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NiteCore LA10 CRI Lantern

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: NiteCore LA10 CRI Lantern light

Lipstick size, light weight, common battery type, excellent performance, high color accuracy, magnetic tailcap. 9/30/85 lumens, up to 23 hours runtime at 9 lumens (low power mode) on one alkaline AA. Can be used as a flashlight or lantern, with retractable diffuser.

Pros

  • Small size, light weight, common battery type, high color accuracy, can be used as directional floodlight or area light.

Cons

  • Discontinued (but still available at retail)

 

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Nitecore LA10 CRI lantern/flashlight

The Nitecore LA10 CRI is a lipstick-sized, single AA (LR6) battery light which has a retractable solid white diffuser, so that it can be used as either a directional flood light with the diffuser retracted into the anodized aluminium body, or as an area light with the diffuser extended. It has a magnetic tailcap for attaching to steel objects, so it can be used hands-free. It comes in black, red, or blue.

The LA10 CRI uses a Nichia 219B LED with a Color Rendition Index (CRI) of >90, for accurate color rendition, which is much more pleasant and less fatiguing to the eyes after a long day. Most LED lights do not have a high CRI, and make it difficult to distinguish colors accurately; if you have never used a high CRI LED, the difference is remarkable.

It has three brightness modes, 9 lumens, 30 lumens, or 85 lumens, and it will run for up to 23 hours at 9 lumens, up to 6 hours at 30 lumens, or up to 1.5 hours at 85 lumens on a single AA (LR6) battery (ANSI/NEMA FL1 test, 1.2 V @ 2450 mAh cell). The low power mode is more than enough to see around the inside of your tent at night, and if your needs for a light are modest, the LA10 CRI is easily capable of serving as your only light.

The unit weighs just 42.7 g without a battery, and an Energizer L91 lithium AA will add just 15 g. If you carry a backup battery, that's a total of 72.7 g (2.56 oz). Nitecore explicitly states the LA10 CRI may be used with lithium AA batteries. It has an IPX6 waterproofness rating, so it can be used in the rain, and it measures just 22.6 mm (0.88 in) in diameter by 78.5 mm (3.09 in) in length (diffuser retracted). It has a lanyard hole, so you can thread a fine cord through it to attach the light to other objects.

The light has a physical switch, so there is no parasitic drain when it is off, and it has no memory function, so it always turns on in Low power mode, which is best for saving your night vision and your battery life.

I highly recommend this light, which I have been using now for several months under a variety of conditions. Because of its small size, light weight, common battery type, and high CRI, and excellent operational design, it has quickly become one of my primary lights for travel and backcountry use. The unit plus two batteries weighs barely more than a single beeswax candle for my old UCO Candle Lantern, and provides more light for a longer time without the danger of dealing with a candle flame and its heat.

The only downside to this light is that Nitecore has discontinued it, but it is still available at retail, so long as supplies last.

Background

Over 20 years of using LED lights.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $30 USD

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Specs

Price Current Retail: $29.99

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