What is more important to you, AA compatibility, LiIon compatibility, or dual chemistry AA and 14500, with or without PWM?

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Gunga wrote:
AA compatibility is a must for me. I much prefer the ability to use eneloops in my AA lights. 14500 compatibility is a nice to have for me, but not a requirement.
If I understand correctly, the only reason the Pineapple needed to use PWM was in order to be dual chemistry. If it was only AA and Eneloop powered, PWM would not be needed. Im not sure I understand whether LiIon chemistry would require PWM, like the 7135 uses.
Gunga wrote:
On an unrelated note, has anyone tried the new 4Sevens Preon? I have heard it has very bad PWM

here are photos of the new preon and the malkoff, I do not know the speed of the Preon PWM (it has somewhat green tint, even with PWM… probably due to the LED itself, not the circuit, )
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?421722-Nichia-LEDs&p=5011460&viewfull=1#post5011460
gurdygurds;5011460 wrote:
Well I now have two Nichia 219b lights and I’m really enjoying them. Received a Copper worm from Gunga yesterday(thanks again sir) and quite like it. Here is a shot of it next to my Preon P1 gen 2.

And here is a side by side comparing my two Malkoff MDC AA lights. 4000k vs 6200K. I absolutely LOVE these flashlight!

there is a way to determine PWM speed with water drops and a camera with adjustable shutter speed:
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?413074-List-Lights-th...PWM&p=4991544&viewfull=1#post4991544

Lexel;4991544 wrote:
All Convoy lights with 7135 drivers use 4500Hz PWM

regarding tint shift
two XPG2 on high, for tint comparison (NoPWM part of the circuits)
the CC light was greener to begin with, not by a lot, LED variation, not PWM caused since these lights are not in a PWM mode

same two lights on Medium..
I dont see a serious green problem with the CC light in this image

the tint shift is more obvious in this sweep

I dont see a large green shift from CC in my lights with N219b or XP-G2, or XPG.. , I suspect the XPE had more of a problem with green tint.

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Yep. Tint shift is highly dependent on the LED. Modern day LEDS are likely better.

If the pineapple can be done with CC and 1.5V only? I’m all for it. I would like the max to be increased though. The current 100 lumens or so is pretty weak. It’s okay with dual voltage but not by itself.

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I prefer ultra high freq. PWM if I need consistent CRI and tint across the current range. For efficiency current regulated is the best

- Clemence

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For me it is important how good the light perform and if its only AA it doesnt get destroyed putting in a lithium battery

PWM should be a few kHz at least

Efficiency in ultra low modes is not so important, who wants to use an AA light for more than 24hours?

If I got a long power outtake, which was last time back in DDR in soviet times, I have plenty of 18650 CC lights which I can use for ceiling bounce light over long periode of time.

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I don't see the moonlight as that big of a deal.  TA offers multiple hex's with different moonlight settings.  IF you're selling a single light you only need to find one that works on that light reliably, and from the sounds of it 5khz would fix it almost entirely and still isn't slow pwm.  I think 20khz is still fine though.  I guess it just means you need the +1 channel, don't try to do moon with 12 7135's.  But that doesn't actually add any cost. It's just about doing it right.

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kramer5150 wrote:
There is good PWM and bad PWM

High frequency, non-visible PWM (the good kind) is perfectly OK by my book.

Low frequency, visible PWM (the bad kind) is a deal breaker for lights in this Lumen range, no thanks.

My overall preference is … no visible PWM… the last option.


Exactly. Ultrafire 100 Hz PWM is annoying, but I doubt we need a poll to figure that out.

It’s interesting that people interpret “no PWM” to include “no visible PWM” though. What does “PWM” mean to people? More on that below.

jon_slider wrote:
here is an example of 3 lights with “noPWM”, and one with true PWM, the Malkoff … left to right, Zebra, Quark, Eagletac, Malkoff

I don’t see any “NoPWM” lights there. What I see there are four PWM-based lights. This confirms to me that the disagreement is about the definition of PWM, not people’s preferences about the physical properties of light.

Left to right, the PWM speeds on those lights are (approximately):

  • Zebra: 5000 Hz
  • Quark: 2200 Hz
  • Eagle: 4500 Hz
  • Malkoff: 1350 Hz

All four of those are too slow. I have the same Zebralight and EagleTac lights reppans used in that pic, and I can see the PWM on both during normal use. All four are examples of what I call “bad PWM”.

The v2 Pineapple driver is spec’d at 9000 Hz, which is ~2 to ~6 times faster than the premium-brand lights shown above. Not bad, but not what I’d call good either. Most BLF drivers run at around 14,000 to 18,000 Hz. The new Convoy C8 runs at 32,000 Hz. I find ~20,000 Hz to be ideal, preferably with a FET+1 or FET+N+1 driver for better efficiency.

I like true CC circuits for their efficiency (when done well), but a 2-channel or 3-channel PWM driver is close enough for my purposes. Here’s a qualitative comparison of 1-channel, 2-channel, and 3-channel PWM drivers and their efficiency as compared to an ideal CC driver:

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Wow! Great and informative post!

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Gunga wrote:
Wow! Great and informative post!

x2… I tried to elude to this in my earlier post, but didn’t really have the detailed information to clarify what I was talking about.

FWIW I am totally OK with PWM, so long as I can not readily see it. My understanding is PWM is the most efficient way to lower LED output too, although I am not sure why. My Thrunite TH20 I just realized uses PWM for its lowest-low / candle setting. I didn’t even realize it until I had it on and was washing my hands in the middle of the night, under the water it became more noticeable. I am OK with that, since its high enough frequency to not be readily visible all the time.

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Gunga wrote:
Wow! Great and informative post!

x3 (thanks!)

I would now have to vote for the following after learning the above and when considering the UT01 in transit to me now):

PWM” speed (as now better understood, thanks to toykeeper)..
…quality LVP protection (as evidenced by the NiMH ‘only’ shutoff apparently exhibited by the UT01)
…and ‘tint’ would be my (off-topic) answers to the OP’s poll involving a 14500 capable light (you can buy a Nichia 219 tinted BLF ‘backup’ light for $7 and a Jaxman for less than $20 so ‘tint’ has become less important to me…yet it’s always nice to have).

I’d really like to standardize more on AA cells and the protected versions for at least 500 lumens in a single cell EDC light.

Domari Nolo “I Refuse to be Subjugated” (1st Pennsylvania Regiment Flag) https://www.1stcontinentalregiment.org/blank
(Flagguys.com):..and man o man did they ever refuse to be subjugated. These guys were everywhere. They were important in Washington’s siege of Boston. They stayed behind and were the last to leave after covering the main army’s dangerous nick of time retreat from Long Island. They crossed the Delaware with Washington. They were “..at Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, and every major skirmish, and battle all the way to Yorktown..” where they fought “the most important part of the siege” according to General Steuben. These guys saw action in every one of the original 13 colonies.

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ToyKeeper wrote:

Left to right, the PWM speeds on those lights are (approximately):
  • Zebra: 5000 Hz
  • Quark: 2200 Hz
  • Eagle: 4500 Hz
  • Malkoff: 1350 Hz

All four of those are too slow. I have the same Zebralight and EagleTac lights reppans used in that pic, and I can see the PWM on both during normal use. All four are examples of what I call “bad PWM”.

fwiw, I wrote to Malkoff to ask the speed of the PWM, and got this reply direct from Gene Malkoff:
“The PWM frequency is 310 Hertz. Most people can’t see it.”

regarding Zebralight pulse speed, see
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?415838-Zebralight-SC5Fc-measurements-
PWM is used to control output on all modes except H1. The PWM is not visible to the eye, because of its low amplitude, but possibly shows up on camera. The cycling frequency is higher on higher output modes and ranges from 775 Hz to 5000 Hz. The amplitude however is higher on the higher modes.”

Note that when I say Zebralight is not “technically” using PWM, it is because the pulses do not drop to zero. That is why there is a blurr between the dots in the reppans PWM progression photo, the LED is not turning all the way off. The brightness is fluctuating, like in the quark, where you also see a blurr between the dots.
Even the Eagletac pulses do not drop to Zero, in fact Selbuilt says he cannot detect PWM, just “noise”
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?401362
“There is no sign of PWM that I can see, at any output level…
I did detect some high frequency noise as shown below:”

obviously everyone has different definitions and tolerance of PWM. Some people dont care, some people object to calling pulses PWM unless they drop to full zero, and Zebralight as well as Eagletac, claim they do not use PWM (technically this is correct, but in the real world, some people can see the flashes, or get headaches from them)

thanks for the discussion.. I really dont expect to convince anyone whether PWM is good or bad, it is clear to me that the majority of people, given a choice, will prefer NoPWM, but, they will still buy a light that has pure PWM (eg Malkoff and Pineapple), or hybrid PWM (eg HDS, Zebralight, Eagletac) that does not drop to full zero between full power flashes.

ps, here is a definition of PWM with examples https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/PWM

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“when I say Zebralight is not “technically” using PWM, it is because the pulses do not drop to zero. That is why there is a blurr between the dots in the reppans PWM progression photo, the LED is not turning all the way off. The brightness is fluctuating, like in the quark, where you also see a blurr between the dots. “

I think my Thrunite TH20 uses this same kind of “PWM” on its candle mode. When I vigorously shake the light in my hand… Theres a faint trace of the LED between the “dots”.

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jon_slider wrote:
ToyKeeper wrote:

Left to right, the PWM speeds on those lights are (approximately):
  • Zebra: 5000 Hz
  • Quark: 2200 Hz
  • Eagle: 4500 Hz
  • Malkoff: 1350 Hz

All four of those are too slow. I have the same Zebralight and EagleTac lights reppans used in that pic, and I can see the PWM on both during normal use. All four are examples of what I call “bad PWM”.


fwiw, I wrote to Malkoff to ask the speed of the PWM, and got this reply direct from Gene Malkoff:
“The PWM frequency is 310 Hertz. Most people can’t see it.”

Interesting. I used the EagleTac stripe as a reference at 4.5 kHz (since that’s the speed mine was), and calculated the others based on the pulses shown in the picture. But I haven’t actually measured a Malkoff, and can’t say for sure that reppans’ EagleTac unit goes at the same speed as mine. If I use Malkoff=310 as the reference, that would mean the speeds are:
  • Zebra: 1150 Hz
  • Quark: 500 Hz
  • Eagle: 1040 Hz
  • Malkoff: 310 Hz

That doesn’t sound right though, since I’ve never seen my ZL or ET lights (2014 model) pulse that slowly. So I tried measuring my other EagleTac D25A (2012 model), which oscillates between two levels but doesn’t actually shut off like the one in the pic. It got 984 Hz on its low and medium modes. Moon was slower (much slower), but not bright enough to measure.

  • ET D25A (2012): 984 Hz (2-level oscillation)
  • ET D25A (2014): ~4.5 kHz (hard on/off PWM) (can’t measure right now since it’s in pieces)

I also tried measuring my ZL SC52 again, and got these results (with an Eneloop):

  • L1: 3.3-3.5 kHz (ish)
  • M2: 15.3 kHz
  • M1: None
  • H2: 29.1 kHz
  • H1: None

The one I’ve noticed during use is L1. That reading was unstable though, which means it probably wasn’t accurate because it wasn’t bright enough for my sensor to measure correctly.

Out of curiosity, I measured my JB RRT01, the continuously-variable magnetic ring light. It measured at only 1.01 kHz, but it looks like the oscillation is a fairly smooth sine-like wave so it’s hard to see.

  • JB RRT01: 1.01 kHz

… and the BLF Q8 driver Tom sent me. At low levels (up to ~140 lm), it shuts off between pulses, but medium and high levels (140+ lm) do a 2-level oscillation. Neither range is visible, and the transition is seamless.

  • BLF Q8: 15.7 kHz

Cheap 3-mode SK-68:

  • SK-68 (medium level): 130 Hz

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I find it hard to stand PWM Flat Stare

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I would buy a light that is inexpensive and I can easily take apart. I don’t care what cell chemistry it was made to support as I can determine that with driver choice.

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ToyKeeper, thanks for all your input

Rufusbduck wrote:
don’t care what cell chemistry it was made to support as I can determine that with driver choice.

if you only had 2 choices, what AA driver would you choose: #1. With PWM and LiIon, or #2. With NoPWM and NoLiIon

CheapThrills wrote:
I find it hard to stand PWM Flat Stare

everyones opinion on the Merits of PWM varies, and Im not trying to start a pro and con of PWM debate

I was trying to figure out how much market share each of these options represents:
1. dual chemistry AA and LiIon with YesPWM, or
2. AA only with NoPWM

I myself intentionally do not buy PWM lights. I also dont happen to use LiIon in AA sizes. So I am a Type #2 buyer. I think Im in the minority, cant tell from the poll, I did not structure it correctly to find out. I got confused by too many possible options, when the last one really is not realistic and should not be in the poll.. too late for that

to anyone still reading, which of the two buyer types do you represent, AA/LiIon option w PWM, or AA only w NoPWM?

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Pwm and liion.

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Rufusbduck wrote:
Pwm and liion.

Thank You, may I suggest a Pineapple?:-)
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I would have voted 3 times, for the bottom three options, if possible. Just sayin. But I piled on the last option to help make that a reality.

jon_slider,
I want to remind you that there are at least a few NoPWM lights you’ll want nothing to do with… so specifying CC instead would be more specific.

NoPWM != CC

(ahem, Zebralight, cough cough)

What we want is CC, and not NoPWM, nor PWM.

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EyeballFryer wrote:
If all other features are assumed equal, I don’t get why you would pick 14500 only or AA only instead of dual chemistry AA/14500.

Single-chemistry lights usually have slightly more efficient drivers. For example, my Zebralight SC5w (AA only) is about 10% more efficient than my Zebralight SC52w (AA and 14500).

Besides, with 1xAA lights now getting 500 lumens out of an Eneloop, there’s really not much need to go with 14500 cells anymore.

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PWM sucks, even if it has unnoticeable high frequency. It kills efficiency!
Constant current is better for runtime – and my eyes! Big Smile

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jon_slider wrote:
ToyKeeper, thanks for all your input

Rufusbduck wrote:
don’t care what cell chemistry it was made to support as I can determine that with driver choice.

if you only had 2 choices, what AA driver would you choose: #1. With PWM and LiIon, or #2. With NoPWM and NoLiIon

CheapThrills wrote:
I find it hard to stand PWM Flat Stare

everyones opinion on the Merits of PWM varies, and Im not trying to start a pro and con of PWM debate

I was trying to figure out how much market share each of these options represents:
1. dual chemistry AA and LiIon with YesPWM, or
2. AA only with NoPWM

I myself intentionally do not buy PWM lights. I also dont happen to use LiIon in AA sizes. So I am a Type #2 buyer. I think Im in the minority, cant tell from the poll, I did not structure it correctly to find out. I got confused by too many possible options, when the last one really is not realistic and should not be in the poll.. too late for that

to anyone still reading, which of the two buyer types do you represent, AA/LiIon option w PWM, or AA only w NoPWM?

Sorry to add even more confusion, but for the visible PWM light we are assuming there’s at least one mode (usually its turbo) with no PWM… correct?
For the AA only light we are assuming it also takes ~1.7V Lithium primaries correct?

Assuming its YES to both scenarios above I would vote for the AA-only light. ~250-300 relatively cool running lumens is more than enough for my needs.

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Dual-chemistry boost drivers can have Li-ion low-voltage protection. The driver needs to disallow a range of about 1.8 to 2.6 volts. Several lights do this, including the Zebralight SC52, Armytek 1xAA lights, the Klarus Mi7 and that prototype Illumn was showing off last year.

As for PWM, I’m fine if it’s fast, not fine if it’s slow. I’d probably give up Li-ion compatibility rather than accept slow PWM in a small, budget EDC type light if I had to make the choice. I bring an 18650 light if I actually think I’ll be using a light though.

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kramer5150 wrote:
Sorry to add even more confusion, but for the visible PWM light we are assuming there’s at least one mode (usually its turbo) with no PWM… correct?
For the AA only light we are assuming it also takes ~1.7V Lithium primaries correct?

Assuming its YES to both scenarios above I would vote for the AA-only light. ~250-300 relatively cool running lumens is more than enough for my needs.


correct PWM is only used on dimmed modes
correct an AA light will also accept Eneloop and Lithium Iron (primaries)
however it is imho not realistic to expect more than 140 lumens from a single AA with a 90+CRI LED

if your goal is to have more than 200 lumens, you are getting into CR123 territory, or LiIon

zak.wilson wrote:
Dual-chemistry boost drivers can have Li-ion low-voltage protection.

thank you Smile
apparently that was considered too large and too expensive for the Pineapple

Zebras dont offer 90+CRI, and they are also not constant current.

Klarus also does not offer 90+CRI, and it does not have real overdischarge protection, it just “automatically lowers output levels”. And Klarus calls their low of 5 lumens a “moonlight”, I think they have an English language challenge.

Finding an AA light with constant current and 90+CRI is quite rare
I cant think of any ATM that have all 3 features: constant current, 90+CRI, AND dual chemistry.

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jon_slider wrote:
however it is imho not realistic to expect more than 140 lumens from a single AA with a 90+CRI LED

I think it should be very possible to get a 90+ CRI light on a single AA (NiMH cell). Zebralight SC5Fc and SC5Fd offer 85 CRI and 375 lumen output on a single AA. Switching to a 90 CRI LED would certainly be able to output more than 140 lumens. I think the reason it isn’t offered is because there isn’t enough demand for it. Zebralight seems to think the sweet spot between high output and high CRI is the 85 CRI EasyWhite LED.

Even the lowly Astrolux A01 Nichia 219 does close to 90 lumens, on a single AAA cell, at ~92 CRI. It’s not asking much more from a AA cell. I have an old L3 L10 that does about 100 lumens using the old Nichia 219A at 92 CRI. Just swapping in a 219B should get it up to 140 lumens, and it’s not driven hard at all.

Quote:
if your goal is to have more than 200 lumens, you are getting into CR123 territory, or LiIon

Again, Zebralight SC5 does 535 lumens on a single AA. Manker T01 does over 400. Two years ago, sure, you needed to go with 14500 for that kind of output, but now you can do it with a NiMH cell.

I don’t see a need for 14500 any more. An Eneloop has the same energy, can deliver almost as much power, and does it way more safely, cheaper, and lasts for a couple of thousand charges.

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I’d say it would depend on the quality/design of the driver as to whether a 14500 would be needed. Zebralight re-engineered the everyday driver to a highly efficient one to get high lumens from a NIMH.

Generic drivers require Lithium to achieve the same results.

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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
… with 1xAA lights now getting 500 lumens out of an Eneloop, there’s really not much need to go with 14500 cells anymore.

500 lumens is impressive, but there are 14500 lights which do 1300 lumens (BLF X5). Li-ion also allows lights to be smaller since the driver is simpler. However, neither AA nor 14500 can sustain maximum output for long, since they just don’t have enough capacity for that. I generally only use them for 50 lumens or less.

zakwilson wrote:
I bring an 18650 light if I actually think I’ll be using a light though.

Same here. A relatively small increase in size provides a 4X or 5X increase in capacity, while also eliminating driver complexity and making it much easier to do custom stuff. 1×18650 is a sweet spot. Some would even call it a “master race“. Wink

jon_slider wrote:
kramer5150 wrote:
For the AA only light we are assuming it also takes ~1.7V Lithium primaries correct?

correct an AA light will also accept Eneloop and Lithium Iron (primaries)

Lithium iron primaries meaning L91 lithium AA (Li-FeS2)? Yes, AA lights generally work from about 0.9V to 1.8V, to cover the range of NiMH, alkaline, and lithium AA cells.

Or lithium iron as in LiFePO4/LiFeMnPO4? Adding lithium iron (phosphate) to the mix makes it a dual-voltage driver; it would need to support the 2.8V to 3.6V range. Adding common lithium ion also would require supporting ~2.7V to 4.4V. Those two aren’t so bad, since there’s still a gap between 1.8V and 2.7V which could be used to detect cell type for LVP.

Or lithium primaries as in CR123A? Adding CR123A to the mix makes things much harder since it can operate from like 1.0V to 3.6V. This mostly breaks cell auto-detection and LVP. It’s the reason I don’t get LVP on my Olight S10/S1/S-Mini. I’d rather have LVP than have CR123A support.

jon_slider wrote:
Zebras dont offer 90+CRI, and they are also not constant current.

Zebralight offers lights with 90+CRI. For example: SC600Fd MkIII+
Nearly everything they’ve ever made uses constant current drivers, with some of the best efficiency and most stable output on the market. Sure, some levels oscillate quickly between two constant current levels to get an intermediate level, but other levels are truly constant.

I may not care much for ZL’s host aesthetics, UI quirks, tint choices, mod-unfriendliness, or price… but they typically lead the pack for driver technology.

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kramer5150 wrote:
There is good PWM and bad PWM

High frequency, non-visible PWM (the good kind) is perfectly OK by my book.

Low frequency, visible PWM (the bad kind) is a deal breaker for lights in this Lumen range, no thanks.

My overall preference is dual chemistry, no visible PWM… the last option. I won’t buy a light with visible PWM regardless of cell compatibility.

+1

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things would be a lot more complicated than they already are.”
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Dual chemistry is much more important to me than a little flicker, as long as I know why the light is flickering.

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I’m fine with non-visible PWM, but if the PWM is visible, I’m going for AA and no PWM. Lithium compatibility is nice, but it’s not worth tolerating visible PWM for.

kramer5150
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jon_slider wrote:
kramer5150 wrote:
Sorry to add even more confusion, but for the visible PWM light we are assuming there’s at least one mode (usually its turbo) with no PWM… correct?
For the AA only light we are assuming it also takes ~1.7V Lithium primaries correct?

Assuming its YES to both scenarios above I would vote for the AA-only light. ~250-300 relatively cool running lumens is more than enough for my needs.


correct PWM is only used on dimmed modes
correct an AA light will also accept Eneloop and Lithium Iron (primaries)
however it is imho not realistic to expect more than 140 lumens from a single AA with a 90+CRI LED

if your goal is to have more than 200 lumens, you are getting into CR123 territory, or LiIon

I don’t think this is true, with the latest emitters and brightest flux BINs there are 350L capable lights from just a single eneloop. My TH20 headlamp does ~230-250 and its not a barn burner at all, its more about cool running efficiency.

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