*REVISED* NiteCore EZ AA Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, PICS & more!

selfbuilt

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Re: NiteCore EZ AA Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, PICS & more!

NiteCore confirms that they are getting the review samples ready to ship out. Will likely be a few more days, then typically a week or so getting to me. I should have the revised runtimes ready within a couple of days after that.

:wave:
 

benlg

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Re: NiteCore EZ AA Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, PICS & more!

NiteCore confirms that they are getting the review samples ready to ship out. Will likely be a few more days, then typically a week or so getting to me. I should have the revised runtimes ready within a couple of days after that.

:wave:

Thanks, looking forward to it. Ive been messing around with the EZAA for a bit, just admiring the beam and trying to run the batteries out on high to get an estimate.. It would be nice to hear a more technical answer :laughing:
 

selfbuilt

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Re: NiteCore EZ AA Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, PICS & more!

Thanks, looking forward to it. Ive been messing around with the EZAA for a bit, just admiring the beam and trying to run the batteries out on high to get an estimate.. It would be nice to hear a more technical answer :laughing:
I don't know if they've changed the output on Hi - my understanding is that they were only going to fix the lower output. The original shipping EZAA had an acknowledged bug that reduced the output on Lo without increasing the runtime. The new EZAA should match the published specs.

Scroll back to the first post for runtimes of the original EZAA on Hi. I will update these as well when the new EZAA gets here.
 

regulator

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Re: NiteCore EZ AA Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, PICS & more!

Got my EZAA from 4-7’s and love the compact format. The light is a fantastic size for an AA light and feels very well built despite being designed for minimum size and weight. Finish is also very good and looks great. Tint is nice and white and I think the beam is good for such a small light.

I measured around 110mA draw from the 1.5 alkaline battery which would correspond pretty well for the amount of light that it is putting out on the first level – around 5-7 lumens guesstimate and should easily meet 20 hours runtime. This does not come close to the original published rating of 15 lumens and falls short of 10 lumens. I have an Incendio that is rated at 7 lumens on low and is just a bit brighter than the EZAA. When my D10 is set to the same 110 mA drive level by multimeter, the output is very similar to the EZAA. There are times when shining around that I wish it had every so slightly more output.

I do not think there is anything wrong with the EZAA but I do believe the circuit was not designed to put out a good 10-15 solid lumens on level 1 like I was hoping. This is confirmed by just by looking at the drive level. However, the level 1 is very useable. IMO it compares too closely with what can be achieved with an AAA light and decent runtime.

I would prefer the circuit to pull 200-250mA from the battery (and approximately 75-100 mA to the LED) for a better amount of light on level 1. Runtime would still be a very respectable 10-15 hours on a primary lithium cell. This slight boost would make the level much more useable for general task lighting. It would probably be putting out close to 10-15 lumens. This would set the EZAA further apart from what is offered in an AAA light.

I think the format of the EZAA is fantastic and Nitecore hit a home run with it. I only wish the drive levels were better suited for such a great light. I would buy another EZAA with revised output levels in a heartbeat! Overall I think it is a nice light and I am happy with it – but it could be sooooooo much better.
 
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HKJ

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Re: NiteCore EZ AA Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, PICS & more!

I measured around 110mA draw from the 1.5 alkaline battery which would correspond pretty well for the amount of light that it is putting out on the first level – around 5-7 lumens guesstimate and should easily meet 20 hours runtime. This does not come close to the original published rating of 15 lumens and falls short of 10 lumens. I have an Incendio that is rated at 7 lumens on low and is just a bit brighter than the EZAA.

I got about the same current in my measurement (Published in my Danish review) and the light output is very close to the same as the Fenix LD01 on low (Rated 10 lumens). The Fenix LD10 on lower (Rated 9 lumen), all measured with ceiling bounce and a lux meter.
 

regulator

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Re: NiteCore EZ AA Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, PICS & more!

I got about the same current in my measurement (Published in my Danish review) and the light output is very close to the same as the Fenix LD01 on low (Rated 10 lumens). The Fenix LD10 on lower (Rated 9 lumen), all measured with ceiling bounce and a lux meter.

I agree with these - but Fenix is usually a bit optimistic with their output levels. It probably would have been close to 10 lumens output if Nitecore did not change the rating from 15 lumens as originally posted to 10 lumens.

I just love the compact form and being so slim - I don' know anyting else currently available in an AA light. I would pay a premium to have a custom run with a slightly higher level one and a lower level two to get 2 hours runtime. Maybe Nitecore could offer two versions - now that would be cool. Even a new UI light based on the same dimensions with 4 levels would be cool.
 

selfbuilt

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Re: NiteCore EZ AA Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, PICS & more!

Just an update - the revised EZ AA is on its way to me from NiteCore.

FYI, NiteCore informs me that the revised circuit now supports Li-ion. :thumbsup: So you can expect some 14500 runtimes once it gets here. ;)
 

AFAustin

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Re: NiteCore EZ AA Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, PICS & more!

selfbuilt, that's great to hear---looking forward to your comments and comparison.

Just gave my EZAA a quick try with a 14500---only a slight increase in low, and my flat top cell needed a magnet to make + contact.
 
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Zeruel

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Re: NiteCore EZ AA Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, PICS & more!

Just an update - the revised EZ AA is on its way to me from NiteCore.

FYI, NiteCore informs me that the revised circuit now supports Li-ion. :thumbsup: So you can expect some 14500 runtimes once it gets here. ;)

What the??! We can use 14500 on EZ AA now??? I thought it's not suppose to?
:party:
 

selfbuilt

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Re: NiteCore EZ AA Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, PICS & more!

Just gave my EZAA a quick try with a 14500---only a slight increase in low, and my flat top cell needed a magnet to make + contact.
What the??! We can use 14500 on EZ AA now??? I thought it's not suppose to?
:party:
It doesn't seem like NiteCore has updated the packaging specs or their website yet with any info on Li-ion.

But they tell me Li-ion is acceptable now, so I will test it out on my review sample when it gets here. To be on the safe side, you all may want to hold off until I can confirm it runs safely on 14500. Wouldn't want yours to go :poof:
 
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Zeruel

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Re: NiteCore EZ AA Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, PICS & more!

It doesn't seem like NiteCore has updated the packaging specs or their website yet with any info on Li-ion.

But they tell Li-ion is acceptable now, so I will test it out on my review sample when it gets here. To be on the safe side, you all may want to hold off until I can confirm it runs safely on 14500. Wouldn't want yours to go :poof:

Tempted..... almost tempted.....
It's overpowering. Someone pass me a straitjacket. :sick2:
 

regulator

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Re: NiteCore EZ AA Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, PICS & more!

Actually there is information in the User Manual pdf on the website. Is says - DO NOT use rechargable Li-ion batteries without safety circuit.

So it appears it can use a Li-ion with a safety circuit. It probably does not have low voltage cutoff built into the light and you can damage a Li-ion battery if you let it drain too low.

Unfortunately my EZAA stopped working last night and I have a replacement on the way. I hope it gets here Saturday.
 

selfbuilt

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I've revised the main post with updates on my testing of the new shipping version of EZ AA.

BACKGROUND: In my original testing of the EZ AA, I noticed reduced output and low runtime efficiency of the EZ AA Lo mode. NiteCore promptly issued a recall in early April 2009, and worked to revise the product. The revised shipping version is now added to this review. I have left the background pics the same, as the light does not look appreciably different. Where appropriate, I have updated this review with the new info (summarized below)

UPDATE: The instruction sheet has been updated with new output and runtime specs, and now explicitly supports Li-ion (i.e. 14500). Here is a summary of the changes.

Original EZ AA Instructions:
  • Battery illustrated as "1.5V AA" only
  • Warning included: "do not use batteries that exceed 2 volts, as they may permanently damage the flashlight."
  • Hi mode listed as "130 lumens for 1.5 hrs"
  • Lo mode listed "15 lumens for up to 20 hours"
Revised EZ AA Instructions:
  • Battery illustrated as simply "AA" with voltage restriction
  • Previous warning against >2V replaced with: "DO NOT use rechargeable Li-ion batteries without safety circuit." (suggesting that protected 14500 IS supported).
  • Hi mode is now listed as "130 lumens for up to 50 minutes" (which seems more consistent with my runtime results)
  • Lo mode is now listed as "10 lumens for up to 20 hours" (which seems more consistent with my output readings and runtimes)
It is good to see the manual has been brought in line with actual performance. :thumbsup:


UPDATE: The revised EZ AA requires a shorter twist to activate Hi from Lo - a little over three-quarters of full turn now, instead of a one-and-a-quarter turn.

Comparison Beamshots

Hi mode:

UPDATE: The Hi mode appears to be unaltered on the revised version, so I've let these original pics stand. Here is a direct comparison of the new revised EZ AA to the original:

EZAA006.jpg

EZAA005.jpg

EZAA004.jpg


As you can see, my revised sample is slightly less focused for throw, but is otherwise comparable.


Lo mode:

UPDATE: The original EZ AA had abnormally low output, so I have replaced the beamshots here with a direct comparison of the original EZ AA to the new revised version:

EZAA001.jpg

EZAA002.jpg


As you can see, the new EZ AA is detectably brighter on its Lo setting. Scroll down to the summary table and runtimes for more details.


Throw/Output Summary Chart:

EZAA-Summary1.gif


UPDATE: The original EZ AA had an abnormally low Lo mode, likely somewhere around 6-7 lumens based on my comparisons to other lights of known lumen estimate (a far cry from the original 15 lumen specs). This new revised EZ AA seems pretty much bang on with the revised specs of 10 lumens. The new EZ AA now also supports 14500 Li-ion, as shown below:

EZAA-Summary2.gif


Definitely a bit brighter on Li-ion than standard batteries, so I don't recommend you run it on Hi for extended periods without cooling. Note also that it was rather difficult to activate Hi on protected 14500 on my sample without using a LOT of twisting force. :caution:

Here are some additional beamshots comparing Hi and Lo on 14500 vs Eneloop:

EZAA012.jpg

EZAA011.jpg

EZAA010.jpg


EZAA007.jpg

EZAA008.jpg



Output/Runtime Comparison

EZAA-Runtimes.gif


UPDATE: I have only done Eneloop runs so far, but as you can see above (dotted lines) performance on Hi is not that different from before - although regulation seems to be enhanced. Output and runtime on Lo is considerably enhanced - scroll down for a better illustration. I will continue to update these graphs as the rest of the battery types are tested. Note again that 14500 is now supported on the new EZ AA.

EZAA-HiEne.gif

EZAA-Hi14500.gif


EZAA-LoEne.gif


Preliminary Observations

UPDATE: The revised EZ AA has considerably improved output/runtime efficiency on Lo - more than double that of the original EZ AA overall. :thumbsup:

Lo output is now a believable 10 lumens. Some may still find this too low for a two-stage light, but I rather like it for keychain carry.

The reduced amount of twisting necessary to access Hi from Lo is useful on the new EZ AA. Also, 14500 Li-ion support is a nice addition - although again, I wouldn't recommend running it for extended periods on Hi.

All in all, a good upgrade from the original version. :)
 

AFAustin

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Selfbuilt, thank you for your excellent revised EZAA review. I really have come to like this little light, eccentricities and all, and I'm glad to see both the significant improvements and the more accurate specs.

Thanks again for your outstanding work. :thumbsup:

Cheers,

Andrew
 

Zeruel

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Thanks, Selfbuilt. Now I can promptly try to blind myself with 14500. :party:
 

StandardBattery

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Thanks alot for the update, we now have a clear picture of the two revisions.

I think the distance between hi/low may still have considerable variation between samples, and have some variation with battery as well.

:popcorn::popcorn:
 

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