When camping having a good lantern makes cooking and getting around camp and tent at night a lot easier. Over the years I have used many different lanterns and I have had mixed results. Finding a great lantern that is reliable and feature rich can be hard. But the Kelty LumaSpot Rhythm is a full featured lantern with some unexpected features.
The appearance of the lantern looks a lot like other battery operated lanterns that I have used, but that is where it stops resembling other lanterns. Most battery lanterns that I used have one setting and a few have two. The LumaSpot Rhythm is the only lantern that I have used that has 7 light setting. The primary light of this lantern is projected using 1 or 2 LEDs. On the inside of the lantern there is a LED that is located on the top pointing down and the other is on the bottom pointing up. The light goes through a reflector to help disperse the light. But there is a clever design reason behind the top LED. The top portion of the lantern is hinged so you can use it as a spot. This was super convenient when in camp and I needed a little extra direct light. I also have used it while working on a car to give me a good stream of light right where I needed it.
There are two buttons on the front of the lantern that control the different setting of the LumaSpot Rhythm. By a simply pushing one of a button you can switch between the bottom LED (low), both top and bottom (high) and then just the top for the spot. The other button controls 3 other LEDs that change colors and can be used to give some great ambiance lighting. There are 4 settings on these LEDs; red, green, blue and rotating between the colors. My kids love this setting of the lantern. It also makes a great night light for my kids until they went to sleep.
Even though these features stand out from any other lantern that I have used, for me the best feature is the built in speaker. The speaker sounds great and is perfect for tunes while cooking breakfast or when relaxing by the campfire at night. I was a little hesitant when seeing the speaker in the LumaSpot Rhythm thinking that it probably wouldn't sound all that good but I have been impressed. It is clear and loud enough to hear around camp. It comes with a 1/8 inch headphone jack that you simply plug into your phone or MP3 player and you instantly have music.
The speaker feature alone makes this a great deal at $69.95, but you add in some lights and now you have got a whole package. There is a hook that allows you to hang it inside a tent or on a branch. It is also a durable light. My kids did drop it a couple times and one time I was sure it was going to be broken, but to my surprise it keeps on kicking. This lantern does weigh a little more than other lanterns that I have tested, so I wouldn't recommend this for those looking for a lightweight lighting option. The battery life of this lantern seemed really good. I have been pleasantly surprise but how long it is between replacing the batteries. There is also a power meter on it so you can know just how full your batteries are.
Probably the biggest downside to this light and it is with all battery operated lanterns is the brightness. I have never felt like these lights are as bright as a gas lantern. So if you need tons of light you might want to look at a gas model. But the nice thing about battery operated is you do not have to worry about mantles and gas. And if you stumble into my camp one night you will see that I almost always have a battery operated lantern.
The Verdict: The LumaSpot Rhythm lantern is a versatile lantern that is a must have for those that love to camp but hate leaving their music behind. Having multiple lighting options makes this a powerful lantern that will come in handy in many situations. But if your skin curls with the idea of music in the woods, this is probably not the lantern for you. Not that you have to use the speaker but you might as well spend a little less and get a lantern that is just a light. But the LumaSpot Rhythm has turned into our families go to lantern for car camping.
Product provided for free by the manufacturer for review purposes.