Review: BlitzWolf BW-LT5 Pro USB Rechargeable Lantern

6 posts / 0 new
Last post
will34
will34's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/18/2012 - 00:12
Posts: 3065
Review: BlitzWolf BW-LT5 Pro USB Rechargeable Lantern

BlitzWolf BW-LT5 Pro IP68 Waterproof LED Panasonic 3350mAh Powerbank Emergency Camping Lantern

Over the last couple years many tube shaped LED lanterns hit the market, all offering USB recharging and decent output but most of them have poor performance due to low capacity battery and limited applications by not being weather resistant. The new Blitzwolf BW-LT5 Pro deals with those problems by sporting an upgraded capacity 3,350mAh 18650 battery and of course retaining the weather resistant characteristics of the non-pro model.

Since member Rolz have already submitted an excellent review for the BW-LT5 Pro I will try to go with a sightly different, more technical route with mine. I have in hand 2 other LED lanterns that I think will make a very interesting comparison with the Blitzwolf, and I will also cover the output, runtime and USB tests.

Manufacturer Specifications:

-Input: 5V/1A (Max)
-Output: 5V/1.5A (Max)
-Wattage: 1W(Max)
-Charging Port: Micro USB
-Battery: Li-on Battery 3350mAh/3.7V
-Lumen: 100LM(Max)
-IP68 water resistance
-Net Weight: 130g
-Dimension: 36 × 143mm (Diameter x Height)

Unboxing:

The LT5 Pro ships in simple cardboard box, IMO the best type of packaging for products purchased online because I don’t see need for fancy packages when you can see it online instead. It comes with a micro-USB cable, lanyard, instruction manuals.

The lantern itself: build quality is extremely solid and all the parts appear to fit perfectly. The external cylindrical clear shield, although not being overly thick it can withstand some heavy weight, the reason for this is because of the dual compression o-ring construction and the force is evenly distributed all over the body.

There is a removable sticker on the front with some brief specs

In one end there is the momentary switch behind the familiar looking GITD rubber boot and a hanging ring on top.

In the other end there is a screw-on cap with an o-ring protecting the USB ports from the elements

This lantern has 180° light output and a cover is on the battery side. You can remove this and replace it with your own.

Size comparison with other lanterns: Streamlight Mini Siege, BW-LT5 Pro and UY Q6M. The Q6M is more compact compared to the BW but it lacks weather resistance and USB output. The streamlight is the largest of the 3, uses 3xAA and provides 360° coverage, but requires a bulky diffuser on top.

By unscrewing the black caps at either side we can disassemble the lantern and all its parts:

There is a thick o-ring at each side that sits between a V-shaped groove, when tightened it will compress the o-ring outwards creating an uniform seal with the body. Here you can see loose vs tightened:

All the components sits on the same PCB sticked to an aluminium heatsink that holds the battery. Some of the heat is transferred to the battery but it doesn’t get hot to the point that you should worry about it. On the front you can see the array the white and red LEDs, and also a blue one that indicates the charge level.

The battery is a Panasonic 18650 cell rated 3.7V/3,350mAh, with integrated protection circuit.

The heavy diffuser film does a great job eliminating the artifacts and softening the beam

Operation:

The lantern is controlled by the single momentary switch on top and offers 5 modes:
-White low
-White high
-Red solid
-Red flashing
-Red SOS
-OFF and repeat

After being turned off the blue LED will flash for a few more seconds displaying the charge level. I would’ve preferred hidden red modes, but some people may find this easier to use.

Output & Runtime

The BW-LT5 produces very uniform light at 180° in both white and red modes.

And the blue LED for battery level:

Compared to the other 2 lanterns shining towards the user:

The output reading was taken at 1 meter which is the distance you would normally keep from the light source:

BW-LT5 Pro
-Low: 7.5 cd
-High: 55.8 cd

Streamlight Mini Siege (3 levels):
-1: 4.4 cd
-2: 10.7 cd
-3: 20.1 cd

UY Q6M (4 levels):
-1: 0.06 cd
-2: 10.9 cd
-3: 27.8 cd
-4: 43.5 cd

Here is a gif of the three shining at a NYC wallpaper in my living room at 1.5 meters, you can see the Blitzwolf having the edge in output and producing a pure CW tint.

Runtime in high: Very steady output for over 8 hours then the LVP kicked in and it shut off. During operation the lantern was only slightly warm to the touch.

Runtime in low: testing in progress

USB Input/Output

-The lantern can operate in white light low mode while charging or recharging.
-USB input takes 5V 0.62A maximum charge rate and was able to charge from all of my tested USB ports.
-USB Output is coded DCP 1.5A and has auto start
-Charging an Apple device will limit the charge current to 1A because of fixed output coding.
-Android and other USB devices which may draw above 1.0A will cause severe drop in output voltage. (See chart below)

Even though the output is rated up to 1.5A I would not advice to connect devices that could draw above 1A. In this test I connected my USB load and incremented the load in 100mA steps, but the voltage drops badly above 1.0A. However this only happens when the charge level is below 50%.

Capacity test:

When being recharged the blue LED will blink to indicate the battery level

-Recharging:
Max. charge rate: 5V/0.62A, 17.26Wh required to fully charge.
Time: 5hr 57min

-USB Output:
Discharge rate: 5V/1A
Output Energy: 9.36Wh
Runtime: 1hr 55min
Average Voltage: 4.91V
Efficiency: 76%

The test was done at 1A current draw and efficiency was measured at 76%. In multi-cell powerbanks we see much higher efficiency because the load is shared along the cells, so for being a single cell unit this more than acceptable. Also keep in mind that the output voltage is much more stable when the battery has a good charge level.

The USB output cannot maintain stable 5V/1.5A for extended periods of time, it starts fine but once the unit gets warm the voltage has some serious sag, At the end of the discharge test the output voltage had fallen to <4.5V, at that point the USB output shut down due to LVP but the lantern was still functional and was able to provide high output for about 20 extra minutes, and then a couple more in the low mode. This means every last drop of battery juice is being used.

Finals words…
If you’re looking for a solidly built outdoor lantern with good runtime and output while keeping the cost in the budget side, this is it.

The good:
-Excellent construction, reliable weatherproofing system ready for outdoor use.
-Very good light output and stable runtimes with variety of modes.
-Easy operation and USB charging/recharging makes it a versatile lantern.

The not-so-good / Room for improvement:
-USB output has limited current and high voltage sag, for power hungry devices I would not recommend it to use regularly as a powerbank, but for an emergency situation it can come in handy.
-Charge rate could be closer to the spec’d 1A.

Once again, thanks for reading and I hope this review has been useful! Big Smile

BW-LT5 Pro lantern provided for review by Banggood. Product link: https://goo.gl/qI0Plq

Edited by: will34 on 12/04/2016 - 01:54
Martini
Martini's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 23 hours ago
Joined: 05/07/2014 - 04:29
Posts: 605
Location: I da ho

I’ve been resisting my urge, but I think I’m going to have to give in and buy one. Thanks for the review.

scdaf wrote:
It’s important to have your restraints within walking distance, lest someone needs restraining. Wink
will34
will34's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/18/2012 - 00:12
Posts: 3065
Martini wrote:
I’ve been resisting my urge, but I think I’m going to have to give in and buy one. Thanks for the review.

Well I think it’s a good deal at the current price of $16.99, for comparison my UY Q6M was $6, with much inferior build quality, not water resistant, 1,200mAh battery and no red light and no USB out function.

I also considered the non pro model for a long time, but resisted due to the lower battery capacity. Luckily I was contacted by BG just in time to review the new model. Big Smile

Edit: Updated OP with discharge test results.

wolf359
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 day ago
Joined: 04/23/2013 - 18:16
Posts: 269
Location: UK

I really like the blitzwolf lanterns i have one of the originals in the emergency draw in every room downstairs, love living in the countryside but powercuts do happen. Thank you for the review and especially the pictures of the light apart now i know i can replace the 18650 when it dies i will get afew more as gifts for christmas.

I have 2 of the new version which i pre-ordered at banggood, except for the labeling the lantern is physically identical to the orginal. Just as good as the original but with better runtimes.

I also have several of the BlitzWolf BW-LT4 lanterns, one in each car and the kids have one for a nightlight, more of an indoors in tent type light as there is no mention of water resistance.

My wish list is a easy user replacable battery and not having to cycle through all the modes with ethier lantern to get to off and waterproofing the LT4 would be nice.

will34
will34's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/18/2012 - 00:12
Posts: 3065

If you want to mod your LT4, I think I have submitted a guide somewhere long time ago when I modded my UY Q6M replacing the stock >1,200mAh battery with a Panasonic NCR-B and now it gets over 10hrs on high.

I can’t find it right now but the process was very easy, I believe the LT4 is constructed the same way as the Q6 and two 18650s can be fitted inside. Basically just pull the ends off and that will allow the internal pcb to slide out, pretty much like the LT5 but the LED bar goes on top of the aluminum shelf.

wolf359
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 day ago
Joined: 04/23/2013 - 18:16
Posts: 269
Location: UK

will34 wrote:
If you want to mod your LT4, I think I have submitted a guide somewhere long time ago when I modded my UY Q6M replacing the stock >1,200mAh battery with a Panasonic NCR-B and now it gets over 10hrs on high.

I can’t find it right now but the process was very easy, I believe the LT4 is constructed the same way as the Q6 and two 18650s can be fitted inside. Basically just pull the ends off and that will allow the internal pcb to slide out, pretty much like the LT5 but the LED bar goes on top of the aluminum shelf.

While looking up the UY Q6M which lead me to the UY-Q7S i read that holding the button for 2 seconds in any mode switched off the light and low and behold the LT4 and the LT5 do that as well, something i must have missed in the instuctions.

If any of the LT4’s batteries go on the fritz i’ll look at modding them but while it is not broke i will not try and fix it, my history of modding has been less than stella. A straight swap and abit of soldering i am ok with, running 2 in parallel I would worry about the charging even with protected cells.

http://www.gearbest.com/outdoor-lanterns/pp_320287.html UY-Q7M 4 Mode 100 Lumens Camping Lantern – WHITE $16.56