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Thread: One bright lantern vs Four dimmer lantern

  1. #1

    Default One bright lantern vs Four dimmer lantern

    I'm in the process of building an area light for wilderness camping and would like some opinion. I only have one cheap-o lantern and would like to hear from people who have a few of them. Would you prefer to have 1 bright central point vs 4 at 1/4 of the brightness set at different corners?
    What I have setup right now is one 35 watt HID running off 2 packs of 64 NCR18650. Power consumption for the HID is 14.45v x 2.85a = 41.18w. I also have an XML T6 3c running off an 2.8amp driver 4.2v x 2.8a = 11.76w(no diffuser yet). The HID has better CRI and Kelvin color temperature and it is easier to implement since it doesn't need a diffuser.
    Each pack weighs about 6.5 pounds and has 668wH. HID will consume a little bit less power then 4 XML but it does cast a fair amount of shadows. I was hoping that spreading the light to 4 points like a square will help reduce the shadows.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: One bright lantern vs Four dimmer lantern

    Also consider redundancy - if you have one light and it fails you have 0% remaining. If you have 4 lights and one fails you have 75% remaining.

  3. #3

    Default Re: One bright lantern vs Four dimmer lantern

    Also, if power consumption is a concern, you can simply use three of the XM-L lights normally and only turn on the fourth when you need the most light you can get. In general, I think having about 2 - 4 light sources is more reliable and flexible. It allows the sources to be positioned for more uniform lighting and provides redundancy. Only one source is a single point of failure as Mike mentioned above, and more than four sources can start to get cumbersome.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
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    Mar 2002
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    San Diego
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    Default Re: One bright lantern vs Four dimmer lantern

    Besides smoothing out the shadows, a larger number of lanterns with good diffusion should reduce glare.

    For mellow later evening non-glare lighting that allows one to see where he/she's walking the Black Diamond Apollo or Titan's are very nice with their downward focus. These are pricey, so the Apollo, my lowest output lantern, is the only Black Diamond in my collection of 5 lanterns.

    While camping I use multiple lanterns during activity periods at night but use my Apollo by itself in the hours before retiring.
    Last edited by lemlux; 01-31-2012 at 02:35 PM.
    Anything worth illuminating is worth illuminating to excess.

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