Review: N Light AAA 3 mode Stainless Steel

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old4570
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Review: N Light AAA 3 mode Stainless Steel

 

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N Light AAA 3 Mode Stainless Steel  - purchased from CNQG -  $33  Link .





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Length: 72.5mm

Netweight: 40g

Use CREE XP-G R5 : 500,00 hrs lifespan

Max output: 80lumen

3 modes of brightness    L>Mid>H

Shotrange: 10 meters

Stainless Steel 304 body

Battery: 1xAAA(not included)

Waterproof:IPX 6

Switch:  Tail cap SS electic inching Switch

With mode memory

Description from CNQG


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N Light - Stainless ITP  and Maratac [ 1st Rev - Med/Lo/Hi ] 


First Impressions :


When the light first arrived , I thought , where is my Tin Case ? , it came in a small cardboard package wrapped in bubble wrap . On seeing the light , I thought , wow , it really looks to be well made [ first impressions were correct ] . Being made of Stainless Steel makes this light Solid , really chunky feeling , even more so than the Stainless ITP . The alloy Maratac feels positively feather weight when compared to the two Stainless lights .


 Now my first concern was the clicky , the button is small , and almost recessed into the tail cap , making activation , and mode changes tricky , it really wants to protrude another 0.5mm [ half a millimeter ] to make it far more user friendly . My other concern is the mode changing itself , again tricky . Due to the clicky used , there is no momentary on , or half click as some call it , its of or its on .  Now let me describe how to change modes first . Turn on the light , mine always starts in low mode [ No mode memory that I can find ] , now what you need to do is click twice very quickly to change to medium and again if you want high . What makes this interesting , is the small button , and the fact that its recessed a little too much .

This makes changing modes tricky , and often you will find yourself still in low mode , or you have turned off the light  .


  All my concerns regarding this light , stem from the clicky button , and the speed with which you have to change modes . I can see where a lot of people may have problems changing modes with this light . I would highly recommend allowing the button to stick out a little more , and slowing down the mode change and giving folks at least a full  second to change modes , as is , young highly agile adults with fast reflexes should not have problems ! , older folk or anyone with a physical dis ability [ arthritis etc ] , may wish to look at the larger AA model .


 Now aside from the clicky button , and the very quick action needed to change modes , which could be problematic to some folk , I really do like this light , even though I fail to change modes often enough , for some reason I like it , maybe its the cute factor ? 


Performance :


Lets move on and see how the light performs 


N Light 

 Lithium / Low = 3Lumen / Medium = 20Lumen / High = 74Lumen

Dry Cell / Low = 3L / Medium = 17L / High = 71L

Alkaline / Low = 3L / Medium = 18L / High = 72L


ITP 3 Mode Stainless 

Lithium / Low = 3L / Medium = 23L / High = 76L 


Maratac 3 Mode 

Lithium / Low = 2L / Medium = 24L / High = 81L 


N Light on a Nimh 

Low = 3L - 0.038A    [ ITP = 0.04A ] [ Maratac = 0.07A ] 

Medium = 18L - 0.13A   [ ITP = 0.35A ] [ Maratac = 0.33A ]

High = 73L - 0.53A    [ ITP = 0.79A ] [ Maratac = 0.84A ] 


Now I included the current draw on Nimh batteries for both the ITP and Maratac so you can compare current draw in each mode . And I dare suggest that the N Light is very well regulated , I got around 72L to 74L output until the battery started to voltage sag bellow 1volt , I measured 36L on high and when I got the battery out to measure voltage it was 0.96 and climbing , once the voltage bounced back to about 1.15v , I put the battery back in the light and got 70+ Lumen output once again , though I would not expect it to last very long as obviously the battery was very much depleted at this point .

 So it looks like constant output until almost the end of the batteries ability to maintain voltage above 1v or there abouts .

I cant be precise , but Im calling it 1v , it may be even lower , but without a power supply that has adjustable voltage , I cant put my finger on the precise regulation drop of point . 


Conclusion :


 Well regulated output 

High quality machining 

Smooth threads 

Knurling very well done

O rings 

Clip is sturdy 

Tailstands 

Starts in low [ some people want this ] 

No memory [ not this one ] 

Emitter slightly off center [ does no affect beam quality ]

Changing modes is tricky  [ to fast a speed needed ] 

Clicky button recessed  a little to much [ needs 0.5mm more exposure ] 

Smooth beam [ no rings ] 

OP reflector 

No battery rattle 

10440 support [ At this time unknown ] 10440 could kill this light , so be AWARE of the risk .

  Medium and High modes offer improved run time over the competition 

PWM - I could only just make out a little in medium [ very high frequency ] Hi and Lo , undetectable . 



Well , over all I like it , it fits in the pocket well , is only slightly longer than the Twisty actioned ITP , has exceptional run time when compared to the competition , as well as being well regulated [ Light output ] . In all honesty if this light is typical for this production , I really must be honest , the clicky , and the speed at which you need to change modes , makes the light challenging to use , if not possibly difficult , so please keep that in mind when you consider how trick , and how positively cute this light is . If you dont want one for emergency use , or anything that might induce high levels of stress , making operating the light even more difficult , and you want something that can pass for Bling or Jewelry , or for just plain old showing of , then I can in all honesty say this N Light seems to be a high quality item , and just a little bit of adjustment from the manufacturer  , would make this light near perfect . 



Beamshots :


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Pictures hosted by .  http://imageshack.us/  

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:13
jekostas
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Nice review, thanks.  I guess the million dollar question is - is it $13 better than the ITP A3 EOS?  Or $18 better than the Mr Lite KC-05?  It certainly looks pretty and clickies in AAA lights are pretty rare, but are they worth it?

old4570
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The price is rather close to the Stainless ITP  - $5 or less , so in this regard , very much yes [ worth it ] 

Compared to a $20 ITP A3 3 mode , perhaps not , but then I payed about the same for my Maratacs [ same or more than the N light ]  , so in that regard , yes again .

But as you stated , Its not just that a clicky AAA is rare , rare is a multi mode AAA , also rarer still , a well regulated one .. 

Is it worth it ?  For me yes , I still like my ITP very much , and my Maratacs , I will want a ITP AA in XP-G R5 [ hell yes ] 

And the N Light AA 3 mode looks tempting now ..  But personally Ive wanted a multi mode AAA with clicky for a very long time [ since I got my first Maratac ] 

This one is nice , the clicky is challenging , and you will have to develop a technique for changing modes , the more I use it , the easier it gets .

I just fear , for some it could be a burden rather than a challenge ..  

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

sb56637
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Nice find Matt! I agree that is a very nice looking light. Shame about the mode-change issues. So it cost you $33 shipped?

Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

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old4570
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$33 shipped , was with CPF discount ..  CNQG is apparently a CPF sponsor now Surprised  I think ...

+ CNQG ran a special on this light @ the CPF MP ...  Which I missed out on , of course ... 

Its priced on about 2 movie tickets , since I didnt see very many movies last year ?  [ My justification for buying it ] 

Changing modes , takes concentration , would be nice if it was a no brain'er , + a bit of clicking speed ..

So if your hands have grown old , stiff , and a little slow , maybe a ITP would be better .  

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

old4570
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Sorry - was a little tardy ...

I can only just detect a little PWM in medium mode [ high frequency ] , Lo and High , I can see no PWM . 

I shine the light at a fan doing around 1000RPM , My F20 is just way PW Modulated for comparison . 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Boaz
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I got in on the cpf deal he had on these lights and you're right it was cheaper ...but not much AND mine is still stuck in an airport somewhere too ..I Paid 29.$. I would have paid the extra 4 bucks to have it 6 days after ordering it instead of a month and a half ..maybe more ..Gotta love the hong kong post . I suggested to our fearless leader that we have Ric make the next BLF light ,and maybe see if we can make a light that drags a huge amount of attention to BLF ..( If you build it they will come )

Hey old4570 thanks for a good review ,, something to look forward to ..

Since everyone is comparing it to the itp ,,Tell me about the pwm on the itp vs.  the AAA  N-light ???

 

I have yet to see any questionable review of Rics lights ..seems like he's getting it  done right.

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old4570
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Is excellent , High frequency .. PWM, only just noticeable in low and medium when shinning the light at a fan [ ITP ]

N Light , only noticeable in fan on medium  , both low and high are undetectable [ fan 1000RPM ] 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Slack One
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Just wondering...will this change modes with a head loosen?  Might be an alternative to having to fast-click through the modes, even if it slightly defeats the purpose of the clicky switch.

old4570
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Yeah it will ,  

 But after the electronic switch did a overload , I put in a normal reverse clicky , and it works fine now . 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

claudeswares
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old4570 wrote:

Yeah it will ,  

 But after the electronic switch did a overload , I put in a normal reverse clicky , and it works fine now . 

I just got this light and would like to ask you some questions regarding it. Can you post more information about this modification  you did? Also have you tried to use a 10440 with the light? I tried, but the reverse polarity protection ring gets in the way of the my AW 10440 very short and wide top. Aluminium foil doesn't work, so I will try to add some solder on it later.

Boaz
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welcome to blf  claudeswares..

how's the tint on your light ..I like it and I have a 2 mode hi/low .I don't see any pwm and I hate bad pwm .I also don't feel the need for any more lumens out of it .Just wish it had a better clicky

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old4570
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The ring comes off , should have two holes in it , to get some fine needle nose pliers in there . 

Clicky , http://www.kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=1641  this one ...

Butt!    It needs to be moded to fit , it needs to be shorter , so dremel time ..  And it takes perfect cutting ..   

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

fishinfool
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Aloha and welcome to BLF claudeswares! 

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

claudeswares
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Thanks for the warm welcome everyone. Boaz, this is my first neutral, so I cannot comment on the tint other than I am a fan of neutral now.Old4570, thanks for the information about the switch. I ask because I am getting my switch replace for free because it has issues. I was interested in alternatives to the electric switch. Thanks for the information.

regal
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With this N Light AAA I found that if you take out the clicky PCB and file down the circumference so it fits inside the rubber ring it is easier to switch and change modes.  It is dissapointing that it doesn't have memory but there aren't really any other AAA lights this small with a clicky and 2 modes,  it can be a very handy inspection/detail work light.

kreisler
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hi folks, i think the light is now a 2-mode light.

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
old4570
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kreisler wrote:

hi folks, i think the light is now a 2-mode light.

Now a 2 mode , the 3 mode was dropped as changing modes could be challenging ..

Apparently in trying to find a cure , they dropped a mode ..

I would love to re-visit , but for me the cure was a mechanical clicky switch ..

Love the B3 , only thing I would like to do is maybe MOD it to XM-L ...

Its a shame its not still 3 mode , after getting mine they were unavailable , and then when they came back , it was as the two mode .. 

And by then I had found the cure to the challenging mode changes .. [ And I did want another 3 mode ]

Maybe one day CNQ will send me a 2 mode to test ?   [ ???? ]  

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Boaz
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I ordered the 3 mode and got the 2 mode instead and I'm glad i did .A light this small 2 modes is perfect for me low and high . I can't imagine needing anything else .

One thing is for sure ...It's a pretty light

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