Doing stuff outdoors is fun. Doing stuff outdoors at night without proper lighting, on the other hand, not so much. Whether that’s preparing food for cooking, reading a book, or cleaning your hunting rifle, a camp lantern or a work light can make a huge difference in convenience. And while there are plenty of choices for both, we’re really fond of MESA’s sleek and original design.
Designed to function more as a desk lamp than a traditional task light or camp lantern, the device hovers above whatever it is you’re working on, beaming light down to the table to let you see things clearly. Whether you’re jotting down ideas on a notebook, slicing food ingredients on a chopping board, or fixing a broken gadget, this thing will readily illuminate the work area to keep everything visible. That makes it useful not just when spending the night outdoors, but also when requiring brighter illumination while working indoors.
MESA is a compact bar that measures 13 x 2 inches (length x width), with 40 separate LEDs on the underside ready to illuminate your work area. It comes with a quartet of legs that attach to each of the corners, raising the LED array to a height of 11 inches and giving you room to work right beneath it. According to the outfit, this setup helps eliminate shadows while providing even and diffused lighting throughout its entire length. Do note, the illumination is focused on the area right below the LED array, so it eliminates glare while maximizing visibility. On the downside, this makes it less viable for use if you’re working with larger objects that won’t fit underneath it.
It uses 90+ CRI LEDs with a color temperature of 2700K, which the outfit describes as a warm and natural color similar to architectural lighting. Three light settings are available (low, medium, and high), with the rechargeable battery lasting for up to 50 hours on low, 24 hours on medium, and 12 hours at full illumination.
MESA is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum, so it’s both durable and lightweight, with a non-corrosive anodized finish that should hold up to many years of use. Since it’s designed for outdoor use, it complies with IPX5 rating for water- and dust-resistance, ensuring it retains its function no matter what the elements throw its way.
While it’s not quite small enough for keeping in your pocket, removing the legs allows it to collapse into an accompanying bag that you can keep in your backpack’s side pouch. That makes it quite the portable tool (especially at the 15-ounce weight), making it ideal for bringing along when hiking, camping, or spending extended time outdoors. The size should also be ideal for keeping in glove compartments, drawers, and other small storage spaces, allowing you to find different uses for it as the need comes up. It comes in two finishes: matte silver and matte black.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for MESA. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $99.