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Thread: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

  1. #1

    Wink2 Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    REVIEWER'S NOTE: This Part III thread is an update of my earlier multi-stage 1AA round-ups, showcasing the latest crop of currently available lights. To see comparisons with older lights, please see my earlier threads:

    Part I: Rexlight 2.0; DealExtreme X.1, X.V; Jetbeam MkIIX, C-LE v1.0, C-LE v1.2; Fenix L1D-CE (P4)
    Part II: Rexlight 2.1; DealExtreme X.1; Jetbeam C-LE v1.2; Fenix L1DCE (Q2), L1D-R100, L1Tv2.0-R080; MTE 5-Stage Cree, 5-Stage R100; Kai 5-Stage Cree; Lumapower LM-301; Liteflux LF5; Ultrafire C3 5-stage

    UPDATE 8/27/2008: This thread needs an overhaul, but in the meantime here are some detailed review of new 1AA lights: Jet-I PRO IBS, NiteCore D10,and LiteFlux LF5XT.

    UPDATE 4/25/2008: Added JetBeam Jet-I MK IBS (Q5) to the review.

    UPDATE 3/4/2008 : Added Zebralight H50Headlamp (Cree Q5) to the review.

    UPDATE 2/5/2008: Added the JetBeam Jet-I PRO (Cree R2) to the review comparisons.

    The contenders:

    From left to right: Liteflux LF5 (SSC); Rexlight 2.1 Build 002 (Q2); Jetbeam C-LE v2 (Q2), EDGETAC NiteCore DI (Q5); Fenix L1D (Q5); Olight T15 (Q5); Fenix L1D (R100); LumaPower LM31 (SSC). Not shown are the Jet-I PRO, Zebralight H50 (Q5) headlamp and JetBeam Jet-I MK IBS (Q5).



    Testing Method: All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's FR.com method. My relative overall output numbers are typically similar to his, although generally a little lower. You can directly compare all my review graphs - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another.

    Throw values are the square-root of lux measurements taken at 1 meter from the lens, using a light meter.

    Beamshots:

    All up-close beamshots at ~0.4 meter from a white wall, to show you the different overall patterns. For Jet-I PRO, Zebralight H50 headlamp and JetBeam Jet-I MK IBS (Q5) beamshots, please see my detailed reviews of those lights.

    On Max/Turbo/100% with Sanyo Eneloop (2100mAh NIMH)










    Runtime Comparison

    For all comparisons, “Hi” mode means the maximum output mode of the light (i.e. Max/Turbo/100%, depending on terminology used for that light). I've added an "*" for the Zebralight entries as a reminder that its difficult to compare overall output levels to the other lights in the review (due to its flood-only beam and different positioning in the lightbox).

    Hi mode on Duracell 2650mAh NiMH
    (except for LM-31 which is on Sanyo 2500mAh since my Duracells wouldn’t fit)


    Hi mode on Sanyo Eneloop 2100mAh NiMH LSD (low self-discharge)


    Hi/Med/Lo modes on Alkaline Duracells




    Hi/Med and Med/Lo modes on an AW Protected 14500 (3.7V, 750mAh)




    Output/Throw Summary Chart



    Light Summaries:

    Liteflux LF5 (SSC)
    • Uses high freq PWM for lower modes – I can't measure the freq with my setup, and it is obviously quite high as it produces no noticeable flicker in my testing.
    • Standard output modes are 15% and 50% output, and I've set user-defined to either highest (100%) or lowest (<1%) for testing purposes. Light has an “infinitely variable” output control mechanisms for user defined purposes, but not visually linear like the Nitecore DI (see my NiteCore DI review thread for a graphical comparison of the ramping sequence).
    • Good build quality and nice smooth beam thanks to the SSC emitter. However, overall spillbeam width is narrower than most the other lights reviewed here.
    • Very good output and runtime on NiMH and 14500, somewhat similar to the Rex 2.1, although LF5 is one of the best regulated lights I've seen.
    • Runtime on alkaline is rather disappointing on all levels - consistently lower than the other lights tested here.
    • Light features lowest low mode of all lights tested here – in user-defined mode, you can get the light down to ~0.3 on my output scale. Continuous runtime is an impressive 15 days on alkaline.
    • Twisty interface is a bit unusual and takes some practice at first, but does allow you to avoid the strobe/SOS modes if you want. Light has functioned fairly reliably, but you may need to tighten the hidden retaining ring in the head from time to time (if mode switching becomes unreliable, turn the visible disc in the head until the holes line up with the hidden retaining ring holes, and tighten with a pair of fine tweezers or snap-ring pliers).
    • Light comes as a nice kit with loads of goodies - please see my detailed LF5 review for more info.
    • Although sometimes hard to find, light retails new for ~$50.


    Rexlight 2.1 build 002 (Q2):
    • The original Rex 2.0 used a very noticeable 94 Hz PWM for its low modes, but I am unable to detect PWM freq on the 2.1 versions.
    • Rex 2.1 versions have 3 sets of light sequence states that you can access ("Daily/Tactic/Advanced"). For a full explanation of the interface, see my Rexlight comparison review here. Switching between them can be a bit annoying (i.e. accidental mode switching when in Lo).
    • Switch is a good quality reverse clicky, and light has a memory mode of last output level used.
    • All light modes now work as they are supposed to, on all battery types, with excellent runtimes in all modes now (Rex 2.0 had a number of issues and inconsistencies).
    • Output on NiMH has been restored to previous Rex 2.0 Hi levels (first Rex 2.1 build had reduced max output on NiMH).
    • Excellent performance on 14500. Light also features a 3.2-3.0V "low voltage" warning (i.e. light strobes), so you can safely use unprotected cells
    • Very nice low mode, also available on 14500. Not as low as the NiteCore DI or Liteflux LF5, but quite respectable (especially on 14500).
    • Well worth the upgrade - only downgrades from 2.0 are in beam "ringiness" on my sample, plus some UI issues with the 3 light states.
    • For a full comparison to the Rex 2.0 and earlier build Rex 2.1, see my review here.
    • Light retails new for ~$40.


    JetBeam C-LE v2.0 (Q2):
    • Basically a reverse clicky version of the popular C-LE v1.2. Clicky is good quality (though fairly stiff) and facilitates mode changing (which could previously be unreliable in twisty version when the threads got dirty).
    • The original C-LE v1 (and DX X.V knock-off) both had a very noticeable 73 Hz PWM. C-LE v1.2/v2.0 both use a more respectable 317 Hz.
    • C-LE v1.2/v2.0 also have improved threads over previous versions, are a bit thicker in diameter, and features a 2 sec memory mode that retains last output setting used.
    • Output/runtimes have not changed appreciably from v1.2. Main improvement is a good quality reverse clicky, which makes it easier to reliably switch modes.
    • On all levels, the C-LE v1.2/v2.0 have increased output compared to earlier versions, with either similar or longer runtimes. Note that this means low mode is not as low as previous versions.
    • Max output is still somewhat on the low side for a Cree-based light – closer to the SSC lights reviewed here.
    • See my v2.0 review here.
    • Note: there has been at least one review showing different output levels in a recent shipping C-LE v2.0. Not sure if this was a defective light, or a Manufacturer’s change in specs – my C-LE v2.0 comes from the first production run.
    • Although sometimes hard to find, the light retails new for ~$30.


    EDGETAC NiteCore Defender Infinity (Q5):
    • EDGETAC confirms that the light uses PWM, and the frequency is >1 kHz. I'm thinking it's likely considerably above, since I can’t measure it with my setup or detect any hint of it by eye.
    • The Nitecore allows you to set your low mode (user defined mode) through a continuously variable brightness mechanism similar to Liteflux - but easier to use and more visually linear, as described in my comparison review). This is a very powerful feature, since it allows you to choose your own custom output level.
    • The light is controlled by a forward clicky switch (i.e. momentary on, followed by a click to lock-on).
    • User interface is quite elegant – easy to use, simple and straight-forward - I found it very intuitive. Don’t have time to explain it here, see my NiteCore DI comparison review thread. Note that strobe is neatly tucked away so you don’t need to see it if you don’t want to.
    • No doubt about it - this is the brightest light on standard AA batteries (alkaline or NiMH) that I have ever tested. Runtimes on Hi are very respectable on these battery types.
    • Output and runtime on 14500 is very good, with output somewhat brighter than regular batteries (although not the brightest I’ve seen – the Fenix, Olight and some JetBeam models are brighter on 14500, but shorter lasting).
    • Regulated output on all battery types in all output modes is impressive (e.g. unlike Fenix/Olight on 14500, where you loose low modes until light drops to regulated level).
    • Very good throw for its size, comparable to Fenix/Olight on standard batteries (less on 14500).
    • For a lot more info, please see my NiteCore DI review here.
    • Light retails new for ~$80.


    Fenix L1D (Q5 and R100):
    • The Cree Q5 is slightly brighter than the Rebel R100 version, but with less runtime
    • The Rebel has a more SSC-like beam (i.e. wider spill, smaller hotspot, smoother transition from hotspot to spill). The Cree Q5 has a more traditional Cree beam profile with visible dark rings, despite the OP reflector.
    • To my eye, color rendition outdoors seems better on the Rebel lights compared to the Cree lights
    • Fenix remains the output/runtime king on standard batteries - nothing else beats the efficiency of the Fenix's current-controlled low modes. I just wish they could find a way to make lower low modes.
    • On 14500, you loose all the low modes initially, as light runs in direct drive from max output until it hits the low mode level. At that point, it then switches into regulation – but only briefly, as the battery is typically almost exhausted by then. Note that Turbo mode (i.e. head fully tightened) is difficult to do on 14500, due to extra length of the protected 14500 (I had to use a copper ring spacer for it to make contact and screw down tight).
    • Cree Q5 version has a bit more overall output than the Rebel R100 on standard batteries, but peak throw (i.e. center of hotspot) is about the same.
    • See my original Fenix Rebel vs Cree: OUTPUT, RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS thread for direct comparison of R100, Q2, and P4 version results
    • See my Fenix L2D Q5 vs R100, R80, Q2, P4 Comparison Review: RUNTIMES+for an analysis of the premium Cree Q5 and Rebel R100 heads on L2D form.
    • Although the R100 is hard to find, the lights retail new ~$55.


    Olight T15 (Q5)
    • The Olight uses a current-controlled circuit for its various modes, with very similar output and overall characteristics as the Fenix. So close in fact that I suspect it is a variant of the same circuit.
    • Output/runtimes were generally very consistent with my Fenix L1D Q5, except for Med-Lo modes on alkaline where the Olight runtimes were a bit less for the same output.
    • Spillbeam width is narrower on the Olight compared to the other Crees, but overall output and max throw are similar to the Fenix L1D.
    • Build quality is very high. Light has a very substantial feel, bulkier than the Fenix model, but otherwise with very similar overall build features.
    • Press the reverse clicky tailswitch to activate the light. Soft-pressing the tailswitch will move you into strobe followed by SOS modes. Light intensity is controlled by loosen-tighten switch of the head.
    • There are 5 distinct output modes controlled by the head switch, although the first two are identical on regular batteries in my sample. Switching sequence is from Max to Min output. Light has a memory mode retaining the last level used.
    • As you’ll see in the runtimes, output at Level 5 (Lo) is identical to the Fenix Lo, and Level 3 is identical to the Fenix Medium. I haven’t tested the other levels yet.
    • On 14500, you loose all the low modes initially, as light runs in direct drive from max output until it hits the low mode level, at which point it briefly enters regulation before the battery is exhausted (exactly like the Fenix L1D).
    • For all intents and purposes, the Olight circuit seems to be exactly the same as the Fenix L1D except with the addition of an extra Lo-Med mode (i.e. Level 2) and a different way of switching between modes.
    • Light retails new for ~$50


    Lumapower LM-31 (SSC)
    • Formerly known as the LM-301, this is an updated version of the original Luxeon LM-301 that now features a SSC U-bin emitter.
    • Features a wider spillbeam than most lights (hard to see on the beamshots, since I had to crop it from another comparison – I no longer own the light). SSC emitters provide a less sharply defined hotspot than Crees, with a smoother transition (i.e. no dark rings)
    • Max output is quite acceptable on standard batteries, though not as high as the more expensive Cree options out there
    • Light uses a resistor for Low mode, so is not as efficient at other choices - but still acceptable runtime for the output, with a good long "moon mode."
    • Can take 14500, but Manufacturer does not recommend it on Low mode - circuit not designed for it, produces reduced output and runtime compared to Hi mode
    • Build quality quite good - very substantial feel and nice anodizing, but longer than most other lights reviewed here and can't tail-stand.
    • Battery tube not wide enough to take all high capacity NiMH (i.e. none of my 2650mAh would fit, so Hi runtime is based on a 2500mAh battery)
      EDIT 2/29/08: Although the light doesn't tailstand with stock orange tailcap installed, I've been informed that the GID tailcap included as an accessory does allow tailstanding. I no longer own this light, so I can't confirm personally.
    • Light retails new for ~$30


    JetBeam Jet-I PRO (R2)
    • Light uses PWM for its low modes, but frequency is high enough that I can't detect it by instrument (or by eye in everyday use).
    • Excellent maximum output and throw on all battery types. This is the best throwing 1AA light I have tested to date. if you are looking for 1AA pocket rocket, this is your light.
    • Relative for the output, runtimes on Hi are excellent on rechargeable battery types (NiMH and Li-ion), comparable to the NiteCore DI.
    • Output is well regulated on rechargeable batteries (NiMH and Li-ion) in all output modes (e.g. unlike Fenix or earlier JetBeam lights on 14500, where you loose low modes initially)
    • Unfortunately, efficiency on Med-Lo mode is significantly lower than the competition. Further, there’s an issue with 14500 on Med having both lower output and lower runtime than Hi (JetBeam has informed me that they plan to fix the Med-14500 issue for the second batch of lights produced).
    • Runtimes on alkaline are also quite poor compared to the competition, especially on Lo. Similarly, there is also lower runtime on Energizer e2 lithium (L91) compared to the competition (see my detailed Jet-I PRO review for more info).
    • Output levels of Med-Lo are higher than most lights.
    • The user interface is vastly improved over earlier JetBeam models (i.e. simplified).
    • Build quality on my sample is very high, best I’ve seen from JetBeam so far.
    • Light retails for ~$75.


    Zebralight H50 headlamp (Q5)
    • Much more than just a headlamp, the Zerbralight is a very versatile little flood light.
    • If it uses PWM for the low modes, then the frequency is high enough that I can’t detect it with my setup, or notice it by eye.
    • The Zebralight has 3 modes, accessed by a twist of the tailcap (i.e. twisty interface). Light comes on Low when first screwing the tailcap tightly closed. A rapid twist off-on and you move to Medium. Another twist and you are on Hi. There is no memory mode.
    • Good selection of output levels on standard batteries, with Lo and Medium being considerably lower than most other lights. Runtimes are truly excellent for the apparent output levels.
    • Light lacks true low modes on 14500, and max output is insanely bright (so much so that I won’t do runtimes at this level – I doubt the heatsinking could handle it).
    • Interestingly, on Med/Lo the light has a long “moon mode” on protected 14500 (i.e. doesn’t just rapidly drop to zero output when the protection voltage is reached). I stopped the run at ~4.5 hours, and it was still producing a low level of light on my AW protected 14500.
    • Build quality is top-notch, good machining and anodizing (type III – HA). This light has one of the thinnest layers of aluminum that I’ve seen, but still feels solid. Weight of the bare light is a negligible 18g.
    • Can tailstand (or headstand for that matter! )
    • In headlamp mode, the silicone bracket holds the light fairly firmly, but has enough play so you can still rotate the light easily. This means that the light can also rotate on you inadvertently while you are moving around.
    • Light retails for ~$50.


    JetBeam Jet-I MK IBS (Q5)
    • The IBS versions are JetBeam's new continuously variable circuits, similar to the EDGETAC NDI. See my full review for more details.
    • All JetBeam lights use PWM, to my knowledge. On this light, the frequency is high enough that I can’t detect it by eye or instrument, even at the lowest output settings.
    • Highest output on 14500 of any 1AA I’ve seen, by far. Good news for all you output freaks out there! … but I must caution about the risks of excessive heat if run this way in a prolonged fashion.
    • Runtimes on the highest and lowest output levels are very good on rechargeable battery types, but lower than the competition on standard batteries in the Med-Hi range.
    • Lowest output mode (5%) is as low as I’ve seen on a multi-stage 1AA light – with output and runtime as good as my EDGETAC NDI. Well done!
    • The feature set and user interface on this IBS circuit are more advanced than most lights, and is a considerable improvement over earlier JetBeam models. Although straightforward, I found the triple-flash to enter variable brightness and other modes a bit cumbersome compared to the simpler NDI interface.
    • Light lacks a memory mode, but doesn't need one since you have the flexibility to set 3 programmable states yourself.
    • Build quality on my sample is very high, consistent with other JetBeam lights. Standard issues like anodizing mismatch, lettering imperfections, and stiff reverse clicky switch with plastic switch retaining ring persist, but overall quality is still quite high.
    • Light retails for ~$70.


    Final Word:
    • On regular batteries, the NiteCore DI, Jet-I PRO and JetBeam Jet-I MK IBS (Q5) are currently the brightest 1AA lights out there.
    • The NiteCore DI and JetBeam Jet-I MK IBS (Q5) both have very low Lo modes, “infinitely variable” output control system, ability to retain all levels on 14500, excellent build quality and UI, etc. These lights are very sophisticated - yet easy to use.
    • The Jet-I PRO is clearly the best thrower of the bunch - a veritable 1AA pocket rocket! Very well built, there are unfortunately some efficiency issues to be resolved on the original circuit, as well as poor overall alkaline performance. However, an IBS circuit upgrade should be available shortly for this light.
    • The Fenix L1D Q5/R100 lights remain the output/runtime efficiency leaders for their current-controlled low modes (although the Olight and NDI are close). Lower low modes would be nice, as well as the retention of regulated output levels on 14500. Build quality is high with a straightforward interface - it’s hard to go wrong with either model for a general purpose light.
    • Olight T15 is basically a Fenix L1D Q5 with an extra Med-Lo mode and different switching mechanism. Build quality is fraknly even higher than the Fenix, although the light is a bit bulky in comparison. I just wish the output sequence went from min to max, instead of the other way around – but a minor quibble since light comes with a memory mode.
    • If you like a light with the lowest Lo mode and long runtime, the LiteFlux LF5 is your best pick (~0.3 on my output scale, with two weeks worth of continuous runtime at this level on alkaline). The LF5 is a powerful light with a lot of features, but somewhat complex to program with its twisty interface. Overall output is less than the Cree lights, and runtime performance on alkaline is unimpressive. However, it does retain all levels on 14500 (including nice low modes).
    • The Rex 2.1-002 is a great jack of all trades – very good Hi, Med and Lo levels on all batteries, retains output levels on 14500, excellent runtime performance overall. User interface is a bit complex with its 3 sets of output states – easy to accidentally move between them if you like to use the light on low (switching is controlled by a time delay on the lowest setting). But a very strong performer for a Q2 light, and my previous EDC before the NiteCore DI came out.
    • JetBeam C-LE v2.0 and Lumapower LM-31 are both excellent choices in the low-mid price range of quality lights (~$30). Both lack many of the features of the higher end lights (e.g. 14500 not supported on C-LE, and not recommended on LM-31), but both are good solid choices for general use. I would recommend the C-LE v2.0 for those wanting runtime efficiency, extra modes, or small size, and the LM-31 for those wanting a simple interface with good low mode (e.g. reading at night).
    • Budget DX/Kai models have been omitted from this Part III round-up since I’ve found their quality quite inconsistent. You never know what you are going to get from one batch to the next - output and build quality is incredibly variable over time.
    • The Zebralight H50 Q5 is a very unique and versatile little light – more than just a headlamp, this is a true multi-purpose flood lamp with outstanding runtimes.


    Whew - there you have it! I will continue to update this thread as new 1AA lights come out.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 08-27-2008 at 08:12 PM. Reason: Added Zebralight low mode
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Very well done! Great job. My favorite reviewer here on CPF! Extremely thorough job Selfbuilt!

    The EDGETAC NiteCore DI is absolutely the greatest AA light I have ever used. It is perfect in every way for me, except for the high can be a little higher when using a 14500 cell (since this is what I have in it all the time anyway). However, it is nice to be able to revert to an alkaline or NiMH and it not be much lower in brightness when on high. Besides the user defined variable brightness control, the UI and the real low, low (with the forward clicky) on a 14500 cell is my favorite aspect of this light. Honestly, I can't say enough good about this light. Extremely useful light. I find this light is in my hands during the day more so than in my pocket.

    Again, great job!
    Last edited by BobbyRS; 01-17-2008 at 12:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Great job, selfbuilt! Simply awesome. :
    FlashCrazy's FlashlightConnection.com! 5% Coupon code: CPF

  4. #4

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Just updated the main post with additional Eneloop Hi runtimes for some of the older lights I hadn't previously tested. And fixed a couple of the time scales that were off in a few of the graphs.


    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyRS View Post
    [COLOR=black]The EDGETAC NiteCore DI is absolutely the greatest AA light I have ever used. ... I find this light is in my hands during the day more so than in my pocket.
    I know what you mean - I find I use my EDC a lot more often now that I'm carrying the NDI!
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Man, I LOVE your reviews. They are brilliant, and might I add, they coincide very closely with my opinions. If only I can learn to wait 'till you review a light before I buy, I could save a lot of money. A short while ago I never bought a light without reading a review from Quickbeam (he saved me a bunch). Glad we share interest in 1xAA and "Throwers".

    Many thanks from a fellow Canuck. I'll have to buy you a beer sometime!

    By the way I am another devoted NDI user. Three units and absolutely no problems to date!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Lite_me's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    How in the Sam Hill do you remember and include all those details! You have raised the bar my friend. Awesome!

    And I've been caressing my NDI since I got it!
    "People don't plan to fail, they fail to plan."

  7. #7
    Flashaholic kilgor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Thanks for all of your work selfbuilt! It makes buying flashlights a lot easier than just taking a shot in the dark (bad pun intended).

    Anyone have any thoughts one how much longer (if any) the NDI will run on low using an eneloop over the alkaline in selfbuilt's graph? Will the low discharge allow the alkaline to equal the NiMH or will you still get longer runtimes?

    Any chance of an eneloop low power runtime chart selfbuilt?

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Great review; this is very helpful. Awesome job.
    I spend my days in the light thinking about flashlights in the dark

  9. #9
    Flashaholic Rob187's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Thanks selfbuilt. A benchmark review.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Your reviews are the best. By the way, you only commented on price in the summary for the low/mid price items. If it is not too much trouble, I actually would like to see price for each light in a column by the high output/throw. That way it is easy to see lumens vs price and which lights are too expensive for me

  11. #11
    Flashaholic kilgor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Quote Originally Posted by led4me View Post
    Your reviews are the best. By the way, you only commented on price in the summary for the low/mid price items. If it is not too much trouble, I actually would like to see price for each light in a column by the high output/throw. That way it is easy to see lumens vs price and which lights are too expensive for me
    A lumens per dollar spent bar graph?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Thanks for all positive comments everyone.

    This thread wasn't quite as much work as it seems, since I mainly pulled together information from previous review threads (including my previous multi-AA round up) and updated/re-packaged it a bit differently. Most of the work went into all the original reviews!

    But I thought it was important to have a central repository that succinctly (more or less ) summarized and compared each light. The links to the detailed individual light reviews should help you refine your buying decisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by kilgor View Post
    Any chance of an eneloop low power runtime chart selfbuilt?
    'Fraid not. It's not a good idea to let NiMH completely drain to zero, which is why I only do Hi mode graphs on these batteries (i.e. I'm around to watch them, and manually stop the run if it gets too low).

    Given how hard it would be to predict low mode runtime on NiMH, I would potentially have to let the batteries run down and stay that way for a while (potentially for several hours, if the run ended during the night). Ok for Li-ions, but not a good thing for NiMH ...

    Quote Originally Posted by led4me View Post
    By the way, you only commented on price in the summary for the low/mid price items. If it is not too much trouble, I actually would like to see price for each light in a column by the high output/throw. That way it is easy to see lumens vs price and which lights are too expensive for me
    You raise a good point - one I've usually shied away from for a couple of reasons.

    First off, it's hard to track availability and current pricing (e.g. different discounts with different retailers, etc), and I don't want to get into a discussion of whom to buy from, etc. Plus it can be a lot to update (especially coupled with availability)

    Secondly, there's a lot more to these lights then just their output, so directly linking price in a column of the table would be misleading (i.e. need to take into account detailed build characteristics, etc.).

    And finally, I think relative value is very subjective and best left in the hands of the individual making the purchase (i.e. I don't want to start one of those never-ending arguments of relative value of different makers, like the Surefire vs Fenix battles that seem to start up around here like brushfires!).

    BUT, you do raise an important point ... so I've added a line to each individual light overview section commenting on what I see as the rough retail price and current availability (i.e. hence the "~" notation for approximate).

    Hope that helps!
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 01-18-2008 at 01:02 PM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Thanks for all the work, a lot of information that is easy to understand with good summaries .

  14. #14

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    BUT, you do raise an important point ... so I've added a line to each individual light overview section commenting on what I see as the rough retail price and current availability (i.e. hence the "~" notation).

    Hope that helps!
    Selfbuilt, thanks again. Rough price helps alot As I only have a "slight" flashlight addiction right now, I am price sensitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    First off, it's hard to track availability and current pricing (e.g. different discounts with different retailers, etc), and I don't want to get into a discussion of whom to buy from, etc. Plus it can be a lot to update (especially coupled with availability)
    This was not what I meant and did not want to add unnecessary work for you. The rough price is more than good enough. Although, your comments have me wondering if there is a pricegrabber type website for flashlights

  15. #15

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Wow, very nice work, Selfbuilt!
    This is an outstanding way to keep track on the most interesting AA-lights out there.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Great work. Excellent comparison, thank you. I haven't seen as much info before on the Olight T15 Q5.

    I realize that few use the 14500 LiFePO4 (3.2 volts vs 4.2 volts and 450mah vs 750mah), but, when it's used in the Olight T15 it gives 5 distinct light levels, and makes level 2 quite usable. It reduces the heat of the light nicely from level one and level 2 appears as bright as level 1 on Nimh. I don't know if you're interested in adding LiFePO4 runtime or output information to your test, but it would appear the the T15 is optimized for this particular voltage. It appears that it would work well with a 2 battery tube.


  17. #17

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Hi all,

    Just to update, as posted in the JetBeam's manufacturer's thread, I will be doing a review of the JET I PRO.

    This new high-end 1AA light is on its way to me, and I should have it in my hands by early next week (or if the mail is unusually swift, this Friday). Give me a few days, and its own review will be put up - followed by addition to the round-up review here shortly afterwards.

    Quote Originally Posted by RecycledElectron View Post
    I realize that few use the 14500 LiFePO4 (3.2 volts vs 4.2 volts and 450mah vs 750mah), but, when it's used in the Olight T15 it gives 5 distinct light levels, and makes level 2 quite usable.
    Thanks for the heads up. I don't have any of the LiFePO4 batteries to test, but that is an interesting observation. I may have to pick up some ...
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Many thanks again to Selfbuilt for the efforts. You do a great service to your fellow AA enthusiasts.

    Since I also own most of these, and since I did it last time, I'll throw in a few comments into the ring.

    Liteflux LF5 - Don't own, but it still interests me. However, in the AA size I personally prefer a clicky. So the LF for me will probably be the LF2 AAA unit.

    Rexlight 2.1 - Initially loved the UI, but it has become annoying due to unexpected changes between the 3 groups. Hard not to use it though, as it's overall output/runtime performance is great across all cell types. One bonus is that the reflector/pill fit into the Jetbeam MKIIx body. I happened to have an extra JB body lying around, which had a little better finish than the Rex. That light was also my EDC for a while. I actually modded mine to a Q5 to get the 14500 output up a bit. Only noticeable improvement on 14500's, probably due to the higher Vf of the Q5.

    JetBeam C-LE v2.0 - My current "gift" light. A great all-around package for the $. With alkalines you get an hour of decent output on high, over a day on low, and the UI is simple enough for the non-flashaholics.

    Nitecore DI - The NCDI really raised the bar, IMO. I have a few personal quirks with it, but it really is a fantastic AA light. I hope to see more from Nitecore. My personal quips - ditch the knurling (and perhaps all the graphic/logos), a tailstand option would be great (but it's not easy to have both forward clicky and tailstand, I've had it apart several times trying to figure out a mod for this), and perhaps a bit more output on high with 14500s. The only real technical complaint is that there is a ~1 second delay before the high mode kicks in if you were previously in the "user-defined" mode. Not sure if there is a simple solution for that without altering the UI, but it does annoy me a bit. Also note - the NCDI head will fit on the Jetbeam MKII body. This makes for some interesting lego possibilities. I'm actually considering resolving my above gripes by grinding down the knurling, and then stripping the HAIII on the JB body threads. But I haven't had the heart to take the NCDI to the grinder!

    Fenix L1D's - I have the regular L1D CE (not the Q5 or Rebel), but I believe my gripes are still valid. Looses modes on 14500, initial 100% flash on low mode. I also get a bit annoyed by the thread contacts. Despite cleaning and lube, I often fail to switch modes, or sometimes my unit will actually flicker. These are very popular, so perhaps my unit isn't one of the best quality. That said, when working properly, a very well designed circuit and a very good CREE beam pattern. No dark ring on mine.

    Olight T15 - Do not own, was looking forward to this review!

    Lumapower LM31 - My previous favorite "gift light". A great performer on alkalines. SSC gives a fantastic beam dispersion. Great everyday light.

    And, since I still use em:

    Dexlight X.1 / Jetbeam MKIIx - Despite the annoying UI (which I've somewhat come to a love/hate relationship), I still end up with one of these two in my pocket quite often. Why? The amazingly high output on 14500's (for about 30 minutes..., draws over 1.2A on a fresh charge). Perhaps because of the CREE donut or the reflectors, these have the appearance of the most output of all my AA lights. Boy do they get hot fast though . I guess I have a soft spot for them as my first pocket-rockets.

    I look forward to the Jet 1 review
    Last edited by merlocka; 01-21-2008 at 11:27 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    That Jet 1 from JB looks like a great little light in many respects - though is also the first of presumably many R2 releases. I suspect we'll be hearing from Fenix and Olight and others shortly.

    Selfbuilt thanks so much for your work on this AA thread - awesome stuff !


  20. #20

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Thanks for the support everyone.

    And thanks Merlocka for your comments on all the lights. Certainly no disagrement here. I noted you comments previously about compatibility of the Rex pill with the JB MkIIX head, but unfortunately haven't managed to access my MkIIX pill (threadlocked?). Been meaning to play with it more, since I do like the body design and feel of the MkIIX over the Rexlights.

    And I still need to properly center and expoxy in place the emitters on those Rex pill upgrades ...
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Many thanks and congratulations to selfbuilt.

    Do you make similar comparison reviews for 1AAA lights?

  22. #22

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Just to update, the JET I PRO is on its way to me, but tracking info shows it hasn't landed in Canada yet. Looks like early to mid next week is as soon as I could have it in my hands to start testing. I'll keep you posted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cemoi View Post
    Do you make similar comparison reviews for 1AAA lights?
    Not as such - the last AAA light I bought was the Jet-µ, and I did a comparison of it to the Fenix L0D at the time:
    Jetbeam Jet-µ and Fenix L0D-CE 1AAA shootout: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, and TEMPERATURES
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Selfbuilt,

    Have you finished testing the NDI in the lowest output on a 14500 yet? I received my new nipple top 14500 from AW today and it is a perfect fit in this light. It gives more output than using an L91 on tactical mode, and surprisingly is nearly the same on the lowest level.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Quote Originally Posted by adirondackdestroyer View Post
    Have you finished testing the NDI in the lowest output on a 14500 yet? I received my new nipple top 14500 from AW today and it is a perfect fit in this light. It gives more output than using an L91 on tactical mode, and surprisingly is nearly the same on the lowest level.
    Unfortunately I had to stop my initial run to test some other lights that arrived, but you can see the first part of it in my low mode 14500 graph.

    As you've noticed (and you can see by comparing my graphs), the initial output of the NDI on low on 14500 is virtually the same as on alkaline on low (and L91 and NiMH) ... roughly ~2 on my output scale.

    This is quite impressive, as most lights loose their lowest low modes on 14500 (e.g. Rexlight is about twice as bright at its lowest setting compared to standard batteries - if you compare my graphs again).

    I've been meaning to get back to finishing that NDI 14500 low runtime test (but I've been EDCing ever since initial testing was completed). But it is time to get it back into the lightbox .... I'lll keep you posted.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Oh, I see. The testing never stops does it.
    I got the same results with my lightbox. My numbers are different, but on a Lithium L91 it scored an 11, and with a 14500 it scored a 13. That is less than half a lumen difference between the two. I LOVE this light now that I'm using the 14500 cell. So much better than a L91 when you figure more output,longer runtime, and free lumens!!!
    Don't worry about getting it done right away for me. Finish whatever else and get to it when you have time.
    I also wanted to let you know that your work is really appreciated, and with this multi light review you upped the bar for runtime graphs for multiple lights. Keep it up!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Unfortunately I had to stop my initial run to test some other lights that arrived, but you can see the first part of it in my low mode 14500 graph.

    As you've noticed (and you can see by comparing my graphs), the initial output of the NDI on low on 14500 is virtually the same as on alkaline on low (and L91 and NiMH) ... roughly ~2 on my output scale.

    This is quite impressive, as most lights loose their lowest low modes on 14500 (e.g. Rexlight is about twice as bright at its lowest setting compared to standard batteries - if you compare my graphs again).

    I've been meaning to get back to finishing that NDI 14500 low runtime test (but I've been EDCing ever since initial testing was completed). But it is time to get it back into the lightbox .... I'lll keep you posted.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Fenix L1D (Q5 and R100)
    (...)
    Although the R100 is hard to find, the lights retail new ~$55.
    Fenix-store only carries the Q5 version and told me that it is currently the only version shipped by Fenix. Anybody knows where I could find a R100, preferably from a store that offers free worldwide shipping since I am in Europe?
    Thanks in advance.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    The 1AA comparison review in the first post has just been updated with the JetBeam JET-I PRO (R2) results.

    For a detailed stand-alone review of this light, see:

    JetBeam JET-I PRO (Cree R2) 1AA Review: Beamshots, Runtimes, and more!

    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  28. #28

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    I just broke down a placed an order for the Zebralight Q5. Been eyeing this one for awhile, and figured its time to add it to the collection.

    Likely to be several weeks before it comes in, but I'll add it to this review once it does.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  29. #29

    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    I just broke down a placed an order for the Zebralight Q5. Been eyeing this one for awhile, and figured its time to add it to the collection.

    Likely to be several weeks before it comes in, but I'll add it to this review once it does.
    Great I've been thinking about buying this light too. Looking forward to it.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!

    Very well done, and great job! A++
    Need a website? PM me or go to http://www.maxphstudios.com -Mention you're from CPF, and we'll work something out

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