1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

Best AA flashlights?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by 4ndy, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. HoustonB77

    HoustonB77 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    42
    I really like my Zebralight 52AA. It is in my pocket every day.
     
  2. Blackheart

    Blackheart Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    1,387
    I stand corrected. Candle would be a better analogy. Note that the candle predates the match, though, so it's even older technology. I'm pretty sure that someone from 500 BC would be awed by the Solitaire. :p
     
  3. Blackheart

    Blackheart Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    1,387
    Twelve dollar, (and you get a gift case! ...and your choice of 5 colors!)) and this vendor isn't always the cheapest.

    I thought this was interesting because the finish on this cheapo light is type-III hard anodizing (according to the Olight website).

    Not for me, though. Single level, no low.
     
  4. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5,673
    Likes Received:
    4,262
    For about 15 minutes.
     
  5. PBJS II

    PBJS II Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    7,677
    Likes Received:
    18,856
    I'm going to try one of those LED solitaires before too long

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
     
    WillAdams likes this.
  6. aasoverteakettle

    aasoverteakettle Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    614
    I hope I don't seem argumentative, I'm the debater type with my own preferences (and budget).

    I'll check out the Olight, and some others I've seen in the forum.

    I will say that I'd be very surprised if you guys tried the bike lights I use and were unimpressed. Cycling is one thing I don't skimp on. Nighttime mountain biking is an amazing experience that I'm lucky enough to do regularly. No moon or city lights in dense Vermont woods. Outriding your lights is not a fun thing. 1800 lumens on both my head and bars means I can haul with confidence. But one thing these lights have shown me is that not all lights live up to their advertised lumens. Including mag lights. Grains of salt taken, as they are with all things.
     
  7. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5,673
    Likes Received:
    4,262
    No. I just wanted to make sure that you realized that there is huge range of high-efficiency lights that balance run-time much better than a Surefire. These other manufacturers do so much better with efficiency and value that Surefire routinely tries to sue them out of business.

    Just out of curiosity, what brand of bike lights are you using? Most greatly exaggerate their output. Unless they a really high-end light, they are probably more in the nieghborhood of 300-500 ANSI lumens. ANSI lumens are an international standard that most reputable manufacturers use - Foursevens, Fenix, Jetbeam, Niteye, XTAR, Nitecore, Surefire, to name a few.

    Most lights made in China these days advertise the maximum theoretical output from the LED in the light if it were hooked up to a nuclear reactor and there was perfect transmission of light through the lens or optic.
     
  8. Weko

    Weko Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    299
    My standard reply for the best whatever is what is it that you want it to do? For example, the much abused
    Maglite LED solitaire for a lot of people is an amazing, available expensive light that will do what they ask of it,
    Until they see something better. Keep in mind most people shop for a flashlight at the supermarket as an afterthought.
    That being said, for an AA light, I currently am using a Streamlight 1L-1AA, ProTac 2AA and a Jetbeam Niteye MSA10. The following is my thoughts on each.

    Streamlight 1L-1AA - 1 X AA or 1 X 123, 160 lumens or 350 lumens. So far I like this light. I've used Eneloop AA (1.2 v), Energizer AA alkalines (1.5v), Energizer AA lithium (1.5v) and Surefire 123 (3v) and it works with all of the. @. 1 hr run time on the Eneloop, 1.5 hr on the alkaline and the 123 and 4 hr on the AA lithium. I like that I can use several battery types in an emergency with a decent light output. Cost @$40 - 45

    Streamlight Protac 2 AA runs on 2 AA batteries, rechargeable or primary, 155 lumens. Runs cooler to the touch than the Fenix 2d that it replaced. Cost @$50 - 55

    Jetbeam Niteye MSA10 - 1 X AA, 160 lumen max, @ 1 - 1/2 hr runtime, rotary tail cap switch. Cost @$40. At first I did not care for it but it's getting more use. It starts flashing when the battery runs down. Not much to say about it other than if you like a rotary mode selector, it works
     
  9. aasoverteakettle

    aasoverteakettle Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    614
    I have always been a NiteRider fan for bike lights. They were the first to make lights that were practical for mountain biking. (Side-note storytime: I worked at a ski/bike shop in Tahoe when I was 19. We used to take the demo lights out after work and ride the Rim Trail. It was amazing riding out there at night, way up above the lake. Then we'd bomb down Diamond Peak. Going that fast with older light technology is when I learned to respect my reaction times as it relates to the light's distance. Or not respect it, in some cases). My lights now are NiteRider Pro 1800 Race: one on my bars directed down to the trail 10'-15' ahead, one on my helmet that goes where my eyes go. If I had an extra $200 to spend at that time, I would have gotten a pair of Light & Motion Seca 2200 Enduro lights. My friend has them, and they are amazing. I once forgot my lights, and I just rode in front of him for 2 hours. Worked great except for my shadow.
     
  10. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5,673
    Likes Received:
    4,262
    NiteRider is a decent brand, but their LEDs do step down due to inadequate heat sinking. The NiteRider Pro 1800 Race light is listed at 1,800 lumens, but some users report measuring in the neighborhood of 1,000 lumens after heat builds up. Granted, since our eyes perceive brightness logarithmically, there is not much noticeable difference in brightness, only in range.
     
  11. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2017
    Messages:
    881
    Likes Received:
    2,251
    There are probably many parameters affecting efficiency in a flashlight, but all else equal, i.e. same quality components, a flashlight with lower output will be more efficient. This because reducing output translates to a higher impedance in the driver/emitter circuit, which again mean less voltage drop in the battery and external circuits which again means a lesser percentage of the energy is converted to heat in these areas.

    That said, for my own use I feel most LED based flashlights are efficient enough. There will typically be other parameters that are more important for my choice of light. Actually, I just upgraded my whole range of flashlights and head lamps as I was intrigued by the performance of the latest generations. My dealer was of course very happy with my spending so he included an Olight i3e EOS for free. To my surprise, that's the one I ended up using about 90% of the time.
    One of it's few shortcomings, is actually that it's too bright for close up work. The other one is the twist activation which makes one handed operation cumbersome. So even though I have never had anywhere near the selection of flashlights I have now, I just placed an order for the Massdrop AAA that hopefully is just as good as the i3e, but with the added benefit of button operation and adjustable output.

    Thus, based on my own experience, and the fact that it's actually quite efficient, I could see how someone could be satisfied with the LED Solitaire, even though it's not for me.

    [​IMG]
    X axis=minutes, Y axis=lumens, Red graph=Olight i3e, Green graph=MagLite Solitaire LED
     
    WillAdams likes this.
  12. Blackheart

    Blackheart Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    1,387
    Point noted. Also:

    [​IMG]
    X axis=minutes, Y axis=lumens, Red graph=Olight i3e, Green graph=MagLite Solitaire LED, Blue graph=Candle*

    [* - for illustration purposes only, don't ask if we're talking beeswax or tallow here]

    We have multi-level lights so we can make the trade-off between runtime and output to fit the circumstances. The Olight i3e was mentioned merely as an example of what more modern technology can offer. If the single, high output Olight doesn't suit one's purpose, fine. There are others that could if one so desires.

    The Amish continue to use horse-and-buggy even though more modern technology is available, it suits their purposes. I'm not going to tell them they're WRONG. There are probably people out there that prefer to use slide rules over calculators. If that's what works for them, again, NOT WRONG. Neither group is going to convince me that their choice is superior, however, although it may have its virtues. I've gotten into too many arguments over the years with people that irrationally clung to obsolete technology. I was very happy with my ReplayTV DVR until it finally gave up the ghost and I deemed it prudent to move on.
     
    Last edited by Blackheart, Feb 7, 2017
    #32 Blackheart, Feb 7, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  13. turbo6

    turbo6 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2015
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    315
    This kind of reminds me of the firearm forums arguing which caliber is the best - yet there's always that one reasonable person who says to use whatever you feel comfortable with.

    Same idea here - be it a 50 lumen, 100 lumen or a 1000 lumen light.

    Certainly, not every day I'm embarking on a wilderness adventure so while 1000 lumens in my pocket is nice, 100 or so is fine if I'm just walking the dog briefly or any basic task.

    I think most folks will find a small light to be fine, but of course there's different lights for different tasks - you'll likely start with one light and end up with a whole drawer full of choices eventually.
     
  14. PBJS II

    PBJS II Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    7,677
    Likes Received:
    18,856
    Amen to that. I have several different AA and 123 lights.
    But my P2D is perfect for the real world.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
     
  15. aasoverteakettle

    aasoverteakettle Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    614
    I am so pumped on these graphs! They perfectly illustrate the priorities of the user. I totally see how someone would want the Olight, or similar. But for me, the Mag Light provides the features I want in a light. Well played @aicolainen. And I appreciate your scientific candlepower baseline as well @Blackheart. I made a little pocket organizer for my pocket tool kit last week. The purpose was to be able to access all these things better than when I had them on an S-biner. But I quickly realized that it allows me to retrieve and turn on my light quickly without looking at it or removing it from the organizer.
    [​IMG]
     
    jag-engr likes this.
  16. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5,673
    Likes Received:
    4,262
    It shouldn't be beeswax or tallow - it should be a "pure spermaceti candle weighing 1⁄6 pound and burning at a rate of 120 grains per hour".
     
    aasoverteakettle likes this.
  17. Blackheart

    Blackheart Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    1,387
    I'm half tempted to buy the equipment to do an objective comparison of the three.
     
    aasoverteakettle likes this.
  18. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5,673
    Likes Received:
    4,262
    You'll be hard-pressed to find a spermaceti candle. I've seen old ones for sale (eBay ?), but I hope no one is still making them.
     
  19. Blackheart

    Blackheart Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    1,387
    Whales do wash up on the beach occasionally. Just have to get there before someone tries to dynamite it (or maybe that would make fat-harvesting easier, dunno', bring a catcher's mitt). :p
     
  20. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,432
    Likes Received:
    1,786
    I remember when I first started buying Surefire lights...back in the day when they advertised that 50-60 lumens were blindingly bright, and would blind an attacker for all of the 20-30 minutes the batteries could sustain it. Nowadays the forums would have a newbie thinking that 100 lumens is like wondering around the wilderness guided by a single candle flame.

    Personally, I think anything 50-100 lumens is plenty bright for most anything I do with a flashlight. If I can get that with some decent runtime, I'm content. My current edc is a Thrunite Archer 1Av3. Max brightness is something like 200 lumens on a single AA battery.

    Edit to add: Thrunite Archer 1Av3 specs
    • LED: CREE XP-L V6 LED with a lifespan of 20+ years of run time.
    • Modes & Run-time:
      -Firefly: 0.1lumen(17days);
      -Low: 17lumen(22hours);
      -Medium: 75lumen(5hours)
      -High: 200lumen(115minutes);
      -Strobe: 200lumen(3.5hours)
     
    Last edited by dmattaponi, Feb 8, 2017
    #40 dmattaponi, Feb 8, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
    aasoverteakettle and jag-engr like this.