Why i favour AAA/AA!!

mcnair55

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As a collector i have a variety of fuel cells from watch battery type like my Nano right up to 18650.I often take the mickey of the chap who goes out with his edc and has a back up and another back up etc.

I have to have a back up if i go out with a CR123 light but if i go out with a AAA or AA cell i never bother as if all went pear shaped i can at least buy a suitable fuel cell in a shop for £1 max but with CR battery it would cost me the best part of £10.:sick2:

UK retailer [h=1]CR123 Lithium Camera 3V Battery 1 Pack....£8.49[/h]
Are these batteries expensive in your country buying off the shelf.?
 

dr. Chernobyl

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I dont like CR123s because here in Croatia they are very expensive, cost is about 8 -10 or more USD for one cell, and in Croatia average paycheck is much less than in USA for example so it is prohibitively expensive
 

kj2

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At a shopping-center nearby, they have CR123 batteries for €7,50. Online I can buy them for €1,70. Not really expensive online, but still AA's or 18650's are still better for your wallet ;)
Can get 4 eneloop's for around €8
 
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mcnair55

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At a shopping-center near, they have CR123 batteries for €7,50. Online I can buy them for €1,70. Not really expensive online, but still AA's or 18650's are still better for your wallet ;)
Can get 4 eneloop's for around €8

I buy CR123 from a battery firm near a sales call i make and he charges me £18.50 for 10 = £1.85 each Panasonic with years of life on the blister and i pay £5.99 for Eneloop online.
 

ragweed

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Here in the states I can get 8 AA Or 8AAA Panasonic cells for a buck at the local Dollar Store.
 

RetroTechie

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At a shopping-center near, they have CR123 batteries for €7,50. Online I can buy them for €1,70.
Same here elsewhere in the NL, around € 8 a pop in the nearest supermarket, bought a couple online for € 1.95 iirc. After that I got some RCR123's so battery price isn't relevant anymore when using my S10 Baton (so far my only CR123 based light).

I have to have a back up if i go out with a CR123 light but if i go out with a AAA or AA cell i never bother as if all went pear shaped i can at least buy a suitable fuel cell in a shop for £1 max but with CR battery it would cost me the best part of £10.:sick2:
Which is why (if deemed important enough) I take another light, and/or spare cells with me. Being rechargeable, I can make sure cells are fully charged before leaving, so rarely surprises there. Also price/availability is irrelevant if you need a spare battery when shops are closed. ;)
 

Seattle Sparky

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For a brief lighting task, say to find something inside a bag or walk to the bathroom at night AA or AAA, usually single cell work fine for me. Anything that requires continuous use I prefer 18650, even at moderate brightness AA drains down too quickly, especially the rechargeble ones.
 

Torpedo

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I have been getting a two pack of Surefires at Lowes for around five dollars.
 

robert.t

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I've pretty much concluded that AA is the perfect EDC size, it's just a pity there aren't many really small lights that make full use of it, other than twisties which I find to be a pain. So far I have 3, which I believe are the only small AA clickies that exist:

  • Eagletac D25A (I have the Ti version)
  • Thrunite 10S
  • Solarforce Z2
Every other AA light with a proper on/off switch is so big it might as well be a 2xCR123. In fact, the next smallest torch I have after these is the ITP A4 EOS, which is not much bigger and runs on 2xCR123. Of course, it's a twisty.

So, what's so great about them? Two things: Size and flexibility.

The Eagletac is available in two versions that nicely highlight the difference as they are basically identical apart from the battery. The D25A runs on AA, the D25C runs on CR123A.

  • Both can run on lithium primaries. The CR123 has a higher voltage, which typically means double the output for half the time.
  • Both can run on lithium ion rechargeables, in which case the capacity of the RCR123 and the 14500 is identical, so if you do this there is literally no difference between the two apart from the dimensions.
Whereas

  • Only the A version can run on Eneloops (or standard NiMH rechargeables) because these don't exist in the CR123A size.
  • Only the A version can run on cheap, readily available alkalines, because again these don't exist in the CR123A size.
The difference in size is that the A version is a bit longer, but is thinner. The C version is shorter, but fatter. Note that the proportions of the light are not as skewed as the proportions of the cells, because while the AA is about twice as long as the CR123A, both lights have the same amount of extra length dedicated to the emitter, reflector, lens, bezel, tailcap and switch. The effect on diameter is directly proportional. It's also worth remembering that volume increases with the square of the diameter, so 10% more diameter means 21% greater volume. This matters for EDC.

Personally, for throwing in a pocket I find the thinner form factor to be much more useful. For evidence that most people would agree, look at smartphones: they keep getting bigger, but also thinner. They could run for longer if they were thicker, but thickness is at a premium in a pocket. Length is not, up to a point.

As I see it, there's only one scenario where a 1xCR123A light wins out over a 1xAA light and that is if you need to run on primaries and you also need high output, but runtime maybe isn't so much of a concern (and you certainly don't care about finding cheap replacement cells in an emergency).

In the real world however, many CR123A lights are sized appropriately whereas 1xAA lights are simply the same as the CR123A equivalent, only longer. Sunwayman are a great example of this. Just look at the V11R, which has an AA extender (many others do this too). There is no dedicated AA version of this light that benefits from being thinner. Even the older VxxA variations which are AA only use exactly the same size head. Presumably this is just to save the cost of designing a thinner version - just bore the body to a different diameter and hey presto, different light!

Of course it's also possible that by adding a couple of mm diameter that the light will have better throw, but I'm not sure it makes enough of a difference to matter at this size. To get any serious throw you need a much bigger reflector, or different optics altogether (e.g., aspheric).

There is a huge difference between AA and AAA lights, largely because of the massive difference in capacity between these cells. One AAA is about 1,000 mAh whereas one AA is about 2,500 mAh - about 2.5x the runtime at the same brightness. Single AAA lights tend to be basically keyring lights, which are fine as a backup, but won't come close to matching the capabilities of something like the D25A or indeed most other single AA lights.

Multi-cell lights are a different story, but they are of course all much bigger than a single AA, often bigger than 18650 lights which are likely better, except for the availability of emergency replacement cells. Of course, by having a single AA EDC in your pocket at all times, you can avoid that problem.
 

yearnslow

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Cr123's are expensive here, like anywhere. I usually get someone to bring back a box or two of nextorch from Hennie if they visit the UK.
The only AA lights I have are an E2LAA and a Gerber recon, but I've recently found a shop where I can buy 2 Lithium AA's for around £1.00, 2023 expiry.
Well, at least until somebody realises they've been priced wrongly. :)
I bought 16 last time I went shopping.
 

Loed7984

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I try to avoid the cr123 'cause even in Italy there are very expensive, up to 10 dollars in certain shops... I still prefer 18650 or a and aa size.
 

ven

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I use pretty much all flavours,from 10180 up to 26650,AA i use in work for size(fits in pocket very easy) ease/free supply.Also use AAA but not just in single format like the i3s,also in 4x AAA in t7.2.
AA i have a few of,fav 2 right now
d25a,runs on eneloop or 14500 KeepPower of which the latter i prefer(note to robert t it works great on a 3.7v 14500 cell).Keeps all low modes,takes a couple of minutes to start getting warm in the high,but medium is enough to use.......and wont run hot after time.Eneloop for when Callum uses(young one)


Also t10s,this is my work light just fed on Duracell AA and cells get changed every other day or so(at least once a week with a min of exp 2019 date)


My AAAs


Nitecore T0 is well built,bit too smooth feel,slight rough around head feel and can transform night to day as long as it is a cupboard :laughing: 12lm but ok for close stuff,Callum has it as his edc.
The bosses eos for car keys


Crelant v11a runs on AA or 14500,would say an ok light,nothing special..........just ok


In UK bonus of AA or AAA(C and D cell too) is that pretty much any corner shops to large stores sell them in case of emergency use.
I see less cr123 for example but i am starting to get in to the 123/16340 size more ,i like the compact short form factor and options of 3.7v,even better if supports AA/14500/16340/CR123 like the v11r with ext kit(lots of options for fuel)

Edit-Just to add if need arises too,AA or AAA can be pinched from many other applications such as toys/remote controls, although this has never happened as have many rechargeable cells...
 
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mcnair55

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Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
4,448
Location
North Wales UK
I've pretty much concluded that AA is the perfect EDC size, it's just a pity there aren't many really small lights that make full use of it, other than twisties which I find to be a pain. So far I have 3, which I believe are the only small AA clickies that exist:

  • Eagletac D25A (I have the Ti version)
  • Thrunite 10S
  • Solarforce Z2
Every other AA light with a proper on/off switch is so big it might as well be a 2xCR123. In fact, the next smallest torch I have after these is the ITP A4 EOS, which is not much bigger and runs on 2xCR123. Of course, it's a twisty.

So, what's so great about them? Two things: Size and flexibility.

The Eagletac is available in two versions that nicely highlight the difference as they are basically identical apart from the battery. The D25A runs on AA, the D25C runs on CR123A.

  • Both can run on lithium primaries. The CR123 has a higher voltage, which typically means double the output for half the time.
  • Both can run on lithium ion rechargeables, in which case the capacity of the RCR123 and the 14500 is identical, so if you do this there is literally no difference between the two apart from the dimensions.
Whereas

  • Only the A version can run on Eneloops (or standard NiMH rechargeables) because these don't exist in the CR123A size.
  • Only the A version can run on cheap, readily available alkalines, because again these don't exist in the CR123A size.
The difference in size is that the A version is a bit longer, but is thinner. The C version is shorter, but fatter. Note that the proportions of the light are not as skewed as the proportions of the cells, because while the AA is about twice as long as the CR123A, both lights have the same amount of extra length dedicated to the emitter, reflector, lens, bezel, tailcap and switch. The effect on diameter is directly proportional. It's also worth remembering that volume increases with the square of the diameter, so 10% more diameter means 21% greater volume. This matters for EDC.

Personally, for throwing in a pocket I find the thinner form factor to be much more useful. For evidence that most people would agree, look at smartphones: they keep getting bigger, but also thinner. They could run for longer if they were thicker, but thickness is at a premium in a pocket. Length is not, up to a point.

As I see it, there's only one scenario where a 1xCR123A light wins out over a 1xAA light and that is if you need to run on primaries and you also need high output, but runtime maybe isn't so much of a concern (and you certainly don't care about finding cheap replacement cells in an emergency).

In the real world however, many CR123A lights are sized appropriately whereas 1xAA lights are simply the same as the CR123A equivalent, only longer. Sunwayman are a great example of this. Just look at the V11R, which has an AA extender (many others do this too). There is no dedicated AA version of this light that benefits from being thinner. Even the older VxxA variations which are AA only use exactly the same size head. Presumably this is just to save the cost of designing a thinner version - just bore the body to a different diameter and hey presto, different light!

Of course it's also possible that by adding a couple of mm diameter that the light will have better throw, but I'm not sure it makes enough of a difference to matter at this size. To get any serious throw you need a much bigger reflector, or different optics altogether (e.g., aspheric).

There is a huge difference between AA and AAA lights, largely because of the massive difference in capacity between these cells. One AAA is about 1,000 mAh whereas one AA is about 2,500 mAh - about 2.5x the runtime at the same brightness. Single AAA lights tend to be basically keyring lights, which are fine as a backup, but won't come close to matching the capabilities of something like the D25A or indeed most other single AA lights.

Multi-cell lights are a different story, but they are of course all much bigger than a single AA, often bigger than 18650 lights which are likely better, except for the availability of emergency replacement cells. Of course, by having a single AA EDC in your pocket at all times, you can avoid that problem.

Excellent read that Robert.

I use pretty much all flavours,from 10180 up to 26650,AA i use in work for size(fits in pocket very easy) ease/free supply.Also use AAA but not just in single format like the i3s,also in 4x AAA in t7.2.
AA i have a few of,fav 2 right now
d25a,runs on eneloop or 14500 KeepPower of which the latter i prefer(note to robert t it works great on a 3.7v 14500 cell).Keeps all low modes,takes a couple of minutes to start getting warm in the high,but medium is enough to use.......and wont run hot after time.Eneloop for when Callum uses(young one)


Also t10s,this is my work light just fed on Duracell AA and cells get changed every other day or so(at least once a week with a min of exp 2019 date)


My AAAs


Nitecore T0 is well built,bit too smooth feel,slight rough around head feel and can transform night to day as long as it is a cupboard :laughing: 12lm but ok for close stuff,Callum has it as his edc.
The bosses eos for car keys


Crelant v11a runs on AA or 14500,would say an ok light,nothing special..........just ok


In UK bonus of AA or AAA(C and D cell too) is that pretty much any corner shops to large stores sell them in case of emergency use.
I see less cr123 for example but i am starting to get in to the 123/16340 size more ,i like the compact short form factor and options of 3.7v,even better if supports AA/14500/16340/CR123 like the v11r with ext kit(lots of options for fuel)

Edit-Just to add if need arises too,AA or AAA can be pinched from many other applications such as toys/remote controls, although this has never happened as have many rechargeable cells...

Mr Ven,

I popped into Muppet land (Maplins) on Saturday and bought 2 x CR123 rechargeable in 3v and a charger.
 

ven

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:laughing: muppet land i try and avoid maplins(nearest one is around 6 mile away) as i tend to walk out with stuff that i dont really need :laughing:

Have a look at the sunwayman v11r with extension kit(off top of head example),this would run all your cells,very flexible on fuel, so a versatile light.
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...3A-1xAA-14500)-Review-RUNTIMES-VIDEO-BEAMSHOT
Also keep your AA cells happy too;)
 

reppans

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d25a,runs on eneloop or 14500 KeepPower of which the latter i prefer(note to robert t it works great on a 3.7v 14500 cell).Keeps all low modes,....

Just to be clear, the '13 and '14 D25As do retain distinct L/M/H levels on 14500s, but they all shift ~5x brighter than spec (I have a lightbox). Course, that's fine for many people, but I much prefer having my low lows. This is from ETs spec sheet:

Using 4.2V li-ion direct drives the LED.....During direct drive, output at low and medium mode will be higher than normal.

Moonlight mode is not well regulated either - on all my versions, output drops by half to two-thirds, and with PWM-like behavior when <1.3v (typical Eneloop voltage). I really love its half-lumen moonlight mode, esp from the N219 version, but the only cell that can consistently produce it is an L91.
 

Treeguy

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I try to avoid the cr123 'cause even in Italy there are very expensive, up to 10 dollars in certain shops... I still prefer 18650 or a and aa size.

At most stores around here CR123s will cost at least $7.50 each, sometimes $10. But a hunting and fishing store in Montreal has Duracell CR123s for $2.50 each. That`s a price I can live with.

But I still prefer AAs. Budget AAs are almost free. Good AAs can be had for $1 each, more or less. Lithium run about $4 each.
 

Etsu

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I've never understood why people claim they like CR123 because it lasts so long. Sure, it may have twice the energy of an Eneloop AA, but unless you throw it away after every use and always use a fresh battery, chances are it's going to be significantly depleted when you need to use your flashlight for awhile. So the greater initial energy is completely negated by the fact that I always have a freshly recharged Eneloop in my lights. If you use a rechargeable CR123, then it has less energy than an Eneloop, so there's no benefit there (other than higher voltage, which you can get from a 14500 if you need it).

CR123 just seems like a money-waster to me.
 

reppans

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After 14500s, which I use day-to-day, 3v CRAA lithium primaries (same as CR123s) are my favorite cell for off-grid camping and travel, and are $1.50 online. I like that they can also be used to power any of my other 2xAA camping/travel/emergency gadgets with a DIY dummy cell. Not many lights can use them though, and the batt supply is a monopoly. I don't really have much in the CR123/18650 format as I greatly prefer batt. commonality w/ my other gadgets and the broad available of the AA chemistries.
 

beamis

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For a brief lighting task, say to find something inside a bag or walk to the bathroom at night AA or AAA, usually single cell work fine for me. Anything that requires continuous use I prefer 18650, even at moderate brightness AA drains down too quickly, especially the rechargeble ones.

200 lumens for almost two hours is too short for an EDC light? Rechargeables will outlast alkalines by a long shot in all flashlights. Are you from 1950?
 

wjv

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I buy CR123s from two sources:
- on-line for ~$1.25 including shipping
- At gun shows/craft shows for $1.00 each (10 pack for $10)

My EDC and home and Get-Home-Bag lights are all 1xAA or 2xAA lights. They are quite sufficient for those purposes. My larger 18650 light are more for special purpose. Don't care much for AAA lights.

I have a couple 1xAA lights and I use to use them for EDC, but once I got my Eagletac D25A clicky tehy got put into storage. Not because they are CR123, but because the D25A can provide 6 lighting levels

0.45, 4, 9, 20, 68, 90 plus a 110 lumen "turbo" mode for 200 seconds all in a NW tint.

So I can go from nightlight, to survival light to task light to walk the dog light from one simple AA light with great run times. As for carrying spares, between CR123s and AA cells, it's pretty much a wash.

However if I was searching for a lost pet or a child, then I'd pull out the 18650 lights.
 
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