Solar lanterns may resemble regular lanterns but they have at least one definitive advantage over the traditional lanterns - they are solar! That means they are powered by readily available and free energy of the sun. Solar lanterns are generally equipped with brights LED lights, a rechargeable battery, and a solar panel. The operation principle is simple: sunlight charges the rechargeable battery through PV panel then you can use it as long as the battery has enough charge. Solar lanterns especially shine in outdoor settings like camping, for example, where there is no AC power source. The manufacturers of modern solar lanterns have gone a step further and added a USB charging feature. This goes both ways of providing an emergency charging to your handheld devices and charging the lantern's battery if a power source is available. The USB charging feature makes solar lanterns even more versatile for camping, hiking, fishing and so on. Some solar lanterns are even collapsible acting a regular lantern in expanded mode and as a flashlight in collapsed mode. Moreover, it's much more compact in collapsed mode taking small space in your backpack. Then there are more classic-looking solar lanterns that can sit or hang somewhere in your patio, backyard or garden. They look like they're made of a metal with a candlelight inside. In reality, they are not metallic and the light inside is not a candle but a LED lamp while they certainly create that vintage ambient atmosphere. The parts not visible from a distance are the solar panels and the battery. The lights automatically turn on at night and off at dawn so it's really maintenance-free.