It's back on! Scout24 has added a challenger! 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge

run4jc

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
3,773
3/19/2015 - Scout24 has added another player! HERE

3/11/2015 - Final Results of Rayovac test HERE

3/8/2015 - "Tumbler of Death" test complete HERE

3/6/2015 - "Late entrant added HERE"

Test is all done. Final results HERE


I really don’t know where this is going – or where it will end up. All the talk about the E01 sparked interest in other 5mm LED lights. Scout24 and I have talked about it quite a bit.

So I decided to pick up 1 of each of the true competitors. What’s a competitor? 5mm LED, AAA battery, 1 level twisty, $10-15. Thought about adding the Thrunite Ti (I have some unopened 2 level 3/60 lumen versions) but honestly don’t think a Ti would survive the kind of abuse these may see. Plus a run time comparison would not be apples to apples, and the output/beam/etc. is different with the XPE emitter behind a true reflector.

Thought about adding the Nitecore Tube but I doubt it would survive any of the torture tests. Ordered a cheap Rayovac “Value Bright” AAA for $4.99, but, alas, it was backordered.

So here’s the line up:

Sunwayman R01A – price paid: $12.80
Klarus Mi02 – price paid: $11.95
Nitecore T0 – price paid: $11.90
Fenix E01 (new) - price paid: $9.85 (after discount)

Incidentally, the Fenix is the only one of the four to include a battery. Cerealand got around 37 hours (I believe) out of the included cell on his E01.

The Nitecore and the Klarus both came in a small box – the Sunwayman and the Fenix both came in a blister pack. All 4 lights included a split ring and an o-ring as well as rudimentary instructions. And as already mentioned, the Fenix came with a battery.



I installed identical batteries in each one and weighed them - the weights in grams/ounces:

LightGramsOunces
Sunwayman R01A26.917
Klarus Mi0225.882
Nitecore T0341.2
Fenix E0125.882



The Sunwayman seems to have Acme type threads...maybe overkill on a key ring light? The Klarus and the Fenix have similar deep threads. The Nitecore has a stainless head and very shallow threads....I have to wonder about how robust this set up is...shallow threads with stainless coupling to aluminum. Time will tell.

I've come to really appreciate the hex treatment on the head of the Sunwayman - makes it easy to grip and operate one handed and it seems to have the smoothest out of the box threads. Also nice that it doesn't roll away when placed on a flat surface.



The Nitecore and the Sunwayman have similar tails/split ring holes. Neither will tail stand under any circumstances. The Klarus will certainly tail stand without a split ring installed. The Fenix has the best tail set up (IMHO) because it is set up to allow tail standing even with a split ring attached. YMMV.



My initial impressions - you'll see the initial outputs below, but they all have the typical purple spot out to varying shades in the spill. The Klarus and the Nitecore have the beams that are the 'least offensive' to me.

These 4 photos give you an idea of the (un-modified) beams to one another (L-R - Sunwayman, Klarus, Nitecore, Fenix)









Run time tests come first – I started with 4 batteries from the same batch of USA made Duracells – expiration date 2018 – that lasted around 42 hours in another E01. At 14:45 minutes the Sunwayman and Klarus had already given up. I’m actually not certain how long they lasted since they were both showing their ‘low battery indicators’ when I got up at 4:30 in the morning after the test started the previous night. The Klarus and the Fenix were still chugging along nicely – measurements are shown in the table below.



Since I didn’t measure the voltage of the batteries before beginning the run time test, I thought maybe it would be a good idea to start over – this time with a fresher batch of Chinese made Duracells – expiration date 2020. The voltage of each cell is shown in the table. The table will be updated with run times, voltages, etc., as each light finally gives it up.



As of the writing of this text, the Klarus and the Fenix are still chugging along with the Klarus at .22 lumen and the Fenix at .72 – both providing enough light to navigate a dark room

After the run time tests are completed, fresh batteries will be installed and the abuse will begin. My belief is that scout24’s abuse of an E01 set the bar very high – kudos to scout for taking that one for the team. These 4 lights probably won’t see that level of abuse, but they will be abused beyond what might happen in “real life.” We’ll see what happens.

I’ll start with a little bit different method. A 20% discount coupon for Harbor Freight was more than I could resist – decided to pick up a rock tumbler and some ceramic abrasive media (see photos). Maybe this will simulate a great deal of pocket wear with keys, coins, etc., in a “slightly accelerated” way… ;)









So stay tuned! Updates will be posted after the Klarus and the Fenix finally give up. There will be some abuse beyond the rock tumbler as well. this crazy curiosity has cost around $100 so far so hopefully it will be useful to my sisters and brothers in the CPF community.
 
Last edited:

run4jc

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
3,773
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge

Well it appears that the Fenix may have to surrender the run time crown - it died after 27:58 minutes with the same type battery with equal starting voltage (as shown above). Meter showed .297V remaining in the battery. I let it rest for a few minutes to see if it would come back to life, but no - it's done.

Little Klarus is still chugging along happily. I quickly checked the battery and it still shows .859V - it may be running for a while yet! So the Sunwayman and the Nitecore are not 'battery vampires'...they have their own low battery indicators with the Nitecore flashing and the Sunwayman ramping high to low then off....high/low/off. But the Fenix did drain the cell nicely. Now we'll see just how long the Klarus lasts.

I realize there is an inconsistency in the brightness level on the chart below, but remember - the lights were off overnight so they 'recovered'. But the Klarus has been on for 2 hours and 30 minutes and still is brighter than it was last night.

I am impressed with the Klarus. But the Fenix body on the Klarus head and it's almost perfect...


Update: I let the Fenix (and the Nitecore and SWM) batteries recover for a while and the lights did come back on. The Fenix ran another 3 hours and the Nitecore and SWM both ran another couple. I'm not adjusting the run time, though, because the Klarus has run without the need to recover. In fact, it's still chugging along after 33 hours at .31 lumen.

Another update: At 36 hours the Klarus is still chugging along with a still usable .07 lumen..enough to light the 'target' in the middle of the night, guys...:p. Battery is still at .65V. Opinion based on observation - this light seems to somehow more gradually drain the battery. The Fenix, Sunwayman and Nitecore all will pull their batteries down to the point that the light shuts off. Let the batteries rest and the lights will start operating again, although not for long. I got an additional 3 hours out of the Fenix and 2 additional out of the SWM and Nitecore. But again, the drain seems more drastic.

As a side note, I managed 42 hours out of an E01 using that method - run until dead, stop the timer, let the battery recover, start it up again (and the timer.) I think it initially shut down at around 33 hours, but it was also using a US made Duracell. I've heard that the Chinese made Duracells don't last as long...don't know if that's true and am not making commentary, but what is happening is undeniable.

So I'm going to let the Klarus run to 40 hours (if it makes it, which I think it will) then call it. It has clearly 'won' the run time test...and it has turned my head. The little E01 has a competitor for run time / battery vampire!

 
Last edited:

run4jc

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
3,773
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge

Well I got tired of waiting - at 39:20 I called it. The Klarus was still producing .02 lumen of light - enough to navigate a dark bathroom (see photo)



Impressive. I think the Klarus would have run longer. It had .62V left in the battery - miserly vampire sipping the juice from that AAA! Here's the final table showing all, remembering that the other 3 would 'rejuvenate' after a bit of time turned off, but then quickly drain the battery down to the point that the light wouldn't function. In terms of battery utilization, my unscientific rankings are as follows - 1-Klarus; 2-Fenix; 3-Sunwayman; 4-Nitecore. The SWM and Nitecore both have low voltage indicators then they just shut off. Fenix and the Klarus just drain the batteries until there's not enough there to light the LED.


So now the torture begins! All 4 lights have entered the rock tumbler - the drum half full of those nasty looking 1 inch ceramic angle cut tri-star polishing media chunks. I was asked for video - here you go - this is the start. Went in around 6:40 PM Central Time. I'll let 'em run until early tomorrow afternoon - maybe 18-20 hours, then extract them and hope for the best. After that the abuse will continue next week as time allows.

(You might want to skip from the 18 second mark to around 1:20)


Stay tuned!
 
Last edited:

scout24

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
8,495
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge

I've been waiting for this thread! Talk about taking one for the team... Always enjoy how well presented these threads are, Dan. Looking forward to seeing how harsh the ceramics are on those poor lights.
 

nbp

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
10,675
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

:popcorn:
 

mcnair55

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
4,449
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

I am so excited can hardly wait.
 

Swede74

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Messages
577
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

Thank you for doing this. I would love to see a video (with sound) of the :rock: tumbler in action. +1, anyone?
 

Kilovolt

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2007
Messages
2,397
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

Very promising, thanks for sharing!


:popcorn:
 

kj2

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2010
Messages
8,052
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

Thanks for do this all :)
 

rickypanecatyl

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2009
Messages
910
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

Wow - thanks for all the work you put into this. I'm really curious what the rock tumbler does! :)
 

run4jc

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
3,773
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

That Klarus looks a full-on E01 copy-cat no??
Agreed...with the exception of the tail. It's the only one so far that is staying with the E01 for run time. I suspended the run time test overnight (can't monitor them when sleeping :eek: ) but restarted this morning first thing. 26 hours and counting. This is what they looked like at 25:30 last night:

(Klarus left - Fenix right - then the 2 'little engines that couldn't' ;)


I am so excited can hardly wait.
And I know we eagerly anticipate all of the positive contributions you'll make to this thread... :rolleyes:

Thank you for doing this. I would love to see a video (with sound) of the :rock: tumbler in action. +1, anyone?

Only to happy to oblige. That's what one of the reserved posts is for. :)

Funny - I am the staff flashlight writer for TheFirearmBlog.com and have a cool ASP Triad rechargeable that I need to write up, but this is more fun. :party:
 
Last edited:

Grijon

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2014
Messages
1,360
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

run4jc, you are awesome, the OP is stellar, and your response above is excellent. Thank you for doing this!
 

run4jc

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
3,773
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

@Grijon - thank you for the kind words. It's my pleasure and it makes me happy that you all are enjoying reading the thread. I just updated post #2 - we may have a run time winner declared! I'll let it continue to run before the rock tumbler test begins...:devil:
 

CelticCross74

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2014
Messages
3,938
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

am paying attention to this one...
 

JerryM

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Messages
1,042
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

This has been very interesting. I did not realize the others existed, and that anything would beat the E01.
Jerry
 

ryukin2000

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
207
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

Thanks for the cool tests. I did a run time test with an E01 and coast mini tac and was surprised the coast ran longer by a full day. Usable light too. 84 hours to 108.It also uses nichia emitter. E01 is still better edc. Coast is clicky. Way longer. Not potted or water proof and it worked intermittently until I fiddled with pcb board. Unreliable light.
 

run4jc

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
3,773
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

Thanks for the cool tests. I did a run time test with an E01 and coast mini tac and was surprised the coast ran longer by a full day. Usable light too. 84 hours to 108.It also uses nichia emitter. E01 is still better edc. Coast is clicky. Way longer. Not potted or water proof and it worked intermittently until I fiddled with pcb board. Unreliable light.

Wow. What kind of battery lasted that long? Was that the previous version of the E01 or this newer one?
 

ryukin2000

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
207
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

Wow. What kind of battery lasted that long? Was that the previous version of the E01 or this newer one?

It was regular energizer alkaline. And older E01.
 

more_vampires

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2014
Messages
3,475
Re: 5MM LED AAA Light Challenge - Sunwayman, Nitecore, Klarus and Fenix duke it out

decided to pick up a rock tumbler and some ceramic abrasive media (see photos). Maybe this will simulate a great deal of pocket wear with keys, coins, etc., in a “slightly accelerated” way… ;)

Freaking LOL! :goodjob:lovecpf
 
Top