Top positive review
693 people found this helpful
on August 29, 2008
This is a rugged little lantern. I have to say that for $10, I was not expecting something of this quality. This is a solid well constructed unit that will not disintegrate if it gets knocked on the floor.
Other reviewers have stated this provides light for weeks. Not so... While technically it may output light on 3 AA batteries for 125 hours, it isn't at usable levels.
I bought two of these, and as soon as I received them, I took one of them and inserted the batteries that were included with it, turned it on and left it. I wanted to see if it would live up to other reviewers claims on battery life.
I realize that battery life would be extended with intermittent usage rather than continuous use, but if you are planning to use this for emergencies, you may need it running continuously for extended periods.
Anyway, the first 24 hours were the brightest. It easily illuminated my 10 X 12 study well enough to distinguish objects around the room, and I had no problem reading by it. After 48 hours, it did get somewhat dimmer and to read by it, I had to hold the book right next to the light. At approx 72 hours the light was feeble and I had difficulty reading a book with the light right next to the book. The light output was less than a standard night light I have in my bathroom.
At this point, I opened up my second lantern that I had purchased, inserted the included batteries and set it side by side with the lantern that had been running continuously for 3 days. The lantern with the fresh batteries was far far brighter, so at this point I ended the experiment as I felt that the light output from the lantern that had been running for 3 days really wasn't useful.
The last thing I did was to insert 3 fresh energizer batteries in the lantern that had been running for 3 days and set it side by side with the lantern with the fresh batteries that were included with it. The lantern with the energizer batteries was noticeably brighter.
So, buy the best batteries you can and you may well get the 125 hours of light this is purported to produce.
All in all, this is a very good value for the price.
It's been almost 3 years since my original review and both lanterns are still running in top notch condition. My neighborhood in Springfield MA took a direct hit from an EF3 tornado 4 days ago and these lanterns have been my primary source of light since then. I've not been running them non-stop as in my original tests, but only for about 5 hours a night, and they put out extremely useful light levels. I haven't had to change the batteries out once. My utilities were restored yesterday, but these lanterns performed the task extremely well. I'm going to order a few more.