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Thread: Nitecore LR30 Lantern. Field Use Review.

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    Default Nitecore LR30 Lantern. Field Use Review.

    Nitecore LR30 Lantern. Field Use Review.


    For full disclosure. Nitecore sent me the light to be reviewed.


    First info from the manufacture.


    http://flashlight.nitecore.com/product/lr30


    LED Camping Lantern
    It's time to step up your camping game with the Nitecore LR30, a high output, ultra-portable LED camping lantern. This sturdily constructed camping utility is capable of emitting up to 205 Lumens, surpassing the output of similarly sized camp lights. Single switch operation makes the LR30 easy to use, and a magnetic base lets you stick the light to metal surfaces for hands free lighting - great for cluttered work spaces! Additionally the light has a high CRI (color rendering index) so the light gives your surroundings a warm, natural look.
    Multiple Power Source Compatible
    Nothing is worse than having a light you rely on run out of power, but fortunately the Nitecore LR30 has a backup plan for that. The LR30 is able to perform at full capacity using multiple battery types, including 18650, CR123A or RCR123A. This power flexibility makes the light even more versatile, allowing users to change to different batteries on the fly. A built-in power indicator displays when batteries are running low, so you'll always have plenty of time to switch them out!
    Adjustable Brightness Levels
    Just because it has one switch doesn't mean that the Nitecore LR30 is a one trick pony. This resilient camping lantern features 3 adjustable brightness settings that can be changed at will to suit your needs. A single red LED is also included that provides low profile light for discreet illumination. For safety purposes a constant blink and SOS mode are also available, making the LR30 a vital emergency utility.


    Features And Specifications:
    White and red output
    6 High performance white LEDS
    Single red LED
    3 Brightness levels, red, blinking and SOS modes
    Single switch design
    Highly translucent diffuser
    Built-in battery level indicator
    High efficiency constant current circuit
    Reverse polarity protection
    Magnetic base
    Made with durable PC materials
    IPX6 Waterproof
    1.5 Meter impact resistant
    Runs on 1 x 18650, 2 x CR123A or 2 X RCR123A (not included)


    Output & Runtime High: 205 Lumens Low: 12 Lumens Runtime: 3.5 Hours on high/ 62 Hours on lowDimensions Size:3.62”×1.72”×1.24” Weight: 2.18oz (62gram) (without battery)Accessories Waterproof ring

    With that out of the way on to the review.








    The first thing I tested was the IXP-6 water resistance rating. Not really sure how to test for that as it's not dunk rated. Decided on 6 hours of exposure to heavy rain. Ok that's not how IXP-6 is actually rated but what the heck. 6 seemed like a good number and the cold November rain was hard.





    It did ok. The water resistance is probably dependent on this O-ring. After the 6 hours a few drops of water penetrated.








    The few drops of water evaporated so wasn't an issue but keep in mind it's not dunk rated and there are limits. On a side note yes it does work with unprotected flat tops however the magnets are strong enough to pull them from the light when the cover is removed. Plenty strong enough to attach the lantern to a refrigerator, car body or safe. It functioned just fine with protected button top and 2XCR123 as well.





    Nitecore claims the lantern has no PWM. If a PWM frequency is too slow it can be annoying to some people. Personally I don't like it. The cellphone camera test. PWM detected on my M@g for a control.





    The LR30 looks good from the uncompromising cellphone camera eye. Did the wave test as well. Near as I can tell there is no PWM flashing.





    Inside testing. The little bathroom.


    Low.





    Med.





    High.





    The room was so small it was harder to tell med from high using the camera. I could see it though. Ok lets try a larger room.


    Low.





    Med.





    High.





    There was some glare over the lantern but the illumination looked about right in the photos. Ok lets take this outside in the cold dark dank woods. Maybe 19 F with wind. It was chilly sleeping weather under the stars. In this case stars and lantern.


    Low.





    Med.





    High.





    High at far range. Using a lantern is an effective means to mark a camp. I found low and med modes was more than bright enough to mark the camp when getting water etc etc.





    The lantern hangs facing one direction with a UL back strap. Pros and cons however I like that positioning.





    The back strap/hanger can be seen here. This is on high which is really turbo as the light steps down brightness after 10 minutes to prevent overheating. That said the reduction seemed very subtle to my eyes. The lantern worked well as a backup floody flashlight. The weight was verified by my postal scale. A very UL gear item with multi use applications.





    One of the listed features is high CRI LEDS. These are supposed to render colors better. Ok lets put them to the test. This is my first high CRI light. How did it stack up in the woods?


    On the trail. This looks about right. Medium





    In camp. Med maybe 5-10 feet away. Looks about how it did to my eyes.








    High same range. The MSS bivy looks about how it does in person.





    Is this high CRI thing worth checking out. It was different than cool white or neutral white. Things did appear more accurate to my eyes as had a NW headlamp to compare. Within the context of a blackout, group hanging out not sure tint matters as seeing trumps not seeing but IMHO it's kinda nice. Maybe that guy from "The Abyss" could have used it. Or how about someone trying to remember that coral snake rhyme. Red touch black, safe for Jack. Red touches yellow, kills a fellow. Then again maybe it's best just not to pick up a questionable snake in the dark depending on a lantern to get it right.


    Speaking of color this has the brightest red light of any light which I own. The 45 lumen rating looks about right though it's had to judge red light. There is some distortion on the wall and with the Lantern but the overall illumination appears as it did to my eye.





    I tested out the blue light functions. The gas gauge and lantern marker. That info is inside the video however the voltage indicator seemed accurate within it's limitations aka tenth of a volt.

    Pros.


    1. Very UL. I can actually see myself packing this for longer range outings.


    2. High CRI. It's rather cool. No not really cool white at all but not really neutral white either.


    3. Multiple battery types. Can use both CR123 and Lithium ion.


    4. Directional hanging. Makes it easy to light up a camp with less light.


    5. Simple UI.


    6. The voltage indicator seemed ok.


    7. Multi use.


    8. Very bright red mode.


    9. Very strong magnets.


    Cons.


    1. Some (a few drops) water did enter the case. Didn't harm the light and the exposure to evil weather was very very long but it's not dunk rated.


    2. UL is both a pro and con. It's build isn't as robust as heavier gear items. Well made UL thing but still very very light weight.


    3. Doesn't use AA/AAA batteries. Some people aren't into CR123 or lithium ion.


    4. Some might not prefer the directional hanging.


    5. The strong magnets have pros and cons.


    6. High is really a turbo mode.


    I like it and will be packing the LR30 with 2XCR123 this winter. Here is a video.





    Thanks for looking.
    Last edited by Woods Walker; 12-17-2016 at 12:34 AM.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic Subterrestrial's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore LR30 Lantern. Field Use Review.

    Thanks for the review and field test WW. So you didn't mind the directional hanging? That's a deal-breaker for some. I'm not thrilled about it either, but I suppose I could live with it. Time will tell. Man that thing looks bright! I think the 18650/CR123 configuration is an advantage. I have the LA10 CRI which uses the same Nichia 219 and since it's AA it's only about a third as bright.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nitecore LR30 Lantern. Field Use Review.

    Another boon: Red light is undetectable by most insects, they are not attracted to it. One caveat is that mosquitos are attracted to IR/heat, so much depends on how far into the infrared a red light reaches. I think this is why most bug lights are yellow, but in my experience, narrow band visible red is superior (630nm to 660nm) as a bug light. e.g. when I need to be in the garage in the evenings with the door open for any extended period, I'll use a red light to prevent attracting flying insects from investigating and getting trapped inside.

    Thanks for the review, Woods Walker!
    Last edited by chillinn; 12-17-2016 at 08:56 AM.

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    Default Re: Nitecore LR30 Lantern. Field Use Review.

    Quote Originally Posted by chillinn View Post
    Another boon: Red light is undetectable by most insects, they are not attracted to it. One caveat is that mosquitos are attracted to IR/heat, so much depends on how far into the infrared a red light reaches. I think this is why most bug lights are yellow, but in my experience, narrow band visible red is superior (630nm to 660nm) as a bug light. e.g. when I need to be in the garage in the evenings with the door open for any extended period, I'll use a red light to prevent attracting flying insects from investigating and getting trapped inside.

    Thanks for the review, Woods Walker!
    Thanks for looking! I am going to test out that red light bug thing when warmer weather moves in. Moths and crane flies are a PITA. Always flying around all crazy in my face when the lantern or headlamp turns on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Subterrestrial View Post
    Thanks for the review and field test WW. So you didn't mind the directional hanging? That's a deal-breaker for some. I'm not thrilled about it either, but I suppose I could live with it. Time will tell. Man that thing looks bright! I think the 18650/CR123 configuration is an advantage. I have the LA10 CRI which uses the same Nichia 219 and since it's AA it's only about a third as bright.
    One reason why the directional hanging was both a pro and con. It was good to hang from that adjustable ridgeline as it gave me the full benefit of the lower setting. But I can see how some might not like that. I have always kept away from the Nichia 219 thing as felt the reduction in output was simply too great to justify any pro. But it was kinda nice!
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    Flashaholic angerdan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore LR30 Lantern. Field Use Review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woods Walker View Post
    Cons.
    3. Doesn't use AA/AAA batteries. Some people aren't into CR123 or lithium ion.
    18650 has far better energy density than AA/AAA.
    There are already so many AA/AAA lanterns on the market that more 18650 models are a good thing for people with 18650 flashlighs.

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    Default Re: Nitecore LR30 Lantern. Field Use Review.

    Quote Originally Posted by angerdan View Post
    18650 has far better energy density than AA/AAA.
    There are already so many AA/AAA lanterns on the market that more 18650 models are a good thing for people with 18650 flashlighs.
    I think it is a good thing as well but as stated some people don't roll with lithium ion. I like that it also uses CR123s. Also like the lightweight so when packing a 18650 flashlight might consider taking this even if not 100% needed as it will carry another battery which could be used in the primary headlamp or flashlight plus it's a working light which could be employed if needed to hike out etc.
    Last edited by Woods Walker; 12-18-2016 at 08:57 AM.
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    Flashaholic Subterrestrial's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore LR30 Lantern. Field Use Review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woods Walker View Post
    I think it is a good thing as well but as stated some people don't roll with lithium ion. I like that it also uses CR123s. Also like the lightweight so when packing a 18650 flashlight might consider taking this even if not 100% needed as it will carry another battery which could be used in the primary headlamp or flashlight plus it's a working light which could be employed if needed to hike out etc.
    Exactly! I may be the master of overkill, but I say the best way to carry extra batteries is in an extra light.

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    Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore LR30 Lantern. Field Use Review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Subterrestrial View Post
    Exactly! I may be the master of overkill, but I say the best way to carry extra batteries is in an extra light.
    .
    Two thumbs up to that comment! up:
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

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    Default Re: Nitecore LR30 Lantern. Field Use Review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Subterrestrial View Post
    Exactly! I may be the master of overkill, but I say the best way to carry extra batteries is in an extra light.
    The lantern functions just fine as an extra light. Tested it hiking in the video. Check it out. Normally I pack a headlamp and flashlight so really the lantern would be a 3rd light.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Nitecore LR30 Lantern. Field Use Review.

    for me the Indicator/Positioning light is not working properly, 90% of the time I cannot turn it on.
    Same for the battery indicator which works by pressing the button short (at least for me) like on other Nitecore light.

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