Wind-Up and Solar-Powered Lanterns


Here are some lanterns that can be charged via the sun or via human power. Freeplay’s Indigo is a well-designed, rugged lantern. It’s one of those products that, when you hold it, feels extremely solid. This lantern shines with a cluster of seven bright LED bulbs. It won’t brighten a room, but at full power, it provides good illumination. It has a built-in Ni-MH rechargeable battery. The battery can be charged via two power sources — AC  power, and by hand cranking it. A 60 second wind will provide up to 2 hours of light in the lowest setting or 5 minutes at maximum brightness.

The lantern has a dimmer, which reduces the output to that of nightlight. It also has a task light, which is a thin beam that’s angled downward, making it more convenient to use for reading. It won’t replace a good flashlight, but can be used in a pinch. Weighing just under one pound, the Indigo is easy to transport and provides up to 70 hours of light on the lowest setting with a fully charged battery. Freeplay’s Indigo is available from Amazon for about $35.


Here are two lanterns by Global Marketing Technologies that can be charged via built-in solar power, AC power or DC power. The yellow lantern is a “motion activated” solar lantern, and the silver one incorporates an AM/FM radio with weather channels. They both use 9W fluorescent bulbs for illumination, and have a built-in rechargeable 6V seal lead acid battery. But note, because the solar panels are so compact, it takes about 8 hours of charging in bright sunlight to get 3 hours of power.

The Solar Rechargeable Lantern With Motion Activation is also available from Amazon for about $80.

Another solar lantern is the Wagan — it’s less powerful but less expensive than the lantern above, and it is available from Amazon for $30.

Check out this smaller Wind-Up Tent Lantern for camping.

4 thoughts on “Wind-Up and Solar-Powered Lanterns”

  1. Please sender me more information about your product or introduce me to the manufacfurer of the product for business partnership or agent to represent you in nigeria to market this product
    Joshua Oni

  2. I found one of these by chance at my local Target a few days ago. It had a clearance sticker on it that showed the original price as $35.99, but it was marked down to $8.98. Since I’d been wanting to try a Freeplay light for a while, I figured this was my chance and grabbed it.

    Checked the box to make sure the AC charger was in there, along with the instruction booklet–’cause, seriously, that’s one heck of a markdown and it’s still on for the original price. Brought it home, charged it up.

    I’ve played with it some since charging it, but I’m practically itching for a power outage now to test it out properly. Spring and summer weather here will almost guarantee that I’ll get a chance at some point. In the meantime, I’m using it around the house where I’d normally use a regular flashlight, to save batteries.

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