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Thread: Lanterns

  1. #1
    Enlightened Donald's Avatar
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    Question Lanterns

    What is the best small LED lantern as of August 2011? I thought there would be a thread, but a search did not find a recent one. I would like the lantern to be bright, have more than one brightness setting, and be efficient. Special features would be a plus. I had a RiverRock lantern with a Cree LED, but apparently leaking Kirkland batteries killed it. I am looking to replace it and figure there must be newer, better ones currently on the market. I will mostly use it for power outages, but want to be able to take it camping or backpacking. Thank you for your attention.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    I recently bought 2 new lanterns and can say they are quite good IMO, The first is the Coleman LED Quad lantern at 190 lumens and the second is the Rayovac Sportsman Xtreme LED lantern at 300 lumens and it's fairly compact as well.
    Need...... more...... lights!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lanterns

    I really like the Rayovac Sportsman Xtreme LED Lantern.

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    The Sportsman Xtreme is the hot lantern as of now. Be aware that it projects a rather cool and sterile light that has lines and artifacts running throughout; I prefer a warm light in ceiling bounce for that cozy and welcoming traditional lantern feel.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    +2 on the Sportsman Xtreme, but I'd say it's more of a campsite lantern than a backpacker. Loaded with batteries it's quite heavy (by backpacking equipment standards). A short trip though, with someone else carrying some of the batteries, it'd very possibly be worth carrying then. It is an AWESOME house lighter in a blackout (I've personally been there). Don't store the D cells in it though - you don't want to find leaky alkalines in the thing when you need it most!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    I have the Rayovac Sportsman Xtreme as well, and like it...even recommend it. But because it's a little large & heavy (3 D cells) my other lights get a lot more use when camping. I prefer using one or more of my quarks (Quark AA, AA2, 123, and/or 123x2) with a Fenix lampshade attached to the head. The fenix lampshade converts a flashlight into a lantern. Much smaller, very bright (200+ lumens) and with the right tail on these lights it can tailstand. I use rechargeable batteries, and usually set up a few of these around the site & in the tent.

  7. #7
    Enlightened Donald's Avatar
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    Au Re: Lanterns

    Thanks for the replies so far. I finally realized there was a Lanterns subforum but was only interested in LED, and flashlight converters such as the Fenix are a good idea.

    One lantern I was particularly interested in and typifies what I am looking for is the UCO MightyLite Flip Lantern. Not too big, reasonably bright and runs on AA batteries which I usually have around. It supposedly has a 185 lumen Cree Q4. I do not know if that information is accurate. It appears to be a good lantern, but I did not want to buy it only to find out someone here would indicate a much better one that just came out or is about to come out.
    Last edited by Donald; 08-09-2011 at 04:42 PM.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic UpChUcK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    The Sportsman Extreme is my brightest LED lantern. My River Rock is nice and bright too. But the Coleman Packaway, especially the Exponent, is pretty bright and it is nice and small when not in use. The beam is terrible though and needs a quick and easy mod to fix it.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    I also have a Sportsman Extreme and it's a good lantern, albeit with the cool tint. You can save some weight by using nimh rechargeables in it if you don't want to lug alkaline D cells along.

    There is also a lantern head attachment for Solarforce L2 series P60 bodies. It goes on in place of the outer bezel on any Solarforce L2 series head, and even has a little spot on top for attaching the bezel so you don't lose it. Three nice things about going this route; 1) you can go back and forth between flashlight and lantern mode quite easily; 2) if you use a neutral white P60 drop-in, you don't have to settle for cool white; 3) you can stack any of the Solarforce color filters in the flashlight bezel underneath the lantern head so you can have red, amber, green, and blue colored light if you like for various purposes. I find the red filter good for astronomy purposes, and the amber one good for general lighting around the campsite that won't attract bugs.
    What? Me? Derail a thread?

  10. #10
    Flashaholic afdk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    Hey B0wz3r,

    Real NiMh D size cells are just as heavy as D size Alkaline cells, trust me I have some (AccuEvolution) D size cells and they are heaver than Duracell D cell alkaline.
    Last edited by afdk; 08-09-2011 at 07:01 PM.
    Pelican 9410, Surefire E2DL, UK Zoom-light, UK Fire-light, UK SL6, UK Mini-Q, Fenix LD01S "People should not be afraid of their Governments. Governments should be afraid of their people"






  11. #11

    Default Re: Lanterns

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    One lantern I was particularly interested in and typifies what I am looking for is the UCO MightyLite Flip Lantern. Not too big, reasonably bright and runs on AA batteries which I usually have around. It supposedly has a 185 lumen Cree Q4. I do not know if that information is accurate. It appears to be a good lantern, but I did not want to buy it only to find out someone here would indicate a much better one that just came out or is about to come out.
    I have this lantern under diffrent brand ( It sells under many brands: eGear, Eureka!, Frendo...) I bought mine something about year ago so I don't know if current models are the same.

    As for the lantern it really depends how high are your standards. When I bought it I thought that it was cool, gave the same to my brother and he likes it. I took it for holidays to Venezuela and it was useful as a flashlight and as a lantern (I modded it a little) and some people were even impressed...but now when I'm little more into flashlights it doesn't impress me anymore (but I also don't think that it's junk)

    - the led has cool tint - emits blueish-white light.
    -the lantern is probably bigger then you think: 15.5cm long, 5.5-6cm in diameter - there is just space wasted inside, it could fit 6AAs. Still it holds comfortable if you are used to fat lights (like D maglight)
    -Its regulation is not very strict - I would guess that lumens vs. runtime graph would be parabolic. The runtime is good but I never tested it fully because at some stage the light was to weak for my needs and I had to recharge batteries.
    -In flashlight mode it has awful beam for flashoholic, few dark rings from lenses (but it doesn't bother normal people ;-) or me very much) It is using two lenses and no reflector. The internal one that rotates with led and radiator to lantern mode is small dome made from clear plastic. The external one is not clear, kinda like sandblasted glass to make the beam more floody and even I guess.
    -In lantern mode it works quite good but because the tube is made from clear plastic it blinds little to much when you look at it - I covered it inside with semitransparent paper and plan to replace it with DCfix.
    -The lantern is not really made from aluminum. It's mostly plastic. The aluminum you see on pictures is just decoration - profiled aluminum pipe, underneath it there is plastic pipe. After unscrewing few things you can throw that aluminum part away and the lantern will function without any problem. So...the threads to battery compartment are plastic too but I didn't have any problem with them
    -The lumens output is hard to compare with my ZebraLight H51w. Keep in mind that for my eyes the difference between 172 lm and 86 lumens from ZebraLight is visible of course but not big. My version of UCO has bigger hotspot and weaker flood (or you could say that it has uniform beam with no hot spot + rings around) than my ZL. So the 170 lumens may be true with fresh batteries, after few hours the output is much weaker. Sorry I can't give you more specific details.

    Few interesting things: it has oring under front lens and GITD plastic around it. The led is mounted to aluminum radiator which is totally enclosed in two plastic shells The inner shell is the rotating part. The outer shell is the front lens and all the rest. I guess the heat transfer is very, very poor but somehow it works but I only used it for prolonged time (few hours) few times so I can't say anything about led lifetime. It has small blinking locator led under button. It's easy to take this light apart but hard to put it back together

    As for me, for my uses the ZebraLight H51w works much better. I plan to make some container/lens cover for it to convert it to lantern when needed I'm also very interested in not yet available ZL Q50 which could be more direct and better replacement for UCO. As you can see currently I think that diffusing light from flashlight or ceiling bouncing is better and more practical solution than dedicated lantern or currently available "flashlanterns".

    Still the UCO can be very good (or at last with good bang for buck ratio) light for average Joe. And for me it will be probably cool mod platform in the future. With better driver, led, lens and better - metal head it could be very interesting flashlight. If you have any questions or would like to see some pictures feel free to ask.
    Last edited by stp; 08-09-2011 at 09:04 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Lanterns

    This isn't specifically what you asked for, but regular flashlights with diffusers work well as lanterns. I just went camping in Utah with some friends and I brought two Xeno E03 lights with me and a diffuser for each. When tailstanding they lit the entire campsite with ample light, and worked well in the tent, too. They're small and light so I didn't notice them in my pack, either. I'm sure there are benefits to having a traditional lantern, but the flashlight + diffuser option is worth looking into if size and weight are important.

  13. #13
    Enlightened MashBill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    Check out http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com...tain/lighting/

    I have the Titan and the Orbit lanterns. I'm very happy with them.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Ian2381's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    Quote Originally Posted by silentlurker View Post
    This isn't specifically what you asked for, but regular flashlights with diffusers work well as lanterns. I just went camping in Utah with some friends and I brought two Xeno E03 lights with me and a diffuser for each. When tailstanding they lit the entire campsite with ample light, and worked well in the tent, too. They're small and light so I didn't notice them in my pack, either. I'm sure there are benefits to having a traditional lantern, but the flashlight + diffuser option is worth looking into if size and weight are important.
    +1, this is my new camping setup, the Xeno E03 neutral with my fenix diffuser works pretty well. when needed to light up the camp for a few minutes (25 max) I just put a 14500 battery and 400 lumens of diffused light is just awesome.
    IAN2381
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  15. #15
    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    Quote Originally Posted by afdk View Post
    Hey B0wz3r,

    Real NiMh D size cells are just as heavy as D size Alkaline cells, trust me I have some (AccuEvolution) D size cells and they are heaver than Duracell D cell alkaline.
    Hmm; okay. I have some cheap Energizer non-LSD ones and they're less than half the weight of the same size alkies... In fact, they kinda feel like they've got a D sized shell around a smaller internal core that might be about the same size as an AA or 123. They don't last nearly as long as fresh alkies either. I'd guess about 4,000 mah perhaps, based on what I've seen the Sportsman Extreme do using them compared to alkies.
    What? Me? Derail a thread?

  16. #16
    Flashaholic UpChUcK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    One lantern I was particularly interested in and typifies what I am looking for is the UCO MightyLite Flip Lantern. Not too big, reasonably bright and runs on AA batteries which I usually have around. It supposedly has a 185 lumen Cree Q4. I do not know if that information is accurate. It appears to be a good lantern, but I did not want to buy it only to find out someone here would indicate a much better one that just came out or is about to come out.
    The UCO Flip lantern is about as bright as my River Rock and much weaker than the Sportsman Extreme and sized somewhat in between. What I like about it though is its versatility. A decently bright lantern and then flip the LED and it's a nice floody flashlight. Check out the frosting job on my Coleman Packaway. It folds down nice and small too.

    Here's a size comparison:






  17. #17
    Enlightened Donald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    Thanks everyone for all the information. The size comparison shot is interesting. I did not realize how much bigger the Flip lantern is than the RiverRock.

    I'm still wondering where my Fenix diffuser is.... I just noticed they also have a Fenix Camping Lampshade Diffuser LD10 LD20 PD20 PD30 HP10 HL20. I do not have the Fenix lights it would fit, but I imagine one can adapt it.

    One reason I was interested in a lantern similar to the RiverRock was that COSTCO said they would pay for the replacement since their batteries caused it to stop working. I do not see them in Target anymore and assume they stopped carrying it. Is that correct? Did they ever change the packaging so one would know if they found Cree led version? If they don't have any I guess that would be a moot question. I know there were some similar versions. Do they still exist or have they gotten any brighter? The may not be a huge difference for most purposes but I do like the somewhat smaller size of the RiverRock.

    Decisions, Decisions, Another reason for a lantern is just to have something to sit around for power outages when I might be using my flashlight or headlamp for more specific illumination.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Lanterns

    I would say the Solarforce lantern head attachment would be the best. All of those lanterns available at the big box stores don't also quickly convert to a flashlight. With the lantern attachment all you have to do is unscrew it. The Solarforce flashlight also has the benefit of being waterproof and more durable cause it's made of aluminum instead of plastic. Other advantages replaceable components, high output modules available, multi-mode so you can lower output and extend runtime, and availability of different tints as cold white light seems to attract bugs more.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I just noticed they also have a Fenix Camping Lampshade Diffuser LD10 LD20 PD20 PD30 HP10 HL20. I do not have the Fenix lights it would fit, but I imagine one can adapt it.
    I referenced the fenix lampshade above, and really love it. I don't use my Sportsman Extreme very much anymore since I got a couple of these lampshades. They fit on my fenix lights and quarks very well. The problem I have with the Sportsman Extreme is that the low is no where near low enough; where as, my quarks go quite low & are more useful....smaller & lighter too.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Lanterns


  21. #21
    Enlightened Donald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoorsman5 View Post
    I referenced the fenix lampshade above, and really love it. I don't use my Sportsman Extreme very much anymore since I got a couple of these lampshades. They fit on my fenix lights and quarks very well. The problem I have with the Sportsman Extreme is that the low is no where near low enough; where as, my quarks go quite low & are more useful....smaller & lighter too.
    I did read what you said, but it did not dawn on me that there was a distinction between the "lampshade" and the "diffuser" until I actually saw a picture. It might have sunk in at a later slower reading, but in any event, it certainly has now.

  22. #22
    Enlightened Donald's Avatar
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    Thinking Re: Lanterns

    That Solarforce lantern adapter looks great too! I can see one of those in my future even if I get a regular lantern. I'll read the thread again too, in case I missed it, but has anyone compared it to the Fenix lampshade? The Solarforce looks like a more elaborate inmitation of the small lanterns.

  23. #23

  24. #24

    Default Re: Lanterns

    not sure if I'm reading this right, but the sportsman extreme is much brighter than either right? Or am I thinking of a different lantern?
    nice comparison pic btw

    Quote Originally Posted by UpChUcK View Post
    The UCO Flip lantern is about as bright as my River Rock and much weaker than the Sportsman Extreme and sized somewhat in between.
    TK40 Round-Up Thread - very image intensive!

  25. #25
    Flashaholic UpChUcK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lanterns

    Quote Originally Posted by flasherByNight View Post
    not sure if I'm reading this right, but the sportsman extreme is much brighter than either right? Or am I thinking of a different lantern?
    nice comparison pic btw
    Yes, the Sportsman Extreme is currently my brightest LED lantern by a good margin. It is significantly brighter than either the UCO Flip or River Rock.

    Below are pics for comparison done with my Canon 30D DSLR, Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro HSM @ 28mm, 1/13sec., f6.3, ISO 200.

    Sportsman Extreme on high:
    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-k...0/IMG_1381.JPG

    River Rock on high:
    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-G...0/IMG_1375.JPG

    Coleman PackAway on high after frosting lens:
    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-U...0/IMG_1396.JPG

    I don't have a shot of the USO Flip yet.

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