Nitecore LA10 Lantern/Flashlight Review

Today I have in for review another Nitecore, but from an unusual source.  This one’s from Banggood.  This is one of those lipstick lantern style lights, and accepts AA sized cells.


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

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.


Short Review

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.

Long Review

The Big Table

Nitecore LA10
Emitter: Cree XP-G2 (S3)
Price in USD at publication time: $24.95 – Buy it for $17.95 at BangGood.com!
Cell: AA NiMH
High Runtime Medium Runtime
LVP? No
Switch Type: Twist
On-Board Charging? No
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).

What’s Included

  • Nitecore LA10 Lantern Flashlight
  • Lanyard
  • 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

Officially:
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 isn in the tailcap.

Power and Runtime

I tested this light with an IKEA LADDA NiMH AA sized cell, seen below.  Liion 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
High 135 1h30m 90 2.04
Medium 40 6h 32 0.34
Low 10 23h ~ 0.08

PWM

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.  And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned.  Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!

User Interface and Operation

The LA10 is a twisty.  Just the knurled bit of the tail end of the light operate the output – the other hex shaped bit operate 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 a 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 (Killzone 219b version)

I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Conclusion

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

Notes

  • This light was provided by BangGood for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for BangGood and GearBest coupons. Please subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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