Help ! -Need AA light with long runtime on low/moonlight mode

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lisa3070
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DavidEF wrote:
lisa3070 wrote:
kramer5150 wrote:
Have you considered upgrading to Energizer lithium AA ?

http://lygte-info.dk/review/batteries2012/Energizer%20Ultimate%20Lithium...

They would be a better choice for that application… 30+ hours at .1A draw. I am not sure what that light draws in its lowest candle mode, but if its lower than .1A, you should see longer run times than 28 hours.

Those lithium cells are rated at 3000 Mah..

my eneloops are rated at 2000 Mahs and I only got 28 hours run time. I do not think another 1000 mahs { 50% more capacity then eneloop} would result in going from 28 hour run time, to 80 hour run time . Is my math wrong ?


If you look at the comparator, you’ll see that the voltage of the Energizer Ultimate stays higher than the Eneloop all the way through the test(s). In a LED light, these cells would have to be boosted to a higher voltage to even turn on the LED. So, the higher the cell voltage is, the less strain there is on the cell, and as well, the boost driver will be more efficient. You also have to take into account the cut-off voltage of the boost driver. The Eneloop will reach that point sooner, since it is lower voltage already. So, you get more difference between the cells inside the light than just the rated mAH capacity on the wrapper.

So you believe the lithium AA cell will give 80 hours runtime with the XTAR on 3 lumens?

wouldnt it be less expensive, to just find a LED light that runs on single AA or AAA eneloop , at 3 lumens or less for 3 days or more ?

I own 40 AA/AAA eneloops….so I did not want to change out to lithium energizers, since my eneloops always performed properly in my other LED lights.

DavidEF
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Yes, since you already own so many Eneloops, it would be better to find a light that will do what you want. But, then again, you already own several of those lights now too. If you’re not interested in keeping them, you could sell them here in the WTS area, and recoup some of your money.

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scdaf
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Lisa, you keep repeating yourself. Others have suggested that you try an alkaline cell to see what happens, pointing out that the low amp performance of alkalines can be far better than Eneloops. Why don’t you give a decent alkaline a try in order to verify this?

Honestly, the price of a flashlight has little relationship to it’s performance, or we’d all own Surefires and BLF would not exist.

lisa3070
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DavidEF wrote:
Yes, since you already own so many Eneloops, it would be better to find a light that will do what you want. But, then again, you already own several of those lights now too. If you’re not interested in keeping them, you could sell them here in the WTS area, and recoup some of your money.

If we agree, that the XTAR would get 80 hours runtime on 3 lumen mode , using a rechargeable lithium AA cell { which I still doubt} , can we agree that XTAR corporation should explain that the user must use a AA lithium cell to get those ratings , in their ads ? I did not see that info disclosed in the description of this flashlight. LETS FACE IT , most people are probably using eneloop recharegeables { or nimh} instead of Lithium at the present time .

Lightbringer
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lisa3070 wrote:
DavidEF wrote:
Okay, well, if you’re determined to stick with your Eneloops, then you’re right that you’ll have to get a lower lumen rated moonlight mode. I don’t know of any cheap lights that have a true moonlight mode. I hope you find one and let us know when you do.

I would be interested to see if anyone here, has tried a lithium in this light, at 3 lumens, to see how long runtime is.

Try a regular AA alkie.

The WK50 does not take Li cells, either 3V disposables or 4.2V-peak Li-ion cells. It’s strictly a boost converter, with all its inefficiencies at low-loads†.

Comparing it to a light that runs off Li cells is kind of unfair, because all that does is step down the current to the LED.

I’m not sure about eneloops, but NiCd cells would drop like a rock once they’re spent. Full-tilt one minute. completely dead the next. Haven’t used NiMH cells to characterise their end-of-charge behavior.

Alkies, though, just get higher and higher internal impedance as they’re drained, which is why those 7-/9-/15-LED cheapo lights will be “dying” when the cells still have lots of oomf left inside. They’ll drain to sub-volt levels and keep going with a proper boost-converter.

Seriously, try an alkie and see how that goes.

† When you look at lots of switching power supplies, they’ll approach 98% or more at decent loads, but drop to 70% or less at very light loads. Most of the current drawn at that point is for the controller (and its losses), not the load.

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lisa3070
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scdaf wrote:
Lisa, you keep repeating yourself. Others have suggested that you try an alkaline cell to see what happens, pointing out that the low amp performance of alkalines can be far better than Eneloops. Why don’t you give a decent alkaline a try in order to verify this?

Honestly, the price of a flashlight has little relationship to it’s performance, or we’d all own Surefires and BLF would not exist.

I own numerous LED lights , all of which perform at or near factory ratings for runtime, using my eneloops { except this XTAR} .

This is why im shocked at getting 28 hours runtime on a light that was rated 80 hours . I havent used regular throw away batteries for years , due to economics and landfill waste . I was not aware that a normal throwaway alkalaine battery could give 300- 400% longer runtime then a 2000 mah eneloop.

unknown00101
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S1A does indeed do a great job in moonlight mode on eneloops. I’ve been using mine as a nightlight for the past 2 months or so. A few recharges in there because when I recharge a bunch of cells I end up recharging everything that gets used frequently.

It hasn’t been a true test because I often grab it and use turbo or low/medium for a minute here and there, but 2-3 weeks under these conditions and it doesn’t run out.

lisa3070
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Lightbringer wrote:
lisa3070 wrote:
DavidEF wrote:
Okay, well, if you’re determined to stick with your Eneloops, then you’re right that you’ll have to get a lower lumen rated moonlight mode. I don’t know of any cheap lights that have a true moonlight mode. I hope you find one and let us know when you do.

I would be interested to see if anyone here, has tried a lithium in this light, at 3 lumens, to see how long runtime is.

Try a regular AA alkie.

The WK50 does not take Li cells, either 3V disposables or 4.2V-peak Li-ion cells. It’s strictly a boost converter, with all its inefficiencies at low-loads†.

Comparing it to a light that runs off Li cells is kind of unfair, because all that does is step down the current to the LED.

I’m not sure about eneloops, but NiCd cells would drop like a rock once they’re spent. Full-tilt one minute. completely dead the next. Haven’t used NiMH cells to characterise their end-of-charge behavior.

Alkies, though, just get higher and higher internal impedance as they’re drained, which is why those 7-/9-/15-LED cheapo lights will be “dying” when the cells still have lots of oomf left inside. They’ll drain to sub-volt levels and keep going with a proper boost-converter.

Seriously, try an alkie and see how that goes.

† When you look at lots of switching power supplies, they’ll approach 98% or more at decent loads, but drop to 70% or less at very light loads. Most of the current drawn at that point is for the controller (and its losses), not the load.

I guess, even if a regular alkalaine gave close to 80 hour runtime on this light, it still would not suit my needs, because I did not want to go back to throwaway batteries , or switch to lithium. I wanted to stick to my eneloops, which have served me well for many years .

lisa3070
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unknown00101 wrote:
S1A does indeed do a great job in moonlight mode on eneloops. I’ve been using mine as a nightlight for the past 2 months or so. A few recharges in there because when I recharge a bunch of cells I end up recharging everything that gets used frequently.

It hasn’t been a true test because I often grab it and use turbo or low/medium for a minute here and there, but 2-3 weeks under these conditions and it doesn’t run out.

TY..it looks like that in order to use my eneloops, and get a long run time on moonlight mode { 3 days or more at about 1.5 lumens } im gonna have to raise my price target from $10 , to $20 . The xtar at $7.50 , seemed to good to be true for my needs/ price range.

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Lightbringer wrote:
lisa3070 wrote:
DavidEF wrote:
Okay, well, if you’re determined to stick with your Eneloops, then you’re right that you’ll have to get a lower lumen rated moonlight mode. I don’t know of any cheap lights that have a true moonlight mode. I hope you find one and let us know when you do.

I would be interested to see if anyone here, has tried a lithium in this light, at 3 lumens, to see how long runtime is.

Try a regular AA alkie.

The WK50 does not take Li cells, either 3V disposables or 4.2V-peak Li-ion cells. It’s strictly a boost converter, with all its inefficiencies at low-loads†.

Comparing it to a light that runs off Li cells is kind of unfair, because all that does is step down the current to the LED.

I’m not sure about eneloops, but NiCd cells would drop like a rock once they’re spent. Full-tilt one minute. completely dead the next. Haven’t used NiMH cells to characterise their end-of-charge behavior.

Alkies, though, just get higher and higher internal impedance as they’re drained, which is why those 7-/9-/15-LED cheapo lights will be “dying” when the cells still have lots of oomf left inside. They’ll drain to sub-volt levels and keep going with a proper boost-converter.

Seriously, try an alkie and see how that goes.

† When you look at lots of switching power supplies, they’ll approach 98% or more at decent loads, but drop to 70% or less at very light loads. Most of the current drawn at that point is for the controller (and its losses), not the load.


I was talking about Lithium Primary AA cells, made to replace alkaline AA’s, not the higher voltage Lithium cells that we all normally think of when “Lithium” is mentioned.

Anyway, now that I’m aware of the 40 Eneloops that need to be used, there is no point in pushing another cell. lisa3070 needs a light that can do several days from a 2000mAH Eneloop.

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chadvone
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3 cells per light. Car charger. More expensive light.
Your needs seam extreme.

What are you wanting to light for so long?

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lisa3070 wrote:
wouldnt it be less expensive, to just find a LED light that runs on single AA or AAA eneloop , at 3 lumens or less for 3 days or more ?

If you want only moonlight, that may be your best bet. Find one of those cheapo multi-LED lights that take 3×AAA, load ‘em up with eneloops (3.6V), and solder in a small dropping resistor to limit current to a few mA. (Breaking a PC trace in the right place and slapping on a chip-resistor should suffice.)

eneloops won’t have the same internal resistance as regular AAAs (much much less, in fact), so unless you want a bright light, cooking an LED at Vf=3.6V or so, you’ll need that resistor. (Value = trial’n‘error depending on the Vf of the specific LED, and the current you want to push through it.)

So with 2000mAH in an eneloop, if you pick a resistor for 10mA total, you’d get 200H of runtime. It should be straight math to figure out runtime vs current depending on the true capacity of the cell. 25mA should get you your 80H target.

Go crazy… Big Smile

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lisa3070
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chadvone wrote:
3 cells per light. Car charger. More expensive light.
Your needs seam extreme.

What are you wanting to light for so long?

I live out in the country and we often have power go out for days. Wanted to find a inexpensive LED that ran on single AA or AAA eneloop for 3 days or more in moonlight mode / 3 lumens or less . Really, 1.5 lumens – 3 lumens would be perfect as long as it runs for 3 days or longer .

Lumens at .5 or less may not be bright enough. I am not interested in the light also having many multi modes or having a hi lumen output. I have other LED lights for those purposes.

Thanks for all the replies.

lisa3070
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I also own the Sunnywayman D50A…which will run in moonlight mode for many days, but it takes 4 AA eneloops , so it doesnt suit my needs.

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lisa3070 wrote:
chadvone wrote:
3 cells per light. Car charger. More expensive light.
Your needs seam extreme.

What are you wanting to light for so long?

I live out in the country and we often have power go out for days. Wanted to find a inexpensive LED that ran on single AA or AAA eneloop for 3 days or more in moonlight mode / 3 lumens or less . Really, 1.5 lumens – 3 lumens would be perfect as long as it runs for 3 days or longer .

Lumens at .5 or less may not be bright enough. I am not interested in the light also having many multi modes or having a hi lumen output. I have other LED lights for those purposes.

Thanks for all the replies.


How many of those Xtar lights do you have?

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lisa3070
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DavidEF wrote:
lisa3070 wrote:
chadvone wrote:
3 cells per light. Car charger. More expensive light.
Your needs seam extreme.

What are you wanting to light for so long?

I live out in the country and we often have power go out for days. Wanted to find a inexpensive LED that ran on single AA or AAA eneloop for 3 days or more in moonlight mode / 3 lumens or less . Really, 1.5 lumens – 3 lumens would be perfect as long as it runs for 3 days or longer .

Lumens at .5 or less may not be bright enough. I am not interested in the light also having many multi modes or having a hi lumen output. I have other LED lights for those purposes.

Thanks for all the replies.


How many of those Xtar lights do you have?

I bought several of them , but have already wrapped them up to give for Xmas gifts , since they did not perform like I needed . I will keep 1 of them for myself though . For $7.50 , it is a good light…4 modes…pretty bright , and the moonlight mode is perfect as a night light, except for its low runtime . The tail clicky button is a bit firm, but thats no big deal.

I do think a better deal was the Cree ultrafire , that had the adjustable focus beam and ran on AA…I bought 1 of those a while ago off ebay for $2.89 .

lisa3070
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I imagine the way LED technology is advancing, we will soon see a small budget light that will run on single AA/AAA eneloop at 1.5 to 3 lumens for
3 days or more, for under $10 . May even be some after xmas sales for the name brand ones, where the prices are marked down very low to get rid of year end stock and make way for new improved stock.

What im also hoping to eventually see, is a small LED light that runs on single AA/AAA , and has a built in solar panel , wrapped around the shell of the light, to keep the battery charged . You could keep it in the window sill and it would always be ready . They have flexible solar cells that could be circularly wrapped around the outer casing of the light . This would be a good seller for survivalist also . I see they have these keychain solar lights for sale, but they use a button cell/ watch batteries or a capacitor. It would be more appealing to me for them to use AA/AAA

Lightbringer
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lisa3070 wrote:
LETS FACE IT , most people are probably using eneloop recharegeables { or nimh} instead of Lithium at the present time .

Ummm, I’m not.

The only AA-format lights I have, I run straight alkies. Whenever I ran down my Quark so that “turbo” would be as bright as, say, medium, I’d feed those cells to my bobofett light. Hell, even when my optical mouse would stop working, I’d feed those cells to bobofett (cheap 3buk 1×AA light from MicroCenter). I still have a half-dozen “dead” AAs that I’ve yet to burn through.

I had a few regular NiCd/NiMH cells that I was using for… something… but Hell if I can even find the cells, let alone the come-with chargers. A lot of old-timey stuff didn’t run too well on 1.2V vs 1.5V. Hell, even my scanners had a coupla dummy-cells for when using alkies vs Ni-* cells.

And other stuff that’d take AA alkies would fry with multivolt Ni cells.

(And that includes the WK50, because it’s only rated to 1.8V, iirr.)

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lisa3070
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Lightbringer wrote:
lisa3070 wrote:
LETS FACE IT , most people are probably using eneloop recharegeables { or nimh} instead of Lithium at the present time .

Ummm, I’m not.

The only AA-format lights I have, I run straight alkies. Whenever I ran down my Quark so that “turbo” would be as bright as, say, medium, I’d feed those cells to my bobofett light. Hell, even when my optical mouse would stop working, I’d feed those cells to bobofett (cheap 3buk 1×AA light from MicroCenter). I still have a half-dozen “dead” AAs that I’ve yet to burn through.

I had a few regular NiCd/NiMH cells that I was using for… something… but Hell if I can even find the cells, let alone the come-with chargers. A lot of old-timey stuff didn’t run too well on 1.2V vs 1.5V. Hell, even my scanners had a coupla dummy-cells for when using alkies vs Ni-* cells.

And other stuff that’d take AA alkies would fry with multivolt Ni cells.

(And that includes the WK50, because it’s only rated to 1.8V, iirr.)

But realistically , most people who use AA/AAA rechargeables, probably use/own Eneloop more then any other brand/type ?

Especially if they need low self discharge rates and dont want to mess with special chargers for lithium / lifepo4 chemistry.

RollerBoySE
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60 hours at 3 lumens using this I could believe:

http://www.foursevens.com/products/MA-AE

50% off the price today (Cyber Monday)

lisa3070
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lisa3070 wrote:
I imagine the way LED technology is advancing, we will soon see a small budget light that will run on single AA/AAA eneloop at 1.5 to 3 lumens for
3 days or more, for under $10 . May even be some after xmas sales for the name brand ones, where the prices are marked down very low to get rid of year end stock and make way for new improved stock.

What im also hoping to eventually see, is a small LED light that runs on single AA/AAA , and has a built in solar panel , wrapped around the shell of the light, to keep the battery charged . You could keep it in the window sill and it would always be ready . They have flexible solar cells that could be circularly wrapped around the outer casing of the light . This would be a good seller for survivalist also . I see they have these keychain solar lights for sale, but they use a button cell/ watch batteries or a capacitor. It would be more appealing to me for them to use AA/AAA

Im in the process of modifying my Leatherman Wave multi tool , so it will have a LED light in it and a Ferrous rod for firestarting.

lisa3070
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RollerBoySE wrote:
60 hours at 3 lumens using this I could believe:

http://www.foursevens.com/products/MA-AE

50% off the price today (Cyber Monday)

TY for the link.

Below the item, there are some comments.

The Foursevesn rep, made a comment that he does not recomeend using rechargeable batteries for this light,,,maybe because it would not get 60 hours runtime at the 3 lumen mode ?

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lisa3070 wrote:
I own numerous LED lights , all of which perform at or near factory ratings for runtime, using my eneloops { except this XTAR} .

This is why im shocked at getting 28 hours runtime on a light that was rated 80 hours . I havent used regular throw away batteries for years , due to economics and landfill waste . I was not aware that a normal throwaway alkalaine battery could give 300- 400% longer runtime then a 2000 mah eneloop.

Okay, stop getting hung up on printed spex.

If you look at, say, the Jetbeam Jet-I, you’ll see 2 different lumen ratings, one for Li, another for alkie. When you take multiple chemistries (and voltages) into account, you’ll get different performance.

They (being a reputable mfr) won’t just list the higher lumen output for Li cells, because then anyone using alkies will go bitching’n‘moaning about not getting near that output when using alkies or Ni-* cells. And that’s when you’re feeding the light with up to 4.2V vs 1.2V!

Runtime when using moonlight mode, I can guarantee you, won’t be specced out for each’n‘every chemistry when you’re using alkies, NiCd, NiMH, etc. Most people would care about light output at its maximum setting, not runtime using the lowest possible setting. That’s pretty much an afterthought.

But again (and again, and again, after multiple people suggested the saaaaaaame thing), TRY an AA alkie, and see how that fares.

Want a better example?

Buy a car that costs big bux, one that runs off E85 (“flex-fuel”, etc.). EtOH does not have the same energy density as straight gasoline, so your gas mileage will be lower using E85. Hell, my car’s mileage drops some with “oxygenated” fuel in winter.

Do you complain to Ford, GM, Toyota, etc., for not including specific fuel-mileage spex for straight gasoline, 10% EtOH in winter, E85, and so on?

You’ll never see those spex, because it’s presumed your mileage will drop with different fuels!

Yet you want to hold the maker of a 15buk flashlight to even higher standards? C’mon…

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It sounds like you have your mind made up. David isn’t asking you to replace all your eneloops, just to buy a couple to run a test with.

There are dozens of reasons for different designs to have different run times. The best way to verify that ANY light and battery combination is going to do what you want is to test it in your environment.

Eneloops are great in some circumstances, but have trade offs that are sometimes worth it, and other times, not so much.

Just try it.

Lazy-R-us

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Lightbringer wrote:
lisa3070 wrote:
I own numerous LED lights , all of which perform at or near factory ratings for runtime, using my eneloops { except this XTAR} .

This is why im shocked at getting 28 hours runtime on a light that was rated 80 hours . I havent used regular throw away batteries for years , due to economics and landfill waste . I was not aware that a normal throwaway alkalaine battery could give 300- 400% longer runtime then a 2000 mah eneloop.

Yet you want to hold the maker of a 15buk flashlight to even higher standards? C’mon…

Ive already stated that for $7.50 , I think this is a good light. Im not asking for a refund from the manufacturer , im just letting people know I tested this light with a eneloop, and only got 28 hours runtime , which is nowheres near the 80 hour runtime specs the company listed. I would hope my info, could help some people. This was a learning experience for me also, because I now know, that any light I purchase, for long runtimes on moonlight mode , will have to be using a eneloop battery .

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DavidEF wrote:
I was talking about Lithium Primary AA cells, made to replace alkaline AA’s, not the higher voltage Lithium cells that we all normally think of when “Lithium” is mentioned.

Like Energizer Lithiums? I saw those æons ago, and got sticker-shock. No idea if prices went down, but I stopped considering those for my AA uses a while back, so I can’t speak to them either way.

For eneloops, I think my idea of converting a multi-LED light via chip-resistor might still be the way to go.

Hell, an XM-L2 on a star might easily replace the LED board, and give you the latest as far as efficiency. I wondered before if making a mule out of one of those would be any good. If you want a dedicated firefly, that’d be ideal.

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Lazy-R-us wrote:
It sounds like you have your mind made up. David isn’t asking you to replace all your eneloops, just to buy a couple to run a test with.

There are dozens of reasons for different designs to have different run times. The best way to verify that ANY light and battery combination is going to do what you want is to test it in your environment.

Eneloops are great in some circumstances, but have trade offs that are sometimes worth it, and other times, not so much.

Just try it.

Is a fully charged alkalaine battery ., at 1.5 volts ? I will check my closet and see if I have any .

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lisa3070 wrote:
But realistically , most people who use AA/AAA rechargeables, probably use/own Eneloop more then any other brand/type ?

Frankly, most “normal” people just pick a combo charger+cells pack off the pegs at Target, Staples, Radio Shack, whatever, usually whatever’s on sale. They don’t have a clue about self-discharge, etc. All they know is, “battery stops working, stick it into the charger, wait, reuse”.

So they’ll get Ray-O-Vac (really nice AA alkies, and cheaper’n Energizers/Duracells and work just as well), or Energizer, or whatever was RS’s house-brand of Ni-* batteries.

And they all work fine.

These are the same people who still use 2×AA flashlights with PR2 bulbs, bought from CVS or Target or Lowes, but don’t want to keep buying’n‘tossing alkies ($$$).

And for them, they’re fine if not fantastic in doing what’s claimed, namely, replacing AA alkies with cells that you can charge’n‘reuse over and over and over again. And the incandescent bulb doesn’t seem to care about 1.2V vs 1.5V, at least not all that much.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all those 85s out there go hanging out at BLF and other places on the interweb, researching rechargeable cells out the wazoo before buying The Best™, because they don’t.

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RollerBoySE
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lisa3070 wrote:
The Foursevesn rep, made a comment that he does not recomeend using rechargeable batteries for this light,,,maybe because it would not get 60 hours runtime at the 3 lumen mode ?

I don’t own the light so I don’t know.
But I do own several other 4Sevens lights, and if anything they normally overperform when comparing with specs.
Especially the runtime is crazy long on my Mini 123:s (now renamed Mini ML)

Lightbringer
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RollerBoySE wrote:
But I do own several other 4Sevens lights, and if anything they normally overperform when comparing to specs. Especially the runtime is crazy long on my Mini 123:s (now renamed Mini ML)

I’ve got a Quark 2AA-X or whatever, and I love its true firefly mode, green-tinted as it may be.

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