General Purpose 2- AA High Quality Light

Kayaker530

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
48
Location
Northern California
1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?
____I would like to purchase the light in person from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________.
_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.
____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:
__x__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)
____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?
__x__I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Alkaline batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
__x__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.
____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)
__x__I want a separate/stand-alone charger (this involves removing the batteries to charge)
____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 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).
____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).
____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.
____All Flood: I am doing "arms length" tasks like reading and campsite cooking.
____Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car.
____Narrow Flood: I want a sharply defined flood area that will project some distance for tasks like trail walking.
__x__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)
____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).
____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)
__x__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).
____Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
____I don't know.
12) Switch Size, Type, and location (choose all that apply):
__x__Any size switch will do.
____I need a BIG switch (I'll be using gloves or have very large hands or coordination issues).
____I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
____I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights).
____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).
____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.
__x__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.
14)Material/Finish/Coating
____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
____Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today's higher end flashlights).
____Stainless steel (durable, but much heavier than aluminum)
____Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive).
____I don't care.
__x__I don't know.
____Other, please specify____________.
15) Water resistance
____None needed
__x__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)
____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.
____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)
____Pocket/belt clip
____Holster
____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
____Crenulated bezel
____Non-sparking, Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments

Hi. I am looking for a light similar to The Malkoff MDC HA 2-AA Flashlight. I would like a neutral tint. Easy UI, with maybe 3 modes: Low about 10 lumens, Medium about 50-60 lumens, High About 150-200 lumens. No Strobes. High build quality. Able to use all AA Batteries except 14500's. No Parasitic Drain. Similar beam pattern to the Malkoff Light, good combination of throw and spill. It doesn't have to have quite the build quality of The Malkoff but it needs to be reliable and able to withstand real life drops and spills. This is going to be for our use, gifts to family and friends. I love the Malkoff lights, but am hoping to find something of high quality that is about $50-$60. The lumen outputs I specify are based upon my use of other lights with about those output levels. I am willing to mix and match components to get this if you can point me at the right items. Thanks!
Steve
 

Toulouse42

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 14, 2008
Messages
240
Location
Jersey
Have a look at the Eagtac D25A2 or P25A2. I run them on energizer lithiums and I keep one in each car. I personally like the interface where by twisting the head you can go straight to max lumens. The D25A2 Tactical tops out at 378 lumens on turbo and 295 on high.
 

kerneldrop

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 24, 2021
Messages
2,333
Location
South
High quality is USA made Malkoff. It'll last forever.
If you don't get a Malkoff then get a $20 Convoy 2AA because all the import lights are the same quality so no reason to spend more than $20 on an import light.


Convoy 2AA light
 

Kayaker530

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
48
Location
Northern California
I appreciate everyone that has replied so far. Thank you. I took a look at all of your suggestions and learned a few things along the way. I ordered The Convoy T4 with the 519A at 4000K. I had heard some good things about that light but was skeptical due to the price and having to deal with AliExpress. If I play with it quite a bit for a month and it is still working I will probably order some as gifts for people who don't necessarily appreciate an expensive light. It looks like I can program The T4 to meet my wants.

I spent too much time (no money yet) at DarkSucks and looking at both Prometheus and the FourSevens lights. Good information there. And some quality stuff.

** So I realize that this might open a can of worms. That is not my intention. I truly want your opinions.... kerneldrop said that all import lights are the same quality. Is that a pretty accurate statement or somewhat sarcastic or ?? I have had good luck with our Fenix lights so far. I have the E12 original version which is one of my favorite true EDC lights. I don't like the V2 of that light. I wish I had 100 of the original to give away as presents. Everyone that I have given one to loves it. I carry that light whenever I have something on with pockets. If I need a light, I will throw another light into a pocket, but I won't take that one out. I like redundancy.

I do really like the Malkoff lights. For the use of myself and wife I will spend the money. For a few other people in our lives I will spend that money. But for many people who can't keep track of things, I won't.

Thanks everyone!
 

vadimax

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
2,273
Location
Vilnius, Lithuania
It becomes a rare thing. Looks like Lumintop has discontinued one of the best lights it has ever produced. It is Lumintop Tool AA Copper NW (Nichia 219CT LED). You still may order a Titanium version with Copper insert for better heat management. This light consumes alcaleaks (AA), NiMH (AA), Li-Ion (14500) cells. With Li-Ions it is capable of 650 lumens (not for long, of course).

In my personal opinion these are the best EDC lights ever made. When ordering pick a NW version -- it comes with a Nichia LED.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000528518031.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.main.25.e759b8104306ei&algo_pvid=6567064a-36ce-4360-9b28-6112579f8c93&algo_exp_id=6567064a-36ce-4360-9b28-6112579f8c93-12&pdp_ext_f={"sku_id"%3A"10000013680120514"%7D&pdp_npi=3%40dis%21EUR%2176.98%2158.5%21%21%21%21%21%40211bf2da16802479569233912d070e%2110000013680120514%21sea%21LT%21733619604&curPageLogUid=o1SQfeek2fLz
 

kerneldrop

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 24, 2021
Messages
2,333
Location
South
** So I realize that this might open a can of worms. That is not my intention. I truly want your opinions.... kerneldrop said that all import lights are the same quality. Is that a pretty accurate statement or somewhat sarcastic or ??

Fairly accurate. I build a lot of lights using electronics from nearly all the import brands. Some such as Fenix and Olight will have more advanced circuitry and heavier machined hosts, but the durability and reliability aren't any better.

Zebralight is an exception. Jetbeam RRT01 is a unicorn.

I put Convoy drivers in $300 hosts with zero issues. I just put a Lumintop driver in a custom AAA twisty host.

I use Lumintop and Convoy electronics the most.

HDS makes a 2AA light but I think it's $390 shipped.
 
Last edited:

kerneldrop

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 24, 2021
Messages
2,333
Location
South

Olumin

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
1,337
Location
"...that famous Texas part of Hamburg"
I never ordered anything from Ali & now I know why. I gave up when I got to the address menu. Complete nonsense layout with drop-down city selection (which doasnt even include my actual home town). Then it would repeatedly refuse to save my info because it contained "special characters", even tho there were none. I think im good after all, thank you.
 

Poppy

Flashaholic
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
8,399
Location
Northern New Jersey
I've been a fan of Convoy since I first bought a S2 before they changed the switch to a metal one and changed the name to S2+.
I also was going to mention the Eagletac D25A2, but now that I see that convoy offers a light that will accept 2x 14500 Li Ion cells... man I'd go with that. Especially that it will also accept 2AA alkalines, or 2AA lithium primaries.
 

Kayaker530

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
48
Location
Northern California
So I am impressed. I placed an order for two Convoy T2 and two Convoy T4 on March 30th. I just received them today. They all work exactly as expected and the quality appears to be good. The orange T4's are pretty. I will put a T2 and T4 into my EDC rotation and play with them quite a bit. If they hold up well, I will be buying a few as gifts for friends and family. I do like these lights. Thank you for the information on them.
 

alpg88

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
5,333
reading all the wonderful things about t4. I ordered 2, 519c 4000k. can not say i'm impressed with it, it is a good light and relatively bright, beam is floody and smooth, tint is great, i have not tried it with 2 14500, cuz it says it put out 3000ma, and 519 is 2000ma max. I compared it with maglite 2aa pro plus, 300+ lm. maglite reaches farther, but up close and med. distance t4 is much better, warmer wider smooth beam vs blueish ringy beam .
Now i see why such lights are not too popular, 1x18650 light is brighter, shorter, and has more energy than a 2AA or even 2x14500. my kr4 beats it in every way, Thou t4 is still a great light, I gave one away to my kid, and the other i will keep in a box in case i need a present for some occasion. it is perfect for someone who isn't involved with li ion cells,
 

Kayaker530

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
48
Location
Northern California
So I have been playing with my T4 for about two weeks now. I am impressed enough that I purchased another small batch for gifts to family and friends. I have been playing with the groups and memory programming to figure out the best way to program them for non-flashlight people who will only use them in an 'Emergency'.

While doing so I found that in my samples of the T4; Group 12 does not work correctly. It gives 3 modes: Bright, less bright, and strobe. It does that with both alkaline and NiMH batteries. I have not tested that group with 14500 or Lithium primaries yet. I sent Simon a message through Ali Express. I am still happy with the lights and they will work for my intended purpose of gift lights to non-flashlight people who want an emergency light.

For the above purposes I am playing with programming the lights with memory mode disabled and using either group 10 or 7. My 'reasoning' is as follows: When infrequent flashlight users grab a light they seem to want a 'bright' light. By disabling the memory mode I can force the light to come on at either 50 percent or 100 percent brightness. If they remember that it is a multi-mode light they can reduce the brightness if they choose to do so. And so far in my testing with family and friends, most say that the 50 percent level is bright enough. Especially if they don't know that it can go brighter. The 50 percent mode will prolong battery life during their event(s).

Thoughts? Feedback?

Thanks,
Steve
 

Kayaker530

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
48
Location
Northern California
reading all the wonderful things about t4. I ordered 2, 519c 4000k. can not say i'm impressed with it, it is a good light and relatively bright, beam is floody and smooth, tint is great, i have not tried it with 2 14500, cuz it says it put out 3000ma, and 519 is 2000ma max. I compared it with maglite 2aa pro plus, 300+ lm. maglite reaches farther, but up close and med. distance t4 is much better, warmer wider smooth beam vs blueish ringy beam .
Now i see why such lights are not too popular, 1x18650 light is brighter, shorter, and has more energy than a 2AA or even 2x14500. my kr4 beats it in every way, Thou t4 is still a great light, I gave one away to my kid, and the other i will keep in a box in case i need a present for some occasion. it is perfect for someone who isn't involved with li ion cells,
Can you check group 12 to see if it functions per the documentation? It should be 100, 20 percent. Mine does BRIGHT, visibly dimmer, and strobe. I have tested several of my T4's and each do that in Group 12. The other groups that I have tested work as documented. I checked mine with Alkaline and NiMH with memory turned on and off. I don't currently have two 14500's to use to test. I sent Simon a message with what I found.
 

Kayaker530

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
48
Location
Northern California
Maybe some others will find this interesting or useful. I am really impressed with The Convoy T4. I am getting ready to gift one each to multiple family members. But one thing I was not certain about is the durability when used as a makeshift Kubaton or when drop tested a bunch of times. So today I started testing. I put on a leather glove and put several pieces of heavy shipping container cardboard together over a piece of scrap wood. I then positioned my hand on the light like I would normally use it and struck the cardboard with the front of the light multiple times. I increased the strength of the blows as I went and evaluated what the prior hit did. After about 20 blows I realized that my pinky and surrounding area were starting to hurt but the light still worked.

I then started dropping the light from the height of my 8 foot ceilings onto a linoleum floor that I will be replacing soon. I dropped the light in every orientation possible. Head first, tail first, 'body' first, and repeated until.... failure. It was at 22 drops and the light went out. It would not turn on. I opened up the light and found that the alkaline batteries that I was testing with were deformed and damaged. I put in new batteries and the light turned back on.

In the attached photos you can see the deformation of the batteries on both the positive and negative ends.

The memory function is not working quite correctly. I had it disabled. Sometimes the light comes on in the correct setting and sometimes it comes on in the previous setting. I will inspect the driver board for damage later. I suspect that when the positive end of the battery collapsed the rest of the battery may have damaged the circuitry.

I will do some water intrusion testing later.

I am happy with the testing and results. It gives me a high degree of confidence in gifting these lights to my family.

If I can find an old mini-mag I will do some similar testing to see how it compares.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_3193.JPG
    IMG_3193.JPG
    433.9 KB · Views: 74
  • IMG_3192.JPG
    IMG_3192.JPG
    389.8 KB · Views: 77
Top