Lumintop CL2 Lantern Review

Lumintop CL2 Lantern Review

Lumintop has made the CL2 Lantern, a flashlight that runs on AA cells or 14500 cells, and can charge 14500 via USB-C! Read on for testing!


Official Specs and Features of the Lumintop CL2 Lantern

Here’s a link to the Lumintop CL2 Lantern product page.

Versions

Only one version is available, but it’s available as a kit (with 14500 cells) or without.

Price

With four 14500 cells, the kit comes in at $95.95.  Without cells, the price is $65.95.

Short Review

I always thought I’d love the LT1 lantern, but that’s a lithium-ion-only lantern.  The Lumintop CL2 Lantern runs on 14500 cells as well as AA (1.5V) cells, which makes it more versatile.  It’ll also run on any number from 1 to 4 cells (but don’t mix lithium-ion and AA cells!)  I think it’s a great little lantern!

Lumintop CL2 Lantern Long Review

The Big Table

Lumintop CL2 Lantern
Emitter: Luminus SST-20 (4)
Price in USD at publication time: $95.95
Cell: 4×14500
Turbo Runtime Graph High Runtime Graph
LVP? Warning
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): 48uA
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
Charge Graph
Power off Charge Port with cells: all modes
without cells: Lowest 3 modes
without body: Lowest 3 modes
Claimed Lumens (lm) 650
Measured Lumens (at 30s)
Claimed Throw (m)
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 31lux @ 2.804m = 244cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 31.2
All my Lumintop reviews!

 

Lumintop CL2 Lantern
Emitter: Luminus SST-20
Price in USD at publication time: $95.95
Cell: 4xAA
Turbo Runtime Graph (Using only one NiMH AA)
LVP? Switch Warning
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): 13.9uA
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
Charge Graph
Power off Charge Port
Claimed Lumens (lm) 90
Measured Lumens (at 30s)
Claimed Throw (m)
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 4lux @ 2.342m = 22cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 9.4
All my Lumintop 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

Lumintop CL2 Lantern what's included

  • Lumintop CL2 Lantern
  • 14500 (four)
  • Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Spare o-ring
  • Manual

Package and Manual

Lumintop CL2 Lantern manual Lumintop CL2 Lantern manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

Lumintop CL2 Lantern

The Lumintop CL2 Lantern is a hefty little lantern!  The build quality is nice – no real complaints there.

Here’s the top-down view.

Check that knurling – it’s big and quite grippy.  The diamond pattern has sort of a turned-up edge (much like Acebeam lights) and provides nice grip without being aggressive.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern top side

The only separation I was able to make on the Lumintop CL2 Lantern is the head from the body.  I would love to see these emitters, but I’m not sure how to get to them.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern threads

The threads here are smooth and well lubed, and quite long.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern threads detail

Inside, the parts you can see the contact points (brass on the head, springs on the tail), and some markings that indicate cell orientation.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern internals Lumintop CL2 Lantern internals Lumintop CL2 Lantern internals Lumintop CL2 Lantern internals

Size and Comps

Size: 137.55539mm
Net weight: 222g without batteries

If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo).  If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).

Lumintop CL2 Lantern in hand

Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+.  Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple.  A very nice 18650 light.

And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light.  I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern beside torchlab boss 35

Retention and Carry

As this is a lantern, I’d imagine most of the time it’ll be sitting on a table or hanging from a hook.  For the latter, there’s this hook ring that flips up on the top.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern hook ring Lumintop CL2 Lantern hook ring

The ring is very sturdy.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern hook ring

Not only does the balance of the light (with most of the weight in the cell holding area) keep it securely on a flat surface, there’s also a 1/4″ tripod hole.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern tripod screw hole

Power and Runtime

Power for the Lumintop CL2 Lantern comes from 14500 cell(s).  My package included these four 920mAh Lumintop branded cells.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern with 14500 cells

These are button-top cells.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern 14500 cell

However, the Lumintop CL2 Lantern will operate on 1.5V cells too.  NiMH, primary cells, whatever – they’ll work.  Do not mix the two, though…  In fact, I wouldn’t mix

Lumintop CL2 Lantern 14500 cell

Lumintop CL2 Lantern 14500 cells installed

The nature of the output on this lantern means my testing setup is not suitable for a calibrated reading.  I adjusted my 30-second value to the manufacturer claim… (I may edit these to just be relative output; undecided on that just yet!)  Anyway, the profile is more important (as the output, whether exactly specifically the claim or not, is reasonable based on what I am seeing.)

Lumintop CL2 Lantern runtime graph

Each of these runtimes demonstrated a low voltage switch warning (blinking red) but the light didn’t seem to shut off.  That said, the output switches to Low (around 145 minutes above, 155 minutes below).  Once the light switches to Low, it goes on and on and on.  Graphing that would skew the visuals, so I’ve cut the graph after the final stepdown.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern runtime graph Lumintop CL2 Lantern runtime graph

Here’s where I am confused a bit.  The second-lowest mode should last 15 hours per the manual.  I figured, no problem, I’ll test that.  At around 17 hours, and knowing my computer couldn’t handle the data, I stopped the test.  Interestingly, the cells were all still very high voltage – 3.87V, so there was a lot of runtime at 10 or so lumens remaining.  This level is a reasonable “around the camp” level, based on my experience with the Lumintop CL2 Lantern.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern runtime graph

I also threw in one runtime graph with an AA cell – An Ikea LADDA NiMH.  And yes, I used just one cell.  With a parallel battery setup like this light has, the cells being married isn’t as important.  Regardless, I didn’t want to mix cells of various ages, and capacities…. AND since the light will work fine on one cell, I was interested to see what that looks like.  I would expect that adding another NiMH cell to this would prolong the runtime at “90 lumens” for another hour or so – and every cell after that for another hour.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern runtime graph

In all cases, there was a blinking switch for a low voltage warning.

Also just to be clear, and so I say it again – Do not mix the cells in this light.  Don’t put any number of 14500 cells in with any number of AA cells.

Charging

Built-in charging is a nice feature of the Lumintop CL2 Lantern.  The charging is by way of a USB-C port on the side.

This charge port cover is fine – it presses in very nicely.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern charge port

An appropriate cable is included – USB to USB-C.

If you buy the kit, you’ll receive four 14500 cells.  These cells also have micro-USB charging.  I didn’t test that, but I did test the USB-C charging.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern 14500 micro-USB charge port

Charging works fine.  You’ll note in one test there is what looks to be a pause before charging really ramps up.  That’s probably a “soft start” that gets the cells up from a lower voltage (in this case, I think from around 2.9V) to something higher, where a higher current can be used.  Also interesting is charge termination – it’s a hard cutoff.  But, the cells are essentially charged – their voltages are a little “low” but the energy required to get them to 4.2V is negligible.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern charging graph

Also threw in a test of C to C. This works fine, and looks about like the other charging method.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern charging graph

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps @4.2V
Turbo 650 1m50s, 2m30s, 2h10m 5.45
HIgh 400 4m, 2h10m 2.43
Med 160 2h40m 0.72
Low 10 15h 0.04
Moonlight 2 20d 3.25mA

 

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps @1.5V
Turbo 90 5h3m, 1h30m 1.62^
HIgh 50 10h, 1h30m 0.79
Med 20 22h 0.35
Low 5 48h 0.09
Moonlight 2 28d 16.73mA

^ When testing with bench power on turbo for the “AA” setting (ie, 1.5V) things just seemed a bit confused.  I think 1.62A is approximately the right value, but the bench power was jumping around, confused.

Pulse Width Modulation

There’s no PWM on any mode with any cell being used.  Yay!

AA:

14500:

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).  10ms5ms2ms1ms0.5ms0.2ms.  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

Lumintop uses an e-switch on the CL2 Lantern.  It’s a fairly big switch and has the bunny logo.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern e-switch

The switch is proud and easy to find.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern e-switch

The switch has an indication feature too.  As seen below in green, it can also be lit red.  I think the green is on top and the red is toward the bottom.  I find red to be a little brighter than green.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern e-switch indication feature

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click On (Mode Memory)
On Hold Off
Off Hold Moonlight
On (Except moonlight) Double Click Turbo
Turbo Click Return to the previous mode
Moonlight Double Click Strobe
Strobe Click Strobe advance (Strobe>SOS>Beacon)
On Click Mode advance (LMH)
Off Double Click Manual conflict notification:
Manual says 2 things here.
1) Double click from off gets Turbo
2) Double click from off gets Battery estimate.
Actual: Double click from off gets battery estimate!^
Off Hold for 5s Lockout
Lockout Hold for 5s Unlock

^ Battery estimate as follows:
3 blinks: 50-90%
2 blinks: 10-50%
1 blink: <10%

Blinks are in green, and the battery check works for 1.5V and 4.2V both. (!!!)

LED and Beam

Lumintop has used four Luminus SST-20 emitters in the CL2 lantern.  I can’t figure out how to access them, though.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern

The emitters are very well diffused, but it is possible to see the individual emitters if you look closely.

Lumintop CL2 Lantern

Lumintop CL2 Lantern on in hand

LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)

This is a great color report.  Very high CRI, output near the black body line (but just under!) and under 4000K.  This is very good.

Beamshots

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

AA:

14500:

Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)

I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.

AA:

14500:

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

Conclusion on the Lumintop CL2 Lantern

What I like

  • Runs on 14500 as well as AA cells!
  • Full performance level on any number of cells
  • USB-C charging is quick
  • C to C charging works
  • Good size for a lantern
  • Nice warmish output
  • Not overly complicated user interface

What I don’t like

  • Can’t charge AA cells (understandable, of course)
  • Hold for off

Notes

  • This light was provided by Lumintop for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
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5 thoughts on “Lumintop CL2 Lantern Review”

  1. Do all these multi-cell lights just connect all cells in parallel like this thing seems to?
    If handled incorrectly, that’s going to break your lithium cells at best and is a fire hazard at worst.
    If the cells are at different voltages there will be very high equalizing currents.

    1. No, all these multicell lights don’t just connect all the cells in parallel. Some are in series. Some are even mixed like 2s2p (so both series and parallel).

    2. Victor Van Natter

      Not really. Putting lithium ion cells in parallel is fine and won’t break them. Even with huge disparity between cells, the currents are generally quite small. And a person should not be putting cells in of high SOC differences anyway. But there will be no fire and no breaking

  2. Victor Van Natter

    Great review! I have to wonder though. Your readings show 5.45A on turbo. If there are 4 x sst-20 4k, that around 150-200 lumens per emitter. That requires about 500ma of current. So total would be 2A. You’re reading more than double.
    That’s also going really easy on both the emitters and the batteries as that’s shared between 4 parallel 14500s making each give 500ma.
    So not only do your readings not seem to show what we should be seeing, but having that quick step down seems silly. I know it adds to the runtime but that’s what high is for. And even that steps down.
    I can’t say I like that feature and it would cause me to not be interested in such a light. The BLF LT1 uses a much better battery size(albeit losing the use of standard AA which is a nice feature even though it can’t charge them), and proper flat regulation on high.
    This is a negative on lumintop. You did am excellent review thank you.

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