Small AA-powered LED headlamps?

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paulr

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I wonder how many LED headlamps exist, that are powered by one or two (not more than two) AA cells. That means they need voltage boost circuits. I think Princeton Tec makes one but I can't think of any others. I'm asking specifically about AA powered lights, not AAA, CR123, or any other type of battery. Can anyone list any?

Thanks.
 

mrme

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[ QUOTE ]
Stanley said:
CMG (now Gerber) has a Tracer which runs 1AA. Or was that 2AAs?

[/ QUOTE ]
If it is the one I think you mean, it is 1 AAA.

There a re several cheap headlamps that run on 2 AA batteries. They look quite a bit like the Princeton Tec headlamps, but are really crummy. Harbor Freight puts them on sale from time to time for anywhere from $1-$5. Wal-Mart charges closer to $7 I think.
 

Stanley

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[ QUOTE ]
mrme said:
[ QUOTE ]
Stanley said:
CMG (now Gerber) has a Tracer which runs 1AA. Or was that 2AAs?

[/ QUOTE ]
If it is the one I think you mean, it is 1 AAA.

[/ QUOTE ]
Sorry, my bad, it is 1AAA after all... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif
 

PeLu

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There was the British Luxbrite with 9 5mm LEDs and tehre are now several Chinese headlights with 7 or 12 LEDs or one Luxeon clone.
All of them run with 2 AA cells and are somewaht waterproof. I do have a couple of them.
 

Denny Francisco

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paulr,
I have a PT Aurora(three 5mm leds) and liked it until I got the PT Eos(1 watt luxeon), which is very much brighter with a compromise medium beam and oh, so white. Eos is my favorite headlamp and I use it all the time. Great beam, easy intuitive switch(PT has the simplest, friendliest switching), very compact single strap headband. Flashlightreviews.com also agrees on it's superior design.

I also was looking for a headlight using AAs, and found it with the new Black Diamond Zenix IQ. The original Zenix was not that bright but the IQ model is awesome, making the Eos look pale. It has three light levels and uses 2 AAs. In addition it has a battery power indicator(doubles as a "find me" constant tiny flashing led) and also two 5mm leds, also with three levels. It has a very white medium-wide beam, although mine has some annoying peripheral rings also. It uses a headband and top strap with the battery case in the rear. Got it from www.caves.org/imo. I'd say it's a pefect caving light and that's how I'll use it.


My question to throw out for grabs is, Why don't we have a compact 2AA flashlight, 1 watt luxeon with 3 light levels? With side-by-side AAs, you could have a non-rolling pocket light that would have some throw, yet dimmable for long running time? Two /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gifAAs cost a buck for 2 hours use of a 1 W. luxeon. Can't get that economy with 123A lithiums, even mailorder.

Denny Francisco
 

paulr

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Thanks, the Zenix IQ looks like a nice light, but bigger than I'd hoped for. It has a top strap and a rear battery pack. I'd thought that using 1 or 2 AA's instead of more might make it possible to have an all-in-one unit like the PT Aurora.

Re side-by-side 2AA light, you can put the Matrix module into the Princeton Tec PT20 or Aqua Flare, but those have large heads and aren't really pocket lights. I think the UK 4AA eLED lamp module will physically fit into their 2AA flashlight. It won't work, but it shows they could do one with boost electronics that would fit in that light. Neither of these is dimmable.

Generally though, small plastic flashlight bodies and 1 watt Luxeons don't mix, since powerful LED's emit a lot of heat. (Incandescents waste about the same amount of energy, but it goes out the front as infrared. LED's have to be heat-sunk by the actual flashlight body).

Also, 2 hours of runtime isn't so good for alkaline cells. They perform best at lower power levels, like 4+ hours. That is, they contain a certain amount of energy when new, but if you try to get it out too fast (like in 2 hours), you lose a lot of it.
 

Alan

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I agreed with Denny. I just got a Zenix IQ the day before yesterday. I like it so much and got a 2nd one yesterday just for backup.

The top strap could be removed and I did remove one. I don't have Matric 2 but I do have a Solo with EverLED installed. Before I got Zenix IQ, my Solo w EverLED is one of my favorite small AA headlamp.

By the way, unlike regular Zenix and Yukon HL, its dimmer 5mm does drain less power than the 1 Watt.

The rear battery pack doesn't bother me that much even when lying down for reading.

Alan
 

Denny Francisco

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Paulr,

I think plastic bodies for headlamps are the way to go, and allow compact units like the type you seem interested in. Overdriven handhelds need the aluminum bodies for heat dissapation, but you don't get the compact shapes needed for a headlamp, nor do you get long burn times. Both the PT EOS and the BD ZENIX IQ are NOT overdriven and their internal aluminum heat sinks work fine. If you want a compact single strap headlamp with a nice white beam, I don't think you can beat the EOS. The Zenix IQ is brighter and uses economical AAs but adds bulk with the rear battery pack. Once you've had a dimmable luxeon, it's HARD to accept those darn blue 5 mm leds! The dimmable luxeon can rack up some impressive burn times for long night hikes and caving. The secret in utility, in my opinion, is being dimmable, and I predict with confidence, the dimmable luxeon will become the dominant light source for headlamps and many handheld flashlights in the very near future. Surefire's U2 is the expensive handheld dimmable, but I bet inexpensive versions are on the drawing boards as we speak.
 

paulr

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Denny, the EOS is a nice light but it runs on AAA's. For the purpose of this thread I'm specifically only interested in AA lights, not AAA, or anything else that isn't AA. I'm quite aware of any number of good AAA lights but finding AA lights with similar characteristics is more difficult which is why I started a special thread asking about them. I haven't ruled out AAA lights for this application, but I know what I need to about them already, so I'm trying to find out about AA lights, which I know less about.

I'm not trying to give you a hard time, I simply thought I'd made it clear what I was looking for and what I wasn't looking for. Thanks for the suggestion and if you have any ideas about AA lights I'd still be eager to hear them.
 

LowBat

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I wish someone would make a single AA headlamp that powers a single led, and have a thin retractable strap. That way you'd hardly feel it around your head and wouldn't worry about using up the cheap AA cell.
 

paulr

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LowBat, yes, Gerber makes a very nice 1-cell, 2-led headlamp called the Tracer (formerly CMG Tracer), but it uses an AAA. A lot of us wish there were an AA version.
 

pedalinbob

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i8 am building one, paul.

i found a cheapie ray-o-vac kid's 2xaa headlamp (aka optronics, i think) for $6. it appears to be pretty nicely made, with a clicky on the side, and decent strap. it uses o-rings throughout. plenty of room to cram everything inside.

im placing a luxeon III driven by a micropuck in it, and using a switch w/resistor to create a low beam.
i dont believe heatsinking will be a concern, since i have used the same combo in 2 angleheads with difficulty.
the star will be bolted to a small computer heatsink.
oh...and i can choose my optic.

i like aa bats as well, especially with step-up electronics. this allows me to use whatever i like: alkie, lithium, rechargeable, whatever.

just food for thought.

Bob
 

cy

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[ QUOTE ]
pedalinbob said:
i8 am building one, paul.

i found a cheapie ray-o-vac kid's 2xaa headlamp (aka optronics, i think) for $6. it appears to be pretty nicely made, with a clicky on the side, and decent strap. it uses o-rings throughout. plenty of room to cram everything inside.

im placing a luxeon III driven by a micropuck in it, and using a switch w/resistor to create a low beam.
i dont believe heatsinking will be a concern, since i have used the same combo in 2 angleheads with difficulty.
the star will be bolted to a small computer heatsink.
oh...and i can choose my optic.

i like aa bats as well, especially with step-up electronics. this allows me to use whatever i like: alkie, lithium, rechargeable, whatever.

just food for thought.

Bob

[/ QUOTE ]

bob, I've got a kids ray-o-vac $6 wally spl sitting right here thinking of the same thing.

but I'm waiting for Lamda's new bi-pin led for $10. 35+ hours of runtime at brightness better than TNC N-cell.

should require almost no mod to install. I just did the $12 version of same light by dropping a TWOK star.

the bi-pin led will drop right in there too. ray-o-vac ez headlamp mod
 

Flying Turtle

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I kind of like my Tracer headlamp. It does a nice job for only one batt and two LEDs. Warning, it is far from waterproof. It is the smallest and lightest out there except for those lights using button batteries. I happened to find mine on sale at REI for $16. Just checked their site and it's gone. This one could be a discontinued light since Gerber's takeover of CMG.

Geoff
 
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