I have a Zebralight sc64c and it is as close to perfect as any light I’ve tried so far but the big disadvantage of it to me and all other 186500 lights is the width/diameter. That width makes it less justifiable for me to carry with me everywhere to the point where I find myself carrying a AA or 2xAAA light often instead. Thrunite T10 for the AA (I wish it was the T10T but they don’t seem to make it anymore) and Lumintop IYP365 Nichia for the 2xAAA for anyone wondering.
Anyway I thought 14500 light would be the perfect solution to this but it seems like all the 14500s I’ve tried have issues I find unappealing, primarily they are too thick, thick enough that it ends up making me question why bother when it’s only marginally less than the Zebralight sc64c. Prior to getting into the 18650 game my EDC was a Eagletac D25A Clicky. It is an amazing size and weight. The one I have is the Cree version; I don’t remember which Cree I just know I went with it because I wanted the most light and was tempted by the numbers and this was before I became a tint snob.
So far I have tried
Olight S1A - Bezel up carry, shitty button always turned on, cool tint, but good output
Lumintop Tool AA - Shitty tint, a bit thicker than I would find ideal, the pocket clip is entirely useless but otherwise this one came the closest.
Zebralight SC53c - Great tint. Decent output. Good UI. BIG FAT HEAD. The Head is so big it’s a bitch to actually use the pocket clip and the head is so large it’s not that much thinner.
Thrunite T10 - It’s the NW version. The tint is good but not great and it’s a bit thick. Not super thick but still thicker than I’d like.
Reylight Pineapple - too heavy and too thick. It’s a good length, has a great tint, has the good output. The UI is good but not great.
What I’d like:
14500 light around 0.7” in diameter and around 4”ish in length
Max lumens at or greater than 500 lumens
Moonline mode 1 lumen or lower
Several modes in between
Good warm tint around 4000K
Preferably a high CRI
What options do I have outside of modding? And if it comes down to modding how do I even begin with it?
I’d grab a Ultratac A1 and swap in your emitter of choice. It’s right at your requested .7” Which the Lumintop Tool AA is as well. It’s also shorter than 4”. Has a good sublumen mode with NiMh. Don’t know if you are going to find a AA light with “several” modes in between. Your .7” threshold might hold you up as well. The battery itself is 14mm, plus or minus, depending on wrap thickness. That only leaves what a little over 3mm for tube material and tolerances. Head and tail sizes are what they are based upon the size of drivers being made now days. You may have to sacrifice something if you are looking for AAA type thin in a AA light.
That’s thicker than I’d like and a proud side switch seems like a really poor design choice but appreciate the option.
If I have to remove any qualifiers it’s not my grail light anymore, it’s just another light. The Reylight has 4 modes. Moonlight, Low, Mid, High, that’s several so I don’t know why you say several modes is going to be hard to find. The Zebraligt has like 16 output levels you can program it with I think.
The Eagletac I’m referencing as almost my perfect size is Head Dia. 0.7 inches (17.5 mm) Body Dia. 0.65 inches (17 mm) so I guess 18mm is ok but any larger and it gets to the place where I’m not interested.
Well, I hope you find what you are looking for. Might want to find your perfect host light. Whatever that may be and add your own driver, emitter and reflector. I don’t have a Eagle Tac so I’m not sure how it’s put together. You may just be able to swap the emitter out for less than a 10 dollar bill and have exactly what you want. That is what I would do if I couldn’t find anything commercially available.
Which Eagletac model are you interested in?
The Ultratac A1 is quite a nice light too and small. If I had the same request you have from a small 14500 light I would choose the A1 and mod the driver and led. I’m currently working on fitting a Mtnelectronics 17mm boost driver in a A1 with a high cri xhp50.2. Should make 2000 lumens (hopefully) using a IMR Efest 14500 at least until it starts blistering my fingers. Hopeing the cell can delivery 7 amps for a few seconds.
I haven’t took any pics or anything yet, so I may have to get it operational and disassemble to take some pics to post up. I’m at a stand still right now, I think I shorted something while I was testing on my power supply and blew the mosfet. Ordered a new mosfet and reflowed it back in its place and now the drivers still acting weird. Waiting to see if Richard has any ideas on whats going on with it.
Noway I could keep a 14500 pocket rocket a secret.
I agree with you about the width of the light being important. I carry a thrunite T10 on the inside front pocket. You can see my mods here. Edit: the deep carry pocket clip is also a big plus for me.
It sounds like the D25A is the right size, but it’s not bright enough and the tint is bad? To mod it you first have to take it apart, and this can be the hardest step because some manufactures use glue on the threads. Then I would use a FET+1 driver for use with a li-ion 14500. This will get you a low moonlight and also very bright turbo. Mtnelectronics has some small diameter drivers that might work for your light. Also switch out the LED for one of your choice on the correct size DTP (direct thermal path) MCPCB. Once you get it apart and post pictures we can help with part selection if you’re not sure.
I remember looking at many AA/14500 lights before I chose the T10. As you noticed most are too thick and/or use a side switch. So modding might be the best option to get all the features you want.
Excellent. Hope you get the mosfet problem sorted out. I know the basics of how a mosfet works but thats about it. I wouldn’t be any help figuring out that problem. Well now that the secrets out of the bag I will probably bug you until you get tired of me and post all of your hard work so us lowly beginners can plagiarize your work.
My opinion to achieve what you want.
I don’t know the size of the driver, so a 15mm Mtnelectronics driver with 4 7135’s might work or 17mm with 4 7135’s removed filed down if its 16mm.
I think 4 7135’s will work with a nichia or samsung led in a high CRI to get you to the 500 lumen mark. 4 7135’s will give about 1400ma except on the 17mm driver, 4 will give about 1490ma. Its possible with the 17mm driver only 3 7135’s would be needed to reach 500 lumens depending on the led you use. I prefer the Samsung 4000k LH351D 90 CRI. The drivers from Mtn have different UI’s you can chose from.
If the D25a is your chosen size light but lacks other features, then modding it should get you your holy grail.
For most of us modders that’s the whole reason we do it, we can’t buy a light exactly like we want it.