Ultimate guide to portable lighting

Some people might say I have become obsessed with portable lights. But having the right light at the right time can be crucial. This might be for a planned project, an unexpected repair job, or a sudden natural disaster.

Whatever the need, a good, rechargeable portable light should be in everyone’s toolbox, vehicle, house, RV, backpack and anyplace else you can stash one.

We’ve been happy with our affiliation with Hokolite over the past few years. I purchased some of their products and they sent others for testing and review. Every model impressed me. They get used regularly around our campsite, in our van and in our RV.

Plus, Hokolite periodically offers a 20% discount to our readers with the code TREKERS20. So punch it in at checkout and see if you can score a deal.

Portable lighting also makes a great gift, so I thought I would look through the Hokolite lights I appreciate most and offer a few gift ideas. In addition, after you read this pot, check out the blog posts at the Hokolite website. They have some nice guides about the types of lights you might need and why.

Hokolite offers a ton of different types of lights, but here are some key ones that I have put through their paces plus a brand new camping lantern that has some really nice features. They all are rechargeable, which is a key feature for me when purchasing most lights. Portable power banks and solar panels mean we can usually keep these lights going for an indefinite period, unlike alkaline-battery powered units.

Handheld Spotlight Solar Camping Lantern Flashlight

This is the new kid on the block in our portable lighting arsenal and I have already deemed it a favorite.

The solar camping lantern combines a 2500 lumen spotlight with a 1500 lumens white and RGB lantern. It features eight light modes from mild to superbright on both the spotlight and the lantern. The 7200mAh rechargeable battery provides up to 40 hours of use time. And in addition to the standard USB charging socket, the unit has a solar charger built into its top. As with many of Hokolite’s products, it also has a USB-out plug for charging other devices in a pinch. The unit is water and impact-resistant.

The RGB light is a nice touch, especially for ambient lighting at a campsite. The push of a button runs the light through the RGB series of colors. When you find the shade you like, press the button again to stay on that color.

I also appreciate that it has two separate buttons for the spotlight and the lantern, meaning you don’t have to cycle through all the settings — just the low, medium, and high for each individual light.

As with most Hokolite products, the buttons are brilliantly designed so that after your light is on for approximately eight seconds, a single push turns the whole unit off. That means you don’t have to cycle through additional brightness levels or light patterns to turn it off.

A few other nice features including a carrying strap, a carabiner clip, and a threaded mount for use with tripods.

Three-head Construction Light

The LED Construction Light provides 8000 lumens of high-intensity light which is enough to light large areas. This foldable work light can be used freestanding, tripod mounted, or hung with a portable handle. In addition, four strong magnets embedded in the base allow you to mount the light to any steel surface and then easily position it to find the perfect angle. The mounting options are enhanced by the light tilting 180 degrees and rotating 360 degrees on its base.

The light offers five modes making it adaptable to almost any portable lighting need. I like that you can use just about any combination of the center light and the two wing lights to achieve the right amount of light in the right area.

Designed as a “construction light,” we have found it a great addition to our van-camping kit because we can focus the light where needed, inside the van or out. It also can serve as a power bank to charge other USB-powered devices.

I did a review of this light for our YouTube channel.

Automotive Work Light 

The automotive work light features dual COB output with a red hazard feature and is rotatable 360 degrees. (COB stands for Chip on Board. That defines how the LEDs are mounted for the lighting pattern.)

It can be propped up on its carrying handles or be attached via onboard magnets. Those prove super handy when using this under a vehicle hood. Because it has two lights that can be folded toward or away from each other, you can really get the light where you need it.

This light is water and impact-resistant. It also has a power bank to charge other USB-powered devices.

I did a review of this light for our YouTube channel.

I also did a review of a similar light for our website.

Headlamp With Magnet

The XOwl Bright headlamp takes care of those times when you need to have portable lighting that’s easy to have handy at a moment’s notice.

The Xowl-Bright is a detachable, USB-C rechargeable headlamp that delivers 1800 lumens of high-definition output. One of the coolest features that differentiates this headlamp is that when detached, you can use built-in magnets to attach it to a metal worksurface.

While attached to the headstrap you can tilt the light up and down for a better angle. After turning off the light, fluorescent rings will glow in the dark for a bit, so it’s convenient to find if you set it down for some reason.

This high-power headlamp is waterproof and impact resistant. I did a review of this light for our YouTube channel.

Night Running Light

When you’re out running or walking in the dark or low-light conditions, it’s incredibly important to see where you’re going, but also for others to see you. That’s where the clip-on running lights are great.

At 150 lumens, the Night Running Light with 4 lighting modes provides a variety of brightness levels and light patterns. You can clip it on a hat, pocket, running belt, travel bag belt, or running vest. The USB rechargeable clip-on flashlight is very convenient.

I did a review of this light for our YouTube channel.

Keychain Flashlight / Cap Light

Having a light available with your keys can be awesome when trying to get a lock open. Plus, the Keychain Flashlight/Cap Light comes with a clip so you can attach it to the brim of a ball cap to quickly create a headlamp.

This EDC (Every Day Carry) flashlight gives off an impressive 500 lumens output. It weighs just over ounce, so it’s not too bulky to get in the way. I did a review of this light for our YouTube channel.

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