The 4 Best Lanterns For Power Outages

You’ll want to have these on hand — and most are under $30.

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It’s always a good idea to have a powerful light source on hand for those times when the power unexpectedly goes out. However, not all light sources are created equally — especially in emergencies. The best lanterns for power outages produce at least 400 lumens of light, are water-resistant, and use either replaceable or rechargeable batteries.

What To Look For In An Emergency Lantern

Lumens, a measurement of how much light a bulb produces, can range from 100 to over 1,000 in lanterns. Deciding the number of lumens you need depends on how you plan to use your lantern. If you want to light a whole room as bright as it would be with power, you’ll want a lantern with 1,000 lumens, but if you plan to light a smaller area for simple tasks like reading, 400 lumens is a good baseline.

Battery-powered lanterns are the best choice for indoor use because, unlike many outdoor lanterns, they don’t produce fumes. Lanterns with replaceable batteries tend to be more dependable since you don’t have to charge them in advance, but lanterns with rechargeable batteries often have power banks that can be used to charge other essentials, like cell phones.

You don’t want to discover in an emergency that your lantern has water damage, which is why the best lanterns have some level of water resistance. Lanterns with an IPX4 rating will not be damaged by water splashing in any direction, which should offer sufficient protection for indoor use. You may also want to look for additional features like multiple light modes, long run times, collapsible designs for easy storage, and battery guards that better preserve battery life.

Shop The Best Blackout Lanterns

In a hurry? Here are the top lanterns for power outages.

  1. The Best Overall: Coleman 1,000-Lumen LED Lantern
  2. The Best Budget Lantern: LE LED Camping Lantern
  3. The Best Value Lantern Set: Vont LED Camping Lantern (4-Pack)
  4. The Best Rechargeable Lantern: Coleman Rugged Rechargeable LED Lantern

1. The Best Overall

Made by Coleman, this battery-powered lantern can produce 1,000 lumens and shine up to 16 meters, so it can light your whole living room, kitchen, or bedroom. This lantern can run for 14 hours straight on its highest setting, and even longer on the medium, low, and flashing modes in part thanks to the special Battery Guard design, which extends battery life by up to 25%. Made with an ABS plastic frame, it has an IPX4 water-resistance rating and lifetime LEDs that never need to be replaced. You can also store batteries in this lantern for years without worry, so it’s ready whenever you need it. (It’s also available in a 600-lumen option.)

One reviewer wrote: “Bought this after our power went out for a full night. Lights an entire room enough to see everywhere - an 18 x12 room anyway. Not too heavy, has a good handle to carry easily, and the battery guard feature extends the battery life. Batteries loaded easily. Should be perfect for camping too, providing plenty of light in a tent for reading, etc.”

Light emitted: 1,000 lumens | Battery type: 4 D batteries

2. The Best Budget Lantern

This budget-friendly lantern costs under $25, but it still produces 1,000 lumens, which is enough to cast an impressive glow over an entire room. Powered by three D batteries, it can run for 12 to 25 hours, depending on which of the four light modes you use. Like the Coleman lantern, this lantern has an IPX4 rating, so it can stand up to leaky basements and stormy weather. It has over 27,000 five-star ratings from Amazon shoppers who love to use it for power outages, camping trips, and more. You can also remove the cap and use the bottom hook to hang it.

One reviewer wrote: “This lantern has proved to be invaluable in my situation where blackouts occur regularly. I will say that technology has improved significantly over the last version I had of this. The price is well worth it and should be a part of any emergency kit. I get good use out of mine, not just camping.”

Light emitted: 1,000 lumens | Battery type: 3 D batteries

3. The Best Value Lantern Set

  • Also available at Vont, $24

This set comes with four battery-powered lanterns, so you can give one to each person in your home to keep everyone safe. Each lantern has 140 lumens, which combined will give you 560 lumens, enough light to give your living room or bedroom a comfortable glow. This set has a rating of IP44, so it can withstand water splashes. While these lanterns don’t have different modes, they do have a collapsible design that allows you to adjust the amount of light it gives off. This collapsible design is one of the features Amazon reviewers love, which is part of the reason this set has an average 4.8-star rating from roughly 50,000 reviewers.

One reviewer wrote: “You never know about a product until you really have to use it to its full potential. I live in Naples Fl. This is my second hurricane (Irma 2017.). I ordered the lanterns as soon as I knew there was a possibility of Ian coming my way. It did and I was without power for over 5 days. I had to use the lanterns almost 10 times a day because the Emergency stairwell lights did not work. [...] They were great. I never replaced the batteries. I even gave 2 to my neighbor and they ordered some for their grandkids in college. Price was great for 4 lanterns and batteries. I am so pleased with how they held up during some pretty ‘dark’ times.”

Light emitted: 140 lumens each | Battery type: 3 AA (included)

4. The Best Rechargeable Lantern

If you’re as worried about charging your phone and other essentials during power outages as you are about lighting, this rechargeable Coleman lantern is the pick for you. It not only provides 400 lumens of light, but it also has a power bank that you can use to charge other electronics with the included USB cord. Powered by a lithium-ion battery, this lantern has a low light mode that can run for 20 hours and a high light mode that can run for five hours. When you recharge it using the included 120-volt charger, simply wait for the green LED light to turn on, and you’ll know it’s fully charged. This lantern has an IPX4 water-resistance rating, and it comes with a three-year limited warranty.

One reviewer wrote: “I initially bought these for emergency use only. But after seeing how well they work, I purchased others. They work well throughout my house, in my garage and greenhouse. Highly recommend. Battery life is great. Brightness is either dim or bright and so easy to charge.”

Light emitted: 400 lumens | Battery type: rechargeable lithium-ion

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