Brand: Goal Zero
Model: Lighthouse Micro USB Rechargeable Lantern
- Lantern brightness - up to 135 lumens, 3800K
- Flashlight brightness - up to 115 lumens, 3000K
- Run time - up to 7 hours on Full Bright or up to 170 hours on Dim
- Charge time - 3.5 hours via USB port
I got into camping about ten years ago. I was managing a restaurant in lower Manhattan. I'd planned a vacation at the end of our busy season and bought a plane ticket from NYC to Tuscan and another plane ticket from Denver to NYC ten days later. By the time I landed in Tuscan, I'd lined up one night in a Red Roof Inn, and that was it.
I had picked up a tiny red lantern from some outdoors store thinking it might be useful somehow or other. Over the course of the trip, which turned out to involve driving through Utah, clipping the southeastern corner of Idaho and Montana's mane into Wyoming and then down to Denver, I was amazed at the bond I'd formed to this little lantern that had provided me ample stable light throughout my journey.
A few years later, the rubber gasket holding its battery began to deteriorate and water leaked in, and that was that for my little red lantern.
Goal Zero's Lighthouse Micro, on the other hand, has proven to be a major step up but has everything that I loved about that first tiny lantern. It is small and can hang (via carabiner) from the ceiling of my tent, giving even light to the entire interior without occupying valuable floor space.
The fact that it not only has multiple brightness settings and is fully dimmable both as a flashlight and as a lantern feels - dare I say - luxurious. Never again have I had to choose between too bright and too dim.
Beyond its robust straightforward functionality, that it is rechargeable via USB port makes it perfect for multi-day road or backcountry trips. Literally, I sleep more easily knowing that I'll just charge it in the car the next day. The Lighthouse Micro is also compatible with Goal Zero's solar panels, so... no car? no problem.
There are two tiny qualms that I have with the design. The carabiner and the metal loop it attaches to feel awkward when using it as a flashlight. I use and highly recommend a headlamp instead of a flashlight, so 90% of the time, I don't even think about it, but whereas the rest of the Lighthouse Micro is so tight and well-engineered, they stand out. The second qualm is the very small power button that is actually on the face of the flashlight. While it performs well enough, I find it harder to operate in gloves. Not a major knock but worth noting.
Whenever I pack my tent, I pack the Lighthouse Micro.