Coast Emergency Area Light Review

As a kid, I remember using those gas lanterns powered by propane or white gas.  Someone’s dad would pump up the lantern, light the fragile mantles, and a bright glow would descend upon the campground.

The Emergency Area Light  from Coast Products provides an adjustable brightness like the classic gas-powered ones, but goes a few steps further by adding a steady or blinking red light, a “fuel gauge” to let you know how much battery life you have left, and is completely solid-state. Four D-batteries power white and red LEDs.  No crusty mantles to break. no flammable liquids.

Specs:

  • 125 lumen light output
  • 100 hour runtime
  • Uses (4) D batteries
  • 8.25 inch height
  • 9 high quality LED’s; 1 white, 8 red
  • Push button on/off with VLT Variable Light Technology (dimming) — choose any light level
  • Durable casing
  • Built-in battery life indicator

The box has a flap that opens to reveal the lantern.

Illustration describes the "fuel gauge"

Watch out for the nylon tie wrap that holds the handle to the packaging!

Free at last

Top of the lantern

Battery door is secured by a door that screws shut.

Feeding time! This lantern eats 4 "D" sized batteries.

Under the knob you’ll see an LED “fuel gauge”.  It gives the appearance of having six individual LEDs, but upon closer inspection, there appears to be only three peeking out of six cutouts.

The knob is where all the action is.  You press the center down to toggle the light on and off.  Twisting the knob all the way to the left (counter-clockwise) gives you the brightest light.  Turning it to the right (clockwise) dims the light.

To test the light output, I placed the lantern in a guest bathroom, which is the only room in our place I can get totally dark.

Lantern at full brightness

Lantern at lowest white setting.

The knob has two settings for red: Flashing and steady.  The red is surprisingly bright.

It’s difficult to photograph, but it seems the lantern is powered by one single super-bright LED for the white light, and a circle of bright red LEDs for the red modes.

I have no way to verify if the LED is truly rated at 125 lumens (according to the website) or if it will run 100 hours.  I am assuming the 100 hour rating is derived from the lowest output setting, or even the blinking red mode.  The documentation doesn’t say.

We will be using this for Halloween trick or treating this year!  It definitely grabs your attention in a 360-degree circle!

 

Product Information

Price:$40
Manufacturer:Coast Products
Pros:
  • All solid state. No bulbs or fragile mantles to replace. No flammable fuel.
Cons:
  • Specs don't say how many hours it will run at full brightness. I assume 100 hours comes from the lowest setting. 4 D batteries not included. Does not appear to be water resistant.
Posted in: Outdoor Gear, Reviews

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • jhon November 24, 2010, 1:03 pm

    “Andy Chen on November 24, 2010″

    Then you say:

    “We will be using this for Halloween trick or treating this year!”

    I’m guessing you either wrote 5 or 6 weeks ago — or you mean NEXT year.

    Either way, it looks like a good item — providing the duration of the light. Would you mind killing a set of batteries for us? Let the lamp run from full/new batteries until it dies? Love to see how long they last and see if it’s worth the cost. I know how much a can of propane costs — and how much 4 D batteries cost. If the batteries at least perform ON PAR for duration, it’s worth it…

    Thanks!

  • Andy Chen November 24, 2010, 1:05 pm

    Yup, I wrote this last month. Just got published today it seems. I’ll go try to kill a set of D batteries since I’m home today-tomorrow.

  • Bob Deloyd November 26, 2010, 9:41 pm

    @jhon
    Good catch :)

  • Andy Chen December 3, 2010, 8:22 pm

    So here is what I did. I turned the lantern on full brightness and let it run.

    In 36 hours, the “fuel gauge” finally went down to the middle indicator, from green (full) to orange.

    After 48 hours, that gauge went from orange to red (low).

    It has now been 9 days total this lantern has been on. It is still going, although it’s only bright enough for you to find your glasses next to your pillow if you’re camping.

    In other words, I’d say it puts out good light for about 24 hours and it’ll start getting dimmer. After two days the brightness drops off but will run in this twilight mode for a week, maybe more.

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