Trevor Baylis is one of the greatest modern inventors. Creator of the wind up radio, the developing world has benefited greatly and what has followed is a slew of wind up products. I’ll always remember the wind up Eco Media Player the most though, mainly for this awful video below. It’s almost painful to watch, but I still love the idea of his products and his vision.
The Eco Lantern is designed for camping trips where you don’t have easy access to mains electricity. A one minute wind will give 20 minutes of light from the five bright LEDs in the lantern. And it really does work, wind away for a minute and switch it on. The light is indeed bright and white. Although it wasn’t as bright as I expected, that was until I turned it upside down. Hanging it from the loop (an additional ‘S’ shape hook is included and you can also slip it onto a screw or nail) and the illumination seems much greater.
Pressing the on button for a second time switches off the white LEDs and illuminates two orange LEDs on a strip around the outside of the lantern. These are called the ‘night lights’ and give off a soft glow. At first I thought these were too soft and pretty useless, but when using it in a confined space the light is actually quite nice and works as described.
The only gripe I have is that a mains charger isn’t included. There is a car charger, which will fully charge it in three hours but what if you go to your camping trips on public transport and want to charge it before you leave? The winding action is housed in the base and a minute of winding is easy enough. When you haven’t used it for a long it suggests a three minute charge and that is a little tougher. My arm started to ache a little doing that, which I put down to lack of going to the gym, so I’ll suggest passing it around to your camping buddies.
Available from Ethical Superstore, the Trevor Baylis Eco Lantern costs £21.95.