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Thread: Some recent small 1xAA lights (updated)

  1. #1

    Default Some recent small 1xAA lights (updated)

    Until last November I hadn't looked at 1xAA lights in a couple of years. Back then I thought that they were mostly too big for true EDPC (Every Day Pocket Carry), and outputs were low. I happened upon the Thrunite Ti when looking for stocking stuffers for Christmas, but as cool a little light as that one is, I wanted a little more output and a bit longer runtime. That led me to reconsider the 1xAA pocket light, and I was pleased to see several sub-90mm long models with 100+ lumen outputs and runtimes near 90 min. w/a rechargeable 1.2v AA. Looking at others' questions here on CPF, I thought it might be useful to post my thoughts. All lights were carried at least a week, and used as often as I could, for everything from walking the dog, reading, looking for things in my basement to nighttime trail hikes. I cleaned the threads of each light, lubed o-rings and installed a freshly-charged Duraloop for pictures. Pictures were taken on manual mode, daylight white balance with my Canon point and shoot, and beamshots were underexposed a couple of stops to avoid them getting blown out (pictures taken against a piece of bright white foam core). The summation at the end touches on the main pros and cons of each of the core lights (the Xeno was included because it's popular here on CPF, but it's size was a deal breaker for EDPC, IMO. The TrustFire is included because it promised 240L on an AA, but I don't think it quite delivered (but it was bright, with a decent beam). Maybe DX meant on a 14500? At any rate, after about 4 min. on high it blinks (no more DX for me - that's 3/3 lights that have quickly developed problems), and at 97mm it was also too long.)

    First, the lights:



    L-R: Maratac AA, Nitecore SENS AA, ThruNite T10, L3 Illumination L10 XPG2, L10 Nichia 219

    Here's a larger comparison pic which adds a Duraloop, then the Xeno E03 v3, the malfunctioning TrustFire SA-2, my Eagletac D25C (current favorite EDPC light) and the one that started all this, the ThruNite Ti:





    Some beamshots:



    Left: Maratac AA; Right: Nitecore SENS (on high mode, -2 stops from about 3')



    L to R: T10, L10 XPG2, L10 Nichia (same setup)

    Same as above, but underexposed a further stop to show beam artifacts and color:





    The five small lights (Maratac, Nitecore, ThruNite, L10 XPG2, L10 Nichia) up against the white board:



    Same order as above, but with the addition of the Xeno and the TrustFire SA-2 (L. to R.):



    The two "throwiest" lights (Maratac on left, TrustFire SA-2 on right):

    http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h2...psbab6c79e.jpg

    Your image is too large and has been replaced with a link. Please resize and repost.
    See Rule #3 If you post an image in your post, please downsize the image to no larger than 800 x 800 pixels. - Thanks Norm


    Finally, a coupe of beam color pics. Maratac on left, L10 Nichia on right:

    [img]http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h2...psed12bbbd.jpg[/img]

    And the L10s compared at the head:



    Conclusions (all subjective, of course):

    Maratc AA:
    Pros: Small and light, well-built, tailstands for candle mode, nice throwy beam.
    Cons: Only two modes. Low mode is great, but needs a middle mode for use around the house or at mid distance with dark-adjusted eyes. Beam color is a little green, but not as bad as some 47s and Olights I've had.

    Nitecore SENS AA:
    Pros: The "SENS" part actually works. Beam color OK. Tailstands.
    Cons: Everything else. Clunky, a bit heavy for this group, beam artifacts, can "flash" on by itself if not unscrewed more than the others. If it wasn't for the position sensor (and the decent beam), this light wouldn't be very interesting. See "Selfbuilt's" excellent review for much more info than I've provided here.

    T10:
    Pros: Small and light, smooth threads with very easy one-hand operation, three perfectly-spaced modes, nice creamy cool white beam color. Last-mode memory, so whether you like your light to come on in high, low or medium, you'll be happy (all makers should offer this, IMO).
    Cons: After a few weeks of use (this was one of the lights I carried the most), it started to "mis-fire" (shifting from one mode to the next it would momentarily catch the next mode and leapfrog. For example, I would want to go from low to medium and it would flash medium and end up on high). Barely tailstands ()

    L10 XPG2:
    Pros: Well-built, nice operation (if a little stiff). Great thick anodizing and rich "burnt orange" color (take note, Longhorns!), well-spaced output modes (I have the 4-mode); seems like it should be a $40 light, not a $20 light (bravo!). Tailstands.
    Cons: The head was initially too stiff for comfortable one-hand operation. It's still stiff but has loosened up a little. Beam color is a bit green, which I don't love.

    L10 Nichia 219:
    Pros: Same as the L10 above, but the head is looser and one-hand operation much easier. Nichia 219 color is a pleasure for general use and especially for reading (I use third mode of four). "Natural" finish is very nice.
    Cons: None.

    Rank: If the Maratac AA had a middle, 30-40L mode, it would tie with the L10 219 for the best light (the throw of the Maratac is very nice). Or, if the ThruNite hadn't so quickly developed the above-noted contact problem, it might tie for first, but as is, and for my needs, I rank these five lights in the following order:

    1. L10 Nichia 219
    2. ThruNite T10
    3. L10 XPG2
    4. Maratac AA
    5. Nitecore SENS

    All are good lights, all have similar output on high modes. I should mention that ThruNite picks nice tint LEDs. The Ti (which also has contact problems - see my post elesewhere), the T10 and my T30S all have creamy, cool, bluish beams, despite the fact that they are three different emitters (XPE, XPG, XMLU2). No annoying green tints. I should also mention that for a basic tool light, the Maratac would be very good. I just miss a middle mode for reading or looking around darkened rooms at night with night-adjusted eyes.

    The Xeno E03 is a very well-built light, with a great variety of useful modes. It also punches above its weight, price-wise. It was just too big to rest unobtrusively in my pocket.

    Final conclusion: Only the L10 Nichia and a correctly-working T10 could give my D25C clicky any real EDPC competition. For those of us who want a great single AA light, they stand out from the field.

    Lights I didn't include.
    1. I wanted to get an Eagletac D25A clicky to throw in the mix but couldn't find any in stock (and didn't want to spring for the titanium).
    2. I passed on the Zebra SC52 for two reasons: with the XML and small head I figured it would be more floody than the other five, and I tend toward slightly throwy, and it looked like its shape would be too lumpy in the pockets of thin dress pants.
    If I end up trying either of these I'll add them to this comparison.

    Thanks for reading.


    SHORT UPDATE: Since I posted this I have received two more 1xAA light: an EagleTac D25A Mini (XPG2 R5) and a Thrunite Saber 1A/T10. Forget the Saber: it's only a bit brighter than the T10 I bought a few months before, the beam is more bluish and the QC sucked (required a complete contact cleaning/regreasing/fiddling to work without flickering). The D25A, on the other hand, is a winner. Build quality is excellent, it has a stainless steel bezel to resist dings, tint is decent for a CW, it's nice and bright (noticeably brighter than the Saber), includes a well-made clip, and if you remove the clip and re-install the two screws it won't roll. The D25A also has good tolerances (no head wobble; very reliable mode switching). The UI is also great, with two cycles of "regular" modes and then "hidden" modes like SOS (x2) and beacon (x3). The twisty is a few mm smaller than the clicky, but doesn't have the real "moon" mode, only the brighter "low." With so many $20-30 1xAA lights out there it will be tempting for folks to ask why they would pay $40 (shipped) for the D25A, but for $10-20 more you get a noticeable better light, IMO. I've carried it daily for more than a month and couldn't be happier.
    Last edited by dusty99; 04-12-2013 at 09:30 AM. Reason: new lights

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* mcnair55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    For a pocket carry the AA does not work for me,I need the AAA route.I like to carry a AA in my coat pocket so I am split between the two.

    I really think the D25C clicky does it for me.
    Diagnosed with Grumpy Old Man Syndrome

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Some recent small 1xAA lights

    I Edc an aaa (preon revo) but love these little aa lights. Thanks for the review. Do check out the eagletac d25a clicky. The ti is worth it. Also, the older Maratac had 3 modes. An equivalent is the 4sevens mini AA, also 3 modes. I have a couple of the L10s. Fantastic value!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    Thanks! I stayed away from the FourSevens because the last two I bought had even more green tint than the first two.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    Nice pack of AA light. I only have the L12 but would like to add a few more.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    I've been EDC'ing the L10 219 since I got it last friday and I have to say, it is nice. The length is actually shorter than my LF2XT but obviously wider. It's a well made light especially for the price. Length wise, it's shorter than my H51w which I used to carry, and it feels lighter (haven't actually weighed it). I've sat down and got up lots of times in jeans and it hasn't yet found it's way into an odd position unlike the Fenix LD10 I used to pocket (yes it is a light I carry in my pocket and no I'm not THAT happy to see you). In search of a holster for it though as I currently have it wrapped in a handkerchief

  7. #7
    Flashaholic whiteoakjoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    For me the AA's are my favorite Coat Pocket Carry light. I keep one in my coat all winter, I agree that they can be a bit large for lighter clothing but when the temps are low and the daylight short stepping up from a AAA to AA makes sense.

  8. #8
    yoyoman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    The AA format running Li-ion 14500 is flashaholic heaven. I have 2 L10s - the Nichia 219 and the Nichia XP-G2. Great value for the money. But I would really love to see a highend light in this format.

    Edit: I've had these L10s for a couple of weeks now and really enjoy them. They are bright, small and I haven't had any problems with them. I like to tail stand and so I didn't put the split ring on. Not a big issue because I just keep both of them in my coat pocket. I get a kick out of comparing the tints.

    I also enjoy this thread and have placed order for a couple of other AA and AAA lights. Thank you dusty99 for starting the thread.
    Last edited by yoyoman; 02-22-2013 at 06:27 AM. Reason: More experience with my L10s

  9. #9
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    Does the ThruNite T10 operate like the ThruNite Ti (loose for low, tight for high)?
    Does the ThruNite Ti2 operate like the ThruNite Ti (loose for low, tight for high)?
    Wish: 1) Super low beacon; easy find flashlight. 2) Low voltage indicator, so not stranded without light. 3) Simple, one handed control ring mode changer (magnetic control ring). 4) Flood beam for walking/tasks. 5) Pocket carry. 6) LiFePO4.


  10. #10
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    Quote Originally Posted by snakyjake View Post
    Does the ThruNite T10 operate like the ThruNite Ti (loose for low, tight for high)?
    No it's standard twisty three levels Hi, Med, Low with last level memory.

    Norm

  11. #11

    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    Having a N219 light in the test bunch, you could do a quick tint comparison to non-neutrals by pointing them in turns at some real-life objects with vivid colors, not only neutral background. Your camera's white balance doesn't do any favour to N219, sadly its tint looks brownish.

    Obviously L10s share (at least) some genes with Nitecore EZ AA and Fenix LD15

    Cheers

  12. #12

    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    I really like the tint in the Nichia 219 high CRI. My only problem with it is that it doesn't produce much light. For a time I carried around an Olight S10 modded with a 219. I liked the tint, but its output just doesn't compare to my other lights. I figure the 219 puts in the S10 puts out maybe 100 lumens. Far less than the 700+ lumens from my modded RRT-01.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    Quote Originally Posted by yoyoman View Post
    The AA format running Li-ion 14500 is flashoholic heaven. I have 2 L10s - the Nichia 219 and the Nichia XP-G2. Great value for the money. But I would really love to see a highend light in this format.
    Get an Eagletac D25a Ti 2013 edition. Looks very blingy with the shiny titanium. Very solidly built and feels great in the hand. Available in neutral or cool white XP-G2. Eagletac cool white tint is excellent. A very pure looking white with no green.

    The 2013 edition also fully supports 14500. Output on 14500 is around 450 lumens.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    I have been very impressed by the Xtar series, wk25B 1.5v AA, or wk26 14500 , both using XPE R3,



    some beamshot comparisons


  15. #15
    yoyoman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    I've got my eyes on One Stop Throw Shop modified TN T10. It's not the bling I'm after...

  16. #16
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    Nice work dusty99 - I'm going to pick up an L10 Nichia.

  17. #17

    Default Some recent small 1xAA lights

    FWIW, here are some lumen measurements between the T10 and the L10 using a
    DSLR (calibrated off a D25A).

    T10: 0.13, 13, 113 (coincidence?)
    L10: 0.03, 2.5, 20, 80

    While the N219 beam is just gorgeous, I prefer the build quality, UI and brighter firefly of the T10.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireclaw18 View Post
    Get an Eagletac D25a Ti 2013 edition.

    The 2013 edition also fully supports 14500 . Output on 14500 is around 450 lumens.
    Just curious, but don't all the lower modes of the 2013 D25A get bumped up on a 14500? So far I'm only aware of the Quark AAs and SC52/80? that retain full regulation of all lower modes on 14500s.

    But I'll +1 on the D25A.... a top 2 AA light for me.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    Thanks! This is easily in the top 5 of the most helpful threads for me. I need to buy a L10 Nichia 219!
    GOOD TINT!

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* skyfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    nice write up,
    i want to try out that L10 now, especially since it has such a nice dark orange finish, and it comes with a nichia219!
    single AA forms are probably my favorite, i like the slimmer, longer form. i find some single cr123 lights too short.

  20. #20

    Default Some recent small 1xAA lights

    Nice. I just got a Xeno E03 with the Nichia 219. Beautiful beam. My first 219 and I see why people like these so much.

  21. #21
    yoyoman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireclaw18 View Post
    The 2013 edition also fully supports 14500. Output on 14500 is around 450 lumens.
    I also thought the Eagltacs were direct drive on Li-ion cells?

  22. #22

    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights

    I have the regular 2012 edition, so can't say for sure, but another poster wrote that the 2013 Ti D25A retains low, med and high on 14500, but with higher output through all modes.

    From ET:

    Using 4.2V li-ion direct drives the LED and yields maximum output at the expense of extensive heat generated from the LED. Limit each usage to less than fives minutes (or less than one minute each with freshly charged li-ion for the first couple times). Active cooling (blowing cool air toward the light) or passive cooling (holding the light in your hand) helps preventing excessive heat built at the LED. Turn off the light to allow it to cool down if you find the flashlight too hot to hold. Do not leave the light running unintended with li-ion. During direct drive, output at low and medium mode will be higher than normal. (My emphasis. Seems to imply some regulation.)
    Last edited by dusty99; 03-02-2013 at 03:43 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights (updated)

    UPDATE

  24. #24

    Default Re: Some recent small 1xAA lights (updated)

    Nice, you even got the two same color L10's as me. Much love for the Nichia version.

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