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Thread: Need help finding the right 1AA

  1. #1

    Smile Need help finding the right 1AA

    Hi everybody,
    Iíve already learned a lot from this forum for what appears to be a newfound obsession with flashlights. When I found this help-me-pick-my-flashlight sub forum, I figured it was time to join! I have my key chain lights covered Ė a Photon Micro-Light II and an Olight i1R EOS. And Iím happy enough with my 1AAA, Olight i3E EOS. Actually ended up with two. My poor manís torch toy is the Olight S1R Baton II. I thought that I had my 1AA light covered also, but Iím in the process of returning an Eagtac D25A MKII 219C. I couldnít get group 1 to work so only high and strobe modes worked.

    I could have them send a replacement, but I would have to wait until they get it back in stock and I wasnít 100% satisfied with the high CRI 219C LED. As noted below in the list of questions below also, I definitely preferred its color accuracy over my Olights and that can be pretty important on trails at night Ė is that a stick or a copperhead, etc. But the 4000 CCT seemed just a little too warm, and not as bright as I was expecting. Maybe I just got too used to the Olights. I donít know what the CCT or CRI specs are for the Olights, but I think a CCT between them and the 219C Eagtac would be the sweet spot.

    One of the things I liked a lot about the Eagtac was the overall size and weight. It seems to be one of the smaller ones and I wouldnít want one much bigger or heavier. And along with optics and lumens/run time how it carries in the pocket is really important since my EDC will either be the 1AA or the 1AAA on daytime only trips. If your wondering why not just use the S1R Baton, well I probably should and save money but even though it is relatively tiny, it feels a little heavy in the pocket and Iím kind of fixated on having a light that uses batteries I can get anywhere.

    I certainly appreciate any and all advice yíall can provide. Based on the info above and below, do you think there is another light out there Iíd be happier with, or should I just get another D25A?

    1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?
    ____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! :-)
    ____$50-$60
    3) Format:
    ____I want a flashlight (hand held/self-contained).

    4) Size:
    ____TINY - Every day carry (2-4 inches).
    ____SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches).
    (about 4.5Ē max, small enough for comfortable front pocket EDC)

    5) Emitter/Light source:
    ____LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)

    6) Manufacturer:
    ____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).
    (probably canít afford a limited run/custom. Customer service is important.)

    7) What power source do you want to use?
    ____I want a 1AA flashlight that I can use disposable lithium and alkaline batteries. The ability to use rechargeable NiMH or NiCD would be nice and 14500 capability would be really nice. I donít have a dedicated battery charger yet, but with this growing flashlight obsession itís only a matter of time.

    7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option)
    __X_I don't care (to start with Iíll just be using lithium disposable batteries.)

    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).
    (All of the above but the highest priority is for hiking in the woods when my older 110 lumen model Black Diamond ReVolt headlamp runs out of juice, or I donít have it with me. And I would feel safer having a backup that could shine farther out when needed.)

    __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.
    (turbo power is fun but not a top priority)

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

    __X_All Flood: I am doing "armís length" tasks like reading and campsite cooking.
    __X_Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car.
    _XX_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.
    ____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.
    ____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.
    (Canít I just have all of the above, LOL!) As noted above the top priority is for walking/hiking through fairly dense woods and some wide-open fields.)

    9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check all that apply)
    __X_Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
    __X_Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
    __X_5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
    __X_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)
    ____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).
    ____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).
    (This is one area Iím struggling with. I would like a few hours at ~150 lumens but as many hours as possible at 50-60?? lumens if I get lost or injured hiking. Of course, if I do get lost, Iíll blame it on the dog.

    11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase ďyou get what you pay forĒ is very accurate for flashlights.
    ____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).


    12) Switch Size, Type, and location (choose all that apply):
    ____I donít know. (So far, Iíve used a body mounted switch, a twisty switch and a tail mounted switch that also had a twisty adjustment for modes. I have a slight preference for the body mounted switch but could live with any configuration.)

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

    __X_I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.) (I think 4 modes like high, medium, low and moonlight would be best. Being able to choose those modes like it seems you can on the Zebralights would be really nice. The strobe, SOS and beacon modes are not important to me)
    ____I want a programmable light. (maybe?)
    ____I want a selector ring. (maybe, if I knew what that was)

    14)Material/Finish/Coating
    ____Anodized Aluminum Ė either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for todayís higher end flashlights).
    ____Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive).

    15) Water resistance
    ____IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
    ____IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours) (preferred)

    16) Storage conditions
    ____In house (temperature/climate controlled environment)

    17) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any/all below.
    (Tail standing strongly preferred. Magnetic tail would be a bonus. I think I want a high CRI or neutral white LED. I tried the Eagtac D25A MKII 219C for a couple of walks and thought the color accuracy outside (and inside) was better than my Olights, but the tint was a little on what I would call the brown side. I think I would be happier with a tint between the two. I like the brightness of the Olights, but their light seems a little ďwashed outĒ after using the hi CRI light.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need help finding the right 1AA

    Zebralight SC53w on Eneloop would be my easy choice.

    ZL has always made the most efficient drivers for AA and as long as the output turns out to be enough for you they are also the most configurable by far to me and it is easy to select options on the fly as well.

    Nice solid construction,handy smaller size and great screwed on pocket clip the ZL is the one the others are compared to for space in my pockets.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Need help finding the right 1AA

    Another vote for the Zebralight SC53W.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need help finding the right 1AA

    Thanks guys, that puts the SC53W at the top of the list now. I had looked the ZL models earlier and was a little concerned about the relatively wide bezel. How does the brightness on alkaline or lithium disposables compare with the eneloop? And if I go the rechargeable route, would eneloop pro be a worthwhile upgrade? Also, how does the tint compare to the higher CRI models - is it noticeably whiter? The only high CRI light I've tried was the Eagletac D25A with the Nichia 219 LED and I thought it was a little too yellow. Just wondering how much difference there would be going from 4000 to 4500 CCT?

    I just realized they are local to me in North Texas. It would be great if they had a showroom! But it don't see any mention of one on their website and can't find a phone number even. Have you had any issues regarding customer service? I appreciate everyone's help on this since I only want to buy one 1AA light.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need help finding the right 1AA

    In my first post I said I didn't know what the CRI and CCT of my Olight lights were. The S1R Baton II is 70/6500, I just found it printed on the bezel around the lens, duh. Also found out from Olight the i1R EOS is "around 6000K" but the rep couldn't find any CRI ratings, and the i3E EOS is "around 6500K, CRI rating is around 70". I also found out the Zebralight facility in Irving, TX does not have a showroom. That's too bad, that would be like kids in the candy store checking out all the different models.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Need help finding the right 1AA

    I donít think the bezel will be too wide for you especially considering the performance you will get from this light. The color temp of my Zebralight ďwĒ models are my favorite. The purest of white. The SC53c would bee too yellow for you but has higher CRI. The SC53w is going to be just right tint with a CRI higher than 80.
    In my opinion the Eneloop pro is the absolute best battery option. However, the drivers in these lights are so good that you wonít see a difference in brightness on fresh batteries, itís just that Eneloops and lithium primaries will give you flatter regulation throughout the run time as alkalines suffer from voltage sag a lot more. Lithium primaries have a weight advantage though. I stay away from alkalines these days but itís nice to know you can grab an alkaline battery or 2 out of a remote and get some seriously long runtimes in a pinch. Sometimes I take batteries that wonít work in a tv remote and throw them in my H53c just to see how long they will run. Mostly I just quit after day 3 because itís more than I ever see myself really needing.
    I could go on and on about my experience with Zebralights Iíve owned dating back to my first H51w that I still have. I have passed that one down to my son. Another understated feature of Zebralights is their extremely tough anodizing finish. I got my H51w around 2010 when I was still an aircraft mechanic and it literally does not have one scratch to the finish. Long story short is get the SC53w, some Eneloop Proís and a charger and this will be the best light youíll likely find for the needs you have. It will be around with you a long time.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need help finding the right 1AA

    Quote Originally Posted by FAAbUlights View Post
    I donít think the bezel will be too wide for you especially considering the performance you will get from this light. The color temp of my Zebralight ďwĒ models are my favorite. The purest of white. The SC53c would bee too yellow for you but has higher CRI. The SC53w is going to be just right tint with a CRI higher than 80.
    In my opinion the Eneloop pro is the absolute best battery option. However, the drivers in these lights are so good that you wonít see a difference in brightness on fresh batteries, itís just that Eneloops and lithium primaries will give you flatter regulation throughout the run time as alkalines suffer from voltage sag a lot more. Lithium primaries have a weight advantage though. I stay away from alkalines these days but itís nice to know you can grab an alkaline battery or 2 out of a remote and get some seriously long runtimes in a pinch. Sometimes I take batteries that wonít work in a tv remote and throw them in my H53c just to see how long they will run. Mostly I just quit after day 3 because itís more than I ever see myself really needing.
    I could go on and on about my experience with Zebralights Iíve owned dating back to my first H51w that I still have. I have passed that one down to my son. Another understated feature of Zebralights is their extremely tough anodizing finish. I got my H51w around 2010 when I was still an aircraft mechanic and it literally does not have one scratch to the finish. Long story short is get the SC53w, some Eneloop Proís and a charger and this will be the best light youíll likely find for the needs you have. It will be around with you a long time.
    3 for 3 for the SC53w, sold!! And thanks for the tip on using tv remote batteries. That makes sense since usually they can still turn the tv on and off when they get too weak for the other functions.

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