Fluro versa-lite v LED versa-lite

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 19:42
ThreadID: 69892 Views:9088 Replies:15 FollowUps:5
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Hi guys

Wondering if anyone can give me any feedback on the LED versa-lite and how they compare with the traditional fluro versa-lite, particularly how much light they throw. Also are they worth the extra money compared to the many nonames that are out their.

The aim would be to replace our current gas light on a pole system to hopefully the LED versa-lite or fluro if need be. With young kids running around our campsite we need a light that covers a relatively large area.

many thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Reply By: Angler - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 19:46

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 19:46
I personally would go for the fluro, they are brighter for a given power and the tube is cheap to replace. Also the tube is easy to spray paint yellow to keep away the insects. LED's seem to have a low light output that does not cover a great area like a fluro.
AnswerID: 370386

Follow Up By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 21:58

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 21:58
Re: yellow light 4X4equip.com.au has a clear yellow sleeve that fits inside the versa body. it is excellent for excluding insect attraction. $8.00.I have two about ten years old.
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FollowupID: 637730

Reply By: tim_c - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 19:54

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 19:54
I agree. I don't have any experience with the Versa-lite brand but I tried a Primus LED light for one night camping and took it back to get myself a good old fluoro. I found the LED light only shone in one direction while the fluoro is good for shining light in all directions - far more useful IMO.
AnswerID: 370393

Reply By: Rockape - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 19:59

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 19:59
I would go the versa-lite fluro, I have had one for years and had no problems.

Having said that, I also use an LED that throws heaps more light, biggest problem is the cost difference
AnswerID: 370395

Reply By: Member - Cram (Newcastle NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 20:01

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 20:01
I would not think that LED is going to achieve that. I would be looking for the fluro and still consider using the gas light.

We have both and the gas light provides great lighting and has the added bonus of being able to be dimmed, although i can understand that a gas light on a pole would prove troublesome with the kids.

We have a coleman gas light that can be used with the cans of gas and you just hang it from where ever for great light.

On the fluros we have ARB fluro lights that you can buy for alot cheaper then the versa light.
AnswerID: 370397

Follow Up By: Rockape - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 20:13

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 20:13
Mate! there are leds out there that are super bright, I have a unit that is actually hard to look at, problem is it is also very expensive.

There is an Aussie company called blueglass, they are in the process of making huge led wafers and improving the output of a solar cell heaps.

FollowupID: 637709

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 20:02

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 20:02
Indeed - the best camp light I had was a Piranha 12v fluoro (same design as the Versalite) - when it fritzed after many good years of service, I bought an LED light of roughly the same physical size - uses much less power while very bright but as mentioned is very directional - not really any spread at all - great as a worklight, but no good as an 'area' illuminator.
AnswerID: 370398

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 09:35

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 09:35
I totally agree. I have a couple of high quality flouros (one being the genuine Versa-Lite; still the best one I own even after 10 years).

I also bought a Narva LED cordless/rechargeable worklight a year or so ago. It is very bright, but does not light-up a large area. It is ideal for working under the bonnet or undernesth the dash etc with no damned cord to get in the wrong place at the wrong time! hahaha

Some of the cheaper flouros aren't worth the effort. If you're buying flouro, spend the bucks and get a Versa Lite

FollowupID: 637789

Reply By: Atta Boy Luther - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 21:01

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 21:01
After using many camping lights over the years i now use 2 narva inspection lamps No 71312
They hold a charge for 4 hours and while one is being used one can be recharging . I might even get another one .
AnswerID: 370413

Reply By: Member - Allan B (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 21:05

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 21:05
The LED lights in the tubular format (Versalite and similar) produce much more light output with less power consumption and are more robust than fluros.

However they are more expensive to purchase and do have directional light output.

My solution to the directivity was to use coarse sandpaper to roughen the enclosing clear cylinder. This resulted in an ideal spread of light.

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AnswerID: 370414

Reply By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 21:37

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 21:37
Not sure if all are aware but versa will fix there fluro lights free of charge including postage no matter how old.They recently fixed one of mine that was about 15 years old.i recently bought an arb fluro thinking it was a versa but its a chinese copy.The guy at versa is a real character and you dont see this kind of service very often these days.
Cheers Graeme.
AnswerID: 370419

Reply By: olcoolone - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 22:01

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 22:01
Bang for bucks and light output a fluro wins hands down for general lighting.

A fluro puts out 110 lumens per watt compared to a cheap LED that puts out 55 lumens per watt.

An LED light will seem brighter then a fluro as LED's have a narrow focused light output compared for fluros that have a scattered light output.

Is you want a light to use for reading or where you need a focused narrow beam a LED is the best choice.

If you want a light to use outside whilst camping, for cooking or to light up a reasonable area a fluro will run rings around a LED.

Remember a 11 watt Versu Light will draw on average .6 to .75 amps per hour and most times when camping you will only use the light for about 3 hours a night.

It will take you 60+ hours of use to flatten the average aux battery.

Some people think LED's are the best thing you can have but in the real world they are far from it.
AnswerID: 370425

Reply By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 23:20

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 23:20
Yep, Versalite. The super-bright LEDs are too directional and still quite expensive. Perhaps one day they'll be a lot cheaper, but till then, get a Versalite CFL. My experience is they seem to perform lots better for light output than other CFLs I have used.
And avoid buying the cheap $10 straight tube flouros - they don't last - just get dimmer and dimmer.
AnswerID: 370436

Reply By: portlester - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 23:48

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 23:48
Thanks guys for your feedback.

I was aware of the common issues with most LED lights, but was wondering if they had overcome some of these in particular the amount of light they throw.

Time to think whether we stay with the current gas lantern on the pole or head towards the versa-lite fluroescent. Mind you I wish it also came out with its own rechargeable battery as part of the unit.

many thanks once again
AnswerID: 370440

Follow Up By: tim_c - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 17:02

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 17:02
I never got a gas lantern because I always saw my friends/companions having to replace the mantle before they could use the light. I admit, they give very good (& adjustable) light once they're going.

To run my fluoro, I got a small 12v sealed lead-acid battery (about 7AHr I think) and built a little MDF box for it (the box has twin ciggie sockets on the front, a handle on top, rubber stick-on feet and painted) and I reckon it's at least as portable as your gas cylinder! It will easily run the fluoro for a long weekend trip but for longer trips I have to charge it from the car while driving.

I wouldn't buy a fluoro with a built-in battery, it would be heavy, bulky and probably still wouldn't give much service between charges - you'd probably need to go LED if you want a built-in battery.
FollowupID: 637843

Reply By: Gossy - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 13:15

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 13:15
The 'common' LED's are old technology.

SMT LED's are the way of the future and all incredibly bright. Check out LEDlenser brands for incredible torches.


AnswerID: 370502

Reply By: TerraFirma - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 13:53

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 13:53
I replaced my interior Hilux light with a Narva Fluro and wow what a difference. The new leds coming to market from companies like ""CREE"" are ground breaking in terms of output and brightness.
AnswerID: 370507

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 19:30

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 19:30
TerraFirma replied:
I have 2 Narva fluros in my 80 series great light but bulbs don't last long have sent them back to Narva & they supplied new ones .How long have you had them in Hilux
FollowupID: 637867

Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 18:55

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 18:55
A different slant on the theme
For a lot less $$ and with good camp lighting effect and very low current draw relitive to light output.

It uses a 12 Watt, 12 Volt low energy globe, equivalent to a normal ~75w household light globe.
Globe ~$19, 12v plug ~$10, lamp ~$29 (total ~$58 = 75 Watt)

Image Could Not Be FoundMaîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 370553

Reply By: Rod W - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 09:47

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 09:47
Years ago I brought a pyramid shaped lamp cover with a double "D" fluoro in it from WA Solar Supplies. The inside of the pyramid is lined with highly reflective foil, its been a brilliant light. I recently replaced the fluoro with a couple of masthead LED's and it's still a brilliant light, I guess its cause of the pyramid cover. And then theres the no/minimal bugs advantage
AnswerID: 370640

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