New here: Have been doing a lot of looking around online and in-person - need your help please:

Hello all. I’m newly-registered here. I’ve been searching other forums, looking at online descriptions of various lights, including burn charts when available, talking to manufacturers/sellers by email and phone, and looking in stores, but want a simpler light with a longer overall runtime than what’s come up thus far. I have also had personal experience with lights with regulated LED circuits and do not like them. So, I am looking here for unregulated models only. I don’t want tactical/military/police/search and rescue/programmable/super-bright lights. I’m glad this forum is available for those who don’t need such specialized-function lights.

I am looking for a reliable, quality-made, handheld, household light, that again is specifically unregulated only, that can run on 4 Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries without over-driving/overheating it, is impact and water proof/resistant, has a flood beam or an adjustable flood/throw beam, can have either one or multiple LED bulbs in it (i.e., I’m open to either), and most importantly to me, has the longest continuous-use, most-efficient battery-life runtime available among those models with these specifications, so as to use it in extended power outages (like as in hurricane Sandy where people are still in the dark weeks [months] later).

Not sure what to list as a desired lumen output level. If the light has a high/low switch, for example, maybe a 3-digit lumen output on high, and a 2-digit lumen level on low. I’d like a light with 2 or more switch settings for different lumen-output levels that, if available, at its lowest setting (or lowest battery-power-output level after being continuously on for extended, hours-long periods at-a-time), provides a brightness level high enough to accommodate you when your eyes are adjusted to the natural light coming in from outdoors during the daytime in a power blackout, so you can see in dark, windowless indoor rooms without requiring dramatic re-adjustments by your eyes. I’d also like to find a light that, again, at its minimum output/minimum-battery-power level, provides adequate brightness to be able to read books & see maps by, and see decently well inside a large room, after dark during power outages. I have seen lights (that I have some reservations about) that list up to a 155-hour runtime rating on 4 AA batteries. It would be great to find one with such a rating, however, whatever longest runtime models you could suggest would be of great help.

I realize it may not be possible to find a light that offers everything I’ve mentioned here, but one can always hope, and you folks know better than I do. Many thanks to all.

Welcome to the forum!

What did you find wrong with the regulated lights? Which regulated lights did you not like and why?

I am sure you will get tons of recommendations in a short time

Using AA’s?… Hmmm… Nitecore EA4 Pioneer comes to mind

Welcome to the forum. 4AA is too high a voltage unregulated for 1 led and too low for 2 LEDs to have much run time. 3AA is better but still unregulated you might be limiting yourself to multiple superbright LEDs which aren’t as bright as Crees, Nichias, etc. There are any number of 3AA and 2AA lights out there with single mode regulation using quality emitters.

+1———Nitecore EA4 Pioneer (4-AA)

Regulated lights abruptly drop off to a low fraction of their previous brightness in the middle of using them anytime the batteries get too low, whether with everyday use and sitting on my desk in between uses over time, or when left on continuously when doing some project in the dark, or during power outages. I do not like the sudden and unpredictable drop in brightness, especially if during an extended blackout since power outages cannot be predicted, and the flashlight’s batteries will not be brand new when an outage occurs, so the brightness drops off after only a very short time. I have had such experiences, and so, I do not want regulated lights. As far as unregulated ones, whether a 2, 3, or 4 disposable lithium-AA-battery model, again, if there are those with a high/low output setting switch that, while in low mode, can burn bright enough to do what I mentioned in my first post continuously over an extended power outage, please direct me to them. 2AA & 4AA models I see everywhere; I don’t see 3AA lights in my searches. So along with the 2’s and 4’s, if you can direct me to the 3’s, I’d be interested to see what there is. Meanwhile, again, longest runtime available with just the gradual decrease in brightness of an unregulated LED light (single or multiple LED) is my priority. Thanks.

The Nitecore EA4 Pioneer is a lot more flashlight than I need, and I’m hoping for a longer runtime. I just need something simple. What does “PWM” mean, by the way?

Pwm = pulse with modulation.

Basically the led is turned on and off hundreds or thousands of times a second to give a lower output than max, low pwm (200 on offs a second or less) can give a flicker that is noticable to some people, personally I only even notice it looking at a running engines pulleys or a fan, some people find it nauseating.

When you say regulation, most lights are regulated, no regulation = direct drive, no modes, I think what you mean is you want something like a mag light Ivan which will continue to run till the cells are dead.

That’s difficult, here it might not be a case of a light that fits as a user that fits ie, check your cells every once in a while and keep spares (both lights and cells) available. This will sound like more expense, basically because it is, but maybe look at a 3/4aa light for the house, a collection of eneloops and lithium primaries and a single AA/aaa everyday carry light. That way, you always have a light, to make it easier to change cells in your light… :bigsmile:

So, light suggestions, thrunite have been doing some deals, I got a t10(single AA) and ti (single AAA) in a deal as a Christmas present for my mum, these are real good edc lights, small good output, two mode.

Then maybe something like this

Pardon the joke looking name - cyclone… The caveat is, you won’t get its maximum output from eneloops or primaries, it needs a proper lithium 26650 cell to give the current it needs, but it will give you light on available cells in an emergency.

A similar proposition is this

Although this gives more light on 4aaa that one lithium….

It’s pretty robust, I keep it in my glove box as an emergency light, loaded with a 26650 and with some rechargables in the 4aaa holder and a pack of lithium primaries in there. I really don’t see me being stuck that long, but better safe than sorry.

There is also the well thought of jetbeam pa20/40? I think, along with other manufacturers comparable lights, the new Maglite AA light is also considered worthy of thought.

Ultrafire/Aurora also does a 3aa from deal extreme but I’m struggling to find a link.

Hope all this waffle helps. :bigsmile:

PWM= Pulse Width Modulation

It's a pleasure to have you onboard, brianko722!

Quark 2aa gradually drops to lower brightness levels as the cells deplete, great runtimes on moonlight mode too :wink:
It might be higher tech than you want but they are good.
Maglite 3aa led, there a little awkward but would give great runtime.

Pelican flashlights have some single mode 4aa lights. 80 lumens and a great warranty

Jetbeam pa40, great all around 4 AA light, good mode spacing.

What’s your price range?

4 X AA
Focusable lens
A high that isn’t so over-driven that the light shuts down in a few minutes…
…not as easy to find as you might think; but I own such a light:

LED Lenser P14 LED Flashlight.

Currently about $55 from Amazon.
Yipe! I bought it when it was new, and I think I spent a good $100-$120 at the time.
It was bashed on pretty hard at another flashlight forum because it’s not regulated, but with 4-Energizer Lithiums it works pretty much just as well.

The beam pattern is sort of ugly because of the way the lens focuses, but you can diffuse it nicely with either Scotch Tape (temporarily) or spray with a coat or two of Krylon matte varnish for a permanent fix.

In agreement with gords1001, the JetBeam PA 40 is easily one the best best all-around flashlights for the money; you might want to consider it.

I really appreciate the suggestions made so far by all of you, but they seem to mostly be for lights that have more options, and are far brighter, than I need. Also, some brands do not allow for using lithium batteries (e.g., Pelican, Streamlight, Maglite, Lenser, Princeton Tec, and possibly more I haven’t seen yet. Also, a “P.S.” here: MagLite has discontinued their 3AA lights). So, I’m asking for suggestions for unregulated models that can be used safely with disposable lithium AA’s (please stay with disposable AA models as I do not want lights that use other types of batteries).

To Strick9: I like what I’m reading about the Lenser P14, but what does “ugly” mean when you refer to the beam pattern? Would prefer a light that I don’t need to modify to have a good quality beam, if possible of course. Also, Lenser’s website says “high current” batteries, or “accumulators”, cannot be used with it “because of different electrical values”, but does not state what that means. I called and was told none of their lights can be used with lithiums, only alkalines.

To everyone who has kindly made suggestions, to give you an idea, one model that comes close for me is the Streamlight ProPolymer 4AA. Its stated runtime is 155 hours, with about 8 hours of mostly-full output on new batteries, then the next 40 hours significantly stepped down, and the last 100 hours at an extremely low, sub-moonlight output level, per their engineers. I’d prefer something that maintains higher brightness levels for longer periods than this light, if anyone can recommend more efficient lights in terms of overall battery power usage. The ProPolymer is also a 7-LED, unregulated, 67-lumen, single-output on/off tailswitch, 4AA flashlight. An update to its design was scrapped, so it hasn’t changed in many years, and its listed ratings are from before ANSI FL-1 standards. So, I’m told it needs to have Streamlight’s claims (per their engineer) about it updated to meet those standards. I was also told that lithiums will overheat the light and burn it out, as well as void the warranty simply by putting lithiums in to begin with.

I’d be interested to read about unregulated lights with a switch that offers 2 or 3 brightness settings, as well as the single-output-level on/off lights. But, for whatever models that are brought up, I’m hoping the minimum setting, or minimum output level after extended continuous use for on/off models, would be useable to read books & maps by, see clearly in large dark rooms, and see when going from naturally-lit indoor rooms in daylight, during extended power outages, into windowless pitch-dark rooms, without having your eyes need to re-adjust radically to accomodate it. Also, it may not be possible, but the Streamlight ProPolymer’s rated runtime of 155 hours continuous use on 4 new alkaline AA’s is a range I’d love to see rivaled by other lights you suggest that can use lithium disposable AA’s instead.

Thanks again at all. I look forward to whatever suggestions you make from what I’ve mentioned here and in my first post. Cheers!

What makes you think some AA lights won’t use lithium AA’s? The spec for these

Is 1.5v AA size, why should a light be unable to use them if they are meant for high drain devices?

Just curious on your thinking.

About the P14 beam pattern…

There are some ring artifacts depending on how you focus the lens, which is 100% unavoidable, and has little to no effect on it’s usefulness; but the artifacts bother some owners.

This video is in german, but you can see the artifacts from focusing the lens:\_5t_ETsg

I know the multiple owners on CPF including myself have used the light with Lithium batteries with no consequence; but that’s up to you to decide to trust it (or not) to not burn out.

Thinking about it, perhaps they mean 14500 cells, AA size but 3v-4.2v. Obviously on 4 cell it’d be 6v vs 16.8v when their fresh off the charger…

To gords 1001: It’s not my thinking about lithiums versus alkalines, it’s the feedback I’ve gotten from the various flashlight manufacturers I’ve mentioned here in these posts, specifically about using disposable lithium AA’s. A Streamlight engineer, for example, said that, in their 4AA models, disposable lithiums put out 0.2 volts more per battery than alkalines, so the light would be over-driven by 0.8 volts between the 4 lithium batteries, and therefore overheat. That’s why they say you cannot use lithiums in their lights, and that they will void the warranty if you do.

To Strick9: Regardless of whether you or anyone else has successfully used any of these lights with lithium disposables, MagLite, Lenser, Streamlight, and others all emphatically state the same thing - non-rechargeable, disposable alkalines only or the warranty is voided. I’m no techie or professional by any means. All of this is being passed on by me from them. You may wish to phone or email them yourselves directly for more specifics about this issue. Doing so may result in your own lights lasting longer, according to what they’re saying.

To Strick9: You mentioned the ring artifact seen when in the flood beam setting of the Lenser P14 (I saw it, too, in the YouTube video you gave the link to) is “100% unavoidable”, but you also said previously that the flood beam could be diffused nicely using scotch tape or 2 coats of Krylon matte spray varnish. Is the ring artifact still visible after applying your suggested treatments to the lens? Thanks.

360 hours in .2 lumen mode

How bout a glow mode that lasts 365 days
Palight on 9 volt

I don’t know what your love affair is with Energiser lithiums, I like using them for a little extra output in my Solarforce L2r. But if your battery preference is the only thing that ruins the Streamlight for you, maybe you should get some Nimh batteries. Nimh batteries don’t leak and are almost the same price on the shelf :wink:

Just a thought :wink:

To CarpentryHero: The Quark is something to consider. I would generally use the middle, 24 lumen setting, which shows a max. runtime listing on the website of 20 hrs. I’m also looking into the Lenser P14 4AA LED, which has a 30 lumen low setting that’s listed as having a 65 hr. runtime. I’m hoping more disposable lithium AA model suggestions will be forthcoming from all. Thanks.