AA powered lanterns for power outages / emergencies

akatsuki

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Building up my disaster prep kit for earthquake country (California).

I want to buy a couple of lanterns to stash in our kit, AA powered, long run times, wide spread of light. and ideally decent color quality - our current flashlights are 6000Kish and ghoulish when you are just trying to take a bath or have a meal during a power outage.

Was eyeing the UST-10 day lamp; but unsure as to if there is a better option. Let's say under $100 (and the cheaper the better since I will just buy more then).
 

StarHalo

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The Cree 40426 is still the standard for warm LED lanterns, and still only ~$20. Its 110 lumen high is just right for a family room/space, and the low mode is about right for one person.

That said, you'll find many more options in warm-emitter flashlights with a much better variety of power methods and output modes; a tailstanding flashlight, especially in a high location like atop a fridge or lamp, is much easier on the eyes than the direct glare of a lantern, and isn't as cumbersome or in-the-way as it doesn't need to be set in the middle of everything all the time.
 

Modernflame

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The Cree 40426 is still the standard for warm LED lanterns, and still only ~$20. Its 110 lumen high is just right for a family room/space, and the low mode is about right for one person.

That said, you'll find many more options in warm-emitter flashlights with a much better variety of power methods and output modes; a tailstanding flashlight, especially in a high location like atop a fridge or lamp, is much easier on the eyes than the direct glare of a lantern, and isn't as cumbersome or in-the-way as it doesn't need to be set in the middle of everything all the time.

+1 on the tail standing flashlight. Lanterns have their place, like inside a tent on a camping trip. I also think that handheld flashlights are built to a higher standard than most lantern devices and are better suited to rough service (like aftershocks).
 

Timothybil

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I have an Energizer Light Fusion Technology lantern I use for power outages. It will run on either four or eight AA cells, and has an infinite level adjustment. The light panel can provide illumination while folded in to the body, or it flips up to shine from both sides of the panel. The actual illumination comes from LEDs placed along the one edge of the panel, the the light is directed outwards by reflection/diffraction from holes drilled in the light panel. This makes the illumination more indirect, and not as hard on the eyes as direct illuminations as found in most lanterns. The output is towards the cool white part of the spectrum, but is not as blueish or harsh as others I have seen.
 

iamlucky13

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The UST lanterns you're looking at have a good overall reputation. That's not a bad option. Their claimed performance versus the actual energy contained in 6 batteries suggests to me it must get very dim by the end of 10 days on low mode, but even 3-4 days of constant light seems like quite a bit of utility, and if somehow you did find yourself in a 10 day outage, even a dim light would be welcome.

The Fenix CL20 is pretty compact, and I'm told has a fairly nice color. They don't claim as long of runtime (adjusting for the output level and number of batteries), but because Fenix mostly builds regulated lights, I expect the output is much more consistent. Obviously with 2 batteries, it couldn't match the output of a 6 battery light, but there's nothing saying you can't keep a bunch of spares in your emergency kit. Also, for the sake of an emergency, I'd consider it a bonus to be able to run off of just two batteries at a time, instead of needing 6.

If lighting quality is your priority - which it should not be for an emergency lantern, but why limit the use only to during emergencies, as long it goes back in the kit where it's easy to find when needed - the Nitecore has the truly tiny 1xAA LA10CRI. The Nichia LED inside of it is extremely well regarded by those of us who are picking about color rendering. Unsurprisingly, it is not as bright or nearly as long-running as it's competitors.

Or you can get diffuser heads for regular flashlights or do the tailstanding suggested by Starhalo

Naturally, a combo of different lights is also an option, such as a UST-10 for long runtimes and a Nitecore LA10 for portability.
 

Timothybil

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Another light that falls between the LA10 and the lanterns would be the LR30. Again, a Nichia version for the great color rendition, a bit brighter than the LA10, and it uses one 18650 instead of one AA, for a bit better performance as well.
 

LetThereBeLight!

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Nebo's new dimmable 300-lumen Poppy Lantern with a 120-Lumen spotlight, & it runs on 3 included AA batteries, & is $16.99

LetThereBeLight!
 

TinderBox (UK)

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AA battery`s dont hold a lot of power though they are easy to et hold off.

I would look at the "Fenix Cl25R clone" it use 1 18650 li-ion cell, But one installed you never really need to touch it again as the lantern has an micro-usb port to charge it and they only cost $15-20 each and they run for 40-50hrs on the low setting which is quite bright.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/52365

I have 3 of them myself see photo`s below.

msGXjoH.jpg


NWvQ9SQ.jpg


John.
 

WarriorOfLight

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Very good lanters are the Streamlight Siege AA and also the big Siege (taking D cells). Instead of D cells I use 3 D to 3xAA adapters. This lanterns are very well build.

I also own a few Energizer Light Fusion lights including the pop up lantern. I do not have any trouble with the Energizer stuff. But I read that there may be quality issues. Some people had problems...

The light color is cool but not blue. For me ok for an emergency light.
 

BloodLust

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I have an Energizer Light Fusion Technology lantern I use for power outages. It will run on either four or eight AA cells, and has an infinite level adjustment. The light panel can provide illumination while folded in to the body, or it flips up to shine from both sides of the panel. The actual illumination comes from LEDs placed along the one edge of the panel, the the light is directed outwards by reflection/diffraction from holes drilled in the light panel. This makes the illumination more indirect, and not as hard on the eyes as direct illuminations as found in most lanterns. The output is towards the cool white part of the spectrum, but is not as blueish or harsh as others I have seen.

I second this. My Energizer Light Fusion 2-in-1 is my bedside flashlight/lantern.
Simple interface (my wife and kid find it easy to use) and bright enough for a small room. 4x AA. Just right for a set of Eneloops. Cool white but closer to neutral so it isn't harsh to the eyes.
http://www.energizer.com/flashlight...light-fusion-technology-2-in-1-led-flashlight
enfhh41e-1.png



My kids' diaper bags each have an Energizer Weatherready 2-in-1 lamp.
Much simpler interface (off-torch-lantern-off). Button has a firm click and is protected by fins on each side so accidental activation is highly unlikely. The one I got from Target had a more neutral lantern LED but the one I got from Walmart was cool white. Might have to pick 1 up from Target again. Under $10. Lightweight and runs on 2xAA.
It's voltage dependent though. On Eneloops, they are dimmer but still bright enough. Much stronger on lithium primaries.
wrah21e-1.png



My EDC is a Fenix LD10. I have the lantern/diffuser wand in my EDC bag when I need an area light.
fenixdiffusertiplg_LRG.jpg



I'm just not a fan of odd numbered batteries unless it's 1. So my lights run off 1, 2 or 4 cells except my GE lantern for the home which could run on either 4 or 8 cells but it's a home based light since it runs on D-cells.
1x or 2x AA are easy to bring or get a hold off. 4xAA is just right for my battery carriers and AA charger.
My bugout gear are streamlined to run off AAs and I have an Olight UC 1 cell magnetic universal charger. Charges both Ni-Mh and Li-Ion and can be inserted in any way.
 
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TinderBox (UK)

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I have a couple of the Energizer 2in1 red/white flashlight lantern in the post above, they go very dull very quickly when using nimh battery`s the voltage is just not high enough from nimh battery that have been sitting for a few day`s even when unused, can you get parasitic drain with this type of switch?

John.
 

BloodLust

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I have a couple of the Energizer 2in1 red/white flashlight lantern in the post above, they go very dull very quickly when using nimh battery`s the voltage is just not high enough from nimh battery that have been sitting for a few day`s even when unused, can you get parasitic drain with this type of switch?

John.

I'm not sure about that. Though I believe there shouldn't be, I did notice some dimming but I left the Fujitsu LSD batteries in it about a month or so. I charged the batteries and they topped off in about 15-20mins so they were still quite full. Didn't check the voltage though. I guess the lights voltage range isn't very forgiving especially in what I assume is direct drive.
The light can be locked out though.
I'll test it out some more. I'll have to refresh my Ni-Mh batteries to make sure it isn't the cells.
 

TinderBox (UK)

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I have been using Tronic 2300mah AA battery`s , I just checked the voltage they have been in the flashlight for a couple of weeks, but they have only been used for a few minutes, one AA read 1.23v and the other 1.29v my other flashlight showed 1.29v for both cells, I used a battery test that applies an 2.5 to 20ma load.

I think i will try using some Eneloop AA and see if they hold there voltage better.

EDIT: I checked the voltage of some Eneloops that were charged and not been used and they show approx 1.33-1.35 volts

Thanks

John.
 
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TinderBox (UK)

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I have a couple of these Energizer 3 in 1 lanterns, they use 4x AA battery`s and they dont seem to dim at all even after moths of storage, I will have to do a capacity test on there battery`s to see how much power is left.

EDIT: The battery show a voltage of approx 1.28v after 4-6 months of storage, I am doing a discharge test at 0.2C on my Maha C9000

rzqnzUG.jpg


John
 
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TMedina

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If you're feeling inventive, you might try doing a Google search for "head lamp water jug".

Not to knock a good lantern, but there are ways to multi-purpose existing elements of your kit.

Don't forget alternate battery lights, like the 9V snap-on light.
 

snakebite

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If you're feeling inventive, you might try doing a Google search for "head lamp water jug".

Not to knock a good lantern, but there are ways to multi-purpose existing elements of your kit.

Don't forget alternate battery lights, like the 9V snap-on light.
Esp when you could take 2 yuji and a 100 ohm resistor and solder to a recycled snap from a dead battery.
Once everything is straightened and looks good clear 5 min epoxy will protect it.
I used 2 47ohm in series because they were handy.
I stock 100ohm 1/8w so i usually use those.
 

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Dave_H

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I like the little RayOVac Sportsman 3AA lantern and have its larger 3D version also. The light is cool CCT though. I can't say I've put it through any critical tests, but looks pretty sturdy.

Dave
 

TPA

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These Duracell lanterns are what I've been buying for people down here in hurricane country: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FHL8F69?tag=cpf0b6-20 They're selling for $15 these days, which is pretty decent. Runs on 3x AA batteries. I've not verified color temp, but they seem to be around 5000K instead of the hideous 6000K. Feels very similar to the Fenix CL20 lanterns which have been out of production for awhile now. I prefer warmer, but they're pleasant enough to not feel like EMERGENCY!!! and feel more normal. Emitters are on the top part of the lantern dome, so you're not getting glare.

The lighting modes and runtime are what do it for me.
High - 360 degrees - 600 lumens (claimed) - 4 hrs
High - 180 degrees - 300 lumens (claimed) - 6 hrs
Low - 360 degrees - 80 lumens (claimed) - 30 hrs
Amber night light - 360 degrees - 30 lumens (claimed) - 50 hours

I still prefer the older Costco Duracell D-cell lanterns, but it appears those are no longer being made. I still have about 12 of those left.
 
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Dave_H

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Left/centre are a couple of small Coleman 4xAA LED lanterns. Actually the dark green one was incan, converted to LED with a 3-4 cell Dorcy 40-lumen LED bulb. Not really bright, but compact and pretty sturdy.

The stubby dark green lantern at the right was also incan and converted. Light output is not high but good enough for many uses.

Dave

LED_4AA_lanterns_small.JPG
 

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