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Flashlight to Lantern, Olight Prowess Is a Versatile Lighting Solution

When the power goes out or night falls in the wilderness, the Olight Prowess is a useful light of many uses.
Olight Prowess review
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It was about 7:30 p.m. when the transformer explosion boomed a block away from my house, and the power went out. I checked the Xcel outage report and verified my expectations. It would be a whole night without electricity, probably more.

I quickly shuffled into action, checking my backup power sources to plug in my freezer and refrigerator. But before that, I handed my wife a flashlight/lantern combination, the Olight Prowess. I instructed her to push the switch forward for the flashlight and backward for the lamp. Oh, and that it will stick upright on a table like a lamp.

We both went about our tasks to get ready for a workday that would begin the next morning without electricity.

An hour later, I went to bed to find her straightening some papers on her desk, illuminated by the Olight Prowess. I test a ton of flashlights, and she rarely has much interest in them because, well, they’re not her job. But in this case, she took a moment to call it out.

“That light is cool. I like it,” she mentioned as we got ready for bed. Noted. That was a grand endorsement.

Olight Prowess on table
The Olight Prowess functions as a lantern or flashlight and switches between utility with the flip of a switch; (photo/Sean McCoy)

In short: The Olight Prowess ($140) is a flashlight first, but it also functions very well as a lantern with what the brand calls “bidirectional lighting.” It’s a perfect light around the home or camp that offers good utility for various lighting needs. With modest power, it’s most fitting for housework, job sites, or car camping uses. It’s not without flaws, notably cost and its charging adapter. (More on this later.)

To see how the Prowess stands up against the competition and learn a lot of useful info about flashlights, check out GearJunkie’s guide to the best flashlights.

Olight Prowess


  • Max lumens 5,000
  • Max beam distance 245 m
  • Max runtime 20 days (moonlight)
  • Lighting modes Flashlight and lantern (five brightness levels each)
  • Battery included 5,000mAh lithium-ion battery
  • Bulb type High-performance LED
  • Color temperature Multiple
  • Dimensions Length: 5.63” (143mm), head: 1.93” (49mm)
  • Weight 9.49 oz. including battery


  • Doubles as flashlight and lantern
  • Suctions to tables for secure lamp use
  • Can attach to tripods through threaded base
  • Bright, versatile lighting solution


  • Requires its removable base for USB-C charging
  • Must remove base to fit in holster

Olight Prowess Review

The Olight Prowess is unlike any other flashlight or lantern I’ve used. While it isn’t the first to marry these two capabilities, it does so in a rather elegant form.

Hold the Prowess in your hand like a flashlight and flick the switch forward. Boom, you get a flashlight with up to 5,000 lumens on high in bright white light. But flick the switch backward, and you get a warm, cozy-feeling lantern that directs the light back toward the base.

Olight Prowess flashlight, lantern with charging base
As a flashlight, the Prowess casts a bright beam; (photo/Sean McCoy)

The light has USB-C charging (via a detachable base) and a magnetic charging cable. It also has options for a holster, fixing bracket, detachable base, and tripod.

I personally love the way the light works with the detachable base attached. The base, which holds snugly to the light with a strong magnet, allows the light to suction to flat surfaces like desks or tabletops.

The light casts a very even, warm light. It’s nice for closeup work, reading, or even light crafts like knife sharpening.

It has a hefty 5,000mAh lithium-ion battery, which provides significant battery life. At medium power (300 lumens), it claims a solid 10-hour runtime or 20 days of continuous moonlight (5 lumens). I have not yet fully depleted it in several weeks of testing.

Using the light is really simple. One button turns the light on and off and also adjusts power through press-and-holding or double-tapping for turbo mode. It works the same for both forward or reverse throws, which you switch between with a toggle switch. It’s intuitive.

Room for Improvement

While the Prowess is a nice light with a bright primary flashlight and a warm, cozy lamp setting, it has a couple of minor downsides.

First, the biggest problem is through its charging system. The light uses magnetic charging. The light attaches to the charger/base unit, which then charges the light, transferring power through the magnets. While the magnetic base charges via a USB-C, there’s no direct connection for a USB-C or other cord on the light itself. It requires either its base or a separate magnetic cord for charging.

Olight Prowess flashlight, lantern with charging base
The light requires either its base or a separate magnetic cord for charging; (photo/Sean McCoy)

It’s a minor gripe. I doubt I would use the light a lot without the base anyway, but it’s relatively easy to lose. The magnetic charging system does allow the light to have great water resistance (the Prowess is rated at IPX7), but there are other ways to accomplish water resistance.

Beyond the charging complexity, this is a useful light. If you don’t mind keeping track of that charging base, it’s a great product.

Olight Prowess: Who Should Buy It

The Olight Prowess is a great camp light. It’s also perfect as an emergency flashlight and lantern for home use. Thanks to its versatile mounting system, it can hang in a closet or hallway like a sconce light until needed.

It’s worth looking into for those who need a bright flashlight and an excellent little lantern in one product. It’s pricey at $140, but it offers significant versatility and plenty of battery life for home, campground, or job site use.

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