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New LED lights can illuminate the dark with focused beams that project for hundreds of feet or flood a wide area with plenty of light for camp cooking, backyard play, or emergencies during a storm. But there are so many LED lights out there, it’s hard to know which one to choose. When you’re ready to step up to a brighter, more efficient flashlight, lantern, or ceiling lamp, consider these three things before you buy.

This powerful beam has different settings to conserve power. OYOCO

As LED technology improves, it’s being paired with existing lantern and lamp designs to create a light that’s brighter and more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. Round umbrella lights that snap around patio umbrellas are a great way to light a table when its dark. You can also suspend the same light over a craft table, a workbench, or inside a camping tent to light up the entire space for reading at night or getting dressed in the morning.

This device is rated IPX4 and can withstand harsh conditions. Lighting EVER

Every house should have several small, easily portable LED lights for emergencies or when the power goes off. Often called “hurricane lights” or “survival lamps,” these units can illuminate an entire room until a storm passes and power is restored, and they serve double duty as great camping and porch lanterns. Look for models that can both sit on a tabletop and suspend from the top and the bottom of the housing for maximum utility.

This product is tough enough to handle a 10-foot drop. GearLight

A handheld LED flashlight is an awesome lighting tool because it packs so much lighting power—enough to light up objects a quarter-mile away—in one simple, easy-to-use device. Make sure your flashlight has a tailcap power button. It not only prevents a light from accidentally turning on in a pack or pocket but allows you to pulse the light off and on to save battery life.