Reviewed by Bob Hrodey
First Impressions: This is NOT your father’s Ray-O-Vac! Right out of the box two things are apparent: You are dealing with a commercial grade unit that will likely take anything you or nature can give it. It’s heavy! It’s rugged! It’s bright Safety Orange so you won’t misplace it when out of the rack and in use and you’ll have no problem finding it regardless of whether there’s a power failure or not. An added bonus… If the Zombies come and catch you off guard and without a weapon? Grab this and you at least have a fighting chance to beat them to death with your nearly 8 pound (7.9 lbs) bludgeon.
What you get: Beware that there are several versions of this Litebox. This review covers ONLY the fine points of the Model 45807, the E-Flood Power Failure System. Models in this series look almost identical at first glance so it pays to read the description carefully.
This model comes with the LiteBox (with 6V Sealed Lead Acid battery installed), a charging stand suitable for wall (vertical) or horizontal surface mount, an AC power cube and a 12V automobile power cord. It also comes with an instruction manual and a large wall sticker which identifies it as Portable Emergency Light and provides concise directions on how to remove it from the mount.
There is no shoulder strap provided with this particular model due, I suppose, to its intended deployment. A strap, should you wish one, is available separately as P/N 45232.
I would add that even with this specific model there are a multitude of charging/mounting options. If you want one, you can have one regardless of where you are.
Out of the box: Streamlight recommends charging the unit before use but with that nice weather-proof push button On-Off button beckoning to me, I just had to push it. Wow! It lit up my life… Literally! The 6 C4 LEDs are bright (remember, I said this was NOT your father’s Ray-O-Vac lantern!). Okay, back into compliance mode… I connected the AC Charge cord and found that the Red LED Charging indicator came on and, rather surprisingly, found that the the Green LED Standby indicator was burning brightly in a little less than an hour.
Emergency Functionality: Okay, this is an emergency light which is supposed to activate when there is a power outage, so, does it? You bet. Interestingly, if you have it set up and connected to the AC via the wall wart cube and remove the low voltage plug from the charging rack, the emergency light does NOT power on. I thought perhaps there was a problem since I’d removed power to the charging cradle so the light should come on, correct? Nope! They have designed this so that it senses a loss of line power only, not the loss of the DC charger. With everything plugged in as it would be in a normal installation if you kill power to the outlet or remove the cube from the outlet and the lamp lights up the area. Plug it back in or restore power and it turns off.
Mounted in the cradle, the light head can be adjusted to just about any position you desire. The LEDs are covered by a polycarbonate dome for their protection.
Power out and you need light in another area? Just walk to the source of all that light and push the release button and take the light off the charging cradle.
Light Output: Streamlight claims 615 Lumens in the “Hi” mode (8 hr runtime) and 330 Lumens in the “Lo” mode (18 hr runtime). Befitting the intended/primary purpose of this light, you switch between Hi/Lo mode via a jumper located behind a cover plate on the light head. All you need is a small Phillips head driver to make the change. It ships in the Hi position which is where, I suspect, most of us will leave it given that 8 hour runtime.
I have no means (other than by comparison with other similarly lights) of verifying the output but from my view, the stated output seems reasonably accurate. This is one powerful source of battery operated illumination!
The beam cast by this light is unlike most lanterns we are familiar with. It is a very broad and diffuse beam – perhaps 150 degrees – without much of a “hot spot” in the center. Considering that it is so much brighter than the run of the mill lanterns you really don’t need a hot spot. Visibility is pretty darn good no matter where you’re looking within its beam.
Out and About: You won’t want to leave this hanging on the wall when the time comes for action. Need to get out and fire up the generator, fill sandbags, board up windows, etc? You know it’s going to do the job indoors, but how does it fare outside? Rated for weather resistant operation, it should do as well (or maybe better) as you in the elements. Set it down, adjust the light where you want it and with an 8 pound package it will stay put.
This provides all the illumination necessary for just about any task you might choose to perform with this type of lighting.
Testing the output in my backyard (a clear area approximately 100′ x 75′) which is “fenced” by pine trees, anything within that area that I could see clearly in daylight was pretty much visible to me with the illumination provided. Sure, there were some shadows and dimming at the outer edge but… how’s this? If there was a small squirrel darting into the tree line, I’d be able to see it – even with these tired eyes!
Runtime: Stated as ~ 8 hours on the High setting. Turned it on and set it aside at 9:00AM. The light remained strong and steady until about 7:10 hours later when it began to pulse. It pulsed for a good 10-15 minutes and then returned to a solid beam but quite a bit dimmer. Not dim to the point of being useless. It still illuminated good enough to read at ~ 12′ – 25′. Not too bad.
Didn’t wish to completely discharge the battery but after about 8:45 there was still some life left in it – enough for some close work.
Cost: The Streamlight E-Flood Litebox isn’t cheap. But, quality like this rarely is. Currently, it retails for about $175 here on Amazon. But, with just minimal care, the Streamlight E-Flood Litebox should last many, many years.