Between Japan’s devastating earthquake and resulting nuclear crisis, and other debilitating disasters suffered around the world this past decade, homeowners are increasingly becoming aware of the need for emergency preparedness. It is recommended that every home be equipped with an emergency kit that includes food, water, first aid supplies, a battery-powered radio and other basic survival necessities.
A reliable light source is another important item to include in your supplies. Light not only helps us accomplish basic tasks, but it can be a safety tool, as well. Whether you’re lost in the woods or hunkering down at home with no electricity, having light can help stave off panic in a scary situation.
Many experts recommend an LED lantern for the job. LED lanterns are favored because they’re energy efficient, which means they burn cooler and have a longer battery life than tradition incandescent bulbs. They’re also sturdier, as they have no filaments or glass casings that can break during storage. While an LED flashlight is another useful addition to any home survival kit, lanterns are particularly helpful in emergency situations because of the wide area light they provide.
It’s critical that your lantern be in good working order when you need it, so it pays to invest in a high-quality one. Here’s what to look for when choosing an emergency LED lantern:
The best emergency LED lanterns use multiple bulbs to produce a brighter light in the same amount of space. Look for a lantern with 8-12 bulbs, depending on its size – this should translate into more than 100 lumens.
Because it isn’t necessary to have such bright light at all times, multiple brightness settings are another important feature in an LED lantern. The best lanterns will have a dimmer switch to allow you precise control over the amount of light you use. An energy-saving setting that helps prolong the battery life is also important, as you never know how long you might be without electricity.
Because LEDs use less power than traditional bulbs, they should naturally come with an extended battery life. The highest-quality emergency LED lanterns can run as long as 100 hours before burning out.
In a survival situation you need to be able to ration your resources as much as possible, so another feature to look for is a power indicator on the lantern. This allows you to carefully monitor your battery use to ensure the light does not run out at a critical moment.
Emergency Signal Settings
While most people consider their own ability to survive when compiling an emergency kit, many overlook the importance of having a means to signal for help should you become stranded or lost. Because LED lanterns are so powerful and can be seen from several miles away, they can be used as distress beacons to reach out for help.
A top-notch emergency lantern will offer settings to enhance your distress signal. Look for a lantern that switches to a strobe effect or even a red flare effect, as these may have a better chance of attracting attention than a steady white light.
Other Traits of a Quality LED Lantern
Other indicators of a quality lantern include:
– Durable casing so your LED lantern can survive a little abuse, if necessary.
– Compact design that’s easy to tuck into your camping supplies, hiking pack or home emergency kit.
While an LED lantern can prove endlessly useful in an emergency situation, it’s a good idea to include multiple light sources in your kit, such as candles and LED flashlights. The more options you have, the longer your light will last and the better prepared you will be for any disaster that may arrive.