Wuben F5 Lantern & Fill Light Review (500 Lumens, 3 Tints, USB-C)

Today I am taking a look at a new Lantern and video fill light from Wuben with the F5. It can produce 3 tints, at 3 different brightness levels each, up to 500 lumens. It has an internal 5200mAh battery that can power the light and also be used to charge your devices. Thanks to Wuben for sending this to me to review and take a look at. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

The Wuben F5 packaging is a nice box with a photo of the light and it’s lumens and battery size at the front. On the back you get a few more stats about the light and the box seals.

Included accessories is a rubberized lanyard, USB-A to C charging cable, and a metal 2 way S binder. The manual is usable but could use some polish by a native English speaker. 

 

Construction

The F5 is made from plastic all around. The build quality feels solid, with the front diffuser feeling a little hollow. The front panel is domed and acts as a diffuser for the approximately 90 LED’s underneath. The sides and back panel are all one piece and available in a dark green or black color. 

Each side of the light has a feature, with the top having 4 LED power and locator LED’s. On the left hand side when looking straight on you have the port cover for the USB-C input, and USB-A output ports. Opposite that you have the 3 buttons to control the light, on/off, and up/down buttons. On the bottom you have a ¼ 20 brass grommet to connect into for mounting or for use on a camera. On the back you have a raised circle that features a fairly strong magnet inside that easily supports the lights weight to mount on metal surfaces. Around that is a hinged metal ring with a fairly stiff hinge. You can use this as a small kickstand to prop up the light or to put your finger through to hold the light in a more secure way. One corner is drilled to accept the included lanyard. 

 

Retention

As mentioned previously there is the included rubberized wrist strap that attaches at the corner of the light. On the back there is the magnetic ring that supports the weight of the light well in any position on a variety of ferris surfaces. There is also that metal ring and stiff hinge acting like a kickstand or finger hold. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the size at 78.8mm by 84.6mm by 33.7mm. I measured weight at 206.5 grams without the lanyard. The light is IP64 rated. So it’s dustproof and rated for submersion upto 1 meter. The light does not float. 

 

LED & Beam

There is no mention of exact emitters that are in use here but I can tell you there are 3 tints in this lantern, 3000k, 4500k, and 5700k. I can’t say exactly what CRI is here but my guess is somewhere in the 70-80 CRI, so pretty standard. There are a total of 30 emitters the 3000k and 5700k tints, 60 in total. For the neutral white mode the light actually runs both emitters at the same time. The beam is very even and diffused thanks to the frosted lens/diffuser on the top of the light. 

Exact outputs here vary based on the tint being used but Low ranges from 7-10 lumens, Medium 120-140 lumens, high 430 to 500 lumens with step downs from 230 to 300. 

 

There is some PWM here, especially in the lower output modes. I can’t see it with my eye but I can with my scope. The images here are from the warmer 3000k mode.

 

Runtime & Heat

Runtimes on the F5 are quite good, I did my runtime tests with a full 5200mAh internal battery on each color mode, in the top brightness. All 3 exceeded Wubens runtime numbers with warm white being 11:25:00, Neutral white and cool white both at 10:09:00. 

All 3 tints sustained theirs for about 8 minutes before stepping down to about 65% relative output. Basically this is a great light for long sustained outputs, perfect for that lantern application. Heat was really not worth talking about here, the sides and back stayed at room temp and only the front diffuser slightly heated up to be just warm.

 

UI

To turn the light on or off it’s a quick press on the center on/off/mode button. Wuben mentions stepless dimming here, and I don’t want anyone to get confused, this light does have steps, it’s not a light with ramping. That said the changes between modes are a soft fade. You have a plus minus button to adjust brightness in 3 steps. To change tint’s once on it’s a quick double press. The order it goes is cool white, neutral white, warm white. 

 

The battery indicators on the side also have what Wuben calls a Breathing LIght, I would call this a locator function. The lights fade in and out slowly to help you locate light in the dark. Useful for if your camping or trying to find it in a bag. This can be turned on or off if you triple click the central button with the light off. There is a lockout mode as well if you press that center button 4 times. 

 

Recharging

The Wuben F5 has a 5200mAh lithium ion battery inside. It’s non user serviceable. On one side of the light it as a large port cover that’s covering the USB-C port for charging, and a USB-A port to use it as a powerbank. There are 4 LED’s on the side that give you charge status when charging  and discharging. These values are a little different depending on the mode so make sure you consult the manual for the exact. 

 

For charging the light does support USB-C to C which is great to see, and in my tests took 3:22:24 to charge to full. Max charge rate I saw was 1.7A. 

As a powerbank I ran a discharge test at 2A, 5V which is the maximum it can output and it did this for 1:31:00. Capacity after conversion was measured at 3039mAh. So not the most efficient circuit here. 

 

Pro’s

  • 3 Built in Tint options with every light
  • Long runtimes for a pretty compact package
  • Charges via USB-C to C
  • Can be used as a powerbank
  • Strong Magnet, ¼ 20 grommet, and finger ring retention options

 

Con’s

  • Non user serviceable battery
  • Only 180 degrees of light instead of 360.

 

Conclusion

Lanterns are not the most exciting light in your collection but possibly one of the most useful. The Wuben F5 is up there in my opinion with the BLF LT1 I looked at last year. It’s smaller and doesn’t output in 360 degrees like a true lantern does, but it has a host of other features that make it useful for both the enthusiast and general user. 

The ability to run all 3 tints at 3 brightness levels really is great, for me I will definitely leave it in warm or neutral tints. The light is nice and diffused too.

I feel like the size and weight here are right. As much as I love the BLF LTF, it’s big, and heavy, the Wuben F5 is a reasonable size here and has more output/battery life then lanterns from larger brands and for less overall cost. 

If you don’t have a lantern in your go bag, I would strongly recommend one. This would be a great addition to that tornado, hurricane, earthquake or general power outage situation since you can use it to provide 10 hours of light on high, or 20 hours on medium, and use it as a powerbank to keep your phone topped off. Safe to say I am a fan and I do recommend it.

Olight Olantern Review (360 Lumens, Flicker Bulb, Olight Fan Request)

Olight Olantern Review (360 Lumens, Flicker Bulb, Olight Fan  Request)

Today I have the Olight OLantern, before you change to the next video, this isn’t a boring battery powered lantern. It’s the result of numerous requests to Olight, so lets see if they delivered what the fans really want or not. Thanks to Skyben on Amazon for sending me this to look at and allowing me to tell you the truth on it. 

 

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Pickup the Olight Olantern from Skyben on Amazon.

Green: https://amzn.to/3lQkiKh

Gray: https://amzn.to/2VXfb0x

Red: https://amzn.to/2VMjQlL

XANAD Case: https://amzn.to/2KABHqb

 

Packaging & Accessories

Olights packaging is the nicest in the production flashlight world, it makes me wonder how much extra goes to packaging. The lantern is a big heavy duty cardboard box with photos of the light on all 4 sides. Very little information is on the exterior. It opens up throughout the bottom and is a tight fit. It sit’s on the box of accessories which include the manual, a microfiber cleaning cloth, an extra long MCC3 charger capable of up to 2A, and the flame flicker bulb. 

 

Construction

The lantern itself is made from a polymer front top top bottom. It’s available in a gray, red, and the green you see here. A rubber texture has been applied to a few areas for extra grip, the top cap, and bottom tail cap. The middle section is a hard thick, dense polymer. The lens or globe is a clear acrylic and while it will scratch it seems to be reasonably scratch resistant. It has a bit of a reflector built into the to help distribute light. This globe twists off from the body to allow you to swap out the emitter from cool white to the flickering flame, and there is a oring around this connection. Inside around the emitter is aluminum as is the blue ring around the exterior.

The electronic button is in the front and and has a slight backlit edge. This servers as a power indicator and helps you find the light in the dark. The light is motion sensitive so once you pick it up it comes on. 

The bottom rubber piece is scalloped and relieved internally to allow the light to charge while standing up with ease. There are 3 screws in the bottom that allows the light to come apart fairly easily. While the battery isn’t designed to be user replaceable it is quite easy to remove it. It connects to the circuit board with spring loaded pins. There was some debate early on if this was a rebranded product or an Olight original design and after looking inside I am confident it’s an Olight design, as all the circuit boards do have Olight copyrights on them. Internally its pretty simple design. 

 

Size & Weight/Competition

Length with the handle folded in was 135mm, with it unfolded 191mm, maximum diameter on the base was 65mm. I measured the weight at 346.5g. Water rating is only IPX4. So it can handle splashes from all angeles but no more.

A lot of people will compare the Olight Olantern to the BLF/Sofrin LT1 because the lights end up being near the same price. The Olantern is lighter, and smaller, with less features, a more simple but less useful UI, and longer charging time. The two are in different leagues really. The Olantern is probably better to hand to a non enthusiast and in terms of weight but in almost all other aspects the LT1 in my opinion is the better lantern. 

 

Retention

The lantern has a handle that is a metal hanger and coated in the same rubberized coating, at the top it has a plastic piece with a dip in it. This looks a little funny but is actually really useful, as it allows you to hang the light on a wire or rope and not have it fall off. I could see this being used in a tent, or with a rope strung between a few trees while camping etc. 

I do enjoy a case for my BLF LT1, and the OLantern will fit in the one I have for my LT1 here but with a good amount of extra space leftover. The XANAD case does double duty well.

 

LED & Beam

The Olantern has 2 LED Modules, first the primary is a cool white module with 3 output settings. No emitter or tint data is given for either. It’s quite cool white my guess is 6500k or cooler. The beam is pretty even but if you wanted to diffuse it even more I have seen people put thin paper inside the globe for more diffusion. 

The other is the flame module, it’s 1 mode only and flickers, and is quite warm, with an orange tint. I really wish this had more output and 3 modes like the main module did. 

 

Olight lists the official outputs as the following.

  • High 360 lumens
  • Medium 120 lumens
  • Low 30 lumens
  • Flaming Module 1 Lumen

 

Heat & Runtime

I tested runtime on the highest output on the main cool white module, and got 6:55:00 so a little better  then what it’s rated for. During this time it decreased in output ever so slightly but ran this entire time at 90% of relative output which is good. It does get a little warm during use, especially around the blue metal band, with peak temps in my uncooled environment at 39C. This was around the 2 hour mark.

 

My flaming module runtime test fell a tad short of the claimed 80 hours of runtime. I recorded only 46:42:00, due to the length of time this took I didn’t run this one again to see if my results improved. 

 

UI

The UI here is very simple. Single press turns the light on to the last mode it was used in. Long press to go to the next mode, and mode progression is L, M, H. There is no short cut to the highest or lowest output. The flaming module has only one mode, so it’s just on or off.

 

One kind of neat and useful feature is the illuminated halo around the side switch, it reacts to motion to help you find it and to save power, so if you bag was to move it was in or you pick it up but can’t find the button in the dark it will start glowing a dim green so you can find it. 

 

Recharging & Power

This light runs off of a proprietary battery pack consisting of 4x 1900mAh 18500 batteries for a total capacity of 7600mAh. This is a custom battery pack and is designed to be non user replaceable. As mentioned above it’s quite easy to get into the light however though so if Olight made this battery available as a replacement I think it’s something the average person could replace. Recharging is done via the Olight magnetic MCC3 charger you get on recent Olights. It will operate while charging, and has the standard green when charged, red when charging. 

 

Charing time here is very long, from empty where the light shut off I measured it taking a full 8:30:00  to recharge, Peak charging speed I saw was 1.38A. This is a pretty conservative recharge rate. If you were charging off solar power it would be best to top up then expect to get a full charge in a day in most places. Comparing this to my BLF LT1 which had a capacity of 12,000mAh but charged in 10:15:00. This is still along time but also a battery that’s 4,400mAh larger.

 

Areas for Improvement

I see 3 major areas that olight can make improvements to on the next Olantern. The first is the waterproofing, this is only rated for IPX4 which means it can repel splashes from any angle but more then this may cause problems. This means it’s ok in the rain but isn’t to be submerged. The lantern only has one Oring between the globe and module, this surprised me for the price point the lights at, and Olights usual good build quality. 

 

LED Tint – This shouldn’t surprise anyone if you know Olight you know they like that cool white tint. They might say that’s for the best performance, or most amount of lumens but in this case neither are the most important, quality of light and runtime are the big things you want for area illumination. With the replaceable “bulb” design Olight could easily come out with an addon or have given people the choice. Even better make the tint variable like the BLF LT1. 

 

LED Storage – The flaming “bulb” is fun, but it’s output doesn’t make it super useful for more then just ambiance. The problem I see is there is no way to attach the extra blub to the light, or store it, so I see it is more likely to get lost. Hopefully version 2 corrects this. 

 

Conclusion

Lanterns are not something you think you need, till you have one and then if you are like me you will find yourself using it more and more. It’s great for camping but also if you lose power frequently or live in an area with storms. This is great for those areas getting hit by tornadoes and hurricanes or this time of year blizzards. 

 

At first I wasn’t impressed with the design here from the photos, I didn’t find the light attractive and was kind of put off by the mostly polymer construction, but once I got it in hand it felt better built than I was expecting. That said this is a space that has competition in it, not only from other lantern or lantern like products but also from silicone cones to put on top of your existing flashlights to act as a diffuser. All of those make the normal asking price here hard to swallow in my opinion. It’s a useful amount of light and it feels solid in the hand but I just had higher expectations for the normal asking price.

I don’t think this is the light that the hard core Olight fan was asking for but it’s not a bad place to start. Hopefully Olight decides to make some revisions and come out with a version that is has the ability to shift the tint, swap in other bulbs, is more water resistant, and is a better overall value. If they do that I think it will appeal to more enthusiasts and be the light that the hardcore fans really wanted. Until then you have a pretty well built light for the mainstream at a high price point when it’s not on sale. 

BLF LT1 Lantern Review (Variable tint, 90 CRI, Insanely Long Runtimes)

Today I have a specialty light, with the BLF LT1 Lantern, designed by forum members at the Budget Light Forums (BLF) and manufactured by Sofirn. The BLF LT1 started off 3 years ago as an offshoot of another BLF light the Q8 and shares a similar design internally with several components. Forget the other battery powered lanterns you have seen in the past, this one puts them all to shame. This will probably end up being a longer review so sit back and enjoy, it’s not like any lantern you have seen before.

 

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Packaging & Accessories

The main focus of this project was the light itself and as a result the light has generic packaging to prevent damage during shipping, not to attract buyers in a retail type setting. It ships in a plain brown package. Inside you get the manual which features the UI diagram, and a few spare orings, spare button and a orange o’ring that I put on the top of the light. The manual is pretty comprehensive and well written including a UI diagram, the aspect ratio is kind of squished though so I have included a link to the PDF copy

My light came with 4x Sofirn 3000mAh 18650 preinstalled. Each battery had a sticker on the negative terminal to prevent the light coming on during shipping. They ended up leaving a little residue that I had to clean off, so make sure you remove that before using the light. 

Construction

The light is made of anodized aluminum. The bottom half is the battery carrier and very similar in overall design to the Q8. The rear tail cap is removable, the knurling is similar on the  LT1 but it doesn’t have the flats milled in. Internally the cells are isolated from each other. Button top batteries are recommended with this light. There are two ¼ 20 tripod mounds, one on the bottom and on on the ring in the middle of the light.

 

The head silicone button as the BLF Q8 which features the T from Throfire (the Q8’s original manufacture). It has Orange LED’s inside that are on all the time as a locator function which you can adjust the brightness of or turn it off via the firmware. The button goes red when charging, and green when charged too. Opposite the button is the USB-C port used for recharging, and it has a larger silicone cover that fits flush. 

 

 

The diffuser is a thick hard plastic with a smooth gloss surface finish. It’s a very stiff piece and feels very solid. It does a great job of diffusing light from both the top and bottom emitters. Above this there is a small grove for an oring that I have placed the larger orange oring for looks. At the top there is a large folding metal hanger that fits tightly. This allows for securely hanging the light from a branch, tent, or ceiling.

Size And Weight

This is a larger and heavier then most of the LED, battery powered lanterns on the market but the build quality here is far better then anything else and it’s far lighter then the old steel and liquid kerosene lanterns. Weight with the 4 included 3000mAh Sofirn 18650 batteries is 641g. I measured overall length at 176mm, maximum diameter on the head at 68mm, minimum diameter at the body at 50mm. 

 

LED’s & Beamshots

This light is using a total of 8 Samsung LH351D emitters, 4 in 2700k 90 CRI and 4 in 5000k 90 CRI. The result is a light capable in its stock form of 600 lumens, and variable tin anywhere between a warm 2700k and a very nice neutral 5000k all at an impressive 90 CRI. Light is evenly diffused out the sides via the emitters on the top and bottom. Not much light is thrown up, instead it’s thrown more to the sides, so I find myself turning the light some if I need to read with it or walk with it. 

On the inside of the head there are some additional solder points that can be bridged to use more of the 7135 chips to increase the peak brightness of each group of LED’s. This only works when you are using more of one group of LED then the other, and decreases runtime, and increases heat. If you want to do this I would encourage you to read the long threads over on BLF first. 

Runtime and Heat

For my runtime tests, I ran the light in it’s default warm tint of 2700k with 4 of Sofirns included (Optional) 3000mAh button top batteries at it’s maximum brightness in it’s out of box configuration. Runtime here is just super impressive with total running out to 9 hours and 50 minutes before falling below 1% relative output. While this is dim it’s still useful light. Even at 95% relative output the light can sustain itself for 6 hours before starting a significant decline. Remember too this is only with 4X 3000mAh batteries, you could upgrade to 3500mAh batteries and get another 2000mAh to extend the runtime further. The light does have temperature regulation built in and it’s configurable in the UI. The top gets warm to the touch but not hot. LVP kicked in at 2.912V and the cells were all evenly, so running a matched pair of batteries with this light would be a wise idea.

The light will also run with the head off and powered by a powerbank at full output. This could be helpful in an emergency situation or if your charging batteries externally and still need the light. It will also run while charging but at a reduced output. 

 

UI

The UI on the LT1 is a modified version of Toykeeper’s Andrul. It’s well designed with lots of features but you don’t need to know how all those optional features work it if you don’t want to.

 

By default the light comes in smooth ramping mode which I personally like, but a stepped mode is available as well. To turn it on you click the button. To adjust brightness just press and hold till you reach your desired brightness. The light will give a quick flash at the top and bottom to let you know it’s at its maximum. A quick double click gives you turbo too. 

 

To adjust the tint of the light a quick double click and hold will then start ramping the tint and just stop when you get to your desired tint. Fairly easily you can get the light into a mode where tint varies with output level too, so warmer at lower outputs and fully neutral at maximum output. You can turn this on or off by double clicking and holding a couple of times till the light flashes. It’s a neat mode that mimics an incandescent bulb. 

 

Lastly if you want the light to be even more basic, there is a muggle mode you can put it into to hand off to someone who just wants an on off light at reduced output for increased safety and a dead simple ease of use.

 

For the more advanced features (Blinkies, strobe, aux button settings etc) you are going to want to consult the manual diagram. I keep the little printed manual in the Speaker case I keep my light in for transport.

 

Recharging

The light charges via a built in USB-C port which is great to see! On batches 1 and 2 of the light you must use a USB-A to C cable, but in batch 3 which is shipping now USB-C to C cables are fully supported. It’s nice to see full compatibility with both standards available. 

In my charging testes, I used the 4 Sofirn 3000mAh batteries that started at 2.92V and charged them to full at 4.05V in 10 hours and 15 minutes with the highest observed speed being 1.5A. This is on the slow side, while safe an conservative, I would have liked to see more like 2A charging.

 

I did briefly test the light with my solar charger too, and it works fine as I would expect. Given the long run times your probably not going to get a full charge during most days but it would be a great way to top the light up in an emergency situation or out while camping or hiking.

Case

So while not included with the light I thought I would mention this light fits beautifully in a case designed for a JBL Flip 3 or 4 bluetooth speaker. I picked up a Xanad case and the light fits great in it, and there is even space for a spare Samsung 2A charger and cable I had laying around. For $10 this is a no brainier in my book, Here is a link if you want to pick one up too. 

Pro’s

  • Even beam (flood) with variable tint 
  • Super long runtimes.
  • Easy yet powerful UI
  • Solid robust construction

 

Con’s

  • Weight
  • Previous versions (1 & 2) were not able to charge via USB-C to C, but Version 3 (Shipping now) can.
  • A bit of a slow charge time

 

Conclusion

You might have never thought you needed a lanter, but I am telling you this is the real deal. I live in the midwest and May & June are traditionally the months where we see the most amount of tornadoes and sometimes power outages. While you probably have a flashlight or several like I do, a lantern like this is really better for area lighting. It’s also great for camping, I would have killed for this when I was a Boy Scout camping, for all types of night activities etc. 

 

The combination of high CRI and variable (Warm tint) makes this truly a dream to use, there is no cool white here to washout colors and blind you, instead only pleasing warm and neutral tints with high CRI to help show the beauty of the nature you’re in. It’s nice around the house too just for area lighting or to read by if you wanted too. In muggle mode kids would love it too.

 

Super long runtimes means it’s very power efficient for the light it produces, but with that built in recharging via USB-C means it can be charged via solar panels too, to charge during the day, and light up all your night activities and repeat. While my version 2 here doesn’t support C to C charging, version 3 that’s available now does. The only downsides is the weight, it’s not light weight, and depending on your tent or how you want to try and hang it, it could be a bit of a challenge. You can remove batteries if you want to reduce weight and runtime, and maybe we will see a 1 battery version in the future. Remember it has those ¼ 20 tripod mounts too.

 

If you can’t tell by now I am a fan of this light and recommend it without hesitation. It’s a pretty decent  value and blows the competition away. If you’re looking for a great father’s day gift for the man who likes to camp, hunt or fish this is a great choice. If you want to build out your storm prep kit for tornadoes, hurricanes or blizzards this is a great add in. 

 

If you stuck around to the end of this review I sincerely appreciate it. Views during COVID have not been what I was expecting so if you have friends who like to camp, please consider sharing this video and blog post with them as I think this light has a wide appeal to non flashaholics too. Thanks for watching and stay safe. 

 

Buy from Sofirn Direct (Group Buy) https://sofirnlight.com/?DIST=QkFO

Sofirn Amazon with batteries https://amzn.to/2S6Swx0

Sofirn Amazon without batteries https://amzn.to/2xasFgp

Sofirn AliExpress https://bit.ly/2Y7V8ys

Full Image Gallery https://imgur.com/a/IHJClHH