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Which LED lantern is best?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a camping trip, working around your home or in need of an emergency light in case of a blackout, a powerful LED lantern is a valuable tool that can provide assistance in numerous scenarios. 

LED lanterns to range in size, weight, brightness and power source depending on the model, so finding the right one can take a bit of time and research. The Coleman Rechargeable Lantern is a best-seller due to its versatility and impressive light output. 

What to know before you buy an LED lantern

Power source 

Not all lanterns are powered the same way. When choosing an LED lantern, you’ll have the opportunity to choose between rechargeable options, disposable battery-powered options and solar-powered models. 

Rechargeable lanterns and lanterns that run on disposable batteries are great for home use and emergency situations, while solar-powered LED lanterns are often smaller and more compact, making them ideal for camping and backpacking. 


How you intend to use your LED lantern should also play a role in your decision. If you want your lantern to have the ability to light up a large room, you’ll probably want to choose an adjustable model with a high lumen output. If you think you’ll just be using your lantern as a reading light in your tent, you can get by with a smaller and dimmer model. Once you know how you’ll use your lantern, you’ll have an easier time choosing the best option. 

What to look for in a quality LED lantern


An important aspect is the lantern’s lumen rating. The lumen rating is what determines the overall brightness. High lumen ratings mean your lantern will be able to produce more light. The majority of LED lanterns will fall between 100-1000 lumens.


While having a super bright lantern can come in handy in certain situations, having the option to choose between multiple light settings is a major plus that also lets you conserve battery power. The best LED lantern will have more than one brightness setting so you can choose how much light is required for any specific activity.


If you plan on using your lantern strictly around your home, size may not be a deciding factor. However, those who plan to travel, camp or hike with their lantern will want to take note of the overall weight and dimensions in order to choose a model that won’t weigh them down.

To save the maximum amount of space, look for a collapsible solar-powered model.

Run time

The run time of a lantern determines how long it will continuously produce light before losing power. When operated at max brightness, LED lanterns will have a shorter run time than when operated at their lowest settings. Run time can range from just a few hours on high settings to more than a hundred hours on low settings. 

Always choose a lantern with a run time long enough for your intended usage. 


Some lanterns will be used indoors, but many are designed to be used outside in unpredictable conditions. The best LED lanterns will offer some form of weather resistance, with specific models rated as waterproof. 

Those with added shock resistance offer even further protection and durability in the case of a fall or drop. 


Aside from some collapsible solar lanterns, most will sport a convenient handle. If you think you might need to hold your lantern for extended periods, having an ergonomic or comfortable handle will be appreciated. The handle also allows you to hang the lantern for hands-free lighting. 

How much you can expect to spend on an LED lantern 

The least-expensive LED lanterns can be less than $20. High-end models with superior durability and advanced settings can cost over $100, a’though most fall somewhere in the middle. 

LED lantern FAQ

Can an LED lantern replace a flashlight?

A. When it comes to lanterns versus flashlights, it all depends on the task at hand. Lanterns are best at providing wide floodlighting, which can be used to illuminate larger spaces and often last longer. Flashlights will serve you best when you need a highly focused beam or need to shine a light on areas further away. 

Are LED lanterns better than fuel-burning lanterns?

A. While it’s difficult to say that one is better than the other, LED lanterns are undeniably the safer alternative. They contain no open flame and emit no harmful fumes, making them the best option for indoor use and camping.  

What’s the best LED lantern to buy?

Top LED lantern

Coleman Rechargeable Lantern

Coleman Rechargeable Lantern

What you need to know: This is a bright, rechargeable and affordable lantern from a trusted brand. 

What you’ll love: The 450 lumen brightness is more than enough to illuminate your campsite or act as a backup light source in case of a power outage. The built-in USB port even allows you to charge your phone or other electronic devices directly from the lantern. It also comes with a three-year warranty. 

What you should consider: There have been occasional reports of the LED light being slightly too bright for some users. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Dicks’s Sporting Goods and Wayfair 

Top LED lantern for the money

Lighting EVER Rechargeable Camping Lantern

Lighting EVER Rechargeable Camping Lantern 

What you need to know: It’s a ggreat choice if you’re looking for an affordable emergency and camping lantern. 

What you’ll love: With multiple brightness modes that include both warm and white light and a water-resistant design, you can use this lantern virtually anywhere. The power bank can also be used to charge devices on the go.

What you should consider: Some people have reported the battery losing its ability to hold a charge after some time. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Kizen Collapsible Camping Lantern

Kizen Collapsible Camping Lantern

What you need to know: This collapsible model is the most compact on the list, making it ideal for hikers, campers and as an addition to any survival kit. 

What you’ll love: Featuring a built-in solar panel, all it takes to charge this portable lantern is access to sunlight. The foldable design means you can fit this lantern in a backpack or jacket pocket. With multiple light modes and a charging port, the low cost makes it a great value. 

What you should consider: You likely won’t receive enough power to fully recharge your phone. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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