Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.
Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Etekcity’s 4 Pack of LED Lanterns. These things are an incredible value and are the result of a lot of research. I have previously reviewed The Streamlight Siege Lantern. And I still think it is the highest quality LED lantern on the market.
It is also 26-114 dollars based on the options you pick. Even at the lowest priced option if you wanted one for every room of a 8 room house, you are looking at 200 bucks. Frankly for this type of thing, it is over kill. I wanted an affordable solution for every room lighting during an extended blackout.
I started looking around and dozens of companies are marketing these little pop up lanterns with minor differences. The housings are almost identical. Some are very inexpensive and some cost almost as much as The Siege, none are as good though.
Well I love Etekcity which has a lot of really cool stuff much of which I have reviewed in the past like their Thermal Gun, Power Failure Lights and Remote Control Electrical Outlets. So I checked and they have this four pack for only $22.99 with free shipping. This pack is an Amazon best seller with over a 4000 reviews and an average of 5 stars.
But I always check the one star reviews before picking an item. Many times you can tell said reviews are written by idiots. In this case, however; they bothered me. Almost all of them say they got one that didn’t work out of the box and then never worked again. So I began checking other options, heck it is almost like ever single brand of these things are clones. They all have great reviews, a few bad reviews and all the different ones have almost the exact same complaint, dead on arrival or after one use.
So I contacted Etekcity who has great service and said basically that it is understandable at this price point and selling so many a few will have problems, but what is your return/replacement policy and this is what I got back in return, within an hour by the way!
Thank you for reaching out to us and thank you for all the feedback we appreciate it. Honestly we sell hundreds if not a thousand of these lanterns a day and we do have problems with them, they are not perfect.
Typically the main issue is a little toggle switch in the base that likely during shipping breaks unfortunately and once in awhile the top of the lantern is cracked or loose again probably due to shipping.
Once the lantern makes it to the customer and they arrive in good order we never hear from the customer because they seem to not fail with normal use.
We usually only hear from the customers the moment they open the package and find the damage and then we immediately send out a replacement and then all lanterns come with a 1 year warranty.
These are not the worlds greatest lantern but for around $6 each, they are one of amazons best sellers and we think for the price they are the best around.
Okay so every single one of those one star reviews are people that simply could have gotten a free replacement, on a $5.75 product? Honestly this is why I have recommended so many things from Etekcity.
Talk about honesty in a nut shell they said, “hey look when you sell this many products of this type some will have problems, but we stand by and replace them”, what more could you ask for for about 6 bucks?
With that I was sold, I got two sets, we have them in our black out kits and if one fails, I don’t care I have 8! That said all of mine have worked just fine and were in perfect shape when they got here. But this was important to me, I wanted to be sure that if you did have a problem, Etekcity would fix it and I wanted to give you a lot cost option for back up lighting. And hey even at this stupid cheap price, batteries are included! Please consider that even cheap ass Rayovac Batteries are about 8 bucks for a 12-Pack.
And these do that, they will give you 12 full hours of light off three measly AA batteries. So to me at the cost and for what they do this is the best deal in back up LED lighting for your house and your BOK (Black Out Kit). So I really recommend you pick up at least one Etekcity’s 4 Pack of LED Lanterns if you don’t have that base covered already. They seem like a cool gift idea as well.
Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.
P.S. – I have noticed a few negative reviews complaining of leaking batteries ruining these lanterns. Here is my rule for batteries, never store them in your devices for long periods of time. I don’t care if the device is expensive or cheap, I don’t care of the batteries are generic or top brand, just don’t do it.
We keep flashlights (mostly D-Cell Maglites) around the house, we use them all the time. Used devices never seem to have this problem. When they start to weaken we replace them.
In our BOK we keep our devices and with them a ziplock bag with 4 sets of batteries per device in the bag. We use our power failure lights and flashlights to retrieve our BOK and simply put the batteries in at that point and time.
Note that it is true that battery manufacturers are required by law to replace any device that leaking batteries destroy. That doesn’t help in the middle of a black out though does it? Simply put any device that is not used often, take the batteries out of it, store them with it and save yourself the headache.
P.S.S. – Since I first reviewed this item in 2016 we have sold hundreds of them, given they are four packs that is thousands of individual lanterns. Total complaints I have received in that time is zero. I still have 8 of these as does my son, they all work and never seem to run out of battery life. They do now have a new model with a “dimmer switch” which should extend battery life even further.
This set is 28.99 a four pack and has the same warranty. I don’t have any experience with it and I do have to say two things. Given the company and all their other products it should be great. That said when you add something to an electronics board, it isn’t really an add, it is a complete “respin” in other words a new product. So you can’t expect that it will be just as good or better, it might be but it is in the end a new product.