Candle-powered LED lanterns

TPA

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Has anyone played with these? I see an older thread on them, but nothing in recent years. I bought three of the Caframo Joi lanterns a few years back at a huge discount when a local store had them on clearance. I absolutely love the things. I usually burn them a couple times a week and they're still working great. Definitely not a toy or a gadget, they are truly built for the off-grid folks and unfortunately are priced appropriately. If you poke around the 'net you can find them on sale for much less at times.

 

IMA SOL MAN

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The HEART of the USA.
If they could get the price down, they would sell like hotcakes. Only thing is, it goes against the conventional advice of not burning candles during a grid-down situation. Other than that, I love it, and the flame is contained, so I don't really see it as being a fire hazard like normal candles are. The output vs input is really amazing.
 

TPA

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You would be correct. Not even a power switch.

They're kind of like a woodstove in that it requires a bit of skill to use them. Not terribly complex. Open the drawer, light the tealight candle, let it burn for 60 seconds, gently slide the drawer back in. After another minute or two the LEDs light up dimly, then ramp up as the heat exchanger heats up. The nice thing is that the reverse is true -- as the tealight is almost used up, the LEDs will very gradually start dimming, which gives you plenty of time to put a new candle in if you need another 4 hours. Since the LEDs are powered by the heat exchanger, they'll run for awhile without a candle present.

Quite a few safety devices on this lantern. It has a mechanical auto-snuffer built in. If the firebox gets too hot, there's a loud BANG! and the snuffer cuts off all air, and it has a hair trigger just ever so slightly above operating temperature. If you let that candle go for 80-90 seconds before sliding it in, you'll trigger it. Then again, it's meant for off-grid living and being used daily.
 

jtr1962

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This sounds like it would be a fun DIY project. I have plenty of thermoelectric modules and heat sinks sitting around. Also lots of tea candles. Wouldn't be as nice as the commercial version, but you're doing the same task, which is essentially multiplying the light from one candle.
 

TPA

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You can get the Luminiser Thermoelectric Oil Lantern and modified the base to take candle.
I tried these and they didn't work anywhere near as well as the Joi version. Even at their deeply-discounted prices, I still can't justify them since they don't really work.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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You can get the Luminiser Thermoelectric Oil Lantern and modified the base to take candle.
I've tried this, and you only get about 1/4 to 1/2 the full brightness with a candle. Plus, as the wick burns down, it gets farther from the thermoelectric generator. Put the candle too high up, and it melts the wires and the plastic at the top of the lantern. Easier to just get their 8 pack of liquid fuel candles for around $15 at Amazon. Those stay at the optimal height for the duration of the burn time. Their claim of 200 lumens is bogus. I'd put it closer to 50. Since UCO discontinued their full sized candles for their lanterns (other than expensive beeswax), I use the Luminiser lantern in the tent when camping for warmth and light.
 
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