The new Lighthouse 250 Lantern from Goal Zero operates under the principle that more is more. Whether used on a camping trip or stashed in the car for night emergencies or power outages, this is one brilliant little invention. The attached USB cable recharges the built-in battery via any USB power source in about 7 hours (wall adapter not included), providing 360 degrees of LED light, for a run time of 21/2 to 24 hours, depending on the brightness setting. A dimmable directional mode, for lighting up a trail or the road ahead, can double the run time. No power outlets around? Charge the really old-fashioned way, using the included hand crank (you'll get 10 minutes of light for every minute of cranking). Add the optional Nomad 7 external Solar Panel and charge via sun power (fully charging takes 7 to 14 hours - may you be so blessed). The lantern is amenable to sharing power, too; a built-in USB port (cable not included) can power up small handheld devices in a pinch. The lantern measures a portable 4.5 by 5 by 6.6 inches, and weighs just a tad over a pound.

Lighthouse 250 Lantern is $79.99; optional Nomad 7 Solar Panel, $79.99; at www.goalzero.com.