- Ok so i have this lantern now since the end of July to test & use it, & give my views on it in this mini-review & thoughts on this lantern.
UPDATES: read my last two posts about the first one failed after a mod attempt, then a second factory T1 a friend had failing. ( Posts # 161 and #162)
For a stock factory lantern i give it a 7/10 rating, which is not bad compared to the majority of LED lanterns we see in stores, especially in this price range, (but one hazardous flaw was found recently)
First the Zanflare T1 specs:
- Maximum lumens: 350LM
- Minimum lumens output: 3LM
- LEDs: SMD2835 (surface mount diodes)
- LED count: 82
- Power rating: 4.5W
- Light output colors: white - warm white - red (tint-ramping between C/W & W/W LEDs)
- Color CCT range: 2700K – 6500K
- Touch the top metal tab/switch to adjust brightness, tint ranges, and change over between tints.
- Memory & reverse polarity protection.
- Low battery indicator.
- Support USB Micro charging
- bottom battery cap has magnet for holding to flat metal surfaces.
- has hanger handle for hanging from a hook
Will make this review simple & short to express its positive points & negative points.
>> The good points:
- Tint ramping feature between 2700K to 6500K
- very compact.
- light weight
- low cost
- no visible PWM
- charging feature
- easy to turn on
- smooth light output
- magnetic base & hanging handle adds mounting versatility.
- Comes with 2600mah 18650 cell
>> The bad points:
- the tube the battery is in, gets really HOT when running on high, because this tube is the heat sink for the LEDs! ( could possibility be very dangerous as to over heat the cell to the point of thermal run-away and a catastrophic fire/explosion hazard if a weak, damaged, or un-branded/unknown 18650 cell is used!
- finicky touch switch, (sometimes to sensitive, and sometimes not at all.
- no lock-out ability (light can be accidentally turned on in a back pack to easy. if the top touches something metal or wet with water it turns on.)
- annoying to turn off (only with the bottom button either by holding for 3 seconds or cycling through the red modes.
- low run times on maximum. (i got no more than 2.5 hours out of this lantern on its maximum mode in my tests with the cell included. (with a 3600mah cell i got closer to 3.7 hours.
- small parasitic drain. ( i noticed the cell voltage slowly dropping over the time with the battery left in it.
- nearly impossible to take apart with out breaking it… (to mod in a lock-out switch)
- wonky UI. (as others have mentioned the ramping is a bit to fast, hard to set, no mode options, red only has one brightness and a not-necessary SOS mode in a lantern.
- Zanflare can improve some of the things i mentioned to make it a much better lantern. If they made the center battery tube big enough to handle a 26650 then the run times would greatly improve with a good 6000mah cell. The top touch-button has to go. It’s to sensitive at times, and others it don’t work at all it seems unless your finger is moistened or tough it several times. It would accidentally turn on in nearly every test scenario i did with it, (even place it in a sock, and could still turn it on through the sock by pressing it onto something metal or with my finger. it needs a lock-out, (as in anodized battery cap threads to lock it out,. or a mechanical switch on the bottom. Changing that to a electronic booted-switch would be a much better improvement.
Turning it off also could be made easier if it had a simple electronic button on the lower side to press to simply shut it off quickly. While on maximum mode its noticeably not as bright as the BLF LT1 V2 lantern prototype in its current configuration, but its brighter than most other low-cost lanterns in its class range & size. I have read some other reports that the touch switch have failed to work completely, which is another reason Zanflare should change that ti a more reliable electronic switch/button. As gadabout mentioned below the UI can be much improved. Ramping is a bit to fast, hard to set, no mode options, (only ramping) red only has one brightness and a not-necessary SOS mode in a lantern.
EDIT: - the tube the battery is in, gets really HOT when running on high, because this tube is the heat sink for the LEDs (This could possibility be very dangerous, as to over heat a cheaper, older, damaged, or unknown cell to the point of thermal run-away and a catastrophic fire/explosion hazard. (they should have designed the lantern with a separate heat sink “sleeve” with an air space around the battery tube to allow the tube to stay cooler, or even a more major step-down thermal sensor on the battery tube.
- Overall i like the Zanflare T1, its much better designed & performed better with better features than most other generic lanterns i have tested and owned that are even larger or cost more. If Zanflare was listening, and made those few changes i mentioned above, they would have one of the best small lanterns on the market today.