LTR - Energizer LED Area Light - Kerri Larkin
- View SourceHi Kara,
Please find following my LTR for the Energizer. The HTML can be found here, or at: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/LTR%20-%20Energizer%20LED%20Area%20Light%20%20-%20Kerri%20Larkin/
Thanks in advance for your edits!
LONG TERM REPORT
I took the Energizer on a fourteen day camping trip to Kangaroo Island, South Australia, which involved a mixture of car-based camping and hiking around the island. It rained one night on the trip but otherwise conditions were fine and mild. This trip was mostly at, or near, sea level with the highest camp being at about 335 metres (1100 feet). Temperatures varied from overnight lows around 5 C (41 F) to highs of 32 C (90 F). Most nights were very damp with lots of condensation, but the days were warm and dry.
My second trip was to Bongil Bongil State Forest, just outside Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, for an overnight camp. Again, there was plenty of condensation and dew in the morning. The overnight low was 5 C (41 F) and the high during the day was 26 C (79 F).
My final trip in the test period was another overnight trip to the Grey Cliff camp area in the Yuragir National Park, mid-northern New South Wales. Temperatures ranged from an overnight low of 19 C (66 F) to a high of 26 C (79 F) during the day.
Due to extreme weather (total fire bans and wildfires, to recurrent floods) it has been difficult to get many more opportunities to test the Energizer in the wild!
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Energizer has done everything I've needed it to. Although I used it every night on the fourteen day trip, the light didn't actually get a lot of use each night due to late sunsets in mid-summer. The light was used as a site marker when going for night walks, to read with before bed, and as a torch for nocturnal nature calls.
Most nights on the Kangaroo Island trip the torch saw only about 10-15 minutes of use while I was settling in to my hammock and for a brief read - sleep came very quickly those nights. I found I only needed to use the low power mode, or 'torch' mode in the hammock as full power was just too strong. Having said that, there's really not too much noticeable difference between the high power and low power modes. My last night, at Brooms Head, I purposely left the Energizer on for about two hours and there's still no sign of the batteries going flat.
I left the torch out in the rain one night with no problem - the waterproofing appears to work well enough.
My only two quibbles with this light are that it doesn't have a flat end to stand it on, and that the low power setting really doesn't seem much dimmer than the high power setting.
With regard to the first quibble; there's not always a convenient tree to suspend the light from when using it over the camp kitchen. That's why a flat end which the light could be stood on would be a benefit. This light, as the name implies, is an area light, and consequently benefits from being up high. Otherwise it just creates a harsh glare and doesn't illuminate such a wide area. For best use, I've found it needs to be suspended at least an arms-length above my head. A rope thrown over a higher branch, allowing the Energizer to be suspended over a camp kitchen, strikes me as another way to get best effect from this light.
With respect to the second quibble; I've pretty much only used this light on low power as there seemed no real benefit in using high power. As I said above, the low power mode is still, for me, too bright for use as a reading light in the confines of my hammock. Personally, I'd like the low power mode to be about half as bright as it currently is. There is a difference between the two modes, but only just. I'd love a low power mode that would allow me to leave the light on as a night light for little ones (or big ones that get easily spooked), or as a site marker for my camp to make it easier to find in the dark. The long, thin, shape of this light would make it easy to spot my tent at a crowded campsite or at a festival as it is quite unique.
I was initially worried that the lenses would scratch, but I'm pleased to say that has not been the case. The Energizer has hung by its carabiner from my pack for the last four months, swinging around and bashing against the pack, trees, the back of the car, and anything else my pack has been near, and there's no sign of marking.
I haven't needed to change the batteries yet with roughly five hours total use in the field.
I've used a number of lantern-style LED lights and although they may seem physically smaller, when open and working, they are all larger than the Energizer. Plus, they all seem bulky in comparison; the Energizer just falls so easily into the hand, it's really a pleasure to use. The carabiner clip seems a bit large perhaps, but it has proven versatile enough to hang from a tree or from the ridgeline of my hammock.
The Energizer LED Area light is a nice piece of gear. It works well as an area light, falls easily to the hand for use as a torch, and has both high and low power modes, even though there really isn't much difference between the two. In terms of backpacking, it's a bit of a strange fish: it's probably too heavy for the ultralight purists, and doesn't have a base stand for using on a table when car-camping, however, the versatility of the light makes up for these minor quibbles. All in all, this is a very nice light. As I said, it hangs easily from my pack, and, it seems to me that's exactly where it's going to stay. I like this light enough for it to become a permanent addition to my camp kit.
That concludes my Long term Report on the Energizer LED Area Light and I'd like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to Energizer and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to be a part of this test series.
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