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Thread: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

  1. #1

    Default LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    Does anyone know of any good LED lamps for area lighting? Requirements: small, either AA or AAA (the fewer needed the better), long runtime. It would be great if it had some kind of a translucent light cover so you're not looking at a bare bulb all the time. Doesn't have to be a retina scorcher, just useful light output. Price is a bit of a consideration, but I'd be willing to spend $25-$30 for a nice design.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    For $20 you can get one of the River Rock lanterns from Target. It is pretty nice for the price and is weather resistant, small, fairly lightweight, and efficient. On 4 AA's you'll get ~8.5 hours of light.

    It does not have the translucent cover you are talking about. Many people simply put Glad Press-n-seal around the inside (or outside) of the globe. For a permenant frosting simply rub the inside of the globe with steel wool. Not sure why one would do this as the press-n-seal does just as good and is removable.

    Here is a link to it's review:

    http://www.flashlightreviews.com/rev...ck_lantern.htm

  3. #3
    Flashaholic Gaffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    Quote Originally Posted by not2bright

    For a permenant frosting simply rub the inside of the globe with steel wool.
    This comment made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

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    SilverFox's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    Hello Spordin,

    Although it runs a little more than you want to spend, the MC2 lantern offers around 70 hours on high from 4 AA cells. High is perfect for playing cards on the picnic table. Inside the tent, low will run for around 1000 hours.

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Outdoors Fanatic's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    I use the Osram Golden Dragon LED lantern, it is not as bright as a traditional gas or fluorescent lantern, but pretty decent and compact enough for long hiking trips.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Turbo DV8's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    Best tent light I know is to remove the head from a 3AA MiniMag LED light and suspend it upside down from the ceiling. I little inconenient to turn on and off, since no clickie and you just removed the head, but very bright. For less glare, if it bothers you, or for using the MiniMag LED as a lantern with it sitting up in it's head as a base, simply take a ping pong ball, cut a small "X" on one side of suitable size, curl the points inward and slide it over the LED end of the MiniMag LED. Nice diffuse light, and still plenty bright for a table. You can also glue some aluminum foil in the top third to project more of the light down and around instead of up.

  7. #7
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    I've looked in three local Targets for the River Rock LED camping lights...no luck. It was following links for these that led me to this forum, in fact. Does anyone know if Target still carries these? I looked in both the outdoors/camping sections and automotive section. I hope these lights have not been discontinued.

  8. #8

    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    Not terribly bright, but probably pretty decent for just mucking around a small camp, would be a couple of these bad boys. 40hrs on 4AA's, so you can probably get by a whole week w/o changing batteries.

    Definitely want something brighter for those "bump in the night" moments tho'.

  9. #9

    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blade_Runner
    I've looked in three local Targets for the River Rock LED camping lights...no luck. It was following links for these that led me to this forum, in fact. Does anyone know if Target still carries these? I looked in both the outdoors/camping sections and automotive section. I hope these lights have not been discontinued.

    The lanterns? Definitely saw one at my local Target this morning. More than likely they ran out - depending on your area a lot of places may be cleaned out of portable lighting with all the news with power outages around the country. They're usually w/ the other flashlights (in automotive, not in camping), hanging down towards the bottom of the rack.

  10. #10

    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    Streamlight ProPolymer 4AA 7-LED.
    Streamlight ProPolymer 4AA Xenon - Streamlight ProPolymer 4AA 7-LED - Streamlight ProPolymer 3C Xenon - Maglite 2D w/Xenon Upgrade - Mini Maglite 2AA w/Nite Ize LED - Mini Maglite 3AA LED - Rayovac Roughneck 2D - Rayovac Roughneck 3D - UK 4AA eLED Zoom - Inova XO w/TIROS

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Turbo DV8's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyeast
    Not terribly bright, but probably pretty decent for just mucking around a small camp, would be a couple of these bad boys. 40hrs on 4AA's, so you can probably get by a whole week w/o changing batteries.

    You can still find these at Target sometimes, for about $7. I tried one once. Very dim. It is just two 5mm LED's, each one pointing down an opaque plastic tube. Low is one LED on, hi is both. Yes, it is as dim as it sounds. I returned it.

  12. #12

    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    At our local Target the RR Lanterns are in the flashlight area of the tool department. There are none in the automotive or sporting goods (camping) departments, although there was a different LED lantern in the Sporting Goods department the last time I visited.
    Alan
    "Courage is being scared to death-but saddling up anyway." (John Wayne)
    CART / CERT/ ARES / RACES / EMA Weather Specialist / Skywarn

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Long John's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    The reflective beacon in white or yellow from "Barbolights" is also a good way, to use your normal light as an area light. Take a look at this thread:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=132720

    Best regards

    _____
    Tom
    It's cheaper to get a high quality light than spending money for many cheap lights.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    Coleman Micropacker Lantern available at Walmart for $9.99.

  15. #15

    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turbo DV8
    You can still find these at Target sometimes, for about $7. I tried one once. Very dim. It is just two 5mm LED's, each one pointing down an opaque plastic tube. Low is one LED on, hi is both. Yes, it is as dim as it sounds. I returned it.
    They are dim, but when you're out in the woods without any streetlights around you can get by with a lot less light, especially in a smaller camp or inside tents. We used to get by with glowsticks!

    That is why I mentioned having something additional for when you need brighter light - this is strictly going for small size/weight and long runtime.

  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* Flying Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    Quote Originally Posted by LowBat
    Coleman Micropacker Lantern available at Walmart for $9.99.
    Have you tried one of these LowBat or anyone? Everytime I'm in Walmart I pause and look at these. Then I remind myself I don't like 3 battery lights and move along. If it used 2 or 4 and maybe had two levels I'd already have it.

    Geoff

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Turtle
    Have you tried one of these LowBat or anyone? Everytime I'm in Walmart I pause and look at these. Then I remind myself I don't like 3 battery lights and move along. If it used 2 or 4 and maybe had two levels I'd already have it.

    Geoff
    Yes I have one and very much like it. It's not bright enough to light up your campsite, but it does ok in a small tent or for seeing your plate at the picnic table. Runtime is so long I still have the original batteries in it even after many camping trips over the summer. It has a hanging hook on top that folds down neatly like it wasn't there at all. The part I like best is the sliding shield that blocks any light from shining in your eyes.

    This lantern is ideal for backpacking, and I've taken it on a few night hikes so I can see and handle my food easier then with using a flashlight. If it was brighter I could see the usefulness of a two level switch, however the simple on/off switch does just fine for this lantern.

    I returned my River Rock lantern long ago due to the glare. The micropacker has a built-in diffuser and sliding shield so glare really isn't a problem. The three battery arrangement isn't a big deal, especially for me who has FRS radios that also use three battery setups. I'm just happy everything I have works on only one size of battery, the AA cell.
    Last edited by LowBat; 12-23-2006 at 07:57 AM. Reason: grammer

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* Flying Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    Thanks for the description, LowBat. Sound more tempting now. I guess one definite advantage of using three batteries is the longer runtime. You're right about the RR lantern. If anything really needs a glare shield and two levels it's that one.

    Geoff

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    You're welcome Flying Turtle. I've actually been toying with the idea of swapping the LEDs with the new Cree X-REs. It's easy to open the micropacker for modding as you can see on post #14 of this thread. I'm hesitant though as I don't know what sort of heat it would produce that could melt the plastic.
    Last edited by LowBat; 12-23-2006 at 08:10 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    I find the RiverRock LED lantern unuseable because its point source of light is blindingly bright, even painfully bright in a truly dark environment.

    For backpacking area lighting any floody LED flashlight is my preference. If I truly needed a stationary area light, I'd go flourescent.

    W.
    Current EDC: SF-T1A + SAK MiniChamp
    Arc(AAA-P), SF(M6, U2, A2), Photon Freedom, Petzl-Zipka+, PeliLite-2C (c1980 first good light)

  21. #21
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: LED area lights for camping/hiking?

    Maybe an Eternalight would be your best bet. Controllable output, long battery run, uses AAA. I don't have one, but they look perfect for campsites, tents, etc. Usually they are priced $60+, but I've seen some old models on sale lately. GOOGLE.

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