It's the middle of the night and you're in the middle of nowhere when—whumpa, whumpa, whumpa—you get a flat. Rather than fumble through the tire change in the dark, why not keep this portable LED lantern in the boot should the need arise?
What Is It?
A 300-lumen area light from Energizer's Light Fusion Technology line.
Who's it For?
Backpackers and campers looking for an alternative to bulky and explosive propane lanterns, DIY mechanics tired of singeing themselves on white-hot drop lights.
A radical departure from the conventional gas lanterns you took camping as a kid (looking at you, Coleman), the dimmable 300-lumen LED light source spreads evenly across a roughly 4.5-inch square translucent fold-out plate hinged at the unit's top rubberized handle. An integrated kickstand flips out from the opposite end of the case (which houses the AA batteries under a locking cover plate) just below the power switch.
This lantern only has two moving parts: the lamp plate and the kickstand. Extend both of these, press the power button, and boom—illumination.
The Best Part
This lamp runs forever. Even at maximum brightness, it lasted 6 hours with eight NiMH 1.2V, 3 hours with eight 1.5V alkalines, 3.5 hours with four NiMH 1.2V, and 1.5 hours with four 1.5V alkalines. Lowering the brightness, which at full power gets a bit glarey anyway, dramatically extends its run-time.
The battery compartment cover is secured by a pair of quarter-turn plastic screws that cannot be opened by hand. You'll need a flat head screwdriver to release them, though nickles work in a pinch.
This Is Weird...
The lantern accepts batteries in sets of four or eight. This doesn't affect the brightness, only the runtime.
- It's got an IPX4 water resistance rating meaning it can endure minor splashes and downpours but can't be submerged
- Press and hold the power button to dim, press and hold again to brighten. The lamp will blink in shortening intervals as it gets really low on power.
- The lantern can use both disposable alkaline and rechargable NiMH batteries
Should You Buy It?
Yes. It's only $35, runs on the most common battery size, and is small enough to stash in a car trunk or go-bag. It's a sensible, low cost, long-lasting solution to emergency lighting, what more do you want?
Energizer Light Fusion LED Lantern Specs
• Bulb Type: LED
• Brightness: 15 (est) - 300 lumen
• Dimensions: 11 x 1.6 x 8 inches
• Power: 4 or 8 AA
• Weight: 1.3 pounds
• Price: $35 at Amazon