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Reviews > Lighting > Lanterns > Guyot Designs Firefly Lantern > Owner Review by Jennifer Koles

Guyot Designs Firefly LED Lantern
Owner Review
Jennifer Koles
September 11, 2007

Personal Information

Name:  Jennifer Koles
Age:  32
Gender:  Female
Height:  5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Email address: jennksnowy at yahoo dot com
City, State, and Country:  Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Backpacking Background

I started taking overnight backpacking trips four years ago in the Uinta Mountain Range in Utah. I found myself taking entirely too much gear. I am finding out slowly how to minimize my needs and not require extra luxuries. My previous outdoor experiences consisted of 4-wheel-drive camping in primitive areas and day hiking. I use a four season convertible tent or a three season tent for my shelter. I plan to take more trips, increase my duration, and reduce my two to three day backpack base weight from 17 lb (8 kg).

Product Information

Manufacturer: Guyot Designs Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Model: Firefly
Manufacturer Website:
Color: Black with some orange accents.
Manufacturer's Listed Measurements: Width 3.2 in (8.2 cm); height 1.5 in (3.9 cm); length 3.2 in (8.2 cm)
Actual Measurements:Width 3.2 in (8.2 cm); height 1.5 in (3.9 cm)
Manufacturer's Stated Weight: 2.5 oz (70 g)
Measured Weight: 2.5 oz (70 g) without batteries
Warranty: Unknown
MSRP: $21.95 USD

Product Description

The Firefly is a LED light that fits onto wide mouth bottles. Genius, I must say. Now I can have a lantern with my wide mouth bottle. I think this concept is a nifty idea.

The Firefly is constructed of a granite grade glass-filled nylon lid. I have read that this type of construction is able to handle high temperatures very well. The LED lights are sealed inside the lid, so there is no worry of malfunction from liquid leaking into the light housing. There is also an O-ring seal that helps prevent leaking and provides a tight seal.

The black adjustable tether cord is made of 4 mm (0.16 in) Sterling climbing rope. This is adjusted by sliding the orange plastic piece along the rope to change the circumference of the rope. The manufacturer's name and logo are etched on both sides of the two plastic pieces that are attached to the tether cord.

The top of the lid has three screws that hold the lid of the battery compartment in place. There is also an orange button which is the light control switch. The light is activated and deactivated by pressing this button. The dimmer is also controlled with this button. To activate the dimmer I had to have the light on and then press the orange button in for a few seconds. The light began to go dim. I then released my finger from the orange button and the light stopped going dim. I did notice that once I dimmed the light slightly and then held the orange button in the light became bright again but then started to get dimmer.

The lid also has what I would like to call feet on the top. There are three plastic projections that enabled me to stand the Firefly on the base so that it is raised slightly. These feet allowed me to stand the Firefly on the base with stability and the light switch was not touching the ground. These feet are not adjustable so I had to find a piece of semi flat ground to stand the Firefly on its base. It stands best on a flat surface, but it stands OK on small gravel, grass, and slightly uneven surfaces.


Top of the Firefly's lid.


Three AAA batteries are required to have light with the Firefly, nope they are not included. It is very simple to install the batteries. The three screws need to be removed on the top of the lid. Just lift the top off, insert the batteries, and screw the lid back on by tightening the three screws.


Firefly light

Bottom of the Firefly's lid.


The tether cord is attached to the Firefly lid by an orange plastic piece. This portion of the cord that is closest to the Firefly can not be adjusted. Only the plastic piece furthest away from the Firefly can be adjusted to fit around the top of a wide mouth bottle.


The Firefly is designed to fit on standard wide mouth bottles (Bison, Cyclone, GSI, Nalgene polycarbonate and polyethelene). I use the Firefly on a wide mouth Nalgene bottle that measures 2.25 in (5.7 cm) in diameter (inside). It does not fit on the Nalgene N-Gen or Swiss Gear bottles.

Field Use

I have used the Firefly on many backpacking and camping trips over the past year. It has been exposed to temperatures in the daytime above 100 F (38 C) and at nighttime a recorded temperature of 27 F (-3 C). It has been used in the rain and on clear nights. I have used it in Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Moab Utah, Zion National Park, Paria River/Buckskin Gulch Utah, and in the Wasatch and Uinta Mountain Range.

I think the Firefly is a really neat idea. I personally do not like to carry wide mouth bottles and extra items in my backpack that are not a necessity, but I really like the ambiance that the Firefly creates. It has a dim light which is perfect for inside a tent, eating dinner, drinking wine, navigating to a known location outside the tent at night, and for entertaining dogs and kids. Kane (a dog that goes on backpacking trips with me sometimes) loves to roll the bottle on the ground at night when the Firefly is lit.

The light is not bright enough for me to read without straining my eyes, or to see very well while walking in the pitch dark wilderness.

The Firefly can be hung from the tether cord. I hung it from a tree to illuminate the dinner area. It can also be used by standing it on its base. When stood on the Firefly lid the light is projected upwards. I generally I just stand the water bottle on its base. This allows the light to project downward.

It is very difficult to find the orange light switch button in the dark. It would be nice if the button could glow in the dark. My stereognosis is OK but I do not like fiddling around feeling for a button to get some light. Also it is very hard to feel it when I have gloves on.

The lid screws on my Nalgene wide mouth bottle tight. There have not been any leaks from the lid when it was securely fastened. The Firefly screws onto the Nalgene bottle just the same as the Nalgene lid. I completely removed the Nalgene lid and the lid holder before I started to place the Firefly on my bottle. First I place the tether cord on the mouth of the bottle below the outside rim. Then I screw the Firefly lid into place. The Firefly works with a splash guard in place. I use a translucent splash guard so I could not notice if it had any effect on the light quality.

Firefly at night...ooh

The Firefly nestled between two sleeping bags in my tent.

When filling the wide mouth bottle with the Firefly dangling by the tether cord I can fill it without supporting the bottle if the liquid level is greater than 4 oz (0.12 L). Once it is below 4 oz (0.12 L) it has a tendency to tip over due to the weight of the Firefly.

I noticed that the Firefly housing does not become hot after prolonged use. Also I was able to touch the light housing and there was not a noticeable amount of heat. I found the Firefly housing to be durable. There are no major scratches or signs of wear on the housing, even after it has been rolled around by a dog.

The tether cord is very strong. There are no signs of wear such as fraying or stretching of the cord. I have hung the Firefly attached to the bottle with 32 oz (0.95 L) of liquid in it and the cord has not stretched. The cord is not flimsy either. It is 4 mm (0.16 in) climbing rope. It has a little bit of stiffness to it.

After I dim the Firefly I noticed then when I attempt to turn it on to the brightest setting, it sometimes acts spotty when going between settings. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it won't. I just turn it off and then turn it back on and it is fine.

Firefly at night.

The Firefly standing on its lid.

I am still on my original set of batteries. They have been in the Firefly for a year now. I would say I have used the Firefly for approximately 45 hours. I wash it in lukewarm water with a small amount of detergent.

Things I Like:

  • The glow the Firefly creates (the ambiance).
  • It is a neat idea.
  • Great for kids, car camping, and a romantic evening.
  • I could hang it anywhere.

Things That Are So So:

  • A little heavy for a lid. But, hey it is also a lantern and a light.
  • When my bottle is empty I need to use a hand to stabilize it to fill it with liquid when the Firefly is attached by the tether cord. Otherwise the bottle will tip over.
  • The on/off button needs to be glow in the dark. I can not feel it with gloves on.
  • Needs to be a little brighter so I can read at night.


I like the ambiance the Firefly creates for special occasions. This is not an everyday item I will have in my backpack or on my water bottle. It is unique and fun. Kids and animals love it. I like the dim light that is omitted for relaxing and eating dinner. I have difficulty reading by this light even on the brightest setting. It is kind of clunky and heavy for a lid. But, I have to remember it is a light too. I just wish it was bright enough that I could leave my headlamp and home.

The Firefly is a fun and unique light!


Read more reviews of Guyot Designs gear
Read more gear reviews by Jennifer Koles

Reviews > Lighting > Lanterns > Guyot Designs Firefly Lantern > Owner Review by Jennifer Koles

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