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Most Efficient 2xAA Flashlight Under $35

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by jag-engr, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    What is the most efficient (2)AA flashlight under $35? I don't want a daily user - I want a good flashlight for my emergency kit (or BOB, if you will). It needs a high level, low level and reasonably simple UI.

    I'm thinking that an older Fenix L2D (RB100, hopefully) is probably my best bet at this price point, but I was seeing if anyone knew of anything more efficient.
     
  2. J242

    J242 Empty Pockets

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  3. AcesQ

    AcesQ Loaded Pockets

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    I had been using my Fenix LD20 for almost 2 years. Night cycling, fishing, walk around the parks at night. It had been with me most of the time. I love it.
     
  4. derfyled

    derfyled Loaded Pockets

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    The L2D is not a bad choice but a lot of them had the''pre-flash'' issue (blinding flash when set to open on the low level) , the rebel 100 edition had a lot of failure (led burn easily, become brown and dim), and a low that is more a medium level. Fenix did a good job with the LD20 but a new one will be more around $50.

    I suggest you have a look at a Quark mini AA2, its PWM driven but at a high frequency (undetectable), 3 nicely spaced levels, hidden but available strobes, efficient driver, very compact, 10 year warranty, available in high CRI and not far from your price range. There's even a discount code for 8% (seen on CPF...).

    Put 2 L91 and you are OK for 10 years in your BOB.
     
  5. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    Well I don't know about $35, but the Quark AA^2 is on sale at Going Gear for $50.

    Not sure what you define as "efficient" but for me, for a BOB, it's the longest possible runtime at the lowest usable light level. I happen to be huge fan of the 0.2 lumen moonlight modes. With night adjusted eyes it's enough to do pretty much anything I need to in terms of close task work, although I might need to work a bit aiming the hot spot for certain things (like reading).

    Quarks are pretty much the runtime kings of AAs at CPF... in 2xAA form, you can get over 1,100 hours of runtime on moonlight (tested by CPF folks). Interestingly alkalines do really well, I've read better than NiMh and Lithium Primaries, on the super low draws of moonlight. However, I'd agree with derfyled on the L91s for storage and no leaking risk.

    If you really wanted to cover yourself, you can get some Eneloops and a 4xAA solar charger that weighs about 4 AA batts, and maybe 2 packs of cigarettes in volume, to give you indefinite light... as well as power for other survival devices like cellphones, radios, gps, uv water purifier, etc.
     
  6. derfyled

    derfyled Loaded Pockets

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    I do agree the regular Quark is a great choice (if not THE best one...) but I figured the budget was a priority. Something else crossed my mind when I suggested the MINI: since it goes in a BOB, it might not be used very often but needs to be reliable. Twisty switch is less subject to failure compared to a clicky since there is no mechanical switch.
     
  7. MDCCLXXVI

    MDCCLXXVI Loaded Pockets

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    Under $35?

    Why not use a Bic lighter?

    You'll get the same functionality out of such a cheap light.

    You won't get any decent 2xAA for under $50-$60.
     
  8. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    How efficient would you say the light is? It ws my understanding that it wasn't a highly efficient light compared to an L2D or LD20, but I could be mistaken.

    The pre-flash never bothered me - even in low-light conditions. It just wasn't long enough of a flash to affect night vision, in my opinion. I didn't know that the RB100 was prone to burn-out. I just knew that it has one of the nicest beams (tint, color rendition, and pattern) that I have seen to date. Why did I get rid of my P2D RB100? :'(

    If I get a new light, I'd probably go for one of these.

    Thank you for taking the time to contribute to this forum.
     
  9. hatchetjack

    hatchetjack EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    This one is just over your budget limit. I had the older P10A2 and it was a good light. Easy Hi/Lo by twisting the head. Makes me think Fenix might have a hand in this. Unfortunately, I just sold mine at $35.00.
    http://www.lighthound.com/EagleTac-P100A2-2xAA-flashlight-236-Lumens-max-output-2-levels_p_3525.html

    I keep this one as a backup light in the house. Not fancy, no hi/lo but has been reliable during power outages, taking out trash and only around 20 bucks. Good price for something to be stashed away. Twisty switch w/momentary button.
    http://www.amazon.com/Rayovac-SELUX2AA3W-B-Sportsman-Flashlight-Batteries/dp/B00175I0TK
     
  10. derfyled

    derfyled Loaded Pockets

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    Because it didn't support LI-ION and had no reverse polarity protection !

    Seriously, since you are mentioning tint and color rendition, have a look at the high CRI XP-G LED. The beam pattern is almost the same as the rebel (the led has the same form factor) and brown, yellow and green colors are close to what you would see with an incan. If you haven't tested these new LEDs, go ahead and you won't see anymore reason to switch back to rebel or older XR-E based lights.
     
  11. gregozedobe

    gregozedobe Loaded Pockets

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    Another vote for a Quark AA2 (which particular model depends on your preferences) + L91s. I'd be a little concerned allowing budget to rank above quality for an "emergency kit" light - when you need it you will likely REALLY need it to work. Are you intending to have only one light in this kit ? Just thinking of the "One is none, two is one" rule about back-ups.
     
  12. MDCCLXXVI

    MDCCLXXVI Loaded Pockets

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    Agreed ...

    From my experience, a $25 2xAA flashlight is like having 4oz of "none" in the emergency kit.

    Lowest I'd spend on a 2xAA is about $60 ... Even then I've had $60 AA lights fail ... None of my +$100 lights have failed yet.
     
  13. ScottAW

    ScottAW Loaded Pockets

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    Honestly, as far as efficiency goes, any of the modern led lights with a low mode will give you months of usable light on a set of batteries. If you use a few minutes a day, and don't need high modes, a few extra hours of use really won't make a difference. I've had excellent luck with all my fenix lights and the quarks seem very similar.
     
  14. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    Why?

    You can get a new Quark "X" AA^2 with the latest Cree XM-L emitter for ~$44 delivered. Down side is that the compromise for a 280 lumens max is half the moonlight runtime (only 15 days now).
     
  15. catfishdan
    • In Omnia Paratus

    catfishdan Loaded Pockets

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    I got a jet beam BA20 for exactly 35 bucks. It only has two modes, but that makes it really simple. At 275 lumens, it's the brightest light I have.