Review: Lumintop Tool AA

N

narmattaru

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Review example was provided by Lumintop
Here is the link to product page at manufacturer`s website.

I`m not fan of full-sized Luimintop`s lights. But I honestly say that they small-sized flashlights are really good and strongly believe that absolute majority of readers own “worm” or\and “tool”. My personal ideal is Lumintop Ant, a bonsai-sort of flashlight, which in each detail looks like 18650 powered light, but is AAA size in reality.
So the idea of Tool AA is not that bad from the start. Lets check how it turned to be in reality.


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PACKAGE AND APPEARANCE

Package in most of details is the upscale of Tool AAA package. The same semi-transparent plastic box with magnet lock. For price and purpose – definitely good and more attractive than brown cardboard boxes that we used to see in other models.
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Package includes a lot of stuff besides light itself: AA Duracell battery, o-ring, manual, and lanyard are expectedly, while spare magnet tail cover and light diffusor is a good surpise.
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The only dislike here is a lanyard color, that I found too girlish.

What about the rest – definitely food to use as a gift.
Another surprise is size, which is quite close to Tool AAA, just 79.5mm long. Below is my Xtar WK41 Sirius for example.

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At 1st​ you get default tail cover with button, but you can switch it to cover with quite strong magnet.
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Just one spring at tail.
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Threads are well-lubricated.
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Cooling ribs..well. not now )
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XP-L + SMO are responsible for light. I`d like to see an option with nichia, hope that`s just a matter of time.
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That`s all, folks )
UI
Simple as an axe.
Just press button or rotate magnet tail cover and get preferable mode among available low-mid-high

No mode memory.
PERFORMANCE
CW light.

There is PWM-shimmering at low-mid. Not seriously bad (this is not a tactic light) but still uncool.

AA\14500 – no matter, light will “eat” both of them.

Unfortunately there is a lot of parasite light here in my neighborhood, and almost the same at my fave places near city (reflections from snow and clouds). But I think you all used that sort of lights and know what to expect.

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As you can see, difference between mid 14500\ high AA is a minor.


And runtime chart show that (no surpise) you don`t have expect too much from 14500 High. But, I`m sure that there are few situation when 30 minutes of high will not be enough for regular needs.
High AA mode is almost the same in brightness and runtime as MID14500, and this mode is a good choice, imho.
I`d personally prefer 14500, because that gives me both bright High and long-lasting mid (still bright for most needs)
I used Olight 14500 750mah \ Fuji 1900mah (the same cell as in Eneloop). Pic is clickable.

An, yeah, phosphorescent light diffusor )
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OVERALL IMPRESSION.

Good bigger brother of AAA bestseller. The only disadvantage that I see in performance\construction is PWM-shimmering. The rest – package, size, appearance, modes – are good.
I hope that we`ll also see NW version (driver improvement to get rid of PWM-shimmering is an ideal)
 
Last edited:
Timothybil

Timothybil

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I like the Tool AAAs I have, and as soon as this comes with a Nichia emitter it is going on my get list, mainly because of the guaranteed 14500 capability.
 
N

Nev

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I like it ,it's floodier & slightly brighter than the Jetbeam mk , & because it's floodier & the clip is reversible it makes a good cap headlamp.
 
glimmer

glimmer

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Thanks for a good review!

Looks like a nice little light.
Some people will like the magnet, but it would scare me to have it in my pocket with key fobs, phones, usb drives, etc....
 
I

iamlucky13

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Oct 11, 2016
Messages
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Thanks for the review. I've been looking forward to somebody's feedback on this light, because I've been thinking it should be a decent light to gift or recommend to casual users. It's about the same price as a Maglite Mini Pro, so it's in the ballpark I could expect casual users to be comfortable with. Being small with decent output, reasonably useful mode spacings, and a simple UI, I think it should be a good option for such folks.

I like the option of different tailcaps, too.

They definitely need a Nichia version.

4-1/2 hours at 120 lumens sounds high. That's ~200 lumens/W on 2000 mAh battery (190 lm/W if assuming 100 lumens average output). Especially considering Lumintop themselves specify less than 3 hours for an undisclosed battery (it seems like most manufacturers unsurprisingly use Eneloop Pros for their tests), I have to wonder if your sample might have been running at lower output than specified.

Even if so, however, the efficiency still looks good. That's interesting, given that the AAA version has shown relatively poor efficiency in tests (less than 50 lm/W).
 
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BarryNYC

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Nice review. Thanks. But, there's always a but, you left out a very important - to me at least - spec:

In what order does the UI activate the light?

I'm a low first, then medium, then high person, and I'm not interested in a light that operates differently. I think you actually implied that this is the order they use, but you did not state it. Amazon does not say either, and Amazon does say that the AAA is M-L-H.

I'd be thankful if you checked this out for me,
-barry
 
Timothybil

Timothybil

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Nice review. Thanks. But, there's always a but, you left out a very important - to me at least - spec:

In what order does the UI activate the light?

I'm a low first, then medium, then high person, and I'm not interested in a light that operates differently. I think you actually implied that this is the order they use, but you did not state it. Amazon does not say either, and Amazon does say that the AAA is M-L-H.

I'd be thankful if you checked this out for me,
-barry
Now on the other hand, I like the M-L-H UI. One of the Lumintops was a fixture on my nightstand, and when I needed it I almost always needed the medium mode, so it was nice that it was up first. I actually very seldom used it in anything but Medium. I think it's kinda a 'I say, you say' type of deal.
 
wolfgaze

wolfgaze

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Now on the other hand, I like the M-L-H UI. One of the Lumintops was a fixture on my nightstand, and when I needed it I almost always needed the medium mode, so it was nice that it was up first. I actually very seldom used it in anything but Medium. I think it's kinda a 'I say, you say' type of deal.

Same here. The Maratac and Lumintop AAA Nichia lights are my favorite and most used lights. They are essentially single mode lights for me because 99% of the time I'm using Medium mode for my lighting needs. I love the mode sequence starting on Medium.
 
EDness

EDness

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I got mine a while back from the preorder and I love this light! I reflowed a XP-L 3D 5000K to it so got my NW need.
 
B

Brightfan

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Brass or copper would be great. Would be a starter for that!
 
N

narmattaru

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Nice review. Thanks. But, there's always a but, you left out a very important - to me at least - spec:

In what order does the UI activate the light?

I'm a low first, then medium, then high person, and I'm not interested in a light that operates differently. I think you actually implied that this is the order they use, but you did not state it. Amazon does not say either, and Amazon does say that the AAA is M-L-H.

I'd be thankful if you checked this out for me,
-barry


order is low-mid-high


glad to see interest in this flashlight, i passed question about other LEDs version to manufacturer, will post reply here
 
B

BarryNYC

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order is low-mid-high


glad to see interest in this flashlight, i passed question about other LEDs version to manufacturer, will post reply here

I just ordered one. Thanks for the info.
 
B

BarryNYC

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Now on the other hand, I like the M-L-H UI. One of the Lumintops was a fixture on my nightstand, and when I needed it I almost always needed the medium mode, so it was nice that it was up first. I actually very seldom used it in anything but Medium. I think it's kinda a 'I say, you say' type of deal.

I certainly agree with you that it's a "I say, you say" kind of thing. To emphasize that fact, I too have a light on my nightstand, but I have a Zebralight, because I can start it up in moonlight mode. That's generally enough light for me in the middle of the night.
 
B

BarryNYC

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Same here. The Maratac and Lumintop AAA Nichia lights are my favorite and most used lights. They are essentially single mode lights for me because 99% of the time I'm using Medium mode for my lighting needs. I love the mode sequence starting on Medium.

Timothy really got it right with his "I say, you say" comment. I agree almost entirely with you EXCEPT on the modes. MY EDC is a Thrunite AAA, and I treat it like a single mode light using moonlight mode 99% of the time. It's really nice, though, to have the higher intensities on tap. Different strokes for different folks. :)
 
Timothybil

Timothybil

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I certainly agree with you that it's a "I say, you say" kind of thing. To emphasize that fact, I too have a light on my nightstand, but I have a Zebralight, because I can start it up in moonlight mode. That's generally enough light for me in the middle of the night.
I needed a little more because I was right off of downtown (as much as a rural small town can have a downtown) and had thirteen all night HPS lights within view. Curtains stopped most of it, but the only place I could get completely dark was in one of the closets. Not enough light bled in to be useful, but I needed more than low to be able to see with.
 
J

jon_slider

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Mar 31, 2015
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the Lumen level of the "low" on the AA Tool is 7 lumens.. I don't consider that very low
on a Ti3 the low is 0.04 lumens... I don't consider that useful
the low on an Olight i3s is 0.5 lumens.. I like that for a midnight porcelain light
on an AAA Tool or Maratac, the low is 3 lumens.. useful when I am not fully dark adapted
and on a ReyLight Tool the low is 1 lumen...

so, Low first or Low second, does not tell the whole story, when low can mean anything between 0.04 and 7 lumens

out of all the lights I just mentioned, only the AA Tool has PWM, so if you like PWM.. the AA Tool is the "best" choice.. otoh, if you want a sublumen low, look elsewhere
 

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