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New EDC Light, CR123 or AA?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by EMP105, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. whyedc?

    whyedc? Loaded Pockets

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    I like AA lights for EDC. I also have a AAA for keychain/bottom of pocket carry. For work lights I have Surefire G2's.

    I would think a single AA would be best, as I would rather have two or three replacement batteries, rather than one set in a multiple AA light.
     
  2. Roger

    Roger Loaded Pockets

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    I've recently taken to EDCing a Sunwayman V10R. When the hurrincane first kicked up was using 123s, over past few days I've added the AA extender and been using AA's...and yes I carry a 123 and an AA just in case.
     
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  3. indigo_wolf

    indigo_wolf AKA Breezy

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    Plenty of lights that will happily munch on AA or CR123 without too much fanface. A few that come to mind.

    1. The Zebralight SC80 takes either using an internal adaptor that can flipped.
    2. The Sunwayman V10R/V11R use and extender segment to accept AAs and feeds on CR123 without it.
    3. The Olight TC-10/TC-15 Transformer comes with a with one body for AA and one body for CR123 (for rechargeables, it will accept RCR123 or 14500). When one body is being used, the other body can be used as a battery holder because it comes with end caps (that fit on either body.
    The AA form factor may be easier to find in a pinch, but the CR123 will give you more lumens at a slightly smaller size. If the cost of feeding them is a concerning, buying in bulk online or investing in RCR123 is an option.

    One of my EDC lights is Olight TC-10 (CR123), but the TC-15 body is in the bag along with spare AA and CR123 batteries.

    In most cases, price is going to be the deal breaker.

    1. The Zebralight SC80 (189 or 220 lumens depending on emitter) is $84.99
    2. The Sunwayman V10R is $82, the V11R is $90, and the extender tube is $15 (more for the titanium models).
    3. The Olight TC-10/TC-15 Transformer is $129.95 and includes a light engine/head, 2 bodies, 1 endcap for light, 2 endcaps for unused body, 1 white diffuser tip, and 1 red diffuser tip.
    Factor in additional money for cells and charging unit is you go the rechargeable route.

    ATB,
    Sam
     
  4. EMP105

    EMP105 Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for all the responses, great community here. I've narrowed it down to a D25A Clicky or a Foursevens Quark Tactical QTA. I would love to go with the V11R with the extender tube. But I can't justify dipping into the higher end lights on my fresh college graduate budget. So...I am going more low to mid level lights. Thanks for all the great opinions. If you could suggest one over the other, I would appreciate it. UPDATE: I'm also looking at the V10A.
     
    Last edited by EMP105, Nov 5, 2012
  5. k12cop

    k12cop Loaded Pockets

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    Check out the shining beam brand lights at shiningbeam.com...decent quality for around $25-40...they even include both aa and cr123 bodies with some of their lights...

    Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk 2
     
  6. Redleg22

    Redleg22 Loaded Pockets

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    AAA all the way for me. Obviuosly it doesnt translate to the highest performing lights out there but I can get them anywhere and they take up no space. I like that my EDC flashlight and my Petzl headlamp in my EDC bag take the same batteries. The more cross leveling the better.
     
  7. Sniperx7

    Sniperx7 Loaded Pockets

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    That was always my idea too. If there was anything serious going on that might result in a blackout, I would carry around a CR123 light for the added run time on low over AAs. If I would ever run out of 123's I would switch to an AA light.

    Anyways, If you're just going for one light, I would go with an AA light, if only for the availability factor of the flashlight food.

    It's hard to go wrong with a Fenix LD12 or a Sunwayman M10A.

    sx7
     
  8. Idaho Gunslinger

    Idaho Gunslinger Loaded Pockets

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    If you are willing to spend the extra money, the V11R is hard to beat. However, for $40 you can get either the Jetbeam BC10 or the BA10. Both the same thing, only the BA10 uses AA instead of CR123s. The BC10 puts out 270 lumens on high. I back mine up with a $20 Streamlight Microstream that uses a AAA, so I can easily find batteries for it.
     
  9. nw1911guy

    nw1911guy Loaded Pockets

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    Guess I'll be the lone voice in the crowd....Fenix LD12 AA. Very happy with my LD10 and the LD12 is it's successor.

    Ok, now an additional thought about AAs vs. 123s. I know people want to point out the shelf life of the 123 lithium cells however, you can also buy lithium AA and AAA batteries these days in case you need some to store.
     
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  10. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    +1 to AA Lithium primaries (L91s) for shelf life, extreme temp performance and total energy (1.5Vx3000ma vs 3Vx1500ma) for similar runtimes. Actually they're a slightly different chemistry and I believe they have 50% greater shelf life (15yrs). Also wondering if it is less volatile - haven't seen an explosion thread with L91s in multi-cell configs yet. There are also 3V Lithium primaries for AA lights (that can handle the voltage) referred to as the 14505, basically same as a CR123. Downside to AA Lithiums, it's not a competitive market... quite monopolistic actually.

    Lots of fans of SWM infinitely variable rings. Beautiful light with a very cool UI, but there's a heavy price to pay in terms of runtime since the rings consume more power than the LED does at low lumen levels. On a sub-lumen mode, with the same battery, an IV ring light can only do about 1/5th - 1/10th the runtime of clicky. On a single digit level, around 1/2 the clickies runtime. The overhead draw becomes immaterial to the hundreds of ma at the higher lumen levels though. Great light under normal circumstances, but not something I'd want in a Sandy situation.
     
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  11. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera Loaded Pockets

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    CR123. It holds more power than AA and the higher voltage is better-suited for LED flashlights, because LEDs usually require ~3.6V to run. Upconverting from 3V to 3.6V is more efficient than upconverting from 1.5V to 3.6V.
     
  12. Blerv

    Blerv Loaded Pockets

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    As you said it's a different chemistry but can handle very high draw (comparatively). Unlike LiCo batteries, in theory all of these batteries, if overtaxed, can pop at pretty high pressure. Put them in a stainless body with very little airspace and it could do some real damage.

    What it wouldn't do is 1300 degree flame and poison gas.

    Note: I don't know if you can even pop a LiFeP04 battery. No experience. I know they are considered even safer than Li-Mn and are nigh-bulletproof.
     
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  13. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Either go for AA (be it rechargeable or not) or cr123/16340 but try and avoid them bastard 14500's and alike. There's a reason why the higher voltage cells have different dimensions. Trust me on this, when the wife discovers that the remote control is out of power, decides that she knows how to fix that problem and finds fresh batteries in your personal collection that 'look like they should fit' (and thus jamming over 8volts in a 3v rated appliance) stuff WILL break and it will ofc not be her fault.... nooo.. how was SHE supposed to know.... so YOU will have to go defy crappy weather to go to the store and fetch a new remote (why don't these modern TVs have buttons anymore!?)

    When in doubt, go AA (and dont pick a 180 lumens light over a 150 lumens specimen for the sake of 'ZOMG itll be soo much brighter' cuz it wont)... go for a nice quality, reliable unit. Led lights will last you a lifetime so pick em wisely.

    I dont know how 4sevens current quality-control is but i lost interest in the brand when they came out with the 'minis' (them without the clicky buttons). Those were pretty horrible in each and every way. The Quarks they made before that were really nice with square cut threads, nice tolerances and just overall simple yet very functional design. I have basically the grandpa of this one;
    https://www.foursevens.com/product_info.php?products_id=2920
    You can probably find everything there is to know on this light on cpf. The one i have has not skipped a beat ever and ive been carrying it for about.... almost 3 years now? So if these new ones are anywhere near the first couple of batches quality-wise i can recommend those!
     
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  14. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    Baahahahaha...... oH sheet! I got a 13 y.o. too. [runs to gather up his collection]
     
  15. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    EMP, I much prefer cr123a powered lights, but, really, you will be just fine with AA lights. Most people, I think would be. This is especially true if you are on a budget and/or are not going to have a lot of extra lights. As has been said before, battery availability with the AA is much better generally speaking. It also helps if your ego isn't involved in the decision as it avoids getting something based on max lumens alone.

    I would suggest this Olight i2 EOS from Shiningbeam. I have the cr123a version of this light and it is fantastic. No clickie, but still one to be considered, I think. It is also well under your budget, so while you are at Shiningbeam, you can spend some of the savings on more budget oriented options like a SB modified Romisen such as this. I also like this house brand clone of a 4/7s quark turbo. Still under budget, BTW. If you user code "BLFuser" you will save 6%. <$3 shipping, BTW.

    In closing, if you go AA, invest in some Eneloops; you won't regret it. If you decide to go with cr123a, buy in bulk, as it is the only way to make that reasonably affordable. IMHO, budget lights, unlike budget knives, are nearly as good as their more expensive counterparts. Considering this, your expanded budget of $100 could net you quite a starter collection.
     
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  16. sbillard

    sbillard Loaded Pockets

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    Unless you have to deal with very low temperatures, I would go for AA. Cheaper, reliable, easily available, and salvageable from other devices. If you use rechargeable batteries, make sure to buy low-discharge ones, such as Eneloop : they retain about 80% of their power after 1 year.
     
  17. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    EMP, sbillard brings up two good reasons why, despite me saying that you should go AA, that I personally run the cr123a platform; cold weather performance and shelf life. Obviously, only you know how much any of those factors really matter in your system/philosophy.
     
  18. ico

    ico Loaded Pockets

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    Since you seem to prefer AAs now, I would suggest the Zebralight SC51 or SC52. Both have a nice high mode as well as a very low moonlight mode. With its UI, you can access low,mid, or high from off. The UI maybe hard at first but once you get used to it, it would definitely be a keeper.
     
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  19. AK Adventurer

    AK Adventurer Ice, Ice, Tigre

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    I'll second Jetbeam for high output and great build at amazingly low prices.

    I'm more or less doing the same as Idaho right now, I carry a BC10 for high light output when needed, and as others have mentioned, Cr123 for the extreme cold here. But my general use light that I carry with it and use the most is a Teralux Lightstar 80; 1 mode at 80lum, on 2 AAAs. I run it on NiMH rechargables to fight the cold, but can get replacement AAAs pretty much Anywhere if I need them.

    I'm currently looking to get an equivelant 2xAA light to the BC10, or I'm going to go to RCR123s. finding cr123s can be hard at times, I went for 3 weeks where nowhere locally had any, and thats why I bought the AAA light.

    G.
     
  20. KAMM
    • In Omnia Paratus

    KAMM Loaded Pockets

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    I carry AA, cr123, and AAA. To many lights!
     
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