Truck Mount Rechargeable Utility/Emergency Light


Newly Enlightened
Jul 10, 2013
I am looking for a rechargeable light that I can mount in my truck. I am looking for a smaller format light that can live in it's charger, wired to an ignition controlled circuit in a daily driver pick-up (2013 Toyota Tacoma 4-door, to be precise.) I like the looks of the tactical style lights, but this is strictly a utility/emergency light. (we will talk about weapon lights and other fun stuff in a later post.)

A bit of history: Years ago I had a 1990 Toyota 4x4. I had a Streamlight SL-20 mounted to the B-post close to the floor. I could reach it from the drivers seat, and from standing next to the truck. When I had this installed, I was actively working with my county Search and Rescue unit, so a light with some authority like that was a good thing, now that I am no longer active in SAR (other than chasing my own kids...) I do not need a light that big.

To summarize what I am looking for:
-a light that can live in its charger in an automotive environment.
-general outside the car emergency/utility light (I use LED mini-Mags with red filters for inside the car map reading and so on.)
-smaller than a SL-20
-mounting direction is negotiable
-I do not need excessive throw distance, battery life is more important.

While I have not placed a dollar limit on the cost of the light, I would like to keep it reasonable, because if my wife likes the light in the truck, I will be installing one in her Subaru.
I hope that I have provided enough information for those gathered here to give some good suggestions. If not, please ask.


1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

____I would like to purchase the light from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________.
__X_I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.

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

____Less than $25.
____Less than $50.
____Less than $100.
____Less than $150.
____Less than $300.
____I have no limit.
__X_I’m flexible, tell me what you got.
____Other, please specify ________

3) Format:

__X_I want a flashlight.
____I want a headlamp.
____I want a lantern.
____I want a dive light.
____I want a portable spotlight.

4) Flashlight-specific format/size:

____Keychain size.
__X_Every day carry small (2-4 inches).
__X_Every day carry medium (4-7 inches).
__X_Holster carry.
____Big enough to need its own travel case.
__X_I don’t care.
____I don’t know.

5) Emitter/Light source:

__X_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)
____I don't know.

6) Manufacturer:

__X_I want to buy a light from a traditional mass producing manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
__X_I would consider getting a light that is pieced together (for example a “host” or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a “drop-in” emitter from another source). Under the right circumstances, this path can provide more options to the consumer to meet specific needs, and can often be easily upgradeable as technology improves.

7) What battery type do you want to use?

____I intend to use alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C, D) (disclaimer, while it does not preclude all choices, these are not recommended for many of today’s most powerful lights)
____I intend to use rechargeable nickel chemistry (NiCad, NiMH, NiZn)
____I intend to use lithium primary batteries (CR123, CR2, Energizer Advanced/Ultimate Lithium AA/AAA)
____I intend to use rechargeable lithium (li-ion) chemistry. Feel free to specify a size if you know which size you want (14500, RCR123/16340, 17500, 17670, 18650, etc.)
__X_I want a light with an integrated rechargeable battery. (Note: these choices may be very limited unless you are looking at spotlights)

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 impossible).

__X_I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (0-10 lumens).
__X_I want to walk around an unlit rural area (50-150 lumens).
____I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).
____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 ridiculous amounts of lumens (800+ lumens).

9) Throw vs. Flood: At what distance will you be most likely to use this light? Select 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)
____50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
____150+ yards (I want maximum throw possible)

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

____Up to 30 minutes (I want the brightest [and potentially smallest] light for brief periods)
____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).
____Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood).
__X_Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
____Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
____I don't care.
____I don’t know.

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

____I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
____I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights).
__X_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).
____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).
__X_I don't care.
____I don’t know.
____Other, please specify____________________.

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

____A simple on-off with only one output level is fine for me.
__X_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. (Blinks to show location.)
____I want SOS mode.
____I want a beacon mode.
____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 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).
__X_I don’t care.
____I don’t know.
____Other, please specify____________.

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


Newly Enlightened
Jul 17, 2013
Fenix rc15 is my so far pick but just opened new thread in Recommendations forum section for more suggestions.
Here is the link, i can be convenietly placed in a car/truck

Link removed as per the banner at the top of the page
Why has my link been removed? - Norm

picture no 8 if you scroll from the left,
Last edited by a moderator:


Aug 25, 2011
I checked out the fenix, it looks good. The only images I found show it mounted down into the bracket. Can anyone confirm if this is good mounted vertically or horizontally?

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