Battery Equivalents and Replacements

Guide to the Best Portable Action Camera Flashlight

action camera flashlights mPortable action camera flashlights are continuous light sources required for capturing videos during low-light conditions and at night.

Requirements for the action camera flashlights differ from everyday LED flashlights, making these units somewhat different in their design, appearance, and specifications.

Nonetheless, such LED flashlights can be used in everyday situations, if and when required, including hiking, camping, fishing, in emergencies, and similar.

Published: July 30, 2022.

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Intro To Action Camera Flashlights

Best of Portable Action Camera Flashlights

Action Camera Flashlights FAQ

Few Final Words 


Intro To Action Camera Flashlights

Action cameras have relatively small lenses, and their light collection ability is questionable until the first low-light and especially night video capture. After that, their light collection ability is not questionable anymore - it is poor, producing videos of low quality.

Most photo cameras come with a flash, allowing them to create images of good quality even in low-light conditions and even at night.

However, action cameras require continuous light sources - the simplest solutions are portable LED flashlights optimized for use as action camera flashlights.

When looking for a good action camera flashlight, there are a few important things to look for:

Compatibility/Type of Mounts

Flashlights are mounted either directly on the action camera or on the mount connected with the action camera.

There are several typical mounts in use today, some are used by a single type of action camera, while others are a general type of mounts.

Also, some flashlights feature several mounts, for example, one on the top, and two on the sides, allowing the users to mount more than one flashlight or to mount one flashlight in the most preferred way.

Dimensions and Weight

Action camera flashlights are relatively lightweight devices, but they often feature larger front surfaces, potentially causing larger drag when diving and during strong winds (or driving fast on a bike, for example).

Action camera flashlights are compact enough to be easily carried around in backpacks, for example. However, some flashlights may include additional equipment, including additional batteries, battery chargers, mini tripods, stabilizer trays, telescopic poles, and similar.

So, while action camera flashlights are relatively small and lightweight, additional gear can be quite large.

Color Temperature/Color Filters

Light temperature is very important for capturing videos with bright, vivid colors.

Underwater photography and video footage depend very much on the proper light color - the greater the distance, the more red and yellow are absorbed, for example.

LED flashlights with very high CRI (Color Rendering Index), for example,≥95%, help the user take night and low-light videos with colors very similar to those from videos taken during the natural sunlight.

Variable color temperature allows the user to emphasize certain colors in different situations - this can be achieved when the flashlight features variable light color temperature or by using various light color filters.

Most action camera flashlights have many LEDs to avoid having just one strong light source - such a light source would cause sharp shadows combined with video depth and other issues.

Many LEDs and various light diffusers make the light as natural as possible.

Lumens/Light Modes

The more lumens the flashlight has, the more light it can produce.

Most action camera flashlights feature either several light modes with different beam strengths, or the light can be adjusted continuously within a certain range.

Dimming the light also prolongs the flashlight's runtime on a single battery charge and reduces generated heat.

Since some models are not designed only as action camera flashlights, they also come with other light modes, such as SOS light mode and similar ones.

Charging/Power Input

Some flashlights feature USB charging ports, while some come with removable batteries, allowing the user to charge one battery while the second one is in the action camera.

Removable batteries may be custom designed for each flashlight model, or they can be "classic" high-power rechargeable 18650, 21700, 26650, CR123A, and similar batteries.

Battery Life

Battery runtime on a single charge depends on the low-light conditions - the more lumens the flashlight provides, the shorter the runtime. On the other hand, the more light lenses capture, the better quality of the taken video.

In order to prolong the battery runtime, decrease the light strength, but be careful about the video quality - too weak light and the video will be very grainy, to say the least.

IPX Protection Level

IPX protection tells how waterproof the flashlight is. Some flashlights are very sensitive to water, while some are designed for underwater use, down to 50-100 meters, some even more.

However, while having a fully waterproof flashlight is great, some diving flashlights have cooling issues when used outside of the water at full power for a prolonged period. 


Best of Portable Action Camera Flashlights

Here is the list of several portable LED action camera flashlights that we believe stand out among many rather similar models. However, when choosing "the best" one for your needs, be sure to choose according to your requirements and preferences.

ULANZI VL49 LED Video Light

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ULANZI VL49 LED Video Light is one of the best buy action camera flashlights on the market - unit is very compact, having physical dimensions of (L x W x H) ~2.6 x 3.15 x 1.18 inches (66 x 80 x 30 mm) and it weighs only 160g.

The unit is powered by a rechargeable lithium 3.7V 2000mAh battery which allows the unit to operate at full power for up to 2 hours and up to 5 hours at minimum brightness.

The battery is recharged using a USB-C cable.

ULANZI VL49 action camera flashlight features 49 LED beads and a CRI of 95+. The color temperature is 2500K (warm) to 5500K (cold).

The flashlight features a soft light board, making shadows more natural.

ULANZI VL49 LED Video Light features cold shoe mounts - 3 expansion joint interfaces (1 interface on the top, 2 interfaces on the side) allow the user to connect multiple flashlights to improve the light strength, but also to improve lighting in general.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow the ULANZI VL49 LED Video Light Amazon link (link opens in the new window). 


Suptig RSX-346 Diving Video Light

suptig rsx 346 diving video light w400px

Suptig RSX-346 Diving Video Light is rather compact and lightweight with physical dimensions of 2.95 x 1.65 x 2.75 inches (75 x 42 x 70 mm) and it weighs 0.26 pounds (~120 grams).

The maximum light output is 500 lumens, created by 36 LEDs, with a color temperature of 5500-6000K.

Suptig RSX-346 flashlight is tested for use down to 147 feet (~45 m), allowing the user to take great videos while diving - note, water absorbs red and yellow colors very much, so don't be surprised when some of the colors are lost when taking underwater videos from larger distances.

The flashlight has three modes, including High Mode (1.5 hours), Low Mode (4 hours), and SOS Mode (6 hours) - SOS Mode can't be used for video shooting, but it can come in very handy in certain situations.

The battery features a capacity of 1050 mAh and can be recharged using a USB cable, but it can also be removed and quickly replaced with another battery.

Suptig RSX-346 Diving Video features a 2-year limited warranty.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow the Suptig RSX-346 Diving Video Light Amazon link (link opens in the new window). 


VILTROX VL-162T CRI95+ LED Video Light viltrox vl 162t h400px

VILTROX VL-162T CRI95+ LED Video Light features 162 LEDs (hence the name) and adjustable brightness (20%-100%; 1070 lumens max., 1250 lux 1m) and color temperature (3300K-5600K), with the CRI of 95+.

Also, the flashlight comes with white/red/green/blue filters, which can be installed or removed when needed.

The battery is removable, allowing the user to charge one battery while using the flashlight with another battery - battery runtime depends on the light output level and exact battery type (NP-F550/F750/F960 series), but it operates for up to 3 hours.

VILTROX VL-162T action camera flashlight also features a built-in LCD display, showing the most important parameters to the user (remaining battery, output power, color temperature).

The flashlight features a hot shoe mount, allowing the user to adjust light direction as needed. Also, two slots on the sides allow the user to mount additional flashlights when required.

viltrox vl 162t h400px 2

VILTROX VL-162T flashlight's physical dimensions are 6.61 x 3.86 x 1.26 inches (~168 x 98 x 32 mm), while its weight depends on the exact configuration.

This flashlight is not waterproof.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow the VILTROX VL-162T CRI95+ LED Video Light Amazon link (link opens in the new window). 


ULANZI VL-81 LED Video Light

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ULANZI VL-81 LED Video Light is an upgraded VL-49 model. We still prefer the VL-49 model since it is in use for a longer period of time, but if You want to try the VL-81 model, go for it - this is an excellent action camera flashlight featuring 40 white light LED beads and 41 warm light LED beads for a total of 81 LED beads (hence the name).

ULANZI VL-81 LED Video Light features a large 3000 mAh battery, with a charging time of 3 hours via a USB charging cable.

Runtime depends on the brightness level and ranges from 150 minutes (maximum brightness, 850 lumens) to 480 minutes (lowest brightness).

Also, thanks to the use of two types of LED beads, the color temperature is adjustable (3200-5600K), with a CRI of 95+.

The ULANZI VL81 action camera flashlight features three cold shoe mounts (one up, two on sides), enabling the user to connect multiple flashlights for brighter lighting or to connect some other device (microphone, for example).

The flashlight features physical dimensions of 4.8 x 3.58 x 1.46 inches (~122 x 91 x 37 mm) and it weighs 4.2 ounces (~120g).

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow the ULANZI VL-81 LED Video Light Amazon link (link opens in the new window). 


Suptig RSX-349 Underwater Video Light

 suptig rsx 349 diving video light w400px

Suptig RSX-349 Underwater Video Light is waterproof down to 164 feet (~50m), allowing the users to take great underwater videos - obviously, it can be used in heavy rain as well.

Note: before using any flashlight in heavy rain or underwater, check the flashlight's Owner's Guide to see if there are any special procedures before diving. Better safe than sorry.

The physical dimensions of the flashlight are 4.33 x 3.93 x 2.16 inches (~110 x 100 x 55 mm), and it weighs 0.44 pounds (~200g).

Suptig RSX-349 flashlight is powered by a 2600 mAh lithium battery, ensuring a runtime of:

  • High light modes: up to 2.5 hours,
  • Mid light modes: up to 3.5 hours,
  • Low light modes: up to 5 hours,
  • SOS modes: up to 9 hours.

The flashlight features 84 LED beads with a color temperature of 5500K.

Suptig RSX-349 flashlight comes with a 2-year limited warranty.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow the Suptig RSX-349 Underwater Video Light Amazon link (link opens in the new window). 


Neewer Waterproof Video Light

neewer diving video flashlight

Neewer Waterproof Video Light is a waterproof action camera flashlight with a maximum dive depth of down to 131 feet (~40m).

The flashlight comes with three color filters (white, orange, and purple) to help take videos in difficult environments.

Neewer Waterproof Video Light features 20 LEDs with a maximum brightness of 700 lumens and a color temperature of 5500K.

The flashlight features three lighting modes:

  • High Light Mode: up to 80 minutes,
  • Low Light Mode: up to 6 hours,
  • SOS Light Mode: up to 7 hours.

Note: when the flashlight is used at High Light Mode in the air, it becomes very warm, even hot, rather quickly.

Neewer Waterproof Video Light is powered by a 2500 mAh battery recharged via a USB charging cable.

 

neewer diving video flashlight mounts

Neewer Waterproof Video Light is very easy to attach to different models of action cameras and even photo cameras.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow the Neewer Waterproof Video Light Amazon link (link opens in the new window). 


Action Camera Flashlights FAQ

Here are some of the most popular Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about action camera flashlights and video lights in general.

Are action cameras good for low light conditions?

Yes, action cameras are good for low-light and pitch-dark conditions. However, the flashlight's maximum lumens are of great importance, just as other details like camera movement, color temperature, color filters, etc.

Is it worth buying a cheap action camera?

Action camera flashlights are not expensive - generally, they cost between $20 and $50, with the high-end models going up to or even more than $100.

However, action cameras vary in price significantly - cheap action cameras are good perhaps for beginners, but if You want to capture professional quality videos, more expensive cameras are needed.

P.S. animals, birds, and sea creatures will not pose indefinitely ;)

Can action cameras be used for photography?

Generally, action cameras can be used for video and photography, but they can't be compared with photo cameras due to smaller lenses and less accurate sensors.

Which is the best action camera flashlight?

It is really hard to tell which action camera flashlight is the best since we all differ and our requirements differ.

Is an action camera better than a smartphone?

For capturing videos, yes, an action camera is better than a smartphone - action cameras are better optimized for their task.

At the same time, smartphones are versatile gadgets that can also capture videos and take photos.

However, actual quality depends on the individual model.

How long do action cameras last?

Action cameras are generally durable devices designed to withstand mechanical impacts, vibrations, cold, heat, moisture, etc. But, like all other similar electronic gadgets, there is always one impact too many that cause final damage. 


Few Final Words

Action camera flashlights are continuous light sources and are suitable for taking videos in low-light conditions and at night.

While some flashlights have fixed color temperature and different light modes, some flashlights feature continuously adjustable color temperature and brightness. Of course, such features increase the flashlight price, but these flashlights are generally rather affordable.

Although action camera flashlights are easy to use and maintain, when they arrive, be sure to read their manuals in order to get accustomed to your new action camera flashlight - better safe than sorry...