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Thread: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

  1. #1

    Default A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Hello all,
    this being my first post I would like to say: nice to meet you, I'm Terong

    Since I'm a noob when it comes to lights, I would like to ask for Your help with search for a flashlight that suits my needs. By the way, English is not my native language, so sorry for any errors.
    I would like to find a flashlight that uses standard NiMH rechargeables or alkalines. Size could be AA, AAA, C, D, whatever cylindrical. It should be as as bright as possible for this batteries to run. I know NiMH doesn't have very high energy density, so I don't that expect the light to run very long on a set o batteries. If it uses them up like crazy - it's still fine, I don't care. If it needs a lot of them at once - it's ok with me. It would be quite nice to have regulated flood/throw (focus?).
    To be more specific, here's completed checklist:


    ==================Flashlight Recommendation Checklist================

    1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

    ____I would like to purchase the light in person from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________.
    __x__This will be mail-order or Online (location doesn't matter).


    2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :-)

    __x__I don't know yet
    ____Up to $25.
    ____Up to $50.
    ____Up to $100.
    ____Up to $200.
    ____Up to $300.
    ____Essentially unlimited.


    3) Format:

    ____I am not sure, please help me decide.
    __x__I want a flashlight (hand held/self contained).
    ____I want a self-contained headlamp.
    ____I want a headlamp with an external pack/power source.
    ____I want a mounted light (typically for a bicycle or vehicle)
    ____I want a lantern/area light.
    ____I want a portable spotlight (it may have an external power source).
    ____Other ____________________________________________


    4) Size:

    ____MICRO - Keychain size.
    ____TINY - Every day carry (2-4 inches).
    ____SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches).
    ____MEDIUM - Holster/belt ring carry. (>7 inches)
    ____LARGE - Big enough to need its own travel case.
    __x__I don’t know/I don't care.


    5) Emitter/Light source:

    ____LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)
    ____Incandescent (known for superior color rendition)
    ____HID (known for max output, but often at the expense of size)
    __x__I don't know.


    6) Manufacturer:

    __x__I want to buy a light from a large/traditional manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
    ____I would like a light from a specialty manufacturer (Possibly limited run/Custom).
    ____I am interested in assembling my own components. (for example a “host” or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a “drop-in” emitter from another source).


    7) What power source do you want to use?

    __x__I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Alkaline batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
    ____I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Lithium batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D and CR123 sized cells common to most stores (often a cold weather or long storage choice).
    __x__I intend to use Rechargeable cells (NiMH or NiCD) based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
    ____I intend to use Rechargeable cells based on less common formats (18500 or 18650 Li-Ion, RCR123, et-al).
    ____I want a light with an integrated rechargeable battery pack.
    ____I don't know/I need more information on power sources.

    7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option
    ____I want a light that plugs directly into the wall (literally with prongs built into the light)
    ____I want a light that has a recharging adapter (your typical "wall wart")
    ____I want a light that snaps into a cradle (usually mounted on a wall)
    ____I want a separate/stand-alone charger (this involves removing the batteries to charge)
    ____I don't care


    8) How much genuine out the front (OTF) light do you want/need? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is not a happy experience).

    ____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (1-10 lumens).
    ____I want an indoor "blackout" light (15-50 lumens)
    ____I want to confidently walk around an unlit/unpaved rural area (60-150 lumens).
    ____I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).
    ____I want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 lumens).
    __x__I want search and rescue type illumination (800+ lumens).

    __x__SPECIAL NOTE: Burst/Turbo mode Category - There are several lights that will run at a super bright maximum for a very limited period (usually 5-10 minutes) and then will "step-down" to a lower level for thermal control. Check here if this is acceptable.


    9) Flood vs Throw: Flood covers an area, Throw reaches out to a distance.

    ____All Flood: I am doing "arms length" tasks like reading and campsite cooking.
    ____Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car.
    ____Narrow Flood: I want a sharply defined flood area that will project some distance for tasks like trail walking.
    __x__Wide Throw: I want a beam with a noticeable hot-center for distance throw and a significant amount of "side-spill". Good for rough trail hiking, search and rescue, and general distance work.
    __x__Narrow Throw: I want a beam with a very tight "hot center" and minimal "side-spill". Good for distance viewing, fog, and looking through dense undergrowth.
    __x__Turbohead: I want a far-distance projector with a sharply focused spot of light and minimal or zero side-spill. Good for extreme distance and impressing your friends.

    9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check all that apply)
    ____Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
    ____Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
    ____5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
    ____30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)
    __x__50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
    __x__150+ yards (I am searching from a helicopter)

    10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum continuous output).

    __x__Up to 30 minutes (I want the brightest [and potentially smallest] light for brief periods)
    ____30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed)
    ____90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
    ____3 hours + (I critically need this light to run on max for extended periods in between battery changes/charges).




    11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.

    ____Not Important (A “night-stand” light).
    __x__Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood).
    __x__Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
    ____Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
    ____I don’t know.


    12) Switch Size, Type, and location (choose all that apply):

    __x__Any size switch will do.
    ____I need a BIG switch (I'll be using gloves or have very large hands or coordination issues).
    ____I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
    ____I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights).
    ____I want a momentary switch (Predominantly for use with signaling and short bursts of momentary light only).
    ____I want a twisty switch (Tighten the head/tailcap to activate, and the light will stay on until the head/tailcap is loosened).
    ____I want a body mounted switch (near the head, like on a Maglite).
    ____I want a tail mounted switch (found on the majority of today’s high end lights).
    ____I want a remote switch (usually found on high-end bicycle headlights)
    __x__I don't care.
    __x__I don’t know.
    ____Other, please specify____________________.


    13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.

    ____A simple on-off with only one output level is fine for me.
    __x__I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
    __x__I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
    ____I want a programmable light.
    ____I want a selector ring.
    ____I want a strobe mode. (Oscillating pattern to confuse/blind aka "Police Mode")
    ____I want SOS mode. (blinks in ...---... emergency pattern)
    ____I want a beacon mode. (Regular flashes at full power to show location.)
    ____I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.


    14)Material/Finish/Coating

    ____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
    ____Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today’s higher end flashlights).
    ____Stainless steel (durable, but much heavier than aluminum)
    ____Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive).
    ____I don’t care.
    __x__I don’t know.
    ____Other, please specify____________.

    15) Water resistance
    ____None needed
    __x__IPX4 (Splash resistant)
    __x__IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
    ____IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours)

    16) Storage conditions
    __x__In house (temperature/climate controlled environment)
    ____Emergency kit (long standby periods)
    ____Automobile glove-box (wide temperature swings, long standby periods, critical reliability)
    ____Other_________________________________________ ____


    17) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any/all below.

    ____Red filter (for preserving night vision).
    ____Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________).
    ____Dedicated R/G/B secondary LEDs.
    ____“Hybrid” light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
    ____Pocket/belt clip
    ____Holster
    ____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    ____Crenulated bezel
    ____Non-sparking, Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments

  2. #2
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    The new Fenix LD42 might be just what you're looking for.
    Find all my reviews of flashlights, pens, chargers, and more at https://www.bmengineer.com

  3. #3

    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Surefire Titan Plus. Well built, high output (up to 300 lumens), excellent support. Made in USA.

  4. #4
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by TeronG View Post
    Hello all,
    ____“Hybrid” light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
    That particular criterion made me chuckle a bit. Pretty much "hybrid" LED/incandescent lamps are all but obsolete, given the state of the art today.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    An A2! All the way. 😁
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Have a look at the Fenix FD45, it takes 4 AA's, is 900 lumens, will focus from spot to flood, and is neutral.

  7. #7

    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Thank you for all your suggestions. And what do you think about Nitecore EA42? The manufacturer claims 1800 lumens, but it doesn't have the focus function.

  8. #8

    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by thermal guy View Post
    An A2! All the way. 😁
    What is an A2?

  9. #9
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by LightObsession View Post
    What is an A2?
    It's either a Nextorch TA2, Nitecore EA2, Armytek Prime A2, Partner A2, Partner A2 Pro, EagleTac P25A2, or some other....
    Find all my reviews of flashlights, pens, chargers, and more at https://www.bmengineer.com

  10. #10
    Administrator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by LightObsession View Post
    What is an A2?
    The SF A2 is a 'hybrid' light (alluded to earlier) that is rather off-topic for this thread, I'm afraid.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Got Lumens?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Foursevens QK2A AA
    Prometheus Beta AAA
    Foursevens Preon series AAA


    Off topic I have a few old Streamlight Twin Task lights, C & AA
    Last edited by Got Lumens?; 08-06-2019 at 12:58 PM.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    If you have to have focus function I will agree with the Fenix FD 45 as the best fit for your needs. Keep in mind the beam pattern produced by focus lights typically don’t provide any spill.

    Also check out the Fenix LD42

    Nitecore EA42

    The Thrunite TN42.
    Note it has a round body where the others are more of a rectangular body which I find surprisingly comfortable to use. I have an older Fenix LD41 that I love to use because of the flat body shape.
    Last edited by FAAbUlights; 08-13-2019 at 12:30 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by FAAbUlights View Post
    If you have to have focus function I will agree with the Fenix FD 45 as the best fit for your needs. Keep in mind the beam pattern produced by focus lights don’t provide any spill.
    Many focusing lights have bulls-eye beams when fucused, which provide spot and spill. There are a variety of beam shapes in focusing lights.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Absolutely agree. Just don’t know the level of experience the op may have so it is worth mentioning as a caution. Maybe you could recommend our friend such a solution?

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Got Lumens?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Duracell has made a few different focusable LED lights in AA, C, And D. They were multi cell however.
    Daylight and Focus Tough were two of those series.

  16. #16

    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by FAAbUlights View Post
    Absolutely agree. Just don’t know the level of experience the op may have so it is worth mentioning as a caution. Maybe you could recommend our friend such a solution?
    The level of experience is rather low. Thank you for comment regarding spill and focus function.
    Reading through the forums I found this topic: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...Fenix-headlamp
    ... and now I do not really feel like trusting Fenix brand. What do you think?

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* Got Lumens?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by TeronG View Post
    The level of experience is rather low. Thank you for comment regarding spill and focus function.
    Reading through the forums I found this topic: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...Fenix-headlamp
    ... and now I do not really feel like trusting Fenix brand. What do you think?
    Yes I see your concern, and I remember that thread. My take away was a poor battery compartment design that led to the conditions of failure.
    I have owned a few Fenix lights, and thought their products were average production quality.
    These types of failures are not frequent, but scary none the less.
    If safety is a priority, reading through some of the other threads in that forum gives You an idea how choosing NiMh cells as a power source is your safest bet for beginning with.
    Alkaline AA & AAA batteries are notorious for leaking and ruining your light.
    Lithium primary cells are all I use for disposable/long term storage cells with their 10+ year shelf life.
    I use AA/AAA NiMh's in my EDC and use lights.
    Just go easy on yourself. After You get your first light and start using it regularly You will start to acquire a more
    informed opinion of what You want and need out of your lights.
    You also in time may find that You may want to buy more than one light to serve different functions or in different locations.
    Please share what You end up getting .

  18. #18

    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by TeronG View Post
    The level of experience is rather low. Thank you for comment regarding spill and focus function.
    Reading through the forums I found this topic: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...Fenix-headlamp
    ... and now I do not really feel like trusting Fenix brand. What do you think?
    I'd definitely avoid using alkalines. Maybe briefly in a pinch is fine but I certainly would never store them in the light for any prolonged period.

    NIMH AA or lithium primaries are the way to go.

    FWIW, I have several Fenix lights, including a small headlamp and no problems with any of them...several of which are AA/AAA lights...just use the right batteries.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    The advice from GotLumens? Is the best. I think you will begin to develop your taste for certain features once you get out with your first serious purchase. Alkaline batteries should be used as a last resort if you can help it.
    Regarding the quality of Fenix lights, I have used many over the years and say they are great for the average consumer for camping/hiking and general use as you indicated you will use the light for. They have typically been able to sustain moderate abuse and agree they are of average build quality compared to the best. Many consider Fenix at the top when discussing mainstream Chinese brands. They have always been on the forefront of driver efficiency.
    Battery carriers have been known to be a common source of failure in flashlights and I try to avoid them anymore. That being said, I my Fenix LD41 still serves me well after at least 5 years.
    Last edited by FAAbUlights; 08-14-2019 at 12:56 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: A flashlight that runs on standard NiMH cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Got Lumens? View Post
    Please share what You end up getting .
    I'm still hesitating between Fenix FD45 (focus function), Fenix LD42 (mechanical switch) and Nitecore EA42 (highest lumens according to data given by manufacturers).

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