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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
Credit: Goal Zero
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $70 List | $69.95 at REI
Compare prices at 2 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  ⋅  Sep 20, 2022
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 20
  • Brightness - 45% 9.0
  • Durability - 20% 5.0
  • 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $69.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$60 List
$39.35 at Amazon
$60 List
$59.95 at Amazon
$20.00 List
$19.95 at Amazon
$29.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
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Pros Bright, USB charge port, no disposable batteriesVery long battery life, tough and durable, provides a nice soft diffused lightLightweight, small, gives off heat, same canisters as other backpacking accessoriesAffordable, several light tone settings, 360-degree kickstand, clever sundialCompact and lightweight, charges other devices, versatile for individual use
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 batteriesFuel required, cannot use in the rain, expensiveNot submersible, no USB outputDifficult 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 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 outFor those in the market for a highly transportable fuel canister model, this is the oneA lightweight, compact, and versatile lantern that is not rough on your bank accountThis pocket-sized dual-use flashlight/lantern is a great option for personal use while car camping
Rating Categories Goal Zero Lighthous... Ultimate Survival T... Primus Micron BioLite SunLight Goal Zero Lighthous...
Brightness (45%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Durability (20%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Ease of Use (15%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
Features (10%)
8.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Weight (10%)
5.0
3.0
8.0
9.0
10.0
Specs Goal Zero Lighthous... Ultimate Survival T... Primus Micron BioLite SunLight Goal Zero Lighthous...
Weight (with batteries) 19.79 oz 29.28 oz 4 oz 3.4 oz 3.10 oz
Rechargeable? Yes No No Yes Yes
Manufacturer run time (hours) 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
12-24 hrs Low: 50 hrs
High: 3 hrs + 4 hrs reserve mode
Low: 170 hrs
High: 7 hrs
Lumens 600 1000 235 100 Lantern: 150
Flashlight: 120
Size (inches) 4.5 x 5 x 6.5in 7.2 x 3.75 2.4 x 2.6 x 4.2 3.35 x 3.39 x .91 4 x 1.75 x 1.2
Number of batteries 1 3 0 1 1
Battery type Rechargable D None Rechargable Li-Ion Rechargeable
Waterproof rating Not specified IPX4 Not specified IPX4 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


Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 lantern - 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 and without having to worry about tripping over unlit obstacles in a power outage.


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.

Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 lantern - 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.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

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.


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.

Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 lantern - 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.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

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.

Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 lantern - 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 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.


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.

Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 lantern - 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

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 - 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

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.


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.

Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 lantern - 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.
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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