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Images and text by Gabrielle.

Energizer just came out with a new line of LED flashlights (Did you know they made products beyond batteries? I had no idea!), and they sent me 3 different options to try out with my family. I was pretty jazzed about the flashlights because I’ve been actively trying to figure out how to use the plentiful outdoor spaces The Treehouse has to offer — and lighting is for sure a key ingredient.

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When the box arrived, Maude helped me open it and check out the flashlights, then the other kids wandered in and we explored the flashlight features a bit. They’re each unique — one has feet, another has two different light panels, one collapses very small, one can expand and light up a big space, etc. While we were experimenting, I asked the kids what they might use these for.

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Ralph and Olive grabbed the Two-in-One Flashlight and started exploring our jungle-like yard. Ralph would hold it as a traditional flashlight, or if he wanted to illuminate a bigger area so Olive could see better, he’d use the 2nd light panel.

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At one point, they used the tripod legs to set it on branch, shining ahead of them, so that they could explore hands free.

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Maude picked up the Pop Up Lantern and went outside to a favorite reading spot. She hung the light from a branch above her head and read through the sunset.

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When it was even darker, she moved the light to the arm of her chair.

I think this is my favorite of the lights we tried. It has a built-in dimmer, and I like that it collapses and takes up so little space when it’s not being used. I especially like that it offers a big amount of light, but it’s lightweight and much smaller than a traditional lantern — so you can hang it easily.

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Oscar, Betty and June used the Folding Lantern for shadow-dancing in the hallway. Is shadow-dancing a thing at your house, too? It’s a favorite activity after pjs have been put on and before bedtime stories — a great way to run out excess energy at the end of the day.

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The first time we discovered shadow-dancing was back in New York, with our car-headlights against the garage door, and a song blasting from the car radio. But indoor versions are even easier, and they work in any season! We found the Folding Lantern to be perfect for illuminating a big area — I was surprised at how powerful it was, especially considering it has a very compact size.

I’d love to hear: Are you using any LED lights at your house? I’ve become an LED fangirl over the last couple of years — they’re so long-lasting and relatively non-fragile. In France, about 90% of the holiday lights sold in stores are LED. I’m assuming that over the last two Christmases it’s become the same here, but I’ll be curious to see come December.

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