It’s a problem as old as the flashlight - or the automobile, whichever came second ... you know you should keep a flashlight in your car, but chances are that if you do, its batteries will be dead by the time you need it. This is especially likely if you live somewhere that gets cold winters, where just a few hours parked outside could send your car-flashlight’s batteries into hibernation. There’s a nifty new product, however, that addresses this problem. It called the Spotlight, and it’s a small yet heavy-duty flashlight that plugs straight into your car’s dashboard power socket, where it will stay charged constantly.

The Spotlight has a 0.5W LED bulb that delivers 25 lumens of illumination - enough to light up objects 50m (150ft) away, according to the company website. An indicator light lets you know when its rechargeable Ni-MH battery has reached a full charge. Once it has, it will reportedly provide over 180 minutes of light.

It’s even submersible, should you choose to drive into the water (or drop it accidentally in a puddle.

The little flashlight is big on the bling factor, as its shiny aluminum body is available in no less than 12 colors, with names like Pimp Purple and Hazard County Orange. In true blingy fashion, there are also a bunch of accessories you can buy to go with your Spotlight.

One optional extra that looks quite useful is the Fender Friend, a flexible-necked holder for the flashlight, with a magnetic base that lets you mount it anywhere metallic on your car - such as on the fender, above a tire that you’re changing. You can also buy an AC adapter/charger, so you can keep the flashlight in your house, plugged into a wall outlet. If you don’t like the idea of the flashlight constantly occupying your car’s sole power socket, you can also get a Super Socket, a two-headed socket that plugs into your car’s single-header.

The Spotlight costs $US19.95, and is available at several retailers, or via its website.

View gallery - 5 images