Wednesday, February 28, 2024

A multi-function camping lantern


This LED camping lantern is sort of a Swiss Army knife for outdoor illumination. It tries to do several different jobs and generally succeeds on all counts. 

It can be straight-ahead flashlight with a button that cycles through three lighting levels. Long press the button and you get a red flashing emergency light. For wider illumination, there's a second button that also provides three light levels. You can set the light on a flat surface or hang it overhead using a loop that pops out of top of the lamp. 

That top cylinder also rotates to reveal a reading lamp, again with three brightness options. And it can charge a mobile phone or other device by plugging in a USB cable. 

The camping lantern itself has its own battery that can be recharged with a USB-C cable and you can install AAA batteries to power the flashlight/reading lamp as a back-up to the internal 4000mAh battery. That's the kind of versatility that I would want for an emergency light in my car, at home during a power failure or for any sort of expedition into the woods after dark.

There are only a couple of things that bother me about this light. One is the handle that users attach by installing a pair of thin wire loops. I would prefer a solid handle built into the lamp's housing. Also, the rotating reading light doesn't make a very secure connection to the top of the lantern housing. It feels like it could easily break, especially if a user twists it in the wrong direction. The lamp has a warning sticker that tells you not to do that, but this product is made to be used in the dark where it's not easy to read.


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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