The new year is right around the corner and with a new year comes new technology. There have been a lot of technological advances in the year of 2016 and if you compare the LED lantern market from the year 2015 and the LED lantern market today, you will see plenty of differences. And by plenty of differences I mean plenty of upgrades. Upgrades that have allowed LED lanterns to trump the original gas-lit and match-lit lanterns that used to dominate the lantern market. Let’s face it, nobody likes having to play with matches during a pitch black night to light their lantern. It is much simpler to just press a button or turn a dial to get some light.
Now, you might be asking yourself, “Which LED lantern should I buy?” And that is a very good question. The market is saturated with a bunch of quality LED lanterns at varying prices. Consider yourself lucky to have happened upon this article, as we have done the hard work for you. We did the research and we determined the top 5 LED lanterns that will be available for you to purchase – just in time for the new year of 2017.
5 Questions To Ask Before Buying A LED Lantern
But first, let’s delve into what aspects of a LED lantern are most important when choosing which one is right for you. Since you will still have to make a decision on which one of the top 5 to get (if you choose to follow our list), it should be an informed decision.
How many lumens?
When examining a lantern’s packaging or description online, you may notice something about “lumens”. Usually there is a number before it. The amount of lumens a lantern has basically indicates how much of an area it can light up. The higher the lumen amount, the more area it is able to illuminate. Depending on your needs, you most likely won’t need a lantern with any more than the average 200 to 300 lumens.
How long does the battery last?
Nothing is worse than a LED lantern battery dying out when you are outside in the dark. Thankfully, most LED lanterns in the market have quite respectable batteries that can last anywhere from 3 hours to 300 hours. If you go for a solar powered LED lantern, you should know that the battery will last a much shorter amount of time because there is no sunlight to derive the power from at night. Most solar powered lanterns do come with options to conserve the battery life though, such as the ability to lower the brightness of the light your LED lantern emits.
How bright is it?
Probably one of the main selling points of any lantern is just how bright is the light that it emits. If the light is too bright and nearly blinds anyone who just glances at it, you probably would not want to buy it unless it is for defensive purposes. If it is not bright at all and does not illuminate much, that is no good either. You need to find the perfect balance that suits you and your needs. While related, the brightness and lumen amount of a LED lantern are different. Brightness is obviously how bright the light emitted is and the lumen count is how much area that light can illuminate. If you have a super bright lantern with a low lumen amount, this probably means that it shoots a single narrow bright ray of light out. No good! We have tailor-made our top 5 list to include lanterns with a good brightness-lumen balance.
How heavy and sturdy is it?
Nobody wants to lug around a lantern that feels like a brick. It is inconvenient especially when you are camping, since you are probably carrying around other equipment as well. That said, you also do not want a super light lantern that shatters into a million pieces if you lightly drop it. As with the brightness, a balance needs to be achieved between the sturdiness and weight of the lantern. None of this matters if you don’t plan to be carrying your lantern around and just hang it up in a room or tent or something.
How easy is it to use?
As I stated earlier, one of the main appeals of a LED lantern is that it is much easier to use than a gas-lit or match-lit one. That said, many lantern companies have tried going all out to make their lanterns the most versatile and settings-packed – often at the expense of the consumer. Look, we all like a lantern with plenty of settings, but if it complicates the usage of the lantern, it’s time to stop. One of the last things someone wants to do is play around with a million buttons on their lantern when they just need a simple light. I would advise a lantern that has a simple on/off button unless you feel like you need one with more settings.
Depending on how you plan to use the lantern, you may either need a lantern with the typical handle that you can hang it up to illuminate a campsite, or one with a special hand strap that makes it easier to carry it around when you are off hiking in the dark.
The Top 5 LED Lanterns for the New Year of 2017
Now that you know the main factors to look for in a LED lantern, it’s time to reveal the list of the top 5 LED lanterns in the market today that you should consider purchasing.
#1 – Supernova Halo 180 Extreme Rechargeable LED Lantern
This is a really nice and handy LED lantern – perfect for hikes in the dark. It is one of those hand-strapped lanterns that I briefly mentioned above and is super easy to carry around when you are out hiking. At 180 lumens, it is able to lighten up a deceptively large area when looking at the size of the lantern. This nice little lantern comes with a nice battery that will last for roughly five hours and as the name states, it can be recharged. For the low price, this is honestly the best LED lantern deal in the market.
#2 – Streamlight 44931 The Siege Lantern
This is a really nice lantern that looks like your traditional LED lantern. It has your typical handle, but what really sets this apart is the great deal that you are getting. This lantern’s battery can last in excess of 250 hours and has a respectable lumen amount for use in a typical camping trip. What makes this the second best is that its batteries are not rechargeable (even though they have a much longer life) and the lumen amount is slightly less. If you are looking for the ideal lantern to hang up in a tent or to keep a campsite illuminated for most of the night, this is the perfect one for you!
#3 – Black Diamond Equipment Titan Lantern
This is a very nice lantern that can light up a wide area of space. It costs a little more than all of the other lanterns on this list, but it is definitely worth it if you have the money. As is the case with all five of these lanterns, the Titan has just one button to turn it on or off, and its light can be adjusted using the dimmer feature. This is a very tough and sturdy lantern, while not being heavy at all. On top of that, it is built to last even if it gets wet, due to its waterproofing. On top of that, it has a rechargeable battery that can last up to 150 hours on the lowest light setting. I dare say that this is the best hiking lantern, even better than #1. The only thing that drops this lantern to #3 is its price. The typical camper might not want to spend so much on just a lantern. But it offers an amazing value for the price.
#4 – Darcy 41-1017 Mini LED Flashlight Lantern
You might be looking at the name, lumen amount, and price, and are already ruling this one out. That would be a mistake. If you need a super light and compact lantern, this one might be for you. It does not light up a large amount of space, but the light it emits is quite bright – in fact, it can light up an entire room from the ground to the ceiling. This is the perfect low-cost lantern to illuminate even a tent – even a pretty big one. This lantern is powered by four double A batteries and it uses those batteries to their very last drop – being able to stay powered on for three days non-stop. This is an excellent lantern for the super low price.
#5 – Black Diamond Moji Lantern
This lantern looks a lot like #1 and works a lot like it too. Much like #1, this lantern is perfect for hiking, as it can be hung on a variety of surfaces. Need to take a rest on your trail? Just hang the Black Diamond Moji Lantern on a nearby tree branch or something and you will have enough light to see your surroundings. It is powered by three double A alkaline batteries which will keep a light for a while – plenty of time to handle your business and then some.
It is #5 on this list because it has a similar price to #1, but is outperformed by it. Nonetheless, it has certain features that sets it apart from #1, such as its frosted glass covering that prevents the blinding LED glare, as well as the advanced waterproofing properties of it.
ConclusionTo Buying A LED Lantern In 2017
No matter what kind of camping you are doing and what activities your camping entails, you will definitely need a light source. LED lanterns are a far more preferable option than original gas-lit or match-lit ones as you can get a consistent light that is easy to turn on and off without a hassle. I hope that you have been able to find the perfect LED lantern for you after reading our guide!