[Review] Olight Olantern (360 Lumens, Flicker Bulb, Olight Fan Request)

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liquidretro
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[Review] Olight Olantern (360 Lumens, Flicker Bulb, Olight Fan Request)

Today I have the Olight OLantern, before you change to the next video, this isn’t a boring battery powered lantern. It’s the result of numerous requests to Olight, so lets see if they delivered what the fans really want or not. Thanks to SkyBen on Amazon sending me this to look at and allowing me to tell you the truth on it.

*Watch this review on YouTube: *


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Packaging & Accessories
Olights packaging is the nicest in the production flashlight world, it makes me wonder how much extra goes to packaging. The lantern is a big heavy duty cardboard box with photos of the light on all 4 sides. Very little information is on the exterior. It opens up throughout the bottom and is a tight fit. It sit’s on the box of accessories which include the manual, a microfiber cleaning cloth, an extra long MCC3 charger capable of upto 2A, and the flame flicker bulb.







Construction
The lanter itself is made from a polymer front top top bottom. It’s available in a gray, red, and the green you see here. A rubber texture has been applied to a few areas for extra grip, the top cap, and bottom tail cap. The middle section is a hard thick, dense polymer. The lens or globe is a clear acrylic and while it will scratch it seems to be reasonably scratch resistant. It has a bit of a reflector built into the to help distribute light. This globe twists off from the body to allow you to swap out the emitter from cool white to the flickering flame, and there is a oring around this connection. Inside around the emitter is aluminum as is the blue ring around the exterior.


The electronic button is in the front and and has a slight backlit edge. This servers as a power indicator and helps you find the light in the dark. The light is motion sensitive so once you pick it up it comes on.



The bottom rubber piece is scalloped and relieved internally to allow the light to charge while standing up with ease. There are 3 screws in the bottom that allows the light to come apart fairly easily. While the battery isn’t designed to be user replaceable it is quite easy to remove it. It connects to the circuit board with spring loaded pins. There was some debate early on if this was a rebranded product or an Olight original design and after looking inside I am confident it’s an Olight design, as all the circuit boards do have Olight copyrights on them. Internally its pretty simple design.




Size & Weight/Competition
Length with the handle folded in was 135mm, with it unfolded 191mm, maximum diameter on the base was 65mm. I measured the weight at 346.5g. Water rating is only IPX4. So it can handle splashes from all angeles but no more.

A lot of people will compare the Olight Olantern to the BLF/Sofrin LT1 because the lights end up being near the same price. The Olantern is lighter, and smaller, with less features, a more simple but less useful UI, and longer charging time. The two are in different leagues really. The Olantern is probably better to hand to a non enthusiast and in terms of weight but in almost all other aspects the LT1 in my opinion is the better lantern.

Retention
The lantern has a handle that is a metal hanger and coated in the same rubberized coating, at the top it has a plastic piece with a dip in it. This looks a little funny but is actually really useful, as it allows you to hang the light on a wire or rope and not have it fall off. I could see this being used in a tent, or with a rope strung between a few trees while camping etc.

I do enjoy a case for my BLF LT1, and the OLantern will fit in the one I have for my LT1 here but with a good amount of extra space leftover. The XANAD Case: https://amzn.to/2KABHqb case does double duty well.

LED & Beam
The Olantern has 2 LED Modules, first the primary is a cool white module with 3 output settings. No emitter or tint data is given for either. It’s quite cool white my guess is 6500k or cooler. The beam is pretty even but if you wanted to diffuse it even more I have seen people put thin paper inside the globe for more diffusion.




The other is the flame module, it’s 1 mode only and flickers, and is quite warm, with an orange tint. I really wish this had more output and 3 modes like the main module did.

Olight lists the official outputs as the following.

  • High 360 lumens
  • Medium 120 lumens
  • Low 30 lumens
  • Flaming Module 1 Lumen

Heat & Runtime
I tested runtime on the highest output on the main cool white module, and got 6:55:00 so a little better then what it’s rated for. During this time it decreased in output ever so slightly but ran this entire time at 90% of relative output which is good. It does get a little warm during use, especially around the blue metal band, with peak temps in my uncooled environment at 39C. This was around the 2 hour mark.

My flaming module runtime test fell a tad short of the claimed 80 hours of runtime. I recorded only 46:42:00, due to the length of time this took I didn’t run this one again to see if my results improved.

UI
The UI here is very simple. Single press turns the light on to the last mode it was used in. Long press to go to the next mode, and mode progression is L, M, H. There is no short cut to the highest or lowest output. The flaming module has only one mode, so it’s just on or off.

One kind of neat and useful feature is the illuminated halo around the side switch, it reacts to motion to help you find it and to save power, so if you bag was to move it was in or you pick it up but can’t find the button in the dark it will start glowing a dim green so you can find it.

Recharging & Power
This light runs off of a proprietary battery pack consisting of 4× 1900mAh 18500 batteries for a total capacity of 7600mAh. This is a custom battery pack and is designed to be non user replaceable. As mentioned above it’s quite easy to get into the light however though so if Olight made this battery available as a replacement I think it’s something the average person could replace. Recharging is done via the Olight magnetic MCC3 charger you get on recent Olights. It will operate while charging, and has the standard green when charged, red when charging.


Charing time here is very long, from empty where the light shut off I measured it taking a full 8:30:00 to recharge, Peak charging speed I saw was 1.38A. This is a pretty conservative recharge rate. If you were charging off solar power it would be best to top up then expect to get a full charge in a day in most places. Comparing this to my BLF LT1 which had a capacity of 12,000mAh but charged in 10:15:00. This is still along time but also a battery that’s 4,400mAh larger.

Areas for Improvement
I see 3 major areas that olight can make improvements to on the next Olantern. The first is the waterproofing, this is only rated for IPX4 which means it can repel splashes from any angle but more then this may cause problems. This means it’s ok in the rain but isn’t to be submerged. The lantern only has one Oring between the globe and module, this surprised me for the price point the lights at, and Olights usual good build quality.

LED Tint – This shouldn’t surprise anyone if you know Olight you know they like that cool white tint. They might say that’s for the best performance, or most amount of lumens but in this case neither are the most important, quality of light and runtime are the big things you want for area illumination. With the replaceable “bulb” design Olight could easily come out with an addon or have given people the choice. Even better make the tint variable like the BLF LT1.

LED Storage – The flaming “bulb” is fun, but it’s output doesn’t make it super useful for more then just ambiance. The problem I see is there is no way to attach the extra blub to the light, or store it, so I see it is more likely to get lost. Hopefully version 2 corrects this.

Conclusion
Lanterns are not something you think you need, till you have one and then if you are like me you will find yourself using it more and more. It’s great for camping but also if you lose power frequently or live in an area with storms. This is great for those areas getting hit by tornadoes and hurricanes or this time of year blizzards.

At first I wasn’t impressed with the design here from the photos, I didn’t find the light attractive and was kind of put off by the mostly polymer construction, but once I got it in hand it felt better built than I was expecting. That said this is a space that has competition in it, not only from other lantern or lantern like products but also from silicone cones to put on top of your existing flashlights to act as a diffuser. All of those make the normal asking price here hard to swallow in my opinion. It’s a useful amount of light and it feels solid in the hand but I just had higher expectations for the normal asking price.

I don’t think this is the light that the hard core Olight fan was asking for but it’s not a bad place to start. Hopefully Olight decides to make some revisions and come out with a version that is has the ability to shift the tint, swap in other bulbs, is more water resistant, and is a better overall value. If they do that I think it will appeal to more enthusiasts and be the light that the hardcore fans really wanted. Until then you have a pretty well built light for the mainstream at a high price point when it’s not on sale.

djozz
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Thanks for the very nice review of this for me not very attractive lantern. I would have thought that Olight would do a better job, as you also mentioned in the review, but of course we are spoilt with the LT1. I do like that it is shorter and more lightweight than the LT1, and I think the handle design is smart and handy, something to steal for a LT2 Wink

18500 batteries is the less efficient choice compared to 18650, but I guess they wanted to make the lantern shorter. It is indeed remarkable that they went for cool white leds, it is not that neutral or warmer leds are not available or so much less efficient, they must have done some research into customer preference that resulted in cool light Facepalm

The runtime of the white leds sound reasonable if you do the output/mAh calculation, but for the 1 lumen candle insert something is way off. You should be able to make 1 lumen of warm light with 5mA (at 4V), but the runtime of 46 hours points to 165mA. They manage to waste 97% of the energy somehow?? Facepalm , if it was done right the runtime could be 1500 hours.