Best AA Flashlight Between $30-$50

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Thunderay
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Best AA Flashlight Between $30-$50

Hi everyone,
I’m looking for a new light. Smile
What is the brightest AA flashlight around $30-$50 or so ?!

Will get few budget lights too, as gifts – Sipik SK68 style or better quality – what are the latest new flashlights that work without any problems ?!

What rechargeable AA batteries with largest capacity should I buy? is Panasonic Eneloop Pro still the best one to have ?!

Thanks a lot.

WalkIntoTheLight
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Single AA light? I think the brightest (at around 500 lumens) is the Zebralight SC5w Mk2. But, that’s $69, so a bit of a stretch past your budget. Still, I believe it’s the brightest 1xAA light on the market. They claim 550 lumens, but I believe it’s closer to 500.

You definitely need a good battery for it. Eneloop Pro is indeed the best power battery. Though, the regular Eneloop will still work well in it. It sucks about 5 amps from the AA battery, so run time is only about 25 minutes on max.

Barry0892
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I wanted to make a powerful AA light. Not only powerful when powered by 14500 battery, but use AA battery.

But I have to use at least 2x AA or more to make it about 500 lumens. It will be a longer light, not good for edc.

Find FREE items on my timeline.

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Lightbringer
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You didn’t specify if single AA or multiples.

For multiples, TK4A/TN4A/SF11 will get you 1000lm out of 4 hateful little AA alkaleaks.

Best, don’t think you can beat the ruggedness of a Xeno E03 for single 14500/AA, or ES1 for AA only.

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I really like my NW TN4a! Just might be my favorite light. Just has one inherent shortcoming. It is heavier and larger diameter than a single 18650 light. Runtimes and output are similar to any 18650 that I have. (I know there are things like the BLF 6A and FW3A but I don’t have one of those yet.) For using around the house it is the best light I have. Great tint and beam profile. Excellent moonlight. 2.5 Hours at over 500 lumens and it manages the heat just fine. (Goes over 1100 lumen for about an hour and I think it actually could do that without thermal problems like a 18650 tube light would experience.) 14 hours or so at over 100 lumen. Just a very functional light.

I keep it stocked with LADA 2450s from Ikea. Very good batteries for cheap.

Am hoping to say that the best single AA will be either my Tiara A1 or my Thrunite TH20 because they are both on order Wink and either could be the best AA for me. Agree on the Xeno as well.

mattlward
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I really like the Wuben E05 and it fits the budget. One complaint, hold to turn off! The clip works great on a pocket and on a hat brim. Many of the clips on the market seem to strain to go on a hat brim and sooner or later refuse to snap back to tight. Seems they got the metal and thickness right!

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

nuemtol
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Aren’t the LuminTop EDC05 & Tool AA both popular choices for the single AA value light? I’m not sure how they rank vs others

xevious
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Somewhat on topic… is there a 2xAA flashlight with cells in parallel? Similar concept to a SPY007?

Natewar
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The Sofirn SF10 is about 600lm with a 14500

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Whatever the best AA light may be there are some must haves for me:

Reliability
Direct access to a decent moonlight.
Direct access to max.
Mode memory.
Tint that does not annoy me.
Good thermal management.
Good mode spread runtime choices.

WalkIntoTheLight
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how crazy is this wrote:
I really like my NW TN4a! Just might be my favorite light. Just has one inherent shortcoming. It is heavier and larger diameter than a single 18650 light. Runtimes and output are similar to any 18650 that I have.

The TN4A is a nice light, but the narrow beam and long throw makes it a very different light than most single 18650 lights. As a decent outdoor thrower to hand-carry, it fits that purpose well. Great light for walking a dog off-leash (which is something you shouldn’t do).

chenko
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Looking for the same exact thig. As the OP.
So far I can add to the consideration list those two: Acebeam M10, Jetbeam E10R.
Will follow.

buck91
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Following. 47 has it so close with their QK2A mkiii but then missed entirely.

The Pelican 2360 I just picked up is pretty solid for a working light. Still lacks tailcap lockout but the switch is a good balance between low profile and easy to use. Just wish I could swap a SST-20 in place of the XPG2 without voiding its lifetime warranty. Some of these “professional” type brands really need to jump on the CRI band wagon! (Although its definitely CW it is a very pleasant beam, throwy with good spill and cool white but not angry blue)

Scallywag
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I’m trying to come up with the smallest tail-clicky 14500/AA light I can (and AAA too for that matter) … Besides my DQG Slim. I want to hot-rod it, but if it’s not small enough it just feels pointless compared to 18650.

But, for stock, I love the DQG Slim 1/2AA plus extension tube. Throw a 1000 mAh 14500 in there for unmatched capacity, or use eneloops, or Alkaleaks in a pinch.

EDC Rotation: ZL SC62 | Jaxman E2L XP-G2 5A | Purple S2+ XPL-HI U6-3A | D4 w/ Luxeon V | RRT-01 
EagTac D25C Ti | DQG Slim AA Ti | UF-T1 by CRX | Olight S1 | Klarus Mini One Ti
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Others: Nitecore EC23 | Nebo Twyst | Streamlight ProTac 1AA | TerraLux LightStar 100

Venice
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xevious wrote:
Somewhat on topic… is there a 2xAA flashlight with cells in parallel? Similar concept to a SPY007?

Benjamin at Frelux is nearing completion of his Synergy2 which is AA side-by-side.
No release date yet.

Photonica
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Parametrek has some suggestions.

Looks like Soda Can lights run 1100-1500 lumens. Manker T02 (2xAA side by side) claims 1500.

The Acebeam H40 claims 1050 lumens, and is $30 at Illumn. There’s probably a discount code, now that it is back to full price. It’s a right angle light though.

More Photons!

WalkIntoTheLight
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Photonica wrote:
Parametrek has some suggestions.

Looks like Soda Can lights run 1100-1500 lumens. Manker T02 (2xAA side by side) claims 1500.

I’d like to see some independent tests of that Manker. IMO, they over-state their lumens. My T01 (1xAA) has nowhere near the output they claim, and it’s not regulated on max either.

Sari33
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Barry0892 wrote:
I wanted to make a powerful AA light. Not only powerful when powered by 14500 battery, but use AA battery.

But I have to use at least 2x AA or more to make it about 500 lumens. It will be a longer light, not good for edc.


Yeah, I would get a small budget powerfull single AA Light Nichia or lh351d 4000K with Led battery indicator. Not in black color!
Thunderay
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Yes, single AA light..
Great lights, thank you all.

I’m looking for a design similar to maybe the Manker T01 but less bulkier one Smile .. I like the Wuben E05 too.

As for the batteries, after all these years and they’re still stuck at 2500mAh? for God’s sake, why?!.. LOL Smile
are there any higher mAhs available with low self discharge ?

hank
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WalkIntoTheLight
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Thunderay wrote:
Yes, single AA light..
Great lights, thank you all.

I’m looking for a design similar to maybe the Manker T01 but less bulkier one Smile .. I like the Wuben E05 too.

You could try the Zebralight SC53w (330 lumens, $57), or the Zebralight SC52 (300 lumens, $49). You won’t find a more pocket-friendly AA light unless you go to a twist-on switch. The advantage of the SC52 is that it can also use a 14500 for 500 lumen output. I don’t usually run mine that way, but it’s fun when I do.

Quote:
As for the batteries, after all these years and they’re still stuck at 2500mAh? for God’s sake, why?!.. LOL Smile are there any higher mAhs available with low self discharge ?

No. There’s not much demand for newer NiMH tech nowadays, so I don’t think they’re doing much to improve it. There’s small incremental improvements with Eneloop over the past several years, but nothing significant. Just like you don’t see much improvement with alkaline batteries… they’re good-enough for their intended purpose (which is ruining electronics by leaking).

Lightbringer
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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
Just like you don’t see much improvement with alkaline batteries… they’re good-enough for their intended purpose (which is ruining electronics by leaking).

Oh, they’re quite excellent for that.

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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:

The TN4A is a nice light, but the narrow beam and long throw makes it a very different light than most single 18650 lights. As a decent outdoor thrower to hand-carry, it fits that purpose well. Great light for walking a dog off-leash (which is something you shouldn’t do).

There was a version of the TN4A with an XP-L HI. Perhaps that is what you are referring to. With the XP-L and the OP reflector my TN4A has more flood and more throw than my SC31B with the SST20. My C8 silver with the XP-L HI SMO out throws both of them. The hot spot on that is so bright that I can understand your comment about it not being a good leash walking light although I did that for quite some time and didn’t realize how bad it was.

OTOH, I think that these two examples of single 18650 lights and the TN4A AA are fairly similar with the TN4A having the widest beam and the C8 having the farthest throw. Size and weight are biggest things that make it different. Of course what I like are the UI and the tint and something similar can be found in many different lights.

Wade

buck91
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Scallywag wrote:
I’m trying to come up with the smallest tail-clicky 14500/AA light I can (and AAA too for that matter) … Besides my DQG Slim. I want to hot-rod it, but if it’s not small enough it just feels pointless compared to 18650.

But, for stock, I love the DQG Slim 1/2AA plus extension tube. Throw a 1000 mAh 14500 in there for unmatched capacity, or use eneloops, or Alkaleaks in a pinch.

For a clicky I haven’t seen any smaller than the Sofirn sf14v2.0. I have a few twisties which are smaller, but not clickies.

WalkIntoTheLight
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how crazy is this wrote:
WalkIntoTheLight wrote:

The TN4A is a nice light, but the narrow beam and long throw makes it a very different light than most single 18650 lights. As a decent outdoor thrower to hand-carry, it fits that purpose well. Great light for walking a dog off-leash (which is something you shouldn’t do).

There was a version of the TN4A with an XP-L HI. Perhaps that is what you are referring to. With the XP-L and the OP reflector my TN4A has more flood and more throw than my SC31B with the SST20. My C8 silver with the XP-L HI SMO out throws both of them. The hot spot on that is so bright that I can understand your comment about it not being a good leash walking light although I did that for quite some time and didn’t realize how bad it was.

Yes, I have the XP-L HI version. I don’t use it anymore, since lights of similar size (like the Astrolux C8) out-throw it and are lighter. But for a AA light, it does throw very well.

arow55
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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
Photonica wrote:
Parametrek has some suggestions.

Looks like Soda Can lights run 1100-1500 lumens. Manker T02 (2xAA side by side) claims 1500.

I’d like to see some independent tests of that Manker. IMO, they over-state their lumens. My T01 (1xAA) has nowhere near the output they claim, and it’s not regulated on max either.


Did you know you can customize each setting? Maybe you can set highest setting higher.
WalkIntoTheLight
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arow55 wrote:
WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
Photonica wrote:
Parametrek has some suggestions.

Looks like Soda Can lights run 1100-1500 lumens. Manker T02 (2xAA side by side) claims 1500.

I’d like to see some independent tests of that Manker. IMO, they over-state their lumens. My T01 (1xAA) has nowhere near the output they claim, and it’s not regulated on max either.


Did you know you can customize each setting? Maybe you can set highest setting higher.

I used the engineering mode to set it to max output without any step-down. But, yes, I also set up the regular modes so that the brightest is at max output. It is a bright light, and does have impressive throw for such a small 1xAA light. It’s just not as bright as what Manker claims. They claim 500 lumens. IIRC, I got almost 400, but only with a fully-charged Eneloop. It drops output as the battery declines, and it does that fairly quickly since NiMH voltage curves have a pretty steep drop at the beginning.

Oh, and their claim of 900 lumens using a 14500 cell is waaaaay out of reality. It’s really not that much brighter than with NiMH.

I prefer the regulated boost driver of lights like the Zebralight SC5. It has higher output (still not quite 500 lumens, though perhaps the MkII version does), but it will maintain that until the battery is almost dead.

But, if you’re looking for a 1xAA pocket-thrower, the Manker T01 does a good job of that.

Scallywag
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buck91 wrote:
Scallywag wrote:
I’m trying to come up with the smallest tail-clicky 14500/AA light I can (and AAA too for that matter) … Besides my DQG Slim. I want to hot-rod it, but if it’s not small enough it just feels pointless compared to 18650.

But, for stock, I love the DQG Slim 1/2AA plus extension tube. Throw a 1000 mAh 14500 in there for unmatched capacity, or use eneloops, or Alkaleaks in a pinch.

For a clicky I haven’t seen any smaller than the Sofirn sf14v2.0. I have a few twisties which are smaller, but not clickies.


A quick google yielded this , showing the Ultratac A1 and Tool AA to be a bit shorter.

EDC Rotation: ZL SC62 | Jaxman E2L XP-G2 5A | Purple S2+ XPL-HI U6-3A | D4 w/ Luxeon V | RRT-01 
EagTac D25C Ti | DQG Slim AA Ti | UF-T1 by CRX | Olight S1 | Klarus Mini One Ti
L6 XHP70.2 P2 4000K FET+7135 | Jaxman M8 | MF02 | Jaxman Z1 CULNM1.TG | Blue S2+ w/ ML Special
In-progress: Supfire M6 3xXHP50.2 
Others: Nitecore EC23 | Nebo Twyst | Streamlight ProTac 1AA | TerraLux LightStar 100

buck91
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Scallywag wrote:
buck91 wrote:
Scallywag wrote:
I’m trying to come up with the smallest tail-clicky 14500/AA light I can (and AAA too for that matter) … Besides my DQG Slim. I want to hot-rod it, but if it’s not small enough it just feels pointless compared to 18650.

But, for stock, I love the DQG Slim 1/2AA plus extension tube. Throw a 1000 mAh 14500 in there for unmatched capacity, or use eneloops, or Alkaleaks in a pinch.

For a clicky I haven’t seen any smaller than the Sofirn sf14v2.0. I have a few twisties which are smaller, but not clickies.


A quick google yielded this , showing the Ultratac A1 and Tool AA to be a bit shorter.

Well, I stand corrected then. I suppose my tool aa 219 does feel down right tiny in the hand.

drewski
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Has anyone tried sticking an SST-20 in a Tool AA? I don’t know if they come on 14mm mpcbs. I would love a 4000k tool aa though.

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Cells in parallel: Nitecore MT22A

Google shopping has it with a 20 percent discount for the next few days

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