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Thread: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

  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 09:19 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?

  5. #5
    Enlightened javajoe's Avatar
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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

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    I'm looking for a good AA powered LED lantern with decent runtimes and came across this one on Coleman's website. I'm glad you did a mini-review.

    Any idea how long the runtime is at 85 lumens? Or maybe brightness levels 3-5? I will be using eneloops.

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

    I did take it to Yosemite with me just recently. Sorry I didn't do any runtime tests. It did however perform very well vs. the other Coleman lanterns I've used in the past. The frosted globe was very bright but didn't create a huge glare problem. I had it sitting on the picnic table and it did an adequate job of providing enough light to see the immediate area. The need of having area lights however was cut short by the campfires we had every night.

    Other tasks in the dark like unloading a car or setting up a tent are best done with a headlamp or light clipped onto your clothing. My other two lights on this trip were a Nitecore D10 R2 and a Zebralight H501 (using it's clip instead of the headband). I must admit I was using the H501 far more than anything else. While this thread isn't about the H501, I found that with it I don't really have much of a need for a lantern. All I have to do is hang the H501 above head height on a nearby tree and it's floody beam aimed downwards makes a wonderful area light.

    Now back to the Coleman. I think this lantern is a keeper and will remain in my collection of camping gear. It fills the role of having a light at the table for things like cooking or playing cards. I made one minor modification. I added a few well placed pieces of glow-in-the-dark tape to the top and around the switch. That way if it's very dark I can find the lantern and turn it on without fumbling around.

  9. #9
    Enlightened
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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 03:52 AM. Reason: Added link

  10. #10
    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).

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Thanks for the link leeholaaho. I'll post over to it so those folks will be aware of Coleman's new ready made frosted model.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Nice review. How much did this lantern set you back?

    Good to see Coleman listening!

    Current draw? What is the tint like? Looks warmish?
    The Phaser: A nice EDC with great throw; heat and runtime can be issues.

    Best Diffusion Film!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaserburn View Post
    Nice review....

    Good to see Coleman listening!
    Agreed on both counts. Looks very good.
    Resistance is futile...

  14. #14

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Quote Originally Posted by LowBat View Post
    I did take it to Yosemite with me just recently. Sorry I didn't do any runtime tests. It did however perform very well vs. the other Coleman lanterns I've used in the past. The frosted globe was very bright but didn't create a huge glare problem. I had it sitting on the picnic table and it did an adequate job of providing enough light to see the immediate area. The need of having area lights however was cut short by the campfires we had every night.
    Ah ok. The reason I ask is because I want an LED lantern that runs on AA batteries and can have a good runtime with good light. Coleman does not list the runtime on each mode other than the lowest. I thought that because this is a very recent model for 2010 that it has the latest and greatest LED and circuitry, that maybe I could get 20 - 30 hours of it on mode 3, which looks OK from the pics.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic UpChUcK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Thanks for the great review LowBat. I will probably end up buying one of these when I find one. I love the variable brightness and how you change the levels. Now if Coleman can make it 'pack away' like the Packaway, then it would be even better. I just love that feature! Or put the variable brightness in a frosted Packaway.
    Last edited by UpChUcK; 05-18-2010 at 09:35 AM.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Phaserburn: The price w/tax was $21.72 using Walmart's site-to-store online purchase. Sorry I don't have the equipment to test the current draw. The tint seems white to me.

    CyberCT: Here is some information from the packaging.

    Coleman High Tech Mini Lantern
    Water and Impact Resistant
    3 AA Batteries
    Cree XLamp XR-C LED
    Intensity: 5 to 85 lumens
    Runtime: 75 to 6 hours
    Range: 9.5 to 22.5 feet

    The Coleman website says up to 200 hours. My guess it is the 75 to 6 hours is probably the rating to go by. The 3rd level might therefore be something like 30 hours, but that is just a really rough guess. I wish Blacklight would make an appearance.

    UpChUcK: I had the packaway when it first came out. I loved the design, but the glare caused that packaway to become a giveaway, and it became a raffle prize at a CPF BBQ in 2007. It wouldn't surprise me if Coleman updates that model. It has a great form factor.
    Last edited by LowBat; 05-18-2010 at 11:14 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Well I just bought one via ship to store. It looked impressive enough for my needs to get one. I'll post my impressions too when I get it.

  18. #18
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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

  19. #19
    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.

  20. #20

    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

  21. #21

    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.

  22. #22

    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.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Well I picked mine up from Walmart. Man, this thing is small. Max brightness on lumens obviously can't hold a candle to the LD20 with the diffuser. But it's still not bad for a AA lantern. Can't wait to try it out for a few nights on my next camping trip. The upper portion with the diffuser does not come off. I wish there was a hook under the battery compartment as well.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Hey glad you got your lantern. When you try it camping I think you'll find it far more pleasing to your eyes than the clear globe models , and much better output than the original Coleman MicroPacker.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Another thing I noticed is the battery tray cover is either a little loose or sensitive to the battery output. Anytime I touch the cover, or don't place the lantern on the table very gently while on, the light flickers a little dimmer than the current output.

  26. #26
    Enlightened trav54's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Looks good. Might pick this up to try it out.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCT View Post
    Another thing I noticed is the battery tray cover is either a little loose or sensitive to the battery output. Anytime I touch the cover, or don't place the lantern on the table very gently while on, the light flickers a little dimmer than the current output.
    Hmmm... mine doesn't do that. Perhaps there is a weak contact somewhere.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Quote Originally Posted by LowBat View Post
    Hmmm... mine doesn't do that. Perhaps there is a weak contact somewhere.
    Yea, might be. I'll mess around with it tomorrow and see what I can find. Even if I can't fix that, it's ok because the lantern will be stationary in the tent anyway.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    Ok, I just got back from SheDevil's CPF BBQ. Luckily there was a sphere and light meter setup for testing output. When I got a turn we tested the lantern. It was loaded with fresh Duracell alkaline cells. Remember this lantern has six levels. Here are the results in peak lumens.



    Level 6: 47 lumens

    Level 5: 24 lumens

    Level 4: 12 lumens

    Level 3: 7 lumens

    Level 2: 3.8 lumens

    Level 1: 1.5 lumens

    Notice that each level is roughly twice the previous level.

    I suspect the manufacturer's rating of 85 lumens at level 6 are not out the front lumens, but instead probably measured without the frosted anti-glare globe.
    Last edited by LowBat; 06-05-2010 at 11:58 PM. Reason: Added picture

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Coleman 3AA High Tech LED Mini Lantern

    I have to say that, after playing with your lantern today at SheDevil's house that I want one of these. I wouldn't even need to modify it. Imagine that!

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