4Sevens Preon Review (1xAAA & 2xAAA): RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, and more!

4sevens

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
2,876
Location
Atlanta, GA
FYI, 4Sevens.com informs that they use a proprietary coating on the Preons to increase the roughness to the touch (at the microscale).

It is true that the Preons are not quite as slippery as I would have expected from their appearance, but the coating is still not as "grippy" as actual knurling. Switching modes one-handed is doable in 1xAAA form, but not as easy as some other lights.

:wave:
The ideal is to "enhance" the grip, not necessarily replace knurling. The down side to knurling is that it'll tear up whatever you clip your light to - shift pockets/pants pockets.

Yes, one-handed operation for the P1 is not ideal. The P2 setup as a "pen light" is not bad.

One other thing - if the colored Preons get a little "slippery," wash it with some soap and water to get rid of the oils that fill the tiny grooves and the original grip is restored :)
 

nativecajun

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
Messages
94
Location
Now live in Ooltewah Tennessee
Yes, quite true - for efficiency fiends (and fans of perfectly flat regulation), the VersaTi is king. Of course, it lacks a Lo mode and Hi mode is lower than all the semi-regulated lights. I'm also not sanguine about the VersaTi switching mechanism (i.e. I don't like relying on all those pins in the head).

It does make things a difficult choice, especially in Titanium. If you like the broader feature set, The IlluminaTi and Preon 1 are extemely close in performance - it really comes down to which build you prefer.

I would love one Versa Ti in polished stainless instead of Ti. And if they fix the head switching i think I would go for one. It is a very handsome looking light as well. I have a Preon 1 in golden yellow on the way and two more EO1's in olive as well. I also have the maratac polished stainless AAA'
Seems I may start a collection of AAA's but I do own a PD20, EZCR2, Quark mini 123 also. I am a fan of single cell lights. When you look at the runtimes the two battery ones usually run double time so I figure there is no difference in battery eating. Less light in the top end but for a light like that I think 70 lumens is plenty for camping. Especially when 70 lumens will only be used very seldom anyway.

Daniel AKA nativecajun
 

selfbuilt

Flashaholic
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
7,003
Location
Canada
When you look at the runtimes the two battery ones usually run double time so I figure there is no difference in battery eating. Less light in the top end but for a light like that I think 70 lumens is plenty for camping. Especially when 70 lumens will only be used very seldom anyway.
FYI, I should point out that my lightbox is not completely linear (i.e. it is not a proper integrating sphere) - so the max output of the 2xAAA version may be a bit more than it appears here.

As a general rule - when matched for output - there is a slight bump in overall efficiency when run in 2x configuration as opposed 1x. But since the Preon output levels on 2xAAA are different from 1xAAA, that is not immediately obvious here.
 

AFAustin

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 10, 2004
Messages
1,800
Location
outside of Austin, TX
I'm a bit late to the party, I'm afraid, but I thoroughly enjoyed this excellent review. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Thanks, Eric!

Andrew
 

BigBluefish

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 25, 2008
Messages
1,461
I've come in even later, and bought one of the little suckers. In part as a result of your excellent review. Well, pre-ordered one with that warm XP-G. Which I might, or might not get, I guess, depending on how many they actually made for this run.

I only have one AAA light now, a Microstream (for $16 or whatever they are now, everyone should have one) since my son got my E01. So, I have been thinking about gettng another...

With the extra 1 x AAA body, I should have quite a versatile penlight. I'd never had much use for this type of light (2 x AAA), but with the warm XP-G, and ability to use a 1 x AAA tube, it just seemd like too useful a light to not try for $45. A penlight putting out 120 lumens! And a 2 +/- lumen low!(The warms are only Q5 flux.) Who would have thought of that?
 
Last edited:

Xak

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 2, 2008
Messages
570
Location
MA
Which is lower on low mode with non-alkaline batteries? I like to use my IlluminaTi to check pupils (paramedic), wonder how the Preon I compares. If it is similar or lower I may try one in warm white as I think it would be less harsh on the patient.

One thing I like about my IlluminaTi, but don't know if the Preon I can do, is a pseudo-momentary on technique. I turn it on, then loosen the head just until the light turns off. I carry it in my uniform pocket all day and night and it doesn't turn on accidentally or shift at all. When I pull it out of my pocket and squeeze the body slightly it creates a contact and a momentary on effect that is 100% reliable and I can cycle through the brightness modes as well. I like this better than a clicky (in this style light) because I can still twist it on and tail stand if needed.

The Preon is a bit bigger than the IlluminaTi. If the IlluminaTi comes out with a warm R5 I'm getting one and putting the old on on my wife's key chain!

Love this light.
 

selfbuilt

Flashaholic
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
7,003
Location
Canada
Which is lower on low mode with non-alkaline batteries? I like to use my IlluminaTi to check pupils (paramedic), wonder how the Preon I compares. If it is similar or lower I may try one in warm white as I think it would be less harsh on the patient.

One thing I like about my IlluminaTi, but don't know if the Preon I can do, is a pseudo-momentary on technique. I turn it on, then loosen the head just until the light turns off. I carry it in my uniform pocket all day and night and it doesn't turn on accidentally or shift at all. When I pull it out of my pocket and squeeze the body slightly it creates a contact and a momentary on effect that is 100% reliable and I can cycle through the brightness modes as well. I like this better than a clicky (in this style light) because I can still twist it on and tail stand if needed.
Low levels are very similar. As you will see in my tables in the review, the two Preons samples were ~10-20% dimmer than the my one IlluminaTi sample. But that could be well within standard variation (in fact, I suspect the circuits of both lights are made by the same maker).

The "squeeze" technique you mention is possible with the preon as well (this is due to the slight give in the screw threads). The head grip is probably better with the Illuminati for this sort of thing (i.e. I presume you are holding the head with your index and second finger, and pressing the body with your thumb?). As has been pointed out here, the grippiness of the Preon is better than expected, and allows one-handed twisting. But for holding on while pressing the base, I suspect the ridge detail of the Illuminati would be better.
 

Xak

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 2, 2008
Messages
570
Location
MA
Excellent review! Thanx! I hope IlluminaTi gets some warm LEDs, I'm sticking with this design for 1xAAA. It's perfect.
 

maksimi

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
2
selfbuilt,

Could you take pictures with black head and black clicky tailcap from Preon 2 and combined with yellow, blue and red bodie of Preon 1?
 

brightnorm

Flashaholic
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
7,160
Frankly, I am disappointed with my new Preon 1. Despite its excellent beam and stylish body this is basically a two-handed light, and that pretty much invalidates it for my use. I am sorry that in this case 4Sevens chose form over function. A shame, because it is otherwise such a fine light.

Brightnorm
 
Last edited:

Monocrom

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
19,555
Location
NYC
Frankly, I am disappointed with my new Preon 1. Despite its excellent beam and stylish body this is basically a two-handed light, and that pretty much invalidates it for my use. I am sorry that in this case 4Sevens chose form over function. A shame, because it is otherwise such a fine light.

Brightnorm

Just buy a tailcap switch for it from 4Sevens.
 

brightnorm

Flashaholic
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
7,160
That will defeat the idea of a tiny AAA. I will go back to my faithful Fenix E01. Simple and dependable.

BN
 

Monocrom

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
19,555
Location
NYC
. . . And the beam isn't even as good as the Preon I on low-mode.

Tailcap isn't that big or tall.

The Streamlight Microstream has a lower-profile clicky.
 

EverythingIsFire

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
4
Just put in an order through 4Sevens for the Preon 2. I was going for the Streamlight Stylus Pro(had that in my amazon cart for a month, I think) but I caught another review from "Nutnfancy" on youtube and thought I'd shell out the extra $ for the modes and also the better looks doesn't hurt :thumbsup: Took me forever to decide which of the two to get and then which colour haha. Can't wait to get this in
 

Mr. Shawn

Enlightened
Joined
Nov 23, 2007
Messages
254
Location
Lake St. Louis, MO
Just put in an order through 4Sevens for the Preon 2. I was going for the Streamlight Stylus Pro(had that in my amazon cart for a month, I think) but I caught another review from "Nutnfancy" on youtube and thought I'd shell out the extra $ for the modes and also the better looks doesn't hurt :thumbsup: Took me forever to decide which of the two to get and then which colour haha. Can't wait to get this in

:welcome: You'll love the Preon 2! FYI, since you were debating the Stylus Pro, I also have a Preon 2 but it has never felt right to me (especially with its reverse clickie), so I installed the Preon head on my Stylus Pro body. The SP's forward clickie combined with a beefier replacement clip from Streamlight makes the Preon Pro one of my fave lights (along with my D10 R2).

I also just checked ebay and found different colors of the Stylus Pro going for $17, so I might just get another one.

Stylus Pro mod first reported here: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/179101

Preon head fits Stylus Pro (start with post #10): https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/280066
 

EverythingIsFire

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
4
:welcome: You'll love the Preon 2! FYI, since you were debating the Stylus Pro, I also have a Preon 2 but it has never felt right to me (especially with its reverse clickie), so I installed the Preon head on my Stylus Pro body. The SP's forward clickie combined with a beefier replacement clip from Streamlight makes the Preon Pro one of my fave lights (along with my D10 R2).

I also just checked ebay and found different colors of the Stylus Pro going for $17, so I might just get another one.

Stylus Pro mod first reported here: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/179101

Preon head fits Stylus Pro (start with post #10): https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/280066
Woah, thanks for those links! Reasons I told myself to get a penlight were to keep in the car in case I need to read something in there, find something under the seats or anywhere inside, check under the hood if it breaks down and/or signal someone for help. Also wanted to carry one around in my pant's pocket for everyday use, would work especially well if we have another blackout at work (we have really really cheap plastic flashlights laying around that are better than nothing but they do a pretty terrible job) I also go to concerts and if I or someone else drops something, it's SO much better than the light shining from a cell phone :laughing: It was such a tough decision but I thought the diff. settings would come in handy. I know I'm going to get the stylus pro for my dad's car, thing looks like a great value! What's "reverse/forward clicky" exactly? I don't know all too much about lights but I sure dig them!
 
Top