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Thread: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

  1. #1

    Default Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    Hi all,
    Was looking for a flashlight and stumbled on CPF. Read as much as I could but still have some doubts. Can you guys please help me ?

    I need a small flashlight :
    - preferrably LED, that I will be carrying mostly in my backpack but sometimes in a pocket.
    - I will be using it mainly for short distances ( less than about 25 feet, indoors ).
    - Would like a flashlight that takes non-rechargeable 1 x AA cells.
    - Reasonably priced, say less than $25.

    Based on what I have read here and elsewhere, I have narrowed down my choice to the Ultrafire C3 1 x AA single mode, Ultrafire C3 SS and the Romisen RC-G2.
    1) Have I made the right choices ? Should I consider the multi mode C3 ?
    2) I included both the SS and Alu models of the C3 because from what I understand heat adversely affects LED modules. Alu is a pretty good conductor of heat while SS is a rather bad conductor. What are the implications of using SS rather than Alu ?
    3) Which of the three is the most efficient using non-rechargeable AA cells ?
    4) How's the build quality of the Alu Ultrafire C3 today ?
    5) Do I really need a Cree XR-E ? Or will the older 5mm LEDs do ?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by cpf; 03-24-2008 at 09:20 AM.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    By non-rechargeable AA, are you talking about alkaline or L91 lithium (e2 Energizer lithium)?

    If you are talking about alkaline, you are VERY limited for 1xAA lights. Most of the bright ones have a somewhat high power requirement, which alkaline simply cannot meet. If you are ok with a dim, but useful output of somewhere between 3-10 lumens, there are several 5mm lights which offer that with relatively long runtimes.

    If you are ok with using L91's, you can go with a high power light, and your choices are endless. To that end, I would recommend a 3-5 mode light in this category.

    SS vs Aluminum, the heat issue isn't much of an issue with the type of lights you are looking at. Between those two, it's more of an issue of weight (SS is MUCH heavier, which can be important for pocket carry), and how the light wears. SS will not show much wear. HA-III aluminum lights will look ok for a long while, and Type-II anodized aluminum lights (like the Ultafire) will show wear quickly. How they look is purely aesthetic, and only matters to you, and affect function in no way.

    Also,

  3. #3
    Flashaholic Abumustafa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    Hope you find what your looking for But Marduke is spot on with the advice i would have the same advice for you
    ""The Candle Is Not There To Iluminate It Self""

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    HI,

    I have bought the ultrafire C3 with 2 AA extension tube from DX http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.7938
    It can work with one AA and very nice looking

    See the review of this flashlight here (very fresh measures !) http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=192893

    I must say that it is my my first Cree XRE flashlight ans that I am very pleased with it !

    JP

  5. #5
    Flashaholic john46268's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    If you can squeeze out a few more bucks, the LumaPower LM31 is a very nice light. It will run happily on a plain old energizer AA and is very bright with also a nice low low. It runs $31 plus shipping here:
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/lumapower-lm301.html
    It's compact and has a simple clickie switch on the tail end.

    Happy Hunting!
    Are you still here? The message is over. Shoo! Go away!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* LEDninja's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    Alkalines do not do well in todays high powered lights.
    I can not find a runtime graph for the C3 so I'll use the Fenix L1T to illustrate.
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=177886

    First look at the output on high.
    The alkaline curve starts dropping from the 1st minute and is useless in 32 minutes. The other batteries stay at full power for over 1.5 hours.

    Now look at the output on low.
    All 3 battery types stay at the same level for extended levels.
    Low on the L1T is not bad. Useful to 15 feet (that is the longest straight distance in my flat). Can still probably identify objects out to 30+ feet.

    So if you are going to use alkalines or super heavy duty batteries I would recommend a multimode light that starts with low or medium.

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    Found the NiMH and Alkaline runtimes for the C3
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/....php?p=2207113

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    If you're really really looking for alkaline and backpacking use, you might consider a light designed specifically for that. The Gerber Infinity Ultra is long running, usefully bright for low light conditions (but nowhere near the C3, etc. lights), really tough, and (I think) reliable. 10 hours near initial brightness and a bunch of slowly dimming hours after that on an alky AA. Best price is $13 shipped including a free Gerber knife here. See posts #23 and #29 of this thread which explain the free shipping.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    free international shipping ?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Marduke View Post
    Found the NiMH and Alkaline runtimes for the C3
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/....php?p=2207113
    I have the multi mode Ultrafire C3

    I must say that its ability to run either with 1 AA or 2 AAs is a real plus

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Lite_me's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    cpf, how'd you come up with that handle!?
    "People don't plan to fail, they fail to plan."

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    1. I'd also include the MTE Seoul.
    2. SS looks better and feels heavier.
    3. The C3 might be better then the RC-G2
    4. From what I've read, decent.
    5. They are more efficient then the normal 5mm LED, and can produce more output. A light with a high and low mode could work better.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    I had a Dorcy AA light that lasted 1 night and the switch failed on me.

    I also have an Inova X1 that I really, really like. There have been 3 versions of that light, and mine is the second so you might have to look for it. Its quality is good, output is good....and I love the look of it. Its an attractive light !! I picked it up for under $20 at Target.
    Greg

  14. #14
    Flashaholic Alero's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    At Target, the X1 in silver is on sale for 13 bucks right now at most locations. But for 2 dollars more ($22) than the X1, I like the River Rock. It's got better electronics to me.

    Romisen RC-G2 is an awesome little light for the price too, but I haven't tested with Alkalines.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    Thanks, everyone. Guess I wasn't too clear in the OP. When I said "I will be carrying mostly in my backpack" I meant a (small) backpack that I carry everywhere. Most of the time I will be using the flashlight indoors - when I'm fixing things or when there is a power cut. I should have mentioned this in the first post.

    I will have to consider rechargeables I suppose. Maybe with the SS C3 - wish there was a two mode SS C3 model.

    When I said "Do I really need a Cree XR-E ?" what I meant was : are Cree XR-Es the right choice for close-up work ( eg. repairing a PC ), or are they too bright ?

    Thanks again, CPF members have been very helpful and pleasant.

  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    Quote Originally Posted by cpf View Post

    When I said "Do I really need a Cree XR-E ?" what I meant was : are Cree XR-Es the right choice for close-up work ( eg. repairing a PC ), or are they too bright ?


    It can be too bright, but you can also run it much dimmer. LED's are actually more efficient the lower you run them, and don't turn ugly yellow like incans do. That's the whole idea of having multiple modes. You can run a light at full brightness if needed, or much dimmer for much longer runtime also.

    Do you happen wear a baseball cap? If so, I highly recommend a AAA light like the LOD, which can be clipped to the brim and used like a headlamp for hands free. Also, it has modes to select the "just right" level of brightness you need.

  17. #17
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    The UJC B-6 might work. Two mode, high-low-off. I've also heard quality feels good(you might have to tighten the tailcap retaining ring though).

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    https://www.kaidomain.com/WEBUI/Prod...px?TranID=3956

    My suggestion. The low mode will save batteries and your night vision when you don't need super bright light. The glow in the dark tail cap is surprisingly useful. In pitch black it glows all night so the light is easy to find.

  19. #19
    Enlightened razor7's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    I would also recommend the Inova X1. I use mine a lot as it is enough light for most general tasks. And it works well with alkalines, although I use L91's in mine.

    My absolute favorite single AA light is my PEAK Kilimanjaro UP. I almost always have this light with me, and it is just right for most conditions that require needing a light. It is fairly inexpensive at $35, and also works well with alkalines. PEAK lights are extremely well made, and very durable and dependable.

    http://www.peakledsolutions.net/Prod...o_HA_1LED.html


    Quote Originally Posted by Alero View Post
    At Target, the X1 in silver is on sale for 13 bucks right now at most locations. But for 2 dollars more ($22) than the X1, I like the River Rock. It's got better electronics to me.

    Romisen RC-G2 is an awesome little light for the price too, but I haven't tested with Alkalines.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    Going to wait and think for some time.

    What I would have really liked is the RC-G2 with a low mode. Went thru the entire "Romisen MXDL RC-G2 Cree experience?" thread hoping to find a mod that would give me a low power ( and high efficiency ) mode. Isn't there a market for such ( good built quality and low power )flashlights ?

    btw, why doesn't the Romisen web site http://www.szromisen.com/ok_en.asp list the RC-G2 ?

  21. #21

    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    I have most of the lights you mentioned and they're all decent lights. The RC-G2 doesn't have as much OVERALL brightness as the C3's...it is using an older p2 Cree and is more of a thrower with a tight beam.

    I'd highly recommend the Stainless C3...it's very well made and the regulation seems very good. It's also hefty and feels/looks expensive. But it may be too heavy as an EDC and it's single mode so may be too bright for close up work.

    From your list... the Ultrafire 5-mode C3 may be a good pick...the strobe modes can be annoying but you might find a use for them (bike light?). I have two of them and one of them has a very dim low mode which is useful...it starts on Medium, High, Low, Strobe, SOS. The other one I recently received seems to have a different driver and starts at High, Medium, Low, Strobe, SOS...this one is no good as the high, medium, and low modes are very similar with little noticeable difference.

    Build quality has been unpredictable lately. It's just luck of the draw but if you get the right one, it can be useful for you. I'd opt for the version that offers a 2xAA extension option...it'll come in handy and the 5-mode is much brighter with 2xAA. Also, not sure if this means anything, but the 5-mode C3 I ordered with the 2xAA extension had the better driver....the one with the less desirable driver was received when I ordered the 1xAA 5-mode C3.

    Another great, cheap 1xAA light for your application would be the MTE 5-mode Rebel 100...it's got a Rebel led so you'll get better color rendition, it's a lot lighter (weight) for EDC, it's got last mode memory, and it's well built for around $18...http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.6162.
    Last edited by phreeflow; 03-25-2008 at 04:07 AM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    Thanks. One more option.

    I'll wait awhile. Getting more and more interested in LED flashlights. Expect a few noobish questions in the next few days.

    Still hoping for a low power RC-G2 ( or equivalent ).

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    as john said above, check out the lumapower LM31, great light,especially for only $31 bucks at batteryjunction.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic geek4christ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Saiga View Post
    as john said above, check out the lumapower LM31, great light,especially for only $31 bucks at batteryjunction.
    I agree.

    No-nonsense with just a low and high and the beam is nice and floody with the SSC P4.
    -Forrest

  25. #25

    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    How's this : "JetBeam C-LE Cree 1xAA Flashlight"

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.2095

    http://www.kaidomain.com/WEBUI/Produ...px?TranID=4201

    - Manufacturer's lumens ratings:
    - Low light mode: 20 lumens (10 hours to reach 50% light)

    - Medium light mode: 40 lumens (3 hours to reach 50% light)
    - High light mode: 80 lumens (1 hour to reach 50% light)

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    Hi,

    I have a couple of questions about your 5-mode C3.

    1) Does the tailcap button work well switch modes?
    2) I assumed you ordered from DX, did it come with a holster?

    I already have a L2D and a RC-G2. C3 with extension tube seems to be a duplicate of these two lights (other than the RC-g2 has more throw like you mentioned.). But I do want a cheap 2AA to throw around in the car.

    Is the C3 with 1AA a more useable like for camping and hiking you think??

    Sorry, more than a couple of questions! haha

    Quote Originally Posted by phreeflow View Post
    I have most of the lights you mentioned and they're all decent lights. The RC-G2 doesn't have as much OVERALL brightness as the C3's...it is using an older p2 Cree and is more of a thrower with a tight beam.

    I'd highly recommend the Stainless C3...it's very well made and the regulation seems very good. It's also hefty and feels/looks expensive. But it may be too heavy as an EDC and it's single mode so may be too bright for close up work.

    From your list... the Ultrafire 5-mode C3 may be a good pick...the strobe modes can be annoying but you might find a use for them (bike light?). I have two of them and one of them has a very dim low mode which is useful...it starts on Medium, High, Low, Strobe, SOS. The other one I recently received seems to have a different driver and starts at High, Medium, Low, Strobe, SOS...this one is no good as the high, medium, and low modes are very similar with little noticeable difference.

    Build quality has been unpredictable lately. It's just luck of the draw but if you get the right one, it can be useful for you. I'd opt for the version that offers a 2xAA extension option...it'll come in handy and the 5-mode is much brighter with 2xAA. Also, not sure if this means anything, but the 5-mode C3 I ordered with the 2xAA extension had the better driver....the one with the less desirable driver was received when I ordered the 1xAA 5-mode C3.

    Another great, cheap 1xAA light for your application would be the MTE 5-mode Rebel 100...it's got a Rebel led so you'll get better color rendition, it's a lot lighter (weight) for EDC, it's got last mode memory, and it's well built for around $18...http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.6162.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Centropolis View Post
    Hi,

    I have a couple of questions about your 5-mode C3.

    1) Does the tailcap button work well switch modes?
    2) I assumed you ordered from DX, did it come with a holster?

    I already have a L2D and a RC-G2. C3 with extension tube seems to be a duplicate of these two lights (other than the RC-g2 has more throw like you mentioned.). But I do want a cheap 2AA to throw around in the car.

    Is the C3 with 1AA a more useable like for camping and hiking you think??

    Sorry, more than a couple of questions! haha
    Hi,
    1) the tailcap is no better or worse than most DX lights and works fine when switching modes. Just a half-press and I'm onto the next mode. I usually open up the tailcap and install a new GITD or Orange Tailcap from DX http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5498 and cut the inner stem to the right length so the action is a lot better. I do this with all my lights since most of them aren't as responsive as they are once the tailcap has been adjusted/fitted correctly.

    2) The 2xAA C3 does not come with a holster but you can get one for $1.37...this one fits http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5264

    If you want a decent 2xAA light, the 5-mode C3 will do the job. If you don't like modes, go with the Ultrafire 606A...this one is also built well and bright http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4238

    Not sure what you mean by more "useable" for camping but if you want a cheap 1xAA light, I don't think you'd be disappointed with the new Stainless Steel Ultrafire C3...it's built well, bright, and the regulation is good. http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.11133
    Last edited by phreeflow; 03-27-2008 at 03:02 AM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    Quote Originally Posted by phreeflow View Post

    Not sure what you mean by more "useable" for camping but if you want a cheap 1xAA light, I don't think you'd be disappointed with the new Stainless Steel Ultrafire C3...it's built well, bright, and the regulation is good. http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.11133
    It seems like this light has only 1 mode.

    So how long does it run on a 2000mAh NiMH-battery?


  29. #29

    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    Sorry for bumping this thread - just ordered the SS UF C3 which I will be using with Eneloops. Hope I've made the right choice and I can remove the "Should be" from my sig.

    Thanks everyone.
    Ultrafire C3 Stainless Steel P4 1xAA 1xMode = .
    Sanyo Eneloop + Soshine SC-C3 .

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Help me select a 1 x AA flashlight ...

    That's a good light, I've got one of the SS and a old aluminum one. If it's too bright for working inside a computer, you might try this one.
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.10688
    The jetbeam you were looking at has been out of stock for a while, I've got several to compare to and this DX light is brighter with more spill and better tint. Pulls about 830 ma on high so it should last almost as long as the CL-E. Has a pretty useful low mode that would do well at close range in a computer box. At this price point, I think it's a CL-E killer.
    Build quality of this light is much better than the 5 mode Rebel 100 MTE too.

    If you want a really nice light, see if you can find a Rexlight 2.1 build 0002 on B/S/T. Then add a JetBeam AA extension for a nice, bright all around light.

    Eneloops are good. The Duracell PreCharged are too.

    Welcome to the collecting flashlight addiction.


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