Need fluorescent light for car camping

mcl3

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I'm trying to find one for car camping. I know they're not as bright as a fuel lantern but with the kids i don't want to take the chance. They're a lot of choices. What do you guys suggest. thanks
 

Hallis

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I agree. Coleman has many lanterns that are battery powered. In the past ive used one of their flourescent. It was quite a few years ago but i remember it being a great little piece of hardware. Unfortunately we don't still have it. It had a rechargable battery and 2 brighness settings. And lasted quite a long time on the lower setting. Now ive got a little 4D no-name lantern that i keep for emergencies so we dont have to break out the old kerosene lantern. Wanna talk about a fire hazard? lol. Light one of those and leave it unattended.

Oddjob's link is where i'd agree you look. You can get the kids little inexpensive lanterns to get them envolved in flashoholism.

Shane
 

Patriot

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Not sure if you meant fluorescent literally, but I found this little LED critter http://www.batteryjunction.com/frinledlafi.html 3 or 4 weeks ago at Target and I've been playing with it ever since. It seems to be very well built and it's been on my nightstand when I'm not carrying it around like an eight year old..:sssh: For kids, I'll bet they'd love operating the crank handle too. :) LEDs are much more efficient than fluorescent tubes.
 
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Icebreak

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The 8D Pack Away has many strong points. The two level 15 watt spiral is quite bright.

I found that the locking mechanism was stronger than I first thought however it will release when carrying the lantern by the handle in the collapsed configuration if it is jossled. Yet, that collapsability makes it very nice for packing up and transporting.

The lamp is bluish which might be a problem for reading long periods of time. I don't think any of us could find a warmer replacement bulb that would fit.

I like it just fine. Jtice turned his into rechargeable but it was heating up. Can't remember if he ever rewired it. We talked about a lot of lanterns in this thread.

Another tiny folding lamp to consider is the Energizer 4AA folder. Very useful. You can flip part of it out of you pocket and get to stages of light. It looks like two tiny fluorescants but it's two leds pointed into the tubes. Runtime is forever. Many guys like these for personal lighting.
 

2xTrinity

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The lamp is bluish which might be a problem for reading long periods of time. I don't think any of us could find a warmer replacement bulb that would fit.
I can never understand why these lantern makers insist on using 6500K bulbs -- which look absolutely hideous unless you're putting out many thousands of lumens. A CFL in the 3000K range would work MUCH better at the sort of intensity you get from a typical lantern. The other thing that bugs me is that they didn't frost the glass so that it would be diffused -- those tubes can create nasty glare. -- using warmer color temp and diffusing the light on the other hand would make those types of lanterns look awesome IMO.
 

James S

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I agree about the color temp of these bulbs, horrible.

The energizer 4D 2 tube is what I like best. You can buy warm tubes to put in it which make it much nicer to read by or work near in the dark, but they are slightly dimmer. It also works just fine on rechargeables. (though they are so much lighter that it can make it a little top heavy.

And Energizer now has a red colored lantern in the same form factor with 8 led's in it. Sort of a giant version of their 4AA lantern which is really quite bright for an LEd lantern and with 4D cells seems to run forever. Between the 2 of them and a couple of packs of D cells you'd be able to go a long way and they are not much larger than the pack away larger things.
 

speederino

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+1 on the energizer 4D 2 tube fluoro folder. I replaced one of the stock 6500k tubes with a warm tube to balance color temp with light output. Works great with good run time. Performed like a champ in a power outage we had last week. It puts out way more than enough light to meet that psychological comfort threshold. The kids were sitting with their stock minimag freaking out over the power outage. Busted out the energizer 4D fluoro and everybody calmed down.
 

Blacklight

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Mr_Light said:
The brightest flourescent I have tried is the GE "Steelbeam" lantern available at COSTCO.

Not to throw rocks at that light, but it really is middle of the road. It comes with either a 7-watt or 9-watt flourescent tube. Ok for small rooms, but not that great of a value for the size. Also make sure you don't buy one that does not have replaceable bulbs, I know the old ones did not have replaceable bulbs (no idea why they took this short cut). Obviously I would recomend you use any of the Coleman lanterns, but then again, I am severly biased. So in short, the Steelbeam is an ok light, but is far from the brightest, my guess it is less than 300 lumens total light output, and a 15-watt coleman Spiral tube lantern is almost 400 lumens. Additionally we are launching a Twin Spiral (two 11-watt spirals), this spring, that is even brighter, only trade off is the weight, it takes a lot of batteries to get a decent run time off such a bright lantern.
 

Icebreak

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Thanks for chiming in, Blacklight.

(psst. That 8D PackAway needs a crescent lock or some kind of redundancy lock for rough use in the collapsed configuration.)

I wanted to know if I am right or close to being right about something. Coleman doesn't use a warmer spiral because there are none manufactured that have the correct base and/or 6500 is just more intense.

I guess you can see that some of us would like a warmer spiral.

Know what would be nice?

Twin 11W spirals...one warm, one cool. Switchable. On for one warm spiral for reading, playing cards etc. On for one cool spiral for long runtime. On for both spirals for Max brightness.

Thanks for listening.

- Jeff
 
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Bright Scouter

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I understand this is not flouro, but led, but,,, I bought one of these for camping with our scout troop. We set up in the dark at least half of the year. This works great for lighting the area to get our gear out of the trailer and gives us time to set up our gas lanterns. It is a 78 led work light. I believe I bought it from Jack's toolshed. It is made by Neiko, at least I believe it is.

You can run half the leds, or all of them. It is pretty darn bright, but does only shine in a 180 degree arc. It's worth taking a look.
 

SemiMan

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Another Vote for the GE Steelbeam from Costco. It was dirt cheap (<$15 Canadian) and I have used it extensively in the last 2 years without any troubles. It has a warm white flourescent tube. The battery life is very good with 4 good D-Alcalines and the light has stood up to abuse.

Semiman
 

sledhead

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I've been using the Coleman 5312 Retro Rechargeable lantern for over a year now. It has low and high settings, also has a nightlite bulb on side. It is an 11watt spiral. One charge usually last through a weekend festival or family camping trip. It comes with an AC and DC charger. I would have no problem recommending this one.
 
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