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Help Find Perfect AA EDC Light (Exact Requirements Inside)

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by Whalker, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. Whalker

    Whalker Loaded Pockets

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    Budget Up To $140

    Looking for an AA Size Flashlight for EDC with the following requirements:
    - 500+ Lumens
    - Tail Switch not Side Switch (Avoiding accidental firing)
    - Deep Carry Pocket Clip (Orientated for Head Lamp usage preferred but not a deal breaker)

    I like the Lumen Power of the Klarus Mi7, don't want the side switch.
    I like the features + power of the OLIGHT S1A Baton, don't want the side switch.
    I like the tail switch of the EagleTac D25C but it only has 400 Lumen Output.

    EagleTac D25C is almost exactly what I'm looking for but would really love a higher lumen output.
    Does the light I'm looking for exist?

    Thanks very much for your input. Cheers!!
     
  2. BigGreenTick

    BigGreenTick Loaded Pockets

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    If you use a 14500 in the D25A it will revert to direct drive & give you 700 or so (LED not OTF) lumens. The other modes will be noticeably brighter as well, but if you are just looking for max output....
     
    #2 BigGreenTick, Mar 26, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
    Whalker likes this.
  3. Tesla

    Tesla Loaded Pockets

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    400 vs 500 lumens is a head game. it takes roughly twice the lumens to make a visible difference. It's like the difference in audio output between 80 & 100 watts on your Home Theater amp. Go with the feature set you like over an additional 100 lumens and don't look back.
     
  4. leathermaneod

    leathermaneod Empty Pockets

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    I know it’s below your lumen requirement, but I’m very happy with mine so I’m gonna suggest it anyway. Streamlight 1L-1AA. I haven’t found a better edc light, in person or online. It’s also only about $40 on amazon, so even if you don’t like it, it’s no great loss. Good luck!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  5. Low Rez

    Low Rez Empty Pockets

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    A 500 lumen AA does not exist. Yet.
     
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  6. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    It sounds like you are looking for a light that would work well for hands-free use. If you are willing to consider something a little different, the Manker E03H is an angle light with the light on the side and a clicky switch on the top. It has a clip that can be used to attach it to clothing, or it has a headband. It also has clip-on sliding diffusers. It does not reach 500 lumens, but it is a bright light with surprisingly good flow for an angle light.

    I recently purchased some Manker E03H lights for my wife and friends to use on a trip. Everyone was happy with them, and I think I actually like my wife's Manker light better than my Zebralight.
     
  7. flux

    flux Loaded Pockets

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    deleted. double posted
     
    #7 flux, Mar 27, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  8. flux

    flux Loaded Pockets

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    In the AA range it is quite hard to find something above 250 lumens.

    I warmly recommend having a look at the Trunite T10, which is my EDC since 3 years now. Daily. Modes: ca. 0.1>20>160 (a newer version in cold white has about 250), true mode memory, tail switch operation (you can also use headtwist to change modes if you need to), very nice recessed button, so it tailstands, heavy duty screw-on pocket clip (the aluminium version has clip-on, but it carriers deeper). I have made a DIY headband to use it as a headlight if necessary (eventhough I have the heavier stainless steel version it works nice). just make a ring of elastic band and sew on a piece orthogonal or at preferred angle to shove the flashlight through. takes 2 minutes, uses almost no space in the pocket and works like a charm if you need a headlight). the Thrunite T10 is pretty similar to the eagletac D25a in terms of modes IIRC.

    I have a ton of other lights, but the T10 Stainless is my favourite. The modes are just perfect and I like the weight of it. and it looks gorgeous. There's also a TI version.

    The Thrunite Ti5 puts the same output into a even smaller and lighter AAA package in Titanium or Aluminium and gives you momentary-on as well. (and lower moonlight mode). I gave one to my brother and consider buying one for myself, cause it is a pretty nice light. and the clip is screwed on over the body as well.

    Else I would also recommend the Manker lights. I have a Wowtac angle light with 18650 battery for camping and Manker uses about the same UI with AA and AAA, and it is an awesome UI.

    If I hadn't enough lights lying around now, I would now be buying a Thrunite Ti5 for EDC and a Manker E02H with AA for camping and outdoor activities.
     
    Last edited by flux, Mar 27, 2018
    #8 flux, Mar 27, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  9. Captainkirk

    Captainkirk Loaded Pockets

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    Zebralight SC5w Mk II can do 550, just for a few minutes though, then down to 407.

    Not a tail-switch though.
     
  10. SOS24
    • +1 Supporter

    SOS24 Loaded Pockets

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    I don’t think you are going to find 500 lumens in a single AA light. I think you would either need to accept lower lumens, a 2xAA or go with a CR123. Even most CR123 lights only achieve 500+ by using a 16340 or rcr123.

    Also you mentioned the D25c as having 450 lumens. You do realize it is a CR123. The AA equivalent is a D25A, which is only 200 lumen.

    The brightest AA with a tail switch that I’ve used is the Fenix LD-12 which is only 320lumens and that is with a 14500. The Eagletac d25a is the brightest one I’ve seen with a AA primary.

    The Nitecore SRT3 may be an option. It has tail switch and can achieve 500+ lumens with a CR123, but then can also use AA with the included extender tube.
     
    #10 SOS24, Apr 25, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  11. etc

    etc Loaded Pockets

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    500 Lumens is brutal on an AA, even if that was possible.. I think if you are married to the AA chemistry, you can generate that kind of lumens using 4xAA in parallel. But not via 1 or even 2 cells.

    I think circa 200 lumens is a reasonable goal. The other thing to realize, runtime will be abysmal if you get to even 300 lumens.

    Pick one, lumens or runtime. AAs are not high energy devies.
    The other thing to realize, you will need either NiMh AA chemistry or Energizer Lithium AA, which are as expensive as 123s. Alkalines are not good for high-drain devices. NiMh can sustain a high load but they run at 1.2V and you will need 3-4 of them to sustain the voltage you need to generate anywhere above 250 lumens IMO and for a reasonable time.

    What good is 500 lumens for 5 minutes? It's a useless metric, like a car that goes 300 miles per hour and then stops in 10 minutes.

    Way way in the past circa 2007 I've had a Fenix L2D that generated close to 200 lumens via 2xAA. I think the more modern ones exceed that somewhat, but really, a 2x123 light does so easier and you can always use a Li-ion cell like 17670.

    I get it. You want AA so.. I think you are limited to Fenix 2xAA lights to get anywhere near that and their 2xAA lights are kind of compact. Realize that *if* you get considerably above 200 lumens and the runtime will get closer to 20 minutes. I am exaggerating of course but you get the point.

    You want Energizer Lithium AA cell that runs 1.8V fresh and a light that can take it.

    Then maybe you can hit 200 lumens+/-
    but certainly not 500.
     
    #11 etc, Apr 25, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  12. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    Actually, per charge, NiMH cells are dirt cheap. They are literally pennies per charge if spread the cost out over their useful life.

    Two NiMH have a voltage of 2.4V, which requires a voltage boost of 35-55% to power an LED. This is well within the reasonably efficient range of modern circuits. The 3-year-old Fenix LD22 can do 320 lumens for 1 hour and 25 minutes on two Ni-MH cells.

    A single 18650/17670 Li-Ion cell is more efficient than two 123 cells for an LED flashlight. Granted, the OP could also get a single AA that could run 14500 (AA-sized) Li-Ion cells.
     
  13. etc

    etc Loaded Pockets

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    You know that but that's outside the OP's stated criteria.


    I abandoned the NiMh platform years ago just because a single 18650 is that much more efficient and is not any more difficult to recharge than Eneloops. Maybe easier with no memory effect. But we don't know if the OP is ready to make that quantum leap.

    A single AA light is neither efficient nor long-running nor high on lumens. It's really a backup light more than anything.

    From the stand point of compactness, a 1x123 makes a lot more sense, I think my Quark hits something like 200 lumens on high and is even smaller than 1xAA but again, OP is married to the AA cell so that's out.

    His best bet is looking at Fenix and Fenix clones, which are many. And something that takes Lithium AA cells which is his best bet performance wise, way more than 1xAA NiMH but that comes at a price.

    With AA cells, 2xAA makes so much more sense from every angle. Even the latest-greatest minimag is a solid choice, whatever is the latest lumens rating. I do know for a fact they love lithiums, that's possibly his best bet cost-to-performance ratio-wise, or "value".

    Bottom line is, you cannot get any performance out of a single Alkaline cell. If OP is permanently engaged to that platform, needs to tune down his lumens expectations - way down - or stack AAs until he gets some serious voltage. At least 3xAA or 4xAA, which doesn't make any sense either.

    I remember the wild days of 2008 when people would come up with those crazy custom devices, like 3D Mags that took 9 AA cells - usually NiMH and got 1000+ lumens for 15 minutes. Roar of the Pelican and such.

    500 lumens on Alkalines means he will be going through cells at a crazy rate, daily. Makes much more sense to buy an expensive Li-ion like 18650 - expensive means $10 or $15 and use it a gazillion times.





     
    Last edited by etc, Apr 26, 2018
    #13 etc, Apr 26, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  14. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    You are assuming that the OP intends to use alkalines, but what he actually said was:
    I agree on the efficiency and performance. For backpackers, Li-ion cells actually recharge better from solar panels. I have a Fenix 18650 with a built-in micro USB. I don't even need a charger, just a USB-A to micro-USB cord. However, I don't carry the 18650 light in my pocket. For that, I go with a AA or AAA light.

    That's certainly true of a AA light loaded with alkalines, but other cells can deliver plenty of run-time and reasonable levels of output. For me, on the the main benefits of AA cells is for travel - they can be used in many devices besides my flashlight. Therefore, when I travel, I take AA lights.

    For maximum lumens, yes, but a single cell light is much more pocketable.
     
  15. Swe_Nurse

    Swe_Nurse Loaded Pockets

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    The D25C is not an AA, its a CR123. The little brother D25A is not 400 lumen but hovers around the 200-250 iirc. As a side note I can highly recommend the D25C.

    The only single AA (not 14500) light I know of that reaches (and surpasses) 500 lumen is the already mentioned Zebralight SC5. It has a sideswitch so if that's a deal breaker I'm not sure that the OP's requirements are compatible.
     
  16. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I pretty much carry 1AA lights every moment of every day and run them on Leakers and they are anything but useless for me.

    I have had no problem adapting and accepting the realistic output from a single AA Alkaline cell and within this output I am usually just fine.

    I do also carry something much more powerful and long running all the time but most of my daily use is n the near field and the AA on an Alkaline is just fine.

    You can argue all you want about my caveman attitude about these batteries but they work for me while recharging simply does not.

    Different Strokes.
     
    jag-engr and Moshe ben David like this.
  17. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    @EZDog: +1.

    I am on a similar approach except that most of mine are either 1 x AAA or 2 x AAA; (Streamlight Microstreams and Stylus Plus). I get along fine for my needs and I like that I can just pop into virtually any retail place (supermarket, pharmacy, hardware, 7-11, etc etc) and get replacements at a moments notice! As of course can you with AA.

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  18. dml24

    dml24 Loaded Pockets

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    Agree that no one will notice the difference between 400 and 500 lumens of output. The type of head design has more to do with perceived output. A good example is comparing a 2012 era TK15, (Fenix) with 400 lumens on high compared to the 550 lumens on high for my Thrunite TN4A. The TK15 is a thrower. The head has a deep and smooth design, the result is a narrow highly focused spot with some spill directly in front of the user. The TN4A has a moderately deep orange peel design. The distance reached with the beam is less than the TK15, however the TN4A is more floody than the TK15 and a much larger area is illuminated in front of the user than the TK15. That's why most of us have multiple lights for different purposes.
     
  19. speedy

    speedy Loaded Pockets

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    Home Depot has a lot of options these days. My goal is the size depending on the intended use and as many Lumens I can get.
     
  20. assassin10000

    assassin10000 Loaded Pockets

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    There are lots of options out there. I would dig through some MFG websites to see what they carry. If you're open to 2x CR123 size lights it opens up a whole lot larger ballpark for options. But if length is an issue I'm sure it can be found.

    Have you tried searching batteryjunction? They have some pretty nice filters on the site. You can choose 1xAA format , minimum of 500 lumens AND specify tail cap switch. Found 4 on their site with that option set, 12 with 1xcr123 and 112 with 2xcr123. I've bought from them a few times, usually bundle some extra batteries to get free shipping.

    Is there a max width and length you're looking at? Any preferences on color? Are you open to rechargeables like the RCR123a?

    For example, the Klarus XT1C looks nice, tail cap (dual) switch. 700 lumen on 1x RCR123A

    Andrew
     
    Last edited by assassin10000, Jun 23, 2018
    #20 assassin10000, Jun 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018