Black Diamond Titan Lantern

Post by blogger | December 28, 2011      

Prior to completing our portahut solar system, we used electric lanterns and headlamps for lighting. We still use that stuff for convenience and mood, so I’m always up for improvements in the portable lighting category.

Black Diamond Lantern

Black Diamond Titan Lantern at the portahut map wall.

Some time ago I tried some supposedly bright electric lanterns I sneaked out of Wally World when no one was looking (yes, let the jeering commence). Alas, the meager light from those junkers is more like the phosphorescence of a single firefly, rather than lumens one can actually use for more than a romantic interlude (not that interludes aren’t important, but hey, one eventually has to do the dishes, too). And battery life? More like battery death.

Thus, I was about ready to give up on electric lanterns when I tried a Black Diamond Titan. Yep, bright. Simple switch that when held in dims down smoothly. Excellent battery life (how do they do that?). Top part slides down to collapse for packing, hang loops work well. It even looks nice. Downside is Titan does use D cells, has no stock recharging option, and lacks a 12 volt power jack for automobile or typical solar aux power input. Thus, if you put lots of hours on this lantern you might be wise to purchase rechargeable D cells and a charger. Those quibbles aside, overall this unit is very impressive for the under $70 street price. If you know someone who’s trying to get away from gas lanterns for camp or hut, remind them to give the Titan a whirl. Simply put, it works.

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5 Responses to “Black Diamond Titan Lantern”

  1. naginalf December 28th, 2011 12:33 pm

    I’d sure be interested to know what light source they’re using, probably LED’s or some sort of fluorescent. If they’re using the same Phillips Luxeon Rebel cool white LED’s that we use where I work (we make theatre lighting), according to my simple calculations, it should need 3 of them for 360º of output, and at 350mA put out 405Lm (total, each is 135 lumens), which with 4 D cell batts at roughly 8-12KmAh of life, that makes for about 20-30 hours of light (they claim 250 lumens so that figure should be even higher). Can anyone confirm that? If they ARE using the philips LEDs, then you could theoretically crank it up to 960 lumens, which would be like having the sun in your hand 😈 . Although they didn’t bother slapping in a charging circuit, that gets really iffy when you can put standard batteries in and blow them up by charging them. You guys who don’t mind tearing into $1K boots shouldn’t have any problem cannibalizing a 12V NiMH charger and a $70 lantern eh? If someone wants to donate a lantern I’ll write up a DIY 😉 .

  2. Lou December 28th, 2011 12:43 pm

    Nag, a DIY might be very cool. I’ll work on making that happen… meanwhile, yeah, it is LED, but I have no idea what. Definitly get very good battery life, yes, 20-30 hours or more. Lou

  3. naginalf December 28th, 2011 12:49 pm

    Ooo, here’s an interesting comparison, the aforementioned LEDs get 135 lumens per watt. A standard incandescent is lucky to get 17 lumens per watt. Does that answer your question of “how they do that” Lou, that’s pretty darn efficient lighting. Even an F class STAR isn’t that efficient! (man wikipedia can make you sound really smart 😆 , see the chart about halfway down )

  4. Michael Pike December 30th, 2011 12:20 am

    One thing to watch out for if you’re going to get rechargeable “D” cells, is to check the milliamp rating, as all “D”s are not equal. Some are like having a “AA” in a “D”-sized battery.More like a “d”. Of course, you’ll pay more for the better ones.

  5. Lou December 30th, 2011 7:25 am

    Michael, good tip, I wasn’t aware of that! Lou

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