A quick video comparison of 12 cheap (~$2) single AAA flashlights

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gaiageek
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A quick video comparison of 12 cheap (~$2) single AAA flashlights

Greetings all. 

 

I've been a long-time lurker of this site, often referring to it whenever the urge to get a new flashlight came up. This past year I became curious about some very cheap flashlights being sold on eBay and AliExpress. I was able to find a couple reviews of individual lights on YouTube which suggested that, for the price, they were actually quite decent, and might make nice gifts for friends, or even total strangers I meet while traveling. I bought one, then another, and soon decided to just buy every different cheap single AAA I could, attempting (and mostly succeeding) to find each for $2 US or less, and then do a comparison of all of them, so that others would know the gems from the junk without having to waste their money.

 

For my first post on BudgetLightForum, I present to you the video I've made comparing all 12 lights. I hope this helps any who are curious. 

 

 

 

 

May your path always be illuminated.

djozz
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Welcome to BLF gaiageek!

I enjoyed the video and I actually have one of those skyewolfeye zoomies. If you are into that, they all get brighter and with better tint if you swap the harsh cool chinese led for a brand led, like a Cree XP-E2 or a Luminus SST-20.

Thanks for the nice comparison Smile

raccoon city
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I hope you have fun here, gaiageek!

101_milla

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Nicely done video and welcome to BLF!

One particular use case for zoomies is the flashlight muggle auto mechanic. To preface, it would not be my choice when working under my hood but the even and wide zoomed out beam can be great for general work lighting while the zoomed in beam can help locate a dropped bolt or tool that fell down a dark crevice.

 RIP  SPC Joey Riley, KIA 11/24/14. Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.

gaiageek
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djozz wrote:
Welcome to BLF gaiageek! I enjoyed the video and I actually have one of those skyewolfeye zoomies. If you are into that, they all get brighter and with better tint if you swap the harsh cool chinese led for a brand led, like a Cree XP-E2 or a Luminus SST-20. Thanks for the nice comparison :-)

Thanks for the feedback! How involved is the process for swapping out the LED? If it doesn't require too much time or any special tools (beyond a soldering iron), that's something I may try.

May your path always be illuminated.

djozz
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gaiageek wrote:

djozz wrote:
Welcome to BLF gaiageek! I enjoyed the video and I actually have one of those skyewolfeye zoomies. If you are into that, they all get brighter and with better tint if you swap the harsh cool chinese led for a brand led, like a Cree XP-E2 or a Luminus SST-20. Thanks for the nice comparison Smile

Thanks for the feedback! How involved is the process for swapping out the LED? If it doesn’t require too much time or any special tools (beyond a soldering iron), that’s something I may try.


Swapping leds requires a solder iron to solder the wires off and on the ledboard. The led itself is reflow-soldered on the ledboard, which requires a different trick: there are several ways to do that, from simply heating the board in a frying pan on the stove to regulated hotplates or heatguns. It helps to have solder paste (powdered soldertin/flux mix) at hand. Search BLF for ways to do it, i.e. vestureofblood made some helpful videos on the subject.

Edit: here is one http://budgetlightforum.com/node/46443

Noctiluco
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Nice video,thanks Thumbs Up

Jerommel
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Welcome to BLF.
Thanks for the test video.
I always have a soft spot for cheapo AAA lights.
I have all 3 of those zoomies.
The first 2 (#7 and #8 in your line up) are running dedomed Cree XP-C here, giving them a really narrow but pretty bright beam.
Number 7 in your line up is pretty good actually, and because of the bigger lens has the narrowest beam and the driver is more powerful.
I’ve got #2 also. It’s cute, and some day i’ll rebuild it with a better driver and LED.

Agro
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I’ve got number 7 and I really dislike it. Performance is good but has some electrical issues and changes modes when I zoom.
EDIT:
That turned out to be easily fixable by tightening the pill.

Jerommel
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Agro wrote:
I’ve got number 7 and I really dislike it. Performance is good but has some electrical issues and changes modes when I zoom.

Did you open the bezel and tighten the pill into the battery tube?
Otherwise it may be the driver board sitting too loose in the pill, or both…
fluke
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II cannot find the 1AAA cob/flashlight anywhere.

wle
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just saying it is bright or not, needs more info, like how long does the battery last?

anything can be bright if it uses the whole battery in 5 minutes

wle

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fluke wrote:

II cannot find the 1AAA cob/flashlight anywhere.


https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000416022567.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000178968491.html (type C)
fluke
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Jerommel wrote:
fluke wrote:

II cannot find the 1AAA cob/flashlight anywhere.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000416022567.html https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000178968491.html (type C)

 

Thanks but they are AA not AAA. 

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fluke wrote:

Jerommel wrote:
fluke wrote:

II cannot find the 1AAA cob/flashlight anywhere.


https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000416022567.html https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000178968491.html (type C)

 


Thanks but they are AA not AAA


The first one is AAA.
It says AA one time, but look further.
The second one is not what i thought it was (sorry).
sb56637
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Awesome first post! Totally in line with the spirit of BLF, reminds me of my first reviews…
- http://budgetlightforum.com/node/187
- http://budgetlightforum.com/node/76
Welcome to BLF! You’ll fit right in.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

raccoon city
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When I first researched flashlights in 2009, or perhaps earlier, I was looking for AA and AAA lights for under $5.

Now I'm into 18650 lights under about $40.  :-)

Jerommel
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Jerommel wrote:
fluke wrote:

Jerommel wrote:
fluke wrote:

II cannot find the 1AAA cob/flashlight anywhere.


https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000416022567.html https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000178968491.html (type C)

 


Thanks but they are AA not AAA


The first one is AAA.
It says AA one time, but look further.
The second one is not what i thought it was (sorry).

also wrong in description (see feedback): https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33045465782.html
Agro
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Jerommel wrote:
Agro wrote:
I’ve got number 7 and I really dislike it. Performance is good but has some electrical issues and changes modes when I zoom.

Did you open the bezel and tighten the pill into the battery tube?
Otherwise it may be the driver board sitting too loose in the pill, or both…

Indeed, the pill was loose. Tightening it fixed the problem. Thank you!
It’s going to be my EDC again. Smile
Kindle
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That’s one heck of a first post! Thanks for the hard work and welcome aboard!!