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A good deer hunter makes sure that all the equipment is at its best and will not malfunction while out in the field. The same applies when shopping for hunting spotlights; you have to get the best for the job. This is especially important for you who prefer hunting in darkness as you will need a spotlight to locate your prey and also light your path as you head out to the woods.
In this article, Here is a guide on how to pick the best spotlight for deer in 2023 while considering the different kinds of spotlights in the market. You will also know how to rate the brightness of a spotlight as well as the rechargeable spotlights available.
How is the Brightness of a Spotlight Rated?
The brightness of a spotlight is measured in terms of ‘useful lumens’; this is different from how the brightness of a conventional bulb is calculated. The light that lights a 90-degree cone is what is known as useful lumens.
Remember to check what the package says about light output as light can deviate by up to 25% from what’s on the package. An ideal hunting spotlight should have 200-400 Lumens as one with 500+ Lumens will be extra bright.
Types of Spotlights
There are two types of spotlights, that is, halogen and LED spotlights.
Halogen lights are cheap and resemble the old-style incandescent in quality and color. Halogens are more expensive to run than LEDs, and they only last for about two years.
LED spotlights cost a bit more than halogens, but they are cheaper to run. Some manufacturers say that a LED spotlight can last for about 25 years (though I have not confirmed this). Also, they have now been modified to provide an equal quality in color and light as that of a halogen.
There are also 12v spotlights that are charged through an adapter and illuminate without consuming battery life. They have limited mobility as they have to be on the power source at all times. The other type is the one that uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that you can move around with for the time the battery has power. Other spotlights have both the 12v adapter and the lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.
Spotlights can also be handheld or mounted. Depending on the task you intend to carry out, you can choose what best suits you. However, a handheld spotlight that also has stood for mounting is the best as it serves both purposes; when you are roaming and when waiting for your prey. Others have a hanging strap to hand on your shoulder when you don’t want to hold it in your hands.
Deer survey results. Spotlight/distance survey results from Kill Creek Park and Shawnee Mission Park:
Editor’s Top Pick| Top 5 Best Spotlights for Deer Reviews
1. GOODSMANN RealtreeXtra Cree Led Rechargeable Spotlight
The GOODSMAN Realtree spotlight is an ideal partner for your hunting, hiking, camping, and any other night outdoor adventure. This spotlight provides a distance of 450M beam as it has 750 Lumens to provide maximum brightness and a wider beam.
When you have a power outage, do not worry as the GOODSMAN Realtree spotlight will light your space as well as use it when hunting at night. When the spotlight is fully charged, the battery indicates an LED indicator to notify you of the same. It also comes with a metal bracket for storage and hanging when not in use. The spotlight comes with a stand for support when you have to do other things but still need the light.
- 750 Lumens, 450M beam distance to provide ultra-bright light
- ABS plastic constructed casing
- Heavy gauge coil cord for maximum power
- Suitable metal bracket for storage and hanging
- 12v DC plug with LED indicator light
- Ideal for outdoor excursions
- Camouflage design
- 12 months warranty to provide 100% Satisfaction
- Does not have a USB port as a third charging option.
2. Streamlight 44902 Waypoint Spotlight
The Streamlight Waypoint spotlight shines a beam distance of 625M producing 550 Lumens. It shines light in three modes; low, high, and emergency signal mode. It uses 4 “C” size alkaline batteries and a 12v DC power cord for recharging. It has a pistol grip and a balanced weight for comfort to your hands.
Streamlight Waypoint spotlight endures harsh weather conditions whether its rainforest humid, cold, desert dry, or scorching hot. It won’t be damaged when dropped in water, beaten up, falls on a rock, or forgotten in icy snow. With the three light modes, you can throw a beam up the sky or down a path and even read a map without attracting attention.
- Comes with an integrated stand and a pistol-grip handle
- The power cord has a 12v DC.
- The spotlight runs for 8.5 hours on 4C batteries.
- It is water-resistant
- Scratch-resistant with polycarbonate lens
- Has a limited lifetime warranty
- Not completely waterproof
- Dust and splash-resistant but not submersible
3. NoCry 18W Waterproof Rechargeable Flashlight (Spotlight)
This waterproof rechargeable flashlight has an 18 Watt super-bright LED light with three different light settings; Low 100 Lumen, Medium 500 Lumens, and High 1,000 Lumens. At 1,000 Lumens the light is brighter than most higher-priced spotlights. It also comes with adjustable filters to allow red and white light settings.
The spotlight can last up to 20 hours as its battery has a storage power capacity of 3000mAh. When using the 1,000 Lumens mode, it can last for at least 6 hours, and when using 100 Lumens, it lasts up to 20 hours. Besides, this spotlight is very light as it weighs less than a pound making it easy to carry. It has a stand for support when busy, and it does not get damaged on impact, doe not sink, and it’s waterproof.
- Battery power 20 hours at 100 Lumens, 6 hours at 1,000 Lumens
- Waterproof up to 3 feet deep
- Impact-resistant as its made from ABS and polystyrene
- Has three light modes; low, medium, and high
- Floats on the water make it easy to retrieve
- Screws on the stand break easily.
4. STANLEY FATMAX FL5W10 Rechargeable Spotlight
This is a waterproof 5W spotlight with Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries. It provides up to 520 lumens making it able to illuminate in all kinds of weather either indoors or outdoors. When it’s on lower settings, it can run up to 10 hours. When it falls in the water, it floats face up, which makes it easy to spot, also, it can submerge up to 6 feet in the water.
The STANLEY FATMAX FL5W10 has two adapters; 12 volt DC and 120 volt AC which enables charging at home or in a vehicle. It has a rugged pistol grip thus providing a comfortable grip and comes in a smaller than most spotlights. This spotlight should be charged once every 60 days.
- 5W ultra-bright LED with 520 lumens
- Floats face up when in water and submerge up to 6 feet.
- Pistol grip handle for comfortable handling
- Run time of 10 hours and chargeable after 60 days
- Home and car charge 120 volt DC and 12-volt charging
- One year warranty
- The new version is not as good as the older one.
- The charger is not attached to the spotlight hence be may be lost easily.
5. Rugged Camp Rechargeable Spotlight Titan X10-1000
This is one of the most versatile and brightest spotlights in the market suitable for hunting, hiking, running, or camping. It has inbuilt LED light technology to provide a powerful, brighter, and long-lasting light. The spotlight has a tripod stand to illuminate your surrounding without the need to hold it all the time.
It’s strongly built to withstand falls with a toughened rubber grip for comfortable handling. There are three ways to charge this spotlight; using an AC/DC adapter on the wall, cigarette lighter in the car, or using a USB cable. On top of this, the spotlight can even charge your phone; rechargeable every three months.
- Chargeable in three ways
- Can charge mobile phone
- Has a tripod stand
- Uses LED light technology.
- Three lighting modes; blinking emergency, work light, and spotlight.
- Does not have a colored lens.
- Not waterproof and doesn’t float on water.
How to Choose the Best Spotlight for Deer
Determine the power strength of your spotlight in terms of Lumens. Consider a spotlight with 100 Lumens, but the best spotlight for shining deer should be 200-400 Lumens. Do not go for one with very bright light as it will scare away the animals.
2. Source of Power
Consider the source of power for the spotlight; is it battery-powered, or can it be charged using a car charger? One that can be charged with a car charger is convenient as you won’t have to stay in the dark if it runs out of power while out in the fields.
3. Type of Bulb
In recent times, LED bulbs have proven to be the best as they last longer and are easier to run than halogens. They also shine brighter with minimal power hence saving you on power costs.
A good spotlight should be able to withstand a fall on the rocks and not go off when it comes into contact with a few drops of rain. Since you are looking for a hunting spotlight, it should be able to withstand harsh weather conditions as it will be used outdoors.
5. Coloured Lenses or Filters
The color of the spotlight lenses is another essential thing to consider. Red lights will help you conserve your natural vision and will not scare away the animals as green or white light will. However, a green light shows more details than a red light helping you to identify your prey better. A green light is better when picking out a darker animal.
6. Grip and Weight
If you plan to hike at night and see some wildlife, you should consider the feel of the spotlight on your hand. A spotlight with finger molding, rubberized grips, and a natural angle that runs from the light to the top of the hand will be comfortable for your hand. Also, consider the weight in terms of how long you intend to carry it around.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
1. What is the best spotlight for deer?
A bright white light jolts a deer; therefore, you should use a spotlight with colored lenses. A green light picks out an animal better in the dark than red or white light.
2. Is it illegal to spotlight a deer?
Yes, it is illegal to spotlight a deer
3. What is the highest candlepower spotlight?
The HL-85-HID-80W-CPR spotlight provides a 7,200 lumen with a super bright light and a beam distance of over 7,000 feet.
4. How many lumens does a deer shining need?
200-400 Lumens is ideal for deer shining
5. How many lumens is an excellent spotlight?
100 Lumens provides proper light, but if you need brighter light, you should go for 500+ Lumens
6. How many lumens is a 1 million candlepower spotlight?
A 1 million candlepower spotlight has 3,200 Lumens with a beam distance of 1,600 feet and 36 Watts.
In conclusion, it is illegal to spotlight. Hence you should be very careful when out there. It is even worse when you are mistaken to be a poacher as the penalties are harsh. It is good to find out from the authorities if there are any licenses needed for deer hunting at night.
If you have to spotlight a deer, make sure that your spotlight is in good working condition as you will need it to spot your prey in the dark. Buy a spotlight that will not scare away animals or quickly reveal your location to the animals.