I’ve been looking for a long time for some emergency AA lights. These lights used to be easily available but not anymore. Everything is li-ion rechargeable, has 789073 modes, blast 10 millions lumens for 18 seconds. We all have this light and that’s not what I’m looking for. There is also many AA lights with a tail switch, again not what I’m looking for…
What I’m on the hunt for is a small AA twisty that would easily fit in a car glove box, my wife’s hand bag, my daughters backpack, my mother’s purse, to give as gift, etc… Not as an EDC, really a small emergency light. Bright enough to find your way but not to melt steel. Install an Energizer L91 and forget about it for years. However the day you will need it, it will turn on.
Here are the features I’m looking for:
-twisty switch (easiest and most reliable way to turn off/on, no electronic or mechanical button)
–1 AA (no need for 14500 support)
-good balance of flood and throw
–2 simple levels, something like 10/100 lumens (always starts on low)
-solid and waterproof
-excellent runtime (cockroach type of light)
-bonus point for a tritium vial slot
This is a great AA twisty, simple UI, although copper and USA made = more dollars than you are talking about. An aluminum model like this and made by Sofirn/Wurkkos would certainly be much cheaper…or even Convoy.
You probably aren’t going to get much interest in a twisty AA light. Your best bet would be to make an adapter sleeve for the C01S. Imagine a tube with threaded caps on both ends. The tail cap is a normal battery cap. The front cap has a threaded hole designed to fit the C01S head.
That said…. mechanical switches are now more reliable than the majority of twist switches. Twist switches have gotten much worse in the past 10 years. They now typically use PCB traces for 1 of the contacts instead of metal-on-metal. The PCB trace can wear down or tear out. (The C01S is like this.)
There are some good simple sturdy lights out there for reasonable prices. Looking over the inexpensive AA lights on the market finds a few promising options:
I thought about the adapter. This idea is not new, old-timers like me might remember that this was a project for the ARC aaa flashlight 20 years ago (don’t remember if it has ever seen the day).
You are right Parametrek about the wear on the PCB but as mentioned, this is an emergency light. That switch should not be often used. The twisty switch is still in my humble opinion the most reliable circuit breaker. No parts, no spring, no plastic, no board, no rubber, no moving parts, less opening for water.
The Tool AA comes with both switches (clicky and twisty). However, a bit pricey and too many modes. I am dreaming of a refreshed version of the EZ AA from Nitecore,
No interest in twisties for me but you could put the magnetic tail cap on the Tool AA and it becomes a twisty light that way. Simon does have that little stainless steel AAA twisty model…could stand to upgrade the emitter in that one…has large grooves along the tube, not sure if those would match any trit or plastic glow tubes well.
Nextorch has something interesting but I doubt it has the quality you need:
- the LED is not High CRI
- it has 3 modes instead of 2 (not sure if it has memory or if it starts on low or High)
- runtimes are not specified
it is pricey
I will check if the C01S driver would fit the Tool AA V2.0 pill. If so, transplanting one from a light to the other would match your request.
I am not sure if the runtime on the C01S is similar to a “cockroach” light, though.
Another warning concerning the twisty lights: if a cell leaks on the bottom, it is a PITA to take it out (ask me how I know it )
All of those people that you mentioned in your family need a small EDC light ,with a lithium ion battery, a lot more than they need a so-called emergency light. Put a S2+ in your glove box for 5 or 10 years and it’ll still give you more light for longer than what your envisioning. If you want it smaller than that put the short tube on it.
I hear you. They all (except my mother) have an A6 as their main light when we go trekking or camping. However, the grail light I’m talking about is small, cheap and ultra-reliable. A kind of light you toss in your bag and forget it until you need it, not an EDC.
My (basic) understanding of a twisty switch tells me it necessitates either a spring or a rubber/ foam piece to push the cell back to reliably break contact without flickering. Ive only had a few twisty switches though so maybe some are different?