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Thread: Keychain light replacement

  1. #1

    Default Keychain light replacement

    Currently have an old Fenix E05. I do not like the Streamlight Nano size, prefer AAA size or CR123 size. 2-3 power settings with rotary control - combination switch and rotary OK. Keychain EDC for around the car, lights out in house, searching the ground, looking for dog in back yard, etc.

    I'm searching the forum for other recommendations but thought I'd chance a shortcut :-)

    ==================Flashlight Recommendation Checklist================

    1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

    ____I would like to purchase the light in person from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________.
    __XX__This will be mail-order or Online (location doesn't matter).


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

    ____I don't know yet
    ____Up to $25.
    ____Up to $50.
    _XX___Up to $100.
    ____Up to $200.
    ____Up to $300.
    ____Essentially unlimited.


    3) Format:

    ____I am not sure, please help me decide.
    __XX__I want a flashlight (hand held/self contained).
    ____I want a self-contained headlamp.
    ____I want a headlamp with an external pack/power source.
    ____I want a mounted light (typically for a bicycle or vehicle)
    ____I want a lantern/area light.
    ____I want a portable spotlight (it may have an external power source).
    ____Other ____________________________________________


    4) Size:

    __XX__MICRO - Keychain size.
    __XX__TINY - Every day carry (2-4 inches).
    ____SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches).
    ____MEDIUM - Holster/belt ring carry. (>7 inches)
    ____LARGE - Big enough to need its own travel case.
    ____I don’t know/I don't care.


    5) Emitter/Light source:

    _XX___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:

    _XX___I want to buy a light from a large/traditional manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
    _XX___I would like a light from a specialty manufacturer (Possibly limited run/Custom).
    _XX___I am interested in assembling my own components. (for example a “host” or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a “drop-in” emitter from another source).


    7) What power source do you want to use?

    _XX___I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Alkaline batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
    ____I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Lithium batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D and CR123 sized cells common to most stores (often a cold weather or long storage choice).
    ____I intend to use Rechargeable cells (NiMH or NiCD) based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
    ____I intend to use Rechargeable cells based on less common formats (18500 or 18650 Li-Ion, RCR123, et-al).
    ____I want a light with an integrated rechargeable battery pack.
    ____I don't know/I need more information on power sources.

    7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option
    ____I want a light that plugs directly into the wall (literally with prongs built into the light)
    ____I want a light that has a recharging adapter (your typical "wall wart")
    ____I want a light that snaps into a cradle (usually mounted on a wall)
    ____I want a separate/stand-alone charger (this involves removing the batteries to charge)
    _XX___I don't care


    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 not a happy experience).

    _XX___I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (1-10 lumens).
    _XX___I want an indoor "blackout" light (15-50 lumens)
    _XX___I want to confidently walk around an unlit/unpaved rural area (60-150 lumens).
    _XX___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 search and rescue type illumination (800+ lumens).

    ____SPECIAL NOTE: Burst/Turbo mode Category - There are several lights that will run at a super bright maximum for a very limited period (usually 5-10 minutes) and then will "step-down" to a lower level for thermal control. Check here if this is acceptable.


    9) Flood vs Throw: Flood covers an area, Throw reaches out to a distance.

    ____All Flood: I am doing "arms length" tasks like reading and campsite cooking.
    _XX___Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car.
    ____Narrow Flood: I want a sharply defined flood area that will project some distance for tasks like trail walking.
    ____Wide Throw: I want a beam with a noticeable hot-center for distance throw and a significant amount of "side-spill". Good for rough trail hiking, search and rescue, and general distance work.
    ____Narrow Throw: I want a beam with a very tight "hot center" and minimal "side-spill". Good for distance viewing, fog, and looking through dense undergrowth.
    ____Turbohead: I want a far-distance projector with a sharply focused spot of light and minimal or zero side-spill. Good for extreme distance and impressing your friends.

    9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check all that apply)
    ____Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
    ____Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
    _XX___5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
    _XX___30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)
    ____50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
    ____150+ yards (I am searching from a helicopter)

    10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum continuous 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)
    _XX___90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
    ____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).
    ____Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood).
    _XX___Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
    ____Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
    ____I don’t know.


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

    ____Any size switch will do.
    ____I need a BIG switch (I'll be using gloves or have very large hands or coordination issues).
    ____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).
    _XX___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).
    _XX___I want a tail mounted switch (found on the majority of today’s high end lights).
    ____I want a remote switch (usually found on high-end bicycle headlights)
    ____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.
    __XX__I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
    ____I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
    ____I want a programmable light.
    _XX___I want a selector ring.
    ____I want a strobe mode. (Oscillating pattern to confuse/blind aka "Police Mode")
    ____I want SOS mode. (blinks in ...---... emergency pattern)
    ____I want a beacon mode. (Regular flashes at full power to show location.)
    ____I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.


    14)Material/Finish/Coating

    ____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
    _XX___Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today’s higher end 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) Water resistance
    ____None needed
    ____IPX4 (Splash resistant)
    _XX___IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
    ____IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours)

    16) Storage conditions
    ____In house (temperature/climate controlled environment)
    ____Emergency kit (long standby periods)
    _XX___Automobile glove-box (wide temperature swings, long standby periods, critical reliability)
    ____Other_________________________________________ ____


    17) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any/all 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
    ____Holster
    ____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    ____Crenulated bezel
    ____Non-sparking, Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Keychain light replacement

    I think that the SureFire AAA Titan-A meets all listed criteria above, with two minor exceptions ... max output (on NiMH) is 125 lm, and no "selector ring"

    The Titan Plus (Titan-B) will reach 300 lm, at least briefly (on certain AAA NiMH cells) , but is EN plated brass instead of aluminum
    ... is the archimedes peak

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* Str8stroke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keychain light replacement

    A few of my suggestions that like arch said, match most:
    Surefire Titan
    Fenix (EO-1) <<--A must own light, just cause it is a stone cold winner for the money. It isn't a flame thrower, but it will Always work.
    DarkSucks Beta QRv-2
    Maratac AAA Cu or Ti are my favs.
    Lumintop Tool. Rear clicky may be a no go for you? But still a great light worth considering.
    Interested in Saltytri lights. Pm me!


  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keychain light replacement

    I got tired of reading the thread after the 1st post.
    ... it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, It's what you leave behind you when you go.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Keychain light replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by kmonroe View Post
    7) What power source do you want to use?

    _XX___I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Alkaline batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.

    ....

    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 not a happy experience).

    _XX___I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (1-10 lumens).
    _XX___I want an indoor "blackout" light (15-50 lumens)
    _XX___I want to confidently walk around an unlit/unpaved rural area (60-150 lumens).
    _XX___I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).

    ....

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

    _XX___90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
    Those are tough specs. It definitely doesn't exist in AAA's, especially alkalines, but it sounds like you're ok with CR123A batteries.

    Selector rings, where the brightness depends on the head position, are not very common*. The HDS rotary is really well liked, but well beyond your budget. The Nitecore SRT3 is the only option I know of. It's a lot bigger than your E05 though. It's pocketable, but I don't think really a keychain light.

    Or were you talking about a twisty head like your E05 - twist it off then on again to cycle through the modes?

    * Edit - typo: was "not very uncommon."
    Last edited by iamlucky13; 07-17-2017 at 06:10 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Keychain light replacement

    If you dropped the selector ring you could consider the Thrunite Ti3, but that selector ring is indeed a tough match.
    THRUNITE Archer1AV2|TiS|TH20|TN4A Hi...all in neutral white
    YUJILEDS BC Series 95+HighCRI modded Mini-Mag2AAA
    XTARVC4, LCTBC500, Amaloops, 1999MAG-LITE 2D Incandescent(glass lens)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Keychain light replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    I think that the SureFire AAA Titan-A meets all listed criteria above, with two minor exceptions ... max output (on NiMH) is 125 lm, and no "selector ring"

    The Titan Plus (Titan-B) will reach 300 lm, at least briefly (on certain AAA NiMH cells) , but is EN plated brass instead of aluminum
    Titan -A is a good choice as per his list.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Keychain light replacement

    None of the form settings are black and white but more shades of grey. Battery size could be AAA or AA. By twisty I meant twist off then on to change setting. My bedside light is a Surefire with a tail clicky so I'm used to that UI also. I don't like to manipulate something as small as the Nano and I don't like the Photon style.

    Most important is decent throw at around 25 - 40 yards and some spread or flood.

    Quote Originally Posted by iamlucky13 View Post
    Those are tough specs. It definitely doesn't exist in AAA's, especially alkalines, but it sounds like you're ok with CR123A batteries.

    Selector rings, where the brightness depends on the head position, are not very uncommon. The HDS rotary is really well liked, but well beyond your budget. The Nitecore SRT3 is the only option I know of. It's a lot bigger than your E05 though. It's pocketable, but I don't think really a keychain light.

    Or were you talking about a twisty head like your E05 - twist it off then on again to cycle through the modes?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Keychain light replacement

    25 to 40 yards, from a keychain light? That's way optimistic.

    The Titan is a well-defined flood. I definitely wouldn't use mine at that range.

    You might try the Malkoff MDC HA 1AA flashlight. I wouldn't carry it on my keychain, and it has three modes instead of two, but it seems to fit most of your wants.

    It's also going to strain your budget at $106.
    "We can’t just go with MBAV because it’s out there and battle-proven." - Fred Coppola, deputy project manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment

  10. #10

    Default Re: Keychain light replacement

    Your best bet for the relatively high output and runtime you've asked about is a CR123A powered light.

    Which of course, bumps up the size. There's a few twisty head models like the Eagletac D25C Mini and Fenix E15 , and quite a few with either tail switches or electronic side buttons like the Eagletac D25C Clicky, the Zebralight SC32, and Olight S Mini. That last one is probably the smallest CR123A light I know of - about the same length as your E05, and about 1-1/2 times the diameter.

    Speaking of the E05, when you say "old," do you mean the original 1-mode, 27 lumen version, rather than the 3-mode 85 lumen model on the market now?

    Because if what you're really looking for is just something that beats 27 lumens, several AA models do, including the current E05 (twisty), the Fenix LD02 (clicky), the Thrunite Ti3 (twisty) and Ti5 (clicky), the Lumintop Tool (clicky) and worm, Olight i3 (twisty) and the Maratac AAA (twisty).

  11. #11

    Default Re: Keychain light replacement

    My E05 is the original 1-mode, 27 lumen version.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Keychain light replacement

    Got it. So as stated, there are AAA-powered lights that can outperform your E05. I think where you go from here depends on how important output and runtime versus size is for you.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Keychain light replacement

    One point that I think may be confusing to some of those giving you advice here is that "AAA" and "CR123A" are basically entirely different categories, despite both being relatively small pocket-sized flashlights.

    I think most of us on CPF would consider R/CR123A (Li-Ion / Lithium powered) torches quite separately from AAA/AA (often NiMH vs alkaline powered) .

    I think once you decide on your preferred form factor, and battery chemistry, you can start to hone in on your best choice(s)
    Last edited by archimedes; 07-18-2017 at 07:17 PM.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  14. #14

    Default Re: Keychain light replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    One point that I think may be confusing to some of those giving you advice here is that "AAA" and "CR123A" are basically entirely different categories, despite both being relatively small pocket-sized flashlights.

    I think most of us on CPF would consider R/CR123A (Li-Ion / Lithium powered) torches quite separately from AAA/AA (often NiMH vs alkaline powered) .

    I think once you decide on your preferred form factor, and battery chemistry, you can start to hone in on your best choice(s)
    Also this.

    If you're willing to consider a CR123 - which conceivably might fit on your keyring - the MDC HA 1CR123 is another possibility. Similar to the AA model I referenced before, except this runs on more power, therefore better performance profile, particularly in terms of lumens. It will hit your 25 to 40 yard mark, allowing for ambient lighting.
    "We can’t just go with MBAV because it’s out there and battle-proven." - Fred Coppola, deputy project manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment

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