Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern First Impressions
Do you ever get really excited about camping accessories? Not the big ticket items like tents and sleeping bags but the little stuff, like cutting boards, and lanterns? Well I just did, and from the moment I unpacked the Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 lantern its been the gift that keeps on giving.
By now you must be familiar with Goal Zero, a company who’s core principals are as succinct as they are powerful (like solar energy): Zero Apathy, Zero Boundaries, and Zero Regrets. They deliver with products like the Lighthouse 250 lantern that packs a punch in terms of area lighting, is compatible with any of their solar powered battery chargers, and brings so many extras to bear in the process its a little overwhelming.
The Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 lantern serves double duty as a lantern, and a USB power hub that will literally charge your smartphone in 2 hours! Goal Zero’s products have some serious power recharge alternatives at their beck and call: first and foremost, the lantern will charge via USB or a Goal Zero solar panel in around 7 hours. If you’re in a pinch, the sturdy hand crank located on the top will give you a hard-earned minute of light after a 60 second crank, sort of like the “hippie on a bike running a blender for green smoothies concept”.
In addition to the systems innate power features, the Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 lantern sports some standard lantern regalia, like foldable legs, and a handy hanger loop for overhead positioning in tent, trailer or truck. Also, some not so standard features: how about an “Emergency” blinker indicated by a little red triangle? Put to use with the hand crank, this feature may have the capacity to save a life or two! It has a blue, 4 circle LED power indicator, something I don’t believe you’d find on any other lantern, LED or not. Finally, half power is actually, visibly a linear half of the “bulb,” so it is directional, which is just a mind-blower.
Okay, I’ve had my share of bad experiences with camp lanterns. Admit it, who hasn’t appreciated the nostalgic value of a kerosene or propane lantern while fearing the inferno that could erupt at any second, engulfing trucks, tents, pets and livestock? And the D-battery powered lanterns that have served as poor substitute for the last decade barely lit a deck of cards. I am here to tell you brothers and sisters, the Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 lantern is a beacon in the night, a veritable spotlight through your bedroom window. I was so impressed with how much power the thing pops out just at half power, I think I muttered “No way” while solo camping in Moab last week.
Over three days of cooking, cleaning, drinking beer, reading in the back of the truck and abruptly searching for varmints in the middle of the night, the Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 lantern kept its charge. In fact, I never even cranked it to full power! This is to be expected as this product boasts a 48 hour run time. Easily the only lantern I’ll, or you’ll, ever need, as long as you have a 5V power source.
The Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 lantern weighs in at 1.1 pounds, cuts a dimension of 4.5 X 5 X 6.5 inches, and can illuminate to 250 lumens. MSRP is $79.99