“Oh, come on!” James looked in distress as his flashlight sputtered and went dark just as he got to the last page of the novel he was reading. He threw both flashlight and book down in disgust. As a consummate camper who preferred to keep his own company, as far away from “civilization” as possible, this was not the first time he was left in the dark, but if at all possible, he intended for this to be the last.
After a bit of research, James decided that what he needed was a solar light source. He was perfectly content cooking over an open fire and had very few “creature comforts” that he found necessary. His evening relaxation with a book, however, was not something he wanted to give up. A man has to have his standards! First, he needed a better understanding of solar energy and a few good options to choose from.
Understanding the Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy. It is no longer the power source of the future; it is a popular choice for many people right now. As a naturally-sustainable and renewable option to coal and gas, it’s clean, leaves no carbon footprint and aside from a few initial investments, it’s free.
Those who choose to live off-grid–whether for political beliefs, ecological reasons or merely because they enjoy the lifestyle–often install solar panels on the roof of their travel trailer, RV, Tiny House, or traditional home. This allows them to charge batteries with the energy gathered by the panels. They then use the electricity stored in the batteries to power their appliances, such as stoves, radios, mini-fridges, TVs, fans or space heaters, and of course, lights.
Benefits of a Solar Powered Lantern
Most agree that traditional lanterns, like those fueled with kerosene or oil, add an incredible amount of ambiance to an environment. Unfortunately, they also add harmful carcinogens and present a fire risk. Furthermore, the messy kerosene or oil can spill, staining upholstery or clothes, and also needs to be regularly replaced.
Although battery operated lanterns produce no fumes or risk of fire, replacing batteries can become expensive. Plus, unless a stockpile of batteries is available at all times, the owner runs the risk of depleting the supply and finding him or herself in the dark, just like James.
Traditional solar lanterns are a good option. They typically provide anywhere from 2 to 48 hours of illumination. Along with the brand and the model used, this depends on the light level used. A lower light level lasts longer than a brighter light.
These light sources, however, are a bit more difficult to use than a battery-operated one. With a separate solar panel and multiple power cords, they require more hardware and attention than other options.
Luci Lights by MPOWERED, however, are incredibly simple to use. They consist of a single unit that collapses to a 5-inch disc with a height of 1-inch. When inflated, they expand to a height of 4-inches and weigh merely 4-ounces.
Being an inflatable light source, they are easily deflated, making them perfect for carrying in a backpack when hiking. This also makes them easy to store in the limited space of a camper or Tiny House when they aren’t in use.
Luci Lights: How do They Work?
Powering and using a Luci Light is remarkably simple. Once removed from the packaging, inflate the Luci Light by blowing into the valve, similar to blowing up an inflatable toy or a balloon. The lamp fully expands and is ready to charge.
The solar panels are on top. Place the lamp in direct sunlight for eight hours, or even near an incandescent light for about ten hours, to fully power it. Press the button located between the solar panels to turn it on. The ten LED lights inside provide a 12-hour light supply when it is run on its lowest light level, which illuminates a diameter of about 10-feet.
Generators take fuel. Powering a light source from your 12-volt battery can be a hassle and using disposable batteries gets expensive. Even rechargeable batteries require an electrical power connection at some point. Using solar powered lanterns is an easy, inexpensive way to provide illumination and ambiance to your camper van, RV, Tiny House or even your patio, deck or camping trip.
James believed that simpler is better. Once he discovered the Luci Lights, he knew he intended to never buy flashlight batteries again. As well as being perfect for entertaining, the soft light provided by the lantern was more than enough for James to read by during another quiet evening off the grid.