Tested: LED searchlights for sailors

We test the TeamO Marine Emergency Torch and compare it to other LED searchlights on the market

It is surprising how few rechargeable LED searchlights over 1,000 lumen are available on the market.

So when TeamO Marine launched a waterproof, rechargeable 3,200 lumen searchlight for £90, we wanted to see if it was too good to be true.

The Emergency Torch, made for TeamO by LED specialist Nebo, has a rugged, hexagonal anodised aluminium body so it won’t roll.

At 420g and 24cm long, it’ll just about fit in your oilies’ cargo pocket and it is IPX7 waterproof (submersion to 1m for 30 mins).

The lens head twists to give a 4x zoom, and the power button sits comfortably under the thumb.

Short presses will give you high power first, then medium and low.

TeamO Marine Emergency Torch

Select brightness with the power button, and adjust zoom lens for narrow or wide beam

A long press gives you low power first and a double press gives you a variable strobe.

The lamp reflector glows green for low light for 10 minutes after use.

The two 18650 rechargeable batteries are removable, so you could carry spares in a grab bag.

A Micro-USB charging port sits under a rubber stopper, along with a USB port so you can use it as a power pack if needed.

The power button is red while charging and turns green once charged.

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To test, we shone the narrow beam at a lux meter at a distance of 1m as a best approximation to lumens.

On this measure, flawed as it may be, it appears that the torch easily achieved its claimed brightness: high: 3,785 lux; med: 1,300 lux; low: 092 lux.

The beam width ranges from 21º to 91°.

We then spent a night afloat in howling wind and driving rain.

Nevertheless, on high power we could clearly make out shore features and non-reflective marks at least 200m away, with reflective navigation marks showing up at double that distance.

This seems to bear out the makers promise of a range of 260m.

Finally, we ran the battery flat from a full charge on high power this took 2hrs 10 mins and from flat to full recharging took 4hrs 55mins via a 5V 2.5A USB port.

Verdict: TeamO Marine Emergency Torch

This LED searchlight was easy and intuitive to use, performed consistently and stood up to the wear and tear of a season afloat without a mark.

It doesn’t float, but it will fit in a cargo pocket.

I worried that the rubber charge-port cover would get knocked open but this never happened.

The smaller ‘trimmer’s torch’ (see below) has a metal twist collar to cover these, which seemed a better solution.

The torch had plenty of power to pierce a dark night, though some torches may achieve greater focus than its 21° beam.

The wide beam lit up both sides of a channel; we felt the zoom lens was a useful addition to a marine searchlight .

This LED searchlight is great quality, works exactly how we would want for use on board and is a reasonable price – a great all-rounder.

Specifications:

IP rating: IPX7 waterproof
Beam: 4x adjustable zoom, 21º-91º
Length: 24cm
Weight: 420g
Output:
High: 3200 lumens, 2 hrs, 261m
Med: 320 lumens, 4.5hrs, 82m
Low: 32 lumens, 50hrs, 26m
Price: £90

www.teamomarine.com

Other torches on the market

TeamO MARINE Trimmers Torch

TeamO Marine Trimmers torch

We also tested this 16cm pen torch for general on board use.

IP67 waterproof, rechargeable (or 2xAAA) and with 4 x zoom.

Just 62g it packs 360 lumens and a range of 125m.

£30, www.teamomarine.com

Exposure Lights Active 1-9

LED searchlights - Exposure Action 1-9

The Active 1-9 has an impressive range when tested against other LED searchlights. Credit: Exposure Lights

Although only 1,000 lumens, this torch has a greater range than the TeamO Emergency Torch, thanks to its focused 9° beam.

That said, the beam is fixed and it’s not cheap.

£229, www.exposurelights.com

Aquasignal Cary LED Rechargeable Spotlight

Aquasignal cary LED rechargeable LED spotlights

The only torch in our LED searchlights test which had a whistle Credit: Aquasignal

A trigger grip LED searchlight with stand.

It is IP67 waterproof and rechargeable.

Although it is only 350 lumens, it claims a beam of 400m.

It has a lock to stop accidental use, and it includes a whistle for signalling.

£100, www.aquasignal.com.au

Buy it now at Amazon (UK)

*Yachting Monthly is not paid by manufacturers for our recommendations. If you click through and buy an item, we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer, at no cost to you.*

Source: Yachting Monthly

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