Stopped into Lowe's today to pick up one of the Craftsman Extreme 3D lanterns for a camping trip this weekend. Saw this Task Force 8D flourescent tube lantern next to it for $25. Anyone have any experience with it - similar lanterns or with other Task Force products?
I'll probably keep the Craftsman as an emergency light around the house, regardless. However, I wondered if the Task Force would be a better area light for a campsite. It's 8D, so heavy, but we'll be car camping so the weight is less of an issue.
Fluorescent takes a while to warm up and my experience is that battery powered ballast is nowhere near as gentle on the lamp compared to high quality external ballasts used for CFLs.
If it turns on right away, it's not taking good care of the lamp. A good program start strategy ballast takes a second or two to heat up the heaters, then start the lamp and maintain the proper peak-to-rms ratio needed for proper lamp life.