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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Streamlight Siege LED Lantern Review

Today I review the Streamlight Siege LED Lantern

Those that know me, know that I'm an LED lighting fanatic from way back. Streamlight is a trusted brand from those days who's AAAA flashlights were amongst my favorite EDC (Every Day Carry) items. I always wanted an LED lantern for those occasional power outages we get here and I always trusted the Streamlight brand so for $30 in my Amazon cart it goes. Once received I was so impressed with it I had to write up a little review. Sure you can watch a YouTube video review about them, but none of them encompass all the facts that I'm going to tell you about it here.

Physically it's not a huge lantern at just over 7" tall so it doesn't take up that much space. It weights almost 2 pounds which makes it seem heavy for its size but also instills some sense of quality. The body is made of a heavy polymer but the base, middle and top is covered in a grippy non slip rubber. In other words, the places you need to grip the lantern to do things like change the batteries, remove the top, grab to push the button all have this material. And it makes the base very skid resistant when sitting on a surface. All this gives the lantern a 6.5 foot drop rating. They were really smart with this design.

If you want to hang the light or tote it around, there is a handle which you can pull up. The handle is covered in a hard gritty coating and is notched in the center so you can hang it on a tree branch or rope and it will remain centered. When not in use it flips down towards the base and snaps into place. Also for hanging is a D-ring which is conveniently recessed into the top. You'll also find one located on the bottom of the base for hanging the lantern upside down. When hanging upside down you can remove the top diffuser and the light will cast straight downwards. Notice the diffuser top has an o-ring seal. Yes the lantern is waterproof. As a matter of fact it floats. And it floats correctly! The base sinks below the water and the top stays above the waterline, where you need the light to shine. Perfect for the pool or when you drop your Glock in the Jacuzzi. 

With the top removed you can see 5 LEDs inside the lantern, still covered by a clear hemispherical bubble. The 4 outer LEDs are the white LEDs which they like to call "C4" That's just marketing talk for Controlled Collapse Chip Connection the way these LED chips are attached to the board, an industry standard method that's been around since the 1960s. Honestly I'm not sure what brand the actual LED chips are, it's irrelevant to the end user anyways. The LED in the center is red in color and can be used for night vision or an SOS strobe. 

Pushing the button turns the light on, and if you push it within a few seconds, it cycles to the next lower brightness else it powers back off. If you hold he button in, it goes to red light mode and red SOS modes. It' pretty easy to figure out. The cool thing is the power button itself also lights up. It's green if your battery power is good and red if the batteries are getting weak. Smart! 

How long the batteries last depends on how bright you want the lantern and which version of the lantern you get. I opted for the 3 D-cell version of the lantern. It's a common cell size with good maH capacity. To change batteries, the bottom easily twists off and features an o-ring seal and keyed center stud. For a backup you can get these AA to D-cell adapters and use your rechargeable Eneloop AA batteries. These adapters are better than most as they take a pair of AA's instead of singles, increasing the maH capacity over single battery adapters. When you order the adapters, be patient as they are shipped on the sloooow boat from China. 

Bottom line If you've been wanting a super high quality LED lantern this is the one to get. You can buy it on Amazon here.

If you want a cheaper alternative, the ones from Etekcity are quite a value. You get a 4-pack for $25.99 or an upgraded model 4-pack for $31.99. Note they take AA batteries, so no adapters needed.

Amazon reviews are solid 5-stars for either of these lanterns.