Recommend me a 1xAA/14500 light around $50

I’m in need of a little torch for random things around the house (inside and outside) and walking around my neighborhood in the dark for exercise. I have a Fenix TK41 which I love, but it’s just too big and heavy for walking. I want something that fits in my pocket.

Reliability and durability are important to me, I’d rather buy one good light that lasts years than buying a new one every year. I have heaps of AAs and I’ll probably use those, but I want to be able to use 14500s. I don’t like strobe modes, and I’d rather not have to cycle through every mode to turn it off. I don’t care where the controls are so long as they’re reliable.

I’m in New Zealand, so in practice I have to buy from ebay Hong Kong/China sellers, or maybe amazon. Most stores charge horrendous shipping fees to NZ.

Thoughts so far:

  • My Romisen RC-G2 has a faulty tailcap switch, so I won’t buy that brand.
  • My tiny LEDLenser has a faulty switch as well, so I won’t buy that brand
  • I got my Mum a Klarus P2A, so I like the idea of the P1A, but it’s AA only no 14500s.
  • Balder BD1 (bit ugly)
  • Thrunite Saber 1A (not very bright, and I prefer a more tapered light than a straight one)
  • Sipik SK68 - looks good, but at $15 I suspect it’s not great quality?

Anyone have a recommendation? Budget is less important than quality, but if I can get something cheap that’ll do the job, great :slight_smile:

I’ll also eventually want some a 14500 battery and a charger… how are the Nitecore Protected ones?

Zebralight SC52? The ZL 14500’s are good also.

If you can tip over that $50 barrier, I think the Zebralight SC52 is hands down the best AA/14500 light for the money.

Here is a thorough review of the SC52 for you:!

edit: with coupons, you can get it somewhere in the mid $50 range

The Balder SE-1 is a good choice. Rugged construction ( HA3) and runs well on NiMh and 14500…also available in neutral.

DQG AA is a great light.


I like my Trustfire Z8. Such a beauty to look at.

Thanks for all the thoughts and advice so far - very quick and very helpful!

The Zebralight SC52 looks like a great option. It’s 14500 performance looks a bit dodgy based on that extensive and slightly obsessive review, but AA looks great probably negating the need for 14500s. If I definitely wanted a 14500 light it’s probably not ideal. It’s pretty bright with an AA though so it would probably be great, and I already have batteries and chargers.

The Klarus P1A is only 150 lumen compared with 250 on the Zebralight running AAs, but I’ve read it can take a 14500 - and kreisler above says he does it fine. That might be a good option, I like the brand, I like the build quality, and it’s a little cheaper than the Zebralight. However a Zebralight on AA is about the same lumen as a P1A on 14500, and buying a 14500 and charger would cost quite a lot more.

So the Zebralight is the current first pick. I would prefer it in black, but I can live with the weird grey color.

Interesting option. It’s CRAZY bright (though dims a lot after the first minute), and is $25 for the torch, two batteries, and the charger. A price that low suggest poor build quality, but the review by JohnnyMac suggest it’s pretty good. I don’t like the look so much, and I don’t think I’d like the feel.

An interesting super bright budget option, thanks :slight_smile:

+1 Good stuff here.

xeno EO3 and balder SE-1 have both in neutral and nice lights.

After doing a bunch of reading, and looking at things like shipping pricing to New Zealand, I went with the Klarus P1A. Some lights (Zebralight/Balder) are available from the US only, which increases the cost quite a bit. The Klarus is bright enough, well built, good quality, and I trust them a bit because of the P2A which I gave away.

Thanks for all the thoughts and opinions :slight_smile:

The only thing crazy about that light is logic that made it. Stiff twisting head leaves me unscrewing the tailcap when trying to zoom. What really kills it though is next mode memory. High~~Low~~>Strobe and always the next mode in sequence when you turn it on. No tail stand. Dry threads. Loose Pill.

I’m seriously disappointed with mine :frowning:

I’ve been EDCing an iTP SA1 for the past 6 months and still love it. They’re still available here in the states but don’t know if they are elsewhere.

The last 2 torches I’ve bought are 14500’s, one was the SC52 and the other the Z8.

The SC52 is an awe inspiring little thing, has become my new EDC and never fails to surprise me with it’s brightness and build quality. Shame about the colour, but I’m over that already.

I recieved the TF Z8 a couple of days ago, and it’s the first zoomie I’ve bought since my Led Lenser P5R. I have to say I had really high hopes for it, as JohnnyMac raved about it in his review. And don’t get me wrong, the build quality really is something special for an $12 torch. Apart from that, I hate everything else about it :frowning:
It has an awful tint (more blue white than cool white), heats up very quickly (and dims to about half its capable brightness), very difficult to go from spot to flood (I bought it for the missus, and she struggles with it) and the modes are crummy (has High, Low and Blinkie, in which High and Low are VERY similar)

I know I shouldn’t be comparing my P5R to the Z8, but the P5R sh!ts all over the Z8 in every way.

Saying all this though, I can’t recommend the SC52 enough.


You could get it for $12 at Tmart

The machining is good, holds like a solid piece of metal in hand.

I don’t really use the zooming (usually just use it in maximum flood mode), but the twisting zooming mechanism is a little tight; really need 2 hands to do it.

The next-mode-memory however, according to JohnnyMac, will not occur if you switch it off for at least 3 minutes.

Tail stand is possible but it’s not stable.