“ Gadget „
This product has got to rank as one of my all time favourite buys!
Torches in general are the bane of my life - living on a smallholding with no outside electricity and in an area that is frequently plagued by power cuts, there is nothing more frustrating than finding the batteries on your torch are dead.
Prior to buying the Indigo, I had bought several, no, numerous, cheaper wind-ups and without exaggeration, I confess I managed to break the handles on all of them!
So I then turned to Freeplay.
This version has several benefits in addition to the usual solid construction this company is renowned for:
Firstly it has a small torch light on the front in addition to the main lantern section and both can be used independently of the other.
Although only small, the torch is certainly large enough to see your way with and I use it when I take the dogs for a walk in the early mornings and night-time.
Secondly, it has a mains charger as well, so you aren't limited to just winding up the handle. I've never actually worn the battery down on a mains charge so the torch won't work, so it lasts for hours and hours and hours ... bearing in mind I use it for about an hour in the morning and probably the same in the evenings. During power cuts it has been left on all night and still not so much as dimmed. The manufacturer suggests it lasts for 70 hours before needing a mains re-charge and I won't disagree with them!
I have worn down the battery enough to use up the lantern energy but it has an adjustable dimmer anyway and still lasts me for about 3 days usage before I stick it back on charge whether it needs it or not.
Even in wind-up mode, the light just lasts and lasts, although if you use the lantern on its highest setting it will drain the battery a lot quicker.
To give you an example of the brightness of the lantern with its LED cluster - when I bought mine I asked, obviously as many people do, 'Can you milk a goat by it?' Well I can answer that one now with certainty, yes you can! Even on one of the lowest lantern settings I have no problem at all in milking and feeding the goats.
Now I do appreciate that not everybody lives in a situation similar to mine, but if you are looking for a reliable standby torch, walk dogs in an unlit area, need to keep one in the car, go camping, or are just worried about power cuts, then I can't recommend this highly enough.
This is the second winter I've owned mine and it is still unscathed, which, going by my track record, is pretty much an achievement! The lantern itself is solid and much of it rubberised and it is water resistant - however, although it will stand being taken out in the rain, please note you shouldn't drop it in a bucket of water ... it stops working, but, bless it, after a couple of days drying slowly by the side of the radiator, it kicked into life yet again.
This lantern has nine lives!
It costs around the £25 mark plus postage, but do check to see if you get the mains adapter with it or have to purchase it as an extra - mine came as the complete package.
There are other lanterns a bit more expensive and certainly those that are cheaper, but I've never had a cheap one that has managed to keep up with my outdoor lifestyle!
3 hours of shine time with 60 seconds of wind-up / Brightness adjuster switch to maximise your shine time / When fully charged shines for up to 40 hours / Never replace a battery or light bulb.