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Thread: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

  1. #1
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    Broke Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    From what I can tell from pouring through the last year's posts here, there isn't a clear "winner" in the lantern market, especially if you want to avoid the typical blue or green tints.

    I'm looking for something that will be used primarily in our yard in the mountains in lieu of strapping a headlamp on. Being able to see carrying the lantern is important, so I'm very hesitant to go with anything without a diffuser of some sort. We've got lots of Eneloop AA batteries, as well as being able to pick up another 18650 (we already have chargers for both). I'm not up for modding something extensively, though would consider a completed lantern from a CPF member.

    (Links below are to CPF threads, for anyone following in my footsteps. Prices are a quick check in August, 2015.)

    The Fenix CL25R (and another review) seems like one candidate, with the USB charging/battery pack being interesting. I didn't see a good description of the tint. The $60 price is a bit of a stretch, putting it close to the price range of a Zebralight headlamp, for example.

    The Gentos EX-777XP seems to be a (the only?) warm-emitter variant of the Raovac Sportsman, according to what I read here. At $35 through Amazon, it's reasonably affordable, even if I have to buy AA-to-D adapters.

    Edit: There is also what appears to be a warm-tint Favourlight PLM0C3D001 available through Amazon for $30, as indicated in the posts that follow.


    The Bushnell TRKR 1000 looks to be a Walmart-only product at a reasonable price ($34). The tint was described as "Not warm, kinda neutral/coolish. Definitely not angry blue, or I would have returned it for being an expensive piece of crap. Not cool enough to bug me."

    The Streamlight Siege in either the D-cell ($36) or AA-cell ($29) versions didn't grab me, because of what I read as cool tint. I'm not impressed by the shaving-cream-cap mods, unless it makes it an unbeatable light.

    The UST 30-Day looks interesting, but I can't figure out if it is neutral/warm in its tint. A couple of comments on that thread suggest that it has a blue tint. It runs $35-37 right now.


    Any that I've missed that I should be considering?

    Any strong recommendations among these, given my use and desire for a neutral/warm light?

    Are any of their controls significantly better or worse to use than you would expect?

    TIA!
    Last edited by jeffsf; 08-13-2015 at 03:06 PM. Reason: Added second CL25R review; Added "Favourlight"

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Str8stroke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Search Amazon for 300 Lumen Ultra Bright LED Lantern

    Nitefighter sells it. I got one and it is killer for $30! It is the warmest I have ever tested or seen. Well worth looking into.

    Its not quite the build quality of Streamlight or Fenix, but its pretty darn close. I will forgo a bit of quality for WARM lantern! Especially when you consider the price!
    Interested in Saltytri lights. Pm me!


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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Thanks! I'll keep that one in mind as well.

    A little additional thinking is that AA-to-D converters run ~$6 and eight Eneloops and two chargers run ~$34, so the price differential between the $30-35 D-cell lanterns and the Fenix fades away pretty quickly. Of course, that doesn't take into account run time, or weight, or anything else.

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    Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffsf View Post

    I'm looking for something that will be used primarily in our yard in the mountains in lieu of strapping a headlamp on. Being able to see carrying the lantern is important, so I'm very hesitant to go with anything without a diffuser of some sort. We've got lots of Eneloop AA batteries, as well as being able to pick up another 18650 (we already have chargers for both). I'm not up for modding something extensively, though would consider a completed lantern from a CPF member.
    I think that all of the lanterns you listed throw their light 360 degrees, so if you are walking with it, they will decrease your night vision. The Energizer lantern with "Light Fusion Technology" allow you to select 180, or 360 degrees. Also the earlier 300 lumen version had a more neutral tint than the newer 330 lumen version. For a real world review, see this
    Last edited by Poppy; 08-11-2015 at 04:29 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    How about a Coleman gas lantern? Soft white light, high CRI, 800+ lm for 7+ hours, 30 second "recharge" time, charming "whoosh" noise. $30-50 secondhand.
    Last edited by electromage; 08-10-2015 at 10:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Quote Originally Posted by electromage View Post
    How about a Coleman gas lantern?
    I've got one that I used to camp with through the early 80s, as well as a "modern" canned-gas lantern that replaced it. Certainly still unbeatable for what they do well (including long-term lighting), but not quite what I'm looking for.

    Poppy -- Thanks, good point on directionality and one that may have me picking up a headlamp as the primary light for this application.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Quote Originally Posted by Str8stroke View Post
    Search Amazon for 300 Lumen Ultra Bright LED Lantern

    Nitefighter sells it. I got one and it is killer for $30! It is the warmest I have ever tested or seen. Well worth looking into.

    Its not quite the build quality of Streamlight or Fenix, but its pretty darn close. I will forgo a bit of quality for WARM lantern! Especially when you consider the price!
    Very interesting!

    I did not know about this one!

    It is definitely a Favourlight being sold under another vendor's label (Favourlight is the OEM).

    The description explicitly indicates that it uses, and I am quoting here, "NICHIA Warm White LED."

    Looks like there is finally one of the versions of the Favourlight lantern stable available in the United States with a neutral/warm tint!

    Neat!

    Google "B00U2079RK" to see the lantern.

    Full Description:



    Now, the question becomes, can we trace this little beauty back to the source and find out which model Favourlight has the "Nitefighter" label on it?

    Yes, I believe we can!

    1) From the description "The Nitefighter camping lantern utilizes 12x0.5W Nichia Warm White LEDs, max 300 Lumens."

    2) We also know from the description that it requires 3 "D" cells.

    Here is the master Favourlight lantern page with all their current offerings:

    Link

    I am guessing the PLM0C3D001 as it most closely matches the Amazon specs and it has the "smiley face" font fascia.
    The other models have a more sharply angled cut in the panel where the switch resides.

    Well, it's finally happened! If you like the build quality/feel/texture/water resistance of the Favourlights but you really wanted one in a warm/neutral tint and don't/can't do an emitter swap, the wait is over.

    I had to import my Gentos (yet another Favourlight re-brand) all the way from Japan some years ago, and it was not cheap.

    Now, nobody needs to do that ever again!

    Good catch, Str8stroke!
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 08-11-2015 at 01:27 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    I love the warmer tints as well. My Seige lanterns are more of a neutral tint. I would not call them cool at all. The BIG reason that I like them is that the battery compartment is indexed using a triangular type post and hole system. You can change the batteries in darkness if need be without struggling to get the battery cover lined up "just right" as with some other models. The Fenix CL25R is also a neutral tint.
    Alan
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    Flashaholic* martinaee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Quote Originally Posted by GreySave View Post
    I love the warmer tints as well. My Seige lanterns are more of a neutral tint. I would not call them cool at all. The BIG reason that I like them is that the battery compartment is indexed using a triangular type post and hole system. You can change the batteries in darkness if need be without struggling to get the battery cover lined up "just right" as with some other models. The Fenix CL25R is also a neutral tint.
    I wonder if Streamlight changed the emitters they use in the Siege lanterns then. When I reviewed it last year the emitters in my sample are VERY cool. That would be smart of them to do so as even though I pointed out there is an easy fix (the shaving gel cap mod) it was a glaring "flaw" to me. It's an awesome lantern. If they could boost the lumens and put neutral emitters in it it will be at the very top of LED lanterns you can get right now. The post indexing is really awesome you're right.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    My two recommendations would be either the PLM0C3D001 or the Streamlight Seige.

    Both appear to have excellent diffusion and good construction.

    If I had to choose between those two, I would most likely choose the Streamlight with the neutral "hack", as while the lantern itself is made in China,
    Streamlight is a well-established U.S. based company and this product includes a lifetime warranty. I am not saying that the Favourlights aren't good gear,
    as they certainly are. However:

    1) Amazon sellers come and go. Good luck getting warranty service five years from now.
    2) martinaee's superb review illustrates both the outstanding beam diffusion and the very simple mod to properly neutralize it.
    3) As GreySave sagely points out, while the Favourlight has many positive attributes, that battery cover can be a real pain in the bottom, especially in the dark.

    While I don't own either unit, reports are that the Seige battery cover is very easy to manipulate, even sans light, which, given the function a lantern is designed to perform and the likelihood or simply the possibility of needing to change batteries in the dark, seems like a very good thing!

    **NOTE: It would be an unfathomably sad day, long after the apocalypse, if a patron of these forums should find themselves needing to change a lantern's batteries completely in the dark with no auxiliary lighting in which to perform the task. May that day never come!
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 08-19-2015 at 05:23 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    << I wonder if Streamlight changed the emitters they use in the Siege lanterns then. When I reviewed it last year the emitters in my sample are VERY cool. >>

    I already have some cool tinted laterns so I waited until someone else had reviewed them or until their text actually stated that it was a neutral tint. I cannot remember which. Both of mine are definitely neutral. I have the D cell (Two units) and the AA cell versions.

    I have three of the Rayovac Sportman's Extreme D cell lanterns and those battery covers are a royal PITA compared to the Siege.
    Alan
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    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Rayovac Sportsman Xtreme = Favourlight LT-1813D (or one of the brood)

    See here for PDF with specs:

    Link
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 08-19-2015 at 12:14 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    The UST does have a warmer tint,it blew me away!

    I have 2 of them and am not using my big siege anymore either.

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    Flashaholic angerdan's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Who can recommend me lights matching these requirements?


    1. warm white (2700-3000K)
    2. 18650 (replaceable Li-Io cell)
    3. low glare (cd/m˛/luminous intensity, so larger beam surface)
    4. 360° beam angle
    5. >350lm



    Everything i found didn't have even points 1+2 together.
    Or it would be a Solarforce L2 with LT-1 for ~$60.

    Only neutral white or AA (no ww/18650):




    So my second guess is to convert an neutral/cold white 18650-Lantern to ww.
    Should be the easiest way, since there is just a yellow foil needed. The idea i got from zespecte's image of adding GITD paint to his Energizer folding lantern.

    So the criterias of a lantern ready to modify would be:
    • replaceable 18650 cell(s)
    • good colour rendering (above average (>Ra80) or better high CRI (Ra90) )
    • should be able to open without destruction for putting yellow foil inside the beam corpus
    • >350lm
    • 360° beam angle
    Last edited by angerdan; 10-25-2016 at 03:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Quote Originally Posted by angerdan View Post
    Who can recommend me lights matching these requirements?


    1. warm white (2700-3000K)
    2. 18650 (replaceable Li-Io cell)
    3. low glare (cd/m˛/luminous intensity, so larger beam surface)
    4. 360° beam angle
    5. >350lm



    Everything i found didn't have even points 1+2 together.
    Or it would be a Solarforce L2 with LT-1 for ~$60.

    Only neutral white or AA (no ww/18650):




    So my second guess is to convert an neutral/cold white 18650-Lantern to ww.
    Should be the easiest way, since there is just a yellow foil needed. The idea i got from zespecte's image of adding GITD paint to his Energizer folding lantern.

    So the criterias of a lantern ready to modify would be:
    • replaceable 18650 cell(s)
    • good colour rendering (above average (>Ra80) or better high CRI (Ra90) )
    • should be able to open without destruction for putting yellow foil inside the beam corpus
    • >350lm
    • 360° beam angle
    Fenix, Nitecore and Suboos are the only folks making 18650 lanterns at the moment as far as I know and none of them are warm white (though the Fenix lanterns are quite nice in general).

    This doesn't necessarily meet all of your criteria, but the Princeton Tec Helix lanterns are very warm. I did a beamshot comparison on my wall with my Astrolux S1 (4000k) and my Helix Back Country I'd put the Helix tint at around 3000-3500k tops.

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    Flashaholic Lexel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    If there is for example a Cree XPL inside you could change that with another light color

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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Quote Originally Posted by angerdan View Post
    Who can recommend me lights matching these requirements?


    1. warm white (2700-3000K)
    2. 18650 (replaceable Li-Io cell)
    3. low glare (cd/m˛/luminous intensity, so larger beam surface)
    4. 360° beam angle
    5. >350lm



    Everything i found didn't have even points 1+2 together.
    Or it would be a Solarforce L2 with LT-1 for ~$60.

    Only neutral white or AA (no ww/18650):




    So my second guess is to convert an neutral/cold white 18650-Lantern to ww.
    Should be the easiest way, since there is just a yellow foil needed. The idea i got from zespecte's image of adding GITD paint to his Energizer folding lantern.

    So the criterias of a lantern ready to modify would be:
    • replaceable 18650 cell(s)
    • good colour rendering (above average (>Ra80) or better high CRI (Ra90) )
    • should be able to open without destruction for putting yellow foil inside the beam corpus
    • >350lm
    • 360° beam angle
    angerdan
    as you already mentioned... you need a LARGE diffusion area to reduce glare.
    The higher the lumen output the greater the glare of any particular lantern.
    OF all the lanterns listed, there are very few that claim to do more than 350 lumens.
    OF all those listed only the energizer with light fusion tech, and the Bushnell TRKR 1000 (actually not listed above) have relatively larger diffusers.
    The Brushnell TRKR 1000 lumen lantern is similar to shining a flashlight into a opaque water gallon container

    To meet your stringent requirements, I believe, you will have to modify an existing lantern or build your own.
    First of all, you will need to swap out the emitters to a warm/high cri emitter/s.
    Most lanterns are using cool white emitters, so when they list 320 lumens, by going to a warm high cri emitter, with the same driver, you'll get only 200 lumens. see the cree XM-L2 datasheet
    just putting a filter in front of a cool white emitter, will decrease some of the blue white, will decrease the lumen output, and will not increase the CRI. Therefore you have to swap out the emitters.

    The emitters inside the energizer folding lanterns are SMA emitters. I don't know how to swap them out.
    I don't know what the emitter style is within the TRKR, or how challenging it would be to swap them out. BUT, I suspect that the opaque diffuser is of a blue/white color, so even if you put a warm emitter inside there, the diffuser itself would make it cooler, and cut some of the lumens. I had the experience with the Ozark Trail 3D lantern I modified.

    Neither of the lanterns take 18650 batteries. It is possible to modify it to take power from a external battery box or power bank. I added a USB cable to a couple of my energizers, and to the GE 4D lanterns so they would run from a power bank.

    If you plan to use the lantern a LOT, then it might make more sense to buy a set or two of the Tenergy D cell NiMH batteries. Their capacities and output curves are close enough to 18650 cells that the 18650 improvement may not be significant enough to go through the hassle.

    I don't know why you want more than 350 lumens, maybe you have a specific reason, but from my perspective, I would prefer to have multiple 100 lumen lanterns scattered around than a single lantern putting out 300 lumens, or more. In a dark area, a 300 lumen light source is going to be glaringly bright, unless the diffuser is huge (for a lantern) and more than that ugh.
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    Flashaholic angerdan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Thanks for your replies.
    Lately i discovered the Nitecore LA30, which is quite great (18650, red light, high CRI, neutral white). Even without modifying i can imagine to like it (if the tint is at least neutral white).

    Maybe i will focus on the existing 18650 lanterns for converting one of them.
    The lantern is dedicated for camping, the lantern would be carried bi bike. My idea is the high energy density of 18650, thats why i prefer it before AA/AAA (eneloop).

    Also still looking forward to the BLF Lantern Project: Possible SRK-Based BLF-Lantern future GB
    "A BLF custom lantern build is in the works, and if all goes well a manufacturer will be working to build a production model based from it.
    It will be capable of running on 1,2,3, or four 18650 cells in parallel (much safer than series setups for LiIons) have long run times in high mode, and run times of days on the lower modes,
    be low-glare with a down-firing LED design, ( that distributes light far better in the directions that its needed than that of those eye-glaring standard flashlight diffusers)
    use natural 2700K to 3000K warmer tints close to that of a incandescent bulb, (equal a 40 watt or higher Incandescent bulb on high,
    be durable, table standable or hangable, have a moon light mode/night light that will run for months, and possibly have a built in USB charger."
    Last edited by angerdan; 10-26-2016 at 11:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Quote Originally Posted by angerdan View Post
    Thanks for your replies.
    Lately i discovered the Nitecore LA30, which is quite great (18650, red light, high CRI, neutral white). Even without modifying i can imagine to like it (if the tint is at least neutral white).

    Maybe i will focus on the existing 18650 lanterns for converting one of them.
    The lantern is dedicated for camping, the lantern would be carried bi bike. My idea is the high energy density of 18650, thats why i prefer it before AA/AAA (eneloop).

    Also still looking forward to the BLF Lantern Project: Possible SRK-Based BLF-Lantern future GB
    "A BLF custom lantern build is in the works, and if all goes well a manufacturer will be working to build a production model based from it.
    It will be capable of running on 1,2,3, or four 18650 cells in parallel (much safer than series setups for LiIons) have long run times in high mode, and run times of days on the lower modes,
    be low-glare with a down-firing LED design, ( that distributes light far better in the directions that its needed than that of those eye-glaring standard flashlight diffusers)
    use natural 2700K to 3000K warmer tints close to that of a incandescent bulb, (equal a 40 watt or higher Incandescent bulb on high,
    be durable, table standable or hangable, have a moon light mode/night light that will run for months, and possibly have a built in USB charger."
    I haven't gotten my hands on the LR30 yet, but it apparently has the same Nichia high CRI emitter as the LA10 CRI which is really nice. I was very impressed with it!

    I'm also looking forward to the BLF lantern! While he's at it, I wouldn't mind if he used a firmware we can program ourselves. Think I'll suggest that.

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    Flashaholic angerdan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    I'd find a lantern with swappable 18650 and warmwhite (3500K) tint:
    Goal Zero Lighthouse Mini Lantern

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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Quote Originally Posted by angerdan View Post
    I'd find a lantern with swappable 18650 and warmwhite (3500K) tint:
    Goal Zero Lighthouse Mini Lantern
    Oh yeah, I forgot about the Lighthouse Mini.I didn't realize it was 3500k though! The only thing I don't care for is the proprietary battery and it's not clear whether you can use a regular battery in it or not.

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    Flashaholic angerdan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Depending on the image its a usual standard 18650. So no proprietary, it's the same cell like in most fenix/nitecore flashlights.

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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Quote Originally Posted by angerdan View Post
    Depending on the image its a usual standard 18650. So no proprietary, it's the same cell like in most fenix/nitecore flashlights.
    Actually no, it runs a proprietary 18650 cell with both the cathode and anode on both ends. Apparently, this is so you can insert a spare battery in the dark without having to worry which end is which.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic angerdan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Thats new to me, seems like a clever idea
    http://www.goalzero.com/p/332/18650-goal-zero-battery

    Question is, can any bottom-up 18650 cell safely be used without any modifications of the lantern?

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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Quote Originally Posted by angerdan View Post
    Thats new to me, seems like a clever idea
    http://www.goalzero.com/p/332/18650-goal-zero-battery

    Question is, can any bottom-up 18650 cell safely be used without any modifications of the lantern?
    Maybe? But I bet their sales rep would say "it's not recommended". I notice that battery is sold out as well. I suppose that would be your only option.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    1) The Gentos EX-777XP is currently available on that popular auction site for $29.99 with free shipping. I paid more than double that to import mine directly from Japan. This model is now several years old, but, if color quality is more important than absolute brightness, it might be a good buy.

    2) The Nitefighter "300 Lumen Ultra Bright LED Lantern" Amazon product code "B00U2079RK" is no longer available, and the reason why is quite interesting.

    Details here.

    3) However, the Gentos SOL-113P/213P is still available.

    4) I am always curious about current draw (power consumption) with lanterns; if someone with the Nitefighter or Gentos would be willing to take current readings at 4.5V (three alkaline "D" cells or equivalent) I would definitely appreciate it. :-)
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 11-26-2016 at 03:04 PM.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    I'm trying to figure out my best option in Canada for a warm lantern that doesn't run on D-cells. The Gentos SOL-036c seems to be the only one I can get on eBay that I can be sure is warm white (unlike rebranded Favourlights). What are the other warm AA options?

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    Quote Originally Posted by HotterRod View Post
    I'm trying to figure out my best option in Canada for a warm lantern that doesn't run on D-cells. The Gentos SOL-036c seems to be the only one I can get on eBay that I can be sure is warm white (unlike rebranded Favourlights). What are the other warm AA options?
    Princeton Tec Helix Basecamp, Black Diamond Voyager, Apollo and Moji XP are all good choices for warm AA lanterns. The later of which has a dome type of diffuser and is best suited as a down light. Makes a great tent light actually.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Recommendation requested - Neutral/Warm lantern, outdoor yard use

    I'll add to the list for what its worth: R-PAL. It came up back in 2014 and has become a reality. Still just as expensive.

    300lm
    waterproof
    made in usa
    (1) 18650
    regulated output
    $130

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