Sofirn BLF LT1ii Beacon lantern – a new benchmark in rechargeable LED lantern design. Customer reviews
Together with members of one of the biggest and most active torch forums in the world, Sofirn has shifted the paradigm on electronic lanterns (truly!)
After three years, thousands of forum posts on BudgetLightForum.Com (BLF) and several prototypes, Sofirn – whom I have the honour to represent in SA – produced the BLF LT1 which shows just how... unimpressive other lanterns are. I've called it the "Beacon" because it really is a beacon of excellence in an ocean of mediocrity. And it's sweet.
And now, after another two eventful years, they’ve launched Version Two, with upgraded hardware and software, to make the BLF LT1 even sweeter!!
The Beacon's features include:
- a body entirely made of hard-anodised aircraft-grade aluminium, except for the heavy-duty diffuser, giving you a lantern that will shrug off a highveld storm
- eight of Samsung's latest LH351D LEDs delivering 600 lumens of light all night without dimming, which is more than enough for any campsite or home situation
- infinitely variable colour tint from neutral white (5000K) to warm white (2700K) with a colour rendering index of 90 for colour-critical applications like photos and romantic dinners!
- a new “Simple Mode” which allows you to control the brightness of the light, adjust the colour tint and check the voltage of the batteries
- an “Advanced Mode” giving you access to a host of special features and the ability to re-program almost every aspect of the operation
- fully adjustable fun features include a flickering candlelight, a flashing beacon and a “sunset mode” to turn off the lantern after you’ve gone to sleep
- re-programming allows you to change the way the light gets dimmer and brighter (smooth ramping or adjustable increments) and very much more
- the single control button has an adjustable backlight so you can find your lantern in the dark, and a lockout feature so you won’t turn it on accidentally
- the base of the lantern is flat so it stands firmly on a table, it has a strong metal loop to hang from a tree, plus two tripod mounts for ultimate versatility
- it takes four rechargeable 18650 lithium ion batteries (easy to replace every five years or so) but also works with one, two or three batteries with reduced runtimes
- the Beacon can be used while it’s charging, and can even be used (at reduced power) without batteries when it’s connected to a USB power source
- the newly upgraded USB-C port now supports rapid charging and allows you to draw power off the lantern's batteries to charge your cellphone or power other devices.
At home, the Beacon is the kind of lantern you'll carry from your study to the kitchen, dining room and bedroom every night because it's just... better... than any table lamp. You'll leave it on all night to deter burglars, help you get to the loo without kicking the cat, and chase monsters away from your kids' rooms.
Outdoors you'll use the Beacon every night for preparing meals, chatting, doing running repairs to your vehicle, reading, and keeping lions away. Then you'll plug it into a USB port in your car, or a cellphone or laptop charger at home, and do it all again the next night, and the next.
This little lantern is also the perfect illustration of the difference between "price" and "value". In terms of price it's one of the more expensive lights in my lineup at R3,590 complete with batteries and courier delivery after a discount for payment by EFT into our account.
But in terms of value – it's extraordinary! It’s around the same price as torches with half as many LEDs (the Beacon has eight!) and without a diffuser. It's a beautiful device, destined to be a classic and the kind of thing your grandkids will ask you to leave to them when you're gone (or, more likely, for their birthdays!)
If you're scratching to find a gift for someone who has everything, you've just found it!
Online reviewers are unanimous in their praise (hardly surprising since they helped design it!) For example Narmattaru, whose first language is not English, wrote: "Sofirn BLF LT1 leaves me with the most positive impressions... I've met just few model that caused such positive emotions, honestly."
Note that, like all my torches, the Beacon will cost you less if you pay by EFT-on-invoice – just drop me a line and we'll make it happen