Guide Gear 12-LED Lantern, retail $17.97 (
Manufactured by (Unknown) for Sportsman's Guide (
Last updated 06-03-04

The 12-LED lantern is...well...a lantern. :-)
It features 12 white LEDs aiming outward inside a diffusing column, and is powered by four AA cells. It comes in a dark green and black plastic case, with a transparent globe or cylindrical window around the outside, and a milky translucent hood over the top of the unit.

The four AA cells this lantern feeds from are not included with it, so be sure you have them or go buy some before you try this lantern out.


To turn the lantern on, turn the rotary switch knob on the lantern's front to the right. It has a 5-step dimmer, so the lantern starts dim and brightens in five stages as you continue to turn the knob.

To turn the lantern off, turn the rotary switch knob all the way to the left, so the white dot on it is directly under the word "OFF" on the lantern's front. The knob will make a soft but audible "click" sound and present a tactile sensation when you move it to the "off" position.

The lantern is equipped with a handle so you can easily carry it around, or hang it from something. This handle folds down when not needed. It also comes with a removeable hook, with an open-end width of 3/4 of an inch, so you can attach it to the top of the handle and hang the lantern from any object or projection (tent ceiling, pipe, branch, etc.) that isn't more than 3/4 of an inch in diameter.

To change the batteries in the 12-LED lantern, unscrew and remove the bottom, and throw it away...O WAIT, YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set it aside instead. ;-)

If necessary, remove the four used AA cells from the lantern's body, and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit. Install four new AA cells into the battery compartment, aligning each cell so its flat (-) negative side faces the leaf spring in the chamber for it. Polarity markings are also embossed on the bottom of each chamber, so it's kinda hard to screw it up. When all four cells are in, screw the bottom of the lantern firmly back on, and be done with it. Aren't you glad you didn't get rid of that bottom piece now? ;-)

The lantern did not come with packaging, so I don't know what the expected battery life is.

Current draw at the 5 settings is:

30mA on setting 1 (dimmest or lowest setting)
74mA on setting 2
140mA on setting 3
181mA on setting 4
228ma on setting 5 (brightest or highest setting)

This lantern appears at least reasonably durable, and ordinary flashlight accidents (like knocks, bumps, short-distance falls, light kicks, etc.) should not do it in.
No guarantees here, but I think you'll be alright.

The lantern should offer some light splash-resistance, and some light rain resistance too. But I don't believe it's totally weatherproof, waterproof, or submersible. So please try to keep it away from creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, oceansides, docks, puddles of horse pee, snowbanks, mud puddles, tubs, toilets, sinks, fishtanks, pet water dishes, or other places where water or water-like liquids might be found. If it does become flooded, remove the battery door, remove the batteries themselves, unscrew and remove the globe assembly, and set the parts in a warm, dry place for a few days just to be certain the lantern is completely dry when you reassemble it. If it fell in seawater or if something peed on it, douche the pieces off in fresh water before setting them out to dry.

I dropped the lantern in a very partially full bathtub (less than 2" of water) while setting up for a beam photograph. I rinsed it off under the faucet in the bathroom basin, and no malfunction was caused and as far as I can tell, no water got inside.

The handle at the top of the lantern is removeable if desired. Gently pull one side of the handle away from the lantern's body, until it emits a faint but audible snap sound and is clear of the receptacle for it. The other side of the handle will slide out of its receptacle with a light but positive snap when you pull the handle in that direction. Store the handle in a safe location until you're ready to use it again. To reattach the handle to the lantern, insert one end of it into the receptacle for it at the top of the lantern (so it clicks into place), gently pull the other side of the handle and move its end into the other receptacle, then relieve pressure on the handle. It should "spring" into place, and automatically seat itself into the receptacle when you press it in lightly.

I broke the hanging hook when retrieving the lantern from my tub, and I wasn't at all abusive or hasty in retrieving the lantern. The hook just broke off in my hand, and I had both pieces of it still in my hand when I placed the lantern in the bathroom basin to be rinsed off.

Here's a picture of the hook - or should I say, what's left of it, anyway.

The lantern has a five-stage brightness control. When you first turn the lantern on (the knob is at its leftmost position right after coming on), it is at its dimmest. If you turn the knob to the right, the lantern will continue to brighten in four additional steps. If you already have the knob at its rightmost position (brightest), you can turn it to the left to dim the lantern. This does not appear to be an analogue method like a , but appears to be digitally controlled in some manner, or five resistors are in there to select the five brightnesses.

"Beam" photo on a wall at ~5'.
This photograph isn't the best, as it was still daylight when it was taken.

Photograph of lantern's output in a bathtub enclosure.
The vertical yellow stripe is some low-level ambient light that got through the bathroom door.

Test sample was purchased on 05-27-04 because a Candlepower Forums member wanted it evaluated, and was received on 06-01-04.

UPDATE: 00-00-00


Hanging hook is easy to break :-(

    PRODUCT TYPE: Miniature LED lantern
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm white LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 12
    SWITCH TYPE: Rotary on/off/dimmer knob on front
    BEZEL: LEDs protected by diffusing column and clear plastic globe
    BATTERY: 4x AA cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 30mA, 74mA, 140mA, 181mA, 228mA
    SUBMERSIBLE: Unknown, but probably not
    ACCESSORIES: Hanging hook
    WARRANTY: Unknown/not stated


    Star Rating

Guide Gear 12-LED Lantern *

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