Rural-use light that can also be placed on the ground


Newly Enlightened
Sep 14, 2021
Inverness, CA
I'm a newbie, so I don't know much of the light lingo. I'm looking for something that I can keep by the back door and which I can use for the following:
• Lighting up the woods when our cat goes missing.
• Lighting up the driveway as I walk the trash to the road late at night.
• General poking around in the dark.
• I want something that "lights up the night" rather than a narrow X-Files beam, and I'd like things to look crisp and clear rather than have faint areas like my old lights used to.

Other notes:
• I'd like something I can put down and keep the beam pointed at whatever I'm working on.
• I'd prefer something I can quickly plug in and leave charging, ready to go.
• No special modes needed — just on/off.
• I'm not a policeman or a soldier, so I don't require it to be tactical in nature.
• Run time would probably never be more than an hour.
• Price <$200

I grew up on a farm and the big torch we had was basically a 12v battery with a handle on top and the lamp on front. Apart from the size and weight that format worked really well for us. Something along the lines of the larger lights shown here It was nice because you could hold the light down by your side as you walked, and you could put it on the ground and still have it light up the sheep/fence/whatever that you were working on.

Because of that I was going to buy one of these but I presumed there must be better, smaller lights out there, and I'd rather spend some more money and get something that will last and be truthfully spec'd.

Is that handle-on-top format still en vogue? Or has technology reduced everything down to palm-sized flashlights or these hunting spotlights ?

I see a lot of threads like this one that cover similar ground, but don't address the "I'd like something I can put down and keep the beam pointed at whatever I'm working on" requirement. Also, a headlamp isn't suitable, because my wife won't ever use it.

Thanks for your help.


1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

____I would like to purchase the light in person from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________.
___X_This will be mail-order or Online (location doesn't matter).

2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :)

____I don't know yet
____Up to $25.
____Up to $50.
____Up to $100.
__X__Up to $200.
____Up to $300.
____Essentially unlimited.

3) Format:

__X__I am not sure, please help me decide.
__X__I want a flashlight (hand held/self contained).
____I want a self-contained headlamp.
____I want a headlamp with an external pack/power source.
____I want a mounted light (typically for a bicycle or vehicle)
____I want a lantern/area light.
__X__I want a portable spotlight (it may have an external power source).
____Other ____________________________________________

4) Size:

____MICRO - Keychain size.
____TINY - Every day carry (2-4 inches).
____SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches).
____MEDIUM - Holster/belt ring carry. (>7 inches)
____LARGE - Big enough to need its own travel case.
_X___I don't know/I don't care.

5) Emitter/Light source:

____LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)
____Incandescent (known for superior color rendition)
____HID (known for max output, but often at the expense of size)
_X___I don't know.

6) Manufacturer:

__X__I want to buy a light from a large/traditional manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
____I would like a light from a specialty manufacturer (Possibly limited run/Custom).
____I am interested in assembling my own components. (for example a "host" or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a "drop-in" emitter from another source).

7) What power source do you want to use?

____I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Alkaline batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
____I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Lithium batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D and CR123 sized cells common to most stores (often a cold weather or long storage choice).
__X__I intend to use Rechargeable cells (NiMH or NiCD) based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
_X___I intend to use Rechargeable cells based on less common formats (18500 or 18650 Li-Ion, RCR123, et-al).
__X__I want a light with an integrated rechargeable battery pack.
____I don't know/I need more information on power sources.

7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option
____I want a light that plugs directly into the wall (literally with prongs built into the light)
____I want a light that has a recharging adapter (your typical "wall wart")
____I want a light that snaps into a cradle (usually mounted on a wall)
____I want a separate/stand-alone charger (this involves removing the batteries to charge)
_X___I don't care

8) How much genuine out the front (OTF) light do you want/need? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is not a happy experience).

____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (1-10 lumens).
____I want an indoor "blackout" light (15-50 lumens)
____I want to confidently walk around an unlit/unpaved rural area (60-150 lumens).
__X__I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).
__X__I want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 lumens).
____I want search and rescue type illumination (800+ lumens).

__X__SPECIAL NOTE: Burst/Turbo mode Category - There are several lights that will run at a super bright maximum for a very limited period (usually 5-10 minutes) and then will "step-down" to a lower level for thermal control. Check here if this is acceptable.

9) Flood vs Throw: Flood covers an area, Throw reaches out to a distance.

____All Flood: I am doing "arms length" tasks like reading and campsite cooking.
____Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car.
____Narrow Flood: I want a sharply defined flood area that will project some distance for tasks like trail walking.
__X__Wide Throw: I want a beam with a noticeable hot-center for distance throw and a significant amount of "side-spill". Good for rough trail hiking, search and rescue, and general distance work.
____Narrow Throw: I want a beam with a very tight "hot center" and minimal "side-spill". Good for distance viewing, fog, and looking through dense undergrowth.
____Turbohead: I want a far-distance projector with a sharply focused spot of light and minimal or zero side-spill. Good for extreme distance and impressing your friends.

9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check all that apply)
____Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
__X__Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
__X__5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
__X__30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)
__X__50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
____150+ yards (I am searching from a helicopter)

10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum continuous output).

____Up to 30 minutes (I want the brightest [and potentially smallest] light for brief periods)
__X__30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed)
__x__90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
____3 hours + (I critically need this light to run on max for extended periods in between battery changes/charges).

11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase "you get what you pay for" is very accurate for flashlights.

____Not Important (A "night-stand" light).
__X__Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood).
__X__Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
____Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
____I don't know.

12) Switch Size, Type, and location (choose all that apply):

____Any size switch will do.
____I need a BIG switch (I'll be using gloves or have very large hands or coordination issues).
____I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
____I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights).
____I want a momentary switch (Predominantly for use with signaling and short bursts of momentary light only).
____I want a twisty switch (Tighten the head/tailcap to activate, and the light will stay on until the head/tailcap is loosened).
__X__I want a body mounted switch (near the head, like on a Maglite).
____I want a tail mounted switch (found on the majority of today's high end lights).
____I want a remote switch (usually found on high-end bicycle headlights)
____I don't care.
____I don't know.
____Other, please specify____________________.

13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.

__X__A simple on-off with only one output level is fine for me.
____I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
____I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
____I want a programmable light.
____I want a selector ring.
____I want a strobe mode. (Oscillating pattern to confuse/blind aka "Police Mode")
____I want SOS mode. (blinks in ...---... emergency pattern)
____I want a beacon mode. (Regular flashes at full power to show location.)
____I don't care.
____I don't know.


____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
____Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today's higher end flashlights).
____Stainless steel (durable, but much heavier than aluminum)
____Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive).
____I don't care.
__X__I don't know.
____Other, please specify____________.

15) Water resistance
__X__None needed
____IPX4 (Splash resistant)
____IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
____IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours)

16) Storage conditions
__X__In house (temperature/climate controlled environment)
____Emergency kit (long standby periods)
____Automobile glove-box (wide temperature swings, long standby periods, critical reliability)

17) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any/all below.

____Red filter (for preserving night vision).
____Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________).
____Dedicated R/G/B secondary LEDs.
____"Hybrid" light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
____Pocket/belt clip
____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
____Crenulated bezel
____Non-sparking, Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments


CPF Supporter
Apr 24, 2015
Phoenix, AZ USA
I'm not going to get too specific here, but if I were looking for a modern interpretation / version of the type of hand-held lantern-type lights (with handles) that we both used to use, I would at least check out some of the Streamlight Litebox &/or Firebox series lanterns. You might find something appropriate, and you won't beat the quality. I've noted that Bright Guy appears to stock these lines. (Side note: I do own and use the Streamlight Stinger 2020 mentioned, and while that might not be 'type' of light you're looking for, it's definitely a great light for its type.)

Documentation note: If you pull up the product page for a specific light, expand the 'Documentation' section and check the 'Fact Sheet' and also 'Data Sheet' / 'Info Sheet' for more good info.

Last edited:


Newly Enlightened
Feb 7, 2002
Miami, FL USA
I am sure you will get plenty of good suggestions here, so I thought I would try one that might be a bit different. The Olight Perun 2 which is a right angle light taking a proprietary 21700 battery. Since you will never need to touch the battery, except when you receive it, that should not be an issue for your described use. It provides a lot of bright broad cool white light. It seems to meet all your requirements, yet might not be something someone would think of. If you go to the Olightstore website you can check out its specs and they frequently have sales, although what is on sale varies.
[I would prefer neutral white, but it is OK, unlike the smaller Perun which is way too cool (although I recently found a light which makes me appreciate the Perun just a bit, as the other light was even cooler in color temperature.]

It makes a good hand held right angle flashlight that as you requested can be sat down, or clipped to your person (say a belt or waistband), to provide illumination. It can also be worn in its headband as a headlamp. It is not something you will wear and forget because of it's size and weight, but it is actually comfortable to wear. It comes with a magnetic charging cable, so would be easy to sit/lay around plugged in. All you need to do is get the butt close and it will snap into place. So no need to open a port or otherwise fiddle.

It has a turbo of 2,500/800 lumens 2+175 minutes down to a moonlight mode of 5 lumens for 12.5 days.


Newly Enlightened
Nov 1, 2019
For your first 4 bullet points, I use a Led Work Light. (Search for that on Amazon.) Or Portable Flood Light.


Newly Enlightened
Sep 14, 2021
Inverness, CA
Thanks everyone. FWIW I ended up calling and the man who answered was enormously helpful and kind. He helped me understand the language I was after a little more: I want an unfocused cone of light without a hotspot, similar to what you want when you're riding a bike in the city and you need everything lit up around you without that hotspot in the center to distract you and mess with your eyes.

He recommended I try the LEDLenser P6R Core and P7R Core lights as they include focusing, a fairly simple switch, various charging options, and they match my light output requirement. (They don't match the "place it on the ground" requirement I had, but I'll start with one of these and see how I go.)

Thanks again for your help so far. I'll report back now whatever I buy.
Last edited:

Latest posts