20 May, 2012

Coleman Quad Lantern

I wanted a battery-operated lantern for when power outages occur (which in my area is several times a year). About two years ago, my companion Mary found the Coleman LED Quad lantern at a warehouse store and bought it for me . We liked it so much that we immediately bought a second one. The light output is a bright cool white (190 lumens), it doesn't flicker like the fluorescent lanterns I replaced with this unit and the batteries last longer. Besides handling its primary duty, we have used it in the back yard in the evening, and we've taken it to the cabin that our hiking club maintains. The cabin has little outdoor lighting, so the ability to take the individual panels off for the short hikes to the outhouse is a great thing and the panels have survived being dropped by small (and not so small) children.

Each panel has six LEDs and 3 NiCad AAA batteries that charge from the base unit 8 D-cell battery pack. Alkaline D-cells provide 1.5 volt each and NiCad or Lithium-ion rechargeable cells only put out 1.2 volts.  While the lantern does work on 9.6 volts, it's brighter with the alkaline batteries.   

Coleman makes a rechargeable 6 volt battery pack for the two panel LED lantern, but unfortunately, there's no 12 volt rechargeable pack for this lantern as yet. And while I'm making up my 'Santa list', I'd like to see a 5-to-10 watt solar panel charger for it, too.  It would be nice to have a 'non-grid' way to recharge the unit for the extended power outages or when camping. I've been seeing the LED Quad lantern selling in the $50-to-75 price range, so check your favorite online retailers for the best price.  We think it's wonderful product, reasonably priced for what it offers.

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