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Review by Tony Lourens
Back in the day, we would always pack our trusty Camping Gaz bluet gas lamp when heading into the hills. It was fairly bulky, and of course the running time of your lamp depended on how much gas you had, but the part I really hated was the ever-so-delicate mantle that would disintegrate with nary a provocation, leaving you blundering around in the dark.
Nowadays there are a range of nifty lamps and mini lamps that run very efficiently on batteries, and these have all but taken over from their archaic counterparts. But batteries also have a finite life!
Enter Goal Zero’s Lighthouse and Lighthouse Mini lanterns. Goal Zero is synonymous with solar power panels, batteries and lighting – they are one of the leading brands worldwide. To tell you about the whole range and what they entail would take up a few pages, but I did manage to test the Lighthouse Mini in the last couple of weeks and found it to be the perfect little lantern to take with on a camping or climbing trip. Definitely bright enough for general camping and light and small enough to find a slot amongst your climbing gear in your rucksack for a trip to Spout Cave. And not only will the Mini give you all the light you need, but it also has a USB power point to recharge your phone, which I found really useful with the despicably bad battery life you get these days with smart phones.
On full brightness, you will get about 4 hours of light, but at dimmer options you can get up to 500 hours (according to the specs). Of course, charging your phone will sap some of that power as well. I know 4 hours doesn’t sound like much, but the Mini works off a single rechargeable Goal Zero battery, the size of a stubby finger, so it is easy to take back-up charged batteries with you.
I also use mine around the braai at home for ambience, and to check that my lamb tjops are done just right.
• Dimmable, Dual LED Light Adjust brightness and direction for extended runtimes
• Fold-down legs for maximum light dispersion
• Built-in hook and magnets for versatile mounting
Run Time: 4–500+ hours
Power Output: USB
Recharge from: USB or Solar (4–6 hours)
Weight: 227 grams