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Thread: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

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  1. #1
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Yet another 3AA mini lantern from Coleman. I did a quick search here on CPF and didn't see any mention of it yet. This one is supposedly just hitting the market. I've owned a few Coleman LED AA lanterns over the years and the common problems were artifacts, lack of diffusing, and a funky hi-lo-flash switch that a lot of us really don't like. This new model looks like it has addressed those problems by having a frosted globe and a variable intensity adjustment ring. I like that the low mode goes down to 5 lumens. I sure hope that push button switch is only for basic on and off. Now to see if I can find one at my local Target or Walmart.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Checked Target, no luck. I'll have to drive out to Walmart.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Not yet at Walmart either, but I placed an order through Walmart's site-to-store option and it came in today. The price w/tax was $21.72.



    Here's the lantern in it's package. Note it's labeled as 5 to 85 lumens. I have a feeling this lantern might be the result of feedback on previous Coleman LED lanterns (micropacker, pack-away) we gave CPF member Blacklight. Blacklight works for Coleman, and maybe he'll post to this thread if he sees it.







    I like the frosted globe for cutting down the glare and smoothing out any artifacts. It takes three AA cells and there is no battery carrier, but the battery door detaches and that's something you won't want to lose. The fold-away hanging half-ring is made of metal unlike the micropackers plastic handle. The lantern uses a single LED facing upwards and projecting onto a conical reflector.







    The switch is a simple rubber covered on-off switch. I'm so glad Coleman didn't use a multi-mode switch. It's a nuisance to cycle though several pushes just to turn off a light. Instead, there is an intensity adjustment ring. Rotating the ring to the right increases the brightness, while rotating it left dims the lantern. There are no clicks, but turning it you will find it has six brightness levels. I'll post pictures of each setting.


    Lowest setting. I assume this is the 5 lumen setting.







    Turning the ring a little brings up the next level.







    The third level.







    The fourth level.







    The fifth level.







    The sixth and brightest level. This is supposed to be 85 lumens, although I have no way of measuring this.






    I need to take this lantern camping sometime to test how practical it really is. I have a feeling the light output will be adequate, and I'm hoping the glare won't be such an issue like when I had the Coleman pack-away lantern with it's clear window. The frosted globe of this lantern will hopefully take much of the glare away from night adapted eyes. The real test of this will be taking it camping.
    Last edited by LowBat; 04-09-2010 at 10:19 AM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Wow, over 200 views and not a single comment or question. Did I cover everything?

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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    thanks for the review. This looks like a well designed lantern. I like the ring adjustable brightness and the frosted-glare reducing glass.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Quote Originally Posted by javajoe View Post
    thanks for the review. This looks like a well designed lantern. I like the ring adjustable brightness and the frosted-glare reducing glass.
    You're welcome. Yes the adjustment ring is a great idea and it works well. The glass is actually plastic and that's a good thing if it ever gets dropped.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Quote Originally Posted by LowBat View Post
    Wow, over 200 views and not a single comment or question. Did I cover everything?

    There was a long thread a while back about this type of lantern, in it someone had actually gone out and purchased the frosted paint to mask the glare as it came with a clear glass, with great success as I recall

    It was quite extensive with comparisons and pics of all the brands - maybe searching again will lead you to it


    GL

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...+frosted+paint
    Last edited by leeholaaho; 05-18-2010 at 04:52 AM. Reason: Added link

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Quote Originally Posted by leeholaaho View Post
    There was a long thread a while back about this type of lantern, in it someone had actually gone out and purchased the frosted paint to mask the glare as it came with a clear glass, with great success as I recall

    It was quite extensive with comparisons and pics of all the brands - maybe searching again will lead you to it


    GL
    I'm familiar with such a thread as I started one 3 1/2 years ago. You can view it here. The experimention with frosting is towards the last page of that thread. I suspect it was these efforts by fellow CPF members that were noticed by Coleman and led to the production of this new model (mentioned in post #3 in this thread).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Thanks for bringing my attention to this new Cree LED lantern Lowbat. I was not aware of it.
    I really appreciate these new AA type mini-lanterns. Great form factor for lightweight camping or power outages, and although my first River Rock model had the glare issue, these new introductions have resolved this problem. It is great (and wise) that the flashlight companies are listening to some of the comments and suggestions posted here on CPF.
    Fenix L2D, L1D, LOD, P2D, E01, Inova X-5, X-1 v2, Inova Radiant 2aaa, Inova Microlight, Dorcy Super 1 watt, Dorcy 1aaa gen3, RiverRock 2aa Headlight, RiverRock 1W 1aa, RayoVac Sportsmanextreme 1aa Headlight, Nuwai .5Watt 1aaa and 2aaa

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    Flashaholic* Vesper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Thanks for the review and follow ups on this. Love the fact this light is 3AA. Might have to pick one up - the price is right.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    I would have preferred if it was 4 AAs instead of 3 but hey, it looks like it makes up in other areas. I wonder how close the runtimes will come to that of a 2 AA Fenix flashlight, like the LD 20 r4, which I just bought:

    http://www.fenixlight.com/UploadFile...9161946467.jpg

  12. #12

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCT View Post
    I would have preferred if it was 4 AAs instead of 3 but hey, it looks like it makes up in other areas. I wonder how close the runtimes will come to that of a 2 AA Fenix flashlight, like the LD 20 r4, which I just bought:

    http://www.fenixlight.com/UploadFile...9161946467.jpg
    I doubt they will be very comparable. The Fenix LD20 has a very efficient regulated output but most lanterns I've encountered do very little by way of regulated circuitry at least to the extent the Fenix circuitry does.

    I'm guessing you will see more of a diminishing curve in light intensity as the batteries discharge compared to the flat output shown for the LD20.

    I have a Fenix L2D and have added the diffuser tip which is really a great addition to the light and gives you lantern like lighting in a flashlight form factor.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Quote Originally Posted by filibuster View Post
    I doubt they will be very comparable. The Fenix LD20 has a very efficient regulated output but most lanterns I've encountered do very little by way of regulated circuitry at least to the extent the Fenix circuitry does.

    I'm guessing you will see more of a diminishing curve in light intensity as the batteries discharge compared to the flat output shown for the LD20.

    I have a Fenix L2D and have added the diffuser tip which is really a great addition to the light and gives you lantern like lighting in a flashlight form factor.
    Haha, funny you mentioned it becaust I just bought another LD20 and two diffuser tips a few days ago, they should be arriving in the mail tomorrow. I have another camping trip this weekend and I'm going to test them out.

  14. #14

    Default

    May have to try this..

  15. #15

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    I really want to see this done. My LED is too cool in color temp IMO. A neutral XPG would be a sweet swap.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    So has anyone with some modding knowledge attempted or planning to attempt a mod of this lantern yet?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCT View Post
    So has anyone with some modding knowledge attempted or planning to attempt a mod of this lantern yet?
    I don't have any real modding experience, but i just recieved this lantern and have a new LED on its way to me... Will let you know how it goes.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Sweet! I really like this lantern, and would love to hear how your modding goes. I could be next ...

  19. #19

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    I just modded the coleman with a neutral r5, it is much improved. Man those 4 skinny little screws holding the thing together were a serious pita. I had to buy a special skinny screwdriver to get to them, and basically trashed it because those threads were so tight.

    I havent done a heat test but i dont think it will do well theres no real heatsink, just a metal plate no thicker than a quarter that the pcb is glued to... but fortunately due to the variable levels design, i dont have to run it maxed out to get good light out of it.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisdm View Post
    I just modded the coleman with a neutral r5,
    Coming into this thread really late, but I'm also interested in replacing the LED with a neutral XP-G. From the spec, the original LED is a XR-C, with a forward voltage of 3.5V at 350mA, 0.5A max. The nominal rating for XP-G is 2.9V at 350mA, about 1.5A max. Is there any issues with the difference in specs? I thought that since the brightest setting would have a resistor set to supply 0.5 amps (maybe?), you would be around 42% of XP-G brightness, so over 150 lm?

    Any other details on what you use for heat sinking?

  21. #21

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    I just picked one of these lanterns up and I like it but am considering upgrading the LED and changing some of the resistors in it so as to get better output. I measured the current in all 6 modes using nimh batteries and got the following:
    1)7.5ma
    2)14ma
    3)28ma
    4)40ma
    5)85ma
    6)125ma

    I believe the 200 hours runtime, I calculate at ~8ma it should run for about 250 hours or about 10 days off 2000mah nimh batteries. I'm guessing off alkaline or lithium primaries the currents and outputs will be higher. One note is to use a #2 phillips screwdriver on the screws with a long shank using a #1 will probably have you slipping off the heads. Don't overtighten the screws on the LED part they tighten up fast and too easy compared to the base screws. One other thing is the board the LED is on is about 19-20mm not sure of the thickness though so I'm thinking of a 19mm LED on a board should be fine may need to shim it though. I'm not sure if you can drive an LED much harder on a bare board with no extra heatsinking to it I'm wondering if anyone has run LEDs on 19mm boards without external headsinking at over 130ma current through them or not. I'm guessing that on alkalines the current may be about 150-160ma nominal.
    I got to thinking off alkalines this thing may run for well over two weeks on low as there is no regulation it could possibly keep running down to nothing.
    Last edited by Lynx_Arc; 09-16-2015 at 10:27 PM.
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Just a heads-up since I have used mine a LOT as a night light for the kids. I'm now having intermittent operation issues from what appears to be spring contact issues.

    My lantern has been feed eneloops it's entire service life.

    I messed around with the springs & it seems to have cured it for now but before I tried that I was using a "Quik-Clamp" to hold the battery door tighter against the lantern to establish a circuit connection.

    Other than that it has been rock solid & provided hundreds of hours of use oftentimes being left on by accident.
    Travis

    Various Neutral Tinted/Hi CRI Goodness.

  23. #23
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    Exclamation Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    I just picked one of these lanterns up and I like it but am considering upgrading the LED and changing some of the resistors in it so as to get better output. I measured the current in all 6 modes using nimh batteries and got the following:
    1)7.5ma
    2)14ma
    3)28ma
    4)40ma
    5)85ma
    6)125ma

    I believe the 200 hours runtime, I calculate at ~8ma it should run for about 250 hours or about 10 days off 2000mah nimh batteries. I'm guessing off alkaline or lithium primaries the currents and outputs will be higher. One note is to use a #2 phillips screwdriver on the screws with a long shank using a #1 will probably have you slipping off the heads. Don't overtighten the screws on the LED part they tighten up fast and too easy compared to the base screws. One other thing is the board the LED is on is about 19-20mm not sure of the thickness though so I'm thinking of a 19mm LED on a board should be fine may need to shim it though. I'm not sure if you can drive an LED much harder on a bare board with no extra heatsinking to it I'm wondering if anyone has run LEDs on 19mm boards without external headsinking at over 130ma current through them or not. I'm guessing that on alkalines the current may be about 150-160ma nominal.
    I got to thinking off alkalines this thing may run for well over two weeks on low as there is no regulation it could possibly keep running down to nothing.
    I would have thought that a low current of 150ma (around 0.5 i guess)would be ok on its board, only one way tofind out, buy three and test it to possible destruction, crank the current until you reccon its getting too hot ie hot to the touch, from what ive read the temperature needs to be beneath boiling point, so if its getting near that the heat isnt dissipating, and will get worse when enclosed in its housing. It of course depends on the components used. Mind you there's ok and then there's brilliant, and that few degrees extra can reduce efficiency by 20%+. You could by a cluster on the same board if the optics allow to split the load. I've run leds off that sort of current very successfully without extar heatsinking than the housing of the light. But i suppose the components will dictate it more,

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/s...eaper-led-bulb
    Last edited by petrochemicals; 09-20-2015 at 03:04 AM. Reason: added detail

  24. #24

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Quote Originally Posted by petrochemicals View Post
    I would have thought that a low current of 150ma (around 0.5 i guess)would be ok on its board, only one way tofind out, buy three and test it to possible destruction, crank the current until you reccon its getting too hot ie hot to the touch, from what ive read the temperature needs to be beneath boiling point, so if its getting near that the heat isnt dissipating, and will get worse when enclosed in its housing. It of course depends on the components used. Mind you there's ok and then there's brilliant, and that few degrees extra can reduce efficiency by 20%+. You could by a cluster on the same board if the optics allow to split the load. I've run leds off that sort of current very successfully without extar heatsinking than the housing of the light. But i suppose the components will dictate it more,

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/s...eaper-led-bulb
    I could always figure out how to add on extra heat sinking I was just sort of thinking that it would be cool to have a high mode of about 300 lumens with 6 modes available I'm thinking a setup of 300/120/50/15/3/0.5 would be most useful and perhaps an XPG2 emitter or maybe an XML2 emitter whichever is more efficient (less heat) at the two higher output stages. It looks like I would need 700ma to drive an XML-2 emitter around 300 lumens it should run for about 2.5 hours off my nimh duraloops at that output.
    I think I may just get one of them I have a digital infrared thermometer I can just experiment with a power supply cranking it up and seeing how high the temperature jumps.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

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