Help me pic my first AA pocket light

Hello everyone. I am in the market for my first AA pocket light. It will be replace a Fenix LD01 AAA light that is on my keychain and that I bought a year ago used on Craigslist. I do not really like the light that much. Here is what I am looking for:

1AA format

rear clickie

low/med/hi modes, no goofy strobe and sos

will be used for closeup work and not more than 20 away so do not need a thrower

function over form, does not have to be pretty....but pretty is still ok

not sure what emitter I want as I do not understand all that yet

I own an Ultrafire WF-139 charger and also nickel metal 1.2v cells and charger

am ok with a 14500 cell light and like that idea

under $20 for the light if I can

prefer to buy online

Thank you for the help with this. :)

If you can't wait for the outcome of the new BLF light (LINK1), the only alternatives I know of are the Eastward J09 from DX 4-mode (LINK2) (Review for the 3-mode version HERE Link2a) and MrLite J4 XR-E R2 4-Mode (LINK3) (Review HERE LINK3A). In the beginning many people received the wrong Eastward (including me) with strobes, but I hope DX has sorted this out by now... it is an AA only light, so no 14500 support. The MrLite was essentially an idea of BLF + Manafont + MrLite , but Lightake somehow went rogue and is now the only distributor. These 2 lights have 4 and not 3 modes, but no strobes.

If you like stainless steel lights this Ultrafire C3 3-mode (Link 4), might also suit your needs . There are several versions, but only the one from Manafont (LINK 4A) is strobeless and with a metal tailswitch.

I ordered the Eastward again hoping that DX has refined their warehouse processes. The host is very good and slim and has a sturdy pocket clip.

There are some really good AA budget lights.

My favorite is the Trustfire R5-A3 it is by far the brightest AA budget light but it has high, low and strobe although I did a post on how to defeat the strobe mode if you search.

My second favorite and it is a must have light is the AKOray K106 it is a programmable light not very bright but very cool to have programmable modes in a budget light. I have a trit on mine I leave it on the nightstand set to the lowest low I could get and use it every night to creep around and not wake up the girly.

The Skyray S-A1 is a great light it just feels really good in your hand I leave this one in my bathrobe for a walking around light it is 2nd in brightness to the R5A3 it has a really low low mode but it is a 5 mode so it does have the stupid seizure mode and SOS.

The Ultrafire C3 is another great AA light I love mine I leave it on the computer table with a trit also. About the same brightness as the AKOray but it feels really nice in the hand being all stainless Manafont makes a 3mode that is pretty decent.

I would suggest reading the reviews of these four lights to narrow down your search because they all are winners in my book.

+3 for the stainless steel Ultrafire C3, it's about $15, sometimes less.

The Ultrafire U-20 is also a nice AA light that takes 14500's.

Do you mean this light here:

How bright is it? The light I am trying to replace is 10/27/80 lumens in brightness. It is too small and has a twisty, so I just do not like it that much. Where can you get the Ultrafire U-20?

Yes that's the one... our very own admin reviewed it here:

You are the guy with the visual impairment, right? Can you see the links that I posted in post #1? Normal text is black and hyperlinked text is blue and if you have a hard time telling the difference, just scan over the post of others with you mouse cursor. Sometimes there will pop up an underline, that are clickable links. I hope that helps. I wrote "LINK .. " at my hyperlinks in the post above, because I noticed that you were having trouble making them out, in my recommendation here:

Or do you prefer full http://.... links for better visibility, let us know.

Yes I can see the links that are posted...thank you for asking and for the concern. I think that is rather neat that you would care and are concerned about that, so thank you very much. :) Alright so I am down to the Ultrafire C3Q5 or Ultrafire U-20. Which one?....hmmmmmm

U20 also at Manafont, but it also has a strobe:

which of those two Ultrafire lights is brighter? I am still learning about Cree emitters.

Hi there s1mp13m4n, I hope we can help you find a nice AA light. There's a lot of good choices out there. Quick tip, you probably already know this, but the name of the light usually doesn't correspond to the type of LED. For example, "Ultrafire C3" does not mean it has a "C3" emitter, it's just a moniker, nothing else.

As for emitters, the most common and best emitter designs you will hear on BLF are...

XP-E, OSRAM, XP-G, and XM-L approximate order of desirability. There are obviously many other LED designs, but for starters these are all good options. And each of those emitter designs has another designation associated with it like "Q5" or "R5" or "T6". This second number is a bit more complicated to explain, I approximately understand it but maybe somebody else could chime in who knows more. But it's worth mentioning that although an XM-L for example is potentially much brighter than an XP-E, it could theoretically be dimmer due to many factors such as the amount current they run through it, or the reflector.

The Ultrafire U-20 is probably brighter than the C3. However it should be noted that the U-20 has strobe modes. Also, both the U-20 and the C3 both tend more toward throw and less toward flood. Although between the two, the U-20 would probably flood more.

Hope this helps! Let us know what you decide on.

I have a U20 and really like it a lot with 14500. its normally 1 mode but a slight twist counterclockwise open s up the 3 modes. it does have strobe so thats probably out. I also have the xeno e03 xml. it is a bit over your budget at $29.99

it is a bright floody light and works on nimh and 14500s.

Alright, I think I would prefer more flood than throw with a smooth beam with less of a hotspot overall. I put foggy scotch tape on my Fenix LD01 to smooth out the beam and make less of a hotspot. I want something brighter than my 80 lumen LD01. I am not sure if that helps much. I am reading Flashlight wiki as well trying to learn but it is confusing with all the info at first. :) What are other good choices as I am new enough to not have any brand preferences or LED type favorites yet. LOL

Ive got the xeno E03 on my hat and use it for work as it is really floody. ive also got the sipik sk68 which is a flood to throw light. and can be purchased off ebay for $8. you can use it in flood or throw mode.

If you can stand the strobe mode, you might want to look at a 3-mode version of the Sipk SK58. Not half bad for the price.

When people said C 3 they were basicly saying because it's a stainless steel light .. it's just a different feel.honestly a AA basicly does what a AA does .You can't make the output do something crazy or it would just kill a battery flat right now .So a couple gundred lumens is all you can ever expect out of a AA and a 14500 in it will add to the brightness but usually not so much that it blows you away ..Even so when it does increase the output alot .it decreases runtime and usually makes the LOW mode unusable . Sounds to me like you're looking for a xpg because it's more flood . A q5 and a R2 will have that hotter hot spot for more throw ..basicly inside you want flood.. close up lights up the whole area .. outside you want more of a throw .. every light is a mix of flood and throw smaller reflectors like in the AA AAA lights make for more flood and bigger deeper reflectors give more throw . smooth reflectors have more throw and orange peeled ones more flood . so it's all a mix of what the emitter narurally does , the reflector , size shape and texture ..confused Yet?

One of the main reasons why BLF exists is because there is NO correct light /no perfect light .And spending a lot doesn't make a light more correct ...It would be cheaper to fly to Scotland and play with Don's 150 lights for a week than it is to buy and try and wait for DX to send you the wrong thing ...

OK yes I want this light to be more flood for close up inside use. Something to keep in my pocket to read menus in a dark restuarant, look for something in the car, something dropped under the bed, something 5 feet away in my bedroom. This would not be my outside light for distance. I am still unsure of what to get but am looking at these lights:


I'd buy the C3 stainless steel from t-mart .. it's $10.50 and it's a great light , it ships fast and no one will ever hate it ..looking at a q5 vs. a xpg on the wall . the flood or throw is barely an issuse it has such a short reflector talk about flood or thow is almost silly . if you want a low and a medium spending 9$ extra is your call the manafont no disco version is nice too .

cnqualitygoods is out.. it has 8$ shipping on it

the u 20 is the best of the bunch but i'm not a fan of it ..I didn't buy it when it was ona super special sale to blf members for 12$

the sipik 68 is an option .. it's only one mode and has a definate style that you either like or hate I like flood to throw lights does everyone ...they are just fun to play with .

So if you're looking for my compromise ..I'd say buy the sipik ..8$ off ebay and buy the single mode stainless steel c3 . for 19$ total 2 lights

I'd do that before I bought the U 20 for $20

at the end of the day style is a big factor too .. do you like the looks or feel of it ?

Don't forget that if you want modes, the C3 stainless steel from t-mart for $10.50 only has 1 mode. Same goes for

I just ordered one of these

I have purchased some of the Sepik 1-mode (E-Bay/Ultraok) versions with out any problems. The last two I got for $7.75 each (best offer) There is also this one (no clip or rear clickie)

The U20. One of mine gave 295 lumens at switch-on with a 14500 as opposed to the stainless C3 which gave me 250 with a 14500. But the stainless C3 on high with a 14500 gets too hot to hold in under 5 minutes. There is also an aluminium ultrafire C3 with an XP-G R5 in it which is currently the brightest unmodified single AA light I have but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who isn't prepared to do fiddly stuff to sort out the very, very common continuity issues in aluminium C3s.

The stainless steel C3s are completely different creatures from the aluminium ones and don't have strange issues the way the alu ones do.