Glo-Toob AAA now out

Wurkkos

lampeDépêche

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I purchased one of the new Glo-Toob AAA's in white. Here are some thoughts about it.

1) It has three modes: Constant High, Constant Low, Flashing. Company specs say that run-times vary from 4 hours to 15 hours, depending on mode. (15 for CL, 4 for CH, between that for Fl? Doesn't say).

2) It's the first Glo-Toob that I have owned, so I cannot compare it to the predecessors. They were too expensive for my taste, and/or ran on batteries that are too expensive.

3) The light output is not bad, but not brilliant. Sorry I can't put numbers to that; I don't have an integrating sphere. I would *guess* that the outputs are something in the 10-20 lumen range on high, and something in the 3-5 lumen range on low. Flashes probably on high. It's a very fast strobe--probably faster than 5 hz.

4) You cannot use this thing as a flashlight, i.e. holding it in your hand to look for stuff or look at stuff. It simply puts too much light directly into your eyes.

It is somewhat better as an area light, e.g. hanging inside of a tent or illuminating an interior room. Still, it is not terribly bright in that role, and has pretty lousy run-times compared to e.g. a PacLite (even worse when compared to a run-time beast like a Quark or Zebralight). And it still tends to blind you once your eyes are dark-adjusted, if you look over in that part of the room where it is standing up.

For a while I was holding it on the top of my head, vertically. Strange to say, that worked moderately well as a sort of 360 headlamp. It makes the whole room decently visible, and it doesn't shine in your eyes. In fact, that's the only way to keep it from shining in your eyes.

So if you wanted to rig up a fixture that would hold it vertically on the top of your head, you'd have an okay area light slash head-light, as well as looking like a candle. Warning: not ideal for tactical use! (Unless you can get the *other* guy to wear it on the top of his head, in which case it's pretty ideal for tactical use).


5) So what's it good for? Really the thing that it does best is: being seen. Your eyes will see it, and they will see it more than anything else around it. It's a marker.

For a use like marking objects at an accident-scene, or marking people and things on a scuba-dive, I should think it would work very well. (And this one is rated down to 200 feet, i.e. roughly 65 meters).

I bike a lot, and I'm always looking for new tail-lights and side-lights to increase visibility. For that purpose, I rate this okay but not great--the bike-light market has many entries that are brighter.

So I think in a way it's a success at what it is trying to do. It has all of the virtues and all of the flaws of a chemical glow-stick (non-directionality, mediocre output, poor run-time), but it runs on cheap batteries.


6) I suspect it is a very good thing for that market, and I don't want to run it down. I think it's also definitely good that the company is now offering it in AAA rather than 123 or the original 23A. It is cheap enough (like $20 instead of $50) and the batteries are cheap enough, that I was finally willing to experiment with one, and I'm glad to play with it.

So--mixed success, but I'm glad they are trying to expand the range.
 

gravelmonkey

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I was on their site a few days ago wondering whether to buy one or not. I wonder how it compares with the AAA Krill Light?
 

Eric242

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I didn´t realise they released a AAA version. I think an AA version with the 7 modes of the Glo-Toob FX (A23) would be best for my taste. I really like the fast double flash beacon and would really appreciate if other manufatures would make their beacon mode a fast double flash (like the one you can see on planes). Might have to get me a AAA glo-toob. Thanks for the info lampeDépêche.

Eric
 

lampeDépêche

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Nice review. Will it take lithium AAAs?

I just dropped a Lithium primary (Energizer Ultimate) in there and it worked fine in all modes.

Ditto for an Eneloops AAA.

But that's not the same thing as saying that the manufacturer supports it, or that you can use them without differences in performance. I really don't know about all that, and on the outside of the light it says "AAA Alkaline", so that seems to be the only thing that is officially supported.

And I am not willing to try a 10440--I have a feeling that would make it go "poof!"
 

lampeDépêche

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I wonder how it compares with the AAA Krill Light?

I don't have a Krill Light, so I can't do a straight-up comparison, but from looking at the KL website, I can point out a few things:

1) The Krill Light takes two AAAs, one on top of the other.

2) KL is thus significantly longer, i.e. about 12 cms vs 7.2 for the GT.

3) KL also has a longer run-time, i.e. 25 hrs vs. 15 max for GT

4) I don't think the KL has any modes other than on and off; no high vs. low, no flash.

5) The KL reports its output in a unit I have no feel for: "the mini AAA Krill LIght produces over 15FL (approximately 50CD/m2)".
Is FL the abbreviation for foot-Lamberts? That isn't even an SI unit. I haven't worked out the conversion to something in SI.

6) KL is more like a chemical light-stick in that it has constant illumination all over the body of the tube. The GT puts out nearly all of its light from the top part, where the LED's are. It's true that there is a clear epoxy shell around the battery tube, which is bright aluminum, so some light emerges from the epoxy down the length of the tube. But much less than you might think from looking at some photos!
 

lampeDépêche

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About Krill lights--there have been several threads about them in the past, e.g.

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?80670-Krill-light-tube

which includes the comment, "If it's really dark and your eyes have become adjusted, by holding one close to the page you can read by one."

I can tell you that the GT AAA is quite lot brighter than that. I just stepped into a dark closet with non-adapted eyes (it's bright out today!), and had no trouble using the GT to read with, either on 25% mode or on 100% mode. The only trouble is (again) that it puts as much light directly into your eyes as it puts onto the paper!

In the last reply to this thread:

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...-Electroluminesent-glow-stick&highlight=krill

LEDAdd1ct very helpfully collected a round-up of previous threads on Krill lights. You should find what you are looking for there.
 

gravelmonkey

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Yeh, I asked because I don't have a clue what 15 FL looks like either, thanks for your thoughts on the two lights!
 

TMedina

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I bought the AAA model and I like it. There are a couple of minor details I'd change, but overall, I like it.

I keep it clipped to my backpack for walking at night - and so far, it has worked admirably for making me more visible to cars.

1. It's water and bump resistant; moreso than the cheaper "bike flashers" running on two AAAs.
2. Three basic modes, which means you can cycle through each setting quickly and easily. (This was not my experience with the CR123 model)
3. It's reasonably priced, in my opinion, for what it is.

Cons
1. I'm not wild about the high frequency strobe pattern; I'd prefer something a little slower.
2. The design of the Glo-toob makes hanging it from a tent hook as a light source impractical, but it'll work in a pinch.

My first one is in red - I'm going to get one in blue and one in white for general and emergency use.
 

jlomein

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I feel like they have nonexistant customer service. I've contacted them twice over the years about broken clickie switches for the original Glotoob and never received a response.
 

shamanstar

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I had a glo-toob lithium that is lost in my garage somewhere. It was awesome but I can't bring myself to buy another one for the cost. I might give these AAA versions a try. I like having lights like these around when camping.
 

Eric242

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I feel like they have nonexistant customer service. I've contacted them twice over the years about broken clickie switches for the original Glotoob and never received a response.
The clickie switches for the original and FX series were total crap. I had 2-3 and they all failed after some time. The ones on the lithiums are much better though (but I still use the twisties). For the original and FX glo-toobs the twisty or scuba caps are the best choice. The scuba cap is the best regarding quality but of course you have only have ON or cap off ;)

Eric
 

kq2h

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I got my Glo Toob AAA's a few days ago and was able to review them and compare them to Glo Toob original and Lithium. I reviewed the white and amber Glo Toob AAA's. The AAA version is very similar in size to the original Glo Toob, but that is where the similarity stops.

1. The AAA version is made from plastic rather than epoxy. The original Glo Toob is heavier and feels like its built better than the AAA version. The AAA will not survive the abuse that the original and lithium versions will. With that said, I believe that the plastic is well suited for Glo Toobs anyway. My original white toobs are about 15 years old and the epoxy has turned yellow over the years, resulting in slightly reduced light output with the white LED's appearing slightly warmer in color, perhaps 4100K rather than 5000K.The plastic will probably not yellow as much as epoxy with time. Unless the Glo Toob will be abused for some reason, the plastic AAA version should be strong enough for most of us.


2. The AAA is "Upside Down" with the LED's on top rather than on the bottom as in the original and lithium versions. This is actually a great improvement. There is much less glare and more useful light output, making the AAA version a true miniature lantern. Holding the original and lithium versions upside down gives the same result, but tricky to place them down on a table or hang them upside down.

3. Changing modes is much easier in the AAA than the FX or lithium versions. Albeit limited to only 3 modes (High, 25% Low and Rapid Flash) vs. 11 modes, changing modes is very easy, at least for me it is. Turning the unit off and then on quickly will change the mode from High to Low and Rapid Flash. There is no waiting for 5 seconds or so to unlock the unit, as with the lithium. When shut off, the AAA will revert back to High when turned back on. I wouldn't mind having a few more modes to play with as long as it is as easy to use, as the lithium unlock procedure frustrates me and discourages me from changing modes anyway.

4. Excellent brightness. The AAA version uses three square surface mounted LED's instead of the 5mm LED's that the original and lithium Glo Toobs use. The surface mounted LED's are larger and considerably brighter than the 5mm LED's. The 25% Low mode of the AAA Glo Toob gives the original Glo Toob a good run for the money, and blows it away in High. Excellent brightness is another reason why the the AAA is a very useful miniature lantern.

5. The AAA seems to have regulation. The DC-DC converter illuminates the LED's at full brightness until the battery is depleted, after which the Glo Toob shuts off. With regulation comes a price..... you don't realize that your battery is going dead until it is too late. With a dead battery that still has some voltage, the AAA Glo Toob will relight briefly, for about 5 seconds or so, and then go out for 2 minutes or so until the battery is completely dead. The original and lithium Glo Toobs may have the advantage here. The original Glo Toob only has a current limiting resistor that doesn't care about battery voltage and will illuminate dimly with a weak-dead battery, as long as a small current is flowing through the LED's. To a lesser extent, I found my lithium version to also illuminate dimly with a weak-dead battery. Unless you carry a spare battery, the AAA Glo Toob will leave you in the dark without any hope of dimly lit LED's to help you find it.

6. Yellow version is not yellow or amber. There are quantum well issues that limit LED efficiency at around 585 nM. Direct emitting yellow-amber LED's are quite a bit dimmer than their red counterparts. The original amber and lithium amber Glo Toobs use 585 nM direct emitting LED's. They are not as bright as the other colors, but produce a very nice, soft yellow glow anyway. The amber Glo Toobs are my favorite color. Needless to say, I was disappointed by the amber AAA Glo Toob. The LED's are 605 nM ORANGE........bummer! Orange LED's don't have quantum well inefficiency issues and are very bright. Certainly, the "amber" AAA Glo Toob is much brighter than the original and lithium Glo Toobs and should be advertised as orange rather amber to prevent confusion and disappointment in the future.


In conclusion, the AAA Glo Toobs have a lot of offer to those that want a miniature LED light. Their low price, high brightness, ease of use, good voltage regulation, use of modern high brightness LEDs and operation with a common, inexpensive battery make these ideal marker lights and miniature lanterns. If you were undecided about getting one or didn't want to spend big bucks on a marker light, the AAA Glo Toob is an attractive alternative to the lithium and original versions.
 

Cereal_Killer

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Kg2h thanks for that, you just answered every question I had.

I just ordered 3 (one per kid) I'm gonna save them back and give them to 'em on the Fourth of July at the fireworks and not waist any money on those stupid glow sticks and crap.

If I could get 50 or 100 of them wholesale I'd peddle them at the fireworks displays for $25-35 each around here and sell out in the 20 minutes between dusk and the start of the show!
 

bansuri

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Great review Kg2h, as with Cereal_Killer, you've answered any questions I had.
Regarding neck-worn lights: An old CPFer, Sub Umbra, once said something in a thread about lanyards, (paraphrasing) "at least the light will help them find the head."
I LOLed, but took it to heart, so for neck-worn lights I always attach these or use a ball chain.
Just ordered 2 of the white ones for the kids!

Found the quote! "Pretty. This subject never ceases to amaze me. I do hope that your survivors find your head."
 

CarpentryHero

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Wallbuys from cpfmp has these, and there cheaper than the amazon price. AmazonUS wouldn't ship em to Canada anyway.


i use breakaway lanyards for around the neck :thumbsup:
 

Eric242

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I received my blue AAA Glo-Toob today. I really like it. If you don´t dive into deeper water I´d recommend the AAA over the Glo-Toob standart, Glo-Toob Fx and the Glo-Toob lithium. kg2h already said anything of interest regarding the AAA Toob. The only thing I have to add is that due to the same diameter as the standart/Fx Toobs you can use both the swivel-clips as well as the anti-roll diffusors with the AAA too ;) And add a few pictures of course.

Size comparsion: Fx on the left, AAA in the middle & lithium on the right
aaatoob3.jpg


Brightness comparision: Fx on the left, AAA in the middle & lithium on the right
aaatoob4.jpg


Glo-Toob conglomerate:
2 lithiums (1 with modified NovaTac EDC clip), 2 Fx (1 with twist & 1 with push button cap),
1 AAA in swivel-clip, 2 lithium push button caps, 1 Fx scuba cap, 1 swivel-clip, 1 anti-roll diffursor
aaatoob5.jpg


AAA with the front of it´s box:
aaatoob1.jpg


AAA with the back of it´s box:
aaatoob2.jpg
 
Last edited:

TMedina

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I've had mine for a couple of months now, but it recently developed a quirk - it won't cycle through the modes anymore.

I have to unscrew the tailcap, wait five seconds or so, re-attach the cap, and then I can cycle through the modes again for a brief time before having to repeat the process.

I don't know if I simply have a defective model or not, but I haven't seen any similar reports from other users.
 

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