Review: DQG Tiny AA, EDC 1xAA flashlight

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WalkIntoTheLight
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Review: DQG Tiny AA, EDC 1xAA flashlight

This is a review of the "DQG Tiny AA" flashlight. It is a very small 1xAA / 1x14500 EDC light, with a twisty interface, and 3 mode levels of output. DQG specializes in very compact lights, and this one is no exception.

The light was provided by Banggood for review purposes. You can find the light on their site here:

http://www.banggood.com/DQG-XP-G2-R5-180LM-3Modes-EDC-LED-Flashlight-AA14500-p-970068.html?utm_source=bbs&utm_medium=rob&utm_content=chendongling

Banggood calls the light a "DQG XP-G2 R5 180LM 3Modes EDC LED Flashlight AA/14500". DQG calls their light a "DQG Tiny AA" light. I find the latter easier, so I'll refer to it as that. wink

The light comes in either cool white (XPG2) or neutral white (XPG2). My sample is the neutral white, which I personally found extremely pleasant. It is on the rosy side of neutral, which is a happy surprise from a Cree XPG, which usually are on the green side.

An overview of the specs are as follows. I give more details later in the review, as well as a comparison to other lights. Note that I am providing my own measurements here, not the manufacture's specs. However, I find the specs supplied by the manufacturer to be very close to my own measurements. You can find the manufacturer's specs in the site link above.

Many pictures follow the specs.


Modes: 3 (low, medium, high). Switch is a twisty, tighten for on and changing modes.

LED: XPG2, cool white or neutral white.

Size: 68mm long, 17mm in diameter. This is the shortest AA light I own, or am aware of.

Weight: 32g without battery, 60g with Eneloop installed. Note that a Zebralight SC52 weighs 61g with battery, so the DQG is small but not lighter than other lights due to the steel construction.

Construction: Stainless steel. Waterproof and drop-proof. Good knurling for grip on body and head. Foam donut in head protects against reverse polarity. Threads are a good compromise between smooth and gripy (so the head won't come loose). The threads on not lubed, so will definitely benefit from oiling when you get the light.

Battery type: 1xAA NiMH (or alkaline), or 1x14500 lithium ion. Button top required. I recommend NiMH, as you don't get much more output from a 14500. The manual lists the output on a 14500 as 200 lumens, which isn't much more than what I get on a NiMH Eneloop.

Output: high 180 lumens, medium 35 lumens, low 3 lumens. Graphs included below. Output is not flatly-regulated, but stays pretty flat for most of the run time after an initial drop-off from a freshly-charged battery level. All modes produce output (dimming to moonlight levels) until the battery depletes to 0.85v.

Run-time: high 55 minutes, medium 6.75 hours, low 88 hours. Graphs included below. Note this is with a regular 1900 mAh Eneloop battery. About 25% longer run-times will be achieved using a battery with a higher capacity, such as an Eneloop Pro.

Throw: 77 meters (to 0.25 lux). 1500 lux at 1 meter.

Heat: The head of the light gets fairly hot on high, after about 5-10 minutes. It stabilizes temperature after that, at about 55C. The body remains relatively cool. This is expected from stainless steel construction. The head never gets too hot to touch, so I don't consider this a concern.

Tint: 4000K for the neutral white. Very pleasant rosy color in the hot-spot. 3800K and more yellow in the spill. No green, which is a nice surprise from a Cree LED.

Beam pattern: floody, but with a reasonable hot-spot for such a small light. The spill is very wide, covering about 140 degrees. This is faint, and hard to see in the beam shots I include below.

PWM: none. I could not detect any PWM either by eye or with use of a camera, on any modes.

Lens: no anti-reflecting coatings I could detect. GITD bezel.

Clip: comes separate, easy to attach securely. Deep pocket carry, good tension, works well.

Tail-cap magnet. Strong enough to attach light securely to flat metal surfaces. Can be removed from tail if you don't want it.

Tail-stands well.

 

 

Operation:

There are 3 modes (low, medium, and high). No flashing modes, thankfully.
Twist tight to turn on, defaults to low. Twist off and on again (within a few seconds) to advance to medium. Twist on and off again to advance to high. Repeat to get to low again. This is a standard interface for twisty lights.

The instructions do state some more complicated operations, such as twisting tight for off, and longer reset delays for medium to high modes. However, I was unable to replicate these more complicated options in my sample, which is fine because I prefer the simple selection for modes. Perhaps they updated the interface since the instructions were produced, based on feedback.

 

 

My impressions:

Pros:

- The light is extremely compact, so easily fits into a pocket for EDC. It compares in size to many 1xAAA lights, but gives you the run-time of a 1xAA light.

- Very nice tint on the neutral white. (Cool white not tested.) I think I like it almost as much as a high-CRI Nichia 219 LED light.

- Modes are nicely spaced. High gives plenty of output for most tasks, even outdoors. The throw gives enough reach outdoors for most tasks.

- Great run-time and efficiency, especially on low mode.

- Can optionally remove the tail magnet, and pocket clip. I find both useful, though, so will leave them on.

- No PWM.

- Glow-in-the-dark bezel makes finding the light easier.


Cons:

- Stainless steel construction means the light is not as light as it looks. It's about the same weight as most other compact 1xAA lights.

- Threads will need lubrication out-of-box.

 


And now, for some pictures.

 

This is what you get in the package. Spare o-rings, pocket-clip, key-ring, and manual.

 

 


Showing light standing up and standing down.



 

 

 

 

 

This is with the clip installed.

 

 

Various pictures of the light taken apart.














 


This is a comparison in size to a AA battery. It isn't much bigger.





Here is it compared to other compact 1xAA lights. L3 Illumination L10, Zebralight SC52, Zebralight SC5, and Manker T01.





For comparison, here it is compared to a couple of popular 1xAAA lights. The BLF-348 and Astrolux A01. As you can tell, it's closer in size to a 1xAAA light than it is to a 1xAA light.





Glow-in-the-dark bezel. This works well, and glow for a couple of hours after shutting off the light.





Now, for some run-time graphs. Tested with 1900mAh Eneloops.

High remains fairly flat, after an initial drop-off from 180 to 150 lumens. At 50 minutes the output noticeably begins to drop, hitting 20 lumens at 55 minutes. 70 minutes, 5 lumens. 90 minutes 0.5 lumens. And finally cuts off at 100 minutes. Battery voltage is 0.85v at cut-off.





Medium output remains about 35 lumens until 6.5 hours, when it noticably starts to dim to about 15 lumens. At 6.75 hours it's down to 3 lumens, and cuts off at 7 hours.





Low output remains quite constant at 3 lumens with a long run time of 88 hours. This is far longer than what the specs claim (35 hours in the manual, and 60 hours in the site's specs). I got close to 4 days run-time, with a very usable level of light.





Here are some beam shots.





Here it is (on right) compared to the Zebralight SC5w (on left).





Here it is (on right) compared to the Astrolux A01 (on left).





Here it is (on right) compared to the BLF-348 (on left).





And finally, here it is (on right) compared to larger XPG2 light (Quark 2xAA) with a cool white tint.





That's all for now. Thank you for reading.


Video review may follow. Still working on it.

Splott-Light
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Many Thanks for all your hard work on this review, and sharing it with us.

Cheers,
S-L Smile

Ouchyfoot to a New Member: Welcome CJ. Now you have to learn about buying an inexpensive flashlight and modifying it until it either blows up, or starts small fires on the moon…………

Hugh Johnson:
I, too, once lived a tragic and empty life. Then I found [portable] light.
You forgot to mention clothes. I sold most of my clothes to fund my light collection. This is actually fine, since I only go out after dark, and most people can’t see me.
Finally, I got my priorities straight.

WalkIntoTheLight
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Splott-Light wrote:
Many Thanks for all your hard work on this review, and sharing it with us.

Cheers,
S-L Smile

Thanks!

Doing the low-mode run time test was the most tedious, because the manual listed 35 hours. It kept going and going! That’s a good thing for the light, but waiting for it to go out was confusing, because it lasted well over twice as long as I expected. After 35 hours, I would interrupt the test when I went to bed, and start it up again in the morning. It took 5 days altogether. I’m glad I didn’t use Eneloop Pro’s. Wink

I don’t know why DQG under-estimates the run time so much. More run time is a good thing; you’d think they’d over-estimate if they wanted to market it better.

I think with such a long run-time on low, and a useful level of output, it would make a good night-light. Stick on on a metal surface or object, and let it run overnight. Change the battery once every week or two.

gchart
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Nice looking light. It’s impressive how small they were able to make it – really telling next to the A01.

That said, the output/runtime seems disappointing. Roughly 150 lumens for 40 minutes, followed by a quick drop? One of my most recent purchases, the Jetbeam u, does around 105 lumens for at least 55 minutes before any noticeable drop (see Budda’s testing). And that’s with a AAA… 1/2 to 1/3 the mAh of a AA. Unless I’m reading it wrong, that seems terribly inefficient.

WalkIntoTheLight
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gchart wrote:
Nice looking light. It’s impressive how small they were able to make it – really telling next to the A01.

That said, the output/runtime seems disappointing. Roughly 150 lumens for 40 minutes, followed by a quick drop? One of my most recent purchases, the Jetbeam u, does around 105 lumens for at least 55 minutes before any noticeable drop (see Budda’s testing). And that’s with a AAA… 1/2 to 1/3 the mAh of a AA. Unless I’m reading it wrong, that seems terribly inefficient.

High maintained 150+ lumens for 50 minutes before starting to dip. It dropped to 20 lumens at 55 minutes. So, I’d say you get 50 minutes of good output, and another 50 minutes of decreasing output until it shuts off.

Yes, it’s not impressive efficiency on high, but it’s okay. Almost an hour, which is what I consider to be useful for practical use. However, it’s much more efficient on the medium and low modes, comparable to very good lights like Zebralights, etc.

Most of the time I use my lights in low and medium modes. If I know I need higher output, I’d choose a larger light that can better handle the output both in runtime and heat.

Dirt
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Good job on the review. I wish I liked twisty’s, I’d be all over this in nw…

WalkIntoTheLight
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Dirt wrote:
Good job on the review. I wish I liked twisty’s, I’d be all over this in nw…

Thanks. I’m kind of indifferent to twisties, tail clicky, or side switch. I have plenty of each, and they all suit a niche. I like twisties for EDC, because they’re more compact than lights with clickies. But, you have to keep the threads and o-ring clean and lubed, so they require a bit more maintenance than a clicky. Plus, they usually require two hands to switch modes, unless the threads are really lose (which you normally don’t want).

I have an Astrolux A01 on which I removed the o-ring. This makes it turn really easily for one-hand use. It’s strictly a bedside light, so I don’t mind giving up waterproof or the head becoming loose in a pocket. I don’t use it for EDC, so it makes for a nice bedside light, especially in the middle of the night (moonlight mode).

djozz
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Thanks for the nice compact but complete review. I enjoyed reading it, amd it indeed looks like a very attractive light if you do not mind twisties (I do).

Splinter
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Very cool review! Thanks for doing the runtime on low, i always get a kick out of seeing that. That being said, do you think shutting of the light for the night and allowing the battery to rest has any effect on the runtime?

dealgrabber2002
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Nice review. I am seriously thinking of getting one. Small than the AO1 and runs on AA.

WalkIntoTheLight
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Splinter wrote:
Very cool review! Thanks for doing the runtime on low, i always get a kick out of seeing that. That being said, do you think shutting of the light for the night and allowing the battery to rest has any effect on the runtime?

I don’t think so, since the run-times during the days were around 16 hours. A rest might have given it a short extra run (less than an hour) if it had come close to dying at the end of the day. However, I measured the dimming several hours after my final run.

dealgrabber2002 wrote:
Nice review. I am seriously thinking of getting one. Small than the AO1 and runs on AA.

Yes, it’s nice to have the extra capacity from a AA battery. AAA lights just don’t have the juice to give both bright output and decent run-time. The disadvantage with a AA light is the extra weight. But with this light, you really don’t have much extra size compared to a AAA light, which is great.