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Olight Olantern Classic 2 Pro review: lantern test
Olight Olantern Classic 2 Pro specifications
|Brand/model||Olight Olantern Classic 2 Pro|
|LED||Warm white filament and SMD|
|Max. Lumens||300 lm|
|Max. Beam intensity / distance||50 cd|
|Battery config.||Built-in Battery|
|Onboard charging||USB type C+Proprietary MCC|
|Review date||July 2022|
One thing I love about Olight is the experience. There’s a few flashlight companies that do what Olight, well, does, and innovation is at the heart of their operation. You only have to follow their online store for a little while to see what they’re all about. Aside from a large group of loyal Olightholics, Olight really makes a light for everyone. It’s not just flashlights either, since Olight makes outdoor or general-purpose lighting, too.
In 2020, Olight released their Olantern. This was a cute little thing that was very Olight, practical, and functional and worked just fine as-is. It was a nice alternative to a full-size propane or liquid fuel lantern, which are relegated to outdoor use only due to the extreme heat and dangerous fumes they produce. However, the adage if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it is not in Olight’s vocabulary, evidenced by their limited and special edition flashlights. Well, their tinkering has now trickled down to the OLantern. Enter the OLantern Classic 2 Pro. I’m chuffed to bits by this new Olantern because I’m a bit of a lantern aficionado, and in an obvious departure from the original Olantern, this thing oozes lantern-y, timeless styling packaged in an absolutely beautiful exterior. Plus it has some very nice (and functional) tint ramping with infinitely pretty ingenious variable brightness. These are feature sets more akin to the Anduril- BLF LT1 without the Anduril quirks. Lanterns have come a long way, and I’m jonesing to dig into this thing, so let’s take a look.
Olight packaging is something everyone should experience. Cracking open an Olight box reminds me of the days of yore when expensive mobile phones came in luxurious, often minimalistic packaging with magnetic closures and soft-touch materials. The Olantern came in a very nice, very sturdy, minimalistic box. No fluff or fanfare. Inside, the typical Olight yellow cover/ intro deal with prep instructions was clipped to the rotary knob switch, with the accessories housed in a separate box.
- Olight Olantern Classic 2 Pro
- MCC charging cable
- USB type C to USB type C charging cable
It’s a complete kit with all the necessities which is nice so you don’t have to buy anything. Since Olight decided to let you charge the Olantern with their MCC or regular USB type C, they included a very high quality and very flexible type C to type C cable. As I expected, everything is nice and tidy-packaged and protected.
Flashlight in use
The Olantern Classic 2 Pro is a lantern so you can use it for a lot of stuff: For household use, it’s a fantastic area light. For camping, it’s an equally awesome tent light or easy-to-tote portable light for the campsite. You can even use it as a nightlight or reading light since it gets pretty dim, and the very warm white mode is very comforting and don’t ask me why, but it’s also very soothing. Unlike my full-size Coleman lantern, I can take the Olantern in the tent without worrying about setting something on fire or being killed by carbon monoxide).
The Olantern is lightweight, compact, and easy to tote around, and has a hang ring and a nice carry handle with a soft silicone rubber pad. This is not only easy on your hands, but it keeps the lantern from sliding around when hung up on a hook. The wide flat base is very stable and has rubber feet for non-skid action. It would take some force to knock it over (they also allow it to sit upright while the MCC charger is connected to the bottom). There’s a single switch to control on/off and the output. It’s a rotary rheostat and the action is super-smooth with a nice click for on/off. There’s a single port on the front below the control knob for the charging input and power bank output, covered by a very generous soft silicone seal with the Olight logo on it. There’s a single LED indicator above the port for on state, battery state, and power bank/charge state. The power bank function is also very handy and will charge any 5 volt device with a USB interface: Walkie talkie, GPS, phone, tablet, flashlight, headphones, you name it. The MCC charging input is on the bottom. Did I mention I love the styling?
Build Quality, and Warranty
When buying an Olight you can be assured it will be a quality item. Every Olight I’ve reviewed has been top-notch in build quality, fit, and finish. The Olantern Classic Pro 2 carries this forward. The fit and finish are excellent, and the burnished, distressed bronze/copper finish looks amazing, and is perfectly applied. The optional colors are forest green and a cerakote-like light gray color. The chimney, “fuel tank” and shade are clad in real metal! The plastic parts are also very sturdy and don’t feel cheaply made. It also passes the maracas and creak test (applying pressure to various areas to check part fit-up). The Olantern is sealed up pretty well, with the charge input power bank output port sealed by a generous rubber cover. It’s still only good enough for an IPX5 rating, good for splashes of water, rain, and high humidity environments. Do not take your Olantern swimming.
Olight’s warranty is one of the best in the industry: 30-day no-hassle returns and a 5-year limited lifetime warranty on most lights. The Olantern falls under their 2-year limited lifetime warranty. Defective lights can be returned for repair within the warranty period, but the buyer pays for shipping. Olight covers the cost of repairs and parts. Even after-warranty support is generous with a 30% discount for a replacement item. Accessories such as pocket clips, holsters, filters, and lanyards etc. are not included under the warranty.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
You don’t get LED specifics with Olight, and it’s the same silent treatment with the Olantern. There’s two types of LEDs at work here: Filament LEDs with SMD LEDs mounted to a PCB at the top of the chimney provide the very warm tint, and SMD LEDs housed in a circular diffuser mounted above the filament LEDs for the cooler warm white light. Filament LEDs are commonly used in retrofit LED lamps designed to replace incandescent lamps. They consist of tiny individual series-connected LEDs bonded to a thin tubular glass or ceramic transparent substrate resembling an incandescent filament. Known as COG-type LEDs (chip on glass), they spread light in a near-360 degree pattern, mimicking an incandescent bulb. They’re low-power and relatively low-output. The filament LEDs are housed in a sturdy (and very clear) plastic globe extending up to the top of the chimney, while the cooler LEDs are mounted outside the globe in a ring-shaped diffuser. No optic or reflector here, folks.
Measuring the tints with the Opple Lightmaster III shows the warmer white filament LEDs producing , with the tint right at 1844K and 89.9 RA. The duv is 0.0029 so closer to the orange/yellow end of the spectrum. The cooler warmer white comes in at 3001K and 82.5 RA, so reminiscent of an incandescent bulb in CCT The duv is 0.0012. The beam isn’t really a beam per-se, just a nice broadcast of pleasant light like a lantern. Each tint has a unique light pattern, and once again, it’s very lantern-y, more so than the first Olantern. Well done Olight!
Dimensions and size comparison
|Olight Olantern 2 PRO||Millimeters||Inches|
|Olight Olantern 2 PRO||Grams||Oz.|
|With battery||751||1 lb 10.5 oz|
I compared the OIantern Classic 2 Pro to a mule and a real lantern, my 1980’s vintage Coleman 288 liquid fuel lantern.
Left to right: Olantern Classic 2 Pro, Coleman 288
Driver & User Interface:
There’s no mention of the driver, so I can’t say for sure what’s under the hood, but if I could venture in opinion, it’s probably a constant-current buck driver since the battery output is 4.2 volts.
The UI is as simple as it gets. No modes, no clicking, nada. Turn the knob clockwise to make it brighter or counterclockwise to make it dimmer.
Available modes: Infinitely variable brightness with dual tint: Orange Light Warm White
- Turn the rotary switch clockwise: Turns on in Orange light Low mode
- Turn the rotary switch clockwise: Increases brightness from low to high in Orange Light mode
- Turning the rotary switch past the 7 o’clock position transitions to the Warm White Low mode. Continuing to turn the switch will stop at Warm White High mode
- Turn the rotary switch counterclockwise: Decreases brightness
- Turn the rotary switch fully counterclockwise: Turns off
Low voltage warning:
- The LED indicator below the rotary knob shows the battery state.
- Solid green is 100% to 15%,
- solid red is 15% to 5%,
- and blinking red is 5% to 0%
Additional info on the UI:
- Again, the UI is super simple and that’s how it should be. nI really like the rotary switch since it mimics (pretty brilliantly) the operation of a real lantern: The brighter it gets, the tint changes from warmer to cooler (just like a real gas or liquid fuel lantern) between the 1800K (orange) tint to the 3000K (warm white) tint. The tint ramping is very nicely implemented as well. You get the 1800K tint at turn on until about the 7 o’clock position on the knob, and from there it very softly dims the 1800K tint and softly transitions to the 3000K tint. The two tints do not commingle, so you get one or the other with infinitely variable brightness between the two. A superbly-executed lantern interface.
Batteries & Charging
The Olight Olantern Classic 2 Pro features an integrated battery pack, and according to Olight it’s 4, 18650 batteries, most likely in parallel. It’s pretty stout, rated for 3.6 volts and 11,200 mAh or 40.32 Wh (roughly 2800 mAh per cell). That’s a good-sized battery and should provide a ton of runtime.
In addition, on the powerbank side, you should be able to charge a bunch of devices (mobile phone, walkie-talkies, radio, laptop, tablet, portable speaker, headphones, GPS, etc.).
You get two flavors of charging interface: Olight’s MCC charging or USB type C. I’m glad to see Olight using something other than their proprietary MCC system. They include both types, so even though everyone and their grandma’s uncle’s best friend’s former roommate has a USB type C cable somewhere, most of us probably don’t have an MCC cable.
The type C input and power bank output is QC 2.0 and 3.0 compatible, so 3V 5A, 9V 2A, or 12V 1.5A. The type A output, like the type C, is rated for 5V 2.4A, 9V 2A, and 12V 1.5A for a max output of 24 watts. The MCC input is the typical 5V 2A and I saw 5 volts 1.4 amps on a 2.4 A charger. Olight says the battery should charge in about 4 hours on 12V 1.5A input, so pretty speedy! I charged a few devices with the Olantern and got around 5V 1.5A. The fully drained battery recharged at 9 volts 2.3 amps on the type C input using a 45 W PD adapter.
I had to get creative in testing the Olantern in my 50 cm integrating sphere, placing it down in the aperture resting on the edge of the shade. I use a Digi-Sense 20250–00 datalogging lux meter, and the sphere has been calibrated with several lights of known output (believe me when I say a lantern is tough to calibrate for). I ran the test using the fully charged internal battery and tested the highest outputs for each tint. No current measurements this time due to the sealed current path.
|Mode||Specs||Lumens @turn on||Lumens @30 sec||Lumens @10 minutes|
|Warm White Low||130||142.4||142.4||–|
|Warm White High||300||318.4||314.2||310.6|
I tested the runtimes in my 50 cm integrating sphere. I use a Digi-Sense 20250 datalogging lux meter. I ran the test using the fully charged internal battery and tested the highest output for each tint since the lowest modes would run for days.
|Mode||Specified runtime||Measured runtime (ANSI)||Time till shut off|
|Orange High||23h||14h1min||14h1 min|
|Warm White High||25h||17h56min||17h56 min|
Olight’s runtime figures seem to be very optimistic since I’m coming in several hours short of the advertised figures. The shutdown for the orange light was pretty abrupt, whereas the warm white light dimmed quite a bit before shutdown.
ANSI FL1 standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turning on). This does not mean that the flashlight is not usable anymore. The last column shows how long the light actually works till it shuts off. If there is a + symbol, it means that the test was stopped at that particular point, but the light was actually still running. This happens on certain occasions, with certain drivers, firmware, or batteries.
Throw numbers: Peak beam intensity
I tested candela and throw using the Uni-T UT383S luxmeter indoors at 2 meters. Readings taken at 30 seconds. I used the fully charged internal battery.
|High 1800K||?||28 cd||10.53||11.51|
|High 3000K||?||48 cd||13.85||15.14|
Olight only lists a single candela figure of 50 cd and 14 meters. This is a lantern, not a thrower, so no surprises. The Low modes on either tint were way too low to pick up even at 2 meters.
Extra info: Peak beam distance according to ANSI FL1 standards: The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object).
I compared the Olantern Classic 2 Pro against a real camping lantern, a Coleman 288. I also compared it to the FireFlies PL09MU mule with the lampshade diffuser. The camera settings are identical for each photo. The Olantern produces a decent amount of light, but the Coleman lantern is much brighter in person (and produces tons of heat and poisonous gasses).
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Olight. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Gorgeous classic lantern design
- Excellent fit and finish
- Regulated output
- Awesome UI
- Dual tint with infinitely variable brightness
- High-capacity battery with power bank
- USB type C with QC charging and MCC charging
- Runtimes came up short
- Could be brighter
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
5 stars: ★★★★★
Olight once again has proven why they are the preeminent portable lighting manufacturer. The Olantern Classic 2 Pro is a perfect example of Olight putting their collective creativity and innovative thinking together and releasing a lantern that’s not only functional but beautiful. I have been waiting a while for someone to produce a lantern like this, one that takes modern LED and lithium-ion battery technology and packages it in a retro-styled lantern like the ones I’ve been using since I was knee-high to mayfly. I like space-age designs with form and function, but there’s something about the retro styling I love that brings out major nostalgia..
The UI is simple and effective, and the LED tint ramping mimics a real lantern pretty closely. Moreover, I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven seeing USB type C (with QC and PD, no less) on an Olight (and yes, the MCC is there too). The runtimes didn’t come out to spec, and although it’s adequately bright, I think I’d like a little more light to make it even more useful. Even so, I can see the Olantern Classic 2 Pro accompanying us on many camping trips and adventures. 5 stars for the Olantern Classic 2 Pro.
Olight Olantern Classic 2 PRO For Sale
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1lumen selects and reviews products personally. We may earn affiliate commissions through our links, which help support our testing.