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Thread: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

  1. #1
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    Default We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    Eved since I got my SC5w last summer, I have been wondering why we have a 500 lumen 1xAA, but 2xAA lights remain (at best) pegged at around 400 lumens. This may not be such an issue if the SC5 wasn't so hobbled by short runtime at bright settings, the need for high current batteries, and the inability to produce high output unless the battery is in a high state of charge. The reality is, producing 500 lumens (and beyond) is a job better left to AA lights having more than a single battery. Yet, there is no 2xAA light that can even match the SC5w in output. Why not?

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    Flashaholic king2penn's Avatar
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    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by StorminMatt View Post
    Eved since I got my SC5w last summer, I have been wondering why we have a 500 lumen 1xAA, but 2xAA lights remain (at best) pegged at around 400 lumens. This may not be such an issue if the SC5 wasn't so hobbled by short runtime at bright settings, the need for high current batteries, and the inability to produce high output unless the battery is in a high state of charge. The reality is, producing 500 lumens (and beyond) is a job better left to AA lights having more than a single battery. Yet, there is no 2xAA light that can even match the SC5w in output. Why not?
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    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    Jup, that was quite awhile ago when I reviewed it http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...max-550lumens)

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    Buttrock Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    If you look at the form factors, and associated power reservoirs, when you want more lumen output, it typically involves a higher amp draw.

    AA suck at high amp draws, and, for the room the TWO AA would require, there are simply better, more capable at high draw, options.



    This is why there are a few higher powered lights that take a crapload of AA, etc, but, they are MUCH larger and heavier than similar, or higher performing, lights that use 18650 for example.

    AA are simply a poor battery choice for high performance in a compact form factor.
    Last edited by TEEJ; 12-06-2015 at 08:33 AM.

  5. #5

    Default We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    I just received my Armytek Partner A2 v2 and it supposedly can go to 500 lumens. It's real bright to me and can run at that max for an hour or so with my normal Eneloops.

    But I agree.. There wasn't many 2 AA choices that I liked versus 1 AA models.
    Last edited by tops2; 12-06-2015 at 08:43 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by tops2 View Post
    I just received my Armytek Partner A2 v2 and it supposedly can go to 500 lumens. It's real bright to me and can run at that max for an hour or so with my normal Eneloops.
    I bet it WON'T run an hour at 500 Lumens.

    It will still be on "High", but will have stepped down to a lower lumen output well before 60 minutes have passed.


  7. #7

    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    I bet it WON'T run an hour at 500 Lumens.

    It will still be on "High", but will have stepped down to a lower lumen output well before 60 minutes have passed.

    Haha.. I should try that later when I have time!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by tops2 View Post
    Haha.. I should try that later when I have time!
    The steps are subtle, so you need to use a meter to see the drops, as the eye is a lousy light meter.

    Just put the light in a clamp aimed at the meter, and hit the stopwatch and on, and watch the meter readout.


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    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    The Thrunite Archet 2xAA is 450 lumens and I think Selbuilt tested it and said it was a bit over 500.

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    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by tops2 View Post
    I just received my Armytek Partner A2 v2 and it supposedly can go to 500 lumens. It's real bright to me and can run at that max for an hour or so with my normal Eneloops.

    But I agree.. There wasn't many 2 AA choices that I liked versus 1 AA models.
    You mean perhaps the Prime A2? I've got that light in the 465 lumen neutral version. It's not a 465 lumen light. Maybe 350-400. I would imagine the 500 lumen cool white version is similarly overrated.

  11. #11

    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    https://www.armytek.com/products/fla...-xm-l2-en.html

    I'm real happy with this as it complements my current light (Fenix E12 and 2 Keychain lights).

    I'll wait till after my son goes to sleep to experiment.. ;-)

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* KeepingItLight's Avatar
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    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    One factor may be the electronics. If you put two NiMH AA batteries in series, the resulting voltage is around 2.4 volts. Not enough to drive a LED. So the driver has to be a boost driver of some sort. But that is also the case in a 1xAA flashlight. The only difference is how far the boost has to go.

    A light like the ZebraLight SC5w pulls about as much current out of an AA as you can get. Putting two batteries in series does not increase the current. When batteries are placed in series, you increase the voltage, not the current. When two AA batteries are placed in series, the max current will be about the same as what the SC5 uses with one AA.

    Higher output should still be possible with 2xAA connected in series. That's because the voltage boost from 2.4 volts is less that the boost from 1.2 volts. At identical output levels, the 2xAA setup should require less current from the batteries. The 2xAA configuration, however, will not be able to produce twice as much output as a 1xAA setup. You will hit the maximum current draw before you get there.

    If you want to get more current, you have to wire the batteries in parallel. With the right driver, you should be able to do pretty well. Imagine a driver like what the SC5w has, but with twice as much current being fed from the batteries.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    I'm with you SM. The 2AA has been a favourite of mine but it seems that it has been forgotten. I have longed for an updated TK20 style light.

  14. #14

    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    lol, no.

    2 x AA in series is capable of putting "slightly" MORE current through a driver board to a single die or parallel connected dies LED array, AND at a little higher than double the voltage (because the driver board itself has its own Vf drop across it which is double the % of loss from a single cell (1.2V to 1.5V) as it is from twice as many cells (2.4V to 3.0V). Further the lower the voltage boost the more efficient the driver is, as it relates to duty cycle.

    Wiring in parallel is worse than in series for the above reasons, for cell chemistries which are a fraction of the LED Vf . For higher voltage chemistries it depends on the driver design. You can certainly wire in parallel to experience less voltage droop too, but unless the driver has pretty bad regulation (and some definitely do!) to the point where it's driving the LED at a lot lower current from a lower driver input voltage, then each cell in parallel will still supply more current than if the two were in series, and voltage droop more, requiring even more current if the driver regulates well. It's not much of a difference until a reactive driver regulates to make it one.

    Now let's put all this in context. The original question was about a 1 x AA light that does 500 lumens, but it only does it to show-off, only for 3 minutes according to Zebra. That's impressive for such a little light, but meaningless to those spending the money on a larger (2 x AA length) major brand who would just get a 18650 powered light instead of 2 x AA, one that can run at 500 lumens as long as you want it to.

    There's too small a market for 2 x AA @ 500lm, but you could probably throw together your own custom build to do it if you want to. Just make sure your head is 'sinking heat well enough since most 2 x AA designs aren't engineered to deal with that much.

  15. #15

    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    Soo...after an initial hiccup, I did one test run.

    With freshly charged 2000 normal Eneloop AAs, my Armytek Partner A2 v2 to run at spec max 500 lm for 44 minutes. I stopped cause eventually the light got pretty toasty and I started hearing some buzzing. I was holding the light the whole time, hoping to use my hand as part heatsink. At least to my eyes, I can't tell of any stepdown during that time. If it wasn't for the infrequent buzzing I heard, I'd have let the light run longer. I wasn't sure if the buzzing was from my light or somewhere in the home, but I didn't want to risk damaging the light. I'm happy to be able to run at 500 lm for 44 minutes with just 2 AAs. =)

    But since I seem to have run into a potential problem with my Partner A2, I'm not sure if I want to keep this...

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* D6859's Avatar
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    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by tops2 View Post
    I wasn't sure if the buzzing was from my light or somewhere in the home, but I didn't want to risk damaging the light.
    I hope it wasn't one of the batteries going to vent Did you check the voltage on batteries after the test?
    The darkness here is different.

  17. #17

    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by tops2 View Post
    Soo...after an initial hiccup, I did one test run.

    With freshly charged 2000 normal Eneloop AAs, my Armytek Partner A2 v2 to run at spec max 500 lm for 44 minutes. I stopped cause eventually the light got pretty toasty and I started hearing some buzzing. I was holding the light the whole time, hoping to use my hand as part heatsink. At least to my eyes, I can't tell of any stepdown during that time.
    Many light boost drivers don't show any obvious step down to a lower mode, rather they just get dimmer gradually which may be impossible to see with the naked eye until the change is extreme, but easier to observe by measuring driver input current @ measured voltage to compare at various intervals during the test period, if you don't have a setup that can directly measure the light.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    I think part of it may be form factor. 2xAA is a good sized light, probably not a huge seller, and harder to justify R&D and production costs on. I own a SF 2xAA Outdoorsman, and it's a LONG light...

  19. #19

    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by D6859 View Post
    I hope it wasn't one of the batteries going to vent Did you check the voltage on batteries after the test?
    Quote Originally Posted by J_C View Post
    Many light boost drivers don't show any obvious step down to a lower mode, rather they just get dimmer gradually which may be impossible to see with the naked eye until the change is extreme, but easier to observe by measuring driver input current @ measured voltage to compare at various intervals during the test period, if you don't have a setup that can directly measure the light.
    Thanks for the tips! Unfortunately I didn't think of testing the voltage, but when I placed it in the Nitecore D4 charger it showed it was pretty drained and seemed to need a pretty full charge.

    Not to derail the thread..I'm going to return my Partner A2 (received it last Friday night) due to some problems with installing batteries and the light coming on when the head and tail cap are tightened. Seems like there's a contact issue or something and it's really inconsistent and I'm tired of trying to debug a problem on a new light.

    Now the search continues for another 2AA or just forget it and get the Zebralight SC52...and/or just pick up a Fenix E20 2015.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: We have a 500 lumen 1xAA, so where are the 500 lumen 2xAA lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by scout24 View Post
    I think part of it may be form factor. 2xAA is a good sized light, probably not a huge seller, and harder to justify R&D and production costs on. I own a SF 2xAA Outdoorsman, and it's a LONG light...
    2xAA is actually one of the most popular form factors. Of course, that alone could be the problem, since maybe manufacturers figure they must cater to the lowest common denominator by making 2xAA lights alkaline battery friendly. This is not such an issue with 1xAA, since a 1xAA light of any significant brightness is by definition alkaline battery unfriendly.
    Last edited by StorminMatt; 12-07-2015 at 04:47 PM.

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