Need advice, My Aunt wants a "real" flashlight now also.

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Last seen: 8 years 11 months ago
Joined: 06/26/2011 - 16:26
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Location: Ohio
Need advice, My Aunt wants a "real" flashlight now also.

I didn't see this one coming, But out of the blue my Aunt asked me to find her a flashlight like the ones ive set my mom up with. My mom who is 64 and my Aunt is almost 70 i believe loves her lights, I just finished a "Gift" light to my mom which is a 501A w/2.8A driver and XML run on an 18350 IMR which she loves and is amazed by. This is my moms fourth light and i guess my Aunt thinks she needs one too.

Now im gonna need recommendations, But there are limits since she is non flashlight savvy. I take care of all my moms lights cells so she don't have to worry about Li-Ion care and charging and all cells are protected i give her except the IMR which don't need it. But my Aunt who lives 5 miles away makes Li-ion and IMR cells out of the question due to maintenance issues and also costs.

Im thinking CR123 or AA, But i do have a TF TR-001 charger i dont use and some Reverend Jim 2400mAH unprotected Panasonic 18650's. I have 2 full boxs of CR123's and i could give her a box to get her going and most likley that would last a year or two. I dont think she can be counted on charging cells, Even AA. I cant even convince her to put 91 Octane fuel in her supercharged car that requires it and she puts ONLY 87 octane in it.

Her needs: I gotta guess here, But im gonna say mostly indoors low powered reading, Power outages and outdoors so some throw would be useful. A hard driven R5 with OP reflector or XML driven at 2.8A with a smooth reflector seem they may fill the needs from my knowledge.

Size: should be small like L2 sized and smaller.

Modes: H/M/L only if possible, No blinky-blinky, I can build from parts if need be with no issues and may even have the parts on hand and just need a host.

Output: Id like 700 lumen's, But to be realistic from non 18650 and IMR run lights 400 lumen's plus would be about right. 

Quality: SolarForce or better.

Cells: AA or CR123 or any readily available cell that doesn't require charging. 

Cost: $20-$30 for complete light minus cells. 

Origin: USA or China, Depending on price. Id like it to be in her hands faster than waiting 3 weeks, But will do whats needed to get the right light. 

Finally, I know i put alot of wants and restrictions, But mainly the only one that is set in stone is no Li-Ion or IMR's due to safety and costs and teaching a 70 year old how to do it. A set of Eneloops with a basic charger would be ok id think tho. So recommend lights that come close to the requirements also if you know of any. Links to the light your recommending would be useful if possible please.









Ford Prefect
Ford Prefect's picture
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 06/13/2011 - 08:07
Posts: 848
Location: Canada, eh!
I would stick to AA based lights for safety and ease of finding replacements. There is a new group buy going on with dinodirect for a Fenix E21 that would be a good choice on 2xAA. More throw? A C88 from manafont would be great running 3xAA and easily upgradable to an XM-L if you feel the Q5 doesn't put out enough. 700 or 400 lumens? My little maratac AAA Cu puts out a measly 80 lumens and it does everything you listed. Backing off the lumens will also gain you more runtime.
Last seen: 11 months 3 days ago
Joined: 06/03/2011 - 08:47
Posts: 1454
Location: London

This L2r with an XP-G in it (ideal for 2*AA) is a good price at present.  Its a nice 3 mode, easier to understand.

"You are making progress if each mistake you make is a new one."

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E1320's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 03/30/2011 - 05:26
Posts: 3375
Location: New Hampshire

 I will throw this out there because it is a really cute mod light for a lady and it uses regular AAA batteries. This is a very easy light to mod  a simple emitter change gives dramatic results. The reflector does need to be drilled out, but it is plastic so it drills easy also the lens is plastic if you want to upgrade it I did not. I got this light as a gift for my live in girlfriend to ease the tension of my flashlight hobby, unfortunately the emitter was horrible and her key chain light was far brighter than this light in stock form. This is a direct drive light with extremely small wires which is good because they limit current delivery to the emitter. After the initial disappointment and before I gave it to her I put a Q5 in it and she was quite happy for some time. I also had ordered a pink tritium tube for it and attached it with some fishing line so she can find it in the dark. The battery holder is nicely designed and it lets the 3 Duraloops deliver a little over 1.5 amps so about 250 lumens with the Q5 emitter swap. I overheated an XML emitter soldering and it came of the board so I had to reattach it so guess what I did next I put the XML in this bad boy. It measure over 1.5 amps with freshly charged AAA Duraloops so 500 lumens is no joke and it handles the heat fine. She will turn it on and tail stand it and then forget or fall asleep and it will run until the battery dies she has done this dozens of times and done no damage so it can handle the heat no problem. Also all of the pink colored rubber glows green when charged and a 14mm emitter is needed.

Just an idea, it is a simple mod and it really is a cute little light that can pack a wallop if you want to give it a little attention.


I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

trooplewis's picture
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 03/26/2011 - 15:35
Posts: 2613
Location: San Diego

I always gift LRi's with the 3xAAA in them and an XP-G drop-in.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

Last seen: 8 years 11 months ago
Joined: 06/26/2011 - 16:26
Posts: 294
Location: Ohio

Id like to try and stay away from a project light so i know its 100% reliable, Plus i dont want to tell her i had to modify it before giving it to her. Im sure she doesn't think like we do where mods are a good thing Smile

Atm i have a SF L2r body and a 4.2v R5 drop-in thats new from SF also. But the reason im not using it the 2x AA was too weak imo, But im sure i could add a 7135 in the driver to boost it. But multi cell lights scare me when adding extra IC's as they dont react like a single cell does, Or do they?

Id have to buy a new head for the L2r, But id rather buy an L2i for $8.99 but im not so sure how the 4.2v R5 drop-in i have would handle 4.5v But i think that would droop when a load is applied and be fine. So does this sound like a good match? The L2i and 4.2v R5? I then could pick up a cheap Eneloop charger and battery combo. Im pretty sure she can handle that. 

BTW 80 lumens wont cut it, She lives in the country where a powerful light can be needed quite often as she sits out at dusk by their pond. I carry an ITP EOS A3 upgraded w/ 10440 IMR and even it doesn't provide the light she can fully use.

The Fenix E21 doesn't sound bad as it seems like the lumens are under rated on it.

She liked my moms Terralux lightstar 220 also.

So thats a good 3-4 options and ill sit down and talk to her next time shes here and let her use a few and get a little better feel as to what fits her best. 

jacktheclipper's picture
Last seen: 15 hours 50 min ago
Joined: 10/31/2010 - 21:18
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Location: Florida , U.S.A.

Go to Shiningbeam and pick out a 2AA Romisen .

Especially this one


What I do


Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: 07/15/2011 - 10:17
Posts: 200
Location: Germany

I do not recommend the L2i as it is a bit fiddly to insert the batteries into the batterieholder and you have to watch the polarity of the batteries...

If you have as mentioned plenty of 123s get your aunt a L2m  and a 0.8-4.2V  3-mode XP-G solarforce drop-in, this should be pretty bright enough, handy and with the extension you still have the oppotunity to go for 18650s...

Last seen: 8 years 11 months ago
Joined: 06/26/2011 - 16:26
Posts: 294
Location: Ohio

2AA Romisen - That looks like a good deal, I have 2 x 12 box's of CR123's im not even using, I can sell her a box below my cost of just give them to her and they will last a loooooong time. And she can just buy AA primaries also. I also like the fact its a US based company and no long 3 week waits to get it.

joerch- While i like the idea of the L2m shorty and 1x CR123's i have my dislikes of R5's at 3v's. They just dont perform well imo. But i do have plenty of stuff to build the drop-in myself. And i could add an extra 7135 to push it up too 2A at the tail and then it would be a good beam. Plus SF USA can get me a host fast.

Boy, You 2 made great suggestions. Im gonna have to call and talk to her and have her come over and look at bodies and beams so i get this exactly right. Luckily i have enough faith in my guts building i can pretty much set her up with anything i want.

I just did a 501A shorty with a 3A XML w/IMR 18350 for my mom and she just cherishes it. With an OP reflector it floods a room like mad as she dont leave the house due to bad health, And the low setting and short size lets her set it on her shoulder and read and scratch lottery bingo tickets she loves and the light doesnt even get warm. The 18350 IMR was at 3.8v after 2-3 hours of use on low last night. They are rated at 800mAH but ive tested them too 1000mAH and i stopped the run at 3v, Had i went too 2.5v im sure the numbers would be a few hundred higher. Darn light cost me $30 to build tho lol