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Plug in for Illumination Solutions: Rechargeable Lighting Systems

Rechargeable headlamps, area lights and spotlights by Streamlight are perfect for the Florida outdoors.

Plug in for Illumination Solutions: Rechargeable Lighting Systems

Summer is prime time to dodge the sun and fish Florida waters under the cover of darkness. Many of us are going out for evening snapper fishing on the reef or docklight fishing for snook on the Intracoastal. Others are rising at 4 a.m. to get set up for wahoo trolling or tarpon fishing. Me? I do all of this stuff, sometimes in the same night!

Obvious attention needs to be granted to navigational lights on boats, but there are also personal accessory lights that can really help us perform at our best in the wee hours—headlamps, area lamps, spotlights and more.

In recent years I’ve come to be a big fan of rechargeable lighting systems. Plugging in these durable, weather-resistant systems before my weekend adventures has become second nature. I’ve been field-testing a range of Streamlight products that’ve kept me safe and efficient on the water, and which I’ll rely on for this coming summer.

headlamps
Streamlight Enduro Pro USB Headlamp

Streamlight Enduro Pro USB Headlamp

It’s nice to start and end the day with a comfortable headlamp that you won’t need batteries for. The Streamlight Enduro Pro USB Headlamp has a built-in lithium polymer cell and charges on a USB to Micro USB cord. That’s a pretty universal cord, and if you’re like me, once you start switching from battery-powered lights to rechargeable, plugging in at the end of the day becomes habit.

Couple things about this light. One, Streamlight is a major supplier of hands-free light systems for law enforcement and trades like automotive repair. As such, they cater to customers who need to know precisely how long and under what conditions a light will function. No guesswork. An easily interpreted chart with the Enduro Pro USB indicates max output of 200 lumens in spot mode, good enough to pick out channel markers at almost a football field distance, with a runtime of 6 hours, 15 minutes at that level.

Greatest duration of charge is 48 hours in continuous operation at low flood (15 lumens) or low spot (25 lumens). Full recharge cycle is 4 hours. Streamlight rates the Enduro Pro at IPX4 water resistance—meaning it’s suitable for rain or splashes, but not submerging. That said, I accidentally ran my Enduro Pro through a 56-minute washing machine cycle. Yes it was glitchy immediately afterwards, but I opened the case, unplugged the tiny battery, and let it sit and air dry for a few days and it returned to service. Solid piece of gear.

MSRP for the Enduro Pro USB is $73.03; in AA-power only, the Enduro Pro retails for $37.76.

outdoors lantern
Streamlight Super Siege Lantern with portable USB charger

Cousins of the Enduro Pro

A quick rundown of some related Streamlight products; the first two use the same Micro USB cord as the Enduro Pro USB Headlamp.

The Siege X USB Rechargeable Outdoor Lantern is a compact 360-degree area light that’s perfect for tents, picnic tables and other spots where we gather. It’s a “multi fuel” lamp that comes with a Streamlight lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack but may also run on two CR123A lithium batteries (The rechargeable battery has the input for the USB cord).

Streamlight lanterns
Streamlight Siege X rechargeable lantern

Mostly I use it in lantern mode, 325 lumens, but it also has a flashlight (300 lumens). Run time is 25 hours. It has a folding handle/hook on top and a D-ring on bottom offering numerous options for placement—overhead in a tent, for instance. Select cool white light or red mode, red being unobtrusive and preserving night vision.

outdoor light
A D-ring on the Super Siege lantern makes it easy to illuminate any area you want.

A larger, brighter (1,000 lumens) Super Siege edition powered by a 10,400 mAh battery, includes a USB outlet to charge a cell phone or other electronics. Both lights are IPX7 rated for submersible water resistance.

work lights
Streamlight BearTrap Work Light

On the other end of the scale, where full daylight is needed for critical, large-scale tasks like repairing a trailer or setting up a tournament, the Streamlight BearTrap is a great rechargeable work light. It’s built into a clever, tiltable frame which may be placed, clamped, hooked or magnetized where needed to direct up to a blazing 2,000 lumens max in High Flood mode (2.5 hours). It may also be scaled down as needed for up to 12.5 hours of run time. It can also be powered under AC power, where available. MSRP is $269.

Recommended


Last but not least, a true marine-grade spotlight comes in handy in critical situations. Think complicated navigation in backcountry sloughs, trips on unfamiliar channels, or even search-and-rescue situations (at either end of the operation—searcher or rescuee). Among my most recent “search-and-rescue” operations was the recovery of an anchor ball—and anchor!—we’d left on the tarpon grounds after fighting a huge fish well into the night.

Streamlight spotlight
Streamlight Waypoint 400 Spotlight

The Waypoint 400 is a pistol-grip rechargeable spotlight which delivers three levels of illumination: High, 1,400 lumens with 1,265 meters of beam distance; Medium (600 lumens/812 meters); and Low (38 lumens, 120 meters). It has a couple of neat features I like, including a built-in folding stand for hands-free stationary work. It also has a mounting bracket that protects the switch from unintentional activation. This is a super intense, mission-specific light that you don’t want randomly flashing when you’re rummaging through a hatch or travel bag.

fish catch at night illuminated with light
Successful night fishing requires effective lighting.

It’s solidly built of high-impact polycarbonate and has an O-ring sealed lens. The light floats and is fully waterproof to IPX8 standards. It’s important to note that the Waypoint 400, like most spotlights or utility lights, does not take the place of USCG-rated Visual Distress Signals such as marine flares. There are specific standards for flares or electric distress lights to fulfill USCG VDS requirements for boats operating on coastal waters and the Great Lakes between sunset and sunrise. That said, a compact, durable and powerful spotlight is a tremendous safety asset to any boater. MSRP for the Waypoint 400 is $240.67.




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