Sunday, April 08, 2007

Candle lantern

I use and really like the LED flashlights and headlamps that have appeared the the last few years. My headlamp (Princeton Tec Aurora) is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and lasts a long time on 3 AAA batteries. I use it for reading, for cooking, and for general camp use. I have a couple of LED flashlights I use when camping, a CMG Infinity, I like the single AA battery, long battery life, and it is small and lightweight. I sometimes take a Princeton Tec Attitude (4 AAA) because it it brighter and casts its beam further. I'm less happy about the 4 AA LED area light I bought, it is large and bulky and doesn't really put out enough light to read by or do very much. I still use it for car camping because I have it and it does put out enough light to find things. I tried another combination area and flashlight and decided it was a good flashlight but not effective as an area light. Maybe there are good small LED area lights out there but I haven't wanted to buy yet another possibly disappointing light. I have considered getting the Indigo lantern (here) for car camping especially longer trips or power outages at home. I like the multiple recharge modes (crank, AC, 12 volt) but I don't really need it. During a 3 day power outage last December, I did very well with what I already have for lights.

I still also use my REI candle lantern. I like the light it gives, which is a bit better than the area light I have. It also warms a small area and helps reduce humidity, nice in cold weather. It is nostalgic, a return to simpler and younger times. It used to be cheaper than a flashlight, about 25 hours for less than 3 dollars of candle. However, since my Infinity gets about 60 hours on 1 AA battery the cost trade off is less obvious. I haven't figured out how many hours I get from my 4 AA area light, but it isn't as inexpensive as the Infinity. The candle lantern is somewhat of a fire hazard, but I have bumped it and knocked it over or down several times and it has always gone out immediately. A couple of times a bit of wax spilled out but mostly not even that. I'm careful with it of course but think the advantages, including the esthetic, outweigh the dangers and cost.

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