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The Best Solar Flashlight

Last updated on March 13, 2024

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Solar Flashlights

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

RunningSnail USB Rechargeable Battery Solar Flashlight

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USB Rechargeable Battery Solar Flashlight

This joint solar flashlight and radio, which gets 7 NOAA stations, provides everything you need in an emergency, including illumination, contact with authorities and the ability to charge multiple smartphones. With both hand-crank and solar powered charging, this tool can be used under any circumstances.

Overall Take

Combo Radio and LampIf you live in a disaster-prone area or simply want the assurance of having everything you need in an emergency, buy this flashlight/radio!

 Runner Up

Otdair Multi-Mode Waterproof Solar Flashlights, 2-Pack


Multi-Mode Waterproof Solar Flashlights, 2-Pack

Looking for the perfect gift for the outdoorsman in your life? If so, this solar flashlight set is an excellent option. You'll receive two waterproof flashlights, both of which come with five different lighting modes and the ability to illuminate an area of up to 700 feet.

Overall Take

Great for EmergenciesThis solar flashlight also has the ability to be powered via a USB port.

 Strong Contender

PrimalCamp Plastic Compact Solar Flashlight


Plastic Compact Solar Flashlight

This solar flashlight is bright yellow and easy to identify quickly. It's perfect for camping trips, fishing weekends and afternoon hikes. The light is nice and compact if you want to toss it in your backpack, but it also comes with a clip so you can attach it to your beltloop.

Overall Take

Easy to UseTo turn this solar flashlight on all you need to do is crank the handle.

 We Also Like

Serjur Aluminum Battery & Solar Flashlight


Aluminum Battery & Solar Flashlight

When an emergency arises, you'll want to have this solar flashlight on hand. Not only does it provide light in the darkness, but it also has a built-in seat cutter, glass breaker, phone charger and more. The light even comes with seven different modes, so you can select the one that meets your needs.

Overall Take

Everything You NeedThere's a handy wrist band on this solar flashlight, so you can quickly transition to having your hands free when needed.

Buying Guide

Solar flashlights are an all-around excellent tool to have on hand, especially if you live in areas that may experience hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or other emergencies. Charged simply by being left out in the sun or near another source of light, these ingenious devices can be literal lifesavers when a natural disaster hits or the power goes out.

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There are a number of considerations when buying a solar flashlight, and, luckily, many of them are standardized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). At the most basic level, you’ll want to look at light output, battery life, and size and weight, but you might also wish to consider beam distance, impact resistance, and weatherproofness.

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Other considerations include bulb type and beam modes, as well as whether the output is regulated. A regulated output means the beam stays at peak or near-peak brightness throughout until it drops off significantly when the battery is low, rather than gradually going dimmer as the battery drains.

Solar flashlights also come in a variety of materials, sizes and shapes and relatedly, weights. Lightweight flashlights can be handy when carried for a long time, but heavier flashlights can double as impact tools (such as for breaking windows in an emergency) or even as weapons.

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Finally, since solar flashlights are often geared towards outdoors or emergency applications, many add additional functionality such as blades, compasses, radios, hooks for hanging or other survival tools. Many even double as phone chargers. Look for the flashlight that best suits your anticipated needs.

What to Look For

  • Make sure to check the efficiency of the solar panels on the flashlight. It will state how many hours it takes to get a full charge, and then how many hours of light time that yields.
  • Look for sturdy materials, such as highly rated plastics and rubbers or metal. One of the standardized measures of a flashlight is its impact rating, which measures the distance it can be dropped from and still function. Use this to compare flashlights based on materials.
  • Go waterproof when you can. While it’s not strictly necessary to get a flashlight that’s submersion-rated, the IPX system of splash-resistance ratings will help you tell which flashlights can operate in the rain or when flooding occurs.
  • Consider the ease of operation of the on/off switch. Can you operate the flashlight in the dark or with gloves on?

More to Explore

Generating electricity through solar power has a surprisingly long history. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the origins of solar power date back to 1839 That’s when physicist Edmond Becquerel first observed the photovoltaic effect, which is a process that produces an electric current when exposed to light. Patents on solar-powered devices appeared starting in 1888.

In addition to using a renewable energy source, solar-powered flashlights are also environmentally friendly in another way: they reduce pollution from disposable batteries.

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