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Alpine, Cycle, Survival / July 24, 2016

LANTERN: The Ultimate Multifunctional Light

Written by: Kevin Linderman

Did you know that Thomas Edison did NOT invent the lightbulb in 1879? Actually the first electric light was made in 1802 by Humphry Davy, an English scientist. Although Davy’s invention produced light, it didn’t produce light for very long and it was too bright for practical use.

In actuality, there were over 20 inventors of the electric light bulb prior to Thomas Edison. So what gives? Thomas Edison is often credited as the inventor because his version of the incandescent lightbulb was better than all the rest before him due to its practicality and longevity.

Since these original light bulbs were invented there have been tremendous advancements in lightbulbs and associated light producing products. A significant and revolutionary advancement was the invention of the Light Emitting Diode or LED light. Since Nick Holonyak, Jr “accidentally” created the LED (he was trying to create a laser) in 1962, the LED has become essentially ubiquitous in our society and has practically replaced the incandescent light bulb that Thomas Edison perfected back in 1878.

History lesson over. Enter today’s multitude of LED flashlights. They come in all shapes and sizes, at all sorts of price points, at varying levels of illumination and feature sets, and appealing to anyone from the stay at home Dad or Mom, to the summer camper, to the tactical professional. It seems that with all of the options, the bases must be covered already, right? Well Cory Krygier and the team that are bringing the LANTERN light to market beg to differ.

The LANTERN is a powerful (1000 lumens), multifunction flashlight that appeals to the audience that places reliance on their gear in harsh situations. From the bike packer to the camper to the emergency prepper, this flashlight should appeal to all of you guys. The three main functions are as follows:

  1. A powerful, water resistant, bike headlight with a 360 degree bike mount
  2. A 4,000 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery that gives you hours of uninterrupted light as well as a USB backup power pack to charge your phone or other device
  3. A lantern light diffuser cap that turns the focused flashlight beam into a lantern

 

tUnpacking the LANTERN. Photo: Devon Balet

The light diffuser really turns the light into an effective tent and campsite LANTERN. Photo: Devon Balet

There are also 4 different lumen settings on the light. From 1000 lumens down to 90 lumens. Additionally there’s a strobe mode set to 1000 lumens that someone could use to get the attention of a potential rescuer.

From a mountain biker’s perspective, we would like to see an improved bike mount. The prototype bike mount did not effectively fit the part of my handlebars next to the stem so I had to mount it out towards the handle bar grips. This made for more exaggerated movements of the light while riding on singletrack. Additionally, it’s a clamp with a screw and a nut to tighten the clamp. We could see a scenario where one might lose the black nut and the bike mount would no longer clamp effectively on the handlebar. We would also like to see a helmet mount for the light. When riding trails at night, a headlamp is key to illuminate the area where you are headed just by turning your head in that direction.

The USB charging feature is handy, in a pinch. Remember that it’s one battery so if you are in an emergency situation and need to get some charge on your phone to make that critical rescue phone call, this is perfect for that scenario. Charging your phone will reduce the amount of lantern or flashlight time you have, so make sure to choose your needs carefully.

 

1000 lumens strapped to the handlebars. Photo: Devon Balet

Perfect for the campsite. Photo: Devon Balet

Testing the light on the trail. Photo: Devon Balet

360 degree light mount. Photo: Devon Balet

The coolest component of the light though is the lantern light diffuser. The diffuser design really turns the flashlight into a wonderful lantern that illuminates your immediate camping area, your tent or a room in your house if you lose power. We love this design. The custom molded soft case will  provide a compact, lightweight case that keeps all of the components safe, including the separate LANTERN diffuser cap.

In a hugely crowded space, we believe that LANTERN is effectively carving out their niche by focusing on those that place reliance on their gear in potentially harsh situations. At a price point of $129, it’s a bit more expensive than the average light. However, the feature set, including the lantern light diffuser differentiates the product and warrants the additional cost.

In our opinion, the LANTERN team has effectively implemented Thomas Edison’s model of practicality and longevity. Does this mean they will supplant the rest of the flashlights that came before them? Probably not but it bodes well for the future success of the business.

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about the author

Kevin Linderman

Kevin Linderman is the founder and Chief Adventure Officer for Shoulders of Giants. Kevin has spent his entire professional career in and around the field of information technology, but has always been an avid outdoor enthusiast and a seeker of knowledge.

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