"One famous camp lantern" clone review

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Lumeniac
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"One famous camp lantern" clone review

flashlight was provided for review by Fasttech.com. Here is a product page at store.
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Choice of good 18650 powered LED camping light is tightly limited. Yes, there are quite expensive stuff like CL25\30R and less expensive (and worse Nitecore LR30). But when in comes to picking some cheap stuff, there is nothing interesting…just UFO-like clones of Suboos. I bet you know this poor stuff with blue light.

So when I saw this clone of Fenix CL25R (which I consider to be a perfect camping light) at Fasttech with the 13.39$ price, I immediately thought that this stuff must bee reviewed. As far as I see, there is nothing similar at any other store.

Stated Characteristics.
LIGHT SOURCE TYPE LED
TOTAL LED COUNT 1
COLOR TEMP RANGE 5000-6500K
LIGHT SOURCE COLOR 5500K/Red
LUMENS (MAX) 680 LM (oh, yeah…)

APPEARANCE
I expected something cheap and crappy package, so was surpised when opened parcel and saw cardboard box will modest but informative print. Package also includes usb-cable and small manual.
BTW, there is also red and blue version of this lanter.


Clone means being similar, and this one does. It is just 2mm longer and thicker than 25R, and 2g heavier.

But there is an evident difference – button and cover of USB-port are made of yellow material. They looks and feels a way cheaper than original ones.

In addition, cover of battery compartment lacks threads for tripod, magnet there is insignificantly ¬weaker than in original.

Clone also has a way sharper “feet”, which scratch fingers when lid is being twisted.
Battery compartments is the same dual coils aluminum tube as in original.
So, what about appearance – for 13$ you can`t get better. I used other 5-10 lanters, they are crap in every part. This one is not. I mean, CL25R is better made. But this clone has really decent quality for noname product with price slightly above 10$.

In Russia people often this stuff,

I also own one. And the only good what I can say about it is that mine one doesn’t have PWM-shimmering. That doesn`t mean the same for other ones, because it seems that there are a lot of noname companies who produce them with their own details.

UI
Ui is different from CL25R`s and simple.
Just press button and circle between High-Mid-Low-red-blinking red-off.
Just what you can expect from stuff with price like this.

I was surpised to see that button glows red, when battery is being charged. But this doesn`t have any sense, coz after battery if charged, color doesn`t change to green. So you can either use usb-tester to see when amperage falls to zero, or count time keeping in mind 0.5A charge amperage.

PERFORMANCE.
I measured such amperage
clone 0.78-0.241-0.05 0.155A (red)
CL25R 0.004-0.185-0.645-1.126 0.052 (red)

So, I assumed that brightnesses at low-high levels should be the same, and didn`t make a mistake.
As far as I see, there is linear driver. Brightness decreases and decreases, slightly glowing in the end.

Good lights normally has a kinda of cut-off, turning off upper modes when battery discharges. Here you can switch between all the 3 modes till the end. But in the end low-mid modes are soooo dim that this doesn`t make any sense.
There is PWM-shimmering in LOW-MID modes. No surpise for cheap noname product. And there is a noticeable hiss at LOW. BTW, I also hear such a hiss in MID mode of CL25R (but less loud)

Clone is CW, CL25R – NW. Ok, at least this is a way better they bluish light of Suboos.

Here and beyond, clone`s light is on left side.

Of course CL25R has better tint. What about brightness, mid-high are equal and clone is significantly brighter at LOW-RED. For RED this is good, for LOW I suppose that`s not that cool, because you cannot use it as a night light. Anyway, I cannot say that clone`s light is uncomfortable.

high

mid

low

red

I decided not to make GIF so you can see difference in detail.

HIGH

CL25R

Clone

Enough to illuminate small room like 3х4m. Of course there is way far from stated 680 lums, but still it`s bright. I evaluate it as CL25R`s high mode, which have to be 200 lumens.
When both lights are on in HIGH mode, it gets really bright. I mean that for small bucks you can add a lot of light to your CL25R.

MID

And again, similar to CL25R`s MID, which is 50lumens.
Good mode for small tent or to illuminate table outdoor.

CL25R

Clone

LOW

CL25R is 0.8 lums

clone is about 5-10

RED LIGHT

CL25R

Clone is significantly brighter.

And there is a feature, in which clone is better than original. Clone fully works in 3 modes when connected with USB-cable. CL25R works in one mode.
That is a cool feature that CL25R have to support as well.
Clone is just IP64 waterproof. Of course that is far away from IP-8, but is enough for average rest outdoor. Those ones, who want camping light to work in most extreme conditions wiII buy CL25. For drinking\fishing\hiking outdoor clone will be ok.

OVERALL

For 13$ you cannot get any better light. Of course you can buy Convoy S2 and put diffuser on. But that is another story.
Here for small price you get:
Well built lantern`s body
Usb-charging feature
CW light (non blue one, which you get with any other cheap 18650 light)
Magnet in battery compartment cover
5 modes
Full support of working without battery inserted!

But, yes, it has PWM-shimmering in low-mid and LOW has to be either dimmer of brighter to make any sense (for me), red light indicator in button doesn’t make any sense at all.
Of course reliability is arguable.
But, guys, for 13$ I don`t see any similar stuff. For situation when electricity is down, I`d better pick pair of this ones + pair of 18650 batteries than 1 Nitecore LR30 (which costs exactly the same as all this)

I believe that lantern is not a rival of CL25R. Those, who can spend 50$ or need reliable light, will buy Fenix. Those, who are not ready to spend such money, will not buy 25R anyway and now have cheaper variant.

I,personally, plan to use them together for making bright illumination in seldom case when electricity is down.

Edited by: Lumeniac on 12/05/2020 - 09:51
keltex78
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Some intrigue here, as I like the idea of a LED camping lantern, but as you mention, so many of the budget-friendly options have extremely poor tint output with the little 5mm emitters. Unfortunately, the CW tint is a big deal-killer for any lantern, as I want a camping light to have the warmest, most natural light possible. One of my very few applications where a WW light is essential.

I would like to get some more info on this lantern if possible. Mostly, curious what the light source is on this model; if it’s a generic (or even genuine) single-emitter on a PCB that could be replaced, I would think this is a good candidate for a warm-tint high-CRI Nichia 219c replacement. In addition, I would think a better driver (e-switch qlite with some 7135s removed?) would be a nice option. Even if it means shoe-horning in a separate USB charger circuit. Of course, that would mean losing the red-light mode… It could probably be restored if desired via adding a second switch and driving is separately…


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

KutKhemist
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Quote:
I believe that lantern is not a rival of CL25R. Those, who can spend 50$ or need reliable light, will buy Fenix. Those, who are not ready to spend such money, will not buy 25R anyway and now have cheaper variant.

So true, you either gonna buy the Fenix or something else, not this, one doesn’t cross shop the two. The CW tint is unavoidable for $13, can’t complain for that price it is what it is. Thanks for the review looks interesting! BTW who in the right mind would pay $35 for that LR30? So cheap looking, looks like it came from a Fisher Price Mr. T starter kit.

Lumeniac
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i’ve forgotten to mention that there are something like dozen of LEDs, exactly like in CL25
so removing may result in paying more than for original

keltex78
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Narmattaru wrote:
i’ve forgotten to mention that there are something like dozen of LEDs, exactly like in CL25 so removing may result in paying more than for original

Are the LEDs on a standard Cree-Style footprint? I’ve searched and I can’t find where anyone has torn their Fenix down, but I did find this interesting cutaway view that shows what appears to be XP-E sized emitters on custom boards around the periphery of the battery compartment:

I could order 4000k Nichia 219b emitters from mountain for $20/doz… Swap those and it should be even nicer than the Fenix when done…


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

The Miller
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Auw that tint ruins it IMHO
I use a SRK with NW LEDs and a big diffuser
Need to mod my blue tinted lantern thing with solar panel and crank to a nicer tint

Thanks for the review.

Lumeniac
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for such a price there is a luck not to get blue tint, so CW is not that bad.

for 30+$ that would be uncool. for 13.3$ that’s OK, i suppose

bikenber73
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I think they are great. I have several of these under different names. I toss the battery it comes with put a protected Panny 18650 in it and leave it on low in the bathrooms when the power goes out.