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Thread: Is there a super bright LED solar lantern?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Is there a super bright LED solar lantern?

    Is there a super bright LED solar lantern you would recommend for camping, emergencies, and working in a storage locker? Preparedness offers one that seems okay, and there are some yard lanterns that are described as "super bright" such as from Pinetop that might work. The prices vary widely. Amazon has some reviews on solar emergency lights, and, in general, the people who have had to use them in an emergency give them poor ratings. What is your experience?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is there a super bright LED solar lantern?

    I often here LED lanterns described as super bright myself. The truth is though that they don't even come close to the brightness of a propane or liquid fuel lantern. LED light is intense but the light does not disperse well in most current LED lanterns. So it will light up your face if you hold it right next to your face, but it won't light up anything else. I think people who rank them poorly do so for this reason primarily.

    A lot of people also claim that they take much longer to fully charge than most manufacturers state. And you need really good bright sun exposure. So given these characteristics I don't think one should rely on them as an main light source. In this video http://www.camping-lanterns.net/lantern_videos.html, look at this LED lantern's performance at night in pitch black. The light is intense but it does not illuminate the area around it at all. The presenter in the video thinks the lantern is great but I guess he doesn't need to see where he is walking.

    Solar power seems to works much better in my solar flashlight (which I like a lot).

  3. #3

    Default Re: Is there a super bright LED solar lantern?

    no such thing. LED lanterns are not super bright.... yet. the brightest electric lantern is probably 15-18watt flourescent and the gas/propane lanterns are as bright to over twice as bright as they are. I would estimate the output as follows:
    gas/propane 600-2000 lumens
    flourescent 400-1000 lumens
    LED (non 5mm) 60-600 lumens
    LED (5mm) 1-20 lumens.

    I would say a lantern with about 6 hard driven cree emitters could be up there
    but nobody makes one and runtime and batteries could be an issue as when you
    drive crees hard the efficiency drops using up the batteries faster.
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