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.
Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Review
Cons: Durability concerns, hard to look at
Manufacturer: Goal Zero
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Goal Zero Lighthouse 600
$55.89 at REI
$33.68 at Amazon
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$23.89 at REI
$49.95 at REI
|Pros||Bright, USB charge port, no disposable batteries||Very long battery life, tough and durable, provides a nice soft diffused light||Affordable, several light tone settings, 360-degree kickstand, clever sundial||Compact and lightweight, charges other devices, versatile for individual use||Solar powered, packs up easily, bright|
|Cons||Durability concerns, hard to look at||Glow-in-the-dark doesn't work very well, hook on the bottom is not very sturdy, hard to reattach bottom after replacing batteries||Not submersible, no USB output||Difficult to hang, need an outlet or battery pack to charge||Light 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 outages||A durable lantern with exceptional battery life for extended use that you can rely on when the lights go out||A lightweight, compact, and versatile lantern that is easy on your bank account||This pocket-sized, flashlight-lantern combo is a great option for personal use while car camping||These 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...|
|Battery Life (20%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|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|
|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|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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