Everyone remembers those cool little candle lanterns we used as kids, with the glass windshield that collapsed down into an aluminum candle holder, with the flip up handle? A lot has changed since we backpacked with candles (sounds funny to say out loud), and 45 years after its Original Candle Lantern hit the market, heritage lighting brand UCO is introducing a slightly more advanced collection of outdoor lighting accessories, part of what the brand is calling the “new elevated standard” in outdoor lighting.
Cascadian born in 1971, UCO (pronounced “you-co”) sells heat, light, and power camping essentials including the Original Candle Lantern, LED lighting, stormproof matches, StakeLights and portable grills. Today UCO is a division of Industrial Revolution, Inc., a Seattle-based company that manufactures and distributes products for outdoor enthusiasts globally.
The new UCO collection of LED-based lanterns are easy to pack, simple to place and cast a wide, adjustable dome of light. The only complaint here is that they are not rechargeable via USB. All of the standard versions are battery powered. A few of these will be offered in a “plus” version (Madrona+, Sitka+ and Rhody+), and these will double as recharging stations with a USB port and rechargeable lithium ion batteries.
The Elevated Light collection is designed to raise your light source overhead to mimic indoor lighting, and prevent the glare and narrow circles of light associated with eye-level lighting around a picnic table at a campsite. A “Wrap, Connect, Lift” system features shock cord mounts that wrap high around branches, bars or guy lines.
There are also magnetized models and table-top lanterns with extension necks to lift light up over late-night backgammon games. In the Lift line, the new Sitka lantern (pictured) raises a Super Bright LED light source from 12.5” to 26” with its extendable arm increasing the lighting area by four times, according to the brand. Raise the extension arm for reduced glare and fewer shadows, or keep it collapsed for softer, diffused lighting. The Sitka also features an infinity dial for a customized glow, as well as a leather carrying handle.
Other options in the Wrap product line include the Leschi and Hyak lanterns, both of which collapse into flashlights and feature a patented shock cord mounting system. The Leschi is compact and lightweight at 1.6 oz. and 110 lumens that project up to 400 feet. One AA battery powers it for four hours.
The Hyak is slightly larger and brighter at 180 lumens. It features four lighting modes and in an industry first — a can and bottle mount system that lets you snap it onto the top of your beer or soda.
In the Connect line, the Madrona (pictured above) is a 300 lumen lantern that includes a removable magnetic puck and hanging cord in the base for quick and versatile attachment. Place the Madrona on a picnic table for traditional use or elevate it from a tent or tree, and dial in your lighting with an infinity dial.