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Thread: super focused (thrower) AAA penlight

  1. #1

    Default super focused (thrower) AAA penlight

    I know many folks on here like super bright lights, I am not one of them. Just enough light in a super easy to carry package is what I like. I tend to gravitate toward AAA lights.

    Recently I discovered a 2 AAA incandescent penlight in my drawer at work. It looks super cheap, but still functions. Not sure how I acquired this, obviously it has not seen much use. What I found remarkable about it is how focused the beam is. It is very dim, maybe 3-5 lumens if that. But the oval it casts on the wall is intriguing. Would likely be a good doctor's penlight for looking in throats and eyes, but not much else. I would be interested in a LED warm or neutral version that can cast a low lumen beam, but also maybe a 100-200 lumen beam that is very focused, so the distance it shines would be decent. I don't have much experience with long distance throwers, so I am not sure what to guess is possible, but a WAG would be 50-100 yards. In general, I like twisties, but I think for a penlight a clicky would be better. Coming on at low would be preferred, two modes would be plenty, no strobe or at least very well hidden, don't care about the case material but suspect for 100 lumens metal would be it, buy online, $20 or so for price.

    I would plan to use eneloops for power, not terribly interested in lithium rechargeable for anything but my bike headlight. Not there is an application where I do value LOTS of lumens!

  2. #2

    Default Re: super focused (thrower) AAA penlight

    for throw you need a large reflector. You'll never get that on a small light. Output is also going to be limited with 2xAAA. There is only so much power there. Drive a led hard and run times will be low.

    The Mini Mag AAA is quite nice for a 2xAAA light. But you won't be getting NW or WW. Output is not massively high either. But suspect it's still one of the better 2xAAA throwers.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: super focused (thrower) AAA penlight

    Check out Lumintop. Single AAA at 100 lumens, double AAA at 200 lumens.
    I got nothing else to say...

  4. #4

    Default Re: super focused (thrower) AAA penlight

    Sounds like maybe I am asking for unobtanium. The lumintop IYP365 is not terribly different than several of the AAA lights I have. Figured a thrower would have a smooth reflector, not orange peel. But the IYP is a nice light.

    The mini mag looks like it would do the distance work I am after, expeically with the focus. Price is right also, just wish it had some lower power modes as well.

  5. #5

    Default Re: super focused (thrower) AAA penlight

    There are 2AAA LED lights with outputs in the 250 lumen range but in keeping with the normal diameter of a AAA tube there isn't much of a reflector to them severely limiting throw. At 200-250 lumens you are lucky to get close to an hour of use. The main problem with LED lights is they require a lot deeper reflector than incans do. 2AA format is probably better suited IMO.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: super focused (thrower) AAA penlight

    Coast G20 is a medium power "inspection beam" penlight. It uses a refractive optic instead of a reflector.

    The HP3 is a higher power 2xAAA, with a focusing head. From the little I've seen of Coast lights, their focusing design does seem to get relatively tight, usually. And the HP4 is similar but with a fixed head.

    Unfortunately, you're getting whatever low CRI, cool white LED coast generally seems to use, and I expect the optic will cause some of the fringing a lot of Coast lights seem to have.
    Last edited by iamlucky13; 04-22-2017 at 09:17 PM.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: super focused (thrower) AAA penlight

    The Nitecore MT06MD should meet all your criteria. It has a high mode of 180 lumens, and is rated as a 58m throw. It uses the Nichia 219B emitter, so it will be in the NW to slightly warm tint range. And it is very classy as well. It would look fine with in a suit environment. If throw is more important than tint, the MT06 will have a bluer tint but will have a higher output and more throw, in this case about 90m.

    Without a much larger reflector, you will not get the beam you are getting from your incan light with an LED emitter. A parabolic reflector works best with a point source of light, and a small incan bulb comes much closer to that ideal than an LED does. An LED like the XQ-E has a much smaller die than the newer emitters, so it will do a better job at throwing a tight beam, but it still won't be as tight as an incan bulb. The way larger lights compensate for this is to have deeper reflectors so more of the off axis light is directed towards the center of the beam. But there will still be more spill than an equivalent incan bulb would give. It is just the nature of the beast. This is also the reason why so many spotlights are HID. An HID bulb has a relatively small actual arc gap, so it comes closer to an ideal point source of light than an LED does.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: super focused (thrower) AAA penlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    The Nitecore MT06MD should meet all your criteria. It has a high mode of 180 lumens, and is rated as a 58m throw. It uses the Nichia 219B emitter, so it will be in the NW to slightly warm tint range. And it is very classy as well. It would look fine with in a suit environment. If throw is more important than tint, the MT06 will have a bluer tint but will have a higher output and more throw, in this case about 90m.
    I think this is the winner! thanks for your feedback.

  9. #9

    Default Re: super focused (thrower) AAA penlight

    The Nitecore MT06 has way more throw than the IYP365 or MT06MD, due to the much smaller LED.

    It doesn't, however, have the low low - only two levels Mid and High. I really like mine.

  10. #10

    Default Re: super focused (thrower) AAA penlight

    Quote Originally Posted by iamlucky13 View Post
    Coast G20 is a medium power "inspection beam" penlight. It uses a refractive optic instead of a reflector.

    The HP3 is a higher power 2xAAA, with a focusing head. From the little I've seen of Coast lights, their focusing design does seem to get relatively tight, usually. And the HP4 is similar but with a fixed head.

    Unfortunately, you're getting whatever low CRI, cool white LED coast generally seems to use, and I expect the optic will cause some of the fringing a lot of Coast lights seem to have.
    The HP3 does have a tight focus, but mine has a very blue tint and I can't stand to carry it anymore. I much prefer my Nitecore MT06, which has a nice neutral tint and relatively good throw, due to it's relatively small LED.

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