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Looking for the smallest brightest AA flashlight. What are my options?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by jwalker497, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    The Zebralights are great, no question there, but I think they're fibbing a bit. My ZL quotes nearly the same output modes/lumens as my 4Sevens Quark, but to my eye, there is no comparison.
     
  2. colubrid

    colubrid Loaded Pockets

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    4Sevens quark?.. is that a double AA flashlight?

    I am really busting at finding a AA that takes regular Alkaline and has no more than three levels and the brightest lumens on high.

    Anyone know???
     
  3. PeaceOfMind

    PeaceOfMind Loaded Pockets

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    Using alkalines is going to heavily limit how many lumens you can get out a single AA light... alkalines simply can't provide enough current to get really bright when there's only one of them. Even if you buy a 200 lumen AA light, I'll be surprised if you actually exceed 100 lumens on a single alkaline. However most lights that take AA's will be able to take alkalines, they just won't be at their max brightness.

    The Zebralights mentioned are porbably good, or the AA versions of the 4Seven's Quark, or the Quark MiNi. Check out the Quark Tactical models if you don't want too many modes (Tactical models you get to program in only 2 modes)
     
  4. Enkidu
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Enkidu Loaded Pockets

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    Fenix LD10, I love mine...:)
     
  5. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    The Quark AA and MiNi AA run on a single AA battery, the AA^2 and Mini AA^2 run on two. All models will take alkaline batteries and give outstanding output, although you'll get better runtime on Lithiums. The MiNi models have three main levels (low, medium and high) with hidden strobe/flashing modes available by cycling through the regular modes twice. The regular Quarks have far more than three outputs. The Tactical Quarks can be programmed to use any two of the regular Quark outputs.
     
  6. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    Different manufacturers claim different lumen values. An industry standard (ANSI lumens) has recently been developed, but testing has to be done by an independent lab and is expensive. A decent single-cell AA light running on alkalines is only going to get around 100 lumens max, regardless of what anyone claims. Some AA lights on DX claim to put out 300 lumens. This is scientifically impossible on alkaline batteries.

    However, 100 lumens is nothing to be scoffed at. That's more than enough light for most tasks. It wouldn't do for search and rescue, probably, but you should be good for anything else.

    When it comes down to it, you need to weigh your options and make the decision on which light will work best for you. Don't worry excessively about lumen ratings.

    The best contenders for single AA lights are:
    • Fenix L1D / LD10 / LD10+ - 2-/4-level clicky
    • 4sevens Quark MiNi AA - 3-level twisty
    • 4sevens Quark AA - 2-/5-level clicky
    • 4sevens Preon ReVO AA (not yet released) - 3-level twisty, current-regulated
    • Nitecore D10 / D11 - varies
    • Nitecore NDI - 2-level clicky
    • Zebralight SC51 - 3-level clicky with programmable options for each level
     
  7. colubrid

    colubrid Loaded Pockets

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    I just want simple.

    I don't have patence for multiple modes or buying expensive batteries online or getting rechargables. I just want to go to the corner store to get batteries.

    matter of fact i just picked up 16 AA's for $5.95 at CVS. So i don't care if runtime on high is 45 minutes or less.

    I just want a 2-3 stage alkaline AA with good spill/flood.

    I guess the maratac AA is the best one can get in this market with those stipulations because it 'claims" to get 120 lumens on a single alkaline.
     
  8. colubrid

    colubrid Loaded Pockets

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    another thing. price point is not important. I don't care if it is a $300. flashlight. I just want one that has 2-3 modes with the most lumens out of a single alkaline AA. Preferably a clicky.

    I want the best single AA that runs on alkaline with the brightest spill/flood. I have no use for a spot (or throw) out of a small flashlight. I have the Maratac AA and AAA. They have great flood but I wanted something better.
     
  9. PeaceOfMind

    PeaceOfMind Loaded Pockets

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    Based on these criteria, I would be getting the 4Sevens Quark AA Tactical XP-G S2 version if I were you. The XP-G based quarks are fairly floody without going overboard, and the latest S2 LEDs are the most efficient you are going to find for something like this. They'll run on Alkalines just fine, as well as a variety of other batteries. It has a clicky, and the Tactical version of it has 2 modes, and you get to program what those two modes are - so you can pick two modes you like when you first get it, and then forget about programming and messing around with it all together afterwards.

    Also, good warranty and service from 4Sevens.

    And one important note: 4Sevens is using ANSI lumens ratings on these new lights - the ANSI standard is pretty strict about how it measures and results in some lower numbers than how other companies are rating their lights. Don't bother trying to compare these ANSI numbers with other companies' lumens ratings (unless that company is also explicitly using ANSI ratings) because the numbers are just not comparable. I assure you the Quark AA S2 will be in the range of one of the brightest.
     
  10. hatchetjack

    hatchetjack EDC Junkie!!!!!

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  11. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    In view of this, let me par down my list of recommendations:
    • 4sevens Quark AA Tactical - 2-level clicky
    • Nitecore D10 ramping version - Smart PD interface, but essentially HI-LO
    • Nitecore NDI - 2-level clicky
    • Zebralight SC51 - 3-level clicky with programmable options for each level
     
  12. Russ Prechtl

    Russ Prechtl EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    My favorites are still the Zebralight SC51 and DST TLR Ti.
     
  13. HOMELAND SECURITY HAM

    HOMELAND SECURITY HAM Loaded Pockets

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    Hi All,

    Well its tax time and I just might try the electrolumens 700 lumen model. He is a machinist and only turns out 100 units at a time. He also does his own hard annodizing. His products appear top notch. No :censored: making the chip go through 20 modes to get what you want.

    I reciently spoke with him and he is going to do a custom run of one of his lights for police. 2000 lumens focusable like the mag charger on one switch high beam only for traffic stops, suspicious persons, etc...

    The second switch will be for a lower bright light like 65 or 90 lumens for uses like door checks at night when you don't want to be blinded by your own light bouncing back at you and all you have to do is hit the high beam switch for suspicious persons that you might come upon. The only thing he is not doing at this time is internal charging, I can live with that.

    2000 lumens will impress my co workers and myself and be great for retna shutdown for officer safety on bad guys. The little one that uses 1, rechargable 18650 and gives 700 lumens should also be impressive for EDC.

    Cliff
     
  14. Tranx

    Tranx Loaded Pockets

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    Also consider Fenix LD15?

    If you want flood, small & simple & bright,
    why not try a Fenix LD 15?
    It's no clickie, but a twistie
    It's not a thrower, but nice and floody
    2-mode => 117 Lumens & 8 lumens
    It is problably not the brightest, but quite small (e.g. compared to an LD10)
    So if you calculate brightness in terms of size/volume of the light, It might come out quite good.
    Works on alkaline.

    I have one and I like it.
    I'm just a "beginning" CPF-er, so I have no pile of other lights to compare with.
    (I do have arc aa GS, Fenix LD20 R4, Fenix Ld15, petzl e-lite, petzl zipka (oldest version), and some other lights)

    The info & photo's on:
    http://www.fenixlight.com

    Cree XP-G LED (R4) with lifespan of 50,000 hours
    • Two modes of output:High (117 lumens, 1.5hrs) ->
    Low (8 lumens, 39hrs)
    (Tested with Ni-mh battery with actual capacity 2500mAh)
    • Stable current regulated circuit, stable brightness
    • Uses one 1.5V AA battery (ni-mh, alkaline)
    • 80mm (Length) X 16.6mm (Diameter)
    • 21-gram weight (excluding batteries)
    • Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum
    • Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
    • Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard
    • Toughened double ultra-clear glass lens
    • Reliable twist switch
    • Candle mode (Capable of standing up securely on a flat
    surface to serve as a candle)
    • Accessories: key ring, lanyard

    Greetings,
    Vince
     
  15. jehan60188

    jehan60188 Loaded Pockets

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    buy a cree bulb, and tape it to a AA
    use gorilla tape for added durability, and use gold-plated aluminum wire for weight savings
     
  16. davidt1

    davidt1 Loaded Pockets

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    Ceiling bounce is the proper method to test for overall brightness. A throwy light will appear brighter than a floody one if you only look at the hot spot.
     
  17. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    Can't tell much with the ceiling bounce. To my eyes, shining against a wall, my H51w and Quark AA2 are nearly identical in hot spot size and spill diameter. When moving one beam across the other, and vice versa, the ZL beam simply gets lost in the Quark's beam - hot spot or side spill. Of course they are different tints, but I can't believe that would account for much.

    Still think the ZL is pretty amazing, it's running with half the battery power of the 4-7 afterall. I just think their output numbers are fibbing a bit.
     
  18. SuperTrouper

    SuperTrouper Loaded Pockets

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    With the criteria of being as small and bright as possible while running on a single AA battery, the 4Sevens Quark mini AA is very compact, runs on one AA and if you run it on a 14500 (AA size Li-ion) it boosts the output on high insanely high for such a small light. Reportedly around 300 lumens but t does heat up fast and consequently is not recommended by the manufacturer.

    Of course you should observe all the usual precautions when using Li-ion batteries with this setup as with any other Li-ion setup and be careful not to let the light overheat on high.
     
  19. Mike S

    Mike S Loaded Pockets

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    I am using the maratac right now for keychain size EDC. Small and comes in at 85 lumens.

    .02
     
  20. Spamity Calamity

    Spamity Calamity Empty Pockets

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    Another recommendation for the Fenix LD 15. I think the OP might have requested a clicky but other than that, this flashlight should fit the bill nicely. One cell, its very small, it has only two modes and the high mode puts out 117 lumens. http://www.fenixlight.com/viewnproduct.asp?id=69