Many people still think of lanterns as the kerosene lights your parents or grandparents used when the power went out. You may also think of them as only one step up from a candle, something which is no longer useful in today’s technologically advanced world. You may be surprised to know, however, that lanterns have changed with the times and today are among the most technologically advanced lights on the market.
Why do you need one? Well, I learned a few things from the ice storm of 2009 when I went 27 days without power. When the power is out for a long period of time, you need an area light of some sort. You need to be able to light an entire room with soft, comfortable, illumination. Flashlights are not well suited to lighting an entire room, although they can in a pinch. They are also difficult to read by; they’re just too bright. Flashlights are simply not designed to project an area light beam. Most are designed to project a focused, bright beam in one direction. Lanterns, on the other hand, excel at area light, many of which can provide a 360 degrees beam.
They are designed to light an area for a long period of time.
Emergency Use and Safety
For emergencies, having a lantern with 360 degrees of light is highly useful. You can set the lantern in the center of a room and have light all around you. Many lanterns also have long run times, which is helpful in an emergency. The 41-3108 400 Lumen 4D LED Twin Globe Lantern, for example, runs on 4 D batteries for 100 hours on high and 200 on low. Lanterns with 360 degree beams tend to not have the longest beam distance, but that’s not their purpose. They are designed to light an area for a long period of time and they do this extremely well.
While rechargeable lanterns are incredible, I own a Dorcy Green Lantern, which I love (more about this later), it’s a good idea to have a regular battery powered lantern in addition to a rechargeable lantern. I say this because rechargeable lights eventually have to be recharged and this isn’t possible without power. If you want the best of both worlds, the 41-1091 250 Lumen Rechargeable USB Power Bank Lantern is an excellent choice because it features a rechargeable battery and a 4 AA battery backup in case you are unable to connect to power.
For a smaller emergency lantern, the 41-1010 Mini LED Lantern is an excellent choice. This light provides 360 degrees of light and 70 hours of run time on 4 AA batteries.
The Dorcy Green Lantern (41-1081), as I said before, is an amazing safety light which functions as a bright spotlight, area light, emergency flasher, and power bank all in one. The spotlight is 700 lumens and has a beam distance of over 575 meters. On low, the light provides 270 lumens and an unbelievable 8 hours of run time. The Green Lantern can also recharge USB devices such as cell phones and tablets so you’re never out of touch, even in an outage. The sides of the lantern feature a 100 lumen area light that is perfect for lighting a room and a 20 LED emergency flasher that can run for 48 hours. A built in power display keeps you aware of how much power you have left.