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Thread: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

  1. #31
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    I finally got around to doing this mod on a few of my lanterns. I got Rustoleum frosted glass spray from Home Depot.

    I modded 3 lanterns: Brunton 3C Polaris, Coleman Retro 11W rechargeable fluoro, and Favourlight warm white 3AA. While I really like all three, each had issues with glare that I thought could be improved.

    And what an improvement! I love it. The big Retro 280 lumen can now be used without wanting to avert your eyes. Big thanks to upchuck for suggesting this mod. The Polaris and Favour are now easier on the eyes as well for close range.

    Now, I'm looking for a similar mod that can also apply a warmer tint... ideas?
    The Phaser: A nice EDC with great throw; heat and runtime can be issues.

    Best Diffusion Film!

  2. #32
    Flashaholic UpChUcK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaserburn View Post
    I finally got around to doing this mod on a few of my lanterns. I got Rustoleum frosted glass spray from Home Depot.

    I modded 3 lanterns: Brunton 3C Polaris, Coleman Retro 11W rechargeable fluoro, and Favourlight warm white 3AA. While I really like all three, each had issues with glare that I thought could be improved.

    And what an improvement! I love it. The big Retro 280 lumen can now be used without wanting to avert your eyes. Big thanks to upchuck for suggesting this mod. The Polaris and Favour are now easier on the eyes as well for close range.

    Now, I'm looking for a similar mod that can also apply a warmer tint... ideas?
    You're welcome Phaserburn!

    I originally did this mod to my Coleman Packaway because to the hideous beam and the apparent wasted light because of the spotty beam. I really love the design of the Packaway and in its stock form was basically unusable IMO. This simple mod certainly did fix that.

    But now that you mention the glare aspect that you improved on your lanterns, I will have to spray all my other lanterns that have the dreaded glare issue . My Brunton Polaris being being the first. Its beam is smooth but the glare is bothersome. Thanks, Phaserburn for the idea to fix the glare with this mod. Now I can use the can again.

  3. #33
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    No problem; thanks again for the idea. It wasn't just beam quality, but the glare was just as important in improvement. I found that I didn't use those particular lanterns so much because you couldn't be facing them at close range; they were unpleasant. After the mod, they are soooo much more user friendly, its like getting new lanterns all over again.

    The Polaris in particular was a nice result. I love the fact that it only draws around 10-20ma on low while being decently bright. On alk C cells, that low draw will run forever.

    The Retro was really very bright, and when you combine that with a high "daylight" color temp, the glare was really too much.

    The warm temp Favour is just plain great. The combo of warm temp and diffuse artifact free output with no glare is just awesome.
    The Phaser: A nice EDC with great throw; heat and runtime can be issues.

    Best Diffusion Film!

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    Quote Originally Posted by UpChUcK View Post
    You're welcome Phaserburn!

    I originally did this mod to my Coleman Packaway because to the hideous beam and the apparent wasted light because of the spotty beam. I really love the design of the Packaway and in its stock form was basically unusable IMO. This simple mod certainly did fix that.
    Thanks so much for doing my homework for me. I've had this light sitting at the BOTTOM of my bag, with the REI receipt sitting on top of my workbench for weeks, trying to decide whether to take it back or not. I hated the light, but liked the package.

    After your mod, it's actually worth keeping now, and the receipt has been put away.

    Now... what to do with a can of Rustoleum Frosted Glass paint - 95% full.

  5. #35

    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    I've got a Radio Shack two for $10 4AA lanterns. Typical LED lantern issues (color, glare, artifacts) In addition to the frosting has anyone attempted to put a reflector on a lantern? I would like a 120 to 180 degree beam instead of 360 degree and would like to reflect as much of the light as possible in the other direction.
    --How do I know what's too far? I've been there.
    --I don't make the same mistakes twice. I make all new ones.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeinrancho View Post
    Now... what to do with a can of Rustoleum Frosted Glass paint - 95% full.
    You seriously need to ask?

    Buy more lanterns! That model is far from the only one that benefits from diffusion of its output.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Duodec View Post
    You seriously need to ask?

    Buy more lanterns! That model is far from the only one that benefits from diffusion of its output.
    Apparently I wasn't thinking straight. Found another Coleman in Red on sale, had to pick it up. Started going through the bags and cabinets and found a couple other lanterns to 'fix'. I may get through that can after all.

  8. #38
    Flashaholic UpChUcK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeinrancho View Post
    Apparently I wasn't thinking straight. Found another Coleman in Red on sale, had to pick it up. Started going through the bags and cabinets and found a couple other lanterns to 'fix'. I may get through that can after all.
    Glade you were able to "fix" your Coleman.

    Are there any Meijers stores in your area? I think they may be only in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky. The Coleman Packaways are on sale for $21 and come in orange, red, blue and green. The packaging says 90 lumens as opposed to the 95 of the Exponent ones. You need to get 19 more to make use of your whole can.

  9. #39

    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    After reading about the Coleman 4 AA Pack-Away lantern in this forum, I couldn't resist and I bought a red one at Target this past weekend for $22. I've been looking for a small 4 AA powered LED lantern for around the house when the power goes out, which is unfortunately very common on my block. I was strongly considering the River Rock lantern but I did not like its 3 AA format. I absolutely love the Coleman Pack-Away lantern and I've been using it all weekend long even though the power is on!

    The artifacts in the output light are annoying but so far I can live with them. I've only been using my lantern in the bathroom so it's not like I've been reading with it. This frosting spray paint definitely looks like a great solution to the only issue that I have with the light though. I will most definitely give it a try if the artifacts bug me that much in the future.

    Until then though, I absolutely love the Coleman Pack-Away lantern and I'll be taking it with me on vacation soon. Thanks CPF members for the great recommendation!

  10. #40
    Flashaholic UpChUcK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    Spray it. The beam is so much more usable with it. The results speak for themselves.

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    Agreed! Spraying it is a simple process, and at the same time it is a great idea. I did mine and the effects are excellent - just like in the photos by UpChUcK and j3bnl above. Previously unpleasant and glaring, this lantern is now a pleasure to use and is firmly on my packing list for field trips.
    Resistance is futile...

  12. #42
    Flashaholic* don.gwapo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    Going to home depot today and grab a glass frosting to spray it on mine too. Can't stand on those glare. Hope this frosting will help.

  13. #43
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    Quote Originally Posted by don.gwapo View Post
    Going to home depot today and grab a glass frosting to spray it on mine too. Can't stand on those glare. Hope this frosting will help.
    It will.
    The Phaser: A nice EDC with great throw; heat and runtime can be issues.

    Best Diffusion Film!

  14. #44
    Flashaholic* don.gwapo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    Thanks for the tip. Mine is way better now than before. No more glare and artifacts and the distribution of light is now even. A frosted tape also works for this lantern.

  15. #45
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    Coleman has a new model (as of March 2010) that has the frosting included. It's more like the micropacker than the pack-away. Link here.
    Last edited by LowBat; 05-18-2010 at 05:19 AM.

  16. #46
    Flashaholic UpChUcK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    Quote Originally Posted by LowBat View Post
    Coleman has a new model (as of March 2010) that has the frosting included. It's more like the micropacker than the pack-away. Link here.
    Thanks for the heads-up LowBat.

    Looks nice, Too bad it doesn't pack away like the Packaway.

  17. #47
    Flashaholic munkybiz_9881's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    I took my (2) coleman 3AA lanterns (one yellow, one grey-exactly like the ones in post #9 on this thread) today and sanded the inside of the plastic lens's with 320 grit. These lanterns come apart really easy, and the 320 grit worked great, I wet sanded them.

    I was going to follow you guys with the frosting spray, but I live in BFE with no stores within 100 miles or so, and I'm impatient

    Anyways the sandpaper did the trick nicely, There's an even glowing light now, and no lines and annoying patterns everywhere. No worries about the frosting spray coming off or binding the slide sheilds either.

    I stuck the laterns in a dark cabinet to test them for a minute.

    Thanks you guys for the idea in the first place, I hated these lanterns till today. Waiting till dark now to get a better idea of how even the glow is.

    Really....Thanks
    Last edited by munkybiz_9881; 10-27-2010 at 05:46 PM.
    out of the darkness comes......well duh

  18. #48
    Flashaholic UpChUcK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    Quote Originally Posted by munkybiz_9881 View Post
    I took my (2) coleman 3AA lanterns (one yellow, one grey-exactly like the ones in post #9 on this thread) today and sanded the inside of the plastic lens's with 320 grit. These lanterns come apart really easy, and the 320 grit worked great, I wet sanded them.

    I was going to follow you guys with the frosting spray, but I live in BFE with no stores within 100 miles or so, and I'm impatient

    Anyways the sandpaper did the trick nicely, There's an even glowing light now, and no lines and annoying patterns everywhere. No worries about the frosting spray coming off or binding the slide sheilds either.

    I stuck the laterns in a dark cabinet to test them for a minute.

    Thanks you guys for the idea in the first place, I hated these lanterns till today. Waiting till dark now to get a better idea of how even the glow is.

    Really....Thanks
    Great idea!

    Any way you diffuse it, it improves the lantern immensely.

    I've been using the heck outta my packaway and there is no wear on the frosting as well as no binding issues.

  19. #49
    Flashaholic* j3bnl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    My frosting is holding up well too.
    No wear or binding issues either.
    Diffusing the light whatever way you choose makes this light far better than it was originally.

  20. #50

    Default Re: Coleman Packaway (Exponent?) 4xAA LED quick beam mod

    Diffusing definitely does help, I've noticed that myself
    Life is good

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