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Thread: Indoor Lantern for use during hurricane power outages

  1. #1

    Default Indoor Lantern for use during hurricane power outages

    Hi, I would like some recommendations on what is the best "value" lantern to use during power outage when under a hurricane threat. This will be used for indoor general lighting, when the outside windows and doors are all blocked by plywood or shutters so it's pitch dark inside even during the bright daylight.

    In the past I use an assortment of large and small flashlights, some LEDs and some incandescent, but the most practical one I have so far is a Rayovac camping lantern that has two fluorescent bulbs and it seems to cast a light over a fairly large area and it uses 8 large D cells.

    Unfortunately, when the latest hurricane approaches us in Florida I found I had battery leaks inside the lantern. The lantern DOES light up when I turned it on, but several batteries were leaking badly. I cleaned up the leaks as much as I can, then inserted 8 new D cells and now it doesn't work at all. I don't understand, it was working with the leaking batteries, and after I cleaned it all up, it doesn't work, AT ALL. Here are some pictures of the inside in case someone spotted something I may be doing wrong.

    Now I am looking to buy some new lantern(s). Should I get LED ones or fluorescent ones?

    Should I get D cells, C cells, AAs or AAAs?

    I do use power tools and am on the Milwaukee M18 and the Bosch core battery platforms, and I know they sell Tool lights and work lights that are powered by the M18 tool batteries, but I am not sure it's the right application.

    Thanks in advance for any recommendations of new lanterns or any tricks I may employ to get the old Rayovac lantern back to life.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Indoor Lantern for use during hurricane power outages

    Did you clean all of the contacts up? Use vinegar and cotton swabs then maybe finish them with some fine grit sand paper. You may need to open it up even more and clean inside where the switch mechanism is.

    As for recommendation on a new lantern...go LED. You're going to get more light and longer run times on LEDs in general plus you can also get one that has an adjustable output if you look around a bit.
    Last edited by lightfooted; 09-03-2019 at 12:52 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Indoor Lantern for use during hurricane power outages

    I had 2 rayovac 8D flourescent lanterns and never much used them sold them about 5 years ago as they are about 300 lumens and eat batteries. I would definitely go LED as you can get a 300-500 lumen LED lantern that should use less power to operate and there are even some rechargeable lanterns that use lithium ION out there not sure which ones though. Some tool lights and lanterns are good stuff others are overpriced for the performance you get from them but if you have the batteries I would look into the milwaukee stuff as I think they probably have more options keeping in mind the cost vs buying a stand alone lantern. Depending on how much light you truly need which is typically related to tasks and amount of people served by it IMO. It is too bad you didn't have name brand batteries that would pay for the leaking batteries damage to the lantern.
    For just one person a single 18650 based lantern is almost ideal. I have a pseudo Fenix clone lantern I got off Ebay for under $10 that is about 300 lumens on high with medium and low and 2 red modes. One other really cool option is if your tool batteries have USB power adapters you can invest in some USB based lighting and cords and wire up your own lighting customizing it
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Indoor Lantern for use during hurricane power outages

    Best value? Don't get a lantern It sounds cheeky but dedicated lanterns are more expensive for what you get than flashlights.

    If you are indoors you have the option of ceiling bouncing. Take a flashlight and tail stand it. You'll get a great glare free spread of light throughout the room. It is far nicer than any lantern. Throwers actually work slightly better for this.

    For outdoor purposes get (or make) diffusers for your lights. These are usually not quite as good as a dedicated lantern but they are more economical and more flexible.

    Big lights with lots of battery make for a more convenient "lantern" and I recommend a 3x18650 or 4x18650 model. The $40-$50 Q8 is probably the best value here.

    edit: I think the best value at the moment is the $50 Sofirn SP36 LH351D on amazon. Mostly because it comes with high CRI LEDs that have a decent tint. Good for room lighting. Of course you will need batteries too but don't get those from amazon. Technically you can skip getting a dedicated 18650 charger since the light supports USB charging.
    Last edited by parametrek; 09-03-2019 at 07:18 PM.
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  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    California Republic

    Default Re: Indoor Lantern for use during hurricane power outages

    +1 for ceiling bouncing a regular flashlight - this removes the limitation of trying to select from the slim handful of lantern designs and allows you to use pretty much any battery config and emitter combo you want.

    Look for a warm emitter, the cozy and welcoming tint is a pleasant morale boost precisely when needed.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Northern New Jersey

    Default Re: Indoor Lantern for use during hurricane power outages

    Regarding your lantern. I believe that you have the batteries installed improperly. IF you look at the connectors inside the battery case, half of them are spring steel, the other half are slightly raised buttons. The batteries should be aligned such that the negative contact of the battery touches the spring, and the button side (positive) contacts the button. In one of the pictures I can see that there are two buttons side by side and two springs side by side. Position your batteries according to them, see if that works.

    I agree... trash the fluorescent and get LED. Don't even consider incandescent.

    I already have Ryobi tools and batteries, so to get the Ryobi 18v lantern was a no brainer. The batteries take a pretty quick charge. If I had a Milwaukee tool set, I am sure that I would get their lantern. Hopefully it will have an adapter to USB charge your cell phone. I also have a Ryobi 18V charger that I can plug into my car's 12V power port.

    A 3D LED lantern that outputs 100 lumens will run for days. Don't run it at more than 300 lumens, it will stress the batteries too much and greatly reduce your run-time. At 100 lumens or less, 3 D's are almost as good as 3 LiIon 18650's and the kit is more immediately available and at a lower cost.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Indoor Lantern for use during hurricane power outages

    A 3D cell ML300 or 3C cell ML50 Maglite ceiling bounced would be my suggestion, though I would not store alkaline batteries in them, or any light. You can get AA adapters for these if you want to run AA energizer ultimate lithiums (great for long term stagae) or eneloops (rechargeable).

  8. #8

    Default Re: Indoor Lantern for use during hurricane power outages

    The 4D Led Maglite ML300 runs for 18 days on low setting. I'm guessing it's around 60 lumens on low

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