Looking For A Good Emergency Lantern

SimulatedZero

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I've been looking around a bit for a good LED Lantern to throw in with my storm supplies. I've been looking at a Streamlight Siege or a couple of the cheaper Walmart Lanterns like Rayovac.

Basically, I'm looking for a decent high between 300 to 500 lumens top. At least one lower mode for extended runtime, preferably a couple of lower modes. And a decent track record for durability. I am open to various power sources with the exception of Li-Ion rechargeables.

Preferable price range under $25.
$40 is my limit per lantern.
 

Timothybil

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I was doing the same search you are now a couple of months ago. It came down to between the Siege or the Energizer LED Folding Lantern, which was about $10 cheaper. I chose the Energizer for two reasons: 1. It is a AA lantern instead of C or D. Since I am already set up for AA NiMH, that was a significant factor. 2. It is a lot more compact. Since I plan on putting it in my BOB if needed, that was the major deciding factor. It takes either 4 or 8 AA cells in a parallel setup, so that using 8 cells doubles the run time. It has a high of 300 lumens, and is infinitely variable down to what I would estimate is 10 or 20 lumens. With 8 cells, it is supposed to last 100 hrs on low, a number I have found reasonable so far in my testing. I like the looks and specs of the Siege, and I have no doubt it is probably better built, but the ability to fold the Energizer into a small size was the deciding factor for me.
 

cland72

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I'm very happy with my Seige. Just seems well thought out and well built. Also, not very expensive.
 

SimulatedZero

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Thanks for the suggestion on the energizer. It actually led me to a couple of other compact energizer lanterns I like the look of.

I like the Siege as well. I've used a lot of Streamlights over the years and I trust the brand. I'm thinking of getting a Siege to have as a good lantern and then a few cheaper ones to have as well.

Has any one heard of UST - Ultimate Survival Technologies. They make a Pico LED Lantern that they advertise as using a Nichia LED. Looks fairly promising, especially for the price point.
 

cland72

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Nichia can mean a lot of different things, since it is a manufacturer of LEDs, much like Cree. I haven't seen anything on the Pico, so I would do a search here and online for feedback. If they use the 5mm Nichia LED in that lantern, it's probably going to be horrible...
 
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Poppy

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I'd like to make a number of points.

1. I agree with Chris. In that not all nichia LEDs are the same. I bought a nichia based penlight simply because it housed a nichia LED. It is the ugliest, most angry BLUE tint of all of my lights.

2. I started a "Power outage" thread, that I think was well done by the "collective" but at any rate there was a discussion about lanterns, and the virtues of ceiling bounced flashlights. HERE are some beam shots of some lanterns and flashlights.

3. IMO most lanterns indoors are terrible when compared to a ceiling bounced flashlight. The glare that they produce makes one stare at the emitter. This reduces your dark vision adaptation, and you can see less in the periphery.

Many people like the seige, and many like the energizer. I believe that the energizer would give less glare.
 

dss_777

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My lanterns are the only thing I stock D cells for, much as I hate the idea. They run a very long time on 3xD cells.

My choice is the "Nichia 300 Lumens Extreme LED Lantern" via Amazon.

Lower output, but nice warm light in an excellent AA option is the "CREE 40426 110 Lumens Bright Light CREE XLamp Warm White Camping LED Lantern" via Amazon.
 

markr6

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I'm surprised reppans didn't step in yet with how a flashlight is a much better solution. :) He has a nice comparison of a torch vs. lantern using a card tapped to the torch to direct light. Really good idea, and much more versatile than a lantern. But of course it's up to you if you really want a lantern.

I gave up on looking for a good lantern and took his advice on just using a flashlight.

Edit: actually, the thread Poppy linked to above explains all this!
 

reppans

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^^ hehe, you got me there Mark :). You know I wanted to, but Poppy's link covers it and I'm not sure there's any benefit at the OPs budget - he'll lose the big advantages of an efficient current regulated driver and the options of good high highs and low lows.... (at least for any high capacity/high lumen flashlight that I'm familiar with).

p.s., use the light's own pocket clip, or a rubberband/paperclip to hold the card ;)
 

SimulatedZero

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Oh I'm completely down for ceiling bouncing a flashlight. Though, that's a nice idea with the card.

When it comes to a power outage, I, personally, will be fine on light. I have too many damn lights and batteries as it is, lol. But, growing up in south Florida around the time when Andrew came through has ingrained a few lessons.

One is to keep a box of spare lights that do what you need and can be loaned. My goal here is to assemble a new storm box that doesn't strain the wallet too much. My criteria is that everything in it has to be an alkie-eater. Preferably with a tapered regulation like Maglites have. And be cheap enough to buy a few of. As in 20 dollars or less is preferable.

I have so far gotten my interest piqued by the UST Pico Lantern. 16 bucks on amazon with decent stated runtimes. That and they have a 3 D-Cell lantern that looks decent. Turns out UST is based about an hour from me so I am planning on taking a day trip to check out their gear.
 

Vinniec5

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You can run AA eneloops in AA to D cell eneloop adapters in place of D-cells for your lanterns. eneloop also makes AA to C-cell adapters. D-cells run lanterns for days but I can see some not wanting to store D-cells, The adapters give you the option of running AAs but remember runtime will be less.

My vote is for the Siege Lantern I bought 3 and gave out 2 of them as gifts, I need to put a pair on the list to pickup
 

SimulatedZero

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Very true. That actually reminded me that there are 3 AA cell to D cell adapters set in parallel out there. The only thing with that is how much space gets taken up by storing so many AA cells.
 

Timothybil

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Very true. That actually reminded me that there are 3 AA cell to D cell adapters set in parallel out there. The only thing with that is how much space gets taken up by storing so many AA cells.

That shouldn't be an issue, because you would need the space for the D cells anyway, and by definition, since the three AAs fit into one D adapter, they have to take up less space than the one D cell.

Simulated: if you are looking for some cheap lights as loaners. Battery Junction is currently selling two TerraLux Lightstar 80s for $25 USD. They are 2AAA, rated for 80 lumens and 5 hrs. Several reviews have said the five hour is close to actual results (I haven't had mine long enough to tell yet), but I think they are actually closer to about 50 OTF lumens. The really nice thing is they are >80 CRI and really do a nice job. Since you can get AAA alkalines from Amazon (name brands) for about $0.25/cell if you buy like 24 or 36 at once, you could easily afford to have a few in the box with extra cells rubber-banded with them. Another suggestion - 13Deals sells tea candle sized LED lights that run for about five or six hours on two 2032s. They put out just enough light to light up a bathroom at night or room or hallway to keep one from running into walls, etc.
 

SimulatedZero

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That's actually an excellent tip on the Terralux lights, thanks.

I've gotten a few good suggestions here already. Now it's just finding time in between work and school to look into them.
 

TMedina

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Another vote for the Siege - I have one and love it.

If you want some good, cheap AA flashlights, I'm partial to the Rayovac Indestructible x2 AA. $15 at Home Depot.
 

Timothybil

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Another vote for the Siege - I have one and love it.

If you want some good, cheap AA flashlights, I'm partial to the Rayovac Indestructible x2 AA. $15 at Home Depot.

You are right, the Rayovac would probably be a better light to have handy as a loaner or an extra for the kids, etc. The two levels of output and much longer run times make it much more attractive and useful to someone who is probably used to the $2 special at the Bargain Barn.

For the 8 year old and unders someting like a Photon I momentary only on a wrist springy or a break-away lanyard would be ideal. I don't know if the Fauxton-style lights are available in momentary-only but that would be even better. Either way, the little ones can't accidentally leave it on and run down the battery, and the wrist band and/or lanyard would make it almost impossible to lose.
 

SimulatedZero

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Alright, for those of you that have a Siege, is it cool white or warm white? So far out of all the options I think only one is warm white.

It's not an absolute must have, but if two lanterns were fairly close, I would always take the warm white version.
 

hiuintahs

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......Simulated: if you are looking for some cheap lights as loaners. Battery Junction is currently selling two TerraLux Lightstar 80s for $25 USD. They are 2AAA, rated for 80 lumens and 5 hrs. Several reviews have said the five hour is close to actual results (I haven't had mine long enough to tell yet), but I think they are actually closer to about 50 OTF lumens.........

Ya, I took advantage of that sale. It's still going on so they must have a bunch of them. That is the only way I will buy that light as the performance isn't that great but hey, for $12.50 I suppose its worth it. Output settles in around 30 lumens after 30 minutes and runtime is 4 hours. The Streamlight Stylus pro does a lot better.

Back to lanterns. I have the Rayovac SE3DLNCOM. That got a lot of attention here on CPF a couple of years ago. Runs on 3 D batteries but I just use 3AA to D adapters and use Eneloops.
 
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Tjmonsen5

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I'm thinking of buying the siege myself. I saw it at a trade show last week, it's bright and pretty small! Waterproof so it's good to take on camping trips.
 
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