What are the best AAA keychain lights in 2021

37 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

kayasse
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 03/06/2021 - 17:23
Posts: 14
Location: France
What are the best AAA keychain lights in 2021

I ask the question because I'm looking for a new one to replace my good old Fenix E99 Ti. (Cree XP-E2 - 100 lumen - 420 cd - 45m - it was the top at the time lol)

 I got it since ... I can't remember how many years. Although she never failed, I think it's time to change ! And finally, my keychain flashlight is one of the ones I use most often.

 

Since all this time I'm sure there are probably better LEDs with better drivers, better runtime, brighter etc. Or maybe not ?

I am a little aware of what's being done for 18650/21700/26650 flashlights, but for AAA I am completely dumped.

 

I prefer an AAA keychain because I can replace the battery. But if there are serious alternatives I am listening. (I already have the GT Nano but I'm looking for better runtime lol)

The size suits me well (6,6 cm x 1cm) but it can be littler Smile
I'm really open for UI etc.
The price can go up to +/- $ 55
 

So, if you have a few candidates to propose...  Thanks for your help with all the nuggets that only you here know Smile

turkeydance
turkeydance's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 56 min ago
Joined: 02/20/2020 - 18:53
Posts: 894

the best keychain light is the one you have.
another would require new and different
skill sets and even more money.
enjoy your steadfast friend.

Correllux
Correllux's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 56 min ago
Joined: 04/27/2019 - 22:23
Posts: 391
Location: USA

 The last remaining AAA I have is the little Ultratac K18 and it's a decent light really.  XP-G3 I think (maybe 2), simple UI, side e-switch with lockout, glass lens.  I filed off the key ring loop to make it a tail stander but what's there is beefy enough that you'd never have to worry about it wearing through with actual key ring use.  If it's still available they had a stainless steel version, too, which would be much more durable.  Went through two Lumintop Tool AAA and really never liked it much but that one has a tail clicky, bit larger size than the K18.  It's very easy to swap emitters in both of these as well.  There are several AA lights now that aren't too much larger and definitely give more punch and/or run time...not sure how many have key ring ends on them, though. 

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Online
Last seen: 3 min 5 sec ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 15543
Location: nyc

Skilhunt E3A.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

kayasse
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 03/06/2021 - 17:23
Posts: 14
Location: France

Thank you @turkeydance and @Correllux for your answers.

So in fact if I understood well the AAA keychain flashlights are a bit obsolete ?

These are now FLs built like Rovyvon Aurora A series, Astrolux K2 etc. who took the lead in keychain flashlights ?

kayasse
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 03/06/2021 - 17:23
Posts: 14
Location: France

@Lightbringer thank you ! Skilhunt E3A looks really good with nice Samsung LH351B LED, accept all types of batteries, like this one !

kayasse
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 03/06/2021 - 17:23
Posts: 14
Location: France

In fact, it is difficult to find AAA flashlights that have more than 100 Lumens. It's quite surprising

To have more lumens, I only see keychain flashlights like Jetbeam mini one, Aurora etc. (a generic name probably exists for this type of FL)

Bort
Bort's picture
Online
Last seen: 6 min 28 sec ago
Joined: 06/01/2012 - 17:15
Posts: 8140
Location: Holding the proverbial flashlight

You might get an extra 50 lumens. Not worth it especially since your light is titanium.

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

Correllux
Correllux's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 56 min ago
Joined: 04/27/2019 - 22:23
Posts: 391
Location: USA

I wouldn't say they're obsolete at all.  AA sure has the market, though.  There are some AAA models that will also take the 10440 lithium cells.  My K18 will but I don't run it with those...just not enough run time with those tiny cells but they do give you an impressive boost in output (I think on that light the lithium is supposed to be 350 lumens or so...briefly).  That little Skilhunt looks like a winner.  The old Thrunite Ti2 and Ti3 are still around and decent twisties.  Seems like Lumintop had another nice AAA that had grooves on the body like the Worm but I don't recall what it was named.  

darosk
darosk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 45 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2019 - 22:03
Posts: 221
Location: Sabah, Malaysia

Lightbringer wrote:
Skilhunt E3A.

+1 for this. People gripe about it being only single mode, but after EDC-ing it on my keys for a while now, I honestly don’t miss having a low mode. It’s so light and small you forget it’s there. The throw/flood ratio of the beam is also respectable, considering the cell it uses.

My Lights (Updated: June 20, 2021)

jon_slider
jon_slider's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 3 min ago
Joined: 09/08/2015 - 12:20
Posts: 4960
Location: Central North America
kayasse wrote:
it is difficult to find AAA flashlights that have more than 100 Lumens. It’s quite surprising

why suprising? brighter lights require bigger batteries and higher voltage LiIon cells.. AAA is weak

but here are a couple of lights that claim high lumens from AAA:
Maratac claims 265 lumens

Surefire titan plus claims 300 lumens
here is a runtime curve

click pic for a review with lots more info

Pete7874
Pete7874's picture
Online
Last seen: 13 min 38 sec ago
Joined: 11/23/2011 - 16:47
Posts: 3453
Location: USA

Lightbringer wrote:
Skilhunt E3A.

Olight i3E along the same lines…
Bort
Bort's picture
Online
Last seen: 6 min 28 sec ago
Joined: 06/01/2012 - 17:15
Posts: 8140
Location: Holding the proverbial flashlight

Pete7874 wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
Skilhunt E3A.

Olight i3E along the same lines…

This is the one i got, works fine, nothing special but convenient since i always have keys when leaving the house.

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Online
Last seen: 3 min 5 sec ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 15543
Location: nyc
Pete7874 wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
Skilhunt E3A.
Olight i3E along the same lines…

I got more i3Es than I know what to do with, also the Thrunites, and Glarees, and Tool AAAs, and…

I like ‘em all, but I keep coming back to the E3A. Perfect beam with the pebbled TIR lens, HA3 ano, loooooove the slate gray, etc.

When I got it (reviewed here… I think), I was floored how nice it was.

(Hell, my review on Amazon is top of the list. LOL )

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

TermsakC
TermsakC's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 24 min ago
Joined: 06/05/2021 - 22:47
Posts: 220
Location: Singapore

One AAA light to consider as EDC or keychain light is Sofirn C01S BLF.

It costs only about US$9. Its light output is about 100 lumens. It is only 71.6 mm in length. And it comes with a tiny (black iron) clip.

I have one Green and am considering buying a few more in different colours (there are six colours to choose from).

toddcshoe
toddcshoe's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 15 hours ago
Joined: 01/24/2018 - 23:49
Posts: 2584
Location: Foley, MO
Lightbringer wrote:
Pete7874 wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
Skilhunt E3A.
Olight i3E along the same lines…

I got more i3Es than I know what to do with, also the Thrunites, and Glarees, and Tool AAAs, and…

I like ‘em all, but I keep coming back to the E3A. Perfect beam with the pebbled TIR lens, HA3 ano, loooooove the slate gray, etc.

When I got it (reviewed here… I think), I was floored how nice it was.

(Hell, my review on Amazon is top of the list. LOL )

100% agree. I love that little light. I have a handful of those Thrunite Ti3’s or whatever they are called. The ones they were giving away for five bucks or something like that. Little three mode twisty. I’ll give ya one if you want it. I think the E3A is a better light though. Just my opinion. If the Reylight Mini Pineapples are still in stock somewhere, those are really nice. Pricey but worth it. Not exactly a keychain light though. The titanium one rides in the pocket very well and I don’t even notice it’s there most of the time. I am test driving a Nitecore Tini 2 on my keyring right now. It’s okay, I’m getting use to it. I like the screen with all the info and the two different lock out modes. I like the Tip 2 as well, easy to take off the keyring and has a magnetic base. Lots of choices. Hope you find the perfect one for you. Drop me a PM with your address if you want one of those Thrunites.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Online
Last seen: 3 min 5 sec ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 15543
Location: nyc

Me? Naw, thanks, but I grabbed a few for gifts and the like, so I’m set. LOL

(Flashlights as gifts to “normals” is like giving someone a can-opener. Always get that “wutdahell is this?” look. Flat Stare )

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

toddcshoe
toddcshoe's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 15 hours ago
Joined: 01/24/2018 - 23:49
Posts: 2584
Location: Foley, MO

LOL, I was going to give the OP one if he wanted one. I knew you probably had a box full of them. Big Smile

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Online
Last seen: 3 min 5 sec ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 15543
Location: nyc

That’s what I thought was so strange, like, “Hey Bezos, need a few bux for lunch?”.

Figured I’d be polite anyway. LOL

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Agro
Agro's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 hours ago
Joined: 05/14/2017 - 11:16
Posts: 6801
Location: Ślōnsk

I’d like to add to the list Jaxman i2. And the classic, DQG Tiny.

KeepingItLight
KeepingItLight's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 17 hours ago
Joined: 06/15/2015 - 14:52
Posts: 741
Location: California

I am still satisfied with the light that has been my EDC for four years now, the AstroLux A01 AAA Nichia 219B High CRI. Pros: small as the dickens, neutral tint, and high-CRI. Cons: Not sure about durability or ruggedness, but mine is still humming along. Claims 100 lumens, but probably more like 70 or 80.

I value CCT near 5000K and high CRI. For EDC, I like tiny.

Which of the new keychain flashlights feature high CRI?

 

turkeydance
turkeydance's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 56 min ago
Joined: 02/20/2020 - 18:53
Posts: 894

regarding: …Flashlights as gifts to “normals”…

posted previously in another thread: the Amazon, FedEx, UPS, USPS, etc.
delivery personnel sure do appreciate flashlights as gifts during the winter.

kayasse
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 03/06/2021 - 17:23
Posts: 14
Location: France

Waouw thanks for all your answers.

This forum is very active and the members are very helpful, that's really cool.

 

Finally, my old Fenix E99Ti is still average of what is currently being done. Except its beam which has a really horrible bluish tint.

Since about 6 years I have the E99, I thought there were now new leds adapted to AAA that can give more light/runtime by requiring less power. But no.


So I knew you would give me suggestions that I never would have found on my own, even looking for years lol

 

The Jaxman i2 and the Skilhunt E3A (I also love the slate gray!) are my fav. I will start with these 2 and buy them both !

(Sofirn C01S BLF is also interesting for its high CRI .... The Astrolux A01 have a nice design .... Hmmm I think my AAA collection will grow quickly, I will avoid coming here too often. Maybe that's what @Turkeydance was trying to tell me lol)

 

Thanks again everyone for your help !

buck91
buck91's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 17 sec ago
Joined: 07/29/2016 - 08:21
Posts: 657
Location: Michigan

The Thrunite Ti3 goes on a pretty good sale sometimes, and even at full price isn’t a deal breaker. I have the older version on my keys right now which is ever so slightly smaller but the newer ones seem to have better twisty contact. I picked up a handful to swap LEDs and compare, head to head, the various high CRI options out there. EASY to swap the leds and great little keychain lights. Another good budget option would be the Sofirn C01 and C01S.

Personally, I would love to see the old LRI Photon Microlights get a refresh with some of these high CRI 5mm LEDs. If I could find any that were in the 15 degree range I’d do a retrofit myself.

Correllux
Correllux's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 56 min ago
Joined: 04/27/2019 - 22:23
Posts: 391
Location: USA

kayasse wrote:
Waouw thanks for all your answers.

This forum is very active and the members are very helpful, that's really cool.

 

It's a good place, good people, and that seems to have held true for nearly a decade now! 

Enjoy the new lights.  I think longer run times could be had with some emitters but with the low capacity of AAA size there isn't a lot that can be done, and some have moved in favor of increasing lumens a little rather than taking the longer run times.  The emitters that have a little lower forward voltage show bigger gains at higher outputs I think.  Actually taking a look at some of these lights mentioned I might have to pick up one or two...I'd gotten rid of AAA in favor of AA/14500 but there's just something cool about tiny lights that can still punch above their size.  I also noticed that a) Ultratac doesn't appear to be so healthy in the market right now...I wonder if they'll still be around in the future, and b) the K18 I mentioned appears to apply to the regular light and also a much smaller mini version (I had no idea the mini existed).  
 

sarge12
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 05/31/2020 - 08:13
Posts: 324

If your heart is not set on aaa or replacable batteries, the seeknite S11…or an S11 under multiple brand lables is a good keychain light. They are fairly cheap, and have a 350mah li-ion battery. It is an amazing 400 lumens on high, and has a magnetic tail and some usable side lights along with gimmicky police like blinkies. For the money the S11 is hard to beat. I have no idea who actually makes them, but I just ordered 3 more to add to the 3 I already have for 12 bucks and change each. These were on ali express with no brand name attached. They are the same though, and even the box is identical. The seeknite does not actually have their name on the light anywhere. It requires a double click to turn it on to prevent accidental activation in the pocket.

jon_slider
jon_slider's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 3 min ago
Joined: 09/08/2015 - 12:20
Posts: 4960
Location: Central North America

buck91 wrote:
The Thrunite Ti3 goes on a pretty good sale sometimes

Personally, I would love to see the old LRI Photon Microlights get a refresh with some of these high CRI 5mm LEDs.


the Ti3 is on sale again and that link includes a modding tutorial.

I agree they are great hosts for High CRI upgrades

the microlights are easy to swap in High CRI Yuji or the 5mm LEDs rngwn sells

Unheard
Unheard's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 4 min ago
Joined: 01/16/2019 - 11:38
Posts: 2213
Location: Germany

Lightbringer wrote:

I like ‘em all, but I keep coming back to the E3A. Perfect beam with the pebbled TIR lens, HA3 ano, loooooove the slate gray.

Is it modding friendly? Could be a nice target for a 219B if the optics works well with it.

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

NorthernHarrier
NorthernHarrier's picture
Offline
Last seen: 14 hours 51 min ago
Joined: 11/30/2018 - 12:05
Posts: 559
Location: Eastern USA

Good values:

Fenix E01 V2
Thrunite Ti3 with neutral tint

I like these lights because of their reliable switches, their quality, their mode choices, and their tints. And they are a good value for the price, especially when you can use coupon/sale prices.

"However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." - Stanley Kubrick

jon_slider
jon_slider's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 3 min ago
Joined: 09/08/2015 - 12:20
Posts: 4960
Location: Central North America

Unheard wrote:
Is it modding friendly?

imo no, the Skilhunt E3a, Olight i3e and Thrunite Ti2, are not moddable,
but there are people with more skills than mine

afaict they are all the same single mode light, whose pill is plastic. The mcpcb is held on by a deformed plastic post.. that would be the disassembly and reassembly issue..

the pill does unscrew without drama, if you want to inspect the assembly…

The Thrunite Ti2 is on sale two for $6.. they are also having a sale for $6 for the 3 mode Ti3 V2, which IS easily moddable.

I prefer 3 modes, but the single mode is more muggle friendly, and smaller.


.

sarge12 wrote:
seeknite S11
glad you are enjoying your little lights..

here is a size comparison to one of those thumb style lights

luipermom wrote:

- Nitecore Tiki (not AAA, but lovely too)
- Olight i3E-Cu EOS
- Thrunite Ti3 Ti V1

Unheard
Unheard's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 4 min ago
Joined: 01/16/2019 - 11:38
Posts: 2213
Location: Germany

Thank you, Jon. My i3E modding success ratio is 1/2. It was worth to kill one. Problem is not swapping itself, but the tiny contacts of the Luxeon TX. Too easy to bridge the pad, so it took longer than usual. Too long in one case.

The Skilhunt has an XP-L pad, right?

To me, size and single mode UI are key elements of a good keychain light.

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

Pages