We have all been there at some point in our life. You’re sitting in your recliner enjoying your favorite show on the television or sitting down to dinner with family after a long day’s work. The lights flicker a couple of times and suddenly you are plunged into darkness. You wait for a few seconds holding your breath…nothing. Seconds turn into minutes…still nothing. Reality begins to set in. The questions start circling around in your head. What happened? How long is the power going to be out? For me, it was Hurricane Charlie in 2004. I went five days without power… and I was one of the lucky ones. Being able to restore a sense of normalcy in short order is critical, especially if you have children or elderly in your household. The first thing that most of us will turn to is lighting. Lighting calms people down in a stressful situation. It also provides the means for us to address other issues at hand.
I have addressed many basic emergency lighting options in my video here. Today, I want to talk about one option specifically…The Streamlight Siege LED Lantern. When looking for an emergency lighting option I need something that is quality made, rugged, versatile, and most importantly, affordable. The Streamlight Siege is all of these and more. It is available in 2 configurations, “3-AA” and “3-D” alkaline battery powered, both models utilizing C4 LEDs. The “3-AA” model has one white LED (high, medium, and low modes) and 2 red LEDs (steady and SOS modes). The “3-D” model has 4 white LEDS (high, medium, and low modes) and 1 red LED (steady and SOS modes). Both models provide 360 degrees of soft, even light that will illuminate a large area.
The first characteristic that I look for in a product that I am going to depend upon is quality. When you hold the Siege in your hand you can see and feel the quality. All parts are well engineered and fit tightly, with no slop if you shake the lantern violently. The fact that the Siege carries a limited lifetime warranty speaks volumes.
Next, I look for ruggedness. The body of the lantern itself is made of a durable polymer that has a very solid feel to it. The top of the lantern and the base both have a rubber molding on them. There is also a rubber molding around the center of the base providing for a solid grip. These rubber moldings help to protect the lantern in the event that is dropped or knocked over. Together, these features contribute to the Siege’s 2m impact resistance.
The power button/battery level indicator is recessed to prevent accidental activation and changes colors from green to yellow to red to flashing red as the batteries reach the end of their useable life cycle. The Siege will also float in water as long as its globe is attached and has an IPX7 waterproof rating to 1m submersion. An O-ring installed on the globe where it screws into the base prevents water from entering the globe. It also has an O-ring on the battery compartment where the cap screws on to the base. These features are important to me because I also use my lantern when fishing at night. Anyone who knows me, knows that Murphy will make an appearance at some point. This lantern will end up in the water, it is only a matter of time.
My next prerequisite is versatility. Can I use it for more than one thing or for different activities? The answer is yes. As previously mentioned, it is waterproof, so it lends itself well to activities that may expose it to water. For emergency situations, it is important for me to have a light that is adaptable. The Siege is definitely that. You can hang it right side up using its integrated metal D-ring on top of the lantern (The AA battery model does not have this feature). You can hang it upside down, with or without the globe, using its integrated D-ring on the base.
The D-rings are spring loaded and store securely against the lantern in a recessed pocket. The lantern’s handle is designed so that it can hang on just about anything….nails, hooks, limbs, ropes, cables, pipes, door jambs, etc. It is also spring loaded and folds down to store against the lantern when not in use. These features make it suitable for use in just about any situation, whether it’s hunting, fishing, camping, emergency, or just getting to the bathroom in the middle of the night without ending up lying face first on the floor because you tripped on your daughter’s favorite toy…Been there, done that!
Finally, I look at affordability. I have a rule of thumb in my household, 1 lantern per person. This ensures there is no fighting over lights, adding to an already stressful situation. Currently, the 3-D cell model can be had for around $36 and the 3-AA cell model for around $29. According to the manufacturer, the 3-D cell model will run for 30 hours at 340 lumens in the white/high mode, 70 hours at 175 lumens in the white/medium mode, 295 hours at 33 lumens in the white/low mode, 235 hours at 10 lumens in the red/high steady mode, and 430 hours at 10 lumens in the red/SOS mode. According to the manufacturer, the 3-AA cell model will run 7 hours at 200 lumens in the white/high mode, 15.5 hours at 100 lumens in the white/medium mode, 37 hours at 50 lumens in the white/low mode, 192 hours at .7 lumens in the red/steady mode, and 288 hours in the red/SOS mode. The fact that you can get these kinds of numbers out of a lantern with 3 batteries is incredible!
Gone are the days of battery and bulb eating incandescent and fluorescent lanterns! Extend your savings even further by using rechargeable batteries. Taking into account all of the characteristics of The Siege, this definitely puts it in the “affordable” category. You don’t always have to buy the best, but buy the best that you can afford. One day you may have to depend on your lantern and it needs to perform. In my opinion, The StreamLight Siege Lantern fits the bill. WHEN THE TIME COMES, BE PREPARED, NOT SCARED!