Ozark Trail 300-Lumen Lantern ... Review

Poppy

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A somewhat new-comer lantern is one that I picked up September 2014 at Walmart for $14.97.

Ozark trail 300 lumen lantern with 300 high / 65 low outputs.
Advertised run-times 57 hours high... 191 hours low.
Runs a Cree XB-D emitter on 3 D cells.

The battery cover is keyed (similar to the Siege, and UST lanterns)
It has an inner frosted diffuser, and a clear plastic globe.
The clear globe is held to the battery compartment by three small screws, and once removed, it reveals a bare Cree XB-D emitter mounted to a heat sink, and metal backing plate. The backing plate, and perhaps some other internal components are held in place by plastic posts going through a hole in the metal, and then melted. I wouldn't put it through "Indestructible" tests, but it will be more durable than the glass globed mantle lanterns. The lantern is made of hard plastic, similar to a plastic "Thermos bottle" and thick enough to be able to take some abuse.

There are two O-rings, one between the globe and battery case, and one between the battery case cover and the battery case.

Within the globe, is a glued in place, internal diffuser. This differs from its 3-D cell competitors, the Siege, and UST 30 lanterns. So if you remove the globe, the diffuser comes with it, so you have a bare emitter... mule.

It has a mechanical clicky switch... High, Low, and OFF.
It uses two resistors, and is not regulated with a driver.
Measured Ohms through switch to LED. 1.0 Ohm high, 2.6 Ohms low.

On HIGH with FRESH (1.65 volt) batteries, it emits a bit of glare.
The tint is a cool white, but NOT a terrible blue cool white.
The bottom half of a 1/2 gallon milk container slides perfectly over the top of it to make a second diffuser (similar to the UST and Seige - their outer globe is also frosted). This works out very well for reducing the glare. A slit can be cut in the bottom of the container so that the handle may protrude.
The container may also be used to store used, but not depleted batteries, outside the lantern, for its next use. Just place the batteries in the container, and then the lantern on top.

Based on the Cree XB-D data sheet, and the ma the lantern pulled, I calculated, and estimated the emitter lumens for each of 40 hours. Of course... out the front, or rather out all sides numbers will be less.
The batteries were Ever-ready Gold Alkalines.

As expected in an un-regulated alkaline based lantern, the lumens drop off somewhat rapidly initially, but the three Ds surprised me at how well they held up in the long run.

Initially the lantern pulled 700 ma high, and 390 ma low. ~210 lumens, and 130 lumens.
At the end of the first hour it was down to about 175 lumens
And at the end of the fifth hour it was just above 120 lumens.
For the seventh through seventeenth hours it was between 100 and 110 lumens.
Hours 18-28 it was between 80-95 lumens.
Hours 29-40 were between 70-80 lumens.
Hours 40-55 were between 40-63 Lumens
It appears that the advertised run-times for this lantern are accurate.

I estimate that it will run for another 70 hours down to 1 Lumen.

Honestly I was very surprised at how long a set of three D cells lasted.


I imagine that the Siege, UST, and Rayovac lanterns will perform similarly on high.
Start out at about 200-250 emitter lumens, and within an hour or so drop down to 150-175 lumens or less. This is due to the fact that alkaline batteries drop in output drastically initially, and then begin a more gradual taper.

Comments:
In the Power outage thread, we pretty much agreed that MOST people will be happy with 100 ceiling bounced lumens, we didn't cover lanterns much. This lantern, and I am sure the others will deliver between 70 and 110 lumens after the first six for 30 hours or more. IMO to maximize comfort, it would be good to have TWO of these lanterns so that even 30 hours into an outage, the combined output of two lanterns would still be over 140 lumens. Very... comfortable. :)
 
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martinaee

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After one hour it dropped from 210 to 175 lumens? That's a pretty big drop for 3 D cells that quickly no? I guess these are alkalines though. Do D alks lose that initial high voltage as quickly as AA alks?

Honestly now that you say that I may keep using AA NiMh in my Seige. I don't really notice any drop for a good hour or 2 from 3 AA's. Granted 35 lumens or so isn't that perceptible unless you are really looking hard.
 

cland72

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Thanks for the review, Poppy! How did you measure the lumen output?
 

martinaee

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I just watched a guy review it on Youtube. Something I don't understand and I am almost suspicious of it being a marketing thing: Why are so many of these newer lanterns not diffused/frosted on the outer element if they have more than one glass/plastic element. It makes it seem brighter due to the smaller surface area having higher intensity, but ironically that makes it have more glare and a less pleasing soft light. Is it a cost thing? Surely not. Even though the Seige isn't physically that big it's something it does very right. With 4 spaced out leds and a diffused outer element the lantern overall isn't that harsh on the eyes. The bigger that outer element the better if it's diffused though.
 

Poppy

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martinaee,
Here is a link to HJK's site and a discharge graph for Alkaline Ds

You can see that they do drop off quickly initially, and the higher the amperage demand the quicker they drop off.
It seems that these lanterns are not regulated, and the LED will take whatever the battery will deliver.
I posted the values I recorded for the first 240 minutes (four hours) in this thread.

I believe that the rapid initial discharge rate is the nature of the dog when it comes to alkalines. The Carbon-Zinc are worse.
It won't matter AAs or Ds, but the Ds have a much greater capacity and will overall last 4-6 times as long.

cland72,
I connected three batteries in series to each other with neodymium magnets (outside the battery box). I took the lantern apart and jumpered the neg pole of the batteries to the negative wire from the battery box.

I used a magnet to attach one lead of my ampere meter to the positive end of the batteries in series, and I jumpered the other lead of my ampere meter to the wire that went to the positive feed wire to the switch.

Clear as mud I guess.

OK... I turned the light on, and the meter, and got a reading in Amperes.


I then went to the Cree site and got the data sheet for the XB-D emitter.

On page three they list the emitter lumens for the different binned emitters @ different mas. You can see that at 350 ma the highest binned LED yields 122 lumens, and at 700 ma 210 lumens.

Then on page 9 there is a graph of relative % flux VS forward current (ma)
Again on page three we see that BASE current is 350 ma and that gives us 122 lumen.
Looking at the cree data sheet's graph of % lux vs ma, I multiplied the ma% by 122 lumens to get an estimated lumens

For example... when I first turned it on I got a reading of 0.7 amperes (700 ma)

So to check ourself, we look at the graph, at 700 ma. See that it intersects at about 175% and we multiply by 122 to get 213.5
That's pretty darn close to the published 210 lumens :)

So for another example.
If we look at the data I presented @ 105 minutes, we see 0.5 amps, or 500ma.
If we look at the Cree chart/graph @ 500ma, that intersects at about 135%. We multiply by 122, and get 164 lumens.
 
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Poppy

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I was curious to see how well the Ozark Trail 300 lumen lantern would run on NiMH rechargeable AA batteries, so using the same method as above, I ran it on three Duracell 2450 ma batteries. It ran for seven hours, and I stopped the test. I didn't want to over discharge the batteries.

Ozark Trail 300 Lantern on 3 Duraloops 2450 ma @ 1.342V each
HoursAmperesVoltsEst Lumens
00.383.87132note: Low was .23 amps 85 lumens
10.373.7128
20.373.68128
30.333.68128
40.323.55110
50.273.4695
60.233.3585
70.052.8620?


At the end of the first hour, I added three more AAs in parallel. The amperage went up to 400 ma ~ 135 lumens high
I then added another three AAs in parallel for a total of 9 AAs. The amperage went up to 430 ma ~ 146 lumens.
I didn't do run time tests on 6 or 9 AAs.

In comparison to 3D alkalines
3Ds ran for 3 hours @ higher than 143 lumens
5 hours @ higher than 122 lumens
and 24 hours higher than 85 lumens.
 

AnAppleSnail

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3AA to D is an easy adapter to make. I think its output would fall off a cliff when the cells die at about 18 hours.
 

Poppy

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3AA to D is an easy adapter to make. I think its output would fall off a cliff when the cells die at about 18 hours.

LOL... OK, so now I HAVE to ask. How would you make a 3AA to D adapter?

I used a bunch of magnets some jumper wires, and nine duraloops.
I had three rows of three in series, and then each of the three rows connected in parallel.
 

Richwouldnt

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Commercial 3AA to D adapters are available both on Amazon and ebay if you look for them. Best buy is about 5 for $11 or 10 for $21 or so. PM me for a link to the ones on Amazon if you cannot find them. There are also 2AA to D adapters made, also available from the mentioned sources.
 

AnAppleSnail

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LOL... OK, so now I HAVE to ask. How would you make a 3AA to D adapter?

I used a bunch of magnets some jumper wires, and nine duraloops.
I had three rows of three in series, and then each of the three rows connected in parallel.

A 1/16th bolt cut to be 65m long, holding some washers about 1" diameter, clamp 3AAs in, pointed the same way. You might need a few washers to get the length right. In some cases you could get 4 AAs to fit.
 

subwoofer

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cland72,
I took the lantern apart so that I could get an alligator clipped jumper wire to the neg battery wire after the battery box, and one to the positive after the battery box, but before the switch. I connected the batteries to each other in series with little neodymium magnets. With another magnet, I attached the other end of the negative jumper wire.

I used a magnet to attach one lead of my ampere meter to the positive end of the batteries in series, and the other lead of my ampere meter to the other jumper wire that went to the positive feed wire to the switch.

Clear as mud I guess.

OK... I turned the light on, and the meter, and got a reading in Amperes.


I then went to the Cree site and got the data sheet for the XB-D emitter.

On page three they list the emitter lumens for the different binned emitters @ different mas. You can see that at 350 ma the highest binned LED yields 122 lumens, and at 700 ma 210 lumens.

Then on page 9 there is a graph of relative % flux VS forward current (ma)
Again on page three we see that BASE current is 350 ma and that gives us 122 lumen.
Looking at the cree data sheet's graph of % lux vs ma, I multiplied the ma% by 122 lumens to get an estimated lumens

For example... when I first turned it on I got a reading of 0.7 amperes (700 ma)

So to check ourself, we look at the graph, at 700 ma. See that it intersects at about 175% and we multiply by 122 to get 213.5
That's pretty darn close to the published 210 lumens :)

So for another example.
If we look at the data I presented @ 105 minutes, we see 0.5 amps, or 500ma.
If we look at the Cree chart/graph @ 500ma, that intersects at about 135%. We multiply by 122, and get 164 lumens.

Poppy, having gone to the trouble of taking the lantern apart, the only way to use a current reading to estimate lumens would have been to insert the meter in series in the LED connections (after the driver circuit) rather than the battery (pre-driver) part of the circuit. It sounds like the readings you were taking were the battery current, not the LED current.

This would be flawed due to the cell voltages dropping and therefore if the battery were to deliver the same power, the current would need to go up. If you measured battery voltage as well as current you would be able to estimate the power being delivered by the battery. The driver circuit and its efficiency then becomes the unknown factor.

Measuring current would certainly provide an estimate of emitter lumens, but only if you measure the LED current itself.

I may have misunderstood your explanation, but it did seem to read that you were measuring the current from the battery.

The other problem is then the losses introduced due to the lantern design. In most lights, there are losses around 10-20% from emitter lumens to OTF lumens. I suspect in a lantern with a lot of diffusion, the losses will be greater still.
 

N8N

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LOL... OK, so now I HAVE to ask. How would you make a 3AA to D adapter?

I used a bunch of magnets some jumper wires, and nine duraloops.
I had three rows of three in series, and then each of the three rows connected in parallel.

Don't have to, unless you are doing a serious mod where ultra low resistance/high current capabilities are important

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...ot-World-Electric-Fan-quot-eBay-cell-adapters

I'm using them in an old 4D LED Mag as I don't use it often enough to warrant buying NiMH D cells for it, but having extra AAs around is always a Good Thing.
 

Poppy

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A 1/16th bolt cut to be 65m long, holding some washers about 1" diameter, clamp 3AAs in, pointed the same way. You might need a few washers to get the length right. In some cases you could get 4 AAs to fit.

Ingenious! :thumbsup:

I knew that they were available commercially, I just like to see how people McGyver things... you never know when the situation may present itself that you'll have to do something similar.
 

Poppy

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Poppy, having gone to the trouble of taking the lantern apart, the only way to use a current reading to estimate lumens would have been to insert the meter in series in the LED connections (after the driver circuit) rather than the battery (pre-driver) part of the circuit. It sounds like the readings you were taking were the battery current, not the LED current.

This would be flawed due to the cell voltages dropping and therefore if the battery were to deliver the same power, the current would need to go up. If you measured battery voltage as well as current you would be able to estimate the power being delivered by the battery. The driver circuit and its efficiency then becomes the unknown factor.

Measuring current would certainly provide an estimate of emitter lumens, but only if you measure the LED current itself.

I may have misunderstood your explanation, but it did seem to read that you were measuring the current from the battery.

The other problem is then the losses introduced due to the lantern design. In most lights, there are losses around 10-20% from emitter lumens to OTF lumens. I suspect in a lantern with a lot of diffusion, the losses will be greater still.
subwoofer,
Darn! I was afraid of that, and thought that I might have had to cut the positive lead to the LED.
In this thread is where I got the information to do it as I did, and I posted some of the raw data which included the math results of ma x V = watts.

I can't get access to the switch without breaking the lantern, but I took Ohm readings and it appears to be a three position mechanical switch. OFF... 1 ohm resistance, and 2.6 ohms resistance. Would I be correct to think that it is direct drive? No actual driver, but just two different resistor paths? Considering that might be the case, is there a way to calculate (with the data I already collected) what the emitter lumens would most likely be?

I agree... that OTF lumens will be less than emitter lumens.

I'm interested in part because I haven't seen any lumen output/ run-time reviews on any of these 3D or 4D lanterns, and it would be nice if we could come up with actual comparisons.
 

Poppy

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It sounds like the readings you were taking were the battery current, not the LED current.

This would be flawed due to the cell voltages dropping and therefore if the battery were to deliver the same power, the current would need to go up. If you measured battery voltage as well as current you would be able to estimate the power being delivered by the battery. The driver circuit and its efficiency then becomes the unknown factor.

subwoofer,
After reading through this again, please consider that the battery current did NOT go up as the voltage dropped, meaning that this is NOT a regulated lantern, right? It seems to me that the limiting factor is the batteries' ability to deliver current.

What I did measure was the ma coming from the batteries, through my amp meter, To the switch.
 

subwoofer

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subwoofer,
After reading through this again, please consider that the battery current did NOT go up as the voltage dropped, meaning that this is NOT a regulated lantern, right? It seems to me that the limiting factor is the batteries' ability to deliver current.

What I did measure was the ma coming from the batteries, through my amp meter, To the switch.

True it does not appear to be regulated, otherwise the battery output current would have gone up as the cell voltage dropped.

Unless the light is a direct drive (quite unlikely), then the battery current is not the LED current. There is likely to be a driver circuit of some sort controlling the LED current. In this case you may have found a way of guestimating the output, but I would probably not try to relate this to lumens. Perhaps it would be better to measure battery power (voltage x current) as an indication of output if you cannot measure the LED current. Looking at one of your other posts you show voltage and current, but though the voltage drops and the current stays the same, you show the same lumen estimate. As the power has dropped, so would the output.
 

Poppy

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True it does not appear to be regulated, otherwise the battery output current would have gone up as the cell voltage dropped.

Unless the light is a direct drive (quite unlikely), then the battery current is not the LED current. There is likely to be a driver circuit of some sort controlling the LED current. In this case you may have found a way of guestimating the output, but I would probably not try to relate this to lumens. Perhaps it would be better to measure battery power (voltage x current) as an indication of output if you cannot measure the LED current. Looking at one of your other posts you show voltage and current, but though the voltage drops and the current stays the same, you show the same lumen estimate. As the power has dropped, so would the output.

Well yeah, but it is only an estimate, and hundredths of a volt.

I guess I'll have to cut the wire to the LED, and take a measurement there to see how it adds up.
 

subwoofer

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Well yeah, but it is only an estimate, and hundredths of a volt.

I guess I'll have to cut the wire to the LED, and take a measurement there to see how it adds up.

That would be entirely up to you, and I am not suggesting you do cut the wire. (if anything maybe just desolder it so you can put it back after testing)

Rather than carry out potentially destructive testing consider building a rudimentary integrating sphere or box. This can be done quite simply using a lux meter.

The main point of my posting about the measurement you used was to suggest that measuring the battery current is a flawed method of estimating lumens, rather than to suggest you start ripping your light apart.
 
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