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Thread: It's back on! Scout24 has added a challenger! 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge

  1. #1
    run4jc's Avatar
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    Default It's back on! Scout24 has added a challenger! 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge

    3/19/2015 - Scout24 has added another player! HERE

    3/11/2015 - Final Results of Rayovac test HERE

    3/8/2015 - "Tumbler of Death" test complete HERE

    3/6/2015 - "Late entrant added HERE"

    Test is all done. Final results HERE


    I really don’t know where this is going – or where it will end up. All the talk about the E01 sparked interest in other 5mm LED lights. Scout24 and I have talked about it quite a bit.

    So I decided to pick up 1 of each of the true competitors. What’s a competitor? 5mm LED, AAA battery, 1 level twisty, $10-15. Thought about adding the Thrunite Ti (I have some unopened 2 level 3/60 lumen versions) but honestly don’t think a Ti would survive the kind of abuse these may see. Plus a run time comparison would not be apples to apples, and the output/beam/etc. is different with the XPE emitter behind a true reflector.

    Thought about adding the Nitecore Tube but I doubt it would survive any of the torture tests. Ordered a cheap Rayovac “Value Bright” AAA for $4.99, but, alas, it was backordered.

    So here’s the line up:

    Sunwayman R01A – price paid: $12.80
    Klarus Mi02 – price paid: $11.95
    Nitecore T0 – price paid: $11.90
    Fenix E01 (new) - price paid: $9.85 (after discount)

    Incidentally, the Fenix is the only one of the four to include a battery. Cerealand got around 37 hours (I believe) out of the included cell on his E01.

    The Nitecore and the Klarus both came in a small box – the Sunwayman and the Fenix both came in a blister pack. All 4 lights included a split ring and an o-ring as well as rudimentary instructions. And as already mentioned, the Fenix came with a battery.



    I installed identical batteries in each one and weighed them - the weights in grams/ounces:

    Light Grams Ounces
    Sunwayman R01A 26 .917
    Klarus Mi02 25 .882
    Nitecore T0 34 1.2
    Fenix E01 25 .882



    The Sunwayman seems to have Acme type threads...maybe overkill on a key ring light? The Klarus and the Fenix have similar deep threads. The Nitecore has a stainless head and very shallow threads....I have to wonder about how robust this set up is...shallow threads with stainless coupling to aluminum. Time will tell.

    I've come to really appreciate the hex treatment on the head of the Sunwayman - makes it easy to grip and operate one handed and it seems to have the smoothest out of the box threads. Also nice that it doesn't roll away when placed on a flat surface.



    The Nitecore and the Sunwayman have similar tails/split ring holes. Neither will tail stand under any circumstances. The Klarus will certainly tail stand without a split ring installed. The Fenix has the best tail set up (IMHO) because it is set up to allow tail standing even with a split ring attached. YMMV.



    My initial impressions - you'll see the initial outputs below, but they all have the typical purple spot out to varying shades in the spill. The Klarus and the Nitecore have the beams that are the 'least offensive' to me.

    These 4 photos give you an idea of the (un-modified) beams to one another (L-R - Sunwayman, Klarus, Nitecore, Fenix)









    Run time tests come first – I started with 4 batteries from the same batch of USA made Duracells – expiration date 2018 – that lasted around 42 hours in another E01. At 14:45 minutes the Sunwayman and Klarus had already given up. I’m actually not certain how long they lasted since they were both showing their ‘low battery indicators’ when I got up at 4:30 in the morning after the test started the previous night. The Klarus and the Fenix were still chugging along nicely – measurements are shown in the table below.



    Since I didn’t measure the voltage of the batteries before beginning the run time test, I thought maybe it would be a good idea to start over – this time with a fresher batch of Chinese made Duracells – expiration date 2020. The voltage of each cell is shown in the table. The table will be updated with run times, voltages, etc., as each light finally gives it up.



    As of the writing of this text, the Klarus and the Fenix are still chugging along with the Klarus at .22 lumen and the Fenix at .72 – both providing enough light to navigate a dark room

    After the run time tests are completed, fresh batteries will be installed and the abuse will begin. My belief is that scout24’s abuse of an E01 set the bar very high – kudos to scout for taking that one for the team. These 4 lights probably won’t see that level of abuse, but they will be abused beyond what might happen in “real life.” We’ll see what happens.

    I’ll start with a little bit different method. A 20% discount coupon for Harbor Freight was more than I could resist – decided to pick up a rock tumbler and some ceramic abrasive media (see photos). Maybe this will simulate a great deal of pocket wear with keys, coins, etc., in a “slightly accelerated” way…









    So stay tuned! Updates will be posted after the Klarus and the Fenix finally give up. There will be some abuse beyond the rock tumbler as well. this crazy curiosity has cost around $100 so far so hopefully it will be useful to my sisters and brothers in the CPF community.
    Last edited by run4jc; 03-19-2015 at 06:52 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge

    Well it appears that the Fenix may have to surrender the run time crown - it died after 27:58 minutes with the same type battery with equal starting voltage (as shown above). Meter showed .297V remaining in the battery. I let it rest for a few minutes to see if it would come back to life, but no - it's done.

    Little Klarus is still chugging along happily. I quickly checked the battery and it still shows .859V - it may be running for a while yet! So the Sunwayman and the Nitecore are not 'battery vampires'...they have their own low battery indicators with the Nitecore flashing and the Sunwayman ramping high to low then off....high/low/off. But the Fenix did drain the cell nicely. Now we'll see just how long the Klarus lasts.

    I realize there is an inconsistency in the brightness level on the chart below, but remember - the lights were off overnight so they 'recovered'. But the Klarus has been on for 2 hours and 30 minutes and still is brighter than it was last night.

    I am impressed with the Klarus. But the Fenix body on the Klarus head and it's almost perfect...


    Update: I let the Fenix (and the Nitecore and SWM) batteries recover for a while and the lights did come back on. The Fenix ran another 3 hours and the Nitecore and SWM both ran another couple. I'm not adjusting the run time, though, because the Klarus has run without the need to recover. In fact, it's still chugging along after 33 hours at .31 lumen.

    Another update: At 36 hours the Klarus is still chugging along with a still usable .07 lumen..enough to light the 'target' in the middle of the night, guys.... Battery is still at .65V. Opinion based on observation - this light seems to somehow more gradually drain the battery. The Fenix, Sunwayman and Nitecore all will pull their batteries down to the point that the light shuts off. Let the batteries rest and the lights will start operating again, although not for long. I got an additional 3 hours out of the Fenix and 2 additional out of the SWM and Nitecore. But again, the drain seems more drastic.

    As a side note, I managed 42 hours out of an E01 using that method - run until dead, stop the timer, let the battery recover, start it up again (and the timer.) I think it initially shut down at around 33 hours, but it was also using a US made Duracell. I've heard that the Chinese made Duracells don't last as long...don't know if that's true and am not making commentary, but what is happening is undeniable.

    So I'm going to let the Klarus run to 40 hours (if it makes it, which I think it will) then call it. It has clearly 'won' the run time test...and it has turned my head. The little E01 has a competitor for run time / battery vampire!

    Last edited by run4jc; 02-14-2015 at 03:48 PM.

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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge

    Well I got tired of waiting - at 39:20 I called it. The Klarus was still producing .02 lumen of light - enough to navigate a dark bathroom (see photo)



    Impressive. I think the Klarus would have run longer. It had .62V left in the battery - miserly vampire sipping the juice from that AAA! Here's the final table showing all, remembering that the other 3 would 'rejuvenate' after a bit of time turned off, but then quickly drain the battery down to the point that the light wouldn't function. In terms of battery utilization, my unscientific rankings are as follows - 1-Klarus; 2-Fenix; 3-Sunwayman; 4-Nitecore. The SWM and Nitecore both have low voltage indicators then they just shut off. Fenix and the Klarus just drain the batteries until there's not enough there to light the LED.


    So now the torture begins! All 4 lights have entered the rock tumbler - the drum half full of those nasty looking 1 inch ceramic angle cut tri-star polishing media chunks. I was asked for video - here you go - this is the start. Went in around 6:40 PM Central Time. I'll let 'em run until early tomorrow afternoon - maybe 18-20 hours, then extract them and hope for the best. After that the abuse will continue next week as time allows.

    (You might want to skip from the 18 second mark to around 1:20)



    Stay tuned!
    Last edited by run4jc; 02-14-2015 at 07:35 PM.

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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge

    I've been waiting for this thread! Talk about taking one for the team... Always enjoy how well presented these threads are, Dan. Looking forward to seeing how harsh the ceramics are on those poor lights.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge

    That Klarus looks a full-on E01 copy-cat no??

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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out


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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    I am so excited can hardly wait.
    Alkaline collection Energiser-Duracell-Ansmann-GP

  8. #8

    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Thank you for doing this. I would love to see a video (with sound) of the tumbler in action. +1, anyone?

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    Flashaholic* Kilovolt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Very promising, thanks for sharing!



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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Thanks for do this all

  11. #11

    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Wow - thanks for all the work you put into this. I'm really curious what the rock tumbler does!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Quote Originally Posted by gurdygurds View Post
    That Klarus looks a full-on E01 copy-cat no??
    Agreed...with the exception of the tail. It's the only one so far that is staying with the E01 for run time. I suspended the run time test overnight (can't monitor them when sleeping ) but restarted this morning first thing. 26 hours and counting. This is what they looked like at 25:30 last night:

    (Klarus left - Fenix right - then the 2 'little engines that couldn't'


    Quote Originally Posted by mcnair55 View Post
    I am so excited can hardly wait.
    And I know we eagerly anticipate all of the positive contributions you'll make to this thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by Swede74 View Post
    Thank you for doing this. I would love to see a video (with sound) of the tumbler in action. +1, anyone?
    Only to happy to oblige. That's what one of the reserved posts is for.

    Funny - I am the staff flashlight writer for TheFirearmBlog.com and have a cool ASP Triad rechargeable that I need to write up, but this is more fun.
    Last edited by run4jc; 02-14-2015 at 06:56 AM.

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    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    run4jc, you are awesome, the OP is stellar, and your response above is excellent. Thank you for doing this!

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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    @Grijon - thank you for the kind words. It's my pleasure and it makes me happy that you all are enjoying reading the thread. I just updated post #2 - we may have a run time winner declared! I'll let it continue to run before the rock tumbler test begins...

  15. #15

    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    am paying attention to this one...

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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    This has been very interesting. I did not realize the others existed, and that anything would beat the E01.
    Jerry

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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Thanks for the cool tests. I did a run time test with an E01 and coast mini tac and was surprised the coast ran longer by a full day. Usable light too. 84 hours to 108.It also uses nichia emitter. E01 is still better edc. Coast is clicky. Way longer. Not potted or water proof and it worked intermittently until I fiddled with pcb board. Unreliable light.

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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Quote Originally Posted by ryukin2000 View Post
    Thanks for the cool tests. I did a run time test with an E01 and coast mini tac and was surprised the coast ran longer by a full day. Usable light too. 84 hours to 108.It also uses nichia emitter. E01 is still better edc. Coast is clicky. Way longer. Not potted or water proof and it worked intermittently until I fiddled with pcb board. Unreliable light.
    Wow. What kind of battery lasted that long? Was that the previous version of the E01 or this newer one?

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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Quote Originally Posted by run4jc View Post
    Wow. What kind of battery lasted that long? Was that the previous version of the E01 or this newer one?
    It was regular energizer alkaline. And older E01.

  20. #20

    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Quote Originally Posted by run4jc View Post
    decided to pick up a rock tumbler and some ceramic abrasive media (see photos). Maybe this will simulate a great deal of pocket wear with keys, coins, etc., in a “slightly accelerated” way…
    Freaking LOL!

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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    I just started a run time with my E01 that is several years old and using an EBL 1100 battery. Will post how it comes out. My Fenix LD 01 with the EBL and low mode ran 21 hr 19min.

    Jerry

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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Very interested in this thread, thank you very much for the effort, run4jc.

    Anyones has idea why it is so different runtime and performance in SWM and Nitecore regarding the Klarus and Fenix? Perhaps they don't have PWM? Perhaps less efficient leds? the drivers?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Quote Originally Posted by Noctiluco View Post
    Very interested in this thread, thank you very much for the effort, run4jc.

    Anyones has idea why it is so different runtime and performance in SWM and Nitecore regarding the Klarus and Fenix? Perhaps they don't have PWM? Perhaps less efficient leds? the drivers?
    Thank you Noctiluco - I don't know the technical reason, but in post two I offer a bit of commentary on the way the lights seem to drain the batteries. The Fenix will drop out of regulation and slowly dim until it 'dies.' The Nitecore starts blinking when the battery is almost exhausted.....the Sunwayman begins a high-low ramp/off sequence until it finally dies. Interesting (to me, at least) that the Klarus starts out about 40% brighter than the new Fenix - 18 lumen versus 13, yet still runs longer. Scout24 suggested that perhaps it's an even newer and more efficient LED and that seems logical. That said, the board/head/LED/reflector all look virtually identical to the Fenix - the SWM and the Nitecore are both notably different.

    It's just fascinating to me what you get for these bargain prices. Of course some think that they are overpriced, but I disagree. And the Fenix - the most well-known - is the least expensive of all.

    Hang in there, folks. The rock tumbler is next, then on to freezing/heating/abrupt contact with concrete abuse!

  24. #24

    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Great thread. Looking forward to more testing.

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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Quote Originally Posted by netprince View Post
    Great thread. Looking forward to more testing.
    Thanks, netprince! Check post #3 - the run time is over and the tumbling has begun!

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by run4jc View Post
    Check post #3 - the run time is over and the tumbling has begun!
    Thanks for taking the time to post the video. I'm really looking forward to seeing what a no doubt horrible night in the tumbler will do to those innocent little lights.

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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out


  28. #28

    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Quote Originally Posted by 5S8Zh5 View Post
    +1

  29. #29

    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Quote Originally Posted by 5S8Zh5 View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy1017 View Post
    +1

    +2 Who's in for pizza?

  30. #30
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    Default Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

    Those poor lights... Dan breaking out the heavy guns!!!

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