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Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Review

This powerful lantern with a rechargeable battery (via electricity or a hand crank) is our top choice for camping trips and power outages
goal zero lighthouse 600 lantern review
Credit: Goal Zero
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $70 List | $55.89 at REI
Pros:  Bright, USB charge port, no disposable batteries
Cons:  Durability concerns, hard to look at
Manufacturer:   Goal Zero
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 2, 2022
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79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 22
  • Brightness - 45% 9.0
  • Battery Life - 20% 6.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9.0
  • Features - 10% 8.0
  • Weight - 10% 5.0

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.

Editor's Note: We updated this review on December 2, 2022, to include new testing data related to battery life.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $70 List
$55.89 at REI
$60 List
$33.68 at Amazon
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$30 List
$23.89 at REI
$50 List
$49.95 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Bright, USB charge port, no disposable batteriesVery long battery life, tough and durable, provides a nice soft diffused lightAffordable, several light tone settings, 360-degree kickstand, clever sundialCompact and lightweight, charges other devices, versatile for individual useSolar powered, packs up easily, bright
Cons Durability concerns, hard to look atGlow-in-the-dark doesn't work very well, hook on the bottom is not very sturdy, hard to reattach bottom after replacing batteriesNot submersible, no USB outputDifficult to hang, need an outlet or battery pack to chargeLight array difficult to arrange, carrying case awkward to store
Bottom Line This powerful lantern with a rechargeable battery (via electricity or a hand crank) is our top choice for camping trips and power outagesA durable lantern with exceptional battery life for extended use that you can rely on when the lights go outA lightweight, compact, and versatile lantern that is easy on your bank accountThis pocket-sized, flashlight-lantern combo is a great option for personal use while car campingThese packable, convenient string lights are excellent for car camping or a summer cookout
Rating Categories Goal Zero Lighthous... Ultimate Survival T... BioLite SunLight Goal Zero Lighthous... MPOWERD Luci Solar...
Brightness (45%)
9.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
Battery Life (20%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Ease of Use (15%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Features (10%)
8.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
Weight (10%)
5.0
3.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Specs Goal Zero Lighthous... Ultimate Survival T... BioLite SunLight Goal Zero Lighthous... MPOWERD Luci Solar...
Weight (with Batteries) 19.8 oz 29.3 oz 3.4 oz 3.1 oz 11.4 oz
Rechargeable? Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Manufacturer Listed Runtimes Low, one side: 320 hrs
Low, both sides: 180 hrs
High, one side: 5 hrs
High, both sides: 2.5 hrs
Low: 30 days
High: 12 hrs
Low: 50 hrs
High: 3 hrs + 4 hrs reserve mode
Low: 170 hrs
High: 7 hrs
Low: 20 hrs
Measured Runtime (Highest Setting) 3.2 hrs 9.0 hrs 4.5 hrs 3.75 5.0 hrs
Lumens 600 1000 100 Lantern: 150
Flashlight: 120
100
Size (inches) 4.5 x 5 x 6.5in 7.2 x 3.75 3.35 x 3.39 x .91 4 x 1.75 x 1.2 2 x 5 x 5 (Collapsed)
Number of Batteries 1 3 1 1 1
Battery Type Rechargable D Rechargable Li-Ion Rechargeable Rechargeable
Waterproof Rating Not specified IPX4 IPX4 IPX6 IPX4

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


goal zero lighthouse 600 lantern review - 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.
Credit: 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 without having to worry about tripping over unlit obstacles in a power outage.


In many instances, such as camping, 600 lumens can be way too much. The dimmer knob is convenient for reducing the juice if you are in a smaller space like a tent or if you're outside and your eyes have adjusted to the stars.

goal zero lighthouse 600 lantern review - the 600 lumens put out by the goal zero lighthouse 600 are plenty...
The 600 lumens put out by the Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 are plenty bright enough for grilling on a patio or when car camping.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Battery Life


For this metric, we timed each lantern's total runtime on its highest setting. The reason that we chose to test them on their maximum brightness is that we've often found that sometimes the lowest setting for certain models isn't bright enough to be useful.


Battery life is not the strongest suit for the Lighthouse 600 when compared to the longest-lasting models. On its highest setting, it dies right around three hours and 15 minutes. If you choose to use just one side of the lantern and dim the light down, this runtime increases significantly. We also measured the charge time – this model was fully juiced up after charging for six hours via a USB cable plugged into a standard wall outlet.

goal zero lighthouse 600 lantern review - the goal zero lighthouse 600 lasts just over three hours on its...
The Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 lasts just over three hours on its highest setting.
Credit: Ross Patton

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.

goal zero lighthouse 600 lantern review - 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.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Features


This lantern offers an array of features. You have the option to illuminate the night with both 180 and 360 degrees of light. It also comes equipped with easy-to-read battery indicator lights that let you know approximately how much juice is left in the rechargeable battery.

goal zero lighthouse 600 lantern review - 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.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

We love that the included USB charging cable wraps nicely around the body of the lantern. This keeps the cord out of the way while the lantern is in use, but it's always there when you need it. The charging port comes in handy when your small electronics need a bit of a boost. One of the primary benefits of this model is the integrated hand crank. So in emergency situations when your house or vehicle are devoid of power, you can still charge this lantern.


The Lighthouse 600 also features an emergency red light, though we don't think it would be especially helpful in a true emergency given how weak it is. The space between the wire handle and the lantern body is a little tight to hold comfortably, but it is serviceable and does allow this lantern to hang overhead on a tree branch or carabiner.

goal zero lighthouse 600 lantern review - 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.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Weight


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 need to go for a walk in the darkness, the handle at least makes it easier to carry.


It is also a compact package for a lantern this powerful. The legs are collapsible, which means it is easy to store away and would easily fit on a small shelf in a utility closet.

goal zero lighthouse 600 lantern review - 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 eight-ounce fuel canister.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Should You Buy the Goal Zero Lighthouse 600?


The 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 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.

What Other Lanterns Should You Consider?


If you are looking for a powerful, multi-purpose light for both your upcoming trip and for the distant future, the Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 has great promise. But if you're looking for a slightly smaller, slightly more durable model for backpacking trips, the Black Diamond Apollo is a fan-favorite among our testers. For true minimalists, the Goal Zero Lighthouse Micro Charge is an even more ultralight model that still doubles as a charging port for your electronics.

Ben Applebaum-Bauch
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