High on everyone’s prepper list should be some kind of light source. Following the must have flashlight/headlamp for getting around a darkened home we have chosen these little LED lanterns as our primary light source in a SHTF situation. They are a simple design pop up lantern that simply turns on when you slide it open and turns off when you push it closed. They have 2 handy little carry handles that can also be used to hang it from a tent, tree branch or even lights in your home.
Weighing in at just over a pound these little lanterns pack a big punch for their size and easily light up an average size room. Each lantern takes 3 AA batteries and claims to put out 12 hours of light. So being the skeptics that we are, we decided to put them to the test. Using the no name batteries (that came along with the set) the little lantern put off a strong consistent light for 18-19 hours before beginning to dim. Since that initial test we have opened them frequently and they continue to put off light though they have dimmed significantly. In a SHTF situation you might expect to use these little guys about 3-4 hours a day and at that rate a pack of 60 AA batteries could provide you with over 80 days of light! Realistically we expect to be using several at the same time so 20 days is a more reasonable expectation.
Overall the lantern’s performance was better than we expected particularly in light of the low cost. We bought a 4 pack (which is sometimes available and sometimes not) for around $20. A single lantern sells for under $10 or a 2 pack for about $17. Add a good stash of batteries and a big portion of your blackout lighting needs are met. We hope you find this helpful and consider sharing some of your great ideas with us.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.