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Thread: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

  1. #1

    Default Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Hey everyone

    Quick introduction about myself: I've been a member here for a while, but kind of stay in the background, choosing to appreciate the insane wealth of information this forum offers rather than pretend I know anything about anything. Big into outdoors activities (camping, climbing, etc.) Generally, I'm not a collector, so I try find one thing that suits my purposes perfectly before purchasing.

    So, with that in mind, I'm looking for a headlamp.

    Criteria:
    Preferred single AA: due to availability of batteries practically anywhere, and compact form factor that a single AA would offer
    Both white and red light: yes, I know, a low white light doesn't affect night vision much, but I would still like a workable red light for up close work.
    Red light should be easily accessible: I don't want to have to rotate through white light modes to get to red light.
    Floody beam essential, secondary focused beam would be an asset but not a requirement.
    Beam tint is less important, but if a neutral tint is possible with my criteria, that would be a bonus.
    A crazy amount of output is not a requirement either. That's what I would use maybe a handheld or other dedicated light for.
    Durability: I'm not going to abuse it, but outdoor pursuits are somewhat "rough and tumble" so it has to be durable.

    I've looked at a lot of companies: Fenix (some possibilities, but none are perfect), Surefire ($$$), Xtar H1 (concerned about quality), Armytek (no red and white lights together), Zebralight (same as Armytek), etc.

    Currently, the closest to my requirements is the Nitecore HA20, but it uses 2 AA's.

    Finally, my experience has been solely Petzl, Princeton Tec, and Black Diamond. They are all "ok", but all 3x AAA. I am trying to get away from that form factor, for battery power levels and to consolidate my equipment - my GPS uses AA, handheld lights use AA, and a lot of other stuff as well.

    Thanks everyone! I appreciate the responses in advance, as well as all the other threads that I have read on this forum.
    Last edited by hutten; 09-08-2016 at 09:40 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    ThruNite TH20...in neutral white.

    With firefly mode no need for red light...at all. In fact red LEDs are currently terribly inefficient compared to the "white" LEDs.

    http://www.thrunite.com/thrunite-th2...-led-headlamp/
    THRUNITE Archer1AV2|TiS|TH20|TN4A Hi...all in neutral white
    YUJILEDS BC Series 95+HighCRI modded Mini-Mag2AAA, E01
    XTARVC4, LCTBC500, Amaloops, 1999MAG-LITE 2D Incandescent(glass lens)

  3. #3
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Not sure where you will find a combo including a red light in AA.

    If you can do without the red, I have a Spark SG5 in NW which is meets your other criteria with a 1 lumen minimum and 3 other levels of brightness plus a turbo.

    It also has 2 interchangeable screw-in lenses one which is pretty much all flood, the other slightly more focussed - depends on your usage which you will find more suitable.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Thanks for the input guys. I was really hoping to find a headlamp with a red light somewhere. Maybe I'll have to change my criteria, but for now I'll keep looking.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by hutten View Post
    Thanks for the input guys. I was really hoping to find a headlamp with a red light somewhere. Maybe I'll have to change my criteria, but for now I'll keep looking.
    Please post here if you find something. There used to be some lights like that made, but I have not found anything like it for a while.
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Led Astray View Post
    Not sure where you will find a combo including a red light in AA.

    If you can do without the red, I have a Spark SG5 in NW which is meets your other criteria with a 1 lumen minimum and 3 other levels of brightness plus a turbo.

    It also has 2 interchangeable screw-in lenses one which is pretty much all flood, the other slightly more focussed - depends on your usage which you will find more suitable.
    Thanks for pointing out that headlamp. I wish it were a simple knob though instead of those multi stage clicky type.
    Last edited by HarryN; 09-15-2016 at 01:09 PM.
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    Flashaholic* D6859's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    My Xtar H1 broke when I tried to use too long 14500 in it and it started flickering. It now works as a bedside table lamp. Otherwise the headlamp was good, but it has pretty tight beam. I use it with a DIY scotch tape diffuser.

    Btw, here's my review on Nitecore HA20. Again, I preferred it with a DIY diffuser.

    I use Armytek Tiara A1 Pro (v1). I really like it and with the two firefly modes I haven't felt need for a red light.
    The darkness here is different.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic Treeguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeanBurn View Post
    ThruNite TH20...in neutral white.

    With firefly mode no need for red light...at all. In fact red LEDs are currently terribly inefficient compared to the "white" LEDs.

    http://www.thrunite.com/thrunite-th2...-led-headlamp/
    What he said.

    I was out last night with my Thrunite TH20 NW and it's a great light at a great price.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    I recently ran across the under water kinetics Vizion I headlamp. It is not a "knock your socks off" light and is AAA, but it does have an interesting and simply way to implement flood, focused, and red light use. I might pick one up.
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    *Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    I just got a neutral thrunite th20. Overall its nice but I find the beam sickly green. I'd mod it but can't get it open using non- destructive methods.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Just picked up the same as gunga. Definitely a neutral led but mine is a nice warm color, not green

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    I might try again then.

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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Not a fan of the mode spacing on the Thrunite. I also find most XP-L HI are green at lower settings. Klarus seems to avoid this, so I think it's up to the manufacturer in the use of nicer emitters rather than avoid problems with all emitters.

  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    THe mode spacing is like, 0.5 moonlight, 250/500 max and variable 1.5-230. You don't like that?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by gunga View Post
    I just got a neutral thrunite th20. Overall its nice but I find the beam sickly green. I'd mod it but can't get it open using non- destructive methods.
    Did you get cool white or there is something wrong with it. Mine is very warm color.
    THRUNITE Archer1AV2|TiS|TH20|TN4A Hi...all in neutral white
    YUJILEDS BC Series 95+HighCRI modded Mini-Mag2AAA, E01
    XTARVC4, LCTBC500, Amaloops, 1999MAG-LITE 2D Incandescent(glass lens)

  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Nope neutral. Warm with a bit too much green. I got a second that had a bit less green. It's a nice headlamp but the tint is still not pleasant.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by gunga View Post
    THe mode spacing is like, 0.5 moonlight, 250/500 max and variable 1.5-230. You don't like that?
    Oh, my bad - I seem to have misread the mode control. That's pretty clever. I do prefer dedicated modes though. It makes it easier to approximate my battery life. That being said, using AA batteries makes it easier.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    I have found that using red light, helps you to stay away from the mosquitos and other bugs.
    Last edited by kalel332; 10-03-2016 at 09:17 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    A few years ago i was looking for exactly the same criteria as you. Check out the Streamlight Sidewinder 2. It runs on 1AA/1CR123. I run mine on AA and like it.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Update: I ordered a Zebralight H52Fw. It doesn't fit all my requirements (no red light), but otherwise it is near perfect. I am still on the lookout for my 'perfect' headlamp, but the Zebralight should work for now.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    You could use a red Photon Microlight velcroed to the headband for the red maybe.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    I appreciate these comments!

    I'm replying to this thread since I'm also on the lookout for a single AA (or 14500) powered headlamp, with long runtimes between charges/battery replacement and a unit that offers the best red light or darkness-adaptive vision protective option, ideally... (I'm learning about that) .... Those are my priorities, in that order.
    I've searched through the CPF forum posts and investigated the suggestions made by commenters.

    So far, I've zeroed in on the Streamlight Sidewinder Compact 2 and the Klarus H1A. I see Rainy's comment, a few above mine, mentions the Sidewinder Compact, but I'm not seeing much else about this headlamp so far. Both this particular Streamlight and the Klarus are pricey units. There isn't much talk of the Klarus H1A, maybe since it's newer, but I can't locate the cheaper, newly announced aluminum version for sale. I notice that the Thrunite TH20 has come up several times in the conversation, though it has no red option--but from what I'm reading, its lowest light setting should be ok for protecting night vision adaptiveness.

    Any new thoughts or ideas on these headlamps I mention or any other that meets these criteria? I'd sure appreciate some input or recommendations about these units or any others that you can compare to these. I'm really locked in on AA/rechargeable or the 14500 option, just to reiterate that. I've selected AA in order to consolidate my battery-operated needs and I want to stick to it, for better or worse... I'm also wanting long runtimes and the red option if at all possible.

    ~dB

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    The Sidewinder is not really a head lamp is more of a modern interpretation of the 90 degree lights used in the war. You more like hang it on your vest or gear. But is a very versatile light and probably the best there is since Surefire does not make anything close to it. CR123 and AA capability, lots of colors to chose from, is awesome.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic colight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by deltabravo88 View Post
    I appreciate these comments!

    I'm replying to this thread since I'm also on the lookout for a single AA (or 14500) powered headlamp, with long runtimes between charges/battery replacement and a unit that offers the best red light or darkness-adaptive vision protective option, ideally... (I'm learning about that) .... Those are my priorities, in that order.
    I've searched through the CPF forum posts and investigated the suggestions made by commenters.

    Any new thoughts or ideas on these headlamps I mention or any other that meets these criteria? I'd sure appreciate some input or recommendations about these units or any others that you can compare to these. I'm really locked in on AA/rechargeable or the 14500 option, just to reiterate that. I've selected AA in order to consolidate my battery-operated needs and I want to stick to it, for better or worse... I'm also wanting long runtimes and the red option if at all possible.

    ~dB
    Hi deltabravo88. You mention single AA, and long runtimes... You don't say how long the run times should be, but if you can settle for 2 AA, I can recommend the HL30 2018 from Fenix. It has a red light, but in case the 1 lumen red is too low, the white at 4 lumens on Low should do. It doesn't have recharging ability, but you can always buy rechargeable batteries.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by marinemaster View Post
    The Sidewinder is not really a head lamp is more of a modern interpretation of the 90 degree lights used in the war. You more like hang it on your vest or gear. But is a very versatile light and probably the best there is since Surefire does not make anything close to it. CR123 and AA capability, lots of colors to chose from, is awesome.
    The Sidewinder II is a very neat concept and perhaps the one I own is the exception but it has terrible parasitic drain. I don't keep a battery in it unless I plan on using it that day because of this. Its also a bit bulky in headlamp form.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Single AA headlamp: any recommendations?

    Is that parasitic drain on Sidewinder version 1 or 2 ?

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