Good light and great customer service

We had a power outage just over a week ago, and when I got my new “emergency” light out of the bucket, it didn’t work. It left me far less than happy because it had only been received back around the first of August. I had tried it out, charged it up fully, and put away for emergencies… seemed like what it was for.

I contacted customer service of both the distributor and the manufacturer with my complaint. Within the first 24 hours I had a response. They asked for a video, so I showed them one of me pushing the button and the unit not turning on. They replacement was authorized that same day, shipped as two day priority, and arrived Friday. I thought that was pretty good turnaround for two companies based out of southern China. Fortunately they had a US distribution warehouse in LA.

Who & What:

 

<< the Photo is a link       [BW provide a really nice presentation… You get a lot more information there than I could possibly put on this post]

Mine came from BangGood and they were the ones who ended up making good on the replacement.

Two of the features that most appealed to me in this unit were that it could be used as a power bank for charging up electronics, and that it had a red light mode to preserve your night vision. That extra utility helped make it appealing, not only as an emergency light, but also as something to take hammocking. The power button is a large, ball-point pen style clicky on one end. It is water proof/ covered by a glow-in-the-dark rubberized cap. [In my experience, by the time it is full dark and you need the light, the glow-in-the-dark cap has glowed out during twilight and can no longer be seen. You can punch it right back up with a quick exposure to a pocket flashlight though]. The other end of the cylinder is a tightly fitting, screw down cap that covers the charging port and power bank outlets. The power button end has a nice stainless steel bale for clipping on a carabiner, or to run a piece of line through to suspend the light from a branch.

The only “cons” to the BW-LT5 is that it is a bit heavy at 4.5 ounces [128gm] and the light source is directional… just one side of the device illuminates. I think I would’ve preferred full 360° lighting myself. [EDIT: an additional minor downside to this unit is that the clicky switch has to be cycled through all five modes to turn the device off.]

The original unit failed in that it would flash the four blue light pulses which supposedly indicated a full charge. However it would only do this when plugged into a USB outlet, and even then would neither turn on as a the light or provide charge-out as a power bank. The new unit works flawlessly. The failure of the original is actually puzzling because these things are built as solidly as the proverbial brick outhouse. I really don’t anticipate the replacement unit also failing.

Despite the inconvenience of the original device having failed, at the current [BangGood] price of just under $13 US, I still think the Blitz Wolf LT-5 is an incredibly good deal.

[you can buy these units on Amazon but the cost is nearly $30, and since BangGood ships from youthe US anyway and obviously stands behind their products, buying from them seems to be a 90%/50% deal].

 

This is probably an appropriate place to throw in an update as well. All the way back in August 2014 I posted about receiving a damaged SingFire LED Solar Powered Camping Lantern

[you can read the original post here ]

It too had been intended as an emergency light in case of power outages. As I indicated at the time, after a bunch of hassle I was able to make it function, but it has never worked quite right. You sometimes have to jikky with the knob to get it to even turn on, and the variable illumination control is pretty variable in its performance.

This came from my original go-to Chinese outlet in Sham Shui Po, DX [or Deal Extreme].

I’m happy to say that they also stood by their product, and while it took a couple of months for a second delivery, they did replace the unit with a brand-new one that worked right out of the box and still functions perfectly. I was even allowed to keep the original because of the ridiculous cost of reverse shipping.

File_000 (18)

Both the original and the replacement can take on a full charge in about 4 to 6 hours out the sunlight. They seem to give a bit more than four hours when run at medium to high. I do not actually keep the four AA batteries in the units as backup power. My battery drawer is right here at hand if the solar charge should give out too quickly. The batteries add quite a bit of weight, and I’m always concerned that they might corrode from disuse and damage the light between emergencies.

As I noted originally, this lamp is far too large for backpacking but gives a very nice illumination in a campground site. I’m one of those people who absolutely loath it when one of my campground neighbors turns on their Coleman SuperNova Klieglight that casts harsh shadows at 100 yards. The SingFire Lantern is bright enough for most purposes, and still allows you to be a good neighbor. It gets a recommendation because the replacement unit works so nicely. The link above shows that it comes in the slightly changed form now, but the price point is still about what I paid…. under $20US. However, if you only want one of these lights, buy the BlitzWolf since it gives comparable illumination, is backpack friendly, and also doubles as a power bank.

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