High CRI pen lights

Has anybody done a decent side by side comparison of the various 2AAA pen lights with high cri leds? Currently carrying an Ultratac A3 at work and really like the form factor but the quality- while excellent for $13- leaves something to be desired. The LED isn’t well centered and the metal clicky cover rattles slightly. I also have a Lumintop iyp 365 which I really like but prefer the LMH mode order for this… and absolutely no mode memory (always on to low first!)

Looking at the three that have caught my eye, nitecore mt06md, wuben e19 and the lumintop iyp365. The wuben and lumintop can be ruled out due to mode memory. The nitecore looks like it meets all the requirements with default low mode and a 219b at 5000k (4000k would be better but that’s fine). Is the quality worth basically double the price of my ultratac?

I just bought the Wukkos wk02 sst 20 4000k in brown off Amazon.the description says it has mode memory and a zoom function but it has neither.L-M-H always starts on low. It doesn’t state that it’s high cri but the tint on mine seems fine. It is a forward clicky though but I don’t mind that as long as it has no mode memory.

Klarus P20.


The old MT06 had no quality issues except LED and modes. I wanted to get the pill out to reflow a decent LED but killed the light by trying. If I’m not mistaken, the ‘medical doctor’ model just updated LED and UI (lower low-mode). So, it is a quality light but not modding friendly.

I still have a Wuben E19 which has a very nice 4000K Nichia. Much, much more rosy than all SST-20 @4000K I own, but probably less than a 219B (don’t have a 5000K 219B). It feels better than the Nitecore. More grip, nicer anodization, and I like the plastic cap more than the metal cap of the Nitecore. To bad it has mode memory.

TeraLUX InfiniStar 275. Has a rubber bite bit for holding it in your mouth, the charger is in the front and you get to it by unscrewing the false cylinder around the bezel, and the high CRI bulb doesn’t have a weird tint. Very bright in the pitch black too. It’s cheaper on Amazon than BatteryJunction.

I also have the Wurkkos WK02 with the high CRI 4000K SST-20 and I like it a lot, it’s a great light for the money, especially if you can find a coupon code for it.

Just throwing it out there but the Milwaukee penlight is pretty nice for $20. Well built with warm tint.

The Milwaukee lights aren’t actually high CRI, just 80+.

RovyVon Aurora A33 Nichia @$22.95 looks decent too, but built-in battery option only.

I had the same issue with loving the Lumintop IYP 365, but wishing it was LMH for modes. I just finished swapping drivers with the IYP 365 and the Helius Beta VI penlights. I am extremely pleased to report that both penlights work great after the driver transfer, and my IYP 365 is now LMH and I love it even more. The Helius has a 2 stack driver so it’s a tight fit in the IYP 365 pill, but it works nonetheless, just make sure and use kapton tape or something to isolate between the driver and the pill and push it in, it will fit.

Link to the Helius

Edit: Just put a multimeter at the tailcap, and with the new driver, the IYP now draws 2.6A on high from 2 slightly used Ni-MH cells. It seems much brighter than before as well. Measured the original driver that’s now on the Helius, and it only draws 0.74A on high which is the same as when it was in the IYP.

I really liked the high CRI on the Terralux Lightstar 80 and 90, then my present Infinistar (which really isn’t 2-AAA like its predecessors). And I especially liked the rubber bite sleeve, because I tend to grab my shirt pocket light and use it that way, instead of using head lights.

If some of us could figure out which way Terralux or Lightstar are going, what company buys which, and what the current version of their small light is, we might find a decent high CRI light. But I’ve lost track of where those names have gone.

Frankly, I got a LOT of use out of the 2-AAA Lightstar 80 and 90 using rechargeable NiMH batteries with standard alkaline AAA cells handy in a pinch.