*BLF LT1 Lantern Project) (updated Nov,17,2020)

switch does not nessesarely need to sit in center, but my best recommondation would be that the top section gets screwed fom the driver cavity like the Q8 did, so you got no need to water proof the screw on top of the lantern and it looks cleaner

Something I just remembered… the Q8 has this problem that a good smack on the tail cap will cut power for a short while and leave the light off (MCU reset). I suspect this will be a more annoying problem with a lantern that you’re going to put down on its tail cap most of the time. IIRC, some people found that a large capacitor fixed the problem. Probably a capacitor after the diode so it does not power the main LED but my memory is a little fuzzy on that. It would be nice to make sure this is incorporated in the lantern driver so it does not suffer from the same problem. Maybe it already is… I’ve not tried to figure out the rather complex board which was posted a while back.

The aluminium “nut” for the bolt will shear in a matter of days.

Over torquing in aluminium can be done very easily also.

Interested in one or two depending on price - thanks!

I’m totally in on a minimal or simple version, too, if it ever comes about. Great for gifts, especially with built-in charging.

One thing to PLEASE be sure of, if using a low quality charger, can we try to isolate the chassis from mains voltage as best as possible? Better safe than sorry! (BigClive: Deadly camping light with 240v USB outlet. - YouTube )

And I have to agree with the switch being on the side a-la Q8, and an amber LED sounds AMAZING. Top buttons are cumbersome, especially with the lantern hanging.

@lexel, reducing the length looks great, but reduces the club feature :wink:

With this lantern, there is no danger as there is with the one linked to above. With this BLF design, I believe you simply plug in the ubiquitous micro USB cord from as if you were plugging the cord into a smartphone or other common device. There is no high voltage mains connection to the BLF light.

Yeah, not under normal circumstances, but it’s possible to toss in a zenier diode and a re-settable fuse for safety. High voltage overcomes the zenier breakdown voltage, and the current trips the re-settable fuse. Not a priority or a dealbreaker, but it seems that for $0.01 of parts, if that, there’s a potential for increased protection to the system, batteries, and the user.

ETA: Also, with the lantern being used in potentially wet locations, it makes even more sense to me to include additional protection.

I am puzzled about the concern you have… how many people have been harmed when charging their smartphone or tablet or other USB charged device?

Is there any info on the USB c charging and tint ramping? I’m really excited to see if the low tint will be all the way down to 2700k. I have a lamp by my bed with an Ikea 2700k bulb and the tint would be perfect for being easy on the eyes in a tent.

And I’m more thinking of a crap quality mains-> 5V USB adapter. Again, I think this light is more likely to be used while charging than most flashlights with USB charging. Like I said, not a large concern, and not something I’m worried about happening to myself. Just seems like something that could be alleviated almost for free.

BTW @lexel, does this driver have “pass through” operation? I.e. Running the light off of USB rather than the batteries?

Although I feel this post is kind of rude, especially so close to the production process, there is still some some valid points in it. The new battery format is one of those.

Designing the lamp around 21700 could make it backward compatible for 18650 but the inverse is impossible. 3 x 21700 can reach 15000 mAh and eventually even more while using 4 of the absolute best 18650 available can deliver around 14000 mAh. Now, if we could fit 4 x 21700, the best cell actually available would make it 20000 mAh. It’s not crazy to think this number could jump near 25000 mAh within a few years.

I don’t know if there is enough room to fit 4 21700 but if yes, I think it’s something that should be really considered since using a simple sleeve to accommodate 18650 seems easy to supply and use.

EDIT: this is not a rant against the project, just my worthless 2 cents. I still have ordered 3 lantern !

Suggestion: make the tripod thread on the tail the larger 3/8” size and supply a chromed brass adaptor to reduce it to the 1/4” size.

This is what e.g. Astrolux did on the MF01, and is a great solution to any concern of wearing/stripping plain Al alloy threads. The 3/8 threading is much stronger, and most of the time the brass 1/4” adapter will be used, and easily replaced in the unlikely scenario of it wearing.

No decent camera has threading straight into bare metal (or plastic), they all use a bushing of suitable metal, for good reason.

The threading does need to be deep enough to take a standard length tripod screw. For example, the thread on the Q8 head is far too shallow. I can’t attach it to any of my tripods without it bottoming out, or using a washer to make up the difference, meanwhile hanging on by just a few threads. On the Q8 the flat area surrounding the tripod thread is also far too small, no way to use a standard tripod because the sticky-out bits (technical term) of the curved head get in the way.

Don’t forget provisioning some way to hang this up, even a bail handle that could be clipped onto the head with just two small holes. Also necessary for walking about with it. Every decent lantern I have has such a handle.

My use for lanterns is base-camp, night beach fishing and boat fishing. Which needs a handle to carry it while walking, complete water-proofness, corrosion resistance (no not typical Chinese “HA3”, edit: and the threads protected inside the preferably double o-rings, not outside, see good dive-torches for how to do this), and a stable base suitable for any surface. And immense ruggedness.

Second duty would be domestic power-cuts.

Standby drain should be zero. This is where mechanical switches deliver. With E-switch there is always a slight concern.

Integral charging, powerbank facility etc. is low on my priority list. Efficiency i.e. run-time CRI and colour temperature (warm) is high.

i seen it. it will likely drive up cost, but i can ask Barry about it. The intention to try to keep costs down on an already more complex lantern that first conceived was the plan to use already existing battery tube they already have for the Q8.

I´m in for one!

I like that idea too of putting the center bolt in from the driver side, as that will allow for a much deeper threaded section in the top solid part for more strength and as you mentioned a better seal.

it will have a carry lanyard loop, (para-cord is we can have that as its better) metal handles/bails have limitations, but it can be added to the planned accessory kit that can be available. (which also includes a sturdy plastic snap on wide base cap for more stability when packing it in a backpack is not a concern.)

USB-C for the input charging is being considered if it don’t increase cost. (

All rightey then.

I also, as I have noted, am buying several lanterns committed to in the very infancy of the project. It is getting very old to keep seeing “alternety should not be allowed to have one of these lanterns [or Q8s] ” in various formats. I consider them very very rude. Regardless of opinion; alternety is neither stupid or nor uneducated. I too am an engineer. Engineers have a gene that requires them to evaluate everything. And, if necessary, fix it.

I believe most of what I have written makes sense. That is why I write it. But the regulars despise/attack it. Fine. Everyone gets to put in their two cents (I think).

I honestly don’t know what was rude about my last post. To those I have hideously harmed psychologically ; my apologies. And I have fixed lamp/lantern in my last post. My fault. Lack of precision. I hate it when that happens.

However, may I suggest actually thinking about some of the points and trying to understand the basis and results being discussed rather than having your knee jerk. I understand it is late in the project. I have provided input much earlier. To no avail. But hope springs eternal. I am trying to point out some possible issues or improvements with minimal impact. And improve overall user utility/complexity.

I made a suggestion earlier about polling the buyers of the >1000 lanterns about features. There is a skilled core development group working on this. Their uncompensated work is irreplaceable and deserves kudos. My point about polling is to survey the unwashed masses view of what is useful, required, or not wanted. Logically, there are a lot of potential buyers that simple do not participate in (or understand) the definitions of the lantern. They just want the lantern; whatever. Rather than build a complex (and potentially more expensive) lantern for a subset of potential users; go for most useful and lowest reasonable cost. Reverse the point of view. Simple now; complex next rather than complex now and simple later. This has significant marketing issues. If people buy them and can not deal with the interface (and price), the sales for the manufacturer will suffer. That is rather important to ongoing projects with the offshore manufacturer. They have to make money. Two or more versions can be a significant advantage to the manufacturer. They have a price/performance range. It also determines the future willingness to deal with this sites projects.

Using the Q8 (I own several) as an example. In my opinion (from several experiments) the interface for untrained users is quite hostile. Alternate views of this are completely useless, but widely propagated. Using multiple test persons, regardless of what the designers and (skilled) web site users say, numerous people explain the interface as simple, it just needs to be understood/learned. Others view the interface as incomprehensible. There is a serious dejvue element here.

Asking the potential lantern buyers what they consider important would provide guidance to the development team. Again, I have not gone through and counted everyone’s wish list. Assigning a projected price (or impacts on other features) for the various build decisions in the poll would help map the buyer base into more understandable desires/requirements. It is not too late to do this. But there is a high probability of no one paying attention. I keep getting chastised for not seeing/understanding the “correct” configuration. The control of the design, if I understand correctly, is in the hands of a relatively small group. They are absolutely essential. No argument there. But do they serve the masses or their excitement about bells and whistles? I do understand the basis of the web site thread and the anticipated configuration. But configuration has become complicated for civilians.

IT IS A LANTERN should be a battle cry of the relatively unknowledgeable people lining up for the lights (yeah, they are lights).

If it is something you would like to investigate, it could be discussed via private message with people who responded. However, the public BLF Lantern thread is probably not a good place for that discussion.

The lantern design is mostly based on DBSAR’s extensive experience with long periods spent off-grid, using a wide variety of lanterns, with feedback from others who have similar needs. Some details are also based on feedback from BLF, CPF, Reddit, IRC, and at least two manufacturers. So… many people have already been consulted about what they consider important. The research phase of the project is mostly done, much of the development is complete, and now the priority is getting the product actually made.

Oh hot damn, there’s a flashlight IRC channel?