Retro camping lantern concept gives the gas lamp a modern, playful flair

With the rising interest in camping and other outdoor activities, there is also a rising need for safer and more sustainable solutions to common problems like outdoor lighting, off-grid power, and reliable shelter. There is no shortage of portable power stations now available in the market, and you’ll often come across innovative tent designs that take into account modern needs and conveniences. But when it comes to lighting, most of the products still follow the same old design patterns. Rugged and durable, they definitely are, but they also tend to be lifeless and uninspiring, the complete opposite of what time outdoors is supposed to bring. This lamp concept design tries to make that experience a little bit more fun while still delivering much-needed light, and it takes inspiration from objects that have long been in use, some even hailing back centuries past.

Designer: Yu Dan (0-1 Design Studio)

There are few things that immediately illicit images of spending time outdoors than an old gas lantern. These clunky metal vessels have been used by our ancestors to make the night less daunting and make life more bearable when the light and warmth of the sun are long gone. Of course, this kind of lamp is not only outdated but also dangerous, but we, fortunately, have plenty of technologies available to simulate both the appearance as well as the emotions generated by this artifact of a bygone era.

The camping lantern concept is a modern take on several antiquated lantern designs, both those using kerosene as well as those that employ candles. Instead of these fire hazards, however, it uses rechargeable lights, presumably LEDs, in a circular tube hidden at the bottom and top sections of the lamp. The “cover” of the lamp also takes inspiration from the wide-brimmed hats of ancient swordsmen from East Asian countries, which happens to also be similar to how the traditional gas lanterns look as well.

The effect of having candles is provided by a modular lighting design in the shape of low cylinders that can be stacked on top of each other to increase their brightness. The “candles” can also be used independently, in case you need a softer glow away from the lantern. Both light tubes and candles give off a warm, yellow light that sets the perfect mood at night while also providing enough light for reading. As a bonus, the lantern’s battery can also be used to charge other devices, though care should be taken not to drain it completely before the sun rises again.

Truth be told, the concept is a simple re-imagination of the iconic shape of a gas lamp, but it’s that simplicity that also makes its application and effect more diverse. The form immediately calls to mind the old frontier days portrayed in many TV shows and films, but its functionality is completely immersed in the demands of modern life. Best of all, it makes spending the night outdoors a little bit more interesting if not dramatic, silently keeping you company as you watch the fireflies dance in the darkness.