Latest 2xAAA pen lights?

AustinOX

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I've been reading a lot of the older threads, but as quickly as technology seems to change I'm wondering if there's anything new I should look at. My most notable find was that the stated output on the Brite Strike EPLI is now 220/110 according to their website.

I'm looking for a thin profile 2AAA that is rugged and highly water resistant for EDC and as a backup to carry on duty in my vest. Must turn on to high setting, and I strongly prefer a momentary on button. Top contenders are the Brite Strike (if it's truly worth the extra coin), Terralux, and Streamlight Protac- although I don't trust my microstream because of a bad switch. I also like the features of the Eagletac, but read some negative reviews on it's ruggedness. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Austin
 

UpstandingCitizen

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Most pen lights will probably be comparable in terms of ruggedness and all of that. Beyond that, finding something with a forward clicky and starts on high will narrow the options significantly.

Are you after something with more than one mode?
 

AustinOX

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I'm actually a one mode kind of guy, the brighter the better. I can live with multiple modes, but prefer something like a head twist or similar action to prevent accidental changes. That was one of my main reasons for choosing an Olight M21x as my primary on duty and on my rifle.
 

Samy

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I still think the 4Sevens Preon 2 is one of the best 2xAAA lights out there. I have purchased and given some out as gifts and they are well received.

cheers
 

AustinOX

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If it came on on high I would have already purchased it after reading so many good reviews. Unfortunately the UI is a deal breaker for me
 

LED_Thrift

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If you are looking for a rugged single stage light a Peak LED Solutions light might be just what you need. I'm not sure they still make a 2 x AAA tube, but they probably do. Their lights are mostly twist on, but you can get a momentary push button switch. They have great build quality. The website is not too helpful, but they make up for it by being great to talk to. Call Bob at RMSK, their distributor. Or you could post on the CPF Peak forum.
 

AustinOX

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Thanks for the suggestion, I went ahead and started a new thread on their page. I ordered a Pelican 1920 in the meantime until I find the right bright model. I think a lot of manufacturers are missing a market by not making a "tactical" version of their complicated multi mode pen lights. It doesn't seem like it would be difficult to program them to a single mode- but what do I know? I'm out of pocket and belt space for a thick bodied backup/EDC light, and short stubby lights disappear in my fist. I can't think of anything but a pen light that would work for me.
 

HighlanderNorth

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I bought a FourSevens Preon 2 2 months ago, and its a nice light. It looks very different than the typical LED light. It kinda loks like a pen that widens towards the front. They come in many colors in Type III HA. On high they are like 170L too, with 3 brightness settings.
 

busseguy

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I was about to start a thread asking about penlights myself.

I currently carry an eagletac pn20a on my keychain but was thinking about getting the pn20a2 (2AAA version). Anyone here have one, what are your thoughts?. Anything better?. I definately want a momentary clicky switch preferably with low, medium, and high that can be switched just by a light press of the momentary.
 
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AustinOX

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After doing some research I think your best option for a momentary switch and multiple modes is the Brite Strike EPLI. I actually called them today to check on the new lumen claim, and was informed that there was no change in the light. They are just using ANSI output testing now. I was impressed with how helpful the call taker was, and also learned that they are made in the US. They are as low as $55 on eBay.

I like the new Preon II with 192 lumens for $40 bucks- especially after seeing a good video that highlighted the build quality. I just wish they had a version that turned on to the high setting. I may pick up an EPLI or Preon II for utility, but I have yet to find something that looks like it would be better than the Pelican if my primary duty light should fail.
 

AustinOX

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The Pelican 1920 arrived today. My initial impression is that this is exactly what I was looking for, with the only possible improvements being a slightly thinner profile, and of course "brighter is better" for my purposes. I'd completely stopped EDC of my Microstream due to the unreliable electrical connection (I always felt it was the switch) that developed within weeks of buying it. It went in the pocket of my uniform shirt with a couple of other small items, but was honestly not much better than not having a backup flashlight. It's next stop will be the garbage can.

The Pelican feels much more substantial in the hand, and the 2 cell length is just what I needed. The clip design is 100% better, and the metal used for the clip is thicker and better finished. Brightness is in a whole different league. I put a fresh battery in the Microstream to be fair, but even in a small dark room it only kind of shows you what's there. I may have one of the older 20 lumen models. The Pelican lights things up like a "real" flashlight. It has a pretty tight beam, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it does outside when the sun goes down. Inside it was noticeably brighter than an old 2x123 incandescent that happened to be lying around while I was playing with my new toy. Couldn't be happier so far, and probably won't be until a forward click single mode Preon II comes out (never).
 

AustinOX

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T45

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:shakehead "...till a forward click single mode Preon II comes out" Yeah, I think we all are waiting on that one to emerge some day.
 

Omenwolf

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the streamlight protac aaa has a forward clicky and comes on high all the time. double click for strobe and triple click for low. out of all the 2xaaa I think it has the best throw especially for the price.
 

AustinOX

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The Pelican didn't last very long. I replaced it with a 5.11 ATAC plx. For some reason I can't post in the flashlight review forum, so I'll put my Amazon review here:

This is the best pen light I've owned to date. I've owned flashlights from every major brand, as well as brands like Olight and Fenix. I've carried a pen light for the past few years as a back-up light on duty, and as my EDC off-duty. I have too much gear to devote a pocket to a bulky light, and when I'm off duty I don't like having a bunch of crap on my belt. The AAA penlights slide into my back left pocket and fit easily next to my wallet.

As a gear snob I would never have purchased a flashlight from a clothing company, and only picked this up because I had a gift certificate to the local cop shop and this was the only pen light they had. My Streamlight AAA light was reliable for less than two months before the switch started acting up. My Pelican 1920 developed the same problem about 4-5 months in. I've carried this light every day for over 8 months and it has performed flawlessly. I've dropped it countless times on hard floors, and it went through a full wash cycle (with extra rinse) without a hiccup. It is bright enough to search a house, and will light up a dark yard enough to see if there is anything to be concerned about. The switch can be partially pressed for momentary-on, or clicked on. There are no brightness levels to cycle through, or silly strobe, making this an ideal backup light or provisional tactical light. It's arguably better than the 60 lumen Surefire incandescent that was once the greatest innovation in police tools...

The body of this light has a fairly aggressive texture compared to the Streamlight and Pelican. It appears in photos as if it is substantially thicker, but it's about the same diameter as, and significantly shorter than the Pelican. The pocket clip is not as nice as the Pelican, but has been serviceable and the light is secure in the pocket. My biggest concern was how far the tail cap button protrudes, but I can't recall the light ever coming on inadvertently in momentary mode, and it's definitely never clicked on by itself.

After almost 8 months of ownership I managed to snag the rubber button cover on something and tear it. The tear turned into a flap, which I removed. As it turns out, the rubber cover is quite thick, and the switch itself is almost flush with the metal. I can still use the momentary function, but it's impossible to click anymore with my thumb. The rubber does not appear to be replaceable on the user end like a mag light, but that probably also contributes to this lights ability to survive a wash cycle. Since a replacement tail cap is more than half of the cost of the whole light here (at current Amazon pricing) I ordered a new one.

Still waiting on a "tactical" Preon 2...
 

leon2245

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thin profile
turn on high
momentary
highly water resistant
one mode


Too late since you've already ordered this year's replacement, but just wanted to make sure you're aware of this jil lite. for future reference. Our 2aaa preferences are almost identical, and this nails them all except at 80l probably not as bright as you want, but good runtime/regulation, 30m wr, & has forward click/momentary, ss bezel ring, & at only 4.8" it's among the smallest 2aaa's out there.

Whenever I need a replacement I really want to try one. Hopefully by then they'll be easier to buy (too pricy and limited availability in the US now), otherwise I'd already be tempted.
 

thunberg

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I came upon this thread because I had the exact same complaint about the Preon 2 -- the UI as it relates to self defense. I emailed Foursevens and they replied with:

-----

We do not have any different UI configurations available at this time, we have talked about offering different modes. Please keep a eye out on the Facebook page for any new product announcements.

-----

I even offered to pay them to develop one, since the Preon 2 has the best form factor I've seen so far in a 2 AAA high output light.

Moving on from that I bought an EagleTac PN20a2, and initial impressions are that the UI at least is perfection. Has momentary on, push on, and you can preset high or low output by turning the head, really well done.

I have an EPLI coming tomorrow to compare as well, and I'll take a few comparison shots among all three.
 

StorminMatt

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I just got a Preon 2 Nichia penlight. Due to the high CRI emitted, output is down from 192 to 160 lumens. But this is certainly respectable enough. And the tint of the Nichia is certainly nice. But one thing I personally don't like about the Preons is the mode spacing - NOTHING between 22 lumens and maximum output. This may not be an issue for many people, as lots of people seem to use their penlights at relatively low output for extended periods. But for use as a backup light for the outdoors, I would prefer to have a mode at, say, 70-80 lumens for a better compromise between output and battery life than the 22 lumen or 160 lumen setting.
 

leon2245

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I just got a Preon 2 Nichia penlight. Due to the high CRI emitted, output is down from 192 to 160 lumens. But this is certainly respectable enough. And the tint of the Nichia is certainly nice. But one thing I personally don't like about the Preons is the mode spacing - NOTHING between 22 lumens and maximum output. This may not be an issue for many people, as lots of people seem to use their penlights at relatively low output for extended periods. But for use as a backup light for the outdoors, I would prefer to have a mode at, say, 70-80 lumens for a better compromise between output and battery life than the 22 lumen or 160 lumen setting.

spacing sounds good to me... 219b?
 

AustinOX

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I came upon this thread because I had the exact same complaint about the Preon 2 -- the UI as it relates to self defense. I emailed Foursevens and they replied with:

-----

We do not have any different UI configurations available at this time, we have talked about offering different modes. Please keep a eye out on the Facebook page for any new product announcements.

-----

I even offered to pay them to develop one, since the Preon 2 has the best form factor I've seen so far in a 2 AAA high output light.

Moving on from that I bought an EagleTac PN20a2, and initial impressions are that the UI at least is perfection. Has momentary on, push on, and you can preset high or low output by turning the head, really well done.

I have an EPLI coming tomorrow to compare as well, and I'll take a few comparison shots among all three.

Seems like a relatively simple alteration, and a relatively stupid move to miss out on some sales. There would be thousands of cops and likely tens if thousands of CWP holders that would jump at the opportunity to carry a 2xaaa as a legitimate on duty back-up or off duty/CWP primary flashlight. Oh well. How do you like the EPLI? My new 5.11 is in, and much like the old one it's just fantastic for $20. If it were $25 and 120 lumens I'd probably forget all about the boutique pen lights.
 

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