Author Topic: AA or AAA Flashlight  (Read 11318 times)

Offline Badhog

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AA or AAA Flashlight
« on: May 04, 2014, 01:47:26 PM »
I have a few of the cheap Chinese CREE lights from Amazon, but I recently went on a trip and wish I had a better flashlight in my get home bag.

I'd prefer it to be AA or AAA, so I could charge the batteries in my Goal Zero. I'd also like it to have a long run time on low, 200-250 lumens on max, impact durable, and waterproof.

The one I found so far is the Foursevens Quark Tactical AA² /QT2A. Could anyone recommend something better?

endurance

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2014, 02:22:45 PM »
While I don't have the Quark Tactical AA, I've been really happy with the two different FourSevens I've owned.  My Mini123 and Quark 123 Tactical have been great lights.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2014, 07:14:47 PM »
Also happy with my FourSeven Quark 123, and a Fenix E11 (single AA).  Both brands are very well made. I had a Surefire G10 (?) and the tail cap went out twice.  Neither the FourSeven or Fenix have had any problems when carried in my pocket daily and used often.


I think the AA or CR123 powered lights have much more duration than the AAA.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2014, 07:36:48 PM »
While I don't have the Quark Tactical AA, I've been really happy with the two different FourSevens I've owned.  My Mini123 and Quark 123 Tactical have been great lights.

I keep a quark123 as EDC in my pocket :)

Back to the OP - From the Energizer website I pulled the following figures for Alkaline batteries:

AAA: Capacity = 1250mAh
AA: Capacity = 2850mAh


So you get more than twice the juice in the AA format compared to AAA.  Add to that fact they generally cost the same price retail, AA give you a lot more power for your $$$.

endurance

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2014, 08:00:01 PM »
Another light to put on your radar might be the Sunwayman V20A.  I have had a V10R for going on two years now and it's by far my favorite light I've ever owned (and I own a stupid number of lights).  The best feature is the infinite variability from 1 lumen up to max with a turn of a dial.  The V20A lets you use a rechargeable 14500 battery for up to 460 lumens or two AA batteries for 1-160 lumens.

Offline Medicineball

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2014, 08:08:15 PM »
I believe that the goal zero can only charge 4 AAs at a time in the nomad charger? I read somewhere that the charger doesn't have separate circuits so you can't charge less than four. Most aa flashlights have less than 4. Anyone know for sure about the goal zero? Thanks

Offline Badhog

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2014, 08:14:30 PM »
I charge 4 at a time in the Goal Zero, so I don't know.

Wow, that Sunwayman looks nice. 400 lumens :)

endurance

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2014, 08:26:52 PM »
I charge 4 at a time in the Goal Zero, so I don't know.

Wow, that Sunwayman looks nice. 400 lumens :)
If there's a 12v output you could charge just about anything with a Nitecore Intellicharger and 12v dc input cable.  It charges anything with either lithium or nicad/nimh chemistries. 

Offline Greekman

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2014, 12:25:01 AM »
well well....do we all own a Quark? Mine is the AA2 Mini.

I think that the upside of the reduced capacity AAA option is pocketability...put one in your shirt pocket and you will not know it is there. else....

The quarks and fenixes are good options for AAA-AA-2AA lights, yet a bit spendy

other optiosn are the fenix E- series , the Nitecorte MT seres and the Olight Baton series

Offline David in MN

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2014, 05:48:05 AM »
The Streamlight Stylus is one of my favorites. It's a little underpowered compared to others but the compactness sets it apart. And it's $15.

My brother in law always jokes that his old Maglites still work. He's right. When I got all new tactical lights I put the Maglites in the cars.

Sure the fancy lights get all the attention but the cheap beaters seem to get more use for me. $0.02.

Offline Greekman

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2014, 06:01:44 AM »
you know this discussion on cheap versus epxensive  will go like any other never-resolved dilemma (AK vs AR etc etc)

Generally in the flashlight world you get what you pay for. The difference is cosmetic, functional and on the User interface.
Some people want the freedom to choose and intervene, and opt for semi programmable or fully programmable user interfaces that suit them.

And there are some brands that people that choose them never look back.

Offline Badhog

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2014, 09:18:05 AM »
I see an advantage to owning both. Throw the cheap ones in my car or around the house and save the more expensive ones for my packs. For the price it pays to throw some cheap ones in packs as backups.

Offline iccustoms

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2014, 10:07:39 AM »
I usually carry on my person a Fenix light (PD-32, not applicable since it takes neither AA or AAA) and/or a Surefire X300 on my pistol (also not usable with your batteries).  What I always have in my pack though, is a Princton Tec Eos. 

Handheld flashlights are great, but 9 times out of 10 a headlamp is far more useful in application.  The Eos has 4 settings, High Medium Low and blinking (think SOS).  It runs off of 3 AAA batteries.  A added benefit is that you can tell if your batteries are low by cycling through the settings.  If the light doesn't get any brighter between medium and high than your batteries are low.  But it will go for a long long time, just slowly getting dimmer.

Let your application drive your purchase.  Good luck!

endurance

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2014, 10:27:59 AM »
Another light worth considering that doesn't meet your lumen requirement, but is incredibly handy is the Fenix LD01 or the Olight I3S.  Both are single AAA battery lights with reversible clips that allow them to be clipped onto the brim of a hat.  Viola, instant headlamp.  For $25, it's a great keychain light that can put out 70-85 lumens max for an hour or low light for up to 27 hours.


Offline OutWestTX

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2014, 10:57:49 AM »

Generally in the flashlight world you get what you pay for.

I agree.  I am partial to Maglites.

Offline Badhog

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2014, 11:18:02 PM »
Another light worth considering that doesn't meet your lumen requirement, but is incredibly handy is the Fenix LD01 or the Olight I3S.  Both are single AAA battery lights with reversible clips that allow them to be clipped onto the brim of a hat.  Viola, instant headlamp.  For $25, it's a great keychain light that can put out 70-85 lumens max for an hour or low light for up to 27 hours.



SOLD! Thanks for suggesting that, endurance! I love the ability to clip it on a hat like that in a pinch.

endurance

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2014, 08:02:53 AM »
SOLD! Thanks for suggesting that, endurance! I love the ability to clip it on a hat like that in a pinch.
It's another reason I carry the Sunwayman v10r. It is so much better on my dental work to have the clip. ;D

To me, the I3S is the better light, but the LD01 has the better clip. Also, there's several versions of each light. I went with the older 70 lumen version of the LD01 because it had a lower low beam and longer battery life, but the I3S has a brighter top end and a dimmer low end which I preferred. I just found the clip could come off with thicker hat brims so it required a bit more caution and if I were working in swampy conditions where the clip coming off unexpectedly could mean losing the clip and/or light forever, I'd opt for the LD01.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2014, 09:50:08 AM »
The Streamlight Stylus is one of my favorites. It's a little underpowered compared to others but the compactness sets it apart. And it's $15.
Great everyday carry flashlight. So small you forget you have it.

Offline bluprint

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2014, 11:10:13 AM »
I got this Steven Harris recommended light and love it. It is ridiculously bright. Runs on triple A's. It will light up a distant shed better than my 5-cell maglite.

Edit:Fixed link.

Offline bluprint

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2014, 11:12:36 AM »
I got this Steven Harris recommended light and love it. It is ridiculously bright. Runs on triple A's. It will light up a distant shed better than my 5-cell maglite.

Edit:Fixed link.

Also it is small enough I often carry it around in my back pocket. I might use it when I walk around outside at night, or just when I'm looking for something or looking at something in the dark or low-light situations. Great little flashlight to carry around. Doesn't have a fancy clip but does have a few nice extra features.

Offline Badhog

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2014, 01:00:37 PM »
Let me sidetrack my own thread briefly and ask for an EDC on a key chain is it better to have something like the Fenix EO1 which does 10 lumens for 21 hours or the ITP A3 EOS which has 3 modes 1.5 lumens (50 hours) ->Medium 18 lumens (4 hours) ->-High 96 lumens (55 minutes)?

In most situations wouldn't 10 lumens be enough? If I needed something brighter wouldn't I be better served grabbing one of the larger ones mentioned above?

endurance

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2014, 01:49:38 PM »
Let me sidetrack my own thread briefly and ask for an EDC on a key chain is it better to have something like the Fenix EO1 which does 10 lumens for 21 hours or the ITP A3 EOS which has 3 modes 1.5 lumens (50 hours) ->Medium 18 lumens (4 hours) ->-High 96 lumens (55 minutes)?

In most situations wouldn't 10 lumens be enough? If I needed something brighter wouldn't I be better served grabbing one of the larger ones mentioned above?
Considering I was perfectly happy with a squeeze light on my keychain for years, 10 lumens you always have with you is a hell of a lot better than 400 lumens that is in your car.  I can walk on a typical hiking trail at about 3mph comfortably with a 10 lumen LED.  I can read a book in a tent with 0.5 lumens if it's on my hat brim.  I can do some slow jogging on good trails at about 20-35 lumens.  I can run comfortably at 6+mph on typical moderate condition trails at 70-85 lumens.

Hiking the Colorado trail I considered light something I didn't want to be without even if I lost one light, so I carried one I3S and one LD01 (combined weight with batteries under 3 oz with lithium disposable batteries).  I used the I3S exclusively (the other was burried in my pack, just in case) and read and wrote in my diary 30-90 minutes a night with the 0.5 lumens and never felt eye fatigue.  I used the 80 lumen setting for camp chores and the mid setting for taking care of midnight business.

And I carry a 480 lumen V10R (w/ RCR123) as my EDC with a $0.50 squeeze light on my keychain, but that's me and my comfort zone with where I live and how I live (work in a part of town that gets a little rough after dark, so I want a tactical light and return home to two-plus acres of forested land with cougars, coyotes, and bears (Oh mY!)).  IMHO, you're 100% better off carrying something than nothing, so carry the best and brightest light you will never have any excuse to leave behind.

Offline Greekman

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2014, 03:33:01 PM »
Just a sec......The fenix and olight measure runtime differently...
I had done such a research but i do nto remember if it was in this forum or somewhere else
in short the fenix is not that long actually, they just count runtime even when light gets reeeaaalllyyy low.

I think the question is a matter of "philosophy"
Most flashaholics want a real real low...They are the driving factor

on the other hand I will side with endurance. 1.5 lumens is enough (even a lot) for reading or inside a tent....
I used to read at light with my headlamp at 40 lumens but once I went to the 2 lumens output I understood thta i was just wasting energy for so long.
And as a matter of fact 10 to 18 lumens are not that far. Eyes do not perceive light intensity lineary, so 18 lumens are not actually double the apparent light
And of course the multiple modes are a BIG plus




Offline Medicineball

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2014, 07:28:14 PM »
If there's a 12v output you could charge just about anything with a Nitecore Intellicharger and 12v dc input cable.  It charges anything with either lithium or nicad/nimh chemistries.

Endurance, very cool answer, thanks. Will have a look!

Offline Missed Me

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2014, 01:40:42 PM »
I have owned and edc tested a quark Pro 2AA for 2 years now. I am an inspector and cant recommend this light enough. I gave it to two of my younger "less considerate" co workers for 2 weeks and watched them toss it back and forth to each other. It has its black coating scrapped off for sure( mostly from rubbing against edc folder knife) I would recommend the non tactical version for the best ui. Bezel turned tight Full Bright. Loose Moonlight mode which last for 15-30 days depending on which version you get. Bright is Bright. I live rural and I can see at night out to about 50yds clearly and I could see a human form out to about 150-200 yds. I did have to get a new tailcap after one ripped. Kids were throwing light into pool to retrieve at night. They were fighting for light and tailcap ripped. I was surprised as this light feels like a quality build. Tech support sent me one out with less than expected hassle. works great on Eneloops also. This light is in my BOB!

Offline Greekman

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2014, 02:01:48 PM »
what a great review.....thumps up!

Offline Medicineball

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2014, 12:06:44 AM »
If there's a 12v output you could charge just about anything with a Nitecore Intellicharger and 12v dc input cable.  It charges anything with either lithium or nicad/nimh chemistries.

Endurance, got the Nitecore today in the mail. If it has direct sunlight, it works fine. I hooked it right to my nomad 7 and charged up some AAAs. Thanks!

endurance

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2014, 10:26:03 AM »
Endurance, got the Nitecore today in the mail. If it has direct sunlight, it works fine. I hooked it right to my nomad 7 and charged up some AAAs. Thanks!
Cool!  That just seems to make the Nomad just that much better of a system.  Now you don't have to think about how many batteries you're charging at one time, what chemistries they have, etc.  I charge both my 18650s and RCR123s on mine (although not at the same time).  Had it for two years now and very happy with how well it works.

Offline Badhog

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2014, 09:07:18 AM »
I started to ask this above and some of you did a good job of explaining how lower lumens are useful, but I am still curious about it because I run into it with every form of light purchase (EDC, headlamp, etc). When picking out a flashlight for S&P is it better to have one that is brighter or one that is close with a longer run time? Especially with what Greekman said about run times being subjective depending on the company supplying them.

For example the Quark Pro vs Quark Tac

The Tac
Moonlight:0.2 lum, 30 days
Low:4 lum, 5 days
Med:22 lum, 24 hrs
High:85 lum, 5 hrs
Max:205 lum, 1.3 hrs

Pro
Moonlight:0.3 lum, 15 days
Low:2.7 lum, 3 days
Med:24 lum, 20 hrs
High:115 lum, 2.5 hrs
Max:280 lum, 0.8 hrs

There isn't a huge difference in terms of brightness, but the run time is significantly longer on some settings. In a perfect world I'd go brighter, but with S&P that extra time could save my life.

endurance

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Re: AA or AAA Flashlight
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2014, 09:21:06 AM »
Unless you are comparing the two side by side, there is not a significant difference between 205 and 280 lumens. You can do the same tasks with one as the other. Both are blindingly bright in low light conditions.  The same tasks can be done at 85 lumens as 115. Where I might dissuade you would be if you were between a light that was 115 lumens vs a 205 lumen top end, but in this case I would probably lean toward the more efficient light.