Skip to main content

The Luminiser is a lantern that uses a tea candle to power its LED light

Having a proper light source while camping or backpacking is crucial to the outdoor experience, which is why camp lanterns have always been a popular accessory to carry with us on our backcountry adventures. Those lights usually require fuel or batteries to serve as a source of energy, which can become problematic on longer excursions. But a new lantern called the Luminiser powers its internal LED lights using a unique form of energy, potentially changing the lives of those who use it.

The lantern, which recently launched on Kickstarter, collects thermal energy from a simple tea candle and converts it into power that can be used to illuminate its LED bulbs. A single candle will create enough juice to keep the lantern going for five to six hours while creating 15 to 20 times more light than the candle could on its own.

Bjørn Eirik Birkeland, the designer of the Luminiser, tells Digital Trends that he came up with the idea for the lantern more than 1o years ago. “I was so tired of finding lanterns and flashlights with batteries that were either empty or destroyed because of their storage time. It was a problem back home, but also in my cabin in the mountains and on my boat,” Birkeland says. “It has pretty much occupied my life all those years since.”

In the early days, Birkeland  investigated thermoelectric generators (TEGs), but found them to be wildly inefficient. At the years passed however, he developed five different prototypes, with each one improving on the concept and evolving over time. Eventually, the generators caught up to his vision, and gained the ability to actually power the lantern using just the heat from a candle.

“LED´s have become much better and today you only need 1 watt to generate 200-300 Lumens,” Birkeland says. “The timing is now perfect and The Luminiser has now become a really good alternative light source I think.”

Lightweight and compact, the lantern tips the scales at less than one pound and measures 5.5 inches in height with its foldable legs stashed away. That makes it small enough to place inside a backpack for easy transportation to the campsite. Once there, the legs can be folded back into position, extending its height to 9.8 inches, and allowing the lantern to stand on a flat surface.

Luminiser lantern
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When campers are ready to use the Luminisier, they simply light a tea candle and place inside the included glass holder. That apparatus than locks into place on the lantern itself, which begins collecting energy from the heat of the flame within seconds. To turn off the light, simply pull the glass holder out and extinguish the candle.

While the lantern obviously has benefits for outdoor enthusiasts, it can also be used in developing countries where electricity remains at a premium. Tea candles are small, lightweight, and relatively easy to obtain, making the Luminiser a potentially inexpensive and efficient light source for millions of people.

“The greatest advantage of The Luminiser and the tea light candles is there storage life,” Birkeland tells us. “It can be stored for years and years and still work perfect when you really need it.”

If the lantern becomes a success, Birkeland says that he has other ideas on how to leverage this technology. For instance, future models of the lamp may include a USB port to charge a smartphone or he may even create a standalone charger that is also powered by a candle.

For now, he is squarely focused on raising $31,700 on Kickstarter to get the Luminiser into production. If he is successful, Birkeland hopes to begin shipping the LED light in August for $125. However, early bird supporters can order one now for as little as $89.

Find out more on the Luminiser Kickstarter page.

Editors' Recommendations

Kraig Becker
Kraig Becker is a freelance outdoor writer who loves to hike, camp, mountain bike, trail run, paddle, or just about any other…
Goal Zero’s new Skylight is an LED palm tree for emergencies
A Goal Zero Skylight shining LEDs lights into a darkened hallway.

Goal Zero is expanding its lighting range today with a backup LED system called the Skylight. The Goal Zero Skylight is an all-in-one set that includes a 33Wh battery built in and six LED panels that can blast out 6,000 lumens all told.

There are four brightness settings available, if that much light is overkill for your needs, and the panels can angle outwards as needed to cover a larger area. Combined with the 12 feet of telescoping available from the tripod, you can cover quite the range with visibility. A handle with a one-button release allows you to quickly deploy the Skylight for outdoor work or play, and stakes stored in the legs give you the option to keep it in place. A dedicated spool stows the charging cable when you're not using it, and a carrying case is included to store and move the whole kit.

Read more
The best electric bikes for 2023
Aventon Pace 500.3 with rider on it

Whether you're wondering what the fuss is all about with e-bikes, or you're an enthusiast shopping for a new model, the options have never been broader. There is an e-bike for just about anyone who wants to try electric two-wheeling, whether you want to spend $500 or $5,000. Using e-bikes for commuting is an eminently practical and cost-saving alternative form of transport for some people, but most riders choose e-bikes for fun and adventure.

Here are eight of the best e-bikes available today, from our favorite overall pick to more specialized choices for every type of rider, whether you're looking for something fast, portable, and just more affordable.

Read more
The 6 best portable power stations, tested by experts
EcoFlow DELTA 2 on table at campsite for quick charging.

Having some form of backup power is not only going to make your life easier, but it might literally be life-saving, depending on the situation. Luckily, there are a lot of options for it, whether you need something to charge your phone or get your car jump started while being stuck in the middle of nowhere. To that end, we've collected some of the best deals we could find across the board so that you don't have to wade through all the options and retailers to find the best deal for your needs.
The Best Portable Power Stations

Best overall portable power station:
Best portable power station for the campsite:
Best portable power station for the long haul:
Best power station for the mobile professional:
Best portable power station for your car: [/cc-link
Best for smartphones: [cc-link url="" merchant="5b9be81f89f4b3242158adcd" type="textlink" align="default" cta="Anker Power Bank"]

Read more