Despite one’s best efforts to build up terminator level night vision, we all need a little help with illumination when the sun goes down. The humble lantern will keep your space bright when you’re away from the grid and is also super handy for an unexpected power outage.
Lanterns have come a long way since the gas-fuelled fragile unit that sat atop a pole with a brittle mantle inside. These are still available, and they give off a nice warm light, nowadays, however, with the speed at which LED technology is moving, there is a plethora of other options available to those looking to light up their campsite.
These are the traditional gas fuelled units with a replaceable mantle and a glass, or sometimes gauze diffuser. They provide tons of light and give a warm feel to the campsite. They can be noisy, but the benefits of these are that they are simple in operation, and all that can really go wrong is the mantle will require replacing, which is an inexpensive repair.
When incandescent globes were all we had to work with, the battery life on lanterns wasn't real flash. The lanterns usually required big D Cell batteries which made them heavy, and you didn't get much life out of them. Then the fluorescent globe came along and is still used in some lower priced lanterns. This provided better battery life but quite a stark and artificial light, and usually required big batteries for operation.
Then came the LED, and with the speed at which LED technology moved, came a whole new range of lighter, more powerful and brighter lanterns, often with a choice of light colour. What is even better, is unlike an incandescent or fluorescent globe, and LED never needs replacing. When lightweight and powerful lithium-ion batteries are teamed up with LED's, the result is the lightest and most powerful lanterns we've seen yet, on top of this many of them are rechargeable lanterns and have USB compatibility not only to charge the lantern but to also charge devices from the lantern.
These are a bit like gas lanterns, they still require a mantle, but they run from a clean fuel such as shellite. The benefit of this is that you don't need to take a gas bottle with you, and if your stove is also a multi-fuel appliance, you'll only need one fuel type for cooking and lighting. It's also easier to manage the amount of fuel you use. Multi-fuel stoves give off a powerful warm light and are field maintainable.
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