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Thread: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
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    Default My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    This is not really a review, but just a thread where I thought I would share my thoughts on the AA CRI Haiku.


    Bright lights are fun, fun to show off, fun to use. Maturing as a flashaholic, I am finding out that in real world EDC use, you do not need anywhere near 400-1000L. Don't overlook the AA CRI Haiku.

    I recently went on a 5 day trip to Miami for a trade show, then came home and turned around and went to the beach for a week.

    I took one light on both of those trips. My Haiku AA CRI.

    Bright lights are fun, fun to show off, fun to use. Maturing as a flashaholic, I am finding out that in real world EDC use, you do not need anywhere near 400-1000L. Don't overlook the AA CRI Haiku.

    This light has grown on me so much, I can't get enough of it.

    Is it bright? Not really.

    Is the low dim? Not really.

    For everyday real EDC, for my use, the levels are almost perfect.

    With that said, I think the medium could be a bit brighter, low and medium are closely spaced, big jump from medium to high.

    I had to use low in the middle of the night a few times in a dark hotel room, it was almost too bright, but it wasn't bad.

    The beam pattern combined with the tint on this 119 AA light is absolutely gorgeous.

    The throw at night on high is more than acceptable.

    The UI is great with the LMH with memory.

    The size of the AA Haiku is slimmer than the 123 pak, also I find the clip mates up better with the AA body than the 123 body, YMMV. The light rides well in the pocket. The length is awesome, perfect for my hand, feels great!

    And to top it off, the AA Haiku looks fantastic.

    The beauty of the CRI AA Haiku. The battery! You can find AA's anywhere, in a pinch. I have only fed mine Eneloops.

    The two weeks I exclusively carried my Haiku AA CRI, not one time did I wish I had another light on me.

    Thanks for reading, if your on the fence, don't let this light pass you by!!!


  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    I used to have the 2xAA battery tube. It was too narrow for my taste. I still prefer the 1x123 and 2x123 battery tubes, though I admit the larger ribs on the 1xAA battery tube look nicer than the tiny ribs on the 1x123 battery tube. The convenience the AA battery size is significant, but I never leave home without CR123 spares in my man-purse, so it's never been an issue for me.

    I'm curious, is the brightness of the 1xAA version comparable to the brightness of the 1x123 version?

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
    I used to have the 2xAA battery tube. It was too narrow for my taste.

    I also had the 2xAA tube and agree with you, it was long and narrow. But due to the shorter length, the weight is lessened, and therefore doesn't seem as skinny. Hard to explain.

    I'm curious, is the brightness of the 1xAA version comparable to the brightness of the 1x123 version?

    From what I remember, I sold my CRI 123 Haiku a long time ago, if the AA is dimmer, its not by much.

  4. #4
    yoyoman's Avatar
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    I have the AA Haiku 119V and agree with everything you say. I find the AA Pak is a really nice size - better fit with the clip and just the right size for my hands. The tint and beam are beautiful. I also agree that L and M are too close.

    I got it just before I went on vacation and it went to Paris for bead blasting. I went to the States to visit family and friends and many boxes were waiting for me, especially from Malkoff Devices (the sale was timed perfectly for me). I've only been back a few days, busy at work and haven't used the AA Haiku 119V or my other new lights that much. I usually get home around 10 and my routine is to talk to the family, grab a few lights, a glass of single malt scotch and the dog and I sit outside and enjoy my lights. I pick different lights, but I noticed that I've picked the AA Haiku 119V every night this week. A good sign.

    I also have a 3S XM-L with 1x123 Pak. The comparison is apples and oranges. The 3S XM-L is obviously brighter. It also has a beautiful beam and I find the modes are spaced better. I find that the 2 lights compliment each other rather than compete.

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    PSM, glad you like the light! The AA converter was a long time in development and since I can't communicate directly with the converter designer (I don't speak japanese let alone read or write it). In stead of targeting a L-M-H with M & L based as a percentage of H in the case of the AA converter I picked a target M which was intended as the normal level of use and this was based on the energy available from a AA cell along with the flux of these LEDs. I then requested the low to be as low as possible and the high to be as high as possible. I gather the designer ended up modifying the design and outputs as he tested various battery chemistries available in the AA format and in consideration of maintaining the ability to shift levels over the various platforms and with batteries as they became depleted. It was a long road between my first stated target output parameters and the final design. I am happy with where medium level resulted and the high level is the best that could be achieved. I agree that it would be ideal if low was lower than it is but gather a lower low was not possible with the circuit that was designed and likely limited by the control and power chips used.

    I would also like to comment that for me, the ideal AA light is a High CRI Mule which by virtue of its flood distribution can handle a higher lumen output on low without disturbing the dark as a collimated beam does. The jump from low to medium is approximately a doubling of lumen output and I agree that is not as significant as it could be and especially if one expects the range from L-M-H to be progressive in a manner where M is visually between L & H.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

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    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Don, thanks for the insight on the AA converter. If medium was calibrated to give the best runtime for the AA format, that makes sense to me. I haven't done any runtime tests with Eneloop AA's yet. But with pretty regular use, the light seems to be efficient. I change batteries every so often, I haven't run one down yet. For EDC the levels are great, I personally don't care for a moon mode in my EDC light.

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    Default

    I don't have the AA low voltage converter, but I do have the AA Pak on a Haiku head with the standard 3v Nichia 119 LE. I run it on 14500s and It is one of my favorite lights ever. I have long been a proponent of the Haiku, carrying the XP-G variant on a 123 Pak for quite a while. But switching to the Nichia and the AA sized Pak a number of months ago just made it that much sweeter. Undoubtedly one of the great EDCs of all time.
    McGizmo&Sebenza: Get It, Use It, Love It, BAN IT!! McGizmo Haiku Review Mac's Tri EDC Review Malkoff MDC Review MY LIGHTS

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    Flashaholic* BenChiew's Avatar
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Nice indoor pool.

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
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    Default My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Quote Originally Posted by BenChiew View Post
    Nice indoor pool.
    Ha ha thanks, it's screened. Florida has mosquitoes the size of watermelons. Keeps em out.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    A diffuser will dim the low somewhat. I like and use both of mine, one each in the 1AA and 2AA form.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic faco's Avatar
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    I also feel the AA Haiku CRI is the perfect light, perfect beam, tint, AA battery, perfect levels in L-M-H without blinking lights and complicated menus to set up, and a clip that is 100% perfect in every way. I'm never without a McGizmo light and this one has been a dream of mine that finally came true. I always felt the CR123 pac was a little thick and a little short (my opinion only) and when the AA pac was announced I was very excited and knew it will be the light I will have for a long time if not forever. The AA battery option is great, to give an example of how convenient and easy it is to obtain I was connecting some cables behind the TV a few weeks ago and the battery ran out, I reached out for the closest remote control and used a AA battery from it until I finished my job......how convenient is that

    I also initially felt the med was too close to low in output but using the light for a few weeks now I feel its perfect, I wouldn't want the Med to be higher. Low & Med I use mostly and High only sometimes, comparing the AA High to the CR123 High in the XPG Haiku its pretty close from what I remember.

    Love this light

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* KuanR's Avatar
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Damn Brandon, ever since the AA converter came out I have wanted to get a Hi CRI Haiku. I pretty much have "moved on" and decided against getting one, but then you just had to make this post! Now the temptation is back again!
    I'm Ryan.

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Quote Originally Posted by KuanR View Post
    Damn Brandon, ever since the AA converter came out I have wanted to get a Hi CRI Haiku. I pretty much have "moved on" and decided against getting one, but then you just had to make this post! Now the temptation is back again!
    Ha ha! Ryan, just sell a few you haven't touched in a month, you'll never miss them, and try the AA CRI Haiku...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    PSM - could not agree with you more.

    I put my AA converter into an AA bodied Haiku with an XPG neutral and it rocks.

    eala

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    Flashaholic* BenChiew's Avatar
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Ryan. You know you will not sleep well till you get one.

    Quote Originally Posted by KuanR View Post
    Damn Brandon, ever since the AA converter came out I have wanted to get a Hi CRI Haiku. I pretty much have "moved on" and decided against getting one, but then you just had to make this post! Now the temptation is back again!

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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Thank you for the explanation of the levels and the glimpse behind the curtain of the design process is interesting. M is a very useful level and it is good to know that it provides good runtime with different cell chemistries. High provides a nice punch when needed. Low is low and someone will always want a dimmer L. I really like the look and handling of this light a lot. The 119V is a little more throwy than the XM-L and the beam/tint are wonderful. A great companion to the XM-L 3S Haiku. Bead Blasted bother and sister:
    Last edited by yoyoman; 08-26-2013 at 02:16 AM.

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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Hey Brandon, how many times through the years have you posted something about one of your favorites and I ended up buying the same light? Well guess what - it happened again.

    I could not agree with you more. Heck, I've been carrying small, lightweight relatively low output lights and have been "Haiku-less" for a while now. But the tint of the High CRI Haiku remained the absolute best I'd ever seen.

    So what the heck - I jumped back in with a 119V emitter, AA converter, AA body high CRI Haiku. What is cool is that the output (measured in my sphere) is EXACTLY the same on a fresh alkaline, a fully charged Eneloop, or an AW red label 14500. What is the reading? Ain't gonna tell....let's just say that it's enough.

    And that tint. Darn, it's still the most amazing thing how it just kinda has no tint - stuff is just illuminated and "looks right." This may quickly become my favorite. And in typical Gizmo fashion, it's one of the best looking lights I own.

    Worth mentioning is Don's business model. No deposits, no pay up front and wait, no umpteen options. He makes what he makes. If you want it you order it. When he ships it you get a notice with the amount owed. He trusts you. You pay him. 2 or 3 days later that flat rate box from Hawaii shows up and the smiles begin.

    I've been somewhat bored with the hobby of late and have gone back to the basics. A $450 light that puts out less than 100 lumen? My favorite? Why not!? Oh, and by the way, on low it is around 3 lumen and 10 lumen on medium. High is "enough". If it isn't enough, I'll grab a flame throwing Malkoff, Vinh or my 007.

    Folks, when PSM talks, listen. When Don Mcleish builds a light, buy it.

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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    ^ Words of wisdom...

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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Quote Originally Posted by run4jc View Post
    ....Worth mentioning is Don's business model. No deposits, no pay up front and wait, no umpteen options. He makes what he makes. If you want it you order it. When he ships it you get a notice with the amount owed. He trusts you. You pay him. 2 or 3 days later that flat rate box from Hawaii shows up and the smiles begin.

    I've been somewhat bored with the hobby of late and have gone back to the basics. A $450 light that puts out less than 100 lumen? My favorite? Why not!? Oh, and by the way, on low it is around 3 lumen and 10 lumen on medium. High is "enough". If it isn't enough, I'll grab a flame throwing Malkoff, Vinh or my 007.

    Folks, when PSM talks, listen. When Don Mcleish builds a light, buy it.
    I've posted about this before (I think?), but I am always reminded of the story about Rolls-Royce promotional literature, which used to simply list the car's power as "adequate"
    ... is the archimedes peak

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
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    Default My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Fantastic Dan!! Glad to hear you got a AA CRI Haiku!!

    I'm still loving mine, hard to carry anything else when I leave the house. It's that good.

    And btw, vice versa, whenever you post a praise thread, my wallet opens. Lol.

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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Well Brandon, you and Dan got to me... I hadn't ordered a new light from Don in a while, and figured I'd give the AA format a whirl. Glad I did. My favorite Haiku was the xp-g with your very accurately described " Punchy Flood" beam, which met my ideal for an edc light. This emitter, the 119v, revisits that beam profile if my memory serves correctly. (Based on actual emitter die size? Don?)I have a new EDC. Handles well, low and medium are further apart than first appears. Use low in the dark for 10-15 minutes, then click on medium... Maybe closer than some would like, but more of a difference than quickly flipping through the levels would appear. I can live happily with the output on high, given the power source, beam shape, and the quality of the light coming out of the business end. I wil be emailing Don this weekend for a light engine by itself for my Mule head, I like it that much.

    Edit- I thought I would be put off by the longer body, but it's still 1/2 " shorter than an E2e. Fits nicely between that and the 1x123 offerings I have.
    Last edited by scout24; 09-11-2013 at 03:29 PM.

  22. #22
    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Well put Greg, glad to see you have one of these gems!!

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* coloradogps's Avatar
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Maybe I need one of these also.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Oh, yeah. I hope I don't tick anyone off by saying this, but this is a light for a, ahem, "mature flashaholic." McGizmo quality and an outstanding beam shape and tint. Feed it whatever AA cell you want and you'll get the same output. I've been carrying mine all the time since I received it....and it's on the night table every night.

    Quote Originally Posted by coloradogps View Post
    Maybe I need one of these also.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    I don't WANNA be a mature flashaholic!!! You can't make me!!!


    One thing you can't do with this, and a bunch of Don's lights, is not get hung up on numbers. I have a Malkoff AA MDC which is rated at 125lm on high, cool white. To my eyes, given the tint difference, there is no visible difference in brightness between the two lights. Maybe a SLIGHT bit more spill in the MDC, but that, like all things, is subjective... The beam quality is similar, with the MDC having a reflector designed by Don, but the quality of the lumens is where the difference lies. Get one. Enjoy it.
    Last edited by scout24; 09-16-2013 at 02:45 PM.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* greatscoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    I guess an am now a "mature" flashaholic. I am running a AA Haiku on a MDC AA body, while I save up for a AA Ti-Pak. The levels are great and the feel with the AA body is amazing when compared to the standard 1x123 Pak.
    Last edited by greatscoot; 09-22-2013 at 10:24 AM.
    "It's not rocket surgery"

  27. #27
    Flashaholic faco's Avatar
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Mature Flashaholic

    Is that why I've sold most of my lights and keeping just this one

  28. #28
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    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Sometimes I can't help myself....

    I like this light so much I just ordered a 123 119V version. It'll be nice to have a smaller form factor version of it, and the slight bump in output might be enjoyable. I tell you, for me (and clearly several others) this is the "go to" light. 219 equipped lights are nice - neutral XPG2s, etc., etc....all good in their own right. But this 119V through the Haiku is just awesome. Shipping notice received - thanks, Don!

    Just an add...this will not replace the AA version. It definitely has a top spot in the rotation with the form factor and the AA cell. Just wanted more of the same goodness...

    Last edited by run4jc; 09-24-2013 at 04:46 AM.

  29. #29
    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
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    Default

    Awesome! Congrats on the purchase!

  30. #30

    Default Re: My favorite McGizmo yet: AA CRI Haiku

    Quote Originally Posted by run4jc View Post

    and the slight bump in output might be enjoyable.

    When you have both would you have a way to measure or picture the difference?

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