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Thread: Seek recommendations on flashlight that accepts AA batteries

  1. #1

    Default Seek recommendations on flashlight that accepts AA batteries

    Hi Everyone,

    I'd like to get some advice on which flashlight brands I should start researching for a flashlight that can used for in around home use and also durable enough so I can take it when doing night hiking or on backpacking trips in mountain ranges. I wanted a flashlight that can accept AA batteries since those batteries are inexpensive and I can bring lots of backups. I also want to be able to get separate attachment accessories like a light diffuser so it can function like a reading lattern or to use around a campsite. I started looking at the Fenix models LD22 and LD41 and they looked pretty decent and in my price range. I don't believe the LD41 flashlight has any accessory attachments at least according to the company's website, but it does produce a heck of a lot of lumens maxing otu at 520. I was hoping to get others to call out other brands to look at and give me some information on making the right decision. Thanks!

    1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

    _X___I would like to purchase the light from a brick and mortar store. I am located in _Los Angeles_____________.
    _X___I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.

    2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :-)

    ____Less than $25.
    ____Less than $50.
    _X___Less than $100.
    ____Less than $150.
    ____Less than $300.
    ____I have no limit.
    ____I’m flexible, tell me what you gotJ.
    ____Other, please specify ________

    3) Format:

    _X___I want a flashlight.
    ____I want a headlamp.
    ____I want a lantern.
    ____I want a dive light.
    ____I want a portable spotlight.

    4) Flashlight-specific format/size:

    ____Keychain size.
    _X___Every day carry small (2-4 inches).
    ____Every day carry medium (4-7 inches).
    ____Holster carry.
    ____Big enough to need its own travel caseJ.
    ____I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.

    5) Emitter/Light source:

    _X___LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)
    ____Incandescent (known for superior color rendition)
    ____HID (known for max output, but often at the expense of size)
    ____I don't know.

    6) Manufacturer:

    _X___I want to buy a light from a traditional mass producing manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
    ____I would consider getting a light that is pieced together (for example a “host” or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a “drop-in” emitter from another source). Under the right circumstances, this path can provide more options to the consumer to meet specific needs, and can often be easily upgradeable as technology improves.

    7) What battery type do you want to use?

    _X___I intend to use alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C, D) (disclaimer, while it does not preclude all choices, these are not recommended for many of today’s most powerful lights)
    _X___I intend to use rechargeable nickel chemistry (NiCad, NiMH, NiZn)
    ____I intend to use lithium primary batteries (CR123, CR2, Energizer Advanced/Ultimate Lithium AA/AAA)
    ____I intend to use rechargeable lithium (li-ion) chemistry. Feel free to specify a size if you know which size you want (14500, RCR123/16340, 17500, 17670, 18650, etc.)
    ____I want a light with an integrated rechargeable battery. (Note: these choices may be very limited unless you are looking at spotlights)

    8) How much genuine out the front (OTF) light do you want/need? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).

    _X___I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (0-10 lumens).
    _X___I want to walk around an unlit rural area (50-150 lumens).
    _X___I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).
    ____I want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 lumens).
    ____I want ridiculous amounts of lumens (800+ lumens).

    9) Throw vs. Flood: At what distance will you be most likely to use this light? Select all that apply.

    _X___Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
    _X___Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
    _X___5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
    _X___30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)
    _X___50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
    ____150+ yards (I want maximum throw possible)

    10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum output).

    ____Up to 30 minutes (I want the brightest [and potentially smallest] light for brief periods)
    ____30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed)
    ____90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
    _X___3 hours + (I critically need this light to run on max for extended periods in between battery changes/charges).

    11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.

    ____Not Important (A “night-stand” light).
    _X___Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood).
    _X___Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
    ____Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
    ____I don't care.
    ____I don’t know.

    12) Switch Type and location (choose all that apply):

    ____I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
    ____I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights).
    ____I want a momentary switch (Predominantly for use with signaling and short bursts of momentary light only).
    ____I want a twisty switch (Tighten the head/tailcap to activate, and the light will stay on until the head/tailcap is loosened).
    ____I want a body mounted switch (near the head, like on a Maglite).
    X____I want a tail mounted switch (found on the majority of today’s high end lights).
    ____I don't care.
    ____I don’t know.
    ____Other, please specify____________________.

    13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.

    ____A simple on-off with only one output level is fine for me.
    ____I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
    _X___I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
    ____I want a programmable light.
    ____I want a selector ring.
    ____I want a strobe mode. (Blinks to show location.)
    ____I want SOS mode.
    ____I want a beacon mode.
    ____I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.


    ____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
    _X___Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today’s flashlights).
    ____Stainless steel (durable, but much heavier than aluminum)
    ____Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive).
    ____I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.
    ____Other, please specify____________.

    15) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any below.

    ____Red filter (for preserving night vision).
    ____Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________).
    ____Dedicated R/G/B secondary LEDs.
    ____“Hybrid” light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
    ____Pocket/belt clip
    _X___Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    ____Crenulated bezel
    ____Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments
    ____Other, please specify_I'd like a flashlight that has diffuser attachments that allow me to use it like a latern___________.

  2. #2


    For in home, or camping outdoors, I personally like lights with a good selection of low lumens and moonlight which will preserve night vision, and offer long runtimes. If that's of interest, then take a look a FourSevens Quarks and Zebralights. They're also some of the brightest 1x and 2x AAs, but IMHO every brand does bright very well, but not to many do dim as well.

  3. #3


    I looked the Quark Tactical and found them to be nice too. Feel so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of flashlights out there. If I were to look at the Four Sevens I'd go with one of the Quark Tactical models. There's a QT2L and QT2L NW model. I know the 2L stands for that this model uses the lithium battery cells. The QT2L it says has a cool white LED and the NW version has a neutral LED. What exactly is the difference?

    I did read that the Quark Tactical does have this moonlight setting. Can you actually see anything at this level if you're out in the woods? Will you actually be able to see anything at that lowest lumen setting?

    Does anyone know if there there are brick and mortar stores in Los Angeles that normally carry Quarks and/or Zebralights? I checked REI and they mostly Fenix and Surefires.


  4. #4


    NW is a warmer tint, kinda like an incandescent light vs fluorescent, but difference is not as extreme... you lose a few lumen though (7%) - renders colors more naturally.

    Moonlight is my favorite and most often used mode. For me, it's like having a wall socket - I can run it continuously without putting a dent in my battery. If you let your eyes fully dark adjust, it's enough light for close task work, or inside enclosed areas with reflective walls (tent, RV, bedroom). I find the floody 0.3 lm of the XML Quarks just about perfect for reading in bed. Complicated task work - 3 lm, hiking - 24 lm.


    Tacticals are nice if you want a dead simple UI, or need momentary on. I personally like the Pro models because I'm always trying to use the lowest level to accomplish a given task, and the Tactical locks into only 2 modes.

    Oh yeah... go for the X model, they fixed a few issue with that one.

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Bay Area, CA

    Default Re: Seek recommendations on flashlight that accepts AA batteries

    From what I know, no brick and mortar stores carry Zebralights that I know of and some might have 4sevens' lights. The Quark Turbo might be better if you want more throw. Also look at Jetbeam's and Sunwayman's offerings.

    The lowest lumen levels are helpful when your eyes are adapted to the darkness and when you are reading something up close in the dark.

    Neutral white tends to show colors better then cool white.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Re: Seek recommendations on flashlight that accepts AA batteries

    I don't use the moonlight mode as much as I thought I would, but it is usable. I normally go to 3 lumens.Other than that, +1 on what reppans said. Can't go wrong with the 4sevens AA2 pro.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Seek recommendations on flashlight that accepts AA batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by bushmattster View Post
    Can't go wrong with the 4sevens AA2 pro.
    unless you want better runtimes, and a lower price

    Fenix LD20 or LD22... http://www.fenixlight.com/viewnproduct.asp?id=108
    Jetbeam PA20 http://www.jet-beam.com/links/pro/pa20.aspx
    Last edited by Ezeriel; 08-12-2012 at 02:38 PM.
    If you ask me what light to buy, I have an uncontrollable urge to say "Fenix"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Re: Seek recommendations on flashlight that accepts AA batteries

    The Jetbeam PA20 is more expensive than the 4sevens AA2 pro everywhere that I have looked and the Fenix is about $7 cheaper with a trade off of a lesser quality sheath and lanyard. The LD 20 and 22 will only work properly 100% of the time with NIMH batteries.

    Any of the above mentioned lights should serve your purpose. Just decide what's most important to you. Eagle tac is another popular brand here.
    Last edited by bushmattster; 08-13-2012 at 06:18 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Seek recommendations on flashlight that accepts AA batteries

    I think I'm going to go with a flashlight that uses CR123A batteries instead because you almost get more than double the lumens compared to the AA counterpart. I think I'm down to either Four Sevens Quark Pro QP2L-X NW or the EagleTac D25LC2 Clicky. Both accept 2 x Cr123 batteries, but doesn't anyone own one of these two and tell me what their experience with it is? Most of my usage for this will be to use inside the home and taking evening walks, but the majority of the usage will be to use it on backpacking trips and will want a lights up a good distance and has good spill.

    I read on a different thread where one of the forum users mentioned Lego-ability. What does that mean exactly?

    On the Quark Pros on the Foursevens site does anyone know if they accept which rechargeable lithium ion batteries? It only says Cr123, but I'm not sure if they take soemthing like the 18650 battery. The Eagletac site does mention if the D25 flashlight takes a 1 x 18650 battery or not. The EagleTac's are also less expensive than the Quark Pro.

    Thanks everyone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: Seek recommendations on flashlight that accepts AA batteries

    The Eagletac D25LC2 RC will run off CR123, 18650 and 17650. The D25C2 RC will only take CR123 and 17650. Aside from the below links, look in the reviews section. Many lights are reviewed in detail there by selfbuilt and others.

    An idea about tints

    Side by side of Eagletac D25 series
    Keep it between the ditches and the shiny side up.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Seek recommendations on flashlight that accepts AA batteries

    Whew... look at how snotty I was about the quarks.. must have been having a bad day. Sorry about that, bushmattster.

    Anywho... for around the house, or general, use the Fenix E25 has to be considered 27 lumens for 26 hours....

    I have absolutely no need to buy it... and yet I still want to buy it...
    If you ask me what light to buy, I have an uncontrollable urge to say "Fenix"

  12. #12


    Just a few thoughts.

    Lego-ability refers to being able to swap different head, battery tubes, pocket clips, and clicky switches to customize the light, but it of course requires buying the extra parts, or having multiple lights for parts.

    While CR123s can double the lumens, know that our perception of light is subject to a square root law or 2x lumens ~ 1.4x perceived increase (40% increase). If you want to use rechargeables, Li-ions are the only option - better read up on them in the battery forum, they require special handling due to their inherent dangers.

    I don't use CR123s, since they I like running rechargeables (Li-ion & NiMh) and really like the ability to share batteries with my other AA devices, and pick up store-bought alks in a pinch, not to mention 14500s have more capacity than 16340s. But I have the AA versions of the lights you are looking at: Quark Pro, Tactical and D25A Clicky, and love them all.

    Both ET and 4/7s have a 10yr warranty, so that's great, haven't heard much about ETs customer service, but 4/7s is proven. Quality is pretty similar between the two, but I think 4/7 has the edge. I really like the D25s interface with buried disco modes, but the Quark has better mode spacing for dark environments (ie, better low modes). The D25LC2 is more powerful than the Quark 123^2X, but the Quark has moonlight.

    You should definitely read Selfbuilt's review of the D25 clickies though, because his measurements significantly differ from what ET says. SB's measurements show the D25LC2 lowest modes are in the 11-15 lm range and IMHO, that's just too bright for camping (ie, continuous use) in pitch black conditions...it either kills your night vision or wastes battery power unnecessarily. But everyone is different, if you like blasting high lumens... perhaps the ET is the light for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vortus View Post
    The D25C2 RC will only take CR123 and 17650.
    I think you mean the Quark.... course 16340s should be on both lists.
    Last edited by reppans; 08-19-2012 at 06:51 AM.

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