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R&D efforts highlight versatility in camping lights industry

Multiple lighting modes and extra functions are being incorporated in releases.

China suppliers of camping lanterns and flashlights are releasing more multifunction designs to gain an edge over rivals. Companies are integrating various add-ons that will make their models stand out from the proliferation of devices boasting energy-efficient light sources, even in the low end.

  
Flashlight"
  This flashlight from Zhejiang Shengbo is rechargeable through hand cranking.

The extra features are geared primarily toward enhancing user convenience in various settings. At many enterprises, this means enabling products to support multiple dimming levels and modes of illumination.

Such efforts have brought on an increasing number of designs with an SOS flashing option. Several models are also fitted with a blue light suitable for night fishing.

Built-in camping essentials such as compasses and clocks are becoming more popular as well. In upscale releases, FM radios and MP3 players are often integrated.

Additionally, some makers have launched designs that can double as car emergency or survival tools. Ningbo Sunen Electronics Co. Ltd, for instance, has developed a flashlight featuring a built-in hammer for breaking car glass windows in case of an accident.

For convenient placement, portable electric lights are fitted with a neodymium magnet that allows these to be attached to metal surfaces. Some come with a hook or a foldable tripod.

In the rechargeable line, units offering multiple charging options are growing in number. Such designs can typically obtain power via an AC/DC adapter, a USB port or a solar panel. Several can also operate after being cranked, wound or shaken.

R&D is most active in the LED category. China suppliers are fitting the diodes into more basic and promotional models, with the necessary components now widely available domestically.

Recent releases for Africa and the Middle East, for example, adopt 0.2W diodes instead of CFLs or fluorescent tubes. These are priced no more than $5 each.

For high-end models, which typically go to the US and other developed countries, makers employ 1 to 7W LEDs. Imported diodes still dominate the segment, as these generally perform better than domestic versions.

With regard to luminous efficacy the international standard for a high-power LED is 100 lm/W or greater. China-made versions, however, can reach only 80 lm/W at present.

The Cree XR-E Q3 to Q5 LEDs are the preferred light sources for high-end lanterns and flashlights. Q3 types offer 93.9 to 100.4 lumens at 350mA, while Q5 variants can generate 107 to 114 lumens with the same current.


Products & prices
Product gallery
Products & prices

Depending on the housing, light source and integrated functions, camping flashlights from China range from $1.50 to $30. Quotes for lanterns start at $2 and can reach or exceed $10.

Designs typically meet CE, RoHS and UL requirements. Raw materials and components for basic models are generally sourced from domestic providers, while imported versions are adopted in upscale units and some midrange variants.

Plastic is the dominant option for housings. Midlevel and high-end devices, however, may have certain parts in stainless steel or aluminum.

For the light source, LEDs are mainstream. Incandescent bulbs and CFLs are also offered, generally at the lower end of the price spectrum.

In terms of add-ons, built-in compasses, fans and clocks are common. Upscale models often have FM radios or MP3 playback functions as well.

Camping lanterns and flashlights employ either primary or rechargeable batteries. For the latter, the selection includes lead-acid, NiCd, NiH2, NiMH and lithium types that can be powered via an AC/DC adapter, a USB port or a solar panel.

Some devices do not require batteries at all. Instead, these utilize energy generated via hand cranking, shaking or winding.

Prices of China-made camping lanterns and flashlights are 5 to 15 percent greater than they were at the beginning of 2010. Adjustments were made to account for elevated manufacturing outlay, which comprised a 15 to 50 percent increase in raw material and component costs. For instance, rates for high-power Cree LEDs rose by up to 50 percent.

In 2011, however, quotes for LED units are expected to move within a narrower range. Most suppliers are planning to keep adjustments within 5 percent in anticipation of diode costs stabilizing or even dropping amid the expanding domestic LED capacity.




Camping flashlights price guide

  
Flashlight
Product gallery

Ningbo Suhand Electronics Co. Ltd

Model: GL-K94
MOQ: 500 units
Delivery: 20 days
Description: Flashlight; Cree LED; water-resistant; three NiMH SC batteries; 42x258mm; 170.5g

  
Flashlight


Ningbo Suhand Electronics Co. Ltd

Model: GL-K97
MOQ: 500 units
Delivery: 20 days
Description: Flashlight; anodized 6016 aluminum alloy housing; Cree XR-E LED; scratch-resistant optical lens; visible up to 200m; water-resistant up to 35m

  
Lantern


Ningbo Sunen Electronics Co. Ltd

Model: SN-S5303-16C
MOQ: 1,000 units
Delivery: 25 days
Description: Lantern; aluminum alloy housing; 5mm-diameter LED; 64 lumens maximum output; visible up to 10m; rechargeable 1,500mAh 3.6V battery; 900min operating time per charge; built-in neodymium magnet; 52x177mm; 262g; IPX4 rating

  
Flashlight


Ningbo Sunen Electronics Co. Ltd

Model: SN-S5302-3W
MOQ: 1,000 units
Delivery: 25 days
Description: Flashlight; aluminum alloy housing; Cree R2 LED; 160 lumens maximum output; visible up to 150m; rechargeable 600mAh 14650 lithium battery; 900min operating time per charge; 53x163mm; 263.2g

  
Flashlight


Shenglong Lighting Technology Co. Ltd

Model: X5
MOQ: 500 units
Delivery: 15 days
Description: Flashlight; aircraft-grade aluminum alloy housing; 3W Cree Q5 LED, 100,000hr service life; 120 lumens; rechargeable CR123 lithium battery, 2.5 to 3hr operating time per charge; 40x104mm

  
Flashlight


Shenglong Lighting Technology Co. Ltd

Model: 2SC-5
MOQ: 500 units
Delivery: 15 days
Description: Flashlight; aircraft-grade aluminum alloy housing; 3W Cree Q5 LED, 100,000hr service life; 140 lumens; two NiCd batteries; 2 to 2.5hr operating time; 44x208mm

  
Hand-cranked flashlight and lantern


Zhejiang Shengbo Electronic Co. Ltd

Model: SB-6017
MOQ: 1,000 units
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Hand-cranked flashlight and lantern; LED; high/low brightness and SOS lighting modes; 62x131mm; 191.2g; IP44 rating; CE, RoHS

  
Hand-cranked lantern


Zhejiang Shengbo Electronic Co. Ltd

Model: SB-6018
MOQ: 3,000 units
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Hand-cranked lantern; five white LEDs for the torch, 12 straw hat LEDs for the lantern; also rechargeable via external adapter and USB port; 220x60x60mm




Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.



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