[Review] Pretty good low budget 1x18650 lantern

32 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 18852
Location: Palm Desert CA ~ West Coast is the best coast
[Review] Pretty good low budget 1x18650 lantern

The flashlight images in this review are from Sofirn/Wurkkos, and the images are being used with their explicit permission.

I used a program called Topaz Gigapixel AI to improve the image quality.

I received four of these lanterns on Thursday (today).

https://www.sofirnlight.com/products/led-rechargeable-camping-light-20w-super-bright-led-lantern-long-range-lithium-outdoor-lampu-for-camping-fishing-hunting

The lanterns come in black or brown.

I think that black looks the best, so all four of mine are black.

If you order brown, there's something wrong with you!  :O

(just kidding.)

The sofirnlight website says that they ship from Canada.

My lanterns showed up in Compton, California so quickly that I think they came from either Canada or the U.S.

(I live in Palm Desert, California.)

They sat in Compton for about 18 days, which is weird, but at least they didn't come directly from China.

If they did come from Canada, maybe they had to clear customs?

These lanterns are also available here.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004004419007.html

They used to be here as well.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G24SFYF

Although these lanterns are sold by Sofirn and Wurkkos, these lanterns are unbranded.

On Amazon the brand is called MUIFA and Coralov, but on the actual lantern and the packaging there is no brand name.

Also on Amazon, it says it does not come with a battery, but mine did.

 

Mine came with a Hongli 1200mAh flat top unprotected 18650 cell.

I did not test the capacity of the cell, but I used the cells right away without charging them and they do work.

I will be replacing them with much better cells in the near future.

Honestly, 1200mAh is pretty pathetic for an 18650 cell, but at least it was free.

I have read that protected cells don't fit that well in this lantern, so you'll probably want to go with unprotected cells.

When you press the button, you cycle through the modes:

 

High

Medium

Low

Red

Blinking red

Off

 

Yes, you have to cycle through the modes to turn it off, and that is terrible.  }P

The button feels kinda cheap, and it makes a somewhat annoying "click" when you press it.

Medium is quite close to low, so the modes are not spaced out perfectly.

High and medium are spaced out well, though.

It can be difficult to put the battery cover on after inserting a battery.

Maybe you'll have trouble, or maybe you won't.

There is nothing that indicates which side goes in first, so you have to remember...

The cell goes in positive side first!  }D

I did not check to see what happens if you put the wrong side in first, and you shouldn't either.

Some lights have reverse polarity protection, but with some lights, if you put the battery in backwards, you fry the driver!

The body of the lantern is almost entirely plastic, but it seems to be very sturdy plastic everywhere on the lantern.

 

On Amazon, it claims "IP67 waterproof protect" and "IPX7 water-resistance rating"

I did not get the lantern wet, but it looks like it is at least water resistant if you have the USB port covered well with the rubber cover.

jeff51, a member of BLF, received very similar lanterns that look pretty much the same.

Here's his review from 2019:

https://budgetlightforum.com/node/66833

My packaging was different than his and I didn't get a free carabiner.

My little USB cables are also white instead of black, plus I didn't get a manual.

 

jeff51 said "The actual run time with the supplied battery is 1hr. and 58min. on high before the lamp dims to a low brightness.
The lamp comes with a 18650 unprotected flat top cell. The cell in my light tests to 1695mAh, with an internal resistance of 59mohms. That is about what you can find in an XP era laptop."

He continued "Replacing the poor spec battery with a good quality 3400mAh battery should about double the run time."

"The light does not have any low voltage protection."

"the battery compartment is too short to fully close on a protected cell. It will work but the cap won’t screw down completely."

At one point, the lantern was rated at 350 lumens on high by the seller on Amazon. I think that's a reasonable estimate, but I do not have anything to test how bright it actually is.

jeff51 took a more scientific approach "I'm not setup to do any real lumen measurements (yet). But I do have a photographic light meter, a lux meter, and some other lights to compare it with using the ceiling bounce method and a very non-calibrated light box. It was hard to judge this light because it radiates in a 360 degree pattern. A wild ass guess puts the light at 250-400ish lumens."

Later on Amazon, jeff51 wrote, "A guess puts the light at 200-350ish lumens."

One great thing about these lanterns is the tint.

It's neutral white, which is way better than cool white in my book.

Usually with extremely inexpensive lights you get a terrible bluish or purplish tint.

 

I'd say the tint is about 5000K.

There is no yellowish or bluish color.

It's just plain white.

 

I'm blessed because I never notice PWM, but jeff51 said,

"Unfortunately the PWM is very noticeable on medium.

On low it is downright nasty.

On red the PWM is not noticeable."

Of the four lanterns that I received, they all seem the same.

All of the brightnesses in all of the modes seem the same.

One of the lanterns is missing a screw on the top.

It should have four screws, but that one only has three.

I think that three screws is enough, though four is optimal, so I think it's no big deal.

 

Overall, I really like these lanterns.

The worst parts are that you have to cycle through all of the modes to turn the lantern off, and the button feels kinda cheap.

 

If you don't like that, or if you're sensitive to PWM, then the Sofirn LT1S is probably a better choice.

If you want Anduril, the Sofirn LT1M is your best bet for a small lantern.

I do not own any other lanterns, but I think that the lanterns that I reviewed are extremely nice for the money.

(Oh, yeah, there's a magnet on the bottom, so you can stick your lantern to certain metals.)

On sofirnlight.com, these lanterns are currently $8.19 each.

If you want FREE shipping, you need to order at least $29 worth.

Otherwise, shipping is a flat $3.99

You could order 4 (or more) lanterns to get free shipping like I did.

If it's your first order, you could get 10% off with coupon code UBK82QA7.

I placed my order, but forgot to use the coupon code, so I emailed sofirnlight and cancelled my order, then reordered with the 10% off.

Don't be like me...

Remember to use the coupon if you want to use it.  :FACEPALM:

I paid $29.48 for four lanterns.

I didn't even have to pay sales tax.

I consider that to be one heck of a deal.

Of course, I can't get 10% off again at sofirnlight, but I can live with that.

These are great value for money lanterns.

 

THE END

(the front end)

Edited by: raccoon city on 06/22/2022 - 04:43
BlueSwordM
BlueSwordM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 6 min ago
Joined: 11/29/2017 - 12:34
Posts: 6376
Location: Canada

Can you open it up please and show us what LEDs it uses?

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

Muto
Offline
Last seen: 50 min 20 sec ago
Joined: 09/04/2012 - 16:42
Posts: 2747
Location: Southeast, PA

Looks pretty good for $8

Thanks for the review, I enjoyed it.

The difference between Hoarding and Collecting is the illusion of Organization
.
.“I will get one of flashlight from patrol car”

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes,” Mark Twain

After the Apocalypse there will be only 2 things left alive, Cockroaches and Keith Richards

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 18852
Location: Palm Desert CA ~ West Coast is the best coast

BlueSwordM wrote:

Can you open it up please and show us what LEDs it uses?

I'm not going to open it up, but in jeff51's review he says which emitters are supposed to be in there.

"Seller lists 30 2835-LEDs as being the light source."

weklund
weklund's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 40 min ago
Joined: 08/16/2014 - 10:32
Posts: 1152
Location: Orange, Ca.

Thank you kindly for the review. I have four incoming as well. Nice to hear of the neutral tint.

... Happy Landings ...

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 18852
Location: Palm Desert CA ~ West Coast is the best coast

weklund wrote:

Thank you kindly for the review. I have four incoming as well. Nice to hear of the neutral tint.

Yeah, the neutral tint was a pleasant surprise.

I was expecting cool white.

FlashPilot
FlashPilot's picture
Offline
Last seen: 20 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 05/10/2010 - 16:07
Posts: 4869
Location: USA

Thanks for your impressions RC. I have 4 brown ones on the way. Hopefully they will be neutral tint as well.

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 18852
Location: Palm Desert CA ~ West Coast is the best coast

FlashPilot wrote:

Thanks for your impressions RC. I have 4 brown ones on the way. Hopefully they will be neutral tint as well.

If the brown ones are a different tint, definitely let us know.

I would be shocked, but it could happen.

jeff51
jeff51's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 27 min ago
Joined: 03/26/2019 - 17:36
Posts: 1514
Location: Middle of Texas

For the price I think it’s a great deal.
Love the even soft light.

On mine there are no screws on the top and I see on the photos on sale site at least some don’t appear to have screws.
Perhaps this version has a driver without the nasty PWM on low.

I’ve knocked mine around quite a bit and it’s still going strong – with a better battery.
Pulled the OEM battery apart and found the top and bottom had metal caps covering spot welds from wherever they pulled the batteries from.

I think the design is quite clever. Makes for a compact light.
If someone would make this with a 21700 down the middle and a better UI it could be a real winner.
Sell it for $20 a pop with a good battery. Or for $79.99 (as seen on TV).
All the Best,
Jeff

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 18852
Location: Palm Desert CA ~ West Coast is the best coast

jeff51 wrote:

On mine there are no screws on the top and I see on the photos on sale site at least some don’t appear to have screws.
Perhaps this version has a driver without the nasty PWM on low.

Well, since it's unbranded, I wouldn't be surprised if each batch could be a little bit different.

They might be made in different factories, too.

I don't know if there is PWM because I never notice it, and I don't have any equipment to measure PWM.

If they got rid of the nasty PWM on low, that would be a great improvement.  :THUMBS-UP:

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 18852
Location: Palm Desert CA ~ West Coast is the best coast

I updated the original post.

I added this...

 

I'd say the tint is about 5000K.

There is no yellowish or bluish color.

It's just plain white.

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 53 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 17109
Location: nyc
raccoon city wrote:
BlueSwordM wrote:
Can you open it up please and show us what LEDs it uses?
I’m not going to open it up, but in jeff51’s review he says which emitters are supposed to be in there.

Awww, this’d be a good reason to try out the Hammer Of Knowledge and see what’s in there.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

jeff51
jeff51's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 27 min ago
Joined: 03/26/2019 - 17:36
Posts: 1514
Location: Middle of Texas

raccoon city wrote:

jeff51 wrote:

On mine there are no screws on the top and I see on the photos on sale site at least some don’t appear to have screws.
Perhaps this version has a driver without the nasty PWM on low.

Well, since it’s unbranded, I wouldn’t be surprised if each batch could be a little bit different.

They might be made in different factories, too.

I don’t know if there is PWM because I never notice it, and I don’t have any equipment to measure PWM.

If they got rid of the nasty PWM on low, that would be a great improvement.  alt=:" />


RC, Give it the finger wave test.
Wave a finger with the lamp as the only illumination (or the majority of the illumination).
Start slow and speed up the wave.
A light with no of fast PWM and all you see is a blurry finger.
A crappy PWM will show multiple fingers – and look like an old time movie with slow frame rate – All jerky.

Or take a pic with like a 1/4s or slower shutter speed. Wave the light fast as you can through the frame.
From an old POST from TK

Poor PWM will show multiple flashes. Faster PWM will show many more flashes.
No PWM will just be a blur.

Fans blades show this really well, Just watch the blades for effect seen in TKs images.

I did a video about camera shutters and PWM.
At 1:35 is my version of the camping lantern and it’s PWM


And at 6:52 you can see the Nitecore TUBE example and later the light waving in the camera view.

All the Best,
Jeff

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 18852
Location: Palm Desert CA ~ West Coast is the best coast

You realize that the ability to notice bad PWM is a curse, not a blessing.

If I start noticing bad PWM, it will most likely annoy me to no end.

Talk to Boaz for a bit about lights with bad PWM and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Right now, I'm happy with the PWM of all of my scores of lights.

Some of them are not very good lights, so I doubt that none of them have PWM issues.

Sometimes ignorance is bliss.  :BEER:

Pete7874
Pete7874's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 10 sec ago
Joined: 11/23/2011 - 16:47
Posts: 3566
Location: USA

Did you remove the review? I’m not seeing anything in the first post.

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 18852
Location: Palm Desert CA ~ West Coast is the best coast

Pete7874 wrote:

Did you remove the review? I'm not seeing anything in the first post.

Yes, I removed all of my flashlight reviews from the internet as best as I can.

I posted images that I do not own.

I going to get permission to post different images before I put my reviews up again.

jeff51
jeff51's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 27 min ago
Joined: 03/26/2019 - 17:36
Posts: 1514
Location: Middle of Texas

RC,
I hear you on the PWM, Ya’ can’t unsee stuff once you see it,
Feel free to use anything from my stuff. A credit would be nice.
But we are all here for fun after all. Well most of us anyway…
All the Best,
Jeff

Pete7874
Pete7874's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 10 sec ago
Joined: 11/23/2011 - 16:47
Posts: 3566
Location: USA

raccoon city wrote:

Pete7874 wrote:

Did you remove the review? I’m not seeing anything in the first post.

Yes, I removed all of my flashlight reviews from the internet as best as I can.

I posted images that I do not own.

I going to get permission to post different images before I put my reviews up again.


Can you at least post a link to a store where this lantern can be purchased?
gman9
Offline
Last seen: 39 min 25 sec ago
Joined: 03/03/2021 - 08:59
Posts: 78
Location: east coast usa
Pete7874 wrote:
raccoon city wrote:

Pete7874 wrote:

Did you remove the review? I’m not seeing anything in the first post.

Yes, I removed all of my flashlight reviews from the internet as best as I can.

I posted images that I do not own.

I going to get permission to post different images before I put my reviews up again.

Can you at least post a link to a store where this lantern can be purchased?

Maybe he should ask for sofirns permission first… not so much “fun” left it seems.

anyway, here is the link to the product

https://www.sofirnlight.com/products/led-rechargeable-camping-light-20w-...

BlueSwordM
BlueSwordM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 6 min ago
Joined: 11/29/2017 - 12:34
Posts: 6376
Location: Canada

So, it looks like modding this LED with high CRI LEDs should be very easy, as 2835 high CRI LEDs are very plentiful.

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

MauiSon
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 27 min ago
Joined: 03/18/2015 - 23:31
Posts: 310
Location: Hawaii

I bought 2 black ones, hope I’m happy with them when they arrive.

jon_slider
jon_slider's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 41 sec ago
Joined: 09/08/2015 - 12:20
Posts: 6066
Location: Central North America

jeff51 wrote:
that is a really good video demo of PWM, thanks
jeff51
jeff51's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 27 min ago
Joined: 03/26/2019 - 17:36
Posts: 1514
Location: Middle of Texas

Jon, thanks for the complement.

I’m, unfortunately, one of those that is really bothered by visible PWM.
So I’ve spent a little effort into into finding out what is most bothersome.
What I’ve decided, is it’s the combination of PWM Freq. combined with the duty cycle.

Basically, it’s how long the light is off that makes the difference (mostly). There seems to be some point at which the off part of the cycle becomes too long and that fusses with my eyeballs and brain.

An RC, about using images from others. Copyright law is different for different uses. If the images are being used to generate money for yourself – that is usually a clear violation.

If the images are being used for editorial purposes – that is a different matter. Hence all the news sites with videos from all sort of sources.
But, naturally, you should do what makes you feel comfortable (I am captain obvious).

As RCs review is gone, let me repeat that at this price this is really a nice lamp. Wonderful diffused soft light – maybe 300+ ish Lumens with a good battery installed. The OEM battery is likely a pull from some older equipment or some old (old) stock.
The UI kinda sucks – Always High, Med, Low, Red, Blinkies, off.
All the Best,
Jeff

jon_slider
jon_slider's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 41 sec ago
Joined: 09/08/2015 - 12:20
Posts: 6066
Location: Central North America

jeff51 wrote:
What I’ve decided, is it’s the combination of PWM Freq. combined with the duty cycle.
yes, the Opple calculates a Flicker Index that includes those two factors. It seems the risk at 100Hz is when duty cycle goes above 10%

I think frequency over 3000Hz becomes low risk, regardless of duty cycle

this applies to both types of flicker, PWM and Current Controlled

SammysHP
SammysHP's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 47 min ago
Joined: 06/25/2019 - 14:35
Posts: 1340
Location: Germany

jeff51 wrote:
If the images are being used for editorial purposes – that is a different matter. Hence all the news sites with videos from all sort of sources.

Usually they are licensed. Often you find an attribution like “© Stock Photo Service / original author” next to the image or video. If a private person takes a video of an event, licensing services try to get the rights for distribution (you’ll find comments requesting these permission under many YouTube videos).

Quoting is the only situation that is generally OK all over the world (but sadly there are still many differences what exactly is allowed). Some states have “fair use” laws that allow to use copyrighted material in more cases. As I said previously in another thread, this is a very complicated topic…

siata94
siata94's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 48 min ago
Joined: 05/13/2014 - 13:30
Posts: 515
Location: SoCal

Just ordered some, curious how they compare with the Zanflare Z1.

Vegas LED Fan
Offline
Last seen: 22 hours 26 min ago
Joined: 11/05/2017 - 14:51
Posts: 204
Location: Nevada

Just looking at the link to the product shows up some questionable data. The light uses 24 white SMD 2835 LEDs and claims to use 20W. The typical draw for these LEDs is 0.24W per LED but that is for a 60 LED per meter strip using 12V. There is some loss in this strip by the small resistor that accompanies each three LEDs in the strip so it works on 12V DC. Even at 0.2W per LED the power consumption for 24 LEDs would be under 6W, nowhere near 20W. That’s actually pretty good as if this light actually did draw 20W, the run time would be very short between charges.

How bright is “bright”? Output for a typical 2835 LED is 1290 lumens for a 60 LED cool white 12V strip and 1200 lumens for warm white. 1290/60 = 21.5 lumens per LED Times 24 = 519 lumens. That’s about half what my budget CREE XML-T6 flashlight puts out on high setting. To answer siata94’s question, the Zanflare Z1 flashlight uses one CREE XML-L2 LED. The Zanfare listing shows the output to be 1240 lumens on high. This matches exactly the data in the CREE Data Sheet for the L2 LED.

It is probably a perfectly good light for the price. Just wish the seller would be a little more accurate with the specs.

jeff51
jeff51's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 27 min ago
Joined: 03/26/2019 - 17:36
Posts: 1514
Location: Middle of Texas

Vegas LED Fan wrote:
Just looking at the link to the product shows up some questionable data. The light uses 24 white SMD 2835 LEDs and claims to use 20W. The typical draw for these LEDs is 0.24W per LED but that is for a 60 LED per meter strip using 12V. There is some loss in this strip by the small resistor that accompanies each three LEDs in the strip so it works on 12V DC. Even at 0.2W per LED the power consumption for 24 LEDs would be under 6W, nowhere near 20W. That’s actually pretty good as if this light actually did draw 20W, the run time would be very short between charges.

How bright is “bright”? Output for a typical 2835 LED is 1290 lumens for a 60 LED cool white 12V strip and 1200 lumens for warm white. 1290/60 = 21.5 lumens per LED Times 24 = 519 lumens. That’s about half what my budget CREE XML-T6 flashlight puts out on high setting. To answer siata94’s question, the Zanflare Z1 flashlight uses one CREE XML-L2 LED. The Zanfare listing shows the output to be 1240 lumens on high. This matches exactly the data in the CREE Data Sheet for the L2 LED.

It is probably a perfectly good light for the price. Just wish the seller would be a little more accurate with the specs.

I did a review of a very similar light I got from Amazon a while back. I think it’s in the 300-400ish? is Lumen range.
https://budgetlightforum.com/node/66833
RC linked to this in his OP.
It’s quite sturdy. Good thick plastic.
On mine, only a flat top, or a very short unprotected button top will fit. Batt tube is quite short.
And there is no low voltage cut off on my example, so left unattended it’s a battery drainer.
All the Best,
Jeff

PS, accurate descriptions of real values? On Amazon? “Nary a chance” says I.
You are lucky to get a review that is actually the same product that is for sale.

jeff51
jeff51's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 27 min ago
Joined: 03/26/2019 - 17:36
Posts: 1514
Location: Middle of Texas

jon,
3K /10% seems to be a good reference point. So much depends on other conditions. Some say even slow PWM doesn’t bother them because they are not watching moving objects.
Yet eye movement alone will set me off with poor lights.
Many lights have lower PWM freqs. at low levels. Then increase the Freq. as the brightness ramps up.
TK mentioned this is because the LED needs a minimum on time to light. This was from a thread from a few years ago.

For example the BLF LT1 starts out at 3.9K (1.3% duty cycle) on it’s lowest setting. I think I can almost make out the PWM depending on other conditions.
Then jumps to almost 16K (5% duty cycle to start). Then the duty cycle increases to nearly 100%
Nobody is going to see this.
All the Best,
Jeff

weklund
weklund's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 40 min ago
Joined: 08/16/2014 - 10:32
Posts: 1152
Location: Orange, Ca.

Received my four lamps today and I’m very pleased. Great deal in my opinion.

... Happy Landings ...

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 18852
Location: Palm Desert CA ~ West Coast is the best coast

I updated the OP with the "new" review.

Just about the only thing that's new is the intro and the images.  :THUMBS-UP:

Pages