight, the fact that it weighs only around 1.7 pounds is quite surprising. It’s still very portable.

All in all, if you expect that you’d go through some pretty tough trials on the road, the BUYSIGHT’s tough design will give you peace of mind.

The primary LED bulb at the front has a peak brightness of 6,000 lumens on paper. A fully-charged battery can last for around 10 hours in this mode.

However, my estimation shows that the light isn’t as bright as 6,000 lumens. Around 3,000 or 4,000 lumens would be my guess. I have compared it with some other spotlights and it falls in line with the results I got from a few 3,000 - 4,000 lumens models.

Aside from the high power mode, you also get a low power mode, which extends battery life to well beyond 24 hours.

There are two other lights to the side.

One is a white flood light. It’s not as bright as the primary light, but it has a broader illumination angle suitable for lighting up a campsite. This one has two illumination modes. On high-power, it lasts around 20 hours and 40 hours on low-power.

The other side has a red-and-blue emergency light. You can use it as an emergency signal. Battery lasts around 30 hours with this light on.

There is a USB port at the back of the light that you can use to plug in your electronics. They will draw power from the light’s battery, essentially turning it into a portable battery bank.

It doesn’t have a red light, but you can use a color filter. An interesting accessory that this light comes with is an EVA carrying case.

What We Like

  • Extremely durable metal body design
  • Portable
  • Has multiple lights
  • Powerful lighting
  • Strong battery life
  • Can be used as a power bank
  • Has a red light filter and an EVA carrying case

What We Didn’t Like

  • Isn’t as bright as advertised

Legality of Spotlighting

Keep in mind that for the most part spotlighting animals while in possession of a firearm is a crime, even if you don’t take the shot. In fact, in many places it’s illegal regardless of when you’re planning on doing it.

At the very least you’ll get a fine, but if they can prove you were poaching you may be looking at a more serious offense. Know your local laws when you use one to avoid trouble.

For the most part, these regulations apply only to the lawful hunting of deer, however, and spotlights are sometimes used when it comes to the lawful killing of pest animals.

Related: Where To Shoot A Deer – Top 5 Best Places To Shoot A Deer

Of course, most of us don’t have any nefarious intentions when we decide to go out and spotlight some animals.

It’s a fun way to observe night wildlife that you would otherwise never get a chance to see, and it can even be a completely valid method of scouting an area in the off-season if you keep track of your data.

So be safe, be legal, and pick the best one you can.

Choosing a Best Spotlights For Hunting

There’s a few different things that can be combined to make a great spotlight. By keeping them in mind, you can make sure that you end up with the best possible light for what you’re planning on doing.

#1- Power

The power of a light is measured in Lumens. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always give you a total reflection of the power of a spotlight. This is because the reflectors make a huge amount of difference and Lumens are only used for the total power output of the bulb.

Further complicating matters, spotlights use a slightly different rating system than house lights which makes it even more troublesome to judge the light.

As a general rule of thumb 100 Lumens is okay, 200-400 Lumens is pretty ideal for spotting, and 500+ is a super bright light.

brightest spotlight for hunting

#2- Power Source

The power source is another important consideration. While any spotlight suitable for hunting is likely to be battery powered, most of us will want a car charger for the sake of convenience. A 12V adapter can be charged in the field, and some lights can even be run straight from the lighter in the console which is good if you want to remain in the vehicle.

#3- Bulb Type

The type of bulb used to be a point of contention, but it’s not really much of a thing anymore. LEDs are simply superior to halogens since they run cooler, last for an obscene amount of time, and are generally brighter while taking less power.

Anything that we recommend is going to have a LED bulb for that reason, but if you come across an old halogen spotlight you really might want to consider making the upgrade.

#4- Durability

Build quality is another quality which makes for a great hunting spotlight. If you don’t really have a well-built light then it’s not going to do you much good if you drop it while in the field. Most should hold together for a couple of drops, but something which can land on a rock and emerge unscathed is ideal.

#5- Colored Lenses or Filters

Build quality is another quality which makes for a great hunting spotlight. If you don’t really have a well-built light then it’s not going to do you much good if you drop it while in the field. Most should hold together for a couple of drops, but something which can land on a rock and emerge unscathed is ideal.

Color filters are great for specialized usage, and you might want to consider them when you’re picking a spotlight to use. They’re particularly useful for predator hunting which is allowed in quite a few areas.

Red lights will allow you to preserve more of your natural vision and doesn’t scare animals quite as easily as white or green lights will. Many hunters find that red lights are a great idea, but they don’t show as much detail as green or white lights will and so you’ll have to be double sure of your target. You don’t want to mistake a dog for a coyote after all.

Green is brighter and will generally show darker animals easier. They’re used by a lot of hog hunters for that reason, and feral pigs seem to be less sensitive to green light than a lot of other animals.

The standard white light can be used for hunting purposes as well, but it’s often best to utilize a softer light to illuminate one area than it is to shine a super bright spotlight suddenly. Deer will freeze up when spotlighted in this fashion, but it’s illegal to hunt them with a spotlight and most animals will bolt if the lighting comes in too suddenly.

#6- Ergonomics

While it’s not quite as important if you’re planning on spotting from your car or truck, how the light feels in your hand can make a big difference if you’re night hiking and want to see some wildlife.

Look for rubberized grips and molding for your fingers, as well as a natural angle from the top of the hand to the light that you think you’ll be comfortable with.

The weight of the light will also factor in here, especially if you’re planning on carrying it all night and not stowing it in a pack until you get to the desired area.

#7- Cost

Cost is always a factor in any kind of equipment. With spotlights there can be quite a bit of variation, as some brands of equipment tend to sell themselves by name. This means that you can sometimes find a superior light at a lower price if you’re careful.

The truth is, however, that as long as the light has everything else you want then a lot of times the more expensive brands will be the winner at the end of the night.

Conclusion

Having the best hunting spotlights with you is a major game-changer in the night, especially if you haven’t upgraded to night vision or thermal scopes yet. But even more so, a spotlight will keep you and your fellow hunters safe if you were to ever get lost at night!

My top pick for this article is the GOODSMANN marine spotlight. Pricey, but it has all of the important features that a hunter would ever want out of a spotlight.

It is extremely durable thanks to its impact-resistant and waterproof shell. Waterproofing isn’t something that many hunting spotlights do well, so this model stands out clearly from the rest. The light does all this while maintaining a fairly lightweight and compact body.

Battery life, despite being mediocre, is acceptable. Lighting performance is great enough for most hunters (4,500 lumens) and if you ever need colored light, a red filter is available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Red vs. Green Light: Which Is Better?

For big game (deer, moose, elk), varmint, and predators, a red light is best. They do not have red-registering light cones in their eyes, so they are incapable of seeing the color red.

Red vs. Green Light: Which Is Better

Red light, coyote hunting dogs, and the best coyote baits will make taking out these varmints very easy.

But if you’re going hog hunting, green light is best. Their eyes are less capable of registering green than white or red.

Just make sure that the light that you use isn’t too bright. Even if they cannot recognize the color, if the light is bright enough, they would run away all the same.

LED vs. HID vs. Halogen: Which is Better for Hunting?

Most hunting spotlights have LED (Light-Emitting Diode) bulbs as they last very long and cost less. Performance is also good enough with LEDs, case example being those best Q Beam spotlights. They could be as bright as 10,000 lumens.

But, in terms of energy efficiency or brightness, LEDs cannot compare with HID (High-Intensity Discharge) light. These can burn brighter, but consume less power than LEDs. Unfortunately, they don’t last very long.

For hunting, though, I prefer halogen lamps.

Halogen lights are warmer in temperature (redder). Like I said, animals have difficulties registering reddish lights. As a result, halogen bulbs are less likely to startle the animals than the bright white beam of LED or HID bulbs.

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What Are the Differences Between Candela and Lumen?

Brightness can be measured in one of two ways: in candela or lumen.

Candela is a measurement unit that describes how intense the light is. The higher the candela, the farther you can be from a target and still see it clearly.

On the other hand, lumen is the standard measurement for brightness. It is the more popular out of the two. It measures the brightness from any point in the direction away from the light.

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You’ll find more use out of lumen and most manufacturers will give you this number. Candela is still used by many out there. In that case, just convert the candela to lumen if you want to know exactly how bright it is in the standard measurement. 1 candela = 12.57 lumens.

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Kevin Steffey
 

Kevin is the founder of Deer Hunting Field and is currently its Editor-in-Chief. He has been hunting all throughout Colorado for decades and has made an appearance virtually every year in units across Eastern Colorado. He has won the draw several times for the coveted license to hunt big games like moose, elk, and deer. While he’s primarily a plain hunter, Kevin occasionally heads West towards the Rockies to take on the more challenging terrains there, too. And according to him, the scenery is well worth the extra sweat.

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