Rechargable lights

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Rechargable lights

Postby olddigger » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:23 am

Any experience with rechargable lights, specifically the Coleman rechargable retro lantern (red base, looks like it holds liquid fuel but does not)?
BCF in WA has them reduced from $99 to $69 and if they are any good, I might get one. Comments invited about how bright the light is. Can you read by it? Could be useful for tents.
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Re: Rechargable lights

Postby cokebottle » Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:26 am

My tip from personal experience is to make sure you can get replacement fluro tubes for them, especially if you buy a cheap fluro lamp like i did see this thread for more info http://forum.camping.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=2252

The cheap fluro's at BCF look to have the same base on the tube it self as the one I bought & I even asked BCF if they could get the spares for their lamps (even though I did not buy a lamp from them) they did not know at the time.

But if you are are buying the more expensive lamps as you mentioned I am sure you won't have problems ;)

I have an EverReady 7w fluro I bought from Kmart for $20, it takes 4 "D" batteries & you could read by it I reckon, we used it in the tent last trip to have dinner then play cards etc (too wet to stay outside in the storm) without too much trouble.

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Re: Rechargable lights

Postby xmasbaby67 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:01 pm

I think we have one of those.
It is quite big and has a little yellow night light on the side. If it is the same one as ours then they are really good. It has two settings and the night light. We use ours on the main table or hang it from one of our poles under the awning of our camper trailer and it provides good light they are also quite sturdy and stable. We also use it in the camper itself when we all are in bed and one the kids get up in the middle of the night, thats when the night light is really good.
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Re: Rechargable lights

Postby xmasbaby67 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:12 pm

I just had a look at the BCF Catalogue and it is the one we have. We also have two smaller Coleman ones (green) but the big red one is our main light source and we use it all the time. Has quite a long battery span also. We only have the one light on our table to prepare food and it provides good lighting but would love to know how to get the bugs to leave it alone. We have also used it to play cards with and it was fine. I think we bought ours from our small local camping, fishing shop for about $90 a year ago and so far so good. Hope this helps.
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Re: Rechargable lights

Postby mouth » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:55 pm

SupaCheap have some on special at the moment.
Page 2 of http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/store/ ... spx?ID=304

The rechargeable combination light and mozzie zapper @ $30 looks interesting too.
http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/store/ ... x?ID=44843
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Re: Rechargable lights

Postby Komodo » Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:47 pm

IMO best rechargable light is the Arlec unit

2 4W fluro tubes that are available EVERYWHERE (total 8W similar output to a 40watt incandecent globe)
1 LED "night light"
2 indicating LEDs to indicate low battery / charging / fully charged states
6V battery that a replacement can be bought from jaycar for under $20 (from memory)
Can be charge from cigar lighter in the car or 240V mains
reasonably robust (not unbreakable though)
Cheap from memory under $50 @ k-mart

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Re: Rechargable lights

Postby Ricklanga » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:27 pm

Everything xmasbaby67 said. We have a Coleman Retro and they are an excellent investment.

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Re: Rechargable lights

Postby olddigger » Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:00 pm

Thanks for all that info. Most useful. I'll probably get a Coleman and will check out the Arlec in Kmart. Always good to have a back-up light.
I have a caravan, but am looking into a tent for solo fishing excursions and these lights leave me free of the need to have a power supply or a generator.
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Re: Rechargable lights

Postby Blue Bravo » Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:25 pm

Took a BCF rechargable LED light ($50ish) on our recent trip. Found it provided good light with reasonable battery life. Probably won't take the gas lantern with us anymore. :grin:
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Re: Rechargable lights

Postby Gunna Do » Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:41 pm

Olddigger,

Whilst rechargeable fluros are good, I think their days are numbered as I think rechareable LED lights have taken over as the dominant force.

Not sure which are the best, but keep an open mind to this type of light. Very low power usage, and very reliable, no tubes to play up.
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Re: Rechargable lights

Postby nios2 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:37 pm

Hi Digger and all,

We have a 9 watt version (not a Coleman but similar) and we are pleased with it. A 5 hour charge gives 8 hours of light. They can be charged from mains plugin or car "ciggy lighter socket". While charging they cannot illuminate the tube.

They run off a sealed Lead/acid battery which leaks flat when not in use and so if you pack it away fully charged, it might be as flat as a pancake when you get it out several months later. So always best to charge it up the night before you need it.

Good for around the backyard at night as well as camping.

It's quite a cool (in terms of colour temperature) "blue" light. For me at 52 with reading specs its borderline for reading by..I like a good strong light on my books these days. I have a head-band LED light for reading in the tent at night. But look, until I turned 45, the flouro lantern would have been moe than enough to comfortably read by.

Regards

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Re: Rechargable lights

Postby J`CRUISER » Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:11 pm

Komodo wrote:IMO best rechargable light is the Arlec unit

2 4W fluro tubes that are available EVERYWHERE (total 8W similar output to a 40watt incandecent globe)
1 LED "night light"
2 indicating LEDs to indicate low battery / charging / fully charged states
6V battery that a replacement can be bought from jaycar for under $20 (from memory)
Can be charge from cigar lighter in the car or 240V mains
reasonably robust (not unbreakable though)
Cheap from memory under $50 @ k-mart

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another vote for the arlec. we have one and it has been great. other lighting for our camp are led flying saucer type for in the tent and 2 gas lanterns. i really like the gas lanterns as the others seem to gain the attention of the bugs more than the gas lanterns.
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Re: Rechargable lights

Postby Komodo » Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:37 pm

Re: LED lights - be warned many of these actually use MORE power than their fluro/ccfl counterparts. They can be brighter but not always for the same power. I think a combination of the two would be a good way to go. Some of the Luxan LEDs use 3watts PER LED and they can get very hot (heat = waste power)

Im not saying dont go LED - but definately compare before deciding if LED is definately the best choice - particularly if battery life is of concern along with brightness.
Admittedly the LEDs are getting brighter with lower consumption - but most of these lights require about 1.5-3V where as the batter in them is typically 6V so it needs to be stepped down - usually by a crude resistor which dissipates energy via heat.
LED lights are definately more robust though and I expect we will see better colour temperatures come available in the near future.
Unfortunately fluros dont have much flexibility as far as colour temp is concerned

My advice if going LED look for a good trusted brand and dont expect a cheap Asian version to have the same life expectancy or quality of LED as those coming from reputable suppliers. Also be aware that a lot of these lights are badge engineered too so make sure that just cause two lights look the same doesn't mean that they have the same quality LEDs
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