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Old 03-07-2014, 11:41   #1
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Best solar lantern

OK guys, I feel like the development of these little lights with solar cells on top of them has finally progressed to the point of usefulness. I see using one of these babies for a fishing light/nav light for the dink, and one as a anchor light part way up the mast.
My question: what light do you like the best, which one has an off/on switch and how long do they burn at night?
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:05   #2
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Re: Best solar lantern

This one works good for me.
Doesn't have near the light output as my Coleman LED lantern.


The solar panel


The green cell is the lithium battery that is charged by the solar panel.


5 position switch gives a choice of either full light or night light run on either the solar charged lithium or the (3) D cells.
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Old 03-07-2014, 13:02   #3
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Re: Best solar lantern

We had two luci lamps... Great but one developed a hole in the seam. Also, the light is a bit harsh... So while we can recommend them, we still prefer our oil lamp for a dinner/hanging out lamp.


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Old 03-07-2014, 13:44   #4
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Re: Best solar lantern

I have a similar Energizer, an older model. It uses LEDs, bright white or dim amber, but the nicest thing is that it takes D cells, the most economical and longest lasting power for batteries. I think they're still selling for something like $15-20.

Here in the US the battery companies are playing coy. C cells and D cells are priced the same, even though the D cells have 2x-3x more power. Same thing for the AAA and AA cells, same price, 3x more power.
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Old 03-07-2014, 16:11   #5
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Re: Best solar lantern

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I have a similar Energizer, an older model. It uses LEDs, bright white or dim amber, but the nicest thing is that it takes D cells, the most economical and longest lasting power for batteries. I think they're still selling for something like $15-20.

Here in the US the battery companies are playing coy. C cells and D cells are priced the same, even though the D cells have 2x-3x more power. Same thing for the AAA and AA cells, same price, 3x more power.
Here is another little known fact about D cells. These NiMH cells are 10 ahr and thanks to Chevron Oil buying out the patent on NiMH cells larger than 10 ahr, are the largest you can get. When the GM EV-1 went from lead acid to NiMH, the range increased from 90 miles to 150 miles, scaring the oil companies.
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Old 03-07-2014, 16:58   #6
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Re: Best solar lantern

What type of time are you getting on this energizer lantern?
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Old 03-07-2014, 19:43   #7
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Re: Best solar lantern

Newt-
The old style eveready has 4xD and 8x white LEDs, maybe 240mA on the bright setting, half that on low. 30mA? when the solo amber LED is used. So...lots of project time and short blackouts. If you figured with Dockhead's 10AH rating that would be 40 hours on high, 80 on low, and way too long on amber.(G)

10AH on a D cell now?? Wow, I remember the NiCad D's got 4AH at best. That's progress.
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Old 03-07-2014, 21:01   #8
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Re: Best solar lantern

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What type of time are you getting on this energizer lantern?
On the high setting 6 hours of sunlight will operate the light for 3 hours on the small lithium battery. On the nightlight setting probably a week. On the D cells 165 hours on high setting.
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Old 03-07-2014, 23:55   #9
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Re: Best solar lantern

Thanks guys I just ordered two. Figured they would make good anchor lights for cruising this summer.
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Old 04-07-2014, 00:26   #10
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Re: Best solar lantern

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Thanks guys I just ordered two. Figured they would make good anchor lights for cruising this summer.
Since I sail a catamaran I also have two, one for each hull. But I have never used them for an anchor light. They really do not last all night and are not visible 360 degrees and I am not sure the meet the two mile visible USCG requirement.

I do have a conventional top of the mast anchor light and a good house battery bank charged by a nice solar array. But I also have four of those small solar garden lights at the corners of the boat. Since my mast is over fifty feet in the air I think it is a good idea to have some anti dinghy lights close to eye level that drunk dinghy drivers are more likely to notice.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:05   #11
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Re: Best solar lantern

Agreed Tom. I am just using them when I need dingy protection in a place like Roche Harbor. If I am going to dark cove all by myself the traditional lights are turned on. As mentioned in other threads, it is amazing how many boats are moored out there with no lights whatsoever.
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