6 Best Solar Powered Lanterns | 2021 (Rankings & Reviews)

Whatever your interests are, whether you’re an active outdoor trekker or a doomsday survivalist, you may be looking for one of the best solar lanterns on the market. Solar lanterns are an excellent alternative to standard battery-powered lights because of their versatility and environmental friendliness. Rather than relying on flashlights, spotlights, or last-resort cellphone lighting, solar lanterns can readily be utilized in their place.

There is no better product on the market when it comes to disaster preparedness. These useful instruments require only a small amount of direct sunlight and very little upkeep, and they can last for several years. Many purchasers keep them in their go-bags in case of a natural disaster, or they store them in an easily accessible location in their car in case of a breakdown. Others use them to add a splash of color to a summer BBQ or a dreary corridor.

Whatever your needs, selecting the most appropriate model can be a daunting endeavor due to the large number of available models on the market. There is definitely something for everyone, ranging from foldable or inflatable lanterns to 100 percent waterproof models to portable charging outlets. To help you with this, we’ve put together a list of the absolute best solar lanterns for you to peruse below.

6 Best Solar Lanterns

Ranking Name Battery Life Design Features Lumens Purpose Review Price
#1 LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lanterns 24 hours Inflatable, portable, waterproof, 5 brightness settings 75 Multi-use: camping, emergencies, swimming Read Review See Price on Amazon
#2 TomCare Solar Lights Solar Lanterns Dancing Flame 10 hours Flickering flame, hanging ring and clamp, waterproof, auto on/off 40 Decorative: indoor, outdoor Read Review See Price on Amazon
#3 EACHPOLE, 3-Pack, Outdoor Camping LED Lantern 12 hours Solar or battery charge, functions as a USB power bank, all-terrain, collapsible, portable 146 Multi-use: camping, emergencies Read Review See Price on Amazon
#4 Solar Mason Jar Lights, 4 Pack 20 Leds 8-12 hours Creative design, can work with any mason jar, waterproof, auto timer 43 Decorative: indoor, outdoor Read Review See Price on Amazon
#5 Bolt Lite, Solar Rechargeable LED Lantern 10 hours Portable, collapsible, solar or USB charging, functions as USB power bank, 3 light modes 65 Multi-use: camping, emergencies, outdoor patio Read Review See Price on Amazon
#6 Outdoor Solar Lanterns Lamps – 2 Pack Tabletop Filament LED Edison Bulbs 7 hours Vintage design, top hook, waterproof, dustproof 6 Decorative: indoor, outdoor Read Review See Price on Amazon

Finding A Solar-Powered Lantern That Fits Your Needs

Each buyer has a distinct set of requirements. The expectations of someone who is seeking for a product that they can take on an RV vacation will be different from the standards of someone who is looking to take their lantern on a rock climbing expedition. Before purchasing a high-quality solar lantern, it is critical that you carefully evaluate your own preferences, the location in which you live, and the reason for why you require one.

What will you be using it for?

When it comes to selecting the best solar-powered lantern, one of the most important considerations is the anticipated use. For the most part, you’ll need to select how and where you’ll be utilizing your lantern before you get started.

Types of purposes:

  • Decoration (indoor or outdoor)
  • Camping
  • Practical lighting for patios or gardens
  • Emergencies

For people who intend to use their lantern for rough outdoor activities such as camping, trekking, or extreme sports, a model that is lightweight, long-lasting, waterproof, and strong is the best option for them.

Some people, on the other hand, may be considering preserving their lantern in case of an emergency in the future. In the event of a natural disaster or a power outage, a long-lasting, collapsible lantern with additional characteristics is recommended.

Included in these characteristics can be power bank USB connections for charging cellphones, different charging options to prepare for storage or when sunlight is scarce, and carrying straps or attachments that make it easy for users to tow and use as a pseudo flashlight.

Decorative solar lanterns are all you need if all you want is something to brighten up your outdoor area with a little extra illumination. Not all lanterns are suitable for hands-on activities; some are simply decorative items to be used as an accent.

In your search for a beautiful decorative lantern, look for a sturdy model that will not fall apart during the first rainstorm or backyard festival. It is preferable if your lantern has auto-on and auto-off functions, as this will allow you to save energy, headache, and time.

What type of environment will it be exposed to?

It is possible that your lantern will be exposed to a range of environmental conditions, including water, wind, dust, or frost depending on your intended application. Depending on the element, it will have a distinct effect on the lantern, and if you are not careful, it could do considerable harm.

The majority of lanterns are built to withstand the rigors of everyday use in the outdoors. Small amounts of rain and dirt or dust are included, but not necessarily flooding or frequent tumbles are also included.

Camping trips, hiking excursions, emergency scenarios, or any other harsh weather conditions should necessitate the procurement of a lantern that is certified waterproof and constructed of durable plastic or vinyl, rather than glass, to ensure that the lantern will not break.

For the purposes of placing your lantern in the garden for summer barbecues, you are unlikely to require anything other than water-resistance from your lantern. However, if you live in a cold area with frequent frosts and intend to leave your solar lanterns out all of the time, it is important to realize that not all solar lanterns are designed to resist temperatures as high as those mentioned. In addition, because solar panels are extremely sensitive to temperature fluctuations, it is critical that you choose a model that will not fracture or fail in below-freezing temperatures.

Selection Criteria: How We Ranked the Best Solar Lanterns

Battery Life

When it comes to the battery life of solar-powered devices, the longer the battery life, the better. You must rely on the sun’s natural energy as a power source because most lanterns are not designed to be put into a wall outlet and recharged at any time. This implies that if your solar lantern can only function for a few hours on a full charge, multiple days of overcast weather could result in a completely depleted battery.

Realistically, the battery life of a solar lantern is roughly 8-10 hours, despite the fact that several brands offer a substantially longer battery life. Fortunately, there are numerous dependable choices that can illuminate for up to 24 hours straight, but they are few and far between. At the typical rate, a quality lantern should be able to provide illumination throughout the night and then recharge completely the following day.

Design Features

Sunlight-powered lanterns have advanced to the point of creativity, with many versions now boasting a slew of additional features like as solar power banks, waterproof casings, and a variety of lighting settings. And, depending on your requirements, these could be really beneficial.

In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, design is also functional. Despite the fact that you may be searching for something functional to utilize in an emergency situation, there is no reason why it cannot also be visually appealing. In terms of functionalism and aesthetics, the ideal solar lantern strikes a healthy mix, making it a versatile alternative for individuals looking to illuminate a garden area or prepare for power disruptions.

Lumens

For those unfamiliar with scientific terminology, lumens are a unit of measurement used to measure brightness. Solar lanterns with LED bulbs, which naturally generate a brilliant white light, are the most common type of solar lantern.

Those looking for a warm ornamental accent for atmosphere, on the other hand, may not want a super bright light that blinds guests at a dinner party, for example. As a result, the ideal lumen output is completely depending on the interests of the buyer. In general, the best solar lanterns have a minimum of 5 lumens for ornamental purposes and a minimum of 40 lumens for practical purposes.

Here’s a quick way to convert lumens to watts:

  • 5 lm = .08 W
  • 15 lm = .25 W
  • 30 lm = .5 W
  • 50 lm = .8 w

Practicality

When it comes to practicality ratings, all of the other variables are combined to form a single distinct category. When evaluating a new model, the battery life, charging time, lumen output, design, accessories, and material are all taken into consideration, among other things.

Naturally, the most practical option for a camper is drastically different from the most practical option for a homeowner wishing to illuminate their swimming pool at nighttime. As previously stated in the preceding paragraphs, the feasibility of a solution is based on its application.

Material

Solar lanterns, like many other economically cost outdoor home goods, are typically composed of plastic, as is the case with other similarly priced outdoor home goods. Because solar lanterns are frequently used in wet or dusty environments, this is an excellent material for solar lanterns. Plastic is robust to such settings and can typically tolerate changes in weather as well as constant transit.

Cheap plastic materials, on the other hand, are prone to damage and may expose the sensitive solar panel or fragile wiring to the weather, causing them to fail. Once this occurs, the lamp will almost certainly become unsalvageable.

When it comes to ornamental lanterns that will be set in a backyard, a glass alternative may be an excellent choice. These are more aesthetically pleasing, less likely to be harmed by erosion or decay, and can resist a significant amount of environmental degradation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the average lifespan of a solar lantern?

The lamp should continue to perform properly for several years as long as the body is constructed with quality materials. In general, most solar panels have a lifespan of approximately 2 years. It is possible to extend the life of a panel with adequate patience and care, such as cleaning and storing it indoors during inclement weather.

The LED bulbs contained within the lantern, on the other hand, have a lifespan of up to 30 years. Fortunately, several excellent models come with warranties, some of which are up to three years long, allowing you to replace your lantern if it begins to malfunction.

Can the lanterns use regular batteries as well?

Solar lanterns, by their very nature, are intended to be powered solely by the sun’s energy. It is sufficient to simply set lanterns with solar panels mounted to their roof in a sunny location until the battery is fully charged. Essentially, this environmentally benign method of creating electric power does not necessitate the use of an external power source.

Some recent models avoid this typical technique by including alternate charging alternatives, such as AC adapters, USB ports, or ordinary battery packs, in addition to the standard charging connector. Product manufacturers can address a wide range of needs by providing consumers with a selection of options.

It should be mentioned that they are the exception rather than the rule in this situation. Models such as the Solar Mason Jar Lights and the Bolt Lite are among those we’ve identified that provide such an option.

What happens to a solar lantern if you get it wet?

Due to the fact that solar lanterns are intended to be used as outdoor lights, the majority of models are certified waterproof or, at the absolute least, water resistant, depending on the manufacturer. Light rain, dew in the morning, pool splashes, and garden watering will not harm your solar-powered lantern.

However, not all lanterns are designed to withstand prolonged exposure to water, such as that caused by flooding, storms, or submersion. For the most part, if you live in a tropical area with frequent severe rains (on the monsoon scale), it is critical that you bring your lights indoors when they are not in use to prevent them from becoming damaged.

Will the lantern charge in cloudy weather or under shade?

Because solar lanterns rely on the sun to recharge their batteries, a low UV index is not an optimum environment for them to operate in. While charging in a shaded environment, such as under a tree, some lanterns will continue to charge so long as there are still some sunlight beaming through.

Charge times will be significantly longer, and you should plan on it taking a full day or longer to fully recharge. Lanterns with huge solar panels mounted on the top are more suited for cloudy weather and shady settings due to the enormous surface area of the solar panels, which can absorb more solar energy.

Rankings & Reviews

Given the large number of solar lanterns available on the market, it might be difficult to narrow down the best selections to a few favorites. The most highly rated goods were categorized and ranked according to a set of criteria, which included battery life, brightness (lumens), design aspects, usability, and materials.

On the basis of these meticulously selected criteria, we’ve prepared a list of the top 6 solar lanterns for you to choose from. From dedicated campers to home décor enthusiasts, there’s something for everyone on our list of the best camping gear.

Our #1 Pick: LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lanterns

  • Battery life: 24 hours
  • Design features: Inflatable, portable, waterproof, 5 brightness settings
  • Lumens: 75
  • Practicality: Can use for camping, emergencies or swimming
  • Material: Plastic canvas
  • The high points: Sturdy waterproof construction combined with a unique design makes this an ideal, multi-purpose choice.
  • The low points: This option is not great for those needing decorative lighting for installation as it’s primarily a portable, use-as-you-go product.

This solar lantern can be used for a variety of tasks, from the pool to disaster zones. The LuminAid is an inflatable flashlight with a unique design that is perfect for when you need light in a hurry.

The device boasts one of the highest lumen ratings on the market, as well as one of the longest battery life. With its waterproof plastic outer-coating, it can survive a variety of environmental conditions and charges in a short amount of time. In addition, the lantern has five different brightness settings, as well as an SOS function.

For all of these reasons, we believe the LuminAid is the best choice among well-designed solar lanterns that can be used for a number of purposes. Its high-quality craftsmanship and one-of-a-kind capabilities significantly outperform those of other comparable models.

What do reviewers say?

The LuminAid solar lantern has received overwhelmingly positive feedback, with the majority of reviewers reporting that they purchased the lantern after severe natural catastrophes in order to illuminate their houses.

Even though some customers have claimed that the charging function has failed them after multiple usage, the vast majority of customers have found the product to be dependable. They also mention that the light output is really high, and that the several light settings are extremely convenient.

Features & Considerations

Because of its inflatable body, the lantern can be transported in a suitcase or an emergency bag without being damaged. Because of the waterproof construction, the light can resist inclement weather, swimming pools, beaches, and a variety of other wet conditions that other lights may be unable to withstand.

Although the device is small in size and will not be able to illuminate an entire room on its own, the lumen output is impressive. A soft white light is produced by the warm LEDs, which is sufficient to illuminate a small area, such as a tent, or to offer a flashlight-like effect in an emergency.

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The Next Best: TomCare Solar Lights Solar Lanterns Dancing Flame

  • Battery life: 10 hours
  • Design features: Flickering flame, hanging ring and clamp, waterproof, auto on/off
  • Lumens: 40
  • Practicality: Can use for decorative purposes in gardens or patios
  • Material: Plastic
  • The high points: Beautiful, ambient lighting with waterproof design makes this a great product for outdoor entertainment areas.
  • The low points: This option is not ideal for those seeking to light large swaths of areas, or for emergencies.

The TomCare solar lamp blends opulent elegance with an unbeatable price tag. Aside from being amusing and visually appealing, the faux flickering flames effect also has the added advantage of being extremely practical for organizing dinner parties or other gatherings in the garden.

In addition to being placed outdoors, the lantern can be used indoors to create an atmosphere in a room or space such as a hallway. It will, however, need to be recharged on a regular basis outside in the sunlight.

Based on its lumen output and battery capacity, as well as its attractive box shape, this solar lantern is a high contender on our list. The TomCare is an excellent alternative for individuals who prefer ornamental aspects over safety, especially when you consider that each box contains two lanterns.

What do reviewers say?

Recent purchasers have stated that these are excellent for illuminating backyards, swimming pools, hot tubs, and gardens, among other things, Despite the fact that the light provides a romantic warm glow that is ideal for creating the scene, it does not provide enough practical light to be useful.

Many people have gone on to purchase additional lanterns following their initial purchase because they enjoy the impact it creates in an engaging environment. The larger tiki torch style lamps from the same brand are popular, but these smaller lamps are perfect for tiny settings and for hanging solar lights in trees.

Features & Considerations

The auto-on/off function of this solar lantern is the most impressive feature. The built-in light sensor will automatically activate the device at dusk and morning, allowing homeowners to enjoy a truly hands-free experience. The auto function saves energy as well, because it conserves power during daytime hours while the device is being charged.

Due to the fact that the lantern is made of ABS plastic and is entirely waterproof, it may be used even during rainy weather. According to the manufacturer, the lantern is also resistant to cold and dust. The lantern will charge quickly and effortlessly in direct sunlight thanks to the enormous solar panels that have been mounted on top of the box.

Through the use of a simulated flickering flame effect, the solar lantern simulates the appearance of a genuine fire without the inherent dangers connected with burn pits and torches. The alligator clip and ring allow for simple installation in situations where fire is not permitted, such as in trees, bushes, or in close proximity to people or animals.

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Our Next Favorite: EACHPOLE, 3-Pack, Outdoor Camping LED Lantern

  • Battery life: 12 hours
  • Design features: Solar or battery charge, functions as a USB power bank, all-terrain, collapsible, portable
  • Lumens: 146
  • Practicality: Can use for emergencies or other rugged outdoor activities
  • Material: Plastic
  • The high points: With a very high lumen rating, this solar lantern is the most practical for any use.
  • The low points: The lantern isn’t the most attractive option and isn’t ideal for decorating outdoor spaces.

This solar-powered device is very bright because it has the greatest lumen rating of any lantern on the market. A collapsible shape and charging connections make the Eachpole lantern an excellent choice for campers and those ready in case of an emergency situation.

However, while the plain black casing isn’t the most visually appealing on the list, it serves its purpose well and serves more as a tool than as a decorative feature.

They are provided in three-packs so that homeowners can store spares around their property in case the power goes out at any time. Family camping trips, road trips, and outdoor events, such as late-night soccer games, are all excellent choices, as is using a portable generator.

What do reviewers say?

The vast majority of reviewers are really pleased with the variety of charging choices available. The lantern can be powered by AA batteries or recharged using a DC converter, both of which are included. On cloudy days or during storms, this feature has proven to be really useful.

Others are very appreciative of the reasonably priced unit price. It is also important to them that the light is bright. Some, on the other hand, believe it should be even brighter.

The lanterns have primarily been utilized on camping trips and in disaster zones, according to the manufacturer. During power outages, they’ve been used to charge phones and illuminate tents, among other things.

Features & Considerations

The lantern is equipped with a variety of advantages, one of which is its compact design. This permits the metal grips to hold the glass lamp housing in place while also concealing it.

This makes it an excellent choice for travel and transit. It also makes it an excellent choice for flat packaging in small places. This includes items such as first-aid kits.

Users will be able to charge small gadgets such as cell phones directly from the lantern thanks to the USB charging port. When it comes to emergency preparedness, this solution has everything you need in one package. It is beneficial for those who are concerned about the possibility of tornadoes. It is also beneficial in the event of hurricanes or wildfires that cut out their power or cause damage to their infrastructure.

The body is made of black plastic, which is also waterproof. You don’t have to be concerned about using it during rain or storms. The 360 light shell also has six LED lights that are capable of illuminating even the darkest of environments.

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4. Solar Mason Jar Lights, 4 Pack 20 LEDs

  • Battery life: 8-12 hours
  • Design features: Creative design, can work with any mason jar, waterproof, auto timer
  • Lumens: 43
  • Practicality: Can use it for decorative purposes, either indoor or outdoor
  • Material: Glass and plastic
  • The high points: With a unique and trendy design, these lanterns are great for outdoor decoration or children’s rooms.
  • The low points: The lantern isn’t for practical applications, like solar lighting for a dark path or garden sitting area.

These solar mason jar lights are perfect for individuals who are looking for something unique and adorable to decorate their home with. Suitable for use in garden parties, birthday celebrations, children’s rooms, and play areas, the design is unique.

The lanterns are made up of traditional glass mason jars. They are equipped with solar-powered lids. A mess of LED string lights is arranged inside the jar, which provides a pleasant, warm glow when turned on.

Mason jar lanterns are a nice decorative piece, but they aren’t very effective at illuminating big areas, such as a whole yard or garden. However, because the lanterns come in a set of four, their total lumen output is sufficient to illuminate a modest area.

What do reviewers say?

These lanterns have received rave reviews when placed on outdoor dining tables, around flower gardens, and on patios. They further remark that the light remains on throughout the night and is surprisingly bright in comparison.

Purchasers are enthralled by the gorgeous and peaceful impact, which results in welcoming spaces. Among the few concerns, one user reported that their lids rusted quickly, while another reported that the wiring connection between the lid and the lights was not working properly.

Features & Considerations

The lantern is completely waterproof because of the airtight seal created by the glass mason jars. The glass body and tin covers can both be replaced if necessary. You may easily replace them by visiting any home goods store in your area.

The auto function of this amusing lamp is yet another noteworthy feature. It automatically turns on the lights at sunset and turns them off at morning. You won’t have to worry about doing any installation or fiddling with secret switches all of the time. As a result, these handy tiny lanterns are the pinnacle in hassle-free product design.

You can also use AAA rechargeable batteries to power the mason jar lanterns in the event that the solar function isn’t feasible. Despite the fact that the lantern only requires 6 to 8 hours to fully charge, the backup power source comes in handy when it’s cloudy or when you forget to take it outside in the afternoon to recharge.

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5. Bolt Lite, Solar Rechargeable LED Lantern

  • Battery life: 10 hours
  • Design features: Portable, collapsible, solar or USB charging, functions as USB power bank, 3 light modes
  • Lumens: 65
  • Practicality: Can be use it for emergencies, camping, or on outdoor patios
  • Material: Plastic
  • The high points: This portable lantern functions as both a power bank and a light source.
  • The low points: The construction is more flimsy and is not for decorative purposes.

The Bolt Lite is more expensive than the other versions in the line. However, it more than makes up for this shortcoming in terms of features.

This solar lantern is equipped with a variety of useful features. A USB power bank and a variety of charging options are among the options. In addition, they offer a solar flashlight effect and a folding design.

A lantern is created by fully extending the Bolt Lite’s accordion-shaped body, which is included with the device. When it’s collapsed, it contains a small flashlight. This 2-in-1 model is ideal for campers who like to bring their own gear. In addition, it is ideal for individuals who want to stock up on goods in case of a natural disaster or other probable emergency situation.

What do reviewers say?

Product consumers have nothing but positive things to say about the Bolt Lite’s small size and strong lumen output, according to the company. The lantern collapses into a compact disc that, according to most users, is easy to fit into bags and other small storage spaces when contrasted to bulkier non-portable alternatives.

Some people, on the other hand, have brought the lamp camping with them. They’ve had problems with the accordion section catching and encasing small bugs. The lantern will also not hang flat when using the accompanying carabiner, but this should not be a problem for people who plan on placing it out on the ground or stringing it up in a tent with a cord and stakes.

Features & Considerations

The Bolt Lite has a plethora of functions to offer its users. The built-in power bank, which can be used to charge smartphones through a USB cable, is the most remarkable feature. This is very useful in emergency situations or when hiking in remote locations.

In addition, the lamp has three various light modes, including a low, a high, and a flash setting, for more versatility. When the lantern is collapsed, it performs more like a flashlight than a lantern. When set to high mode, the lantern-turned-flashlight emits an extremely bright high beam that is ideal for negotiating dark routes in the evening.

A battery with an 800 mAh capacity will provide up to 10 hours of internal charging time. In addition to charging the lantern using solar power, you can also charge it with a USB adaptor. It is possible to connect it to an external power source.

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6. Outdoor Solar Lanterns Lamps – 2 Pack Tabletop Filament LED Edison Bulbs

  • Battery life: 7 hours
  • Design features: Vintage design, top hook, waterproof, dustproof
  • Lumens: 6
  • Practicality: Purely decorative for indoor or outdoor areas
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • The high points: The unique vintage design and functional hook installation makes this a great accent feature.
  • The low points: With a very low lumen output, the lantern is not practical for lighting and is instead purely for decorative purposes.

This one-of-a-kind solar lantern, which features a vintage Edison light and a magnificent black iron cage, completes our list of the best solar lanterns. Despite the fact that it is one of our favorite products in terms of design, the low lumen output detracts from an otherwise excellent product.

In addition to being unusually handsome for an environmentally responsible product, the outdoor solar lantern emits a pleasant, ambient glow. In addition, while the brightness isn’t extremely high, the antique appearance is sufficient justification for including it prominently in an outdoor party area or dining room.

In terms of practicality, the LED light is quite simple to install and can keep a significant amount of charge for extended periods of time. The lanterns, which come in a set of two, are an excellent choice for homeowners who want to add a touch of energy-saving luxury to their indoor or outdoor environment without breaking the bank.

What do reviewers say?

Numerous reviewers expressed satisfaction with the lantern’s sturdy and lightweight build. They believe that the soft glow creates a welcoming atmosphere for activities such as family gatherings and relaxation.

Some product owners have mounted them on walls, while others have placed them on tables and seats to lend a decorative touch to their spaces. However, the majority of people believe that the lights are not bright enough for practical purposes such as reading at night or strolling securely on a dim route at night.

Features & Considerations

One attractive feature of the outdoor solar lantern is its ability to be installed in a variety of ways: the lantern can be hung from a branch or peg, placed on a tabletop, or mounted to the wall. A result of its adaptability, it is the ideal addition to an array of different rooms and surroundings.

Even more so when you consider that the light does not become as hot as regular bulbs. You can put it in more confined locations if you want to.

Also included is an auto-on/off mechanism that responds to changes in the amount of light coming through the lanterns. At dusk, the lantern will automatically turn on and glow for up to 7 hours, depending on the setting. When the sun comes up, the lantern will automatically turn off and begin charging.

For practical purposes, the lantern is certified waterproof and dustproof, allowing it to be left outside for lengthy periods of time without being soiled or dirty. Because the lantern’s iron body will not corrode, it is appropriate for use in tropical locations and during stormy weather patterns.

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