Brightest pocketable 1AA EDC

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AlphaZen

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If the your preference is brightness however you are looking for XR-E or XP-E. Everything else is all about the lumens.
+1
I was thinking about this thread on the way to work and that is the conclusion I came up with as well. XR-E R2 is what you want.
 
Lighteous

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Here's another endorsement for the ZebraLight SC51. It is very compact and very bright with many options for different levels of brightness.
 
eyeeatingfish

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Are you thinking alkaline batteries or lithium uon batteries?

I have a lumapower Trust 1 and it is really bright on a lithium ion, but not the smallest of lights. It is good on regular cells too.
Peak LED has the El Capitan, it is a bit weak on regular AA cells but with a 3.7 volt 14500 cell it is very bright, and american made, and costs about the same as other AA chinese lights.
The Nitecore D10 is pretty decent brightness on regular AA also.
 
Chrisdm

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Zebralight SC51 (I prefer neutral tints, so I have the SC51w)... VERY bright, usable beam, a solid pocket clip (not one of those flimsy clip-on clips), the best user interface on the market, and a side clicky (What a novel idea to put the button WHERE YOUR FINGER IS!?)... Nothing else comes close. (I had an SPARK SL5 for a while, but couldn't get over the preflash, not acceptable for a light that expensive).
 
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ringzero

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If the your preference is brightness however you are looking for XR-E or XP-E. Everything else is all about the lumens.




Thanks for the advice, gcbryan.

While reading up on a lot of different brands and models, I noticed what you mention about XR-E and XP-E emitters producing brighter beams for better throw.

I am looking for Maximum Brightness for Throw, not big lumens - have enough lights already for close to medium distance use.

I want a BRIGHT pocket light that'll give me a beam with real PUNCH. ;>

.
 
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ringzero

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Are you thinking alkaline batteries or lithium uon batteries?

I have a lumapower Trust 1 and it is really bright on a lithium ion, but not the smallest of lights. It is good on regular cells too.
Peak LED has the El Capitan, it is a bit weak on regular AA cells but with a 3.7 volt 14500 cell it is very bright, and american made, and costs about the same as other AA chinese lights.
The Nitecore D10 is pretty decent brightness on regular AA also.




Thanks for the suggestions, eyeeatingfish.

I'll read up on all those models when I have time.

I know that I'd have to run a 14500 cell to get max brightness out of most of these 1AA lights.

However, I'd still like to have a light that is very bright when running with an NiMH cell. And even fairly bright on a fresh alkaline cell, if that's all I could find to feed it while out and about. ;>

.
 
AlphaZen

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In my opinion, a lot of people have recommended the SC51 by Zebralight, but I don't think that is what you are after. I have the H51, which is pretty much the same light in a headlamp form. It is incredible what Zebralight has pulled off with the performance of this light on a NiMh battery. If you are after brightness, rather than overall lumens, than you want lights with high lux numbers.

Lux is the brightness at the center of the hotspot. So, you could have a light with a high lux number that has a very tight beam, that puts out much less overall light, or lumens, but is more intense at the center, than a light with more overall output. I think a light with an XR-E or XP-E presents those characteristics better.

I used to own a Zebralight SC50+, which has the XP-E R2 and optimized for 14500's. It had too tight of a beam for me, but was very bright and had the same wonderful UI and other features that people are raving about. You can pick one up for less than $50 on clearance on Zebralight's website, and I think the beam profile will be more to your liking than the SC51. Here is a link, if that is allowed.

I haven't owned a Jetbeam Jet Pro 1, and they are hard to find now, but that seems like another good option if you can find one.

Cheers
 
Philonous

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I love my SC51, but would agree with AlphaZen that it doesn't sound like what you want. It's very compact and very bright, but it is definitely on the floody side. I personally love the wider hotspot (not to mention spill), as it's far more useful to me than (say) the throwier beam on LD10, but that's precisely why you may not like it. The SC51 is all about lighting up lots of ground well, rather than some ground very well.
 
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Napalm

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ringzero, looking at your join date and >1300 posts, I assume that you already know that generally "throw is for show", so may I ask you what particular application (except "my throw is longer than yours" contests) you have for this kind of light?

nap.
 
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ringzero

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In my opinion, a lot of people have recommended the SC51 by Zebralight, but I don't think that is what you are after. I have the H51, which is pretty much the same light in a headlamp form. It is incredible what Zebralight has pulled off with the performance of this light on a NiMh battery. If you are after brightness, rather than overall lumens, than you want lights with high lux numbers.



Yeah, I disregarded all the recommendations for ZL SC51 because I'm familiar with its capabilities - read the reviews, looked at specs and beamshots. A fine light with huge output and smooth beam, but somewhat lacking in brightness and throw.


Lux is the brightness at the center of the hotspot. So, you could have a light with a high lux number that has a very tight beam, that puts out much less overall light, or lumens, but is more intense at the center, than a light with more overall output. I think a light with an XR-E or XP-E presents those characteristics better.



Good summary of a very simple concept that apparently many people find hard to grasp.

It still amazes me when someone asks about a very bright light, a throw light, an intense beam, etc. that people will jump in with something like "Hey, check out XYZ - really bright with 500 lumens!"



I used to own a Zebralight SC50+, which has the XP-E R2 and optimized for 14500's. It had too tight of a beam for me, but was very bright and had the same wonderful UI and other features that people are raving about. You can pick one up for less than $50 on clearance on Zebralight's website, and I think the beam profile will be more to your liking than the SC51. Here is a link, if that is allowed.



Thanks for the suggestion, AlphaZen.

I'll check around for SC50+ reviews.

Although, the ZebraLight website omits any figures for its brightness, throw distance, etc. which is kind of strange. So, it's a little bit hard to take it seriously as a thrower.

.
 
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ringzero

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ringzero, looking at your join date and >1300 posts, I assume that you already know that generally "throw is for show", so may I ask you what particular application (except "my throw is longer than yours" contests) you have for this kind of light?

nap.



Hey Nap, whatever floats your boat is fine with me.

Ever hear the saying "There is no substitute for throw?" Means that if necessary you can always pop a diffuser onto a throw light and use it to see up close. But, the reverse just ain't happening with a floody light when you want to see things further out.

For the last month I've been ENCing (Every Night Carry) a Mag XL50, which rides upright in a back pocket, sitting just outboard of my wallet when I'm out and about in the evening. However, the XL50 is a bit too bulky for me to EDC in a pocket at 1 inch OD and 4.8 inches length.

I'd rather have something a bit shorter with a slimmer body for EDC in a pocket, so that's the motivation for looking at 1AA lights.

In the last month I have discovered that I really like having a bright light with a bit of punch to it always in my pocket when out and about during the dark hours.

My XL50 cranks out a bit over 5000 Cd, which is quite good for a fairly compact light. Impressive throw from a fairly compact package.

I'm hoping to find a 1AA light that matches or beats the Mag XL50 in brightness and throw.


.
 
StarHalo

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Some points to ponder:

Candela is a measurement of the brightest point in a beam of light; that means you can have a ridiculously awful beam that has one intense lump in it, and it will still score high. Lux is a more useful real world measurement since it's measuring the total amount of light falling on a given area at a given distance.

If you're looking into a long-distance "thrower", you'll get much bigger numbers from 18650 and 123 format lights, though they are larger than the AA format. If you're set on an AA light, I would second the Jetbeam Jet-I recommendation, particularly running on a 14500 cell, though it will still blow away your Maglite on a NiMH or alkaline. The aforementioned Thurnite is also an excellent choice though it is not a thrower in the traditional sense; it uses the brute force of gross lumen output to provide larger throw numbers.
 
Lighteous

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I agree that the ZL SC51 isn't what you are looking for if throw is what you are after. While it doesn't fit with your 1AA criteria, you might check out the Nitecore Extreme XR-E R2. It is built like a tank, is very bright and because of the XR-E R2 it has a nice throw. I believe it's lux measurment is approx. 4900 with an RCR123. Because it is a single cell light, it is small enough to carry in your pocket.
 
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Napalm

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Lighteous - don't worry. It's a long time well honored CPF tradition to suggest a Zebralight regardless of the question. :p

nap.
 
precisionworks

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If you want flat-out brightest, the ThruNite Neutron 1A running 14500 lithium-ion cells (AA size, li-ion chemistry) will give you 450 lumens.
Has anyone verified that number in an integrating sphere?

I just finished boring a Neutron 1A for 17500, and made an extender so it also runs on CR123. Tested it last night in my shop built integrating sphere, on Turbo mode, and it shows 158.33 lumens on a fresh SF CR123. No idea how it will test on a 17500, as I don't have that cell.

See badkarmaiii's thread on the Thrunite V2 & Neutron.

EDIT: I did find selfbuilt's thread: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?311559-Thrunite-Neutron-Series-%28XM-L%29-1C-2C-1A-2A-Review-RUNTIMES-BEAMSHOTS-and-more!&highlight=selfbuilt+neutron

He does state 450 estimated lightbox lumens on 1xAW14500.
 
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Lighteous

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Lighteous - don't worry. It's a long time well honored CPF tradition to suggest a Zebralight regardless of the question. :p

nap.

Thanks Nap! It's funny that you say that because up until a few weeks ago when I obtained my first ZebraLight, the SC600, I never considered getting one because I didn't favor their looks. Fast forward three weeks and I now have an SC600, SC51 and SC31! I'm a ZL convert!
 
badkarmaiii

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Has anyone verified that number in an integrating sphere?

I just finished boring a Neutron 1A for 17500, and made a spacer so it also runs on CR123. Tested it last night in my shop-built integrating sphere, on Turbo mode, and it shows 158.33 lumens on a fresh SF CR123. No idea how it will test on a 17500, as I don't have that cell.

See badkarmaiii's thread on the Thrunite Scorpion V2 & Neutron 1A.

EDIT: I did find selfbuilt's thread: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?311559-Thrunite-Neutron-Series-%28XM-L%29-1C-2C-1A-2A-Review-RUNTIMES-BEAMSHOTS-and-more!&highlight=selfbuilt+neutron

He does state 450 estimated lightbox lumens on 1xAW14500.

selfbuilt got some very impressive numbers from a Neutron 1A on a 14500. Seems funny how 0.7V-1.2V could make such a dramatic difference but I'm no electronic engineer.

Barry, please forgive my edits to your quote. Just wanted to clarify it a little.

A half-123 extender for a Neutron 1C would be cool, though the 1C lacks a pocket clip. If bored, one could use the same wide range of batteries as my Precisionworks custom Neutron. Bored with a full-123 extender would allow the use of a 17670 while avoiding the crappy PWM of the Neutron 2C.
Now I think I need to ask Barry about making me a half-123 body tube extender. What a versatile package this light could be. Heck, a slightly-long extender with a thin spacer could run the 17670 and a spacer with a resistor could run 2 x Cr123s...
Barry, are you ready to take some more of my $?

Thanks,
Lee
 
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gcbryan

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Lighteous - don't worry. It's a long time well honored CPF tradition to suggest a Zebralight regardless of the question. :p

nap.

It's also a well honored CPF tradition to suggest that someone doesn't want what they want :)

No, you don't really want throw! No you don't really want 1 AA you want 1 CR123. :) :)
 
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gcbryan

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To the OP, I've been looking around a bit in this category myself. If you find a XR-E R2 that is designed for AA but that is single mode (seems to help tolerate 14500) and that others have used with a 14500 then you generally will get more throw than it was designed for (which is a good thing in a light this small).Just don't use it for too long at a time.

The Uniquefire S-10 seems to be something to consider in the single mode version. I don't like the crenelated bezel but if I were to end up getting it I would grind it off. I'm looking at getting something like this and replacing the front lens with an aspheric lens.

The combination of driving at XR-E hard with a 14500 (needs to be the right light to avoid frying either the driver or the emitter) and using an aspheric is I think the best throw that you can possibly get from a light this size.

You aren't interested in the Chinese lights so that lets out Uniquefire but I'm still searching for a better alternative. In my case I don't want spill because of my particular planned use (spotting animals or whatever on night hikes when I already have a headlamp on).

I'll be following this thread with interest to see what you end up settling on.
 
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