Basic but bright AA light for work


Newly Enlightened
Aug 9, 2005
==================Flashlight Recommendation Checklist================

1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

____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! :)

____Up to $50.
____Up to $100.

3) Format:

____I want a flashlight (hand held/self contained).

4) Size:

____SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches).

5) Emitter/Light source:

____LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)

6) Manufacturer:

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

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 Rechargeable cells based on less common formats (18500 or 18650 Li-Ion, RCR123, et-al).

7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option

____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).

____I want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 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.

____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.

9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check all that apply)

____5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)

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)

11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase "you get what you pay for" is very accurate for flashlights.

____Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood).
____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).

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

____Any size switch will do.

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.)


____I don't care.

15) Water resistance

____IPX4 (Splash resistant)
____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)


Flashlight Enthusiast
Feb 26, 2007
I am a big fan of aa and 2aa format and have tried a good number. Your requirements should be fairly easy to fill and you'll have a few options.
1. Do you care about CRI?
2. Do you have a mode memory or order preference?

Also were you looking and single aa or 2aa sized?

The fist light that comes to mind is the jaxman m2. It's a 2aa light with a warm, neutral or cool white xml2 and only two modes always coming on in low mode first. Very well made, IMHO a great general purpose light.

If you want to get fancier check out the Foursevens quark qk2a mkiii. Little bit nicer nichia 319a and overall better design. Comes as 2aa but single aa bodies are available. Much more expensive. Also an interesting and unique mode memory interface that's very easy to use.

Malkoff offers some tip of the line options. The mdc aa comes to mind. I have a couple m31 modules with various setup the favorite being an m31w in a surefire c3. I also have a m31 219 in the mdc 2aa body and vme head- one mode only but top quality and drop dead reliable.

Single AA my go-to is the jaxman e3 in 4000k nichia 219c. Solid, simple. Three modes without memory.

Some prefer the lumintop tool but I don't like mode memory. Available in a few led options for max output or high cri. Drop also has a version of this available.

Sofirn makes a number of very nice budget priced lights. Pretty happy with the sp10s but look up some reviews.
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Newly Enlightened
Aug 9, 2005
2 AA, I usually carry it in my back pocket and a single AA body isn't long enough.

High CRI would be nice, but not absolutely essential.

I love Malkoff but there's no way I could justify the expense, this isn't my personal light. I'm just lucky enough to be in charge of buying my own tools on my company's charge.

One mode would be fine, but simple mode selection would be ok too. As long as I don't have to endlessly cycle through modes and there's no strobe that's going to come on accidentally.

We had Thrunite Archer v3's at an old job and they were good, a little fragile but not bad overall.