Emergency preparedness from a Counterintelligence Agent


Mpowerd Luci inflatable emergency solar lantern review

Mpowerd sent me a Luci inflatable emergency solar lantern to do a review. It has some really strong points and a few weaknesses. - http://graywolfsurvival.com/13389/mpowered-luci-inflatable-solar-emergency-lantern-review/So Mpowerd contacted me the other day and asked if they could send out an inflatable solar lantern for me to take a look at for a review. I do get a lot of these requests but I usually turn them down because I just don’t have the time to look at them all. This one kind of caught my eye though, and I do love solar products.

Essentially, this is a really simple little thing. It’s an inflatable plastic thing about the diameter and height of a DVD. Deflated, it’ll fit in your back pocket.

According to the specs, it’ll run for about 12 hours on normal output after an 8 hour charge and hold a decent charge for a year. It’s only about $15 for the clear version.

What I really like is the simplicity. There’s just a single button on it, a strap on each end, and 10 LED lights inside. It doesn’t weigh very much and flat, it doesn’t take up much room. It could easily be slid into the back of your bug out bag as a backup light that can be a suitable lantern while camping or during an emergency. It’s much more suitable for this than the eartheasy SunBell lamp.

Because it’s inflatable, it’s pretty sturdy. It can be dropped from probably any height and won’t break. Just don’t let your dog around it if it’s inflated. Little Bo-Bo would have a field day popping it.

So how good is it really?

Mpowerd Luci inflatable solar emergency light as a walking lantern

Walking around at night, it’s an ok lantern. It’s not really built for that with spread of light coming from it, but it’s rated at 65 lumens on full power. Lumens, unfortunately, aren’t a reliable measurement of how good a light is for seeing because there really isn’t a good standard that manufacturers go by. But, if you hold it just right, you have no problem walking around in total darkness without bumping into something. You’ll need a flashlight though to see out any distance at all. I don’t see that as a problem as far as I can see though, this wasn’t designed as a flashlight. For that, get a CREE flashlight.

So what about what it was intended for?

The Luci lantern as a camp or emergency lantern

Luci-Inflatable-Solar-LED-Lantern-by-MPOWERD tentMpowerd has designed this thing to be a lantern for off-the-grid people in third-world nations. In fact, you can even go to their website and donate lights for that purpose.

I wanted to see how good this product is for campers and preppers.

I took it out to my RV around midnight to see if it would work in a total power outage situation and I were staying in there instead of my backpacking tent. If it worked there, it would definitely work in a tent.

mpowerd luci solar panel graywolfsurvival reviewI shut off all the lights and kicked the thing on. Right off the bat, there was definitely enough light to walk around with it as a lantern. You have to angle it a bit to get maximum lighting but it works.

I looked around but couldn’t see anywhere I could quickly hang it because the handle straps are flimsy, stretchy plastic and almost flat to the top and bottom. I found a small carabiner I had hanging off a door handle inside, looped it through one of the flat straps, and hung it on the ceiling fan vent above the table. I realize that the straps they have on it make it really flat and keep costs down, but I really don’t think they’ll hold up after being stretched around things to hang them when people don’t have a carabiner lying around.

I reached over for the service manual for my Yaesu FT-857D ham radio that I use as my main radio and sat down to the table to see how easy it is to read. Hey, it’s not Going Home by any stretch of the imagination but I wanted something that’s kinda hard to read to see how it worked.

At first, it was a little hard to read. Not that I couldn’t do it, but it wasn’t exactly comfortable. Part of this is because I had just come in from the house so my eyes weren’t quite adjusted to the light, but I realized the light around the room looked kinda lumpy. I pulled down the Luci lantern and put a bit more air in it until the sides were smooth. That made a big difference. Even without my eyes being fully adjusted, I could read the manual with no problem. After a few minutes, I could have read that thing all night long, hoping not to wake up my neighbors by giggling at the funny parts.

I think it works extremely well as a camp or emergency lantern. It charges with just solar power and lasts for 12 hours on a full charge, so it would be great to have as a backup light for extended power outages. It’s hella cheap compared to a lot of solar lanterns out there. Flashlights are great and all but for moving around your house when the power goes out for an extended period – or a tent or RV off the grid, you really need a lantern.

What about as a bug out bag lantern?

Because it packs flat, it can actually double as a bug out bag lantern – the first one I’ve seen that will do that. This one will be going in my go bag until I redo my bug out bag when my 5.11 Rush 72 backpack comes in.

As camp lighting

mpowerd luci camping lantern reviewI actually think though that it would be a really good thing to have as an around-camp lighting system. They come in a 12 pack of lights for just that purpose. If you were camped out in an area and wanted lighting around your table or to mark your path to/from the latrine, these would be perfect. You just hang them up with some 550 cord and they’ll charge during the day and light your way at night. Again, because it’s waterproof, you wouldn’t have to bring them in if it started raining.

You can also get them in that can change colors (which is the Mpowerd Aura instead of Luci) so you could easily identify which path goes to the latrine, which goes to another camp, or where the door is to your tent or RV. That’s a big help when the weather turns nasty.

Other uses for the lamp

Luci-Aura-_Kids-playing-pool-300x200Because it’s inflatable, they’d be great at home in your pool or hot tub. They’d actually double as a toy for the kids too. And, if you need a gift for someone who has everything on my prepper/camper gifts list, it’s a really inexpensive, useful, and unique gift that they’d not only appreciate – they’d actually use.

Keep in mind that I haven’t had this light for months or used it for an extended period, so I have no idea how well they hold up to actual long-term use, but I think for $15, it’s probably worth the risk.

If you’d like more information, here’s a the Mpowerd Luci lantern technical specs and brochure you can read in addition to the review.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Mpowerd Luci inflatable emergency lantern
Author Rating
5

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About graywolfsurvival.com

I am a former federal agent and military veteran who has deployed to combat theaters in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan and have almost three decades of military and military contracting experience.

My goal is to help families to understand how to intelligently protect their family and their way of life against real threats, without all the end-of-the-world doomsday crap.

Comments

  1. I bought two of these at a gun show and love them. They are bright and easy to deal with. May need a few more for other aspects of our outdoor lives.

  2. The review of the Luci lantern was most amature and incomplete. I already knew that.

  3. Great review!

    I appreciate the feedback about the flat handles. That’s a good head’s up! 🙂

  4. Great review would you happen to know of any Canadian retailers?

  5. I have several of these lights and love them. I first bought 4 and shortly after we had a transformer that blew out one evening, leaving us without lights for several hours. Didn’t know how long it would take and didn’t want to drag out the generator so we just used the new Luci’s. The 4 lights gave us enough illumination for the living area (living room, dining room, kitchen) to be comfortable for the next 3 hours. We even used it as a flashlight of sorts to check on the transformer up the road. (also took along the Fenix just in case). Luci’s also have 3 settings: High, Medium and blinking. After this episode I order 8 more. In the future, as was suggested in the article, this is my Go To gift for everyone. Even the NON preppers in the family. You never know when you need it. Thanks for your hard work and contribution to our preparedness.

  6. Great review. You’re making me want to get some!

  7. I love this- however how the heck do you deflate it. I cant figure it out.

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