Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Review: Jill Lite - Constel LED micro lantern

As a part of my care package, this very cool item was waiting for me having arrived from HorNest in Singapore. This is the Jill Lite Constel which is a pocket sized, LED powered lantern. 

The idea of a lantern that can fit in my pocket is pretty appealing, whilst there are a lot of options for using a flashlight to light up a room, but they are not purpose built. Even the Lazerbrite end caps with the glow-domes are accessories, and whilst awesome, are part of a bigger system.

These Type II / III anodized AL6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminium bodied lights are roughly bullet shaped, with a plastic dome light diffuser and a two part metal body. The light source is a 3W white LED, situated in the center of the barrel, and is wired in to use the whole of the unit as a heat sink. O-rings at the dome and end-cap provide a water seal that is rated for approximately 10 meters submersion, which is a lot, when you think about it. Deeper than a number of my "waterproof" watches over the years can go.
 A lithium CR123A  battery powers the unit, and provides between 30-40 hours and is activated by rotating the end cap. 

The end cap itself has some cool features, some attention to detail that I really appreciate. The split ring held in the middle is captivated by a raises island machined right out of the base, but not so much as to make it a protection risk when standing the lamp up on its own, which it does on two wide crenelations on the bezel

Those crenelations have slots cut into them, for lanyard strapping, and greatly resemble the handles on a beer keg
Over all the lantern is a miniscule 55mm long, and 22mm in diameter and has a really solid, rugged feel. I wouldn't be throwing it -at- things, in case the plastic end cap broke, but I certainly feel it could not only be lobbed a fair way, but would withstand a bunch of dropping, standing and "lost in the bottom of your pack" time. 

Then there is the light. For a 3W LED, encased in a translucent dome, this little lantern kicks out a whole bunch of light. Here it is sitting on a Dead Person Jar , on my bed, lights on, and off. Certainly enough output to not only navigate, but also to do pretty much anything but paint well. 
 I can see this lantern finding an excellent home in my camping kit, as it would be perfect for illuminating the inside of a tent, or the cook-fire, dining table, not to mention for late-night trips to answer natures call.

It is small enough, tough enough and powerful enough, that I want to add it to my EDC, and have it on hand, just in case, even with my already fearsome array of illumination ...

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