Longest runtime for budget single AA or AAA led light on low setting to be used in tornado shelter

Unicorn

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The Streamlight Propolymer 4AA should be pretty cheap. It's rated at 67 lumens for 155 hours.

They also make a 3AA lantern that might be more convenient if you are looking for area lighting.
 
bykfixer

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The Streamlight Propolymer 4AA should be pretty cheap. It's rated at 67 lumens for 155 hours.

They also make a 3AA lantern that might be more convenient if you are looking for area lighting.
Not sure if that's what op has in mind, but I'm all over that idea. (y)
 
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FastTurtle

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My go to emergency lights are Chem Lights (Glow Sticks/Lumilights) in the green. I also get them in yellow with a 12 hour output as they're cheap, safe and only need replacing once a year if you get in 12 packs. Good enough for emergency use due to power outages or as you stated, a tornado shelter. For an EDC light, go with the maglite 2x AA mini. Batteries last a long time and it's reliable as hell. If you want another option and can find one, get a Maglite Solitair (1xAAA) with the incadescent bulb. Bought several spare bulbs and for that usage or camping, it's almost perfect since you can pull cap and use it like an electric candle. only issue is the battery life sucks
 
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CarpentryHero

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Gerber Omnivore would be good for scavenging batteries, it’s been discontinued but still possible to find.
Lumintop and Thrunite are two budget friendly lights, that have both tailcap and twisty ui options on their smaller lights.
 
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glockboy

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You can go to walmart and buy the solar powered pathway lights that use 1 AA battery for $3 each.
Around 5 to 10 lumens, (so buy a few of them)
 
H

Hooked on Fenix

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You can go to walmart and buy the solar powered pathway lights that use 1 AA battery for $3 each.
Around 5 to 10 lumens, (so buy a few of them)
If you’re going to get solar lights for an emergency, go to Home Depot and get the 55 lumen Hampton Bay solar spotlights that cost under $8. They take a removable 1000 mAh 18500 cell. 55 lumens will be way more useful than 5-10 and you can probably take the battery out and use it in a lot of lights that have a 3aaa battery carrier.
 
nollij

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Looking for a reliable budget AA- or AAA led light with longest runtime on low setting...doesnt need to have super bright capabilities. Probably 30 lumens or less. 1 or 2 lumens may be a bit to weak to see in the tornado shelter. Ty
Not sure if anyone has mentioned it, but if you’re not completely attached to the AA/AAA, the paklite (9voltlight.com) using a lithium battery lasts nigh on forever and will probably give you the amount of light you need. I have one for a night light for my daughter when traveling and it’s got weeks on it with no noticeable drop in brightness. As a bonus, they make a higher CRI version that looks a lot nicer (what I bought). An added bonus: those 9v “dead” batteries from the smoke detectors will run for quite some time when run on low in a Pak-Light. They are GREAT for emergency kits.
 
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Spin

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The Streamlight Propolymer 4AA should be pretty cheap. It's rated at 67 lumens for 155 hours.

They also make a 3AA lantern that might be more convenient if you are looking for area lighting.
I like the Streamlight Propolymer 4AA but i'm reluctant buying it. If one led goes bad the others will go bad also.
 
Buck91

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Hmm let’s see. I have a couple mini mags which I dropped yujis into that will run forever. Just watch for battery leakage.

On the single cell front I modded one of my foursevens atoms with a joule thief board from gchart and it’s really quite wonderful. This particular one is brighter than expected but favorably so. I’m going to swap out the driver in a jaxman e3 with another gchart joule their soon. If you can find them the gerber infinity ultra would fit your needs well, plus they are easy to swap to a high CRI 5mm led if so desired. Of course, good luck finding them anymore.
 
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Dave_H

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I am seeing lots of brand-name, some pricey answers to simple requirement. For low-cost solution, I found 1xAA mini flashlight/worklight at Dollar Tree, but have not seen them in-store for the better part of a year (this is in Canada); and I don't see it on their U.S. website.

Cost was $1.25 CAD, would be $1.50 now plus tax which is still under $2.

For this price you can have several at minimal cost. They are pretty sturdy, not too water-resistant, if that matters.
It is fairly bright for its size/cost/battery. I've had it apart, uses switching-type booster (YX8018 or similar) so looks pretty efficient. No runtime available yet but could do one.

Flashlight beam is OK for sub-1W LED, and nice to have four SMT LEDs on the side as mini work-light.

Not sure if it's OK to post a link to a YouTube review. It does not give too many details.

Dave
 
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Dave_H

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If you’re going to get solar lights for an emergency, go to Home Depot and get the 55 lumen Hampton Bay solar spotlights that cost under $8. They take a removable 1000 mAh 18500 cell. 55 lumens will be way more useful than 5-10 and you can probably take the battery out and use it in a lot of lights that have a 3aaa battery carrier.
A bit off main topic as OP is looking for single-cell AA or AAA, as noted 18500 fits in some (but not all, depends on holder) low-cost 3AAA flashlights; some even take 18650. However if goal is short-term cell wide availability without need to recharge, primary AA/AAA may be the best choice. Regular OTS sources of 18500 (LiFePO4) such as HD are a bit pricey.

Dave
 
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Dave_H

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A note to OP, I frequently run down "free" used alkaline/zinc-carbon AA and AAA in small 3-4 cell lights for which current control is no more than a series resistor. Many will run for many hours (or days) on these weaker cells, at lower brightness. I use them as night-lights. Just another idea you could try.

Dave
 
V

vicv

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I do the same thing with my cr123s that can’t hold brightness anymore. I put 2 of them in an 18650 light and it’ll run for hours on low outputs for power outages and stuff I guess
 
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Dave_H

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My $1.50 Dollar Tree 12-LED lantern on low setting, running on 3xAAA currently around 0.9v/cell, draws 15mA and is still producing useful light. Positioned correctly it could light a small room, albeit dimly but enough to get around in. With current technology say 100 lumens/watt, I am guessing at around 0.04W which could be 4 lumens.

Cells have maybe 10% capacity left but that's enough for at least a dozen hours, probably longer at decreasing brightness. Not expensive or eligant, but gives an idea what can be done in a pinch.

Dave
 
Poppy

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I am pretty sure that those 3mm leds often found in cheap lights are not nearly as efficient as a decent (Cree or SST) led.
I had a 24 x 3mm satellite lantern that ran on 4 AA batteries. It was surprisingly inefficient compared to other lights I have.

I don't know if there are different quality COB lights, but I think generally speaking they are nearly as efficient as an XML or XML2 led.

1652628239306


1652628540017


1652628565870
 
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Dave_H

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I am pretty sure that those 3mm leds often found in cheap lights are not nearly as efficient as a decent (Cree or SST) led.
I had a 24 x 3mm satellite lantern that ran on 4 AA batteries. It was surprisingly inefficient compared to other lights I have.

I don't know if there are different quality COB lights, but I think generally speaking they are nearly as efficient as an XML or XML2 led.

View attachment 27684
I'm sure Cree and SST are not the only ones who make LEDs with high efficacies, and at least some "cheap" LEDs from vendors we may not have heard of can do a decent job these days. In another thread I pointed to Samsung LED giving up to 220 lumens/W at 0.2W .

I guess we're a bit OT but wonder if the OT thinks we've answered the questions. My ultra-cheap (albeit 3AA) lantern is doing great on nearly dead cells.

BTW (further OT) I have lantern looking very similar to grey one 2nd from right. It is 3D, definitely not AA, but works a treat even on some of my "free" alkalines, going down to below 1v per cell (mostly using low setting). I wish it had a much lower setting.
Dave
 
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Hooked on Fenix

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I like the Streamlight Propolymer 4AA but i'm reluctant buying it. If one led goes bad the others will go bad also.
If you’re talking about the old 7 l.e.d. light, you’re right. Had that light maybe a decade or more ago. L.e.d.s didn’t last past the second or third set of alkaline batteries. One of the worst lights I ever had. Newer lights use better l.e.d.s that are made to take the heat, run efficiently, and use circuitry that protects against heat, high voltage, and reverse polarity. Don’t get a light that uses old 5mm l.e.d.s and maybe a resistor.
 
raggie33

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i hate streamlight worst flashlight i ever ever bought mine had this digusting green tint worse ive seen in damn near 20 years
 
H

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Best 1 AA light with the most runtime at 30 lumens is probably the Fenix E12 v.2 which lasts 13 hours at that setting. Costs $30. Not super cheap, but you get what you pay for (a reliable light with very efficient circuitry)
 

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