*BLF LT1 Lantern Project* (Post #6078 Lantern GB Price announced!

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Kodrann
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I just registered but I’m interested in one… Is it ok?

It looks amazing, good work!

BlueSwordM
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Well, I’m going to keep this in mind.

Maybe we should be making a 4×18650 LT1A made of durable recyclable plastic.

To make it less expensive by using a plastic body, we’d need to sell a lot of units.

It would be using a 4×7135 driver with 4x SST-20s 95CRI at 3500k or 4x LH351D 90CRI 3000k/5000k, 4x included 18650s with capacities of 2400mAh, a micro-USB input for charging, and USB-A for output, along with a small handle.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

DavidEF
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BlueSwordM wrote:
Well, I’m going to keep this in mind.

Maybe we should be making a 4×18650 LT1A made of durable recyclable plastic.

To make it less expensive by using a plastic body, we’d need to sell a lot of units.

It would be using a 4×7135 driver with 4x SST-20s 95CRI at 3500k or 4x LH351D 90CRI 3000k/5000k, 4x included 18650s with capacities of 2400mAh, a micro-USB input for charging, and USB-A for output, along with a small handle.


I’d be for including a non-user-serviceable built-in Lithium battery pack, and making the whole light basically “not meant to be opened” so that the structure of the plastic body can be made simpler and waterproof. A single waterproof USB-C charge port with a rubber cover (port is waterproof without cover, but cover helps keep dirt out) would probably be enough. It doesn’t need to be usable as a powerbank. To be a bit cheaper, a set of 2x or 3x high CRI 4000K emitters would even be enough. But, I guess 4x would make it marginally more efficient in use.

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
- The YKK Philosophy

BlueSwordM
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OK then.

Non easily replaceable 10000mAh internal cell with 4,05V charging for good cycle life and 4x SST-20s 3500k using the same MCPCB as the Q8, but made of aluminium instead of copper.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

SIGShooter
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A lantern like this, especially a cheaper plastic one, would be invaluable for people like Peace Corp volunteers in places like Africa. My middle daughter was in Uganda for 3 years and based upon a 2 week visit there and talking to her about her experiences, a BLF lantern and solar panel would be in high demand. Many places have spotty or no electricity and she told me about hospitals losing power in the middle of surgery with a corresponding loss of life. I think that if Sofirn was smart they would try to market the lantern to people going to or living in 3rd world countries. Maybe produce a version with a non-replaceable battery since 18650’s are going to be rare if not impossible to find in many poor countries.

BlueSwordM
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A cheaper style of the LT1 would obviously be very good.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

chinooker
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I’m sold on this for my semi-remote shed. I need another as outage for house.
total 2 please

sbslider
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chinooker wrote:
I’m sold on this for my semi-remote shed. I need another as outage for house.
total 2 please

just did a quick check of the OP, looks like you are already signed up for two.

PocketSammich wrote: I don’t need this, but I want it. Please sign me up.

chinooker
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Blushing

(at least I validate myself)

sbslider
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chinooker wrote:
Blushing

(at least I validate myself)

Thumbs Up

PocketSammich wrote: I don’t need this, but I want it. Please sign me up.

SIGShooter
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chinooker wrote:
Blushing

(at least I validate myself)

Maybe you mis-typed 2 when you really want 3 total Cash ?
chinooker
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two, 2, too, to, dos (that’s about my limit)

L_R_G
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I’ve been checking in on this thread for a couple years now and have been interested since the beginning. I’m really excited that this is going to be in the hands of the people soon. I’m in for 1!

Mat_77
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After so much time and last updates I’m not able to resist any longer.

Please put me in for 1.

djozz
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alternety wrote:
I like the concept of a less expensive version (e.g., plastic) for countries with no light or money. There could be a BLF project.

I do not think that AA batteries are suitable. In the target users, the AAs in-country probably cost some days of food. Decision points: have light for their children to do home work and reading, eat. Rechargeable only.

To be useful, it must be dead cheap.

If you want to pursue this, I would suggest including reasonable quality bare bones Li rechargeable and a low cost solar panel. Not garbage: but durable. Don’t leave it in the rain. This people can use without having to scrounge for batteries.

A target operation. Minimum – day of solar charging for 8 hours of night light. Possibly an external port for charging ultra cheap flashlights and maybe radios and very simple phones. These could be NiMh or Li for cost reasons. An absolutely lowest power LED portable/pocket light and area lighting would be huge.

If you can present a viable price package, you might be able to sell high volumes to the groups helping people with pretty much nothing, to help educating their children and making a more comfortable and productive night environment. Much better than fumes for various combustion generated light sources. And probably cheaper. I think there are those sorts of devices around. But a beautifully engineered BLF lantern – priceless.

For that target there is also the waka waka project. They have been running for a couple of years already and have finetuned some products especially aimed at people with no electricity and little money. To prevent re-inventing the wheel, if such a plastic lantern is developed, look what they have achieved sofar. https://waka-waka.com/en/

lantlight
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Registered just for this while searching for an 18650 lantern. Put me in for two!

bulbed
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@Den..Would the lampshade/downshade would be fold able to flat size.As with, side directional shade reflector,I am hope its something that can simply clip on the existing outer globe.

a_idoux
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Already in for 1, put me down for 1 more, for a total of 2, please!

steve42
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In for one. Thanks for all the work developing this.

steve haury

DBSAR
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SIGShooter wrote:
A lantern like this, especially a cheaper plastic one, would be invaluable for people like Peace Corp volunteers in places like Africa. My middle daughter was in Uganda for 3 years and based upon a 2 week visit there and talking to her about her experiences, a BLF lantern and solar panel would be in high demand. Many places have spotty or no electricity and she told me about hospitals losing power in the middle of surgery with a corresponding loss of life. I think that if Sofirn was smart they would try to market the lantern to people going to or living in 3rd world countries. Maybe produce a version with a non-replaceable battery since 18650’s are going to be rare if not impossible to find in many poor countries.

Exactly, i mentioned in the OP about the use of self-sustainable areal light source for areas lacking electricity, and this lantern with a standard 10 watt solar panel can be a light source for years every night. a basic model with basic modes, single tint LEDs, etc

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

hank
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Would it be feasible to design for either four 1.5v AA cells or five 1.2v NiMH AA cells?

It would mean a battery compartment with two different sets of connectors, I guess.

I have far too many 4xAA things I run on NiMH but it means they’re a bit weak and short-lived.

BlueSwordM
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For a new lantern or the existing one?

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

alternety
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BlueSwordM

Totally new design. But it could be a fun project to the development people. The Q8 would be too expensive for the purpose.

djozz,

I looked at the organization you pointed to. They have a rather different approach to the subject. They sell not-inexpensive devices and use the income to send the same lights to places/people that need them. As priced, I don’t believe the target needs will be satisfied at the level I am thinking about. Certainly the people with no disposable money will not be served directly.

The stuff below is a brain dump. It needs a few grains of salt.

I would use an alternate approach. I would make this a new BLF project, but with designs attuned to people with essentially no money. Lowest possible cost; highest possible utility.

First of all, I do not think there are many groups around that have the intense urge to make optimal lights. Just because they can, and want to. And have some significant technical skills.

My approach would be to work with a manufacturer (like we are doing now) that can provide manufacturing expertise. They have access to the low cost parts and labor. Then the talent here can design the devices. When ready, the manufacturer can sell to groups and agencies that try to help the third world people.

The charitable groups can order in bulk and distribute as needed. Even in the US for emergency relief.

This allows any organization that needs lights to give away, rather than a multi-layered organization.

Designs must target lowest possible costs and durable units. This is sort of the antithesis of this project. No bells, no whistles. But I suspect that many of the current creators would enjoy the task.

SIGShooter points to a variant. A more durable and more expensive unit for workers (indigenous and external) on the ground. Better built, but very similar to needs of my proposed target population. And probably able to absorb a larger expense for the workers.

Possible configurations could use one or two LEDs, simple brightness control, an internal rechargeable battery of some sort, and a recharge device. Maybe a Li battery format that is not the little round cells we are used to. Whatever is most durable. Cheap sealed solar panel using advanced panel design that is cheap and maybe no or minimal electronics internally. Perhaps the lantern having all the charging smarts. The port to the lamp could charge cell phones. The panel could also charge other devices.

Robust construction. They may not be handled with care. Durable plastic. Metal as necessary. Minimize threaded components. A battery (and maybe electronics) case with a cover screwed on with water proofing. This could be a separable box with the batteries and electronics. Detach the light and connect it to a phone or the solar panel. A hard point to allow owners to make shades.

Any way, my rather random thoughts.

Reduce all costs possible.

BlueSwordM
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@alternety, very good points.

One point though: 18650 cells based non-replaceable battery packs SHOULD be used.

They are the most durable type of cells that exist in terms of longevity and overall durability due to their construction.

The one thing that I have to mention is that since this is a low cost commercial product with a non replaceable cell, there are 3 concerns that have to be address:

1. Build. A plastic build is cheaper in the long run. Parts should be easily 3d printable if really needed.
2. A long lasting battery pack. That means using something like a quad 18650 cell battery pack with charging limited to 4,00V for max longevity.
3. Waterproofing and durability. Using a potted USB port would be best.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

SIGShooter
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DBSAR wrote:
SIGShooter wrote:
A lantern like this, especially a cheaper plastic one, would be invaluable for people like Peace Corp volunteers in places like Africa. My middle daughter was in Uganda for 3 years and based upon a 2 week visit there and talking to her about her experiences, a BLF lantern and solar panel would be in high demand. Many places have spotty or no electricity and she told me about hospitals losing power in the middle of surgery with a corresponding loss of life. I think that if Sofirn was smart they would try to market the lantern to people going to or living in 3rd world countries. Maybe produce a version with a non-replaceable battery since 18650’s are going to be rare if not impossible to find in many poor countries.

Exactly, i mentioned in the OP about the use of self-sustainable areal light source for areas lacking electricity, and this lantern with a standard 10 watt solar panel can be a light source for years every night. a basic model with basic modes, single tint LEDs, etc

I was talking to my ex-Peace Corp daughter today about the lantern and she mentioned that the Peace Corp (at least in Uganda) gives every volunteer a lantern and solar panel that they have to return when their tour is up. I bet the LT would be leaps and bounds better and way more robust. Robustness is important and hard to overrate when you’re posted to village of 100 people with no running water or electricity as some of her fellow volunteers were.

Locals in 3rd world countries would be amazed by the lantern. Flashlights we’re used to are Star Trek level to them. My daughter lit up her Zebra AA at a dinner her host family was having and their jaws dropped at the brightness.

MNLegoBoy
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I’m interested, glad there will finally be a good lantern on the market at a hopefully reasonably price

Wowtac A1S BSS, Sofirn C8T
"You can't be scared of the dark, if there's no dark to be scared of"
-Me

alternety
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Yes BlueSwordM.

The battery pack should indeed be something like 18650s. They will be the most expensive component.

I gave a brief thought to the LiPo cells that are made as flat pouches. But I don’t think they live as long and are picky about charging.

If implemented, I would probably want to look at some of the other battery formats and sources. A good tie in to auto manufacturers and others using Li cells should produce some recyclable cells. And the cells Tesla is using, if there are low enough prices (I believe Panasonic has backed out of supplying batteries to Tesla). They are larger cells with, I believe, higher capacities. Manufacturers must be getting rid of batteries that fail to meet specs but are still new and usable. Connect with them as a charitable group. For most cell makers, it is probably more cost effective to give under-performing cells to a charity then selling them to a scrap dealer. They will get a tax write-off, and good press. The Tesla rejects would have a different form factor, but more power.

DBSAR
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alternety wrote:
BlueSwordM

Totally new design. But it could be a fun project to the development people. The Q8 would be too expensive for the purpose.

djozz,

I looked at the organization you pointed to. They have a rather different approach to the subject. They sell not-inexpensive devices and use the income to send the same lights to places/people that need them. As priced, I don’t believe the target needs will be satisfied at the level I am thinking about. Certainly the people with no disposable money will not be served directly.

The stuff below is a brain dump. It needs a few grains of salt.

I would use an alternate approach. I would make this a new BLF project, but with designs attuned to people with essentially no money. Lowest possible cost; highest possible utility.

First of all, I do not think there are many groups around that have the intense urge to make optimal lights. Just because they can, and want to. And have some significant technical skills.

My approach would be to work with a manufacturer (like we are doing now) that can provide manufacturing expertise. They have access to the low cost parts and labor. Then the talent here can design the devices. When ready, the manufacturer can sell to groups and agencies that try to help the third world people.

The charitable groups can order in bulk and distribute as needed. Even in the US for emergency relief.

This allows any organization that needs lights to give away, rather than a multi-layered organization.

Designs must target lowest possible costs and durable units. This is sort of the antithesis of this project. No bells, no whistles. But I suspect that many of the current creators would enjoy the task.

SIGShooter points to a variant. A more durable and more expensive unit for workers (indigenous and external) on the ground. Better built, but very similar to needs of my proposed target population. And probably able to absorb a larger expense for the workers.

Possible configurations could use one or two LEDs, simple brightness control, an internal rechargeable battery of some sort, and a recharge device. Maybe a Li battery format that is not the little round cells we are used to. Whatever is most durable. Cheap sealed solar panel using advanced panel design that is cheap and maybe no or minimal electronics internally. Perhaps the lantern having all the charging smarts. The port to the lamp could charge cell phones. The panel could also charge other devices.

Robust construction. They may not be handled with care. Durable plastic. Metal as necessary. Minimize threaded components. A battery (and maybe electronics) case with a cover screwed on with water proofing. This could be a separable box with the batteries and electronics. Detach the light and connect it to a phone or the solar panel. A hard point to allow owners to make shades.

Any way, my rather random thoughts.

Reduce all costs possible.

The V1 prototype is pretty much exactly that already for the description you have there, (except its metal and not plastic) it has a simple built in TP4056 charger, simple 4-mode efficient driver, single LED, simple on-off mechanical switch, & can run or charge on one 18650 or four 18650s with a simple 10 watt, 6-volt panel, (which i bought one for 15 bucks on Ebay) its simple basic design could easily be built & produced as an ABS type plastic low-cost model with the solar charger for between 25 to 30 dollars.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

Madtoffel
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I have to say, I like the idea to build an affordable lantern for people who can’t afford or need the LT1. Here are some of my thoughts what we could/should change:
- using a plastic body sounds resonable
- only one 4000K Led, hopefully we can afford to keep the good cri
- simple 4 mode driver with only 3 or 5 7135 chips
- keep the 18650 battery format. Basic 2200/2600mah batteries cost less than 1$ when bought in bulk, but putting them in a battery pack might be good idea so that uninformed people can’t tamper with them. But that battery pack should still be easily replacable.
- If we want to build a model for use in third would countries we should consider replacing the fragile usb port with a good old 12V DC barrel plug jack which would allow the lantern to be charged from car batteries which are often used in cheap solar installations.

SIGShooter
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Madtoffel wrote:
I have to say, I like the idea to build an affordable lantern for people who can’t afford or need the LT1. Here are some of my thoughts what we could/should change:
- using a plastic body sounds resonable
- only one 4000K Led, hopefully we can afford to keep the good cri
- simple 4 mode driver with only 3 or 5 7135 chips
- keep the 18650 battery format. Basic 2200/2600mah batteries cost less than 1$ when bought in bulk, but putting them in a battery pack might be good idea so that uninformed people can’t tamper with them. But that battery pack should still be easily replacable.
- If we want to build a model for use in third would countries we should consider replacing the fragile usb port with a good old 12V DC barrel plug jack which would allow the lantern to be charged from car batteries which are often used in cheap solar installations.
Have to disagree about the car batteries being often used, or even common, in remote 3rd world country villages. Also the lantern is not going to be very portable if it’s tied to being charged from a lead battery rather than a solar charger.

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