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Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Review

This powerful lantern with a rechargeable battery (via electricity or a hand crank) is a great option for camping trips and power outages
Goal Zero Lighthouse 600
Photo: Goal Zero
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Price:  $70 List | $69.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Bright, USB charge port, no disposable batteries
Cons:  Durability concerns, hard to look at
Manufacturer:   Goal Zero
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 20, 2021
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 14
  • Brightness - 40% 9
  • Durability - 20% 5
  • Features - 20% 8
  • Ease of Use - 10% 6
  • Weight - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 is a workhorse for car camping, outdoor barbecues, and power outages. Its rechargeable battery can be powered up via a hand crank or the attached USB. The rubber-coated collapsible legs are wide, giving the light a stable base on uneven surfaces. It is super bright and powerful enough for a whole picnic table if you find yourself eating dinner late while camping out. It has a fully adjustable dimmer and because it doesn't require any disposable batteries and can be recharged without electricity, we like it as an emergency light source in the wintertime.

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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $69.95 at Backcountry
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$37.93 at REI
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$28.35 at Amazon$30 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Bright, USB charge port, no disposable batteriesRubber-tipped legs, dimming feature, dual metal hooks for hanging, durableVery long battery life, tough and durable, provides a nice soft diffused lightDurable, packed with features, water resistant, floatsCompact and lightweight, charges other devices, versatile for individual use
Cons Durability concerns, hard to look atCould be brighter for large groups, replaceable batteries run out quicklyGlow-in-the-dark doesn't work very well, hook on the bottom is not very sturdy, hard to reattach bottom after replacing batteriesCan't fully adjust the amount of light output, limited to four settings, smallDifficult to hang, need outlet or battery pack to charge
Bottom Line This powerful lantern with a rechargeable battery (via electricity or a hand crank) is a great option for camping trips and power outagesThe best all-around model for portable lighting needs, this rechargeable model is convenient, bright enough, and even doubles as a power bank for small devicesA durable lantern with exceptional battery life for extended use that you can rely on when the lights go outThis little lantern is tough and versatile, and its waterproofing makes it a good option for lighting needs on a boat or kayakThis pocket-sized dual use flashlight/lantern is a great option for personal use while car camping
Rating Categories Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Black Diamond Apollo 30-Day Duro Glow Streamlight The Siege Lighthouse Micro Charge
Brightness (40%)
9
7
9
6
5
Durability (20%)
5
8
8
8
6
Features (20%)
8
9
6
7
7
Ease Of Use (10%)
6
9
7
8
9
Weight (10%)
5
6
3
6
10
Specs Goal Zero... Black Diamond Apollo 30-Day Duro Glow Streamlight The... Lighthouse Micro...
Weight (with batteries) 19.79 oz 10.19 oz 29.28 oz 9.14 oz 3.10 oz
Rechargeable? Yes Yes No No Yes
Manufacturer run time (hours) One side (low) 320 hrs
One side (high) 5 hrs
Both sides (low) 180 hrs
Both sides (high) 2.5 hrs
24 hrs 30 days (low) 22 hrs (high) 7 hrs (low) 37 hrs (high) 170 hrs (low) 7 hrs (high)
Lumens 600 250 700 200 (Lantern) 150; (Flashlight) 120
Size (inches) 4.5 x 5 x 6.5in 9.5 x 3.3 x 5.3 7.2 x 3.75 2.4 x 2.4 x 5.4 4 x 1.75 x 1.2
Number of batteries 1 3 3 3 1
Battery type Rechargable AA D AA Rechargeable
Waterproof rating Not specified IPX 4 "Water resistant" IPX7 IPX6

Our Analysis and Test Results

The rechargeable lithium battery on the lantern can be charged in a traditional outlet but it doesn't require it, as it can also be charged by turning the hand crank. This versatility, paired with its bright 600 lumens makes it an excellent option for outdoor gatherings and lighting the way in a power outage.

Performance Comparison


This versatile and bright lantern is one of our favorites for larger...
This versatile and bright lantern is one of our favorites for larger spaces.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Brightness


The Lighthouse 600 lives up to its name as an exceptionally bright light. We found that its 600 lumens are more than enough for a group at a picnic table at night. Indoors, when placed in the center of the room, it provides enough light to illuminate a 20'x20' space and without having to worry about tripping over unlit obstacles in a power outage.

This light's 600 lumens are plenty bright enough for grilling on a...
This light's 600 lumens are plenty bright enough for grilling on a patio or when car camping.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

The dimmer knob is also convenient for reducing the juice if you are in a smaller space like a tent. It manages about 3 hours (slightly more than the claimed 2.5 hours) on high with 360 degrees of light and a whopping 13 days of continuous light on its lowest setting with 180 degrees of light. If it does flicker out on you, 1 minute of hand-cranking will get you about 10 minutes of power on low. To fully charge it, it took about 6 hours of charging through the attached USB cable plugged into a standard outlet.

Durability


The actual lantern components including the LEDs and battery are fabricated for the long run. We have no doubt that they would last for years and years. However, we do have some questions about some of the auxiliary pieces. The outer light cover is comparatively brittle plastic that we think would crack if it was dropped on a hard surface.

The green USB cable and charge out port have no covers so they are...
The green USB cable and charge out port have no covers so they are susceptible to dust, dirt, and debris.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

In addition, the wire legs are thin and can rotate past the 180 degrees that they need to which we found makes the light liable to topple over (and take some unnecessary hits). We also noticed that neither the USB charging cable nor the charge out port has any sort of cover, which leaves both susceptible to dirt build-up or precipitation.

Features


This light comes with an array of features. The power knob has options to illuminate the night with both 180 and 360 degrees of light. It also comes equipped with four small blue battery indicator lights that let you know approximately how much juice is left in the rechargeable battery. We love the included USB charger cable that stores nicely around the body of the lantern when it's not being charged, so that it's out of the way but always there when you need it. The charge out port is an excellent option if your small electronics need a bit of boost.

This lantern can light up 360 degrees, or, in this case, 180 degrees...
This lantern can light up 360 degrees, or, in this case, 180 degrees if you need directional illumination.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Though we don't think it would be especially helpful in a true emergency given how weak it is, this model does also come with a red light feature embedded in its top. We found the space between the metal wire handle and the lantern to be a little tight to hold comfortably, but it is serviceable and makes it possible to hook the lantern overhead on a tree branch or carabiner.

Ease of Use


The basic functions of this lantern are straightforward. The legs pull down and click into place. The protruding dial in front turns counterclockwise for 180 degrees of light or clockwise for 360 degrees. Having said that, you do have to work for it if you want to charge the light using the hand crank, however, this feature is one of the huge benefits of this light. Other lights have no option to recharge other than via a power bank, outlet, or another device that supplies power, which isn't always an option in the outdoors. We think this added feature on the Lighthouse 600 really makes this model stand out from the crowd of lanterns.

The large green control dial and blue battery indicator lights make...
The large green control dial and blue battery indicator lights make this lantern really simple to use.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Weight


Coming in at just under 20 ounces, this lantern is by no means the lightest in the bunch. However, the weight really isn't a primary consideration given what it is best suited for. If you do need to go for a walk in the darkness, the handle at least makes it easier to carry.

When collapsed, the light is about the size of a small camping stove...
When collapsed, the light is about the size of a small camping stove with an 8 oz fuel canister.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

It is also a compact package for a lantern this powerful. The legs are collapsible which means it stores away at 6.5 inches high, 5 inches wide, and would easily fit on a small shelf in a utility closet.

Value


This lantern comes at somewhat of a premium but we think that it is worth it. This rechargeable light eliminates the need for any additional investment to replace batteries, increasing its long-term value. The ability to charge without electricity from an outlet also makes it highly versatile in the short term. If you are looking for a powerful, multi-purpose light for both your upcoming trip and for the distant future, this one has great promise.

Conclusion


The Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 is versatile. It has a large handful of useful features and best of all, it is bright enough for a large tent or small group outside.

This bright, high-utility light comes with a lot of features...
This bright, high-utility light comes with a lot of features, including red alert LEDs.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Ben Applebaum-Bauch