Energizer Folding LED Lantern FL452G

As I noted previously we are starting to see LEDs become more widespread in Energizer’s product range, a good trend considering the brand’s ubiquity and the advantages of high power white LEDs. For the purposes of this article I am comparing this battery powered lantern with a more traditional style, a fluorescent Energizer model as shown in the picture below.


On the left is the old model Energizer fluorescent lantern with the new design using high brightness white LEDs on the right. Both use 4 D cells but the lantern on the left also contains a torch and flashing amber warning light. On the other hand the LED lantern has two brightness settings and a “night light” provided. It currently retails for around $40 in NZ. A clear sticker attached to the front of the unit incorrectly claims that the two power settings are obtained by switching on 4 or 8 LEDs when in practice all 8 LEDs are always used at two different power outputs.

The LED lantern has 2 light tubes with 2 white LEDs at each end, a total of 8. The design provides for the light head to be swivelled through 180 degrees in the vertical plane, the rear part of the unit using a built in stand and the battery weight to prevent the unit from tipping over when the head is rotated out from the fully closed position seen above. The unit can also be hung using the handle fitted. A slide switch selects 2 brightness settings and a separate orange coloured night light. As is typical with the brightness settings there is only a small difference in perceivable brightness between the two settings, however it is to be expected that the change in power consumption would be more significant. Energizer claim an output of 50 lumens and a maximum runtime of 245 hours on the lower setting using Energizer Max cells. If used 5 hours a day this equates to about 45 days continuous operation. For comparison, nothing is known about the Energizer fluorescent lamp that is shown on the left of the above picture. It has only one brightness setting, and is presumed to use a fluorescent tube of about 6 watts. In my very unscientific comparison the two units have similar light outputs, the LED unit’s main advantage being the swivel head capability which gives more down facing output when the head is raised to the 90 degree position. Neither light could be considered really suitable for reading unless you are very close to the light; they are more useful for general low power illumination  such as of a tent when carrying out activities that don’t need too much light. The LEDs used in the LED lamp are not particularly high brightness and would not necessarily be more efficient than the fluorescent light unit, although considerably more efficient than older style lanterns using incandescent bulbs.

The main advantage therefore in the LED lantern reviewed is its ruggedness, with the fluorescent tubes in such type lamps being at risk of breakage. Finding replacement tubes can also be difficult should they break or burn out. It is also easier to seal a LED lantern against the weather since no provision for changing the LEDs is necessary due to their very long life.  However Energizer has not made any specific claims about the weathertightness of the LED lantern. The light tubes worked better than expected in giving a good even spread of light along the length of the tube although it was always going to be brighter at the ends. The swivel head works well and is a feature almost never seen on similar fluorescent units. I expect the FL452G will prove useful for years to come in camping type applications.