Nitecore LA10 Lantern Review
Nitecore has released the LA10, a “lipstick style” lantern that runs on a single AA cell. Read on for some testing on this little light!
Official Specs and Features
There are two versions of this light. There’s the LA10, which I have here, and the LA10 CRI, which is the same light but with a higher CRI rating.
There are other sizes though, which accept other-sized cells – if AA doesn’t work for you, you have options.
This is a neat little light, which is a fairly limited and specific use scenario. If that scenario fits your needs, then this one is a fine choice.
The Big Table
|Emitter:||Cree XP-G2 (S3)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$24.95 – Buy it for $17.95 at BangGood.com!|
|High Runtime||Medium Runtime|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||135|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||90 (66.7% of claim)^|
|Claimed Throw (m)||10|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||28lux @ 1.153m = 37cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||12.2 (122% of claim)^|
|All my Nitecore reviews!|
^ Measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).
- Nitecore LA10 Lantern Flashlight
- Spare o-ring
- Manual and paperwork
Package and Manual
Standard Nitecore package. BangGood seems to have added a sticker to the side of the box.
The manual is also very standard for Nitecore. LA10/LA10 CRI share a manual. Here are the English parts:
Build Quality and Disassembly
The diffuser is thick (ish) and extends easily. I do wish there was another way to get the extension out – the twisty tailcap and the twisty for the diffuser are too close for my preference.
Not much to report on build quality.
The threads on the tailcap are very smooth. Anodized, so a mechanical lockout is really how the light turns off.
The tailcap has a nice spring, and the magnet under there doesn’t seem to be removable.
Size and Comps
Length 78.5 mm
Head Size 22.6 mm
Weight 42.7 g
Retention and Carry
My thoughts about this light lead me to believe the primary means for retention is the magnet in the tailcap. It’s a very strong magnet and holds the light very well.
I would like some sort of loop aside from the lanyard hole though, for hanging the light from things like tent internals, etc. But in all honesty, this could easily be facilitated with a steel loop and the magnet.
The lanyard hole is in the tailcap.
Power and Runtime
I tested this light with an IKEA LADDA NiMH AA-sized cell, seen below. Lithium-ion cells like 14500 will not work.
The cell goes in this way, with the positive terminal into the light. The tailcap magnet pulls the cell out when removed.
I tested the light on High and Medium. Fairly standard results, including the indication that the light doesn’t have LVP. Not such a terrible deal with NiMH as it is with the larger LiIon cells.
The runtime on medium is quite strange…. I fully charged the cell, dropped it into the light, and performed the medium test. Output is about right, but the run is vastly too short. Nothing about the run is spectacular, either. No excessive heat, etc. I’ll likely try to retest on medium and see what’s up – also note that the cell was fully discharged, so the energy went somewhere….
Low Voltage Protection was not observed in the runtimes or on bench power.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
No PWM was observed in any mode.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find. I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light. Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line. I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.
User Interface and Operation
The LA10 is a twisty. Just the knurled bit of the tail end of the light operates the output – the other hex-shaped bit operates the diffuser in or out. These parts are too close for me, and the light absolutely requires two hands for me to use.
The UI is, of course, dead simple. Tighten the base for on. Loosen the base for off. If after turning the light off, you then turn it back on within 2 seconds, the mode will be advanced in an LMH. There is no mode memory.
LED and Beam
The emitter is a Cree XP-G2. It’s behind a thick diffuser, and there’s no scenario where the emitter is exposed in a “normal flashlight way”. So the output is basically “diffused” or “really diffused.”
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Nice build quality
- Very diffuse, purpose-built light
- NiMH support
What I don’t like
- Output is low and you have to really need a lantern to need this light
- Limited retention mechanisms
- This light was provided by BangGood for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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