New version of the Energizer 2AAA Penlight

L.E.D.

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I picked up the newest version of this good ole penlight at Target. I paid close to 7 bucks. The newest version can be identified by the "Premium LED - Nichia Technology" logo in the lower right corner, as well as a runtime statement of 100+ hours on the left side. This newest version of the penlight is, without a doubt, much better than the old one! It draws around four times less current than the old version (new version draws only 80 mA off fresh AAA's), and has over twice the output. This is most likely due to Energizer using at least a DS bin Nichia, as the beam has characteristics specific to these premium bin 5mm LED's (oval'ish element to the beam). The new penlight is highly recommended.
 

defloyd77

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Damn you! I was doing fine until I read "ovalish", that might be a GS in therem so now I have to get one. Can you take some shots?
 

Hondo

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I would hope it is still using the boost circuit. The somewhat nicer looking Dorcy equivalent, which I mini-reviewed here: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/212538 is in fact getting away with just a direct drive by virtue of the low forward voltage of the DS LED they use. Be a little careful of always favoring a GS over a DS: Besides the nice round hotspot on the DS, it is rated for 10X the service hours of the GS, or about the same as the venerable CS series. With a boost circuit, the overdrive can wear on a GS in a finite amount of time. GS's are only rated nominally for 10% higher output than DS's.

I modded one of my older CS generation Eveready penlights with a DS, I will have to measure it and compare to the 80 mA number you got, L.E.D. But I sure don't remember those drawing 320 mA from 2xAAA to start with. That would only get worse on my mod with a lower Vf LED. All I can recall is that I considered this to be a very long running light, so I would have guessed mine were drawing less than 150 mA. I will measure both a stock and my modded one tonight and report back.
 

L.E.D.

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Well, I tried out using only 1.5V, one AAA, and a piece of thin metal, and it still puts out enough light to be useful, drawing about 15 mA from the battery. I believe it does still use a boost circuit, though one which overdrives the LED far less. My old version penlight does indeed draw a little over 300 mA. What is it about GS's though, they don't have as good of lumen maintenance as DS/CS or something?

Sorry, I do not have a camera readily available for shots..
 
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Hondo

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Yes, I purchased directly from the Detroit Nichia distributor, and got data from their representative. The DS is rated for 30,000 hours, to I believe 70% brightness. The GS is rated for 3,000 hours. This is at spec. current, which is only 20 mA, so overdriving boost circuits can really pull that number down if they are agressive. The CS series was famous for being able to handle a healthy overdrive, and is rated identically to the new DS. Both DS and GS have much lower forward voltages than the older CS's, at 3.2 volts nominal, down from 3.6 volts. That is why Dorcy is getting away with just sticking a DS LED in front of two AAA's in their penlight. While it won't drain the batteries well at all, it runs a long time near the top of the battery, drawing only 28 mA on fresh alkalines, and making decent light on down to a bit below the spec 20 mA level. By the time you get down below 10 mA, most folks would replace the batteries, but it has only just begun it's potential runtime, measured in days, not hours. You can probably see to navigate in pitch dark with that setup for around two weeks straight.

ADD: Here is the Nichia page for 5mm's, but they won't show rated life. It looks like the old CS in white is gone now, replaced by the DS - they were the same price anyway.

http://www.nichia.com/product/led-lamp-phi5.html

Yes, the boost has to be there, you can't get a 5 mm LED up to 15 mA off of one alkaline cell. Nor can you reach 300 mA on 2xAAA direct drive, even Energizer lithiums will only push it to around 80 mA direct, which will really torture the little Nichia.

I am anxious to get to my DMM now, as I'm thinking that I may never have checked this light for draw. That 300 mA number is not very efficient. A Dorcy 1xAAA makes about the same amount of light (with the same LED installed) at about that same current. 2XAAA should be able to push that LED as hard as it should be at not much more than 100 mA. I have the River Rock (Nichia rebrand) 2XAAA "pen" light, and it pulls around 120 mA with an SMJLED-like 5 mm LED, and is brighter. Of course, it is an absolute riot with a Seoul P4 in there, which is not too hard to do - no increase in current draw, either. I love that setup!
 
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Hondo

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OK, as promised I got the scoop on my 2+ year old Eveready penlights. My DS modded one measured 80 mA with full Eneloops and 120 mA with fresh from the pack Duracell alkalines. Another stock one (Nichia CS) from the same time measured the same 80 mA on Eneloops, but 150 mA on the fresh Duracells. So I suppose I did check these back when, and I would probably have checked that the circuit was not Vf sensitive when changing to the DS. A Fenix E0 when modded with one will double it's current draw, from about 80 to 160 mA. But that is still not enough on one AAA to be really killing the LED, and it does get proportionally brighter, just at the expense of runtime.

Not sure if there was another circuit revision out there that draws 300 mA, but it would seem so. My concern with that figure is that it is either hammering the LED, or is wasting a lot of power in the boost circuit .:shrug:
 

parnass

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How does the new Nichia version of the Energizer 2AAA penlight compare with the Arc AAA-P DS and GS versions for brightness and tint?

Menards sells them for just under $6.
 

L.E.D.

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The new Nichia version penlight will not be as bright as the Arc's as they're not driven as hard. My particular penlight has a yellowish tint. I also measured the current from my old penlight, and it is for sure drawing 270 mA. They're really frying that little 5mm in the old one..
 

Hondo

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Just a reverse clicky. Must click through to get light, then you can get "momentary off" by half pressing when it is on.
 

L.E.D.

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After looking at a thread which shows a disection of a Nichia GS, I can say the new version penlight is definitely using a GS, as it does indeed have a very elongated-look to its hotspot. In all honesty, I would have much rather had a DS in this for its nice and circular beam, but it is still not a bad penlight at all. It spanks my old Streamlight Stylus, with the convenience of not having to use 3 AAAA's, plus has a boost circuit.
 
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