14500/AA EDC flashlight with fire-fly/moon-light to 400+ lumens, forward clicky, clip


Newly Enlightened
Aug 24, 2020
I'm looking to finally set on a single EDC flashlight that covers all me usual needs.

Right now I'm cycling through some AAA lights like Olight Worm 4.0, ThurNite Ti3, NiteCore Thumb, etc. and have lately played around with a Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 with an Keenpower 14500 1000mAh battery.

Things I'm looking for are:
  • 14500 and AA compatibility (dual chemistry):
    • 14500 for higher lumens
    • AA for easy battery backup (prefering and using Eneloops, but Alkalines may be the only option depending on the environment I'm in
  • ideally start in low-mode, start in last mode could be accepted as well
  • modes:
    • "low: firefly (0.0x lumens, my Ti3 is perfect), moon-light would be okay-ish as well
    • "mid": 10-50 lumens
    • "high": >100 lumens
    • "turbo": 400-800 lumens
  • clicky (no head twist or side-switch)
    • forward clicky prefered (for immediate temporary light and sending Morse codes)
  • reverse clip: to attach the flashlight to my cap shield to make-shift it into a head-lamp
  • red filter or separate LED would be appreciated to not destroy dark vision
  • whole for laynard/ato attach it to my keyring

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

1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

__X_I would like to purchase the light in person from a brick and mortar store. I am located in Germany; Austria could be an option as well.
__X_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.
__X_Up to $50.
_(X)_Up to $100.
____Up to $200.
____Up to $300.
____Essentially unlimited.

3) Format:

____I am not sure, please help me decide.
__X_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:

____MICRO - Keychain size.
__X_TINY - Every day carry (2-4 inches).
_(X)_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:

____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)
__X_I don't know.

6) Manufacturer:

__X_I want to buy a light from a large/traditional manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
__X_I would like a light from a specialty manufacturer (Possibly limited run/Custom).
__X_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?

____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).
__X_I intend to use Rechargeable cells (NiMH or NiCD) based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
__X_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)
__X_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).

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

__X_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.

__X_All Flood: I am doing "arms length" tasks like reading and campsite cooking.
__X_Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car.
_(X)_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)
__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)
____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).

__X_Up to 30 minutes (I want the brightest [and potentially smallest] light for brief periods)
_(X)_30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed)
____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).
__X_Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
_(X)_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).
__X_I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
_(X)_I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights).
__X_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 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.
____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. (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.


____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 higher end flashlights).
__X_Stainless steel (durable, but much heavier than aluminum)
_(X)_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
__X_IPX4 (Splash resistant)
_(X)_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)
__X_Emergency kit (long standby periods)
_(X)_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.

_(X)_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)
__X_Pocket/belt clip
____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
____Crenulated bezel
____Non-sparking, Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments


Newly Enlightened
Aug 24, 2020
Thanks for your interest (60 views) ... to make things easier: basically a Lumintop Tool AA with a fire-fly mode (<1 lumen) and forward clicky would practically match the requirements.

In case you would recommend a light (Klarus Mi7) with a side-switch instead of a tail switch, I would consider this seriously.

Lights that I have on my list:
  • EAGTAC D25A Clicky MKII
  • ReyLight LAN
  • Klarus Mi7
  • Manker E05 Ti 400 Lumens Titanium AA / 14500

Your suggestion/recommendation is highly appreciated.


Jan 21, 2007
Ed, Ab
I would suggest the Acebeam M10. It list the max lumens at 224 but I would say it is closer to 400 with a 14500 cell in it. I think it will check off all your boxes except the red filter but it would be easy enough to make one. Its one tough light, I have one that went through a snowblower, got thrown against the garage and run over who knows how many times and its still going strong. I bought a second one just in case I loose this one. Its my main EDC light now.

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Modulated Moderator
Oct 28, 2005
The Land of Baked Beans and Red Sox
Have you looked at the Surefire Titan Plus, it checks most if not all of your boxes, no light will be perfect but for $89 and it comes with a rechargeable AAA cell, bright and white, three levels. I was not impressed with the original Titan but the Plus is now my daily carry.


Newly Enlightened
Aug 24, 2020
I would suggest the Acebeam M10. It list the max lumens at 224 but I would say it is closer to 400 with a 14500 cell in it.

Thanks for the recommendation and sorry for my late reply! The Acebeam M10 would fit the bill, but 3 lumen are to much light in low mode, unfortunately it can not replace my Ti3 in fire-fly mode (to sneak out of the bed during the night without disturbing my wife).

Have you looked at the Surefire Titan Plus, it checks most if not all of your boxes, no light will be perfect but for $89 and it comes with a rechargeable AAA cell, bright and white, three levels. I was not impressed with the original Titan but the Plus is now my daily carry.

Thanks. While it's very impressive to throw out 300 lumen for an AAA light, I struggle to purchase it 'cause its low mode (15 lumen) is way to much for one of my use cases.
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Flashlight Enthusiast
Feb 26, 2007
Based on my use with the d25c ti I would say the d25a or d3a would be a possible choice. Just be aware that low/moon is quite bright on li ion.