When I covered a cigarette lighter flashlight a while ago, many people commented that it was a cool idea, but it just wasn’t executed very well. Maybe rather than having your flashlight live in your cigarette lighter, it might be more practical to take a regular-looking flashlight and build in an auto adapter so it can be recharged right in your car without any special cables. Out of the few entries in this category, I looked into two that looked the most promising: an OEM flashlight from Duluth Trading Company and a model from Dorcy.
The 7½” black aluminum Dorcy model shines with 50 lumens for about an hour and takes 4 to 8 hours for a full charge — as with any rechargeable battery your mileage will probably vary. Annoyingly, they warn you shouldn’t leave the flashlight plugged in after it’s charged. A tail cap protects the charging plug while it’s not charging.
Unlike the Dorcy Model, the Duluth Trading Company flashlight can apparently be left in charging in your dash, although having most of its its 6¼” length sticking out of the dash might be somewhat awkward. At least charging the flashlight only takes 20 minutes. They claim the 1W LED shines with 45 lumens and should run for 3 hours on one charge. One under-appreciated feature is the auto plug cover, which looks like it’s attached to the flashlight so you can’t lose it.
You’ll pay $15 for Duluth Trading Company’s Flashlight and around $20 for the Dorcy.