Power Generator Review: 10 Things to Know About the Lion Energy L-1500
We are very excited to offer one of the first reviews of the Lion Energy L-1500 from Food For Health International. We are designing this review for someone who is new to personal power generators and needs to understand the basics.
This unit used to be sold under the brand name Humless Sentinel and has undergone some exciting changes. Read on to learn what you should know before buying the L-1500.
#1 Lion Energy is a division of Food For Health
For a long time, Food For Health has had a loose relationship with Humless. Eventually, Food For Health decided a line of personal power generators would be a great addition to its emergency food products so it partnered with Humless to build the L-1500. Lion Energy is owned by Food for Health.
#2 Humless is the brains behind Lion Energy
It’s important to note that Humless continues to own and make the products distributed by Food for Health under the Lion Energy brand. In fact, the company’s logo still prominently features the label “Powered by Humless.” The Humless Sentinel power generator was one of the most reliable and well-built generators in the market, and that same technology is what powers the Lion Energy brand.
#3 How is the Lion Energy L-1500 different from the Humless Sentinel?
The first difference you will notice is the new Lion Energy L-1500 looks much, much better than the Humless Sentinel.
The Sentinel was a workhorse, but it wasn’t pretty to look at it. In fact, the overall design may have been the single biggest impediment to wider adoption. It just looked complicated.
The L-1500 on the other hand looks like it was created by the team at Apple. It has a much simpler interface housed in a sleek, silver-grey shell. The unit feels solid and well built. One of the most impressive new features is the large LED display at the top of the unit that displays the percentage charged and time left until zero battery.
The L-1500 is still only about 38 pounds making it much lighter than its counterparts. On the whole, it has pretty much the same input and output connections as the Sentinel.
We’ll take a more in-depth look at the unit’s technical specs in the next section.
#4 Lion Energy L-1500 Specs
The L-1500 is pretty small and compact. It has an easy-carry strap and shouldn’t be hard for any adult to carry around.
Height: 12.00 inches (304.80 mm)
Width: 14.75 inches (374.65 mm)
Weight: 38 lb (17.21 kg)
The following specs come from Lion’s website.
Two Modes: Pass-Through Mode and Normal Mode
PASS-THROUGH MODE: When the L-1500 is connected to an AC and/or DC source and is still powering another device through the output, the power is passed directly to the device being powered. Using the regular 120V AC input, such as from a wall outlet, the L-1500 allows a maximum of 15A input on the AC side. While in Pass-Through Mode, the display scree will read PA:SS.
NORMAL MODE: The maximum AC input while in normal mode is 12A. The output to the battery from the L-1500 circuitry is charging at 25A at 14.6V. Regardless of how much current is connected, it is safety-limited to 25A total input to the battery from all inputs. The display screen will show a flashing battery symbol showing the percentage charged, as well as the charge time, until it reaches 00:01. At this point, the unit may take up to 20 minutes to balance the charge of the cells for optimal battery performance and overall life. When the unit is completely finishes the charging cycle, the display screen will read FU:LL.
The L-1500 will accept voltages from 12V to 50V at a total of no more than 15A. The L-1500 may be charged with AC input and DC input at the same time with a total of 40A going into the battery. The charge time is estimated at about 2 hours. The L-1500 is equipped with a safety fuse that will cut off any voltage that exceeds the DC 50V limit and will reset once the voltage is within the 12V-50V range. Windmills, solar panels and kinetic energy converters are all excellent DC input sources, provided the voltage range is maintained.
The L-1500 will output 1500W continuously for roughly 15 minutes. The AC output has been limited to 15A. As an added safety feature, the L-1500 AC output will run at 1599W for 5 seconds before decreasing the output to 1500W. Wheat grinders and washing machines require a higher peak for several milliseconds while the device regulates to its operating wattage within the 1500W range. The L-1500 also governs the power output to protect against internal heat build-up that may harm the components and battery.
High Output USB: The L-1500 comes equipped with 4 USB ports. Each port can carry a maximum of 3A at 5V DC, but the combined amperage of the 4 USB ports cannot exceed 8A. The USB ports will self-regulate to evenly provide the devices connected with the highest healthy charge possible.
Anderson Power Poles: The L-1500 is equipped with versatile Anderson Power Pole inputs. A maximum of 20A can pass through the Anderson Power Pole outputs. Homemade or non-standard Anderson Power Pole devices will void the warranty.
Cigarette Adapter: At a maximum of 10A, the L-1500 can power many DC 12V devices commonly used in cars with the Cigarette Lighter Adapter. The 10A limit can be combined with Anderson Power Pole limit of 20A, giving a total of 30A of DC output.
#5 Lion Energy Solar Panel Kit
One of the great things about this power generator is its ability to harness solar power. This can come in handy if you find yourself out in the woods or just without normal power for an extended period of time. It may take up to 20 hours (depending on the light intensity) to fully charge the generator using sunlight.
The solar panel folds in half to conserve space. It also has an easy-to-grip handle. The unit comes equipped with built-in connectors that hide in the back of the solar panel when closed. The solar panel component is made by BOSCH.
#6 Is the L-1500 easy to use?
Again, we are doing this review for people who have never used a power generator. So the question of whether it is easy to use is subjective and geared toward a generation raised on iPods. To turn the unit on all you have to do is depress the power button for a few seconds. You can hear the generator whir to life. The important data is displayed on the LED screen showing percentage charged and charge time.
To power the generator all you have to do is plug it into a standard 120 volt AC wall unit or hook up the solar panels. To use the battery, simply plug a USB device into one of the four ports, use a standard cigarette lighter adapter, or plug into the 120 volt AC outfeed. That’s it.
#7 Practical use case
So I decided to try using the L-1500 in a practical scenario and see how it worked. I imagined the power going out after a strong storm, and I thought one of the most important things I could protect is the food in my refrigerator from spoiling. So I unplugged my KitchenAid 25 cubic foot refrigerator from the wall and plugged it into the Lion L-1500.
The generator immediately started powering the refrigerator and provided enough current for three hours. It did take the unit about 20 minutes to “normalize” the time remaining stat on the LED screen. However, this is a minor issue, and the L-1500 performed flawlessly during the test.
#8 Lion Energy L-1500 versus the Goal Zero Yeti 1250
Goal Zero is the other big player in the personal solar/generator arena. One of the other popular personal power generators we have reviewed is the Goal Zero Yeti 1250. The Yeti is a bit less expensive at $1,399.99 but it comes at a performance cost. For example, the Yeti weighs a ridiculous 103 pounds while the L-1500 is only 38 pounds. That makes a huge difference in your ability to handle the unit let alone pack it to remote places.
Also, the L-1500’s lithium battery is more durable with a rating of 2,000 lifecycles while the Yeti is rated as having “hundreds of cycles.” Finally, the L-1500 is a bit more powerful having a current limit of 1,500 watts and a surge rating of 2,000 watts. The Goal Zero Yeti is rated at 1,200 watts with a peak of 1,500 watts. Although the Yeti will still power most refrigerators for 2-3 hours, it is starting to hit its limit. The L-1500 will power a fridge and more all at the same time.
#9 Why you should have a power generator
At Food Storage Reviewer, we try to focus on the practical side of emergency preparedness. So why should you have a power generator? For those who just want a back-up power supply when the power gets cut or a cool way to watch TV or power your cell phone when you are camping, the L-1500 is easy to use. It’s also light (only 38 pounds) and relatively small, so it isn’t difficult to carry around.
For more intense purposes, the Lion Energy L-1500 is the most rugged power generator on the market. It was made with performance in mind and not just for cool factor. Pound for pound there isn’t another personal solar/power generator on the market that can compete with it. And it will last having a rating of 2,000 complete lifecycles.
#10 Where to get the best price for Lion Energy L-1500
Food For Health has a very healthy distributor network so you can get the Lion Energy L-1500 from several sources. The company offers a price of $2,500 for the generator and an extra $500 for the solar panels. At Food Storage Reviewer, we offer the generator for $2,299 and the combination generator and solar panels for $2,499. Click here to purchase.
Finally, we just want to add that the decision to buy a generator is a big deal for many people. $2,300 can be a lot to spend. However, outside of a food storage supply and clean water, a power generator is the most important aspect of an emergency preparedness plan. Even if you aren’t worried about Armageddon, the L-1500 from Lion Energy will be worth its wait in gold the next time there is a power outage and you need to power critical devices such as a refrigerator, life-saving medical equipment, or even a cell phone.