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Thread: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

  1. #1

    Default Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    I have a number of posts scattered across a number of threads started by others, but they're old now.

    Since joining CPF, I have only come across a few decent red flashlights.

    • The Surefire Aviators. I gifted my original. New ones are $$$ and not AA. But definitely worthy. I probably need to save up and get a red one of these.
    • The Gerber Infinity, AA, 5mm LED. Ok, but heavy and one dim mode, but brighter than other single 5mm red lights. Well built, was ok for 5mm LED. Twisty, but could squeeze for momentary.
    • The Foursevens Atom A0 Red, battery crusher, only two modes, twisty, AAA
    • The Zebralights H592r Red and H502pr Photo Red AA Flood Headlamps. Side clicky, side beam. I prefer tactical, and I don't think these can be found anymore.
    • (custom) A Thrunite Ti SS that I had Vinh mod with a red Cree. Still my favorite flashlight, always carried. But twisty and AAA
    • I have that $3 common zoomy AA red light, use it quite a bit, but I hate the host, horrible PWM on the low mode and an unavoidable blinky mode. Cheapo, not decent, reverse clicky. But is AA. Picked up a few more in the same style with one mode, direct drive so no PWM
    • Armytec Wizard WR head lamp w/ red & white
    • Fenix TK25 Red Version 18650 tail clicky w/ red & white


    Unless anyone knows of any decent red AA tail clickies, preferably moded with no PWM, I guess I will have to choose one and send it to Vinh, or give up AA dreams and blow two months on a new Aviator. Neither option would be regrettable, I suppose.

    It just seems like such an obvious thing to exist, a half-decent tactical AA forward clicky/momentary moded red with bright red and dim red for less than $100, but mostly the readily available options in red are such cheap crap. I don't want any more cheap flashlights, unless padding an order for free ship.


    Edit: adding to list newer lights here

    • Sofirn C01R AAA single emitter in 660nm, TIR, twisty
    • Manker MC13 18650/18350 w/ Osram KR CSLNM1.23 single emitter in 617nm, TIR, tail clicky
    • Noctigon KR1 18650/18350 w/ W1 Red Osram CSLNM1.23 single emitter in 617nm, reflector, tail piston drive
    Last edited by chillinn; 10-12-2020 at 03:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic Katherine Alicia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    have you had a look at the Sofirn C01R?
    I don`t know if they`re any good or what you`re looking for, but it might be worth checking, I have one on order myself (it just looked interesting).

    edit: NVM, I just looked and I think it`s AAA.
    Last edited by Katherine Alicia; 08-25-2020 at 04:44 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    That's not bad at all for 10 bucks, nicer than the AA zoomy I hate.



    But it is a twisty and AAA. Still, nice to see a new member of the red family. And deep red 660nm, too. Noted, thanks.


    I am carrying my new SC5c II a lot. Can't put it down. So pleased with highCRI and whatever pulse scheme it is using does not give me migraines (as the SC5w OP did). Considering the cost and all the variances with the Aviator-RD 3V, I am considering I might give up on tactical tail clicky, find a SC5w II (could not bring myself to have an SC5c II modded, and it would still be hard for me to mod the w but better that than the c) and send to Vinh. (Did Zebralight make an SC5 Mk II? I don't see any in the model sheet.) Considering all the available modes, dim and bright and in between, with crazy runtimes, it might be worth giving up tactical. If I can find one. (Biggest complaint with Zebralight... running out of stock when demand is still high... kind of bush league. Make more, darnit!!).

    I better wait and see what else CPF flashaholics come up with...



    Edit: In the meantime, I put in a request with Zebralight sales for a one off SC5pr II. Vinh does excellent work, and it is pretty sick he has modded Zebralights, but it would be nice to have it correctly and factory branded. No expectations.
    Last edited by chillinn; 08-25-2020 at 06:34 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    If you can mod, or hire help
    Ultratac A1
    Tool AA

    are both potential AA hosts for a Red LED modification.
    I recently ordered some 660 nm Red from Kaidomain, very inexpensive

    Here is a Thrunite T10T I modded to Red.. but I dont recommend that host, as I prefer a tailclicky


    here is an article about Red LED lights for astronomy that may help give you more ideas.
    Last edited by jon_slider; 08-25-2020 at 12:26 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    Forgot the Tool came in AA. Thanks, that may be the one. Constant current. Modes. Tail clicky... any possibility of finding a ... there is a forward clicky in a light that size that might swap in to replace the reverse clicky. I can't recall which, but I can find it; older one mode light... might be an AAA, but that might not be a deal breaker for the modder.

    I can not mod, but Vinh has set up some nice lights for me. Gave one away, one ran away, and one still carried.

    Between Vinh, Lumensfactory, and Zebralight, I am going to be broke for a while. Heh, broke now, just for a few days.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    Peak will do a custom El Capitan

    Another option, albeit far more expensive, is a McGizmo AA with a specialized red light engine.
    Last edited by archimedes; 08-25-2020 at 03:36 PM.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  8. #8

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Romanko View Post
    That is something. This is what I am talking about, new worthy stuff. But I can't commit interest without the scratch available, and no price estimation. But I am interested, will say, also want.


    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    Peak will do a custom El Capitan

    Another option, albeit far more expensive, is a McGizmo AA with a specialized red light engine.
    Peak are pretty well done, but I prefer hidden threads on the head, exposed threads on the body.

    McGizmo AA would be pretty amazing, love everything about his stuff but his drivers. iirc, the AA light engine has PWM? I can't remember, maybe that is the one he has that is without PWM. But it gets more expensive, because I'd need 2 light engines, one red, one with nichia.

    I sort have almost made up my mind for both a Vinh ZL Mk II something, just too tempting and not unaffordable, and an red AA Tool with forward clicky, to get closer to my original spec request.

    But the suggestions should keep coming because I have a couple months before pulling the plug. And the red threads are old, so a new one with new stuff is not out of order. Will be helpful to others interested in red.

    Thanks all, I am red delighted.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    Not much red, but a little, so valid, and just sick, I forgot about the Oveready Triple V5.1 E/Scout Head

    HDS will also customize the LED with red options.
    Last edited by chillinn; 09-01-2020 at 04:21 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    I'd like some assistance exploring the viability of a Cree Red or Photo Red in a Zebralight SC5w II.

    WalkIntoTheLight indicated elsewhere the SC5c II draws 5 amps on Turbo. Just a cursory look at Cree XP-G3 Photo Red and Cree XLamp XP-E2 Photo Red specs (1A) leads me to believe this is folly.

    Is there a Red or Deep Red LED that can handle those amps? Cree preferred, but whatever can handle the amps will help me reckon. TIA

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by chillinn View Post
    The Gerber, can't remember the model, AA, used 5mm LED. Ok, but heavy and one dim mode, but brighter than other single 5mm red lights. Well built, was ok for 5mm LED. Twisty, but could squeeze for momentary.
    Just picked one of these up on the bay for 10.50

    Quote Originally Posted by chillinn View Post
    The Zebralights H592r Red and H502pr Photo Red AA Flood Headlamps. Side clicky, side beam. I prefer tactical, and I don't think these can be found anymore.
    Have one of the H502pr, and it is still for sale on the ZL site.

    I'm also sportin a P6 with a red filter, Good Stuff.

    Love my red lights!!! Good Luck with your search.

    Jim

  12. #12

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    I would prefer a tail clicky Zebralight in photo red with a forward emitter. Those don't exist. I even asked Zebralight if they could make a few, and their answer was unintelligible, I don't think they understood my question. I am sort of still in love with my new SC5c II. I can't bring myself to have it modded, but an SC5w II is fair game, and if it could work, the Zebralight headlamps would not compare to its max brightness.

    Those red headlamps are great. I don't mind custom work, happy to support the practice. But I need to know before even bugging the modder about it if the available red LEDs will not on a particular platform's electronics.

    I am confident some CPFer knows, or is able to chew threw the literature of what is available and make a determination.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    yeah, the aviator is prolly the most budget friendly...

    Quote Originally Posted by chillinn View Post
    I would prefer a tail clicky Zebralight in photo red with a forward emitter. Those don't exist. I even asked Zebralight if they could make a few, and their answer was unintelligible, I don't think they understood my question. I am sort of still in love with my new SC5c II. I can't bring myself to have it modded, but an SC5w II is fair game, and if it could work, the Zebralight headlamps would not compare to its max brightness.

    Those red headlamps are great. I don't mind custom work, happy to support the practice. But I need to know before even bugging the modder about it if the available red LEDs will not on a particular platform's electronics.

    I am confident some CPFer knows, or is able to chew threw the literature of what is available and make a determination.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroTurf View Post
    yeah, the aviator is prolly the most budget friendly...
    I have a hope better can be had for less with a custom mod. I seek a Red LED that can handle 5 amps, if such a unicorn exists.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by chillinn View Post
    I have a hope better can be had for less with a custom mod. I seek a Red LED that can handle 5 amps, if such a unicorn exists.
    Hunting for RedZebraUnicorns with forward tail clicky operating at 5amps, sounds like Mission Impossible. And, with all due respect you are creating mutually exclusive criteria

    One AA battery cannot provide 5amps
    and afaik, there are no tailclicky zebras

    why would you need 5 amps of red?

    these are the options I know of:

    xp-e2 660nm Red, max 1amp
    xp-g3 660nm Red, max 1.5amp
    sst-20 660nm Red, max 3amp

    you could use a triple to reduce power to individual LEDs.. but, there are no triples that run on AA
    Last edited by jon_slider; 09-03-2020 at 09:51 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    why would you need 5 amps of red?
    I was told the SC5c II drew 5A on turbo, assumed SC5w II drew the same on turbo.
    Both Eneloop and L91 can handle these amps okey dokey.

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    these are the options I know of:

    xp-e2 660nm Red, max 1amp
    xp-g3 660nm Red, max 1.5amp
    sst-20 660nm Red, max 3amp
    Thanks for this.

    I assumed ZL AA must have buck drivers. Is the XP-L 660nm Photo Red no longer available? I know it also won't do 5A, just being thorough. Nice to have all Cree 660nm Red listed in one spot, plus the Luminus.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by chillinn View Post
    I was told the SC5c II drew 5A on turbo
    I did not know that.. how is it possible, where is your info coming from?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    I did not know that.. how is it possible, where is your info coming from?
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkIntoTheLight View Post
    And with the SC5 running on max, it draws about 5 amps, which drops the running voltage down to about 1.1v even on a freshly charged cell.
    In post #183 of the Zebralight SC5 MKII thread.

    My emphasis.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    this hearsay says
    1.75 amps, with LiIon

  20. #20

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    this hearsay says
    1.75 amps, with LiIon
    post from 2013 concerning SC52, using 14500 Li-ion cell

    SC5c at 475Lm is 169% brighter on AA than SC52 at 280Lm on 14500.

    169% of 1.75A is 4.71A, which is pretty close to 5A.
    Last edited by chillinn; 09-03-2020 at 04:30 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    I cant make sense of the numbers soup
    I hope you find a red light you like

    sounds like a zebra is the wrong host

  22. #22

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    I cant make sense of the numbers soup
    I hope you find a red light you like

    sounds like a zebra is the wrong host
    You did fine.

    ...for the benefit of the thread, in our PM discussion, jon_slider produced a citation that the current draw at the LED in the SC5w II is 1.25A. Current draw at the cell is probably different, but this is what I wanted to see, at least making it possible an LED swap might not blow a suitable red replacement.

    The
    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    xp-g3 660nm Red, max 1.5amp
    is looking like a possibility.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    I have been clued into another compelling red light option, a thrower, though it is not a single LED.

    Manker MC13 Ultra-Throw Flashlight - Multi LED

    ... when chosen with the...

    LED Option3: OSRAM KR CSLNM1.23 LED (617nm red light)
    Max. 260 lumens output, Max. 450meters beam distance

    Output/runtime (Red light)
    Moonlight: 0.5 lumens 82 hours
    Low 60 lumens 25 hours
    Middle 90 lumens 2 hours 03 minutes
    High 152 lumens 57 minutes
    Turbo 260 lumens 53 minutes
    Strobe 260 lumens -
    Peak beam intensity: 50,625 cd
    Maximum beam distance: 450 meters
    Impact resistance: 1 meters
    Waterproof standard: IPX-8,2M


    If I correctly linked to the OSRAM product page, the data sheet lists the wavelength at 617nm, which is not as red as I would like, I expect almost orange. I believe OSRAM once had a Red Dragon LED that was closer to 660nm that was used in some flashlights (like perhaps this BLACK CAT HM01-R-R 1W OSRAM red light, cheap and still barely available), but I can find nothing about it, and maybe it was called Golden Dragon, still, it is discontinued.

    jon_slider just provided a nice image showing the drastic difference between these wavelengths




    The mode spacing is rather extreme between 0.5Lm and 60Lm. It is all Moonlight (really, it is Firefly) and High modes, and nothing in between. I would prefer 3Lm, 8Lm, 20Lm and 40Lm squeezed in between those extremes, but apparently the interface is programmable, and there is a tiny bit of wiggle room (but this may be in the opposite direction, widening the modes rather than bringing them closer together):

    Last edited by chillinn; 09-13-2020 at 11:18 AM.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic Katherine Alicia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    yeah, they`re really good throwers! I`v got the white one on next months shopping list, but I want the 18650 tube to go with it as well.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    I wonder if using a white LED with a red filter would work better as white LEDs may be more efficient than red LEDs these days.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    I wonder if using a white LED with a red filter would work better as white LEDs may be more efficient than red LEDs these days.
    The ThruNite TiS that Vinh modded for me with a 630nm Cree XP-E Red is crazy efficient. I use this every night, and battery swaps only occur about once every two months. Granted, I mostly use the 0.04Lm mode, but it still impresses the heck out of me I can go that long on a AAA battery. Generally, when I go to swap out the battery, the remaining NiMH charge is 1.28V.

    I once had and have used the Surefire F05 Red filter on my incan E. I gifted that filter with a black E1e. A few months later, my own black E1e leapt out of my pocket into deep ivy as I was descending some outside stairs through woods. I assume that is what happened, it just disappeared. That really hurt. I'll never carry a Surefire E with that stupid clip ever again. Before I got this SC5c II, I carried a fivemega E head E tail constantly for 2 years... no clip, sunk deep in the pocket, never escaped. It is shelved and displayed for a while, all my 18350 and 16340 cells are drained to 3.7V for storage, while I work out this SC5c II bug I have. Can't put it down. Reminds me, I wanted to find a Red 5mm LED and stuff it in a Tad Customs socket, run E, but I never got around to trying to find one with the right voltage spec to run driverless direct voltage Li-ion. I miss Radio Shack.

    I would be curious if what you suggest is true, but I am sort of a purist about this, and prefer the simpler set up of a red powerLED to white LED and red filter.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    Yeah I'm not sure how much efficiency is lost on a red filter but white LEDs can be had at over 200 lumens/watt while red LEDs are about 42 lumens/watt unless you go with orange-red then about 109 lumens/watt I think.
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  28. #28

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    If LEDs with Punch! is your source for 222Lm/W & 42Lm/W, then the White LED info is from 2018 & 2019, while the Deep Red LED info is from 2017. Neat site. But Don neither lists the 630nm Cree XP-E R2 Red I've got, nor any of the latest Cree Red LEDs, nor the two OSRAM mentioned above (one is pretty old), nor even the 660nm Red LEDs jon_slider suggested above, yet does list an Orange Red OSRAM at 142Lm/W.

    It would make sense that white is more efficient, as that's where nearly all of the effort in R&D goes. However, White LED has been bumping up against theoretical efficiency limits for at least 2 years. I wonder what has changed for varieties of Red LED (620nm - 670nm) the last 3 years. If there is room to make them more efficient, by golly, they will get more efficient.

    Your point is not lost on me. However, it is not merely a matter of how much efficiency is lost with a Red filter, which I expect could be a lot considering one pays for the full visible spectrum of White light and only gets what the filter lets theough, but also that to some or better extent, filters cannot prevent the other frequencies from passing through. Thus the Red filter doesn't actually achieve as narrow a wavelength band as any of the Red LED. Maybe that is nitpicking. But if one wants 650nm - 670nm light peaking at 660nm, the only way to actually and literally achieve that is with a Red LED.
    Last edited by chillinn; 09-13-2020 at 06:54 PM.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    I've read that in a lab they have made a 300lm/watt white LED awhile back but it may not be the process of making it was profitable to manufacture. I just don't really know much else but there is one good thing in that with a filter it opens a lot more options vs having to mod an existing design or buy a red specific made light.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
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  30. #30
    Flashaholic Katherine Alicia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent RED powerLED AA flashlights

    the Manker E03 comes with Red/Green and White diffuser/filters as well, and it`s a single AA battery.

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