Decent keychain lights that run on AAA

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lightyearsaway

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Hi guys, I am looking for some new keychain tiny flashlights that run on a AAA battery. It seems my ThurNite Ti3 fell off my keychain somewhere, probably outside, long gone... :faint:.. Such a pity, I loved and still love the ThurNite tiny keychain lights even though the twist mechanism sometimes failed. I see a bunch of different types on Amazon but I have never heard of the brands. And the brands I do like such as Nitecore have gone to the rechargable Li-ion styles which I absolutely refuse to use. I know this is the direction a lot of products are going and am I ranting about it, I hate it and I see no advantages really as you cannot carry spares around. Sure, might be brighter, last a little longer, but charging them is a pain and they will never last as long, and if you don't use it for awhile, the li-ion will be dead. Really disappointed in some manufacturers. But such as life.

So.. sticking with the AAA idea, what choices do I have now? I would really prefer something over 100 lumen.
 

Eicca

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Hitting 100+ lumens is a bit of a stretch with a lowly AAA, but there are a good number of high-quality AAA keychain twisties right now. Some have multiple modes, some don't.

The top 3 I'm aware of are:
Olight i3E
Skilhunt E3A (high-CRI available)
Fenix E01 V2
 

Lynx_Arc

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As Eicca said unless you go lithium ion you aren't going to get more than 120 lumens or so out of a single AAA light and the difference between 100 and 120 is negligible to the eye so I would consider anything in that range. I have a lumintop tool AAA light and it is good but the clicky switch is a bit finicky. It has 3 modes. To get the 100+ lumen output you really need either nimh or lithium primaries as alkaleaks are not going to last long at the highest output and one leak will likely more than ruin your day. There are lights that can run off both 1.5v and lithium ion cells so you can use 10440s and get around 300 lumens or opt for 1.5v cells and get around 100 or so lumens.
Other things to consider it the light engine is it relfectored or has optics to focus the beam.
 

Owen

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I just bought a AAA keychain light.
The Prometheus Beta QRv2(1/15/90 lumens) was my first choice. The only choice that I liked, really, except that it was a good bit longer than I wanted, so I passed. Might be worth a look for you, though.
I may well relent on the length, and buy one before it's all over with, but size and a twisty with floody low beam were all I was after in this case.
The Lumintop EDC01 that I gave myself as a consolation prize is a $10 light with a painted on finish and a cool white LED, so it's not something I'd put my name on a recommendation for, but I do actually like it.
It has mode memory that lets me turn it on in low every time, floody beam, and size I wanted, but...well, it's a $10 light, and it remains to be seen if it will stand the test of time.
 

Lynx_Arc

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I just bought a AAA keychain light.
The Prometheus Beta QRv2(1/15/90 lumens) was my first choice. The only choice that I liked, really, except that it was a good bit longer than I wanted, so I passed. Might be worth a look for you, though.
I may well relent on the length, and buy one before it's all over with, but size and a twisty with floody low beam were all I was after in this case.
The Lumintop EDC01 that I gave myself as a consolation prize is a $10 light with a painted on finish and a cool white LED, so it's not something I'd put my name on a recommendation for, but I do actually like it.
It has mode memory that lets me turn it on in low every time, floody beam, and size I wanted, but...well, it's a $10 light, and it remains to be seen if it will stand the test of time.
I had one of them and the head kept falling off of it and I lost the head. I replaced it with the tool version same UI/output just a clicky instead of a twisty.
 

lightyearsaway

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Hey all, thanks for your comments, appreciate it.

Quick question, if you are using one of those USB rechargable ones, what do you recommend and are their any advantages to them whatsoever other than higher lumens? Maybe I was too quick to jump on the li-ion in my first post, but really, I just hate the idea, but maybe there is some benefit I am missing out on?


Hitting 100+ lumens is a bit of a stretch with a lowly AAA, but there are a good number of high-quality AAA keychain twisties right now. Some have multiple modes, some don't.

The top 3 I'm aware of are:
Olight i3E
Skilhunt E3A (high-CRI available)
Fenix E01 V2

Thanks for this, I was able to find both the Olight and the Fenix where I live, so I bought both will see which one I like better. I am glad there are still products out there that can use normal batteries.

As Eicca said unless you go lithium ion you aren't going to get more than 120 lumens or so out of a single AAA light and the difference between 100 and 120 is negligible to the eye so I would consider anything in that range. I have a lumintop tool AAA light and it is good but the clicky switch is a bit finicky. It has 3 modes. To get the 100+ lumen output you really need either nimh or lithium primaries as alkaleaks are not going to last long at the highest output and one leak will likely more than ruin your day. There are lights that can run off both 1.5v and lithium ion cells so you can use 10440s and get around 300 lumens or opt for 1.5v cells and get around 100 or so lumens.
Other things to consider it the light engine is it relfectored or has optics to focus the beam.

I am aware of that, haha. The max I saw was 120. But actually I don't need something so powerful, though who knows right. Its just to have something on me in case, like finding the keyhole for my key or having the power go out on a subway and at least I have something.

If you use the plug in Li-ion keychain lights which one would you suggest? Nitecore?

I am not going to use the 10440s or the likes of those, because I don't use them enough I worry about explosion.

I just bought a AAA keychain light.
The Prometheus Beta QRv2(1/15/90 lumens) was my first choice. The only choice that I liked, really, except that it was a good bit longer than I wanted, so I passed. Might be worth a look for you, though.
I may well relent on the length, and buy one before it's all over with, but size and a twisty with floody low beam were all I was after in this case.
The Lumintop EDC01 that I gave myself as a consolation prize is a $10 light with a painted on finish and a cool white LED, so it's not something I'd put my name on a recommendation for, but I do actually like it.
It has mode memory that lets me turn it on in low every time, floody beam, and size I wanted, but...well, it's a $10 light, and it remains to be seen if it will stand the test of time.

I went with two in the first post, but thank you.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Hey all, thanks for your comments, appreciate it.

Quick question, if you are using one of those USB rechargable ones, what do you recommend and are their any advantages to them whatsoever other than higher lumens? Maybe I was too quick to jump on the li-ion in my first post, but really, I just hate the idea, but maybe there is some benefit I am missing out on?




Thanks for this, I was able to find both the Olight and the Fenix where I live, so I bought both will see which one I like better. I am glad there are still products out there that can use normal batteries.



I am aware of that, haha. The max I saw was 120. But actually I don't need something so powerful, though who knows right. Its just to have something on me in case, like finding the keyhole for my key or having the power go out on a subway and at least I have something.

If you use the plug in Li-ion keychain lights which one would you suggest? Nitecore?

I am not going to use the 10440s or the likes of those, because I don't use them enough I worry about explosion.



I went with two in the first post, but thank you.

I have no experience with these new fangled I think Lipo type LED lights where the battery is permanent (some of them). Not being able to easily replace the battery in these lights is out for me as batteries do get weak and fail at times and also when your battery gets depleted it is easy to swap in a fresh cell and move on instead of having to go without a light for several hours waiting for it to recharge.
 

divine

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Thrunite still makes the Ti2 and Ti3. If you know it and like it, why not buy a couple of them? They are one of the cheaper keychain lights, too.

The Nitecore Tiki is pretty nice, IMO. I think it's pretty convenient to plug it in every so often and not have to worry about it much.

I gave a non-flashaholic friend of mine a Nitecore Tiki. He put it on his keys, a few months later he told me that he likes it, he tries to use it as much as possible and that he only had to charge it one time since I gave it to him. He says he turns it on high (300 lumens) and hands it to someone and they can't believe how much light comes out of a little flashlight.

I do know that I use a flashlight for work every so often, I have a 18650 light and I try to use that as much as possible when I can, and after an 8 hour shift of looking around in buildings, I have only ever charged about 100mAh back into the 18650 battery at the end of the day.
 
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Javora

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I love titanium AAA flashlights. I have the Thrunite TI3 and the Maratac AAA. I love the battery compartment of the TI3 but hated the green tint it produced. Love the Maratac LED and tint but hated the smaller battery compartment that compressed the battery more than I like. Also don’t like the keychain attachment on the Maratac. Luckily for me the two lights lego perfectly.
 

radiopej

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Lumintop EDC01
Fenix E01 V2
Olight i3E (i3s if you can find it)
Maratac AAA
Astrolux A01
Skilhunt E3A
another Thrunite

I think they're all slightly big for a keychain now that I use an i1R 2, but if you prefer AAA then they will be ay least that big.

The Olight i3E only has a single mode. It's a good light but limited due to that. The Skilhunt E3A has the same issue.

The i3S is an older model that they discontinued, but I really liked it. That, the Thrunite AAA and the Maratac are all similar.

The Astrolux has multiple modes and also comes with a nice High CRI Nichia emitter. The Fenix looks cool.

Personally I'd go for the Astrolux or the Lumintop - I like high CRI but I also like the floody nature of the Lumintop lens + that price. I've also found Lumintop to be pretty reliable.

One caveat - I know you don't like integrated lithium ion because they can't be swapped out, but you can charge them easily and often. I find that to be better than having to go out with a AAA that's at 20% capacity because I'm hesitant to replace and waste it, or even the Ni-MH that I hesitate to pull out and recharge because I'm lazy, plus having to carry a spare battery. With the integrated lithium ion lights I get built-in recharging using commonly available ports (i1R 2 does Micro-USB), decent battery life on low at least, and an even smaller form factor. For my i1R 2 I'm fine with 15 mins on high because of how I use it - I prefer the fact that it's tiny and stays easily on keys at the expense of battery size. You can buy bigger lithium ion options for keychain use that have more battery life while still being pretty small because of the energy density on these lithium ion batteries.

Keychain torches are for sparing use anyway. If you're using it that excessively that you carry a spare AAA you may as well go for a AA light at least to get more storage efficiency.





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LeanBurn

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I have the stainless steel version of the Ti3...the TiS....it's heft and amazingly durable finish means its still the EDC for me every day since I bought it 5 years ago. It still looks great with hardly any visible wear.

+2 on just getting another Ti3. Probably the best bang for the buck available.
 

TIFisher

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Not sure if it's still current, but Thrunite runs deals on TI3 V2, pay shipping only ($6 bux), usually with no limit (just multiply shipping charge). If you like the light, keep an eye out for that promo. I too am a fan of the TI3. Have a bunch still in boxes as backups. For that kind of deal, it's worth it to stock up. Great gifts and if you "lose" one overboard, just pull another out of stock! ;-)
 

Timothybil

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Sofirn has the C01S, which is an AAA size light with a twisty head. Starts with a low of 3 lumens, then a high of 100 lumens. It uses a Luminus 95 CRI SST20 4000K LED, and has a reversible clip. It comes with an O ring for attachment and two spare O-rings. The tail also has a slot for a trit, and a hole suitable for a small magnet. I did that to one of mine, and the magnet I used would cling to the side of my frig, but barely. If you want to do that I would suggest looking for the strongest magnet you can find. Currently selling for $7.99 USD. Available on Amazon and the Sofirnlight website.

Make sure you are ordering the C01S, there is also a C01, which looks the same but is a single mode 3 lumen light..
 
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sween1911

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My vote is for the PK PL-2. 2-levels, twisty-head. Been carrying mine on my keychain for awhile now. Love it.

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ampdude

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I've have two of the Sofirn C01S. Two I bought well over a year ago, and one recently just because it's so good. I don't think it can be beat, especially for the price. It's not like you have to worry about losing it or it getting beat up. Great tint and nice throw/beam for such a tiny light. Amazing for the price.
 
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