Are you in the market for a camping lantern? If so, you may be wondering what type of camping lantern is best suited for a summer camping trip. As a long time camper, I can tell you that there are five main types of camping lanterns. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Here's a brief overview of each type:
Solar Powered Lanterns
A solar powered lantern relies on the sun for its power and as such has a low operating cost. Furthermore, it does not utilize a flame which makes it safe for use inside a tent. The big downside to using a solar powered lantern is its lack of reliability. If the lantern does not fully charge, you end up with little to no light when you need it. I know this from personal experience. When they do work, however, the lanterns produce excellent light. Prices for solar lanterns tend to start at $30.
Candle Powered Lanterns
Just like the name suggests, candle powered lanterns rely on candles for power. One of the advantages to using a candle powered lantern is the lack of noise. The disadvantage is that the lanterns are not suitable for use near flammable materials. Prices for candle powered lanterns tend to start at $25.
Battery Powered Lanterns
Battery powered lanterns typically rely on incandescent, LED or fluorescent light bulbs, batteries and electricity in order to operate. A battery powered lantern does not pose a fire risk and thus may be used inside a tent. The disadvantage is that the batteries can fail. Prices for battery powered lanterns tend to start at $30.
Fuel Burning Lanterns
Fuel burning lanterns generally run on butane, propane, gel or a liquid fuel. In my experience, fuel burning lanterns tend to be reliable and give off bright light. The lantern's disadvantages are the cost of operation, the smell and the fire risk. Prices for fuel burning lanterns tend to start at $30.
Hybrid lanterns are lanterns that utilize more than one energy source. For example, a hybrid camping lantern could consist of a light source that is capable of being powered by batteries as well as the sun. The advantage of using such a lantern on a summer camping trip is that if one power source fails to work, you have a back-up system already on hand. The downside is that you may have to pay more for that piece of mind. Prices for hybrid lanterns typically start at $40.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys summer sports and recreation. She has also traveled extensively.
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