LED Lantern Reviews

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by BCR, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    I am interested in real-world usage of an LED lantern. At a cost of roughly $40 I want some input before I purchase. I have read reviews elsewhere but would like some of your ideas.

    I want one primarily for a source of light on a table when the electric is out. To read or visit by. I do not want a lantern that uses fuel or creates heat of any kind or has a flame. It should have enough brightness to read a book by or to light a room clearly enough to get around (ie. on a kitchen counter to cook by).

    Have one? What is good/bad about it?
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I've used LED flashlights. They are really great if you don't need just a whole lot of light. I think I would go with a flourescent camping lantern myself. They are usually cheaper than LED for the light intensity and new research shows they are at least as good as LED's for power usage/lumen. If you set up a 12v battery connected to a charger run off house power it will run a couple of dc flourescent lights for a longer period. You can recharge it with jumper cables hooked to the car if needed.
     

  3. SouthernThunder

    SouthernThunder Well-Known Member

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    How many LEDs does the lantern have in it? A flashlight with 20 LEDs or so will spray out about as much light as a regular maglight. One of the best things about LED flashlights is the batteries last a whole lot longer (this of course depends heavily on the # of LEDs) Also, the diodes themselves will outlive most of us who own and use them. You can drop them and they don't burn out and they produce no noticable heat. The light is a clear blueish color and is very bright but doesn't illuminate as wide of an area as a regular filament bulb. For that reason I would make sure the lantern has at least 15 or 20 LEDs in it. $40 bucks seems like a fair price if it does.
     
  4. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    I saw a review of one with 30 LEDs (about $43) that said it was ineffective due to the 'spray' of the light. Now, I have a headlight that has 3 that lets me do an awful lot (best $13 I spent lately) in the dark, but it is pretty focused. Any comment on that?
     
  5. tkrabec

    tkrabec Well-Known Member

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    I have a small LED flash light it uses 1 AAA battery. I am interested in getting a large LED flash light (they are incredibly bright). I just purchased a Florscent base lantern. The Florscent bulbs are more energy efficient than LED's. But as far as I can tell it takes a bit more power to start a florscent bulb and not that much to start a LED. For short usages, light weight, compact size I'd go with a LED. For longer lift and better light I'd go with a florscent bulb.

    The older style bulbs are less efficient than both mentioned above.

    -- Tim
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    An LED headlight is a good way to task light. I don't think it is really good to read by for prolonged periods, but you could read a package or map with it. I've used one for things like cooking, washing up, combing DD's hair and feeding chickens. It basically puts the light where you are looking, so you don't notice that you are not lighting up an area. It frees your hands and you aren't jiggling a flashlight.

    For reading a book or lighting an area I would still go with flourescent. For navigating thru a dark house away from the main lighted area an LED flashlight works well. I also like to keep one in the car and one at my bedside. The batteries really last a long time and the light is bright enough to get by with.

    If you are camping or doing some activity that you need to move the light around a lot the LED lantern would prob work best since it can take more abuse. I've used dc flourescents on a 12v system for several years in two different places that I lived off grid in colorado. The first place I was off grid in mississippi, I didn't know anything about 12v and the alt energy bit wasn't well developed. I ended up with oil lamps that didn't light the room very well.
     
  7. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's the thing. I've had flourescent tube lights and they don't like being dropped at all. I still have the extra bulbs I bought somewhere I think. The light died before my supplies for it did.

    I like reading with my LED headlamp...I use the 'red' setting which saves my night vision when camping. Since I am only focusing on my book, it has been plenty bright enough. But I agree it wouldn't be the only one to have.


    So, I think I'll have to order one and try it, then send it back if it doesn't seem right that first night. My AA MAg Light just died this last episode without electric as well. I think I beat it up one too many times. It has lasted many years, so I will save the parts and try something else. Maybe an industrial LED light. I have seen them with 5 and 7 LED lights that use AA batteries. The Rayovac Industrial got good reviews.....

    Personally, I won't go to any big trouble for light. I'd end up using my little Princeton Tech thing until I just called it a night. So no 12 V for us. I need something anyone here could use at any time with ease.