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Thread: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

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    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    'SHOT Show Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)



    'SHOT SHOW Specials' are a series of reviews inspired by, or as a consequence of, my visit to the SHOT SHOW 2015.
    These may contain photos taken while travelling, and may be of a slightly different format.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Author's Statement for Transparency and Disclosure
    The test sample/s featured in this article have been provided for technical testing and review by the manufacturer. Test samples are retained by the reviewer following publication of the completed review for the purposes of long term testing and product comparisons.

    All output figures and test results published in this review are the sole work of the reviewer, and are carried out independently and without bias. Test results are reported as found, with no embellishments or alteration. Though best endeavours are made to maintain the accuracy of test equipment, the accuracy of these results is not guaranteed and is subject to the test equipment functioning correctly.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Streamlight's original Siege light was a full size lantern and something I really like the look of. I didn't get my hands on one of them to test, but have got the new baby brother of the Siege, the Siege AA.

    The light on test here was a display sample at SHOT SHOW, so I don't have the packaging and the photos may show some signs of use.





    Taking a more detailed look:

    Normally folded down around the body, the carrying handle / hanging hook is show in the upright position




    A feature of the Siege lanterns is the ability to remove the top section with the diffuser. The top diffuser is attached with a bayonet fixing so requires only a quarter twist to release it.




    You can then hang the Siege AA using the folding clip found in the base. Overall this makes the Siege AA smaller and the light more direct. This is reflected in the output figures giving the full output. (the diffuser results in a 45% loss of output)




    This is a closer look at the dome covering the LEDs. One central white LED and two red LEDs either side of this.




    To show the switch illumination, here the Siege AA is on the red output mode. The switch illumination acts as a battery power meter. Going from Green (as shown) to Yellow, to Red as the cells become depleted.




    The battery door is keyed to allow it to be refitted in total darkness.




    For an idea of size, here is the Siege AA at the end of a batch of lights on test.

    From left to right these are: Olight S10R, Olight S15R, Olight S30R, FOURSEVENS Bolt-Action, FOURSEVENS Preon P2, FOURSEVENS MMU-X3R, Streamlight ProTac HL3, MAG-LITE XL200, NITECORE TM06, Lumintop ED20-T, V54 DC25Cvn and the Streamlight Siege AA.

    The Siege AA is a really convenient size for travel and easy to pack.



    The beam

    Being a lantern, its beam pattern is that of, well a lantern. You can see the diffuser creates a lovely even spread of light.




    The red output is also nice and even, and here the exposure has been adjusted to show the light. Red output is very dim compared to the white, so do not take this image as representing the White vs Red output levels.





    Modes and User Interface:

    The Siege AA has a single built-in electric click switch with a very simple interface.

    First, to swap between white and red output modes from either ON or OFF, press and hold the button for 2s

    If the Siege AA was OFF, it will then come ON to the alternate output colour. If it was already ON it will swap output colour and stay ON.


    In RED mode:

    From OFF, press the button to enter steady RED output. Within 4s press the button again to change to RED SOS, and again within 4s to turn OFF.

    If you wait more than 4s between pressing the button when ON, the next time you press the button it will turn OFF regardless of output mode.


    In WHITE mode:

    From OFF, press the button to enter steady WHIITE output - Low. Within 4s press the button again to change to WHITE - Medium, again within 4s to turn to WHITE – HIGH, and once again within 4s to turn OFF.

    If you wait more than 4s between pressing the button when ON, the next time you press the button it will turn OFF regardless of output mode.

    Siege AA has no flashing WHITE modes.


    There is no electronic lockout, but the switch is recessed to reduce accidental activation.



    Batteries and output:

    The SIEGE AA uses 3x AA cells. Testing was carried out with alkaline and rechargeable AAs and performed well with either.

    To measure actual output, I built an integrating sphere. See here for more detail. The sensor registers visible light only (so Infra-Red and Ultra-Violet will not be measured).

    Please note, all quoted lumen figures are from a DIY integrating sphere, and according to ANSI standards. Although every effort is made to give as accurate a result as possible, they should be taken as an estimate only. The results can be used to compare outputs in this review and others I have published.

    Siege AA using Eneloop LSD NiMh AA I.S. measured ANSI output Lumens PWM frequency or Strobe frequency (Hz)
    White – High – No diffuser 245 0
    White – Med – No diffuser 123 250
    White – Low – No diffuser 48 250
    White – High –Diffuser 135 (55% of non-diffused) 0
    White – Med – Diffuser 68 (55% of non-diffused) 250
    White – Low – Diffuser 27 (57% of non-diffused) 250
    Red Below Threshold 0


    As there is an electronic switch we need to consider the parasitic drain. The Siege AA drain is 39.4uA, and using 1900mAh NiMh cells it would take 5.5 years to deplete the cells.


    The Siege AA runtime trace was carried out using 3x 1900mAh Eneloop cells on High White output.





    The Siege AA in use

    The Siege AA feels a really solid bit of kit. The rubber armoured body should shrug off the rigours of normal outdoor use with ease, and being rubber doesn't mark or scratch either itself or the things it comes into contact with.

    Fit and finish is excellent and the removable diffuser and battery cap detach and refit smoothly and precisely.

    The rubber is very grippy. Not sticky, but soft and grabs the surface it contacts. This anti-slip feature is excellent and allows the Siege AA to be placed on sloping surfaces and won't slip out of your hands.

    Although the diffuser creates a significant 45% drop of total output, it is really well designed. Inside it has a conical reflector with a fine 'brushed' type of finish to further diffuse the light. The resulting light cast by this lantern is fantastically even with no artefacts, so the losses are well worth it. If however you prefer the slightly harsher non-diffused output, you will get more light, so can choose a lower output level and get longer runtimes.

    A slight disappointment is the use of PWM at Low and Medium levels. Being an 'area light', this means that you will be aware of the flickering as you move about. Had there been no PWM The Siege AA would be almost impossible to beat for a quality, compact lantern (maybe in a Siege AA v2).

    The Siege AA's simplicity and versatility is a winning feature and it just does the job it was designed for. Red light, white light, use it free standing, hanging upright or upside-down, with or without the diffuser, you have all the options you might want in a compact easy to feed AA lantern.



    Review Summary

    Things I like What doesn't work so well
    Compact neat lantern Uses PWM for lower modes at 250Hz
    Excellent diffused light Loses 45% of output with diffuser
    Rugged, grippy rubber armour Only one red output level
    AA powered No flashing White modes
    Very low parasitic drain
    Floats if dropped in water (with diffuser fitted)



    If you enjoyed the review, please remember to 'Like' me on Facebook

    Last edited by subwoofer; 03-11-2015 at 04:54 AM.
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    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT Show Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    Reserved for updates...
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    Default Re: 'SHOT Show Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    Nice review!

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    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    Nice lantern. Looks like more and more manufacturers release a lantern light. Thanks for the review

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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    Nice review! Any idea of price ballpark?

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    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnbeck180 View Post
    Nice review! Any idea of price ballpark?
    Due to global variations, and changes over time, I never quote a price. A quick Goolge will give you the current pricing.
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    thank you for the review.

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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    Great review. I like the AA format and the switch that acts as a fuel gauge. Just one question: you mentioned that the diffuser really reduces the output - when you remove the diffuser, how do you find the output? Is it blinding or does it give a good overall illumination?
    Looking for: jhanko 'biohazard' V10R Ti clip, Luce de Notte (SS / Ti), SF Z2 (body, complete light, bored, unbored). Pls PM me with an offer.

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    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    Quote Originally Posted by RGB_LED View Post
    Great review. I like the AA format and the switch that acts as a fuel gauge. Just one question: you mentioned that the diffuser really reduces the output - when you remove the diffuser, how do you find the output? Is it blinding or does it give a good overall illumination?
    I find it has quite bad glare without the diffuser, but bare emitters do have bad glare due to their small size. If it is hanging over your head and out of peripheral vision it is OK, but I always seem to catch a glimpse out of the corner of my eye.

    The loss in output due to the diffuser is well worth it for quality of light. Also if Streamlight had no included the facility to remove the diffuser I would not have been able to measure the losses. For most lanterns you would never know this amount, but a good diffuser is going to be quite high loss, or it isn't diffusing very well.

    I would not worry about the losses, I provided the information as just that. Perhaps I should take it out of the 'cons' in the summary...
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    This is awesome, thanks for taking your time on these reviews. I have always wanted a nice lantern but had no idea where to look, until now !
    Keep up the gd work

  11. #11

    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    Nice review and neat illustrating pictures!
    It's good that you checked for PWM presence. I had shortlisted this lantern, but seeing it has PWM on some modes, I'll hold off for whilst.

    The handle looks uncomfortable to use, though, with its "V" shaped right in the middle. Or does this feature actually provide more grip? I have a hard time figuring how holding the lantern would play out.

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    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    You would want to hold it with the 'V' pointing away from your palm. That way two fingers would be on each side of the 'V', and still be comfortable.
    You don't NEED a parachute to skydive. You DO need a parachute to skydive twice.

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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    Thank you for the explanation, Timothybil. I guess it offers the benefit of providing more grip.

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    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumineux View Post
    The handle looks uncomfortable to use, though, with its "V" shaped right in the middle. Or does this feature actually provide more grip? I have a hard time figuring how holding the lantern would play out.
    In addition to what Timothybil said, remember this is a small and very light lantern, you will only use one or two fingers to carry it, so the "V" part of the handle doesn't affect comfort at all.
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    I really want this lantern. But unfortunately, it has been out of stock for several months now. Keeping an eye on this. Thank subwoofer for the review!

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    Default 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    I got one of this in AA. Coworker has the D size model is way too big. This AA is great. Really useful and long runtime. Well thought design. Really portable and a great fit. The hooks on it and a clever way to clip it from either top or bottom.

  17. #17

    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    What is a close alternative that doesn't suffer from PWM flickering ?....For us old guys that can really irritate the eyes..

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    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    I bought the Energizer Folding 360 Lantern. Eight AA (will work with four), built-in stand, infinite light level adjustment. I really like it. It is nice and compact since it folds flat, down to about the size of the old Readers Digest magazine. It works fine in that position, or the lamp part flips up to provide 360° coverage. Priced just a little less than the D cell Siege. Really useful. It works much better on NiMH than it does on alkalines cells. If there is any PWM being used I haven't noticed it, and yes, PWM bothers me too if it is at too low of a frequency.
    You don't NEED a parachute to skydive. You DO need a parachute to skydive twice.

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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    I have the D cell Siege, not a bad lantern. Great review by Subwoofer caused me to purchase the AA version, I'm happy with the run time and brightness in relation to size. Also like the fact that you can hang it just about anywhere.

  20. #20

    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    Hi Subwoofer,

    Thanks for the great review of this lantern. I'm new here but have some previous experience with flashlights and lanterns and have a strong preference for neutral and warm tints. Can you let me know if this light, the AA version, is available with a neutral emitter?

    I recently got a couple of the Fenix CR25 lanterns and they're great lights, but I'd like to find something that runs on AA's too for emergency purposes and the like.

    Thanks in advance for any info!

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight SIEGE AA Lantern (3xAA)

    Quote Originally Posted by b0wz3r99 View Post
    Hi Subwoofer,

    Thanks for the great review of this lantern. I'm new here but have some previous experience with flashlights and lanterns and have a strong preference for neutral and warm tints. Can you let me know if this light, the AA version, is available with a neutral emitter?

    I recently got a couple of the Fenix CR25 lanterns and they're great lights, but I'd like to find something that runs on AA's too for emergency purposes and the like.

    Thanks in advance for any info!

    I don't believe it does. Might be worth asking Streamlight yourself as if they see enough demand them there might be hope.

    At some point I'm sure I read about someone using something inside the diffuser to make the output much warmer, so you could try a DIY mod.
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