Portable Power with the Solar Powered Goal Zero Lantern (Review)

Goal Zero just sent us as pretty nifty solar lantern to test out for the summer. The Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 lantern runs on the power of the sun that can charge your portable devices. It’s pretty amazing. It is a small, compact lantern that you can take on the go – camping, biking, hiking, kayaking – or just use it in your backyard. The Goal Zero lantern is also perfect to use when the power goes out – especially good during hurricane season.

Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern Facts:

  • Adjust brightness levels to save on power; maximum run time – 48 hours on low
  • Power up from Goal Zero solar panels, plug into any USB, or turn the crank for light anywhere
  • Boost a tablet or recharge a smartphone to stay connected
  • Legs fold up for easy portability
  • Great for emergencies, adventures or nightstand lighting

Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern Review

The legs fold to make it super compact. The bottoms of the legs are rubberized so they stay in place and keep the lantern from sliding. The whole lantern measures 6″ high with the legs collapsed (10″ with the legs extended). It is smaller than some lanterns but it throws off a lot of light so in this case, the size doesn’t matter.

Watch our 6 second Instagram video to see the Goal Zero lantern in action.

[iframe: src=”//instagram.com/p/omMrDnt4_2/embed/” width=”612″ height=”710″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” allowtransparency=”true”]

Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern Review

The Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 is easy to turn on and off with a turn of the knob and it has multiple levels of light – low, high and turbo. Connect to a Goal Zero Nomad Solar Panel and charge up the Lighthouse 250 in 7 hours of full sun. The Lighthouse 250 has a built-in lithium-ion battery with a shelf life of up to 6 months. It also features a built-in management system with charging and low-battery protection, so you can leave it plugged in until needed.

Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Run Times:

  • One side lit: 48 hours (low), 12 hours (high), 5 hours (turbo)
  • Both sides lit: 24 hours (low), 6 hours (high), 2.5 hours (turbo)
  • Hand crank: 2.2W (cranking at 120 RPM), 1 minute of crank = 10 minutes of light

You know exactly how much power the Goal Zero lantern has by the battery level indicator lights on the front. When you turn the lantern on, the lights appear. They don’t appear when it is in the Off position.

Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern Review

Need to charge up a portable electronic device such as a tablet, smartphone or MP3 player? Use the attached USB cable or plug your existing cable into the USB port. It uses a powerful 4,400 mAh internal battery and a 5-volt USB input that accepts up to 1 amp (5 watts). The output generates up to 1.5 amps (7.5 watts) to power even high-drain devices such as tablets.

The USB cable is kind of short – about 9-1/2″ long – but it works fine to attach most devices. I believe they made it short to make it easy to store on the lantern.

Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern Review

Keep one in your car for emergencies. If you press the red triangle button on the front, flashing red warning lights appear on the top

Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern Review

If there is no sun in sight, use the hand crank on top to get emergency power. The lantern is not meant to fully charge the battery using the hand crank. It’s purpose is to provide enough power for short-term light or for making important phone calls in an emergency.

The Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 lantern received almost 5 full stars on Amazon. Take a look at what others are saying about this nifty lantern.

“I was immediately impressed with the Goal Zero lantern. It’s bright. 250 lumens might not sound like a lot, but it’s pretty good for a lantern and darn good for a rechargeable one. Its design is also very functional. The legs allow for better use on a table and the wire handle allows you to hang the lantern. The latter is especially good for car camping. The handle does not function well, however, as an actual carrying handle. The emergency lights on top are not bright at all and I would say were a waste of effort and function.”

“We have a rustic camping area that has electric available, and has some Christmas light strung around the camp site. Substituting 6 GZ lights running from the Yeti 400 did equally well drawing WAY fewer watts. The Lighthouse 250 also served its function as table lamp, a walk around in the dark lamp, and as a hanging lamp for another area from time to time. It’s run-time was better than 2 1/2 hours over a 4-hour period, most of that time on turbo.”

“The Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 is great little lantern: I highly recommended it for campers and for folks who like to be prepared for power outages. At 1.1 pound, it may be too heavy for many backpackers; however, it would be a great choice for a tent camping, cabin, or boat. It is ideal for in-home portable emergency lighting during a power outage.”

Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern Review


  1. Love this! A must for those living in New England where high winds and flooding can knock our power out for days!


  1. […] that works great as a flashlight and a tabletop lantern and can charge your mobile device, to the Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Solar Lantern which doubles as a lantern, device charger and warning signal and can also be charged with a crank, […]

Leave a Reply to Bonnie Cancel reply