Pierce the darkness with the best rechargeable flashlights

Don’t let dead batteries keep you in the dark.

Best Overall

Anker Bolder

Anker Bolder

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Best Value

Energizer rechargeable emergency flashlight

Energizer rechargeable emergency flashlight

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Honorable Mention

CCKO rechargeable tactical light

CCKO rechargeable tactical light

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We may not use flashlights all that often, but they’re critical when we do need them. Most of us have a few old-school flashlights stashed away with batteries that haven’t held electricity in ages. That’s a problem for two reasons. First of all, you’re putting yourself in position to not have a working flashlight in a dire moment. Second, you’re throwing money away every time you replace batteries that discharged most of their energy over time. You can solve both problems with a rechargeable flashlight. No more searching for the right size of battery, no more overpaying for batteries, and no more dim flashlights letting you down.

We found several options that you should consider. In addition to handheld flashlights, this list includes rechargeable options for the campsite, garage, and survival situations.

Anker Bolder

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Energizer rechargeable emergency flashlight

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CCKO tactical light

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Streamlight 66608

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LE Searchlight

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Nebo slim

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Holababy rechargeable lantern

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Related: Always be prepared with these 7 EDC flashlights

Types of rechargeable flashlights

  • Handheld rechargeable flashlights: Handheld rechargeable flashlights work just like a normal flashlight, but without the hassle and expense of single-use batteries. These flashlights are small enough to carry in one hand, toss in your glove box, or add to your tactical equipment or camping pack. Many include a clip for mounting the light to a hat brim or MOLLE loop. These do-it-all solutions should be your first stop when shopping for a rechargeable flashlight.
  • Rechargeable lanterns: When you need extra light in a fixed area, reach for a rechargeable lantern. These are fantastic additions to your camping equipment or emergency kits. Lanterns put off light in all directions so you can cook, pitch a tent, or relax around the campsite without trying to juggle a handheld flashlight along with everything else you’re doing. Most aren’t as bright as a handheld or tactical flashlight, but they do put off a nice glow that won’t burn your eyes.
  • Rechargeable work lights: If you’ve ever been yelled at by your dad for not shining the flashlight in the right place while he struggles to fix the family car, these lights are for you. Rechargeable work lights are designed to be at home in the garage or workshop. Look for features like hooks and magnets that let you put the light exactly where you need it while keeping your hands free to work. Stop the cycle of yelling. Take responsibility for your own light. 
  • Rechargeable tactical flashlights: Tactical flashlights need to do more than be bright, they need to be durable, reliable, and function without occupying your hands. This kind of light typically features variable power output and can be controlled to illuminate a wide area or produce a focused beam. The best options incorporate mounting hardware and a remote switch that let you attach them to a rifle and operate the power switch without repositioning your hands.
  • Emergency rechargeable flashlights: Rechargeable flashlights intended for emergency use need to be ready at all times. Yes, all rechargeable lights have an advantage over battery-powered alternatives, but even they can go dead if you don’t charge them once in a while. Emergency lights plug into an electrical outlet where they stay until you need them. That means they’re actively topping off the battery every second of every day. When the power goes out, you’ll have a fully-charged battery to start with. If you’ve ever had to fill and start a generator by feel, you know how important that is.

Key features of rechargeable flashlights

  • Rechargeable battery: What sets rechargeable flashlights apart is their ability to reuse the same battery. Rather than stocking up on batteries that will probably die in your junk drawer, you can plug your flashlight in for a quick recharge and be on your way. Versatile charging options mean you can charge them from a wall socket, cigarette lighter in your car, or another device. Any of these options are more convenient and less expensive than buying batteries.
  • Plug-in adapter: Older rechargeable batteries had to be removed and loaded into a charging dock that plugged into the wall. Those were inefficient and didn’t work that much better than disposable batteries. The flashlights we picked for this list recharge by plugging them in, so you never have to remove the battery. That’s less hassle for you and less wear and points of failure on your flashlight. 
  • Hand crank generator: We found some rechargeable flashlights in the camping segment that have a backup hand-crank that can be used to generate electricity when plugging in isn’t an option. This is certainly the hard way to top off your battery, but it’s a fantastic option to have when you’re camping or preparing for an emergency situation when wall sockets and power banks aren’t an option.

Benefits of rechargeable flashlights

For starters, rechargeable flashlights have an extended lifespan compared to their battery-operated counterparts. The lifespan of a rechargeable flashlight is determined by high-quality materials, not a battery that started losing power before you bought it. As long as you’re able to recharge your flashlight, you’ll have a reliable tool. Pack a rechargeable flashlight in your camping or bug-out bag, and you have the ability to have light as long as you can find a place to charge it. Some can even generate power by hand. Compare that to a supply of heavy disposable batteries, and the choice is easy.

This leads to an overall reduced cost: disposable batteries are incredibly expensive, and even though they’ve gotten more efficient over time, they’re still no match for a rechargeable battery. Plugging your flashlight into an outlet and drawing power from your house is far cheaper than buying new batteries. 

Rechargeable flashlight pricing

Basic rechargeable batteries that run for less $20 tend to prioritize the power source and may not use the most durable materials or brightest bulbs. They’re still a great backup, though. For options between $20 and $40, most rechargeable batteries present a great value. Options in this price range are tough enough for outdoor use and affordable enough to keeps spares anyplace you might need one. Premium rechargeable batteries that cost more than $40 usually offer longer-lasting power, brighter bulbs, and more robust construction. In the big picture, they’ll still pay themselves off when you no longer have to buy batteries.

Related: Get it done in the dark with these 5 tactical flashlights

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Scott Murdock

Commerce Reporter

Scott Murdock is a Task & Purpose commerce writer and Marine Corps veteran. Since 2020, he’s selflessly committed himself to experiencing the best gear, gadgets, stories, and alcoholic beverages in the service of you, the reader.