Is there a good budget 1xAA with 'ahead of the pack' brightness?

It seems like, when it comes to 1xAA, there is the SC52 (with 280 lumens). And then there is the rest of the pack, which seems to be stuck somewhere around 120 lumens. Is there any relatively inexpensive light (compared to the SC52) that is fairly bright (perhaps even breaking the 200 lumen barrier with NiMH)? Or is the SC52 the only game in town if you want something with more than, say, 110-130 lumens?

Eagletac da25

Interesting thread. Would like to learn more too! :slight_smile:

Thrunite Saber 1A, around 160 lm. Or Thrunite Archer 1A, expensive though.

The Sipik clone has a zoomhead, can be found usually for less than $10 and is Very Very bright with a 14500 (I’ve heard around 400 lumens) My son has one that he won as a giveaway here and it’s quite impressive.

There’s also a lot of information here about modding a 2AA MiniMag into a 1 cell light, fitting it with a P60 drop-in for 700+ lumens. Total cost if you don’t already have the light would be in the $20 ball park with a cheap drop-in. There’s a whole lot of options on that, from drop-ins that will run on an alkaline and/or a li-ion to full out li-ion use. Up to you.

Edit: Rufusbduck built me a one AAA mini mag that utilizes a 10440 and makes a measured 261 lumens out the front. Might want to see what he can for you :wink: Here it is next to a .50 BMG that’s been pulled and a AA sized Li-ion (14500)


Has that cut-down AAA-Mini-M@g been featured in a review, yet? The cooling fins on the head appear to have been turned from copper.

Also, that .50 shell casing looks just like the one I found during me studies in architecture in the 90’s (site measurements of a former US army base over here). The primer was still pristine, but the bullet and the powder were long gone.

oh, while I am at it: +1 for the Sipik SK68.

Well custom builds with lithium ions doesn’t count I believe. One more light I like the brightness of is Sunwayman R10A. These XP-g2 light all give more lumens with Nimh cells in fact.

Fenix E11 is a dim light on paper but TIR optics it has make it seem much more powerful for a 110 lm light.

I think it’s pretty easy as long as you pick a light that uses both 14500 Li-ions and AA batteries. If you’re on a budget, a pair of TF flames, a sipik clone, and you’re good. About the biggest expense is the charger. You can find a decent and safe Li-ion charger for about $15. So basically $25 and you’re set-up… and then you have a charger for other li-ion lights- so you won’t have to buy that again.

And some of the guys that do builds here don’t charge much at all. Especially for a simple mod like chopping a 2AA MiniMag into a single cell light. And like I said, a P60 drop in that will use NiMH cells and/or Li-ion is available, so the OPs requests are met.

Remember to consider that with high output comes high heat. In a small light, where’s that heat going to go? While a light as small as a single AA cell might feasibly make 280L at turn on, it certainly won’t run for .9 hours continuously without doing some damage! So there’s that to consider.

My BBC 261L is made with a copper core that has fins exposed to air to disperse that heat, and at 261 lumens that heat hits 60ºC in 6 1/2 minutes at the fins. The entire area inside the head is copper and brass, excellent for removing heat from the emitter, which is also reflowed to a copper star. So as you can see, even with precautions taken, high lumens makes some serious heat to deal with.

The Archer 1A is my brightest single AA light but at the moment I prefer my R10A even though it flickers on high… But it is getting replaced for free.

I would say my RC-G2 III is still brighter than the R10A but the R10A feels the nicest and I really like the 2 modes only as I never found a use for moonlight as I can’t see anything with it anyway.

And you can double the output with a 14500.

My brightest is the Balder SE1 XM-L. I forget the output, but well north of 300 lumens on a 14500. Can be had for under $20, often around $15.


Love the look and functionality of this light so had to check the price.
KLARUS RS1A Cree XP-G2 7~210lm 4-Mode White Crown Head Flashlight - Black (1 x AA)
$59 @ DX. Love the mag-lock recharge connection. But $$$ for my EDC budget.

I want to keep it NiMH. I might consider LiFePO4 (which should work in any light that can take both NiMH and LiCo). But having to worry about and babysit LiCo (as well as testing voltages all the time) just doesn’t appeal to me.

In those old times an ITP SA1 Eluma R5 was the king, at least for me. XPG2 lights for bright and throwy, XML lights for brighter and floody. That’s the equation now.

I doubt Zebralight can be beaten easily. The most surprising light was Saber 1A for me. Check XENO E03 too.

I’m not asking that it be beaten. Just whether there is something close for ALOT less. For instance, if there was something available that could do, say, 220 lumens in the $30-$40 range.

Oh, well to each their own then. I’m relatively new to them as well (4 or so months)- but I avoid that by using cells that are protected and a smart charger. I guess I don’t find that much different than Nimh. Carry on.

Theres this at 260lm 1AA and 3 modes
Or theres this a 250lm with 4 modes
And then theres this 230lm 5 mode
These are just suggestions though, i don’t know if there outputs are in that range but there are Alot of others out their as i’ve found out myself these past months, but as you are the only one who has to live with what you get it’s your choice. I would say save up and buy the SC52 but i have one so i’m biased, and yes it really is a great little FL.

How about Xeno?