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Thread: Current best LED lantern?

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* Sgt. LED's Avatar
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    Question Current best LED lantern?

    Hey there it's that time of year again when my mind turns to thoughts of lengthy power outages due to ice storms. Along with my recent efforts to minimize the effects of such outages I wanted some lantern advice. I have other "real" lanterns but I want some that have a much smaller chance of burning down the house. I have to remember that I may not be home when the lantern needs used and Wendy might not fair so well lighting what I have on hand.
    This brings up the question, what would I consider the perfect LED lantern? For the purposes of this thread I will say this: Alkaline cells of any size or number, SUPER runtime, and bright enough to navigate the house with.
    200 or so high, 30 or so low. Has to run for a long time in the high mode and I am not too concerned with artifacts or rings. This is going to light up the living room/kitchen area while sitting on a table. Some lanterns suck unless you hang them up high by a hook, not reason to suggest one of those. We do not need strobe, sos, or find me features. We also don't need the super small backpack type LED lanterns, this is for the house.
    Also at some point "somebody" WILL knock it off the table so give a little thought to toughness.

    Really this all comes down to is what LED lantern gives the best combination of output VS runtime! Like the 1st gen Cree E2L outdoorsman, 9 straight hours of regulation!

    Any helpfull ideas on lanterns?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    I have the Coleman 8d led lantern that I use for just this purpose. It has worked great for me so far.It will light up a 20x24 room with enough light on the low setting to see. http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colem...ategoryid=1110

  3. #3

    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    The Rayovac Sportsmen Xtreme LED lantern (SE3DLN) is my current pick for the current best LED lantern available.

    • It runs off of three D cells for extended use
    • Gives off a good deal of light, the brightest LED lantern I own (I have about 10 others to compare it against)
    • Has a high and low mode (low mode appears to be PWM but it is at a high frequency)
    • Has a very good diffuser which removes the piercing glare factor of the other bright LED lanterns like the Coleman's
    • It is compact and can be hung from either the top or bottom of the unit. The globe can be removed when hung upside down.
    • Good white light, though I wish it were warmer in color.
    • Runs over 60 hours on one set of 3 D cell batteries on high mode, or over 100 hours on low
    • Run well with the eneloop AA rechargeables in the AA to D adapters


    Amazon has them for $25 with free shipping
    Last edited by filibuster; 09-07-2010 at 10:20 PM. Reason: Add picture and link to where I bought mine

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    I have an Energizer WeatherReady lantern that has a xenon incan, three LEDs, and an amber LED - choose one. The incan is supposed to be the brightest of the three choices, but I don't see that much difference between it and the three LEDs. The amber LED is supposed to be a night light type of thing. All this runs on three (3) D cells. It also comes with a little sqweeze light built in to the top. I have used it through a couple of power outages and found it works great. If you are close to it there is enough light to read by, and it lights up the whole room well enough to be able to get around and find things.

    Unfortunately, I don't think it is available any more, as I just tried to find some details on the web, and didn't have much luck. I did see mention of a twelve LED lantern, and an eight LED 'area flashlight', both of which claim a couple of hundred hours of runtime and use D-cells as well.

    I also have the Weather Ready combo flashlight with LED and CCFL. I got it for the CCFL. The LED is ok, bright hot spot in the center with adequate spill - some artifacts. But the CCFl makes a great personal lantern. Won't light up a large room, but is great to read by and will light up a bedroom.
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  5. #5
    Flashaholic* ledaholic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Hey Sgt, you need to go over to homemade and modified lights and checkout my modded rayovac. The results were good.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    I just came across this one. It looks GOOD! Anyone has it? Please share pics if you do.


    http://cgi.ebay.com/Solarforce-300-L...ayphotohosting

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Quote Originally Posted by highseas View Post
    I just came across this one. It looks GOOD! Anyone has it? Please share pics if you do.


    http://cgi.ebay.com/Solarforce-300-L...ayphotohosting

    Hmm that looks like a normal L2 with a lantern screwed on the top. L2's take D26 drop-ins, could be interesting. I have seen something kinda like it but not sure if it is drop-in compatable. Take a look at it over on Lighthound

    Edit: You know the more I look at it the tripod is mounted on the lantern part. Not sure but it looks like you could be able to switch out the L2 for any other body like it, say a 6p or 9p if you wanted.
    Last edited by Fizz753; 10-17-2008 at 03:51 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    They have another "add on" for Solarforce L2 and Surefire 6P where you can attach the lantern on top. Search for it under the same vendor (rather strangely, under batteries, I think).

    So yes, I think it works for the 6P, and they're selling for $28 (for the lantern add on).

    I have seen the one you provided a link for. I liked the set up except that the bulb seems to be from the last generation of LEDs. But I wish they would have an updated version of the bundle (lantern, headlamp, extension tube).

  9. #9

    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    I also have the Weather Ready combo flashlight with LED and CCFL. I got it for the CCFL. The LED is ok, bright hot spot in the center with adequate spill - some artifacts. But the CCFl makes a great personal lantern. Won't light up a large room, but is great to read by and will light up a bedroom.
    I like those CCFL energizer lights. I made a lantern combining the CCFL out of an energizer doublebright in a rayovac kids lantern.
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ad.php?t=70066
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    I would vote for the Energizer Weather Ready Folding LED Lantern. It is advertised as running 245 hours on 4 D cells, and it is inexpensive, reliable and bright enough to read by, and light up a 12 x 12 room.

    I have purchased several of these lanterns for $19.99 each at Lowe's and Home Depot. You can also see photos of this light here:

    http://www.brightguy.com/products/En...ng_Lantern.php

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* Sgt. LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    OK I now have the Surefire compatible Solarforce lantern head!
    Hilarious looking. I finally have a true Electric torch! It has a TON of potential.

    I also have the Rayovac Sportsmen Xtreme LED lantern. I can just barley notice the low mode PMW. I like it but naturally I have a desire to mod it!
    I have questions about the mod posted in another thread. Wish me luck!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. LED View Post
    OK I now have the Surefire compatible Solarforce lantern head!
    Hilarious looking. I finally have a true Electric torch! It has a TON of potential.

    I also have the Rayovac Sportsmen Xtreme LED lantern. I can just barley notice the low mode PMW. I like it but naturally I have a desire to mod it!
    I have questions about the mod posted in another thread. Wish me luck!

    Could you post some pics of the solarforce lantern? Is it bright and good for illuminating a room (a big room?) Did it come with a stand? I'm tempted to get it but I'm still waiting to hear what people have to say.

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* Sgt. LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    I like the Solarforce lantern head.

    Here are the main points:
    It is only a head, not a whole lantern.
    It didn't come with a stand but has a threaded tripod hole.

    So the brightness, runtime, and illuminating potential will vary quite a bit depending on your LEGO!

    On a Malkoff M60 in a 3 cell body with a tailcap that will allow tail standing it will stand on it's own and certainly light up a larger room for awhile.

    I think it works best while hanging from a hook since it is out of the way and can't get knocked over. I have the LumensFactory LED in there right now on a Fivemega 2X18650 tube and a twisty SF tailcap. If you have the right battery tube and a drop in or 12 to choose from it's cool to mess around with.

    I got it used from the Marketplace for $25 and it's pretty neat but if you want a more traditional lantern I suggest you buy one of these!
    It was very easy to swap a warm K2 star in there. The brightness didn't change much but the tint is way warmer now.

    Having a lantern head on your D26 flashlight is really fun but you can't come anywhere close to the runtime of a dedicated 3 D cell lantern.
    Last edited by Sgt. LED; 10-27-2008 at 10:04 AM.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* gswitter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Given the crappy thermal path between most D26 LED modules and the host, and the tendency to let lanterns run for longer periods at a time than flashlights, the Solarfarce head sounds like a great way to expose the limits of poor quality drop-ins.



  15. #15

    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    (lanterns)Trying to type this on my iPhone...please forgive any bad grammar. For power outages I use 8 of the yellow Coleman micropackers. Most of you who own one know the light output of one unit is poor but all 8 on a shelf on the wall expell more than enough light for me to navigate safely. Battery life is really 125 hours as advertised and 24 packs of AA's are $8.99. I can take one off the shelf to move about the house. I can store them all in a tiny box or drawer. I had noticed when my collection started that some of the lanterns were very close to true white output while others were closer to blueish. I took the blue tinted ones back (sorry Coleman, I'm paying for useable light! Run batch samples of the LEDs). If the consistency of light between units was better, I'd buy more (multi units) for my relatives, friends and my no electricity get away cabin.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    From the pics and specs I've seen, my vote goes to the Gentos warm white. Unfortunately it seems to be impossible to get in the States. I am still hoping to find someone to help me snag one...or two.
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    I think I'm going to order one of the Solarforce ones for my SF 6P. I was actually going to fabricate one myself but with a much larger head and candlestick it upright and not inverse like the demo photo shows. But then I happened upon this. I was wondering what folks thought of this but now they are selling for $17.99 and they throw in a strike bezel. For that price why not? It's kind of a neat idea. Wonder why SF doesn't make their own version. I'll let you know what I think of it when I get it.

  18. #18
    Enlightened nvrdark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    A Fenix digital series flashlight with there optional white wand and stand the light on it's tail, a little tippy on a camping table. works well. Cree LED, mutiple output levels, can use one or two AA,s
    Pictured, 2.2kW shot-arc. Not hand held, but boy will it throw.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    I wonder will it fit a surefire KX1 head or a 25mm 2xAA lights like the kingpower K2? I am interested in the lantern, not the whole light.

    It seems like you just "push" the lantern onto the head... or do you have to unscrew the head first??.. anyone know

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* f22shift's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Quote Originally Posted by highseas View Post
    I just came across this one. It looks GOOD! Anyone has it? Please share pics if you do.


    http://cgi.ebay.com/Solarforce-300-L...ayphotohosting
    couldn't you just fabricate one or imitate with some common parts
    like maybe an acrylic cup and a steel funnel. stuff you might end up using at a campsite anyway.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Quote Originally Posted by ledaholic View Post
    Hey Sgt, you need to go over to homemade and modified lights and checkout my modded rayovac. The results were good.
    If you don't mind my asking, can you post a link? I tried searching for this both using the search function here and searching manually and could not find your post. Thanks!

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* Cydonia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Current best LED lantern is... the one you build!
    Good idea f22shift, a nice stainless steel funnel would be an interesting reflector. Local plastic sheet shops sell clear acrylic pipe in all diameters... sold by the foot... might be $20, but wow, this stuff is 1/4 thick and super strong. Could make 2 or 3 lantern out of a 1' piece. Black PVC pipe fitting caps or a PVC toilet coupling as a base... bulletproof and cheap compared to the flimsy plastic lanterns available. One drop and those brittle things are toast

  23. #23

    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Quote Originally Posted by filibuster View Post
    The Rayovac Sportsmen Xtreme LED lantern (SE3DLN) is my current pick for the best LED lantern out there.

    • It runs off of three D cells for extended use
    • Gives off a good deal of light, the brightest LED lantern I own (I have about 10 others to compare it against)
    • Has a high and low mode (low mode appears to be PWM though but it is at a high frequency)
    • Has a very good diffuser which removes the piercing glare factor of the other bright LED lanterns like the Coleman's
    • It is compact and can be hung from either the top or bottom of the unit. The globe can be removed when hung upside down.
    • Good white light though I wish it were warmer in color.
    I have the same one. I like it pretty well. I picked up a Coast that was on sale today at Lowes. It's not as bright as the ROV, but I do like the dimmer function. Time will tell which I like the best.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    I must admit, I do not like the smell of that cheap China rubber on the Coast lantern. Why does that stuff smell like that? Years ago, the rubber that came from India had the same smell.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Grab your Mag-LED (3D, 4D or 3AAA) and unscrew the head. Makes a pretty darn good lantern. Plus, the 3AAA lets you actually use the head as a stand for the rod of the flashlight, so it's more stable.

    It's not the sexiest solution, but it works pretty well.

    Oh, yeah... if you have a modded Mag (this is CPF, after all), it'll be even brighter than the stock versions.
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  26. #26
    *Flashaholic* Sgt. LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Rayovac Sportman Extreme LED Lantern

    Get one of these! Super easy mod but it is not really NEEDING a mod IMO. I did mod mine but it was just to play with it and to warm up the tint.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Quote Originally Posted by PCC View Post
    If you don't mind my asking, can you post a link? I tried searching for this both using the search function here and searching manually and could not find your post. Thanks!

    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=208889

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Thanks! I guess when I did the manual search I was looking in the wrong place (here in the Lanterns section, not the Home made and modified lights section).

  29. #29

    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Quote Originally Posted by filibuster View Post
    The Rayovac Sportsmen Xtreme LED lantern (SE3DLN) is my current pick for the best LED lantern out there.

    • It runs off of three D cells for extended use
    • Gives off a good deal of light, the brightest LED lantern I own (I have about 10 others to compare it against)
    • Has a high and low mode (low mode appears to be PWM though but it is at a high frequency)
    • Has a very good diffuser which removes the piercing glare factor of the other bright LED lanterns like the Coleman's
    • It is compact and can be hung from either the top or bottom of the unit. The globe can be removed when hung upside down.
    • Good white light though I wish it were warmer in color.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil
    I have an Energizer WeatherReady lantern that has a xenon incan, three LEDs, and an amber LED - choose one. The incan is supposed to be the brightest of the three choices, but I don't see that much difference between it and the three LEDs. The amber LED is supposed to be a night light type of thing. All this runs on three (3) D cells. It also comes with a little sqweeze light built in to the top. I have used it through a couple of power outages and found it works great. If you are close to it there is enough light to read by, and it lights up the whole room well enough to be able to get around and find things.


    Questions:
    1. Which of the above emit less plastic toxins? Rayovac? Energizer?
    2. I understand the Energizer runs for 500 hours on 3 D's (low? or high?) Vs. the Rayovac's 150 Hours On Low, 72 Hours on High
    Thanks for any info.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Current best LED lantern?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. LED View Post
    Rayovac Sportman Extreme LED Lantern

    Get one of these! Super easy mod but it is not really NEEDING a mod IMO. I did mod mine but it was just to play with it and to warm up the tint.
    I have one. As I was looking at it yesterday, I thought it looked like it would be easy to mod. What did you put in yours? How much difference did it make?

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