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Thread: Best single AA flashlight?

  1. #1

    Default Best single AA flashlight?

    I have a surefire backup that i use for work now. i love everything about it except for the batteries. I go through them so fast and my company doesnt pay for them but they will pay for AA batteries. So what light do you think would best replace my surefire?im looking for something with a good amount of output because im in dark tanks a lot.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* hiuintahs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Well, when you say best, for me that is a combination of efficiency (best run time output per battery), beam pattern & tint, cost and mode spacing.

    There are a number of choices out there. Since I've got the Olight i2, Olight T15, Fenix LD15 and EagleTac D25A mini. I'd say the best one I have is the D25A. See my post a few days ago on run times comparing these flashlights.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Check out the JETBeam RRT-0 (550 lumens) or JETBeam PA10 (650 lumens), both run on a single AA and are very good quality

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    I am nowhere near the level of most on this forum, but after having the new sunwayman v10a xm-l, I can't imagine it wouldn't be in the mix for best single aa flashlight.

    I think it is great with aa's, but I finally broke down and got some 14500s. I don't think I will go back. I don't think I can go back, lol.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    There probably is no "best" single-AA flashlight, just the one that best fits your needs. The most technically capable overall in terms of output that I'm familiar with would be the ZebraLight SC51 series and the ThruNite Neutron 1A. The SC51 has a side switch (electronic type, like a mouse button), which some people prefer, while the 1A has a tail switch (reverse clicky with no momentary-on, unlike your Surefire Backup). If you prefer the same type of configuration and switch that you're using now (forward clicky tail switch), then the 4Sevens Quark AA Tactical is one good option, although you'll give up some output with it, especially if you're going to use alkaline cells (not recommended but could be workable with the SC51).

    Clearly we need more information. For starters, do you have any preferences with regard to switch type and location? Would your employer pop for lithium AA cells, rechargeable AA cells, or just alkalines? And how about the beam pattern? Do you like the one on your E1B, or would you prefer something different (and in what way)? Tint is yet another consideration. Are you happy with cool white, or would you prefer something warmer in tint (i.e. closer to incandescent flashlights)?
    Last edited by GaAslamp; 12-20-2011 at 12:55 PM.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    If I were you I'd invest in some rechargeable batteries for your surefire, and just stick with that. You could get a few RCR123 Li-ion rechargeables like "AW" brand RCR123's & a good charger. Keep a few charged & ready each day, and you'd be set. Li-ion batteries have great runtimes. But that suggestion is a little on the boring side because it's always more fun to buy a new light right??

    My favorite single AA light by far is what I edc. It's a Quark AA. Now, the quark AA is not that bright on alkaline batteries, but it is very bright if you use a 14500 Li-ion rechargeable battery. If you do not want to go that route, and just want to stick with alkaline batteries since you can get em for free then I'd recommend a 2 X AA light like the Quark X AA2. It performs great on alkaline batteries producing 280 lumens. It has a nice floody beam with the new XM-L LED in it with great runtimes. There are two UI's to choose from - Tactical or Regular. The Tactical UI has high (head tight) and low (head loose), and you get to program both outputs...very easy. Or, you can get the Regular UI where you cycle through all the settings. Both are great. Check em out.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* pobox1475's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?


  8. #8
    Flashaholic* mcnair55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    That is like how long is a piece of string.I have a perfectly good £5 AA light and a perfectly good £50 AA light.Both shine the way for me,both aid me in dark places,pay your money and take your pick.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by twicksisted View Post
    Check out the JETBeam RRT-0 (550 lumens) or JETBeam PA10 (650 lumens), both run on a single AA and are very good quality
    Those are fine options, but I doubt that 550/650 lumens is achievable with the usual types of AA cells. Maybe a 14500, but I'm reluctant to recommend lithium-ion rechargeables to anybody but experienced and knowledgeable people in these areas.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    I second the suggestion for you to switch to rechargeables.

    There are a lot of good options for lights... but my suggestion would be:

    Xeno E03 XM-L
    Compact, good knurling, pocketable, very floody/broad light output

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* pobox1475's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by GaAslamp View Post
    I'm reluctant to recommend lithium-ion rechargeables to anybody but experienced and knowledgeable people in these areas.
    Why is this? With a good (Pila IBC) charger, quality cells, basic multimeter, and a little common sense these products are fine to use. I have been using 14500, RCR123, 17670, & 18650 protected AW cells for a few years with no issue.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Zebralight SC51W or Fenix LD10.
    We mostly come out at night...mostly

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* mcnair55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by GaAslamp View Post
    Those are fine options, but I doubt that 550/650 lumens is achievable with the usual types of AA cells. Maybe a 14500, but I'm reluctant to recommend lithium-ion rechargeables to anybody but experienced and knowledgeable people in these areas.
    I cannot see your problem in recommending those batteries.Joe Public gets them in a decent cordless drill-Led inspection lights etc etc.I wonder if lights will ever use Lithium-ion polymer batteries.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Best single AA flashlight?

    We always have to consider Quark AA (e.g. with XML head or not, doesnt matter if you run 1x Alkaline).

  15. #15
    Flashaholic yoyobrotha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    I have many single AA lights (Zebra SC51, Fenix LD15, LD10, L1D, Quark Mini AA) and I enjoy my Nitecore EZ AA best for EDC, nice white CREE R5 LED with adjustable brightness. Can also be found for $30.

    http://www.batteryjunction.com/nitecore-ezaa-q5.html
    Fenix TK50,TK41,TK40,L2D,L1D,L0D,LD01,LD41,LD20,LD15,LD1 0,LD05,HP10,HP15|ZebraLight SC51,SC62w,SC600w,SC600Fd,SC64c LE,SC700d,SC53Fc|EagleTac D25A,D25A2,MX25L3C,T25C2,D25LC2|Nitecore TM16,EAX,MT1A,MT2A,EZ AA,IFD2,T5s,D4|47's Mini AA,AA²,"X"AA²,Pro QPA| List of Lights

  16. #16

    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by yoyobrotha View Post
    I have many single AA lights (Zebra SC51, Fenix LD15, LD10, L1D, Quark Mini AA) and I enjoy my Nitecore EZ AA best for EDC, nice white CREE R5 LED with adjustable brightness. Can also be found for $30.
    You mean that cheap just today and tomorrow
    I have never seen it that low before.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    I'd have to say the Quark X Tactical AA2. The user interface gives you many different options.

  18. #18
    Administrator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    I'm not an expert on 1xAA flashlights by any means, but I'm gifting a Fenix LD15 1xAA this Christmas and gave it some runtime first. Seemed like a pretty good light at a very good price online.

    However, while I am an advocate for LiIon rechargeables, I would personally discourage their use in the OP's SF E1B. There are numerous reports on CPF regarding issues related to flashing/strobing with this setup. Many SureFire lights do quite well on LiIons, but AFAIK, the E1B isn't one of them.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by pobox1475 View Post
    Why is this? With a good (Pila IBC) charger, quality cells, basic multimeter, and a little common sense these products are fine to use. I have been using 14500, RCR123, 17670, & 18650 protected AW cells for a few years with no issue.
    If you're an enthusiast who bothers to learn and follow all of the basic safety precautions, then I guess it's fine. I'm just saying that I don't recommend Li-ion batteries for flashlights right off the bat in a public forum that everybody can read. If you feel differently, then you're free to recommend them, but then I (or hopefully somebody else) will come along with a warning about Li-ion batteries.

    Quote Originally Posted by mcnair55 View Post
    I cannot see your problem in recommending those batteries.Joe Public gets them in a decent cordless drill-Led inspection lights etc etc.
    In such cases people are using specific batteries designed for specific devices with specific chargers, and even then sometimes things can go wrong (yes, I'm wary of my own cell phone and flashlights). All types of batteries can fail, but lithium batteries tend to fail more spectacularly than others, and are at their most spectacular when sealed tightly inside the strong bodies of some flashlights (think pipe bombs). I guess I could make specific recommendations that should be safe, but I have no idea whether people will follow every one of them, and I think that potentially dangerous combinations of products are still available on the market.

    I have no problem with informing people about the benefits and risks (never the former without the latter) associated with Li-ion batteries (that's how I learned), but in a thread where somebody with relatively few posts asks about AA flashlights, it's not the first thing that springs to mind unless they expressly ask for the highest output possible in a certain form factor. If you think that my reluctance is unjustified, then that's OK--you think it's unjustified and I don't (two data points).

  20. #20

    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by ggreenjohny View Post
    I have a surefire backup that i use for work now. i love everything about it except for the batteries. I go through them so fast and my company doesnt pay for them but they will pay for AA batteries. So what light do you think would best replace my surefire?im looking for something with a good amount of output because im in dark tanks a lot.
    Quark AA's Regular or Tactical, your choice! For more output, you could run them with 14500 batteries.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by yoyobrotha View Post
    I have many single AA lights (Zebra SC51, Fenix LD15, LD10, L1D, Quark Mini AA) and I enjoy my Nitecore EZ AA best for EDC, nice white CREE R5 LED with adjustable brightness. Can also be found for $30.

    http://www.batteryjunction.com/nitecore-ezaa-q5.html
    I have the Quark high CRI Mini AA. I love the tint, but I am not a fan of the 3-mode twisty UI. The 2-mode UI of the Nitcore EZ AA seems more ideal for me. Please tell me more about that light.

    Is it the same size as the Mini AA?

    Does it have a big hot spot or a small one? Does it transition smoothly into the spill? Is the hot spot bigger than the Mini AA hot spot?

    Is the UI the "twist a little for low and twist more for high" type?

    Thanks
    EDC: ZL H52w, H502w

    The only useful tool is the one you have with you when you need it.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    I have a feeling that the EagleTac D25AM Ti will become a favorite:

    http://www.eagletac.com/html/d25ti/features/index.html




  23. #23

    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    While not new to flashlights, I've only recently admitted my "Flashaholic" status.

    For me, a great EDC must have good or at least basic One Handed operation. Because of this, I feel (for me at least) that most twistys are ruled out. Push button tailcap designs are what I like the best. And for me, I only like EDC'ing AA or AAA lights. Because while I've never not been able to find either AA or AAA batteries at the local gas station or quicky-mart, I have yet to find CR123s. And while I almost always have spare batteries in my vehicle, home, or work... $H!T HAPPENS.

    My current EDC lineup includes:
    - Quark AA (just got it last week and like it so far)
    - Fenix LD10 R5 (my primary EDC until the Quark replaced it)
    - Nitecore D10 Tribute
    - Surefire E2DL (rarely used due to battery type but it puts out a LOT of light in a pinch)

    I'm seriously thinking about adding a Sunwayman V10a to the collection.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Though it's quite obtrusive -- as the head is quite big -- if you're looking for the throwiest light that runs on a single AA nimh, check out the javelin shorty with smooth reflector. You get a whoppping 5000 lux on a single AA nimh. HOWEVER, as stated earlier, but something that needs to be restated as it's an important determinant in choosing it, it is FATTER than most single AA lights.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic Surnia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    I will follow the general recommendation: pick up some rechargeables, and if you need to switch to an AA based design go with NiMH unless you absolutely need the eye searing 500 lumens for 20 minutes.

    My recommendations would be Zebra's SC51 (any form), a Fenix single cell, or Sunwayman V10A (or V10R with AA extender!). I would NOT recommend the RRT-0 if you're running on NiMH or Alkaline, as the output is pretty abysmal (tested about 60 lumens on MAX with a NiMH). It essentially leaves anything below 3V as a last resort power source rather than a staple power source.

    Quote Originally Posted by pobox1475 View Post
    Why is this? With a good (Pila IBC) charger, quality cells, basic multimeter, and a little common sense these products are fine to use. I have been using 14500, RCR123, 17670, & 18650 protected AW cells for a few years with no issue.
    To me, that already defines a decently experienced person with knowledge that is willing to take on the dangers of a Li-Ion. From the average person's view, why would you bother to do THAT much for a battery when an alkaline/NiMH will do similar with no hassle (or just popping it in a charger)? The chase for higher lumens and longer run times doesn't run parallel to people who can just pop into a local costco and buy a 50 pack of alkalines for probably less than two Li-Ion Cells (with shipping =p). Heck our Eneloops/Duraloops BARELY sell while alkalines fly off the shelves.

    And from my experience in retail, common sense isn't common. So much... unintelligent activity from the masses, you realize how dangerous something might be to them. I can guarantee with a multi-cell device there's a good portion of people who ignore the little warnings on alkalines that say "do not mix new and old batteries".
    My tiny collection
    Zebralight: SC5 OP, H502d || NiteCore: D10 R2 Tribute || JetBeam: RRT-0 XM-L || L3 Illumination: L10 Nichia 219

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    I'd recommend V10A(XM-L or XP-G R5 version), M10A(XM-L or XP-G R5) if you want head magnetic control ring for changing the brightness level.
    If you need a clicky switch head lamp, check out Zebra H51W as well. All has orange peel reflector.
    I assume it's sufficient for you to use the light has 100~200 lumens output in the dark tanks.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Samy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Ive got the Zebralight SC51 and the 4Sevens Quark Tactical AA and i would prefer the Quark for work because although less bright it's UI is better suited for work.

    cheers

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Outdoorsman5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Samy View Post
    Ive got the Zebralight SC51 and the 4Sevens Quark Tactical AA and i would prefer the Quark for work because although less bright it's UI is better suited for work.

    cheers
    Hey Samy, get a 14500 Li-ion rechargeable battery & a good charger, and your Quark AA will be brighter than your ZL SC51. Runtimes will be great too. My tests with a Quark AA with the R5 LED runnin on an AW brand 14500 are as follows - Max (48 min), High (150 min), Med (11 hrs), Low (50 hrs), and I did not test moonlight.

    I got my 14500's (AW brand) & charger over at 4sevens.com. If you go this route you will enjoy your quark more....I sure do, but you will need to read up on how to properly handle Li-ion batteries (as mentioned above.) It's very simple, but there are some things you will need to know. Here's the short list, and it is not as complicated as this all sounds:

    - Get a voltage meter (cheap at Walmart), so you can monitor your batteries.
    - Don't overcharge them. The max voltage should be 4.2v, and a good charger should stop at or below that point. Check voltage after each charge, and be wary of a battery that has gone much over 4.2v or will not charged up to full capacity.
    - Don't leave Li-ion batteries in their charger for extended periods of time. If they over charge they can go "poof"...not good. Good chargers like a "Pila" cut off when the cell is full, but as a practice don't leave em in the charger.
    - Don't run them dead very often. If voltage drops too low it could over time permanently damage the cell; however, lots of lights have an automatic cutoff point which are designed to protect your battery. Some lights do not have this feature, and it's up to you to know. Just make sure the voltage doesn't drop below 2.7v if you can help it. Others feel that 3.0v is a better floor over the long haul.
    - Throw the battery away if it has remained under 2v for more than a week.
    - Don't store Li-ion batteries with a voltage over 4.1v for extended periods of time. This shortens their life. For long-term storage it is ideal to store them at 40% capacity which is around 3.75v. If you know you'll be using the battery from time to time then don't worry about this, but if you have spare bats that don't get used very often then store them at 40%. This will greatly improve the life of the cell.

    That's the majority of what I believe you need to know when handling Li-ion. There's more for sure, and you can read all about em at batteryuniversity.com

    Some may read this, and think they are not worth the trouble. They really aren't that much trouble at all. All I ever do is check voltage before & after charging them. I don't leave batteries in the charger for longer than needed, and I rarely run my batteries dead. Just follow the above guidelines, and that's all you need to do. CPF'ers, if I've missed any key points, please chime in.
    Last edited by Outdoorsman5; 12-21-2011 at 07:19 AM.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by twicksisted View Post
    Check out the JETBeam RRT-0 (550 lumens) or JETBeam PA10 (650 lumens), both run on a single AA and are very good quality
    I think the claims are a bit of a red herring tbh.

    The PA10 it seems will only offer up 650 lumens with a 14500 battery, but with only a 30 min run time and no other modes. Which to my mind makes it one of the most pointless flashlights ever, unless you simply want it to make you mates go Wow! When you demo it.

    On AA's it seems an ok light, although I don't think it offers anything that isn't available else where. Just a tad chunky and an ok'ish lumen output. Don't know about beam and tint though, but it then seems pricey compared to a 4Sevens Quark AA Regular or an EagleTac D25A. The EagleTac out performs the JETBeam and the Quark has the ability to fully support a 14500 with all modes available.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Best single AA flashlight?

    I cast my vote for EagleTac D25A.

    Hey pobox1475,

    What kind of watch is that on your avatar?

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