A nicel single 18650 lantern I bought years ago.


Oct 1, 2004
I bought a small LED lantern a few years ago that takes a single 18650 cell and liked it but it got flaky and I found that when they assembled it a wire was crushed under the plastic where it shouldn't have been. I took the lantern apart and while trying to fix it I was testing my soldering job and damaged the circuitry, it was toasted.
The light is like this one https://www.amazon.com/MODOAO-Flashlights-Rechargeable-Waterproof-Emergency/dp/B092J423WH/ref=sr_1_50?dchild=1&keywords=18650+lantern&link_code=qs&qid=1622821151&sourceid=Mozilla-search&sr=8-50http://

Having the lantern apart totally (no pictures) it is made up of several pieces, plastic and aluminum and a circuit board. The circuit board sits on top under the button and charging port and the LEDs are 6 vertical strips of 5 LEDs (chips) with 4 white and a single red in the middle of the strip. The strips are embedded in the aluminum tube and there is an aluminum round top section that the circuit board sets in recessed about 1/4 of an inch I think. The bottom of the tube is where you insert the battery and screw the magnetic cap onto.

The lantern has 5 modes, 3 white modes (H/M/L) followed by red light and blinking red light modes. The light is pretty bright 300 to maybe 350 lumens not really sure as it is 360 degrees and the red modes are about as intense as the white low mode is but may be useful. The light has a single switch on top that you click to cycle through mode and a covered charging port. Although the listing I gave was for a black model the light has blue and red models out there and there is slightly different designs on cases mostly the wire hanger as the now broken black model I have had the "bump" in the middle of the hanger which I like better because it is easier to grab the hanger to deploy it, the model I bought to replace my black one (red) the hanger has no bump and you have to reach in the top part and sort of drag it out of a slight recess on the top.
The lantern is rather sturdy but nowhere bullet proof as the plastic parts are glued together the weak parts would be where the opaque (white) diffuser is glued to the colored top and bottom sections. The light does have Orings so I think it should be probably dunk resistant in that you could probably drop it in water even perhaps under water for a short time (seconds) and likely have no issues if you screwed the bottom cap (battery compartment) on good.

Cheap price for a bright lantern ($15 or less on Amazon or Ebay or other places)
3 colors if you can find them all which may make it easier to keep track of more than 1 of them especially when you are using them different levels and have several people using them to separate them.
Very compact at about 2.5 wide and 4 inches tall and about 6.2 oz with battery (may vary slightly)
Water resistant with Orings and rubber covers for switch and charging port
Bright with well enough spaced modes and cycles well through them.
Good 360 spread of light
Won't tip over easily
Built in micro USB charging
Magnet on battery cover (tailcap)
Metal hanger that recesses
Bright enough and not too much glare
Switch feels good (electronic)
Construction is solid, not flimsy or cheap feeling
Red modes could be useful for night vision and signaling

Repairing the light is (for most) not recommended. I had to tear mine up to get it apart it is not designed to be repaired but you can get to the circuit board if the wires and/or LEDs have issues then you could easily destroy the light getting it apart.
Heavy. For its size compared to other cheap throwaway 3AAA lanterns and single 18650 flashlights and etc it is has some weight to it due to the thick aluminum heatsinking in it, likely you could run it for hours on high with no issues regarding heat although the plastic case could get warm due to the aluminum heatsink trapped inside of it.
Magnet. This is a tossup as it is strong enough to hang upside down but on vertical surfaces it may slide. I guess it depends on if the battery cap/magnet is the only point of contact or the plastic base it touching the metal surface at the same time and the surface and metal combination too.
Charging it a bit slow I think at 1A rate ramping down seems to take 5-6 hours to charge a single cell but having the option is convenient.
Cannot lock out
Plastic base is not bullet proof could break if dropped hard enough on the edge.
Could use a moonlight or very low mode of 5 lumens or less to see it in the dark in a power outage but the Low white mode at 50 hours estimated it likely adequate.
No immediate OFF option you have to cycle through red flashlight to get there.
Comes on high white mode which is to some a big negative but easy to quickly step down to low.
Red modes could be annoying and not useful in most situations and aren't hidden.

Ok I'm measuring currents here with my Fluke 77IV meter
Standby is (I think) about 0.05ma (50uA) I had problems measuring as it started at 0.21ma and dropped each time I tested it. I finally realized that I had an average mode on the Min/Max setting (I haven't used this meter that much since I got it) and after about 30 seconds it dropped from 80uA to 50uA and stayed there.
High/Med/Low white modes 775ma/262ma/65ma
High/Flashing red modes 128ma/47ma I had to switch to Average mode to measure the flashling mode so it could be higher consumption than that.
Estimating runtimes using a 3400mah 18650 I get the following:
White modes H-4.3 hours M-13 hours L-52.3 hours Red High/Flashing is about 26 hours and 72 hours (not 100% sure of flashing mode)

The white LED output is perhaps about 5500K as it looks slightly bluer than neutral but I'm not great at tints it isn't harsh glaring blue for the price the light is good but those who are stuck on Neutral or Warm White tints may not enjoy the color.

I just remembered I did buy a second replacement black one but not going to bother measuring it to compare as likely it is within the same range. I may be overestimating the light output as my calculations have it around 250 lumens for the size it is a 1-3 person lantern IMO not meant to fill an entire room with reading light but more than adequate.

I paid about $8-$9 each for my two lanterns on Ebay but prices have gone up since then and the stock of them goes up/down along with color choices with Red being the rarest followed by Blue and Black the most common.
I think all in all it is a decent lantern and using 18650s is why I bought it perhaps it is the most compact area lantern out there using 18650s. I recommend this for people looking for such a lantern I think it would be great in a bug out bag but you would need to recharge it every few years not a big deal as you likely should check your bug out gear every year before the "season" anyway the self discharge rate is low enough to not be a problem.

I haven't used my two lanterns beyond just playing with them as I haven't had any serious power outages since 2007 the last one was about 4-5 years ago and I forgot I had this lantern.
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