Help ! -Need AA light with long runtime on low/moonlight mode

Yes, Energizer Advanced Lithium (EAL) are pretty expensive. And while just now looking for a price, I realize that EAL is last weeks technology. Now we have Energizer ULTIMATE Lithium (EUL) which are claiming a 20 year shelf life for AA cells, Amazon has them in a 4 pack for $5.89 which is $1.47 each.

In response to your previous post, I would suggest that you try a Manker A01, which according to this thread was pushing 100 hours on moonlight from a AAA dollar store battery.

I have several of these, in use in places from Keychain lights for my kids to zipper pulls on my tents. We might be able to trade if you are still interested.

[edit to add]
More than a few people have suggested that embiggerizing the A01 to a AA battery and changing nothing else would be a great idea. I don’t know what is keeping Manker from doing so.

Manker A01…what is moonlight mode lumens ? I may be interested in a trade, if you are.

The lithium batteries, dont seem to be higher priced then eneloops……4 pack of lithium for 5.89….oh wait, they arent rechargeable…right ?

Correct… one time use only

I agree 100%

a single mode of around 3 lumens, with diffuser attachment in AA/AAA configuration that runs for 3 days or more…for $10 . This seems like a hit to me….


a dual mode with 2 lumens low that runs for 3 days or more and a hi mode of 60 lumens with a built in magnet on tailcap .

perfect for emergencys, power outages .

I’m a sub-/low- lumens, runtime, AA-size enthusiast; have quite a collection of sub-lumen AA lights; and also test my favorite low lows with a well calibrated lightbox; and I do runtime tests/current measurements.

It’s hard to find good low lows in the budget light range since massive runtime and moonlight lows tend to be more of an “acquired taste” appealing to the enthusiast. I also believe efficient moonlight circuits tend to be pricey. Best if you could find mid-priced lights that are on clearance - I’m sitting on dozen boxes of lights you’d probably love for$20.

I agree with Lisa that this Xtar light is spec’d for Alks and NiMhs (which is what the specs should be based on) the best of which are going to be 2500-3000 mah range, so maybe ~45 hrs runtime on an Alk. Assuming the 3 lm output is correct (eg, you could have 6 lm sample variation that yields twice the output at half the run time), even getting half the spec’d lumen-hours is pretty darn good from a light in this price range. As an example my ZL SC52 claimed a 170 lm-hrs (2000mah Eneloop) moonlight (0.34 lm, 500 hrs), while my sample tests ~24 lm-hrs (0.08 lm, 300 hrs), or 1/7th spec…. now that was disappointing.

I have similar multipleX over-exaggeration experience with Thrunite, Armytek, and Olight in the sub-/low- lumen modes…. not that these brands are inefficient, rather they are just not nearly as efficient as they claim in their low lows. Olight claiming 300 lm-hrs (0.5x600) from a “AA/14500” hahaha …maybe from a SAFT 14500 lithium-thionyl chloride primary. I have two S15s and the moonlight outputs were closer to 1/3rd spec (too dim for me).

Best low lumen: mode spacing, regulation, efficiency, consistency, and spec accuracy I’ve had are from 47 Quarks. Their clearance 1xAAs are currently not listed on eBay so may be sold out, but I’ve seen them disappear, and re-appear a few days later - some folks mentioned they were accepting $19 bids (+ shipping). As mentioned above, the XMLs can be a green tint lottery, but the XPG2s all seem creamy white (although throwy beams), and I’m measuring ~0.45 lms at 8ma (250hrs) and 3.3 lms at 32ma (63hrs) from a 1.28v 2000mah Eneloops on my current EDC. I use this “bright” moonlight/low low combo about 45/45% of the time. Quarks are boost/buck driven (1-4.2v) and are also easy to rig on ANY battery in pinch… (hehe… almost 3 months on D cell).

Good luck with your decision.

I hadn’t thought about that. I too have a 47 Quark (1-AA) from 4-5 years back with an XPG-R5. Its low-candle mode is around .2 Lumens, supposedly only draws 1mA, and in theory should run for many days depending on the capacity of the AA used. Its low mode is 4 Lumens and draws 10mA. I hadn’t thought about ebay and the used / discontinued market… good suggestion!!

hehe… can’t be 1 / 10 ma on 1xNiMh… that would imply 2000 / 200 hrs - I list the 1xNiMh ma current draws in the last paragraph above, and 1x14500 will draw about 1/3 those numbers with output current regulated stone flat. The moonlight output has come up a lot since then - I love bright moonlights, which are my primary use modes for camping and power outages. So many manufacturers overstate their ML modes by multiples (as I mentioned above)… very hard to find a true “bright” moonlight… I quit looking - too many disappointments, but I will admit to being a low lumen mode spacing snob.

These are new in box lights btw… no warranty though.

Actually, now that you mention it, I do recall mention of the 1ma, 10ma thing on 47s site way back…. I think those were the currents delivered to the LED at its Vf (forward voltage) so that’s after the boost (or buck) drivers and regulator feedback loop (what ever it’s called). The head runs so many different battery tube configs, that battery current draw would have need a spreadsheet to map out.

Oh ok then… I mis-read the details. I was thinking the 1mA and 10mA were tailcap current draw ratings.

Great info !

Thanks for the help

If anyone has a long runtime moonlight led light in AA/AAA configuration and they want to do a trade for my XTAR, let me know.

Just to point out something no one mentioned, at really low currents, the Vf of an XP-G2 is 2.65V. For a 1.5V alkie, it has to boost its full voltage by 1.8× (76% more) to get there. For a 1.2V NiMH cell, it’s 2.2× (121% more).

That’s almost a 2:1 difference in boost, meaning that the 1.2V cell has to put out that much more current to get the same level of output.

Think about how a 2-cell flashlight only has to put out half the current to get the same amperage to the LED as when using 1 cell. This case is similar, that instead of having 1.5V to play with, your eneloop only has 1.2V, or 0.3V less (25% of its voltage).

To take it to a ridiculous extreme, if you had a boost converter that could run off 0.15V, it’d have to put out 10× the current as the 1.5V cell.

And these cells are rated in mAH, not mWH, so 1A from a 1.5V cell is 1.5W, but from a 1.2V cell is only 1.2W. To get the same 1.5W from a 1.2V cell, that’s 1.25A, not the original 1.00A.

And of course, that’s not taking into account voltage drop from any pass elements, etc. 0.2V from a saturated bipolar xstr is a lot bigger to the 1.2V cell than a 1.5V cell.

Ugh… all these numbers make my head hurt. Just keep in mind that not all mAHs are created equal.

You’d always have (significant) boost losses with a 1×AA light. Better to 3-up the cells to 3.6V (NiMH) and connect it across the LED through the right value resistor.

I wouldn’t waste a high-CRI LED at such low output levels. Red items would tend to look black anyway (Purkinje effect), so ironically an Angry Blue max-output LED would be best.

There’s no differential - the “1.5” nominal V of an Alk is near its peak charge while the “1.2” nominal of a NiMh is a dead cell. If you load up HKJ’s AA comparator, and compare an Eneloop to any Alkaline at 0.1A (the OPs runtime test implies 0.07A , so quite close) you will find that the AVERAGE voltage though the batteries discharge curves to be virtually identical, and the 2450 Eneloop Pro will be a bit better than Alks (so add 25-30% to the OPs runtime).

I find it kinda funny that folks are trying to defend/justify a $10 light’s manufacturer specs. I see plenty of mid-priced lights that are much further off than this in the low lows that reviewers rarely test. Actually, I’m impressed that this light’s other mode specs only claim ~180 lumen-hours per AA (very realistic) vs some claims I see from 1AA Thurnites (near 800! lumen-hours) and Armyteks/Olights (~400 lm-hrs).

The big hole in this test is that the OP has no way of measuring the output. For example, I have a SWM D40A that spec’d low at 30lms for 30hrs (900 lm-hrs) and my sample metered 15 lms, but a runtime test yielded 60 hours (2000mah Eneloops) so still 900 lms-hrs efficiency, and I was really happy to have the lower, longer runtime low (it’s moonlight is also quite accurate for output and runtime, btw).

Assuming we already all own smartphones and multi-meters, for a additional $5 BLF plumbing elbow “lighbox,” you can easily test your own lights for output and runtime and find out which manufacturers are full of it.

Thanks for your reply.

This is what I was claiming about this XTAR that with a properly and fully charged 2000 MAH eneloop only getting 28 hours runtime , I find it difficult to believe the manufacturers claims that it would get 80 hours with a alkaline battery. Then, we had a poster trying to make me like foolish, by claiming the 80 hour runtime, was specifically for lithium battery, which the manufacturer doesnt even mention on their spec sheet ….the only 2 batteries they mention are nimh/alkaline .

For about $8 , this XTAR is a good light …but I was only interested in it for the long runtime on moonlight mode, which it does not perform as rated.

Why not make the hop to a compact 18650 tube light? Sounds like you already do a lot of NiMH recharges.

Something like a convoy S series, with the new firmware would be less than $20, and an 18650 is not much more than an eneloop cell.

Tons more power & much more runtime.

Or if you wanted something very specific you could probably buy a single mode driver programmed for X% output.

IMHO, it wont be long before we start to see LED manufacturers offer very long runtime flashlights on single AA/AAA , in moonlight mode for low prices. The technology gets better every few months and I think some companies will start to see profit potential in this untapped area of lighting. For my needs , a small 2 mode LED light that provided 2 lumens @ 3 days or more and 100 lumens for 30 minutes on a single AA/AAA eneloop battery , for around $10 would be great. No need for strobe or numerous other modes.

On the Jetbeam JET - I MK LED Flashlight , the manufacturer is showing it with a ENELOOP battery and claiming 100 hours runtime on 1.5 lumen mode . Has anyone tested this to see if it gets near 100 hours on a fully charged 2000 MAH eneloop AA battery ?

Just buy a FourSevens Atom A0 and enjoy the TRUE moonlight run time.

AAA cell Voltage Range 1.0V to 1.5V

Low: 0.24 lumens for 120 hours
High: 25 lumens for 1.5 hour

Discount Coupon: CPF12
Free shipping

I own it but never done runtime test on lowest mode. Most people only test runtime on turbo and high (and sometimes medium) mode only. And I have never seen people do runtime testing of a light on its lowest mode as it would take too much time.

But I can tell that JET-I MK is currently one of the best budget AA light.

Im not sure .24 lumens, is bright enough to light up our storm shelter enough. I think I would need 1- 3 lumens…or bare minimum of .5 lumens with light diffuser attached.