Upgrade or replace existing 6 volt lanterns.

TD-Horne

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I'm asking for help in considering whether to upgrade or, if really needed to get good performance, replacing the 6 volt lanterns we have in use. In another thread I was asking whether Zinc Air lantern batteries would be a good choice for these old tech lanterns. That, of course, got into a wider discussion on whether the lanterns could be upgraded to more effective performance or would it be more cost effective to change to an entirely different lantern.

If you're talking of the consumer market for square 6v lantern batteries used for flashlights and lanterns, they are still out there but not as much as they used to be. I am not up on the commercial/industrial market for these, they tend towards 12v (gel cells etc) for alarms, UPS etc.

Square 6v battery using four F cells 4R25/4LR25 (or not) is conveniently replaceable with an adapter which takes D cells. As several battery vendors already fit D cells with a bottom spacer area, there is no drop in capacity in many cases. Granted, extra contacts could be a liability with rugged usage, or corrosion should the cells leak, but holder is a flexible alternative.

Bottom line, I think the market for these batteries is declining, certainly not expanding.

Dave

When closed to their shortest length they are an inferior portable flashlight, when compared to modern alternatives, but when pulled out to the long length they're a pretty good lantern. They're definitely old tech. They have incandescent bulbs at the present but that is easily changed to side emitting LEDs. Most have D Cell adapters but 1.5 volt D cells are still alkaline only at present aren't they? As an area light they were pretty good in their day. As a work table light they were never really great. We now use LED strip lights for our work table lights. They run off available 12 volt power and they're very inexpensive. We never intended to use the 6 volt lanterns as high intensity flashlights. I don't know of any 6 volt lithium ion batteries in the same form factor as alkaline lantern batteries.

Since we already have the lanterns, and they have previously been useful as area lights; thus avoiding the use of pressurized Flammable Liquid fueled incandescent mantle lights with their associated hazards; would changing to zinc air lantern batteries and LED emitters provide the long shelf life and long run time that we want or should we change to different lights despite having several of the 6 volt lights in service already. Dam I hate throwing still working equipment away! Yes they're old tech but so am I!

I guess that all of the regulars here already knew that once I got into looking at all of the battery powered lights I have and all the different uses I have for them suitability and battery choices were going to become a complicated issue. I'm not a collector. I just want the most cost effective lights for several different uses that I can find and afford.

Tom Horne
 

alpg88

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That is the beauty of a progress, some things get outdated, and replaced well before they actually stop workings, but truth is, old 6v lanterns are now make less light than flashlights of fraction of the size and weight. But it does not mean you have to throw away the old ones, keep them on a shelf just in case. You can not have too many lights at a camp.
I still have several of those new on the shelf, probably will never use them, since modern led AA minimag wipes the floor with them, but if someone is asking to borrow a light, that is what they get, i do not care if they return them, or not.
 

TD-Horne

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That is the beauty of a progress, some things get outdated, and replaced well before they actually stop workings, but truth is, old 6v lanterns are now make less light than flashlights of fraction of the size and weight. But it does not mean you have to throw away the old ones, keep them on a shelf just in case. You can not have too many lights at a camp.
I still have several of those new on the shelf, probably will never use them, since modern led AA Mini Mag wipes the floor with them, but if someone is asking to borrow a light, that is what they get, i do not care if they return them, or not.
Hey I found them. The user name was the name of the company. Cegasa EZ8 Zinc Air Battery. Now getting back to the original question. Does anyone have an experienced opinion of a Zinc Air battery in a size other than button. I'm looking for help on whether Zinc Air battery would be a good choice for a standby light battery that would remain in readiness until needed for a power failure or similar event.

Thank you

Tom Horne
 

xxo

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I don't think it's worth upgrading most 6V lanterns - you are better off with LED C or D cell Mags.
 

TD-Horne

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I don't think it's worth upgrading most 6V lanterns - you are better off with LED C or D cell Mags.
Why would I want to use a Maglite when what I'm looking for is a general area light such as for the inside of a supply trailer? I want to hang it up in the middle of a stand up height tent and have it light the entire inside space.

Tom Horne
 

Poppy

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I haven't looked at this in quite a while, but I agree with @xxo that it is not worth upgrading most 6V lanterns.
One can typically replace the bulb with a Dorcey 3-4 cell PR2 base LED. Although it is MUCH more efficient than an incandescent bulb, it is still inefficient compared to a quality LED, or COB light.

It appears that you are looking for a long time stand-by light in case of a power outage emergency. The problems with alkaline cells is they may leak and corrode. I have alkalines that are years past their "Use By Date" I recently checked a pack of Duracell C batteries, at 1.5 volts. They are dated 2008.

If you want to protect from Alkaline leakage, you could store them outside of the lantern. OR so that they are always with the lantern, place a thin piece of plastic between the battery and the terminals. I did that with a 8 cell mini boombox that I kept for musical entertainment during outages. When my kids went to use it and it didn't work they thought the batteries were dead and they plugged it into an outlet instead. This guaranteed that the batteries were always fresh.

There is a section here where different lanterns are reviewed and discussed.
My suggestion is to get one or many 3D cell lanterns, that operate at 300 lumens or less. At that output level, the batteries won't be loaded too much, and they will perform well for a relatively long period of time. If you push them too much, they'll drop output relatively quickly.

Here is an example of one that I have and reviewed.
 
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xxo

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There are alot of decent, if not spectacular lanterns out there that run on AA and D batteries that will work a lot better than an old 6V lantern and alkaline 6V batteries are getting hard to find along with being heavy and expensive.

I prefer to use diffusers to turn a ordinary lights into lanterns.

Ue2y79a.jpg
 

TD-Horne

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How big is your tent?
9*13. it's a Eureka Copper Canyon 8 but it's not the present version which is 10 feet wide. That is not the only thing that we use the lanterns for though. We use them every time we need an area light indoors or out. We light the living room well enough to walk through it safely after our grandchild has settled down in his tent fort during a power outage. In my experience you can make a bad storm with a power outage into an adventure for children if you use the right approach. Tent forts help keep you and them warm. With a large can of Sterno burning inside a charcoal lighting chimney
charcoal lighting chimney.jpg
that is sitting in a pan of water with one of my disaster foam fire extinguishers handy and a smoke and CO detector inside the tent with another one still running on it's battery on the living room ceiling. A large can of Sterno really does make it much warmer. If it's too cold for that I'll run an extension cord from my Honda EU2000i generator to the flanged inlet on the 4 inch square electrical box on the side of the furnace which also contains the 2 pole, Double Throw, Center Off, Switch which changes the energized and grounded conductor from the branch circuit supplied by the Service Equipment panel to the flanged inlet supplied by the generator
5-15P flanged inlet.jpg
were the extension cord's receptacle type connector plugs in. With the switch thrown to the terminals of the flanged inlet the current from the generator makes the furnace roll right along. That also works with my 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter connected to 2 Lithium Iron Phosphate 40 Ah batteries wired in parallel to provide 80 Ah. The inverter can power the furnace through a shorter extension cord until I can put the generator back outside the shed during the day.

Tom Horne
 

alpg88

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I used to modify them, 6v lanterns that is. did flooders, color leds, combos of throw and flood, lasers, chasers....... Those could be turned into pretty cool and useful lights. build for their own purpose, 3 of those are in my avatar.
 

Poppy

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We used to use a 4AA satellite light for the tent. It worked well, with a single on/off switch, but no high or low modes, and it was pretty inefficient, but it would get you through the night easily. About $8 at walmart.

1679135989264.png


The last time out, I gave my grandson a Convoy S2+ with a convoy white diffuser. The S2+ has the Biscotti driver, which allows it to be set at 1%. AT that low setting, it still gives plenty of light, but not so much that it will keep one up at night. He was in a four man tent.

IIRC you mentioned in this thread or another that you already have and use diffusers. As @xxo suggests, diffusers can be used, and the light can be tail stood, or it can be hung from a pole light, tree, or chandelier.
In the power outage thread, @Lynx_Arc pointed out that most people would be comfortable with a ceiling bounced 100 lumen light.
Regarding using lanterns, I prefer to keep them high, like on top of the refrigerator. This reduces the incidence of glare when it is at eye level.

I'd like to suggest that you take a look at this Power Outage Thread there is a section that we compare some lanterns with beam shots to ceiling bounced flashlights. Very interesting reading.
 

Poppy

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In my experience you can make a bad storm with a power outage into an adventure for children if you use the right approach. Tent forts help keep you and them warm. With a large can of Sterno burning inside a charcoal lighting chimney
34282-4e817dfaed8822eb38fa56a1ee3ef5e7.jpg
that is sitting in a pan of water with one of my disaster foam fire extinguishers handy and a smoke and CO detector inside the tent with another one still running on it's battery on the living room ceiling. A large can of Sterno really does make it much warmer. If it's too cold for that I'll run an extension cord from my Honda EU2000i generator
It looks like you took all the precautions except that you have a FIRE inside the kid's tent!
If you want to give him a hot water bottle inside his sleeping bag to cuddle with, IMO that would be a better idea. If it is too cold for that, throw another blanket over him/her, and have him/her wear a hat. If that fails, then back feed your panel with your Li fed inverter, to run your furnace, until you fire up your little Honda in the morning.
 

TD-Horne

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It looks like you took all the precautions except that you have a FIRE inside the kid's tent!
If you want to give him a hot water bottle inside his sleeping bag to cuddle with, IMO that would be a better idea. If it is too cold for that, throw another blanket over him/her, and have him/her wear a hat. If that fails, then back feed your panel with your Li fed inverter, to run your furnace, until you fire up your little Honda in the morning.
Well what we actually have is a fire inside our tent. The child is in there with us. The whole idea is to make the sleeping space only large enough for the occupants to sleep in so as to contain body heat from all occupants. I didn't explain the whole set up because that is not the focus of the thread but here goes.

I made all this up decades ago and every thing is stored in the basement ready to use except the Sterno Itself which is stored with all of the other fuels we have at home in a detached shed. I didn't own the inverter nor the generator back then so I made careful advance preparation based on the FEMA home survival advice for sheltering in place using the things that I could afford.

First I prepared the wall were the "stove" would be. I opened up 2 stud bays of wall including the baseboard to a height from the floor that is a couple of feet above the roof of the storm tent. [That height was taken from the storm tents that were erected by my now adult children for our annual storm camp. That is a 24 hour day without electricity, and therefor heat, and without running water. Part of the "Game" is for me to drain the plumbing to protect the piping from freeze damage.] The stud bays themselves were fire stopped with Fire resistant treated wood 2X4 wrapped on 3 sides by metal wall framing floor channel.
metal frame floor channel.png
They fit pretty well because the original studs in my 66 year old house are really 2*4 inches and the new stuff isn't that wide. The fire stops were sealed to the dry wall in front and the wall sheathing in back with fire proofing foam. The studs, base plates, and the inside surface of the outside wall sheathing were painted with fire retardant paint. If that stuff is heated it bubbles up and covers the surface with a fire suppressive foam. The 2 stud bays were insulated with fire resistant mineral insulation. An additional piece of 3/4 inch thick type X drywall is recessed inside the face of the 3 studs behind the finish dry wall. Scraps of metal wall studs with the metal floor channel
metal frame stud.png metal frame floor channel.png
over them were used to fasten the recessed pieces of drywall and the piece of drywall to replace what was removed to the wall. [That very nearly complies with a listed fire wall assembly in that space.] There is a piece of baseboard 2 stud bays long that can be removed by popping the plastic screw button covers and removing the 2 screws. Removing that 36 inch piece of baseboard reveals the 2 holes drilled all the way through the floor for the insertion of double headed concrete form nails which will hold a substantial fireplace screen in place. There are also 2 holes in the floor for the insertion of 2 more double headed concrete form nails to hold the outer corners of the fire place screen in place. There is a pair of short angle pieces hidden in slots on the back of the removable piece of baseboard to hold a large countertop hot pan pad in place. When the pad is slid down into the 2 channels its insulating side is against the wall and it's aluminum covered side is facing out. It is as much a heat reflector as it is protection for the wall behind the "Heater."

I was originally going to mount a through the wall vented natural gas heater on that wall for power failure use until I realized that that it would need to be in the basement to keep the plumbing from freezing.

On to set up.

Having the fire resistive wall assembly to place the stove in front of remove the baseboard section and slide the hot pan pad into the slots. But a another hot pad on the floor. Put the large can of Sterno goes inside a Sterno stove. The charcoal lighting chimney goes over that after the Sterno is ignited. Around all of that place a substantial fire place screen that is fastened in place. Above that on a short piece of construction strut
strut C channel.jpg
laid across the top of the fireplace screen place a self contained temperature activated wet chemical fire extinguisher.
kitchen hood fire extinguisher.jpg (These were designed to be inside a home's kitchen stove vent hood.)

It is held up by slipping the magnet into the channel of the strut rather than just by magnetism. As I said a combination Carbon Monoxide and Photoelectric smoke detector is hung inside the tent on a wall hook 6 inches below the reflective metal covered tarp, which makes up the roof. (6 inches below a ceiling as specified for locating a detector on a wall by the National Fire Protection Association's Standard on Fire Alarm and Signalling Systems. The reflective metal sided tarp is ignition resistive and self extinguishing. That means that once the heat of ignition is removed the material itself will not produce enough heat to continue the combustion reaction. The construction strut is across the top of a substantial fire place screen. There is nothing within 2 feet of the "stove" because that is how far the fireplace screen sticks out from the wall.

I'm a retired after 45 years of service as a volunteer Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician. I have carried out the dead. I don't take any chances, that can be avoided, with fire. I'm satisfied that the risks we are taking are acceptable when weighed against the discomfort that we would experience in one of our, now rather rare, snow storm caused power outages. A couple of decades ago when we still had children at home we would have one every other year or so with the outage lasting at least 3 days.

The Sterno stove contrivance is entirely my own idea. It has not been evaluated for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Anyone who makes use of any portion of the information I have given in this posting does so at their own risk and on behalf of any person in their care who is incapable of self protection from the hazards arising from the actions described.

Tom Horne
 

Dave_H

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I haven't looked at this in quite a while, but I agree with @xxo that it is not worth upgrading most 6V lanterns.
One can typically replace the bulb with a Dorcey 3-4 cell PR2 base LED. Although it is MUCH more efficient than an incandescent bulb, it is still inefficient compared to a quality LED, or COB light.

It appears that you are looking for a long time stand-by light in case of a power outage emergency. The problems with alkaline cells is they may leak and corrode. I have alkalines that are years past their "Use By Date" I recently checked a pack of Duracell C batteries, at 1.5 volts. They are dated 2008.
Dorcy drop-in flange base LED replacements are OK but low lower (sub-1W), therefore the 40-lumen rating (for 3-4 cell version). This one appears to use simple dropping internally, unlike the 1-2 cell (30-lumen) version which uses a boost circuit; therefore not very efficient when run from 6v. However it will hold up at reduced brightness better at the low end of battery life, if that matters.

I have backfitted a number of small incan lanterns (4AA, 3D, 4D) with these and they are fine around the house, may not be bright enough for OP's use.

As for zinc-air batteries, interesting but seems like a fairly niche product; would the OP (or anyone else) want to be restricted on cost/availability especially on short notice, given this supply environment? Sourcing common cells/batteries works well for my purposes (YMMV).

Dave
 

TD-Horne

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Dorcy drop-in flange base LED replacements are OK but low lower (sub-1W), therefore the 40-lumen rating (for 3-4 cell version). This one appears to use simple dropping internally, unlike the 1-2 cell (30-lumen) version which uses a boost circuit; therefore not very efficient when run from 6v. However it will hold up at reduced brightness better at the low end of battery life, if that matters.

I have back fitted a number of small incan lanterns (4AA, 3D, 4D) with these and they are fine around the house, may not be bright enough for OP's use.

As for zinc-air batteries, interesting but seems like a fairly niche product; would the OP (or anyone else) want to be restricted on cost/availability especially on short notice, given this supply environment? Sourcing common cells/batteries works well for my purposes (YMMV).

Dave
My only use for those lanterns are to "Calm and Reassure the Patient" and to make the darkness less threatening to our grand children. If I somehow gave the impression that the lanterns were a first recourse light source I certainly never meant to. Individual hand lights and headlights are what we would actually get by on if our backup generator failed to run. If I do any disaster communications support operations without the back up generator operating it will be from my radio desk right there at home because I would not accept deployment while my family was trying to cope without electricity. Now if the generator that I have for a backup power source were to start up fine and run well, the natural gas pressure was normal, and the reserve propane tank at least 1/2 full then the lanterns would never come out of our family's disaster supplies kit. With the disaster kit as back up for my family I would except an Auxiliary Communications Service assignment, saddle up, and go.

My interest in the Zinc Air batteries was the possibility that they would produce ~6 volts after years in storage and still provide as much current as an Alkileak chemistry lantern battery would.

Tom Horne
 

alpg88

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alkaline 6V lantern batteries can do that easy, as in be in storage for years, then put out 6v and enough current for lanterns. Devices designed for those batteries usually do not pull more than 1A anyway. zinc aIR is around 30 bucks, vs 5-7 for an alkaline.
 

Black Rose

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This question may be moot. I cannot seem to locate the company that made these.
I have a couple Dorcy brand lanterns designed for those 6V square batteries.

I just went and looked at them.

The older one has an adapter in it that takes 4 D cells.

The newer lantern came with an adapter that takes 4 AA cells.
The latest iteration of the Dorcy lanterns are about $8.

I see Rayovac Industrial sells (or use to) a 4D adapter.
Not sure what the status is on Rayovac Industrial since the sale.

Not sure if they are available in the US, but here in Canada, we can buy Zinc Carbon batteries made by Panasonic.
Not sure how they hold up compared to alkaline cells.
 

TD-Horne

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I have a couple Dorcy brand lanterns designed for those 6V square batteries.

I just went and looked at them.

The older one has an adapter in it that takes 4 D cells.

The newer lantern came with an adapter that takes 4 AA cells.
The latest iteration of the Dorcy lanterns are about $8.

I see Rayovac Industrial sells (or use to) a 4D adapter.
Not sure what the status is on Rayovac Industrial since the sale.

Not sure if they are available in the US, but here in Canada, we can buy Zinc Carbon batteries made by Panasonic.
Not sure how they hold up compared to alkaline cells.
Thanks I picked up an adapter off of Amazon for $5.

Tom Horne
 

Dave_H

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I see Rayovac Industrial sells (or use to) a 4D adapter.
Not sure what the status is on Rayovac Industrial since the sale.
Princess Auto used to sell the RayoVac 4D adapters up to several years ago but have not seen them since, or anywhere else for that matter. I grabbed a few.

Dave
 
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