Best Emergency Lanterns 2024: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Having an emergency lantern stashed away in your home is an excellent choice in the current scenario. During a prolonged power outage, a lantern creates room-filling light that allows for more comfortable cooking, reading, and other necessary activities that you can’t perform with a directional beam of a flashlight.

The long battery life of a good lantern is another bonus when compared to most flashlights, which tend to consume batteries more quickly. Survival lanterns are also sturdier as compared to normal flashlights and come with a far longer warranty.

Though it cannot achieve the versatility of a lantern, a flashlight is useful in its own way. It is the same as having a sword and a knife, both useful in their own different ways, with one seeing more use than the other depending on the profession (true for a soldier or a chef).

It also plays a psychological role as it makes the campsite or cabin more inviting by washing it in light. Humans tend to associate light with good and hence, can relax and rest easier when in the presence of a strong one (especially during dark).

A lantern is also good to illuminate the whole area uniformly, which a flashlight cannot do; it can only illuminate parts while completely washing out other areas. The soft and warm light of a lantern can potentially increase morale and provide a sense of security and home.

Figuring out the best emergency lantern can be a bit of a hassle, but with a little forethought and conviction, it can be easily broken down into its base formula. So grab on tight, while we showcase a step by step breakdown of the basic formula needed to create your favorite lantern.

Top 4 Best Emergency Lanterns 2021

1. Core Equipment 500 Lumen Cree LED

Core Equipment Best Emergency LanternIf you are looking for the absolute best from the get-go, then this should be your go-to choice. The CORE Equipment 500 Lumen CREE LED can quickly put many of its competitors to shame. It has enough firepower to fully illuminate a room or lighting up your porches and campsites.

It casts a massive halo of light that brightens up the surrounding area (statistically, an area of about 60 feet wide and 90 feet across). When at full power, it can stretch out to around 45 feet. Moreover, with such an impressive and intimidating output, it also has an equally impressive run time. It can run for about 20 hours at full power and an impressive 65 hours at lower settings. The added diffuser tube ensures that its light is distributed evenly over the whole area.

In addition to all this, it is a lightweight emergency lantern and can be easily carried in your bags. This is limited to shorter treks only, as for longer treks and climbs, it can become a bit of a hassle to deal with the constant weight.

Despite its small size, it can unleash vast amounts of power for an extended amount of time without giving in to any failure. This makes it an exceptional choice for the occasional outdoor endeavor and small climbs and treks.

The sheer amount of raw power and useability with excellent battery life truly make this lantern the best emergency lantern on this list. If it fits your niche and your price range, do not tarry, lest you be left trying to look for them across different shops or sites.


  • It has a too-bright output, and hence needs to be kept at a distance for normal functions.
  • The excellent battery life is a godsent gift to have.
  • The performance per dollar offered is phenomenal.
  • It is made up of premium materials, which give it durable architecture.


  • It needs the slightly pricier D batteries to function.
  • It also needs to be used at lower settings to increase battery life.
  • It can burn a hole through your pockets, if not invested carefully


2. Etekcity Collapsible LED Lantern

Etekcity Collapsible LED Lantern

This lantern is a massive explosion of light packed into a small frame. It is bright and highly durable, and can easily be carried anywhere. Etekcity also went ahead and priced this absolute gem of a lantern at a lower price than that of two cups of coffee. This is a definite gamechanger in the world of affordable lanterns.

This beast of a lantern can easily run for hours without giving up (thanks to high durability) or dying out (good power management) on you due to lack of power. Moreover, with all the inbuilt features and added durability, the manufacturer also adds a ten-year warranty to the lantern. That is an outstanding deal at this price range–something that has been unavailable at other sellers.

When fully collapsed, it is less than five inches tall. The weight of this beast is well under a pound. That means you can take this lantern anywhere on your trips and expeditions. In a deviation from the norm, the way to change brightness in this lantern is quite simple yet a little inefficient.

You take out the globe of light, and as LEDs come out, they illuminate a larger area. This is a deceptively simple way of regulating brightness. This also means that the LEDs that are not being used are still burning bright and thus draining power needlessly. However, with more than 30 LEDs in its bag, it can quickly light up a campsite for more than a few hours.

The lantern is powered using three AA batteries. It can keep going for around 12 hours on its low-intensity output and can easily pull around eight hours on its maximum setting. The sheer amount of features, high portability, and durable design make it one of the best emergency lanterns on this list.


  • It is highly affordable
  • The space-saving designs make it lightweight and compact
  • Collapsibility also increases its portability.


  • The battery life is not that great
  • The lighting is a bit hard on the eyes, for the lack of a better explanation


3. Coleman Northstar Propane Lantern

Coleman Northstar Propane Lantern

Do you fancy yourself as the old-fashioned survivor? Do you feel that technology is unreliable and want to conquer all your problems the old-fashioned way? In that case, Cole Northstar Propane Lantern would be the best emergency lantern for you and your loved ones. Provided you have enough backup and have stocked nicely, this lantern can provide seemingly unending hours of light without wavering or causing a fuss.

Granted, there are more pros to LED lanterns than gas ones, even so, the sheer useability and raw power of these lanterns cannot be ignored. LED lanterns do not produce heat and can be used around kids and pets and even in confined spaces. Gas ones, on the other hand, require more care.

This lantern has a 1500 lumen brightness capacity and can run for more than 8 hours at this setting on a one-pound propane cylinder. However, if you want to outdo all your friends and be an object of their envy, then pair this lantern with a 20-pound propane cylinder, and you are good to go for more than a week, even at the brightest setting.

This lantern’s sheer physical power and brightness capacity beat almost every other lantern out there and make it the best emergency lantern for vintage lovers.

The only real drawback seems to be that it needs to be used in open spaces due to the restrictions placed on burning gas lanterns inside houses. Otherwise, this could be the perfect choice for your next camping trip.


  • It is amazingly bright and has many different settings.
  • It is fuel-efficient and can keep on burning for many hours.
  • Good old analog hardware free from any technological component.
  • Highly durable and sturdy.


  • It can get a bit loud while operating.
  • It is not recommended for indoor use.
  • It is more extensive than many of its counterparts, and so is also heavier than them.


4. Herobeam V3 LED Lantern

Herobeam V3 LED Lantern

Do you like being prepared for any eventuality? Are you the sort of person who thinks more about multi-tasking than about useability? If that is the case, then the Herobeam V3 is the best emergency lantern for you.

This is a water-resistant, rechargeable, and multi-tasking lantern used as an omnidirectional lantern and focused and powerful flashlight. Whether you use it to light up campsites or look for the lost, this lantern is the best for any setting.

It can fill out a whole room or shoot a narrow beam of light easily. It also has different handle configurations to be easily carried in both flashlight and lantern forms. The IPX4 water resistance adds the cherry to the top of the cake. It stays dry even in heavy rains and promises to deliver uninterrupted power and light even in the direst of circumstances.

This model also goes a bit further than its predecessor in terms of sheer features available. It can also be easily charged from any USB station and taken on expeditions. It is so versatile that it can be charged using even a laptop, car, or phone charger.

For backup, it also supports AA-type batteries so that you can always remain with an alternative backup plan in case SHTF.

SO go ahead and order this fantastic product and make it the best emergency lantern in your repository.


  • It has different types and ways of light outputs.
  • It has a versatile nature and can be transformed into a flashlight or lantern at whims.
  • It is exceptionally water-resistant and can withstand even heavy rains and torrential downpours.
  • The materials used are of premium quality and thus make it highly durable and rugged in design.
  • It can easily be recharged using any USB station.


  • It can guzzle battery pretty harshly.
  • Might malfunction after some heavy and intensive use.


Best Emergency Lanterns – Conclusion

As is the case with most other technological products, there is no one best emergency lantern. It all depends on your needs, wants, and the ability to back those wants. Broadly speaking, you can quickly go ahead and drop boatloads of money into this affair, but after a certain point, the returns per dollar start diminishing.

Therefore, it is essential to carefully draw up a chart of your needs and the amount you can safely invest. Having a lantern that can be charged using solar energy is the best option. This option, however, is expensive due to the high cost of solar panels. At the other end, you can buy a lantern that needs new batteries after every use.

These are the two extremes to speak of, and everything else falls right in the middle. SO try looking for lanterns that fall somewhere in the middle of this range of choices. A good lantern should have a respectable battery life with an exceptional power output. That, too, diffused in the whole area without compromising on the brightness or efficiency of the lantern itself.

A good lantern does not only have excellent features. It also has a reliable build quality and should tough out most of the punishment meted out to it. The material quality and light filament also play a massive role in this decision, as does the lantern brand.

But whatever might be the case, in the end, it all comes down to your preference and the power of investment. If you have the needed capital, go to town and buy the most expensive (and statistically, the best) lantern. Otherwise, try and play it safe. It is all up to you. It can seem quite a daunting task, but with this guide’s help, you can easily find some excellent options to buy and invest in.

What Should I Look For In An Emergency Lantern Before Buying One For My Family?

We all know that having a light source is incredibly important on an overnight trip. It is easier to get home when traversing a well lit path and is a good and smart investment. But many times, we fail to identify features before buying a suitable lantern and end up buying something that does not suit our needs or purposes. This can cause a lot of problems down the line even in an emergency. Therefore, it is vital to keep a few things in your mind before settling on a lantern in generaL.

1. Brightness

This is the most important and essential use of any lantern. It should have a brightness that complements your work requirement. They should have around the medium brightness range for standard rooms and not be too heavy or fragile. On the other hand, the ones being used for outdoor expeditions should ideally have more excellent brightness and better durability to accommodate the wear and tear that it would suffer on trips and emergencies.

2. Battery Life

This is the yin to the brightness yang. Suppose one is high, the other low, and vice versa. They both are usually inversely proportional, and trying to find the right balance is the trick. Usually, one charge should last around a couple of nights, and it should also charge comparatively faster. Cell lanterns have more portability but a shorter power life, while the wired ones seem to be a long-term investment but hinder portability.

3. Durability

A good lantern should be endurable enough before giving up. This is not just restricted to indoor lanterns, but the ones taken on expeditions too. Lanterns should be able to resist damage even in the most direst of cases because if there is one thing that you would not want to lose in the darkness, it is your only source of light. Choose a lantern with a fine and durable build quality (even if it is a little more expensive than its competitors) ads the long-term investment will more than pay off the added cost.

4. Weight

This is a segment where you can hardly compromise. If the lantern is giant, it will be heavy. There is no going against that. But that said, amongst the lantern with similar features and sizes, the one that is the most durable at the lowest weight is the one lantern that you should be aiming for. Having a sound body and low weight is difficult to achieve when on a budget, but it is impossible. SO lookout for the hidden gems and pay close attention to the underdogs.

5. Features

These are entirely add on features that are extra and do not hamper the lantern’s functioning. However, it is good to have some useful features ready in case they come in handy. For example, the SOS pattern or different light ray settings can help when going on expeditions and signaling for help. Along with this, wireless charging and collapsible lanterns seem to be the rage these days. Choose wisely because you will not always use all of the add3ed features that a lantern gets from the factory.

In the end, whatever might be your choice, be aware of all its uses and the places of their installments. It can be easy to lose track of your bearing when in an emergency, but nothing is undoable with a calm mind and fortitude.


Q1. How Many Lights Would One Need To Outwait Any Emergency Safely?

The number of lights or lanterns does not depend on the number of people specifically. It depends on the areas to be illuminated. If you live in traditional homes (the ones without hallways), having one light for two rooms seems to be enough. But for hallways, each room should have a light of its own. This number can also fluctuate, depending upon the members present in the house and the house’s location in general.

A house full of children would require light in tiger rooms, as would a room that belongs to the elderly. It is also a good idea to have a separate backup lamp for your survival kits and even one in all of your cars.

Whatever might be the case, use your common sense and intuition to decide upon the actual number (you can even try and go for dry runs).

Q2. How To Use The Lanterns?

There are many ingenious and easy ways of using the lantern to light up your area of interest. Some include lighting them up and holding them in your hand, while others require to be strung up on places due to weight restrictions. Moreover, you can quickly identify the type of lantern by the various add ons that it features (that too, in broad daylight).

a. Size: Big lanterns typically require greater energy to be held aloft. Therefore, these are also the lanterns that can be hung or placed on stools, desks, and floors. It can help in having a stable light source without wasting your muscular energy on it.

b. Type of Handle: The type of handle determines whether the lantern can be held aloft like traditional lanterns or on its sides (like the handle of a coffee mug). Both ways have their pros and cons. It would help if you looked for the style that matches your gait and energy.

c. Water Resistance: These lanterns are usually both handheld and stationary in nature. The only difference is the added weight due to waterproofing the lantern. Otherwise, it can also be used in similar ways to a traditional lantern.

d. Packability: The best kind of lanterns can be easily collapsed(folded onto itself to reduce space requirement). This makes them lightweight and easy to carry. However, this feature can reduce the lifespan of your beloved emergency light as to attain such levels of freedom, some of the materials have to be replaced with lighter (and thereby weaker) counterparts.

These are the traditional ways of using a lantern. As is the case with humans, you can always try and develop your own different and unique ways, as when you are in an emergency, anything and everything goes.

Q3. What Are The Different Levels Of Lumens? How Many Would I Need?

There are multiple brightness settings available for the lanterns that are available in the markets. The range is phenomenal. And all the different brightnesses of the lanterns have their pros and cons. Reading light in a dark room might need to be soft and warm instead of a harsh and bright light that would be needed for construction work or lighting up a large area in general.

But to know and buy the lighting to your preferences, you need to know the various types available. So here is what you need to know:

The measured brightness of a light source is measured in LUMEN. So any light source will have a lumen indicator, as in, 25 lumens or 100 lumens. The various categories that they are divided into are:

a. Less than 25 lumens: If you are looking for a good nightlight, this is the brightness range. These lights are soft and do not hurt the eye even if used for a long time. However, it is not a good idea to depend on these lights in the event of an unforeseen emergency. In short words, it is suitable for casual night reading or midnight washroom breaks but will not be able to provide any safety blanket in case of even the smallest of emergencies.

b. 25 to 100 Lumens: These are the kinds of lights that you see a workman using. They are not healthy but can illuminate the required area if used correctly. They can also be glary if put directly in the eye. An excellent example of these lights is the common flashlights and lanterns.

c. 100 to 1000 Lumens: Now, this is the area that you need full focus on if you need an emergency light in your repository. These lights are incredibly bright (depending on the actual output that you choose to buy) and can be used for almost any and all emergencies. As you go higher in the empower output, the input power increases as well. Be careful to balance input and output power to get the maximum value from your purchase.

d. Above 1000 Lumens: Now, these are the lights used by heavy workmen and rescue operations (similar to floodlights). They are extraordinarily bright and can quickly light up a few miles of an area at any given time. This makes them exceptionally powerful but also pretty power-consuming at the same time. These lights are only recommended for people who can afford to invest and keep running this survival paraphernalia.

These are the primary classifications of emergency lanterns based on their brightness levels. There might be different indicators as well, but any vendor can easily identify your need based upon the lumens required to light up your area of interest. Buy carefully and responsibly while balancing out usefulness with economical cost.