Best LED Lanterns for Camping, Indoor or Outdoor Use

Top 9 Rated Best LED Lanterns
The Most Amazing Portable LED lanterns to Buy in 2017

LED Lanterns have taken away a considerable market share from the traditional gas lanterns. These LED lanterns are safer, more convenient and include much more features than we used to have in the other forms of illuminating lights.

Now, you will never be left alone in the dark, fumbling to find the match stick or the right button; these lanterns have made it easier and much convenient than was ever possible before.

So, which LED lantern should you bring home?

Here’s our guide to buying the best one for yourself or family; we have shortlisted the best lanterns, which have made it to our top nine list.

Buying Guide for Best LED Lanterns

If you are more of an adventurer and love to venture outdoors be it for hiking, camping or simply exploring the woods, you really need to have a LED lantern. These lanterns are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and features, and give you that much-required illumination you need during these escapades.

These lanterns are much safer, reliable and useful in light-outs, at home as well. With so many designs to choose from, which one should you really buy?

With so many options, it may get quite hard to pick the right one. Some of these run on single batteries, others on solar energy or still a few others use electricity. It all depends on how much weight you can carry (if you want one for the outdoors) or the illuminating intensity and the battery life.

Here’s our list of the basic elements you need to keep in view before making your purchase.

  • Illumination

The level of brightness the lantern provides is a prime requisite, you’d want from your lantern. We are always looking for a balance; you wouldn’t want one that makes you want to shield your eyes every time you turn it on, nor would you want one that gives off such a dim light, that you can barely see anything.

We recommend the models which give off an adequate light, great for the home and the outdoors. Here, you must know that brightness and the lumen are two different things.

Brightness is not numbered like the lumen, and many of these devices, give off a far more glare or lighting than their lumen. Lumen is the total output of light a device can project.

  • Battery Life

The battery life of a LED lantern lies anywhere between two to about 300 hours!

The lanterns which run on batteries last the longest time, whereas the solar powered lanterns have a considerably shorter battery life. Still, many of the solar powered lanterns come with adjustable settings or dimmer options, to help you conserve energy and make the lantern last for longer.

  • The Weight

Another thing you must give substantial importance to is the weight of the lantern. This factor is really important especially if you are looking for a lantern to take along for hiking, camping or just to hang in your room, you must look for a light weight portable one.

However, if you simply need to keep one in the room or any place at home, you may go for the heavy duty ones.

  • Lumen Rating

You will see many lanterns have a lumen rating as part of their description. This basically gives you an idea about the area it can lighten up. The more the lumen rating, the more the covered area.

Most of the lanterns have a 200-300 lumen rating on average, few may, however, go really high. There are as much as 1,000-lumen lanterns available in the markets these days. Based on your usage, you will need around 100 lumens if you need to light up a smaller area.

However, for wider areas, or for a camping ground of say around 20 people, you will need a much higher lumen number.

  • Ease Of Use

One of the most frustrating thing about any light source is the usage. Often there are so fancy buttons or switches that make it really hard to turn them on when the need arises. You need to find one that is really easy – preferably one that employs a single button operation- to turn on and off.

This way you can have a quicker access to the light especially during camping out or hiking, to help keep you safe from any emergencies.

Many of these lanterns also come with a strap or hook, to be placed overhead. This is especially useful for camping or keeping it in the room.

Others may have a hand strap that is the best for hiking or backpacking. The base is also a very important point to consider if you want to keep it on the ground, some table or for support. For the outdoors, you must ensure that the level of balance is entirely satisfactory before buying the lantern.

  • Durability

Of course, we would always want our purchase to last us long enough to reap all its benefits. For a lantern to last you a good enough tenure without giving you any troubles, you must look for one that has a good built and is made from good quality materials, rather than the cheaper breakable plastic.

Several of these lanterns have shock absorbency as an added feature; these are great for the outdoors especially, or if you have some really energetic kids at home. Many of the lanterns are also water resistant and can bear a sufficient exposure to water splashes or a light drizzle.

  • Duration of Light

The average run time of the lantern is another important point to consider, especially if you are thinking of taking it up the mountains or for a camp site. It is the time for which a single charge or set of batteries lasts.

This time duration can also be increased by keeping the lighting on a low setting. So, use only as much illumination as required to get the most out of your LED lanterns battery.

  • Type of Battery

Technically there are four types of batteries available in the markets for these lanterns. These are:

AAA

AA

C

D

However, most of these lanterns require an alkaline battery. These are better at making the lantern last for longer and provide better illumination than the lithium ion batteries. In fact, the lithium batteries are never recommended for the LED lanterns. These batteries may cause great damage to the lantern, so never use one on your LED lantern, unless instructed.

However, if you use the lithium batteries, they work the best especially during the colder days as compared to the alkaline types. So, try to keep them from getting overheated, and use the ones most compatible with your device.

For a better hiking or camping experience, always keep a spare pair of batteries, in case the current ones runs out or in a case of emergencies.

Many people prefer to use the rechargeable batteries these days. These batteries can easily be charged via an adapter through power switchboards or in the car.

However, these rechargeable batteries may have a lesser battery life than the other types, and may not be the best option for you if you are looking for one for long hiking trips.

  • Type of Lighting Bulb

You will see a variety of bulbs used in these LED powered lanterns and other such devices. All these bulbs affect the final light output, the battery life and the color of the projected light.

Although you can have a fair idea about the brightness you can get from a particular LED lantern by the total number of lumens, it is always better to know the type of bulb it includes to make the lantern last longer.

There are the following types of bulbs:

The LEDs

These are really bright, efficient and longer lasting than the other types. Available in various colors, these LEDs work great as a dim, night light and are also available in really bright versions, great to light up the whole room.

Incandescent Bulbs

These are the normal bulbs we see all around us. The tungsten filament, make them quite vulnerable to breakage and damage, however, they can last about a 1,000 hours. However, the heat produced can be dangerous enough to make them explode or cause damage.

Halogen Types

These bulbs make use of ‘halogen’ gas and are hence given the name. These bulbs generate a lot of heat but are also more powerful and brighter than their counterparts.

The Xenon Bulbs

These bulbs are even more powerful than the former ones discussed above, and work under the Xenon gas. The light produced has a bluish hue and is bright enough to cover a great area.

  • Material

The material or making of the lantern must be strong and of good quality. The best of these lanterns are compact, water-resistant and made of strong plastic, metal or rubber material, which makes them last longer. Many of the latest types make use of alloys of aluminum, which is much lighter than regular steel and works great.

There are also many models made from titanium, which may be a bit pricey, but have a longer life span. Usually, people prefer the plastic torches. These are relatively affordable and lighter in weight, however, they are often easily damaged. So, buy a good quality plastic material which will last.

  • Add-ons

Amongst these basic elements, the lanterns can also include either or all of the following additional features, to make things easier for you:

  • A USB port
  • Remote controller.
  • An insect repellant light.
  • A special night vision light.
  • SOS mode, etc.

Advantages of the LED Lanterns

These LED lanterns give a number of benefits to the users. They have a substantial edge over the traditional lanterns, headlamps as well as flashlights. Here are a few of the advantages of these LED lanterns, which make them more preferred as compared to the other illuminating devices:

  • Light up a much wider area as compared to the other types of lamps.
  • A greater audience can make use of the light provided by the LED lanterns.
  • Safe around children, as compared to the Gas lanterns.
  • Great for power outages at home.

Types of Lanterns

Now, that you’ve decided you really need a lantern at home, let’s go through the basic classes they can be categorized as:

  • The Candle Lantern

For a subtle hue, these lanterns give off a faint light, using a single or few candles. Some of these lanterns also make use of reflectors, to get the most out of the light. This type of lantern is great for a few people, in the bedroom or just for a natural setting.

However, these can be dangerous around young children and must be kept away from curtains, tent or other such materials.

  • The Electric Lanterns

All the LED lanterns come under this category. These lanterns have batteries which give you several hours of uninterrupted usage, are noise-free and safe and provide sufficient lighting for all your outdoors or in the house requirements.

  • Gas Lanterns

Gas lanterns have been found to use either butane, propane or liquid fuel which is burnt to keep the flame alive.

The ones which employ liquid fuel for burning, are very efficient and use refillable white gas, the propane ones have a refillable fuel tank and the lanterns which use butane have small, convenient canisters, which can be thrown away once used.

Although these lanterns are really powerful and can light up a great area, they are often not the first choice of many buyers these days. This is due to the fact that they are not quite safe for children or other flammable elements and generate a lot of noise.

Moreover, they are not too light in weight and require proper ventilation and hence, cannot be used in enclosed places, or rooms without windows.

Are These Lanterns Safe?

Yes! These LED lanterns are probably one of the safest options you have for lighting at home or outside.

Traditional gas-powered lanterns were quite unsafe around kids or inflammable materials and had to be constantly monitored. However, these LED lanterns, are not just safe but much more energy efficient and generate a lot less heat.

So, whether you have kids at home, or a clumsy friend or partner, you can put your mind to rest and minimize all chances of accidents by bringing this lantern home.

Even if you are using this on you camping trip, this lantern is really safe and easy to use and carry around the camp. It may be hung from the branches, beside the tent or any other place, without any fear of the surrounding materials catching fire or overheating in any way.

Are the Led Lanterns Too Bright For The Eyes?

Most of these lanterns include a ‘dimmer’ or options for dimming the glare of the light and adjusting it as per the need of the surrounding. However, when you set out to buy one, you should make sure it is not one of the ‘glaring’ types.

So, mostly, no. Most of these LED lanterns are not made to hurt the eyes in any way. However, it is good practice, to never stare too long directly at the light, just as it is not recommended for all other types of lights.

Most of these LED lights have been designed to brighten wider areas and are more energy efficient than their competitors.

How Can You Make the Battery Last Longer?

To get the most out of your battery, it is the best to keep the lantern on a more energy efficient level. This can be achieved by setting the light at the minimal level of brightness that works for you. The lanterns which are run at the extreme bright levels, rapidly run out of charge or battery.

So, to conserve the energy, you must use

  • Good quality batteries.
  • Use the lantern minimally only when required.
  • Use it at the lowest level of brightness that works best for your needs.

This is particularly important when you go for a long hike or a camping trip, where you may not have easy access to the charging ports or adapters.

However, to keep a safer margin, always keep a spare set of batteries in your backpack, in case the current one runs out or the battery gets drained or to be prepared for any accidents.

Conclusion

So, it doesn’t matter whether you take some time out for a hike, plan backpacking, climbing or camping, at the end of the day, you literally need some light.

There are various forms and sizes of these LED lanterns, just as discussed above. You can find the right one for your home and requirements, by going through our guide. We hope this article will help direct you towards the right one. For more help and queries, please read on here.

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