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Reviews > Lighting > Lanterns > UCO Original Candle Lantern LED > Test Report by Jo Ann Moffi


Initial Report March 29, 2008
Field Report June 17, 2008
Long Term Report August 5, 2008

UCO Original Candle Lantern plus LED


Manufacturer: Industrial Revolution
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer URL:
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: N/A
Finish: Polished Aluminum (Also available in Brass)
Colour: Silver (Also available in Blue, Green, Yellow, and Red)
Listed Weight: Aluminum: 210 g (7.5 oz) including candle
Listed Measurements:
5 cm x 13.3 cm (2 in x 5.25 in)
5 cm x 17.8 cm (2 in x 7 in)
Actual Weight:
Entire Unit: 208 g (7.3 oz) including candle
LED Alone: 17 g (0.6 oz)
Unit without LED: 190 g (6.7 oz) including candle
Candle Alone: 51 g (1.8 oz)
Actual Measurements:
Collapsed: 5 cm x 13.3 cm (2 in x 5.25 in)
Open: 5 cm x 17.8 cm (2 in x 7 in)
Listed Burn Time: 9 hours per candle
Listed Battery Life: Up to 40 hours
Name Jo Ann Moffi
Age 34
Gender Female
Height 168 cm (5ft 6 in)
Weight 84 kg (185 lbs)
Email Address jomoffi AT gmail DOT com
City, State, Country Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

I was introduced to backpacking about 16 years ago when I met my husband. We have been backpacking, canoe camping, car camping, hiking, and participating in all sorts of outdoor activities together ever since. We live in a border town (US & Canada), so we spend lots of time in both countries for our outdoor excursions. When making a decision on gear, I like to go lightweight and practical. I pack as light as possible without denying myself little luxuries. 

UCO Candle Lantern ClosedINITIAL REPORT
March 29, 2008

Arrived March 29, 2008

The UCO Original Candle Lantern plus LED (herein after referred to as the 'lantern' or 'LED' respectively) is the blending of an easily transportable candle and small LED into one compact package. The LED is conveniently inserted into the bottom of the lantern. The LED is removable and can be used separately from the lantern. Each UCO candle burns in the lantern for 9 hours. The LED provides up to 40 hours of light. 

UCO Candle Lantern Candle ComponentsThe lantern opens easily by grasping the top band of aluminum and pulling away from the body of the lantern. This brings up the glass chimney and locks it into place for use. The lantern is easily closed by pushing down on the top band, sliding the chimney into the body for transport and storage. The lantern and LED compresses down to 13.3 cm (5.25 in) high for transportation. 

To access the candle I unscrew the black plastic housing for the LED off the bottom of the lantern. This allows me to take the candle and its aluminum sleeve out of the body of the lantern. The candle is then easy to take out of its aluminum sleeve by unscrewing it from the black plastic housing. The candle itself sits on a small aluminum base which in turn sits on a spring. This spring forces the candle up into the aluminum sleeve as the candle burns down. The aluminum sleeve has a 3.8 cm (1.5 in)UCO Candle Lantern Lighting Position vertical slit on each side so that I can tell how much candle I have left for burning. To light the lantern I just slide down the glass chimney to expose the candle and its wick, then slide the glass back into place once I've lit the candle. It is easily lit with either a lighter or a match. The lantern can either be hung by its bail or stood up while it is burning. 

The LED itself is in the center of a clear plastic insert made to fit in a black plastic housing about 15 mm (0.6 in) deep in the bottom of the lantern. The LED is held in place via two small clips on either side of the insert. The clear plastic insert also holds two 3-volt lithium cell batteries that are accessed by turning the top off the insert. There is a thin wire embedded into the top of the insert that makes a half circle on the top of the insert. When I turn the top turned as far clockwise as I can, the wire completes a circuit between the two batteries and lights up the LED. To turn off the LED I just turn the dial counter clockwise until the light turns off. A very simple yet ingenious idea! 

UCO Candle Lantern LED LitInitial Impressions
I have been a very satisfied candle lantern owner for the past 10 years. The main lantern design has essentially not changed since my old candle lantern was produced. It still functions as this new one does with the exception of the LED in the bottom of the lantern. We have burned countless candles in the lantern!

In honour of Earth Hour (Started in Sydney, Australia and held on the last Saturday in March, Earth Hour an annual event of turning off the power to create a political message about the need for action against global warming), my husband and I lit the lantern and enjoyed a powerless evening playing cards by the light of the candle lantern. It threw enough light to allow us to see the immediate vicinity of our dining room table. 

June 17, 2008

Testing Locations:
I have taken the candle lantern on two trips thus far this spring. The first was in early May in the Hiawatha Highlands Trail system in the Algoma region just outside of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. This area has many linked trails meandering through red and white pine old-growth forests and dense boreal stands of jack pine and spruce linked by a network of rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Elevations range from 225 to 315 m (738 to 1033 ft) above sea level. I have also taken the lantern on a canoe trip on Lake Mijinemungshing in Lake Superior Provincial Park, about 2 hours north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. 

Testing Conditions:
The first trip in early May had temperatures dip to 0 C (32 F) overnight with daytime temperatures around 10 C. The skies were clear during the day, but we had light rain in the early morning hours. The early evening was quite windy with 15 to 22 km/h (9 to 13.5 mph) winds from the west. We had set up our tent on the lee side of a small hill to shelter us a bit from the wind. Our campsite was in a fairly densely wooded area of maples and birch trees. As it was early spring, the trees had yet to leaf out.

The second trip in mid Jun had daytime temperatures around 16 C (61 F) and nighttime temperatures around 8 C (46 F). The evening had no wind. Our tent was set up on a lake side spot with trees on two sides to the north and west. The trees were a mix of conifers and deciduous. The bugs were out in full force.

In the Field Performance:
On the first trip for the candle lantern, we went to bed early to warm up in our sleeping bags, so it was still fairly light out and I didn't need a light source in the evening. I used the LED twice in the middle of the night to find myself a spot for a bathroom break. The LED did a superb job of lighting my way so that I could avoid the dense brush and find an area that I wasn't going to be poked by sticks. It was a rather uncomfortable night, we weren't prepared for the temperature drop. At about 3am, I hung the candle lantern from the ceiling of the tent to use the little bit of warmth from the lantern to raise the temperature in the tent and help eliminate some of the condensation on the walls. As I expected, the lantern didn't provide blazing warmth, but it may have just been a psychological thing that I felt warmer. In any case, I was having difficulty sleeping, so I pulled out my novel and read for a bit by the light of the candle lantern until it was time to get up.
UCO Candle Lantern Reading
On the second trip, we arrived late and were setting up the tent at dusk. I was anticipating the biting insects to be bad, so I replaced the regular candle with a citronella candle that I purchased at a local department store. We were able to get the tent and site set up before the sun went down, but I wasn't tired yet, so I pulled out the candle lantern to read before crawling into the tent. The mosquitoes and blackflies disappeared with the sun, so I was able to sit outside to read. My husband had the candle portion of the lantern at his end of the table and I used the LED propped up with a stick into the cap of an aluminum water bottle. This provided me with ample light for reading. When It was time for bed, we used the candle lantern to arrange ourselves in the tent and get the dog in her spot. Once we were all set, it was easy to blow out the candle. I also used the LED again in the middle of the night for a bathroom trip. Our camp was very clear so I was quickly able to find an appropriate spot.

The candle burns as advertised, I can get about 9 hours of light from one candle. I haven't gone completely through a citronella candle yet, although it looks to burn at about the same rate judging from the amount used on the second trip. The LED batteries are advertised to provide 40 hours of light. I have used less than 5 hours of that thus far.

Changing the candle was simple, just twist off the bottom and remove the used candle and replace with the new one. Even though I had a little less than 1/2 a candle left when I switched to the citronella candle, with a little push on the top of the candle to release the little bit of wax build up around the top edge, the candle was easy to change. I had no wax build up or soot on the glass chimney.

August 5, 2008

Testing Locations:
I have used the candle lantern on three additional nights camped on the beach at our family property on Lake Superior, Batchewana Bay. The beach is mostly sand and small pebbles with some grasses and small shrubs cropping up closer to the tree line. The beach is partially canopied by oak and maple trees with a few spruce and shrubs mixed in.

Testing Conditions:
The temperatures ranged from 20-23 C (68-73 F) during the day and dipping to 10-12 C (50-54 F) overnight. The skies were sunny, overcast, and we experienced some light overnight rain.

In the Field Performance:
I continued to use the lantern and LED for the remainder of the test period as my primary lighting source. As I expected, the lantern and LED provided me with ample lighting for all the tasks of setting up camp, maneuvering around in the dark around camp, and finding my way to the bathroom in the dark. I have gone through 1 and 1/2 candles. The LED has had about 7 hours of use and still burns as brightly as the day I took it out of the package.

I love the way the candle moves up the cylinder as it burns down. At no point does the melted wax overflow from the top of the cylinder. The only problem I had with wax getting on the inside of the glass when I accidentally knocked the lantern hanging on the inside of the tent. This is by no means an issue from the lantern itself, just my not paying attention to where the lantern was hanging while moving around in the tent. I continued to let the candle burn with the wax on the glass. After I blew out the candle and it cooled overnight, the wax was easy to take off by scraping with either a fingernail or with my pocket knife.

Possible Improvements:
I would love to see the option of a headband available so that the LED could be clipped onto it somehow to allow for using the LED hands-free. This would be very handy for hiking in the dark or tasks that need more light than what can be provided by the candle lantern and allow the direction of the beam of the LED to go right where my eyes are looking without having to hold the LED.

Cozy light provided by the lantern
Long burn time of the candles
2 in 1 of the candle and LED


This concludes my Long Term Report. Thank you to BackpackGearTest and to Industrial Revolution for the opportunity to test the UCO Original Candle Lantern plus LED.

Read more reviews of Industrial Revolution gear
Read more gear reviews by Jo Ann Moffi

Reviews > Lighting > Lanterns > UCO Original Candle Lantern LED > Test Report by Jo Ann Moffi

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