How about a Quark XML Tactical light on 1x or 2x 123/AA I find the moonlight mode to perfect for a passenger to read with without disturbing the driver... I find the next higher mode, 3 lms, to be too bright inside a car at night, for both driver and reader. You program two modes, out of 8, to be available. 3 disco modes, long warranty, US HQ.
I'd personally run AAs though as they always have a lot of back-up options. Lithium L91s will have about the same runtime, temp performance, shelf life, etc, but a lower max output due to the voltage difference.
I'd also recommend a 2 X AA light as an emergency light for the car. I place Energizer L91's in mine because that way I don't have to worry about acid leakage if the light just sits in the glove box without being used for a long time. Also L91's work better in very cold weather and have longer shelf life than alkalines.
The reason I'd choose AA's for emergency light in car over CR123's is because you never know where you might end up being and AA's are easier to come by. I have some 18650 or 2 X CR123 lights and I'll take them as part of my travel or camping gear. But the 2 X AA light is always in my truck. My choice is an iTP SA2 which has good mode spacing for low-med-high along with a strobe in case of emergency. Price is decent for under $40 and regulation is as good as any of the more expensive lights. And I like the side switch for changing modes.
What I'm looking for is a good light for in the car. Something in a 2xCR123 size seams about right. With a high for outside, and a low for in the car.
I built a Solarforce L2P light with a 3-mode XM-L drop in that gives me LOW, MED, and HIGH settings. It can also run to 8.4v, so I can run 2 x 16340's or some CR123's without any problems, or a 18650 (which is what I normally keep in it).
Originally Posted by hiuintahs
I'd also recommend a 2 X AA light as an emergency light for the car. The reason I'd choose AA's for emergency light in car over CR123's is because you never know where you might end up being and AA's are easier to come by. I have some 18650 or 2 X CR123 lights and I'll take them as part of my travel or camping gear. But the 2 X AA light is always in my truck.
I agree on the AA batteries being a lot more common, which is why I also have a Xeno E03 in my cars as well as the L2P w/3-mode drop ins. Kind of the best of both worlds, per the OP's request.
I normally keep a 3100mAh 18650 in my L2P's so I have a lot more juice, and I'll recharge it every 6 months regardless of how often I use it (if I use it a lot, I'll throw it onto a charger right away). I also keep a few spare CR123's in my car since they have a 10 year shelf life, in case I ever need some. I also keep a 14500 in my E03, and since that goes pretty quick I have spare AA alkaline batteries in my car as well.
Total price for both the E03 and Solarforce L3P w/3-mode XM-L drop in.... approx $70. Throw in the cost of batteries and that's how much I have invested into my cars for 'primary emergency' lights.