Review: Romisen RC-29 3-mode 1x AA/14500

~~~ this ©2011 review was inspired by the ©2009 youtube video Romisen RC-G2 (US$ 4.95): Best LED flashlight for the money, Period. ~~~

Romisen RC-29 3-mode AA&14500

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★★


Battery: 1x any AA-sized cell (Alkaline, Nimh, 14500 Li-Ion)
Switch: tailcap - forward clicky, but no tactical momentary on
Modes: 3, Hi - Med - Strobe
LED/Output: Cree XP-E Q5 / 180 Lumen
Lens/Reflector: Plastic magnifying lens/No reflector
Tailstand: Yes
Price paid: US$ 13.40
Date Ordered: November 2011
From: DealExtreme SKU50679 (please visit for official specs and many user photos and reviews)


  • Very attractive mini tactical design, looks & feels expensive
  • Compact, light-weight, pocketable EDC
  • Excellent build quality and finish, thick material walls
  • Waterproof & shock-resistant
  • Very bright for 1x AA-sized flashlight model
  • Perfectly working constant brightness regulation
  • Can throw more than 350+ meters
  • Flood-to-throw functionality (zoom 1x..8x)
  • Perfect 180° flood possible ("zoom 0x")
  • LED screw-in pill easily exchanged, upgraded or modded
  • Comes with handstrap, orange bezel and orange tail cap button
  • Spare lenses can be purchased separately, inexpensive
  • long-term fun and play factor
  • Very attractive mini tactical design, looks & feels expensive (oops, may i repeat it again?)


  • 2 brightness levels only (plus strobe mode); no real ultralow mode
  • no tactical momentary on

Hello the below review was originally shared by me on CPF in reduced format and i thought that it might be useful on this forum too, in extended format! there is no dedicated thread on cpf for the RC-29 (various customized commercial versions exist, beware!), so i am quick reviewing the Romisen RC-29 3-Mode Dealextreme model version which is a noteworthy budget light eating any 1x AA-sized cell (i.e. 1.2V eneloops, 1.5V Alkaline, 3.7V 14500 LiIon, ..) and which has become my favorite budget light, also suitable as EDC or as gift for non-flashaholics. [the 3-Mode AA&14500 version (see bottom of webpage!) is too posted on the official distribution website albeit with an older LED namely the Cree Q3. the listed info on the Alibaba webpage might not be 100% uptodate and the current LED for the RC-29 (original 1-Mode edition) should be Q5 and not Q3.]

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scan1 shows the model which i got from dealextreme and on which i attached a professional clip (taken from Fenix LD20, the best-selling Fenix torch on amazon!). The clip fits perfectly well there, very tight/snug, maybe even a littler tighter than on the original Fenix LD20. Nevertheless it is possible to slide and move the clip with some force (cp. scan2) simply because of the slippery/smooth anodization and the lack of a clip groove. I am amazed, the clipping/sliding/moving of the clip does not scratch the anodization. As you can see the full torch is anodized, inside, outside, threads, everything. Type HA II, with excellent finish.

scan2 showcases the light mounted from below onto a baseball cap, and with fully removed head. as with the best-selling Romisen RC-G2, it is possible to remove the head so that you get a perfect floody beam. while the RC-G2 has a reflector in the head, the RC-29 doesnt have any reflector. Instead, the front glass is a plastic (polycarbonate *afaik*) aspherical lens, see scan3. the emitter sits embedded on the "dropin". the dropin is in fact a "screw-in" pill; it has threads and you need to screw it firmly into the top of the body. to demonstrate this, i have unscrewed the pill half the way so that you can see and understand. the heat transfer by conduction from the pill to the body works really well thanks to this construction design.

DISASSEMBLY / DECOMPOSITION (no special tools needed!): ★★★

Important to know, it is very easy and straight-forward to remove the head in case you really want to use the Romisen as perfect flooder-only: First unscrew the bezel (there's an o-ring attached to the bezel, let's call it oring1; leave oring1 alone. haha), then remove oring2 which sits right at the lens in the head. oring2 hangs loosely in the upper threads of the head and is easily removed with a pair of tweezers, so no problem. after that shake the Romisen softly and the lens will pop out, easily too! If the lens doesnt fall out for some reason, then suck it off the head with the help of some adhesive film (Scotch adhesive tape). let's note right here at this point that the lens is made out of plastic and it is the weakest, cheapest and least quality party of the Romisen. IT IS EASILY SCRATCHED. VERY EASILY. (and of course it can/could break easily too, similar to glass lenses.) Since it is a thick plastic lens, it may not break that fast but it will scratch right away when rubbed against something moderately rough or hard. my advice: if you dont carry it with a pouch/holster/clip but in your bare pants/pockets, make sure that nothing (keys, coins, snickers bar) can hit or rub against the plastic lens. If you want to protect it actively, then you could cover the lens front with adhesive transparent foil (similar to iphone screen protective film); anyway, it's a bummer that no spare lens is included, since all remaining parts are of outstanding built quality. Now unscrew the aluminium ring. You can do it with your bare fingers or use a pair of scissors "in reverse". Easy job. Eventually it is time to unscrew the tail cap, so do it. Now since the aluminum ring (it functions as "stopper in 2 directions" for both the lens and the rotational movement of the 1x..8x zooming body) is gone, it is possible to unscrew the head & body in such a way that the two parts finally separate, hallelujah. Of course, the body still contains the emitter pill ("the drop-in"). If you want to remove the pill too, you need to unscrew it. If you look very closely at the lower part of the head (where it's labelled "1x...8x" on the outside), on the inside there is another o-ring ("oring3"). Oring3 is almost invisible. I first noticed it when i put the parts back together. Felt great. The fourth and last o-ring is oring4 which sits on the lower part of the body where you screw the tail cap. You want to decompose the tail cap (into clicky, rubber, spring, ..) too? I didnt do it you crazy!!


Believe it or not, Romisen is not a noname company without a homepage but a true brand with a company website and known among flashaholics for their high quality budget flashlights. Here too, except for the cheap lens, the built quality is excellent and en par with any other high quality aluminum Chin*se lamp (Fenix, Solarforce, ..); there's absolutely nothing to moan about. The wall thickness is very thick (see scans: body, aluminum ring, head), yet the overall size and weight is surprisingly little. The Romisen looks like a cute little flashlight, and it is even smaller in mule mode where you remove the head. The lanyard handstrap is adequate and adequately cheap. Is it very possible and comfortable to carry it in your front pocket, my honest and subjective opinion? Yes, it very is. It has the size and weight of a compact little cute EDC, and it doesnt bother at all if/when you carry it in an empty front pocket of your pants. There might just be an issue with the sharp edges of the tailcap.


The current version of the Romisen (i got my copy from dealextreme) has 3 Modes: High - Medium - Strobe. No matter how slow or fast you click (or tap) the switch, the flashlight would adopt the mode whichever was or is next in line within the infinte series/loop "..-med-strobe-hi-med-strobe-hi-med-strobe-hi-med-strobe-hi-..". For example you're in Med mode. Then switch off. Wait as long as you want, say 10 min. Then press the button. Your mode will be strobe!! In other words, your last mode is saved/memorized only to return the next mode in that infinite series. On the one hand the switch is a forward clicky (with "tap" functionality), on the other hand you cannot send in Morse or use it as tactical switch. whenever you press/tap the switch at any point in time, you are forwarded to the next mode in line.


"head" diameter in mule mode is 21.80mm, so the popular FENIX LD10/LD20 diffuser cap fits exactly. the largest diameter is 30.00mm around the bezel area, the smallest diameter is right above the tail cap and measures 18.00mm, and length is between 97.98mm ("zoom 1x") and 108.80mm ("zoom 8x"). The total diameter of the plastic lens is 23.03mm and the inner diameter of the aluminum ring where to exactly place it is 23.00mm; so it's an exact fit: the lens may or may not pop out during disassembly. the actual curved lens diameter is 21.00mm, the lens outer ring ("margin/edge") thickness (=height) is 1.65mm (if you buy a replacement lens with a higher edge, you wont be able to tighten the bezel properly!) and the total thickness (=height) of the lens is 8.15mm (if you buy a thicker replacement lens, you cant do headstand anymore because the lens would touch the flat ground!). It is possible to order packs of spare lenses (made of plastic or real glass) from dealextreme or others, simply do a search on the diameter (in mm) in combination with one of the keywords "optics/optical/glass/lens/aspheric/aspherical", for example < 23mm optics > or < 23mm optical >, so if your original plastic lens gets scratched or broken you have a replacement lens at hand. The exact weight without batteries and handstrap is ?? grams, and the exact weight in mule mode is ?? grams only. Overall the product feels slim and very solid but not heavy for its size, and subjectively it really looks and feels fantastic. Like an agreeable, perfect design. You look at it in natura, you hold it in your hand, and you like it. It is something subtle and emotional, something which cant be expressed or measured in physical numbers. How could you possibly measure perfect design or, even better, beauty?? You can't. It's something which is spontaneously generated in your mind. And this product will impress you positively and generate sparkles of joy (or even arousement). Let's not deny it: Optical design is an important factor when people decide to buy productA instead of productB. And when i see this product on my desk, it makes me want to continue to look at it ("sexy"), touch and hold it; yes it produces this kind of (silly) urge, it really does. Well, I am substracting 2 stars though because the edges of the tail cap are sufficiently sharp to tear your jeans pockets after everyday carry and because the dealextreme offer doesnt include a third-party's holster, and there are certainly even shorter, slicker and more light-weight competitive products on the market which deserve a 5 stars rating here. Personally i find the height, size, weight and design matching and perfect!

Here my own measurements of weight (all without battery; numbers in italics are calculated sums):

original lens: 2.255g

DX spare lenses: lens1: 4.078g , lens2: 3.943g

head incl. original lens: 22.842g

body incl LED pill: 29.763g

tail: 11.339g

mule mode: (29.763 + 11.339 =) 41.104g

complete torch: (29.763 + 11.339 + 22.842 =) 63.944g


my scans prove that the dealextreme copy officially supports any AA-sized cell. I've tested successfully 14500 rechargeables (3.7V, LiIon) and standard Alkaline batteries (1.5V). Similar to the XENO E03 (1x AA), the Romisen is much much brighter when you feed the 3.7V Lithium Ions instead of the standard 1.5V fare. i havent tested the runtimes of eneloops (1.2V) but honestly, i havent acquired the Romisen in order to run it on eneloops (moderate brightness with Cree Q5!). one day i will buy eneloops AA and a perfect charger for them for the sake of testing purposes.


tailcap readings:

amperage High 100% Med 50% Strobe
TrustFire 14500 @4.2V 0.819A 0.244A N/A
Eneloop AA @1.49V 1.337A 0.340A N/A
Eneloop AA @1.20V 1.000A 0.300A N/A
Alkaline AA "1.5V" 1.239A 0.328A N/A

On High-mode, with a freshly charged Eneloop the torch draws between 1.2-1.3A depending on the actual offline voltage of the full Eneloop cell which can vary between 1.45-1.52V. A typical offline voltage of a freshly fully charged cell of 1.47V would result in a 1.2A current draw from the cell. Basically the average current draw over the Eneloop's potential range (i.e. between 1.20-1.45V) is 1.1A, and the driver tries to maintain a constant current draw of 1.1A; below 1.20V the current draw is still high, e.g. 0.9A at 1.10V, but when you switch off the light for a moment and then on again, the light would not turn on again! In other words current draw decreases minimally when cell voltage decreases; in classical regulation current draw increases when cell voltage drops. So the DX driver does not use classical regulation, but it is a true constant current regulated driver: the light is regulated nonetheless since the driver manages to draw a (nearly) constant current of 1.1A over the whole practical lifetime of the Eneloop cell. And what about actual brightness? Well, with the current being maintained constant at 1.1A and since voltage decreases from 1.49V to 1.20V, brightness should decrease too, right? However, if you trust my eyes, there is no visible perceivable decline in brightness. Thanks to the constant current regulated driver i cannot detect any dimming effect. This is awesome! And since the driver provides "constant" amperage (average observed values: High 1100mA, Med 310mA) we could estimate the expected Eneloop runtimes before the light drops out of regulation. 2000mAh/1100mA = 1.81h on High-mode, and 2000mAh/310mA = 6.45h; please compare with my measured runtimes:

  • Protected TrustFire 1x AA-sized 14500, LiIon 3.7V 900mAh:
    • High-mode: constant high brightness for ~0.75h (test runs: 42min/43min/..) thereafter the light turns off because of the PCB in the TrustFire cell. you can turn the light back on and the TrustFire cell would provide 1 or 2 more minutes of constant brightness in High-mode (there's absolutely no dimming effect with this flashlight!!!) before the light extinguishes again and for good. Note: i did this test in the cold outdoors with the Romisen wrapped in my bare cold hands (=good heatsink!!) where it didnt heat up much. however, the entire torch would get rather hot after 20mins when left in unattended tail stand on your desk at room temperature.
    • Med-mode: constant high brightness for 2.6h (test runs: 155min/157min/..) thereafter the light turns off because of the PCB in the TrustFire cell. unattended flashlight feels slightly warm.
  • discount noname 1x AA-sized Alkaline 1.5V (Mignon LR6):
    • High-mode: constant high brightness for 2.0h, thereafter rapid decline to useless light. throughout the unattended flashlight feels slightly warm. after switching it off and some greater pause you can turn the light back on and the Alkaline cell would provide ~30 more minutes of constant brightness in High-mode (there's absolutely no dimming effect with this flashlight!!!) until it is totally depleted. actually the battery doesnt seem to get depleted lol, instead the battery recovers itself over and over again: after another longer pause (e.g. a few days) you'll be amazed to get many more minutes of constant high brightness in High-mode. this auto-recovery phenomenon with the Alkaline makes it difficult to measure the total total time. for sure you get 2.0h of consecutive light, then you should switch off the Romisen and let the battery auto-recover for some time, hours or days. after that your light is back on, etc.
    • Med-mode: constant high brightness for 5.25h, thereafter rapid decline to useless light. lamp dead after a total of 5.75h. throughout the unattended flashlight feels cold.
  • Sanyo 1x AA-sized Eneloop 1.2V 2000mAh HR-3UTGA:
    • High-mode: constant high brightness for 1.85h, (test runs: 1h53min/1h50min/..) thereafter notable decline to lower level light within 20mins. Testrun interrupted after a total of 2h10min. at this point the light is not completely dead and still produces "unuseless" output but during those 20mins of dimming it becomes very apparent that it's time to remove and recharge the cell. there is no point in depleting a NiMH-based cell to 100% death. cell capacity used up till this point: 1900mAh (test runs: 1898mAh/1926mAh/..), remaining cell offline voltage: X.XXV. throughout the testrun the unattended flashlight feels medium warm.
    • Med-mode: constant high brightness for 6.5h (test runs: 6h37min/6h32min/..) before gradual steady dimming sets in for a period of 25mins until the light extinguishes after a total of 7.0h (test runs: NA/6h57min/..). Once the light has dropped out of regulation after the 6.5hrs it is time to exchange the cell because during the subsequent 25mins dimming period if you switch off and try to switch the light back on, the light will not turn back on tarah. capacity used up till this point: 1950mAh (test runs: 1950mAh/1953mAh/..). throughout the testrun the light feels cold.

As you can see, battery life with this special revision of the RC-29 is respectable. The heat transfer through the heat sinking and conductivity of the massive aluminum parts and the screw-in pill works enormously well and running 14500's on High during the full ~45mins of a 900mAh's cell life is safe; there is no over-heating effect as observed in more lightweight torches. The brightness regulation does an excellent job, surprisingly because you would not expect such a regulation quality in a budget light. When the cell is near full depletion the light (or any other light!) drops out of regulation and you would notice it readily: either the light begins to dim at a remarkable rate (Alkaline, Eneloop) or the light shuts off (Protected 14500) all of a sudden. The runtime on High-mode with 14500's is a bit better than the Xeno E03 XML's runtime on Hi with 14500's: by 2 mins. Eneloops more than double the runtime of 14500's but i still recommend feeding 14500's because their nominal voltage of 3.7V is triple as high as the Eneloop's nominal voltage of 1.2V (3.7V > 3*1.2V) and this results in an impressive difference in brightness. My advice, if you plan on using exclusively Eneloops in the torch *and* need veeery bright light, then do not buy the RC-29 for your purposes but get something else, for example a more expensive new model release with a Cree XML emitter. Don't expect the RC-29 to be veeery bright when you feed Eneloops. It isnt. Clearly, XML torches like the Xeno E03 are brighter both on Eneloops and 14500's than the RC-29; that's why modders try to plant a XML LED in a Sipik SK68 or in a Romisen RC-G2 or our RC-29. You dont need to do this. Just feed 14500's, and you should be pleased enough. Trust me. And if you feed 1.2-1.7V cells (NiMH, Eneloop, Alkaline, Lithium primaries), then dont be disappointed about the modest brightness. I have warned you.


As mentioned earlier, the Romisen has a reflector-less head (and a reflector-less dropin). You throw a concentrated beam by zooming in ("8x"; the hot spot looks like a magnified LED lol!), and you get a beautiful round floody beam by zooming out ("1x"). The plastic lens replaces the functionality of a fixed reflector. And the advantage is: there are no rings in the beam pattern and no spill area! At any zoom level (1x, 2x, .. 8x) the beam pattern looks uniformly distributed, we get an evenly bright beamshot with no delimited hotspot or spill. the emitter is specified as "Cree q5-wc", i.e. it's a XP-E Q5 LED with 180 lumens (LED or ANSI?), in CoolWhite (afaik). The tint is coolwhite and compared with other lamps, it is looks white and if there were any color/tint tendency i would name it "blueish". For sure, the tint is not greenish or warmish or neutralish (=warmish). the eletronic circuitry is specified as "Digital Regulated 700mA Current Output", and my tests so far appear to confirm that a constant brightness level is maintained thru effective electronic regulation, sweet! and what about brightness levels? i dont have the apparatus to measure brightness (lux, lumen, candela, etc.) so here's my perceived brightness in descending order:

14500 in High-mode: very bright, "180 lumens" (runtime: ~45 mins)
Alkaline in High-mode: bright (runtime: ~2.0 hours)
14500 in Med-mode: bright (runtime: ~2.5 hours)
Alkaline in Med-mode: medium (runtime: ~5.25 hours)

14500 in Med-mode is pretty much as bright as Alkaline in High-mode and both deserve to be called "bright". i could visually tell, more or less easily, that the Alkaline in High-mode has a different tint (warmer!) and that it is a little brighter than the 14500 in Med mode. in any case, none of the cell types provide an ultralow mode. If you need such a thing on an EDC, then dont buy the Romisen. since eneloops cant/wont be brighter than the Alkaline and you only get higher runtimes, i could still recommend the 14500 if you already own a LiIon charger and 14500 cells. no need to buy eneloops! With the 14500 cell, you get 2.5h of bright light (as bright as eneloop can get!), and if you need extra brightness for a few minutes (say 5-10 mins.) then you could run the Romisen in High-mode with 180 lumens. Do use eneloops in case you need longer runtimes on "bright" and you need a sort of "low" mode: the Alkaline in Med-mode produces fairly low output while it's certainly still no ultralow. Eneloops arent expensive so one day i should buy them too and update the Romisen review/tests. To give you an indication of how useful and powerful the beam is here a simple comparison: The best and most expensive light i own is the EagleTac T20 with 720 Lumens, which was released to the market in September 2011 and has a high output Cree XM-L T6 and a LOP reflector (light orange peel). When you adjust the RC-29's beam angle to the fixed T20's beam angle, then the RC-29's uniform light is as bright as the T20's spill. Since with collimating lenses there is not distinction between hotspot vs. spill, the T20's hotspot (which is quite large since it has a XML, and not a XPG LED!) is very much brighter than the center area of the RC-29's beam. But when you adjust the RC-29's beam angle to the T20's hotspot angle, then the RC-29 beats the T20 in brightness. Finally when you zoom to 8x and do a throw comparison, then it becomes very obvious: the RC-29 throws much much further because its concentrated beam is brighter than the hotspot of the T20 can or will ever be! Just to give you some numbers (see the specs under "Beam Type"), the SC80 has beam angle of 80 degrees (bounded by the spill) and a hotspot angle of 9 degrees (bounded by the hotspot); the RC-29 has a beam angle of 180 degrees (mule, "zoom 0x"), 55 degrees (zoom 1x), down to ~4 degrees (zoom 8x); the T20 has, thanks to its LOP reflector, a beam angle of 47 degrees and a hotspot angle of ~6 degrees. In the night, the RC-29 can light up reflecting objects such as standard traffic signs with white areas without problems at a distance of up to 350 meters (see Addendum below), meaning: As far as you could tell by the naked eye that the tiny point in the distance has to be a standard-sized traffic sign, the RC-29 will light up this tiny point granted that the traffic sign isnt too darkish-colored. Large white house walls are easily lit up at this far distance of 350 meters. By the way, what's the exact definition of a pocket rocket? The RC-29 surely is one!! The fact that aspheric lenses outperform dedicated throwers in maximum throw is a fact from physics and optics. Maybe the best-known aspheric lens thrower is the Tiablo A9 with aspheric head.


This is maybe now my favorite part of the review. How does this revised Romisen model with its 180 lumens hold out against the expensive class competition with their newer LED's? What major advantage would you gain by buying for example a Sunwayman or 4Sevens instead? As a first general remark it must be noted that from the many flashlight manufacturer's product catalogs it becomes apparent that the research, development and support of torches based on AA-sized batteries is not on the manufacturer's top agenda or priority list, and even less those based on AAA's. If they could, they would just phase out all those torches. Why? Because we're dealing with the hitec revolution of Cree LED's which become insanely brighter and brighter but also emit good amounts of heat. Clearly, these LED's require "high" amperage and "high" voltage to meet their specification and efficiency. And exactly for that reason, the industry invented LiIon cells. Even wikipedia states that the primary use of LiIon cells are our hitec flashlights and, of course, laptops. This means, no matter how brandnew a Cree LED is, as long as you feed it with low voltage and amperage, it wont wow you nor anybody else. So what most hitec manufacturers are working on is the development of torches which run on LiIon cells .. because that's the natural and perfect match: Cree LED vs. LiIon cell. Torch models which run on 1x AA are either an exotic minority in a manufacturer's catalog or they are simply old models with old LED's which the company hasnt discontinued yet for economic reasons. And which are such reasons? The wide availability and low price of AA-sized cells with 1.5V (Alkaline) or 1.2V (eneloop) and cheap chargers. The ignorant mass consumer (MagLite, ..) demands a "bright flashlight" but also insists on the continued use of 1.2-1.5V cells and expects long runtimes, whereas the manufacturers regard this as inherent contradiction. In summary, new Cree LED's should be powered with LiIon cells because that's what the Cree's are made for: give them the right amount of voltage and amperage and they return the high lumens output what the Cree engineers are proud of! ( There is only one flashlight company which has specialized on developing and supporting hitec Cree LED flashlights which are 100% optimized for the use of 1x 1.2-1.5V cells and which would not eat the 14500 LiIon cells. It is the very young and tiny but already highly acclaimed US-based headlamp company ZebraLight Inc. whose fine products look unusual, are manufactured in China as well and cost a little fortune for what they are: simple little flashlights which do what the mass consumers demand, namely shining bright and for extended runtime and nothing else but that. If money doesnt matter and you need a primitive plain handy flashlight for the sake of its mere efficient light output, then buy a state-of-the-art Zebralight for US$ 79.90, nothing wrong with that! Basically the Zebralight SC51 or SC80, neither of which can eat Protected 14500's, have the same brightness&runtime (~200lumen&~1h) as the Romisen, after all. The difference is: the Zebralight needs 1.2V eneloops to accomplish it whereas the Romisen needs Protected 3.7V 14500's, which means that the former is a much more efficient modern flashlight. On the other hand, since the Zebralight SC51 doesnt eat 14500's, in practice the advantage of higher efficiency is cancelled out: Run the Romisen with 14500's and you get the same brightness&runtime as the Zebralight!!! eneloops and 14500's cost the same (both cell types are inexpensive imho), so to the end user it doesnt make a practical difference if one or the other flashlight runs much more efficiently. To the end user what really counts is the complete package of brightness, runtime, and cost of cells. In this regard, using the Romisen doesnt differ too much from using the modern Zebralight: The situation is comparable to 2 cars with the same max speed and same max mileage but car1 (Zebralight), the efficient one, with a hitec motor1 accepts exclusively special fuel of type1 (eneloop) and consumes few gallons (1.2V) only of it, whereas car2 (Romisen), the less efficient one, with an older motor2 must consume much more gallons (3.7V) of the cheaper fuel type2 (TrustFire) for the same overall driving performance, while both car drivers are to end up paying the same total for their fuel.) The Romisen company has a freaking large product catalog with 42 Cree LED flashlights and only 7 of them are specifically designed for 1x AA (RC-G2, RC-29, RC-A2, RC-A3, RC-H3, RC-F4, RC-D5), the rest (~35) is designed to run on LiIon cells! Let's take JetBeam, one of the most popular and the oldest noteworthy post-SureFire company, as prime example: JETBeam (SYSMAX Industry Co., Ltd.) has a sizable catalog of 29+11 Cree LED flashlights. Only RRT-0, PA01, PA10, BA10, and E3 can run on 1x AA and it is unclear if some of them accept 14500 LiIon's as well (note: the following lumen ratings might not all be ANSI lumens!):

JetBeam RRT-0 R2 Cree XR-E Q5 1x eneloop AA 1.2V 2500mAh, in High mode: 180 lumens@45min
JetBeam RRT-0 R5 Cree XP-G R5 1x eneloop AA 1.2V 2500mAh, in High mode: 180 lumens@45min
JetBeam BA10 Cree XP-G R5 1x eneloop AA 1.2V 2500mAh, in High mode: 160 lumens@1h15min
JetBeam E3S Cree XP-G R4 1x eneloop AA 1.2V 2500mAh, in High mode: 155 lumens@1h
JetBeam Jet I Pro V3.0 Cree XR-E R2 1x eneloop AA 1.2V 2500mAh, in High mode: 145 lumens@1h10min
JetBeam PA01 Cree XP-G R5 1x eneloop AA 1.2V 2500mAh, in High mode: 140 lumens@1h30min
JetBeam PA10 Cree XM-L T6 1x eneloop AA 1.2V 2500mAh, in High mode: 140 lumens@1h30min
JetBeam E3P Cree XR-E Q5 1x eneloop AA 1.2V 2500mAh, in High mode: 120 lumens@1h30min
JetBeam RRT-0 XML Cree XM-L T6 1x eneloop AA 1.2V 2500mAh, in High mode: 110 lumens@3h45min

The above table indicates that eneloop AA's on JetBeam's suggested Max-level (for AA vs. CREE) have a short runtime between 45min and 1h30min no matter how new the LED technology is and that higher lumens automatically means shorter runtimes. I dont have eneloops nor a photometer but the manufacturer rated 180 lumens plus my measured runtimes for Alkaline and 3.7V 14500 suggest that the Romisen RC-29 would not be an outlier but fit well into the above table! The explanation for this phenomenon is easy: as long as you feed any new or old Cree LED with a low performance energy source (here: eneloop), the light output performance will not differ significantly between the new and the old Cree LED's. To cut the whole story short, the driver of the Romisen RC-29 delivers a great deal of light output ("180 lumens") and the corresponding runtimes compare very well to premium class products like JetBeam. Some of the above JetBeam's might not even run with 14500's, so insert a 14500 in the RC-29 and you beat that JetBeam for sure. Haha. And what about compared to the new Xeno E03 V3 XM-L T6 with eneloops? For this, please compare the revised official E03 specs with the above JetBeam table and also with my Romisen measurements. You will come to the conclusion that for any Xeno ANSI-lumens brightness level which the Romisen can somehow reproduce, the E03 runtime isnt longer! So the main difference in light output between the two products is: The Xeno can produce a brightness level (430lumen) which the Romisen cannot reach with its oldish Cree LED; notwithstanding with optimal cooling conditions the Xeno could maintain the "430lumen level" for 20mins only -- and this level isnt even regulated any near well! By the way the Xeno company doesnt recommend running the full 20mins on this level, and in practice the E03 torch gets burningly hot already after 2-3 minutes, which again means that the wowy 430lumens-mode is very impractical and practically unusable. In other words, by buying the Xeno instead of the Romisen you dont get a more modern (=more efficiently working, e.g. like the Zebralight) LED flashlight but a torch with an (impractical and energy-wasting 20min max-) turbo which the Romisen doesnt possess. That's all, that's the difference. So if you dont need the turbo difference, then the Romisen performs equally efficient and well to the 2011 Xeno product regarding the light output performance. In summary, even as late as in 2011/12, the Romisen still holds out astonishingly well against the XP-G R5 or XM-L T6 competition, and imho it even beats the Xeno E03 if you can dispense with Xeno's 20min-turbo. And because of the competitive similar performance efficiency my advise is: Do get the Romisen (for its many interesting features and versatility) OR buy the Xeno (for its rather useless turbo) BUT dont acquire both of them. If you have the Romisen already, you wont need the Xeno, and vice versa. That's why.


What else can you do with a Zebralight SC51 other than pressing the button to turn it on and off? Nothing. And when exchanging cells you're limited to Alkaline and eneloops. No AA-sized 3.7V LiIon's! Woah. That doesnt sound fun. Sounds dull, in fact!! With the Romisen, you get your fingers (we enjoy keeping our hands and fingers busy, dont we??) in full fiddling activity: unscrew the bezel, clean the lens, buy a replacement lens, waterproof the o-rings, twist the head for zooming action, zoom in, zoom out, remove the complete head for the mule mode, reposition the Fenix clip, clip the mule to a baseball cap, unscrew the pill, mod the pill, clean the pill, replace the clicky or button cap, replace the handstrap with a mini split ring, assault a face or break a window with the tail cap bezel, put on a Fenix diffuser tip, put on a Fenix traffic wand/lantern/red lens cap/etc., put in Alkalines or eneloops, put in 14500's, fiddle for the sake of fiddling, and again twist the head for zooming in and zooming out, etc. In short, this torch doesnt bore you, your mind or your fingers, neither now nor later. And back to the Zebralight. What can you do with it again? Ah. Turning on and off. How terrific and fun ... not!!!


DinoDirect (DD) claims that the original price was 39.11$ (and dont mix it up with the old version) and sells it for 10.99$ on sale, Uwelectronics tells us that the retail price is 28.00$, GoingGear (GG) charges 25.99$ plus shipping, HKE has the 1-mode for 19.99$ on ebay, Shiningbeam asks 21.75$ plus shipping, amazon sells it for 25.00$, some ebay seller package it labeled as "200 lumens" *WTF* version with a belt holster and charge 19.95$, Kaidomain (KD) wants 18.01$, EasyLightBuy (ELB) asks 17.04$, Lightake (LT) ships it for 14.89$ and German sellers ship it for freaking 47.50$ (34.90€; 1 EUR = 1.36 USD, 2011-11-14). DealExtreme (DX)'s price is 13.40$ if you order 3 or more. As we can witness the Romisen is by no means to be called a "cheap flashlight"!! The old version of the RC-29 was reviewed by jayki 2 years ago, by lichtinsdunkel 1.5 years ago, and by nickdolin in November 2011 (1-Mode but pre-modded with the Cree XP-G R5). On DX find at least 13 customer reviews and some further feedback, also on DD. Youtube features a bunch of video clips with the old version. GoingGear sells 3 different RC-29 versions but none of them coincides with the here presented and reviewed dealextreme version, so beware. Keep in mind that this BLF review refers to the new 3-mode version (AA/14500) with 180 lumens and not to the old 1-mode version (AA only) with 100 or 120 lumens. I am a bit late with this review since the original Romisen RC-29 version (and its clones) is already well known to the BLF community. The new version is available on DX, DD, KD, LT, and that ebay seller. As mentioned earlier, i got mine from DX. So if you dont want to play lottery (DD, KD, LT, ebay), order it from DX as well.

EDIT: cabfrank played lottery and reported that DD does not send out the 3-mode version. it's wrongly advertised on the DD webpages. others reported the same! if you dont mind DD's 1-mode version (hasnt got 14500 support afaik), then you can demand a partial refund on your DD order. Since you ordered a 3-mode version and they delivered a 1-mode version, you're entitled to a recompense. typically DD issues a generous giftcard.



  • pocketable compact EDC which runs on 1x AA-battery, the world's most widely available cell type
  • also runs on 3.7V LiIon 14500 rechargeables (*recommended use by the reviewer*)
  • can do tailstand
  • has 3 modes (High 100% - Medium 50% - Strobe)
  • really perfectly working constant current regulation for constant brightness
  • respectable runtimes. thanks to the Med-mode you get at least 2.5hours out of any cell type!
  • "700mA, manufacturer rated 180 Lumens" (is almost as bright as recent 1xAA models with newer LED's!)
  • has wonderfully working flood-to-throw 1x-8x zoom, no hotspot&spill but uniform bright beam; personally i find the 1x..2x zoom (="floody beam") and the uniform brightness immensely useful
  • you could remove the head for a perfect 180° floody beam ("0x zoom", mule mode). this is quite extraordinary and works even better than with the Romisen RC-G2 model.
  • it throws up to stunning 350+ meters (with 14500 & High-mode & 8x zoom "focused beam")
  • FENIX LD20 accessories (camping lampshade, red traffic wand, red filter adapter, red diffuser tip, white diffuser tip, transparent diffuser tip, diffuser lens, new diffuser lens or old?) mount the mule head perfectly fitting
  • FENIX LD20 pocket clip fits perfectly on the RC-29 in reverse direction (~headlamp on baseball cap)
  • added flexibility and upgradability, you could exchange the LED pill or update it to XP-G R5, similar to the modularity of EagleTac T20C2 MkII dropins ("screw-in")
  • waterproof, water-resistant
  • excellent built quality, very robust finish, appears shockproof, shock-resistant.
  • it is possible to buy spare lenses inexpensive (the lens may break or scratch in some unlucky moment so dont test your luck or do stupid shock or vibrational testings!)
  • real fun & play & fiddle factor which is absent in plain dull flashlights
  • has nice sharp tailcap assault bezel for tactical usage. you can smash windows, threaten little people, cut faces, injure trees, etc. it's a big lotta fun!
  • highly attractive mini tactical design, looks & feels expensive. admit it. admit it. it is a beautifully looking, really likable design. harmonic and perfect. Beautiful!
  • this new version costs ~13$ on DX which makes it a best value; old version costs 2x (amazon) -3.5x (Germany) elsewhere!


  • the dealextreme version has no tactical momentary on switch
  • apart from a cheap handstrap, no additional FREE accessories packaged (e.g. desirable would be 2 spare plastic lenses, a set of 4 spare o-rings, pouch)
  • no proper mode memory
  • no ultralow Low mode; only 2 brightness modes, the 3rd mode is strobe!

further info

  • the original (=old) version and the XP-G R5 Shiningbeam 1-Mode version has a true momentary on tactical forward switch, whereas the dealextreme 3-Mode version has a tappable forward clicky but you cannot send in Morse code.
  • sharp tactical tailcap edges may tear your pants pockets with EDC usage. use a pouch or carry it in your jacket or tape the edges with Scotch adhesive film
  • the lens is made out of plastic and could scratch easily. you need to take good care of its protection, or i suggest that you order a spare lens right away.
  • some ebay seller package it labeled as "200 lumens" *WTF* version with a belt holster and call it < romisen rc-29a >
  • while the popular old model Romisen RC-G2 (1x AA 1.5V) is still being produced, it is safe to claim that the RC-29 supersedes and is superior to the light-weight RC-G2. the two are like lil and big bro'. the RC-G2 can be disassembled much faster and safer because you dont unseal the oring system at the lens, while the end configuration (=body with screwed-in pill) looks about the same. the RC-29 mule produces real 180° flood, while the RC-G2 mule produces a 140° beam because its emitter sits a little recessed in the body
  • focused hotspot (zoom 8x) looks like a mapping of the LED emitter itself lol
  • for the RC-29 (original 1-Mode edition), a German webpage offered an unofficial modding tutorial showing the disassembly parts but since modded editions (like the Shiningbeam or the dealextreme versions) are readily commercially available presumably because it's the best-selling Romisen product right next to his brother, the RC-G2, i would directly go for the modded edition and not the original version. In fact, i like the dealextreme RC-29 version even better than my XENO E03 V3 XML-T6 (NeutralWhite, 430 lumens OTF), which is quite popular on this forum. The Xeno is brighter than the Romisen but it has less features and was 3x as expensive. i consider the Romisen more of a perfect EDC flashlight than the XENO E03. I do love them both though. In any case the Romisen 180 Lumens beats my FENIX LD20 Premium R5 which requires 2x AA-Alkaline and has 180 Lumens with Cree XP-G R5 in Turbo Mode only. On the other hand the Fenix has a longer runtime if that's what your after with an EDC.
  • disassembly and re-assembly might make the head with the system of oring1+oring2 less waterproof because placing the thin delicate oring2 perfectly snug at its proper place (touchy, right at the circumferential border of the plastic lens, and also touchy with the threads) takes quite some care. obviously, if you fail to set the oring2 perfectly fit, the head wont be waterproof any longer. the source of potential trouble isnt your "o-ring-skills" but rather the dimensions of the o-orings (oring1 and oring2). both are very thin and delicate omg. it's a challenging task to waterproof a system with such thin rubber.
  • i've inspected several copies of the dealextreme version. the head chamber (the inner walls of its volume) isnt the cleanest. there were some dirt or dust particles on the plastic lens and on the white plastic reflector of the pill, or maybe fingerprints. since the lens is a convex magnifying glass, whatever little particle or fingerprint is on the lens or on the white plastic reflector, you can see it, magnified! Just look through the lens and examine if "everything looks perfectly clean". if it doesnt, then clean the pill and the lens yourself manually, see the review section on DISASSEMBLY.
  • in the rare case you experience temporary sudden trouble with AA Alkaline cells, it's because you've been using 14500 LiIon cells before. then get your 14500 back in and light up the torch. finally replace (again, "freshly") the 14500 by the AA, and try to light up the torch. the lamp should work now because of the fresh replacement of 14500 by AA. Muy raro, verdad? Yes, it is. i seems to be some bug in the driver. Using 14500's will certainly *not* burn the driver nor the LED emitter! I am running 14500's all the time, and when i insert Alkalines, everything works fine. as we know, in High-mode the amperage is 700mA. cheap Alkalines might struggle to supply such a fat current. i dont know how eneloops perform [sic] but comparing 14500's vs. cheap Alkalines then: yes, this Romisen runs less stable on Alkalines and perfectly stable and fine on 14500's. the cell recommendation clearly goes to 14500's (or eneloops).
  • as with many flashlights, the positive (+) battery pole connection is established by direct contact pressure of two opposite button tops and there is no contact spring since springs are more common for the negative (-) pole connection. the torches overall impact and shock resistance would be higher if there were springs on both ends! In this context i discovered an undocumented (and maybe unintended) feature: if you fully zoom out ("1x") and twist the head even further (by application of force ), the light will eventually turn off. Twist a little back, and you're in the next mode. Twist again, and etc., i.e. the torch cycles through its modes as if you were pushing the tail clicky button. I made this discovery with my cheap Alkalines.. and i certainly dont recommend you operating your Romisen this way lol. Just keep in mind that twisting the head further than the "1x"-position can cause some effects (~flickering, ~defective contact, ~clicky switch behavior) and might harm your cell because of the exerted contact pressure.
  • not important but noteworthy, the torch has a thread lockout mode. to understand what you can do with it, do the following: switch the tail button on, the light will turn on. twist the tail cap a little, the light will turn off. that's the lockout. now screw the tail cap back tight, the light will turn on again and you're in the next mode, ta-rah! by twisting the tail cap a little back and forth, while the tail button is pressed in, you can switch modes (i certainly dont recommend you operating your Romisen this way lol). finally, press the button to switch off the light and also twist the tail cap a little. now you're fully locked out. (Since a slight forward button press ("tap") is sufficient to activate the light, i guess the lockout feature is somewhat useful in EDC usage. Personally, i never make use of the lockout, though.)


When i first saw in October 2011 the 2.0 years old RC-G2 youtube video my immediate thought was 'damn.. his torch looks really nice and high quality!' but then i realized that it was a 2.0 years old youtube video and that the RC-G2 wasnt too bright with the 1x AA battery and its old LED emitter. But everything else in the video was interesting and convincing, and what i maybe most liked was the esthetic design. The RC-G2 looks nice, really nice. And that guy in the video owned several copies of the RC-G2, lol! At the time of its release, the RC-G2 must have cost 4.95$, unbelievable. With some good luck i stumbled upon the RC-29 model and again my first thought was 'daaaamn.. this torch.. i love its looks!'. And only later did i find out that both models were popular among modders, which meant that there was some good quality and reason to buy one or the other. And by chance did i learn that after years of best-selling the two products Romisen/Dealextreme released an updated version of the RC-29 (and Shiningbeam had done so as well!) which now makes modding obsolete and rivals current 1x AA flashlight models of the higher-priced competition. And i am wondering that the RC-29 was the only Romisen model updated by Romisen/Dealextreme with a new driver. Anyway. The 3-Mode Romisen RC-29 is a pocket lamp impressive in any respect and highly recommendable as 1x AA allround talent and one of the very few exisiting flood-to-throw EDC's in its class. For as little as ~15 bucks (or up to 34.90€ incl. shipping when ordered from local German sellers) you get perfectly (really!) working current regulated constant brightness in a very sturdy, high-quality feel, waterproof beautifully anodized aluminum casing with thick walls and immensely attractive optics and haptics. The possibility to remove the head entirely to use the screw-in pill as perfect 180°-flooder isnt possible with EagleTac's T20C2 MkII screw-in pill (because of its attached reflector) but here it is: with the RC-29, it's truely an invaluable feature you wouldnt want to miss. Thanks to the perfect current regulation, all cell types perform efficient with absolutely constant brightness output and respectable runtimes. Anyone new to the LED flashlight subject and with modest ambitions (expenses, research, time, performance) should take the 3-Mode Romisen RC-29 and its versatiliy as reference before he/she looks for other allround pocket lamps in its class (budget lights; for starters; 1x AA; EDC). Except for the missing ultralow mode, the Romisen challenges the Fenix LD10 in every respect and also questions the acquisition of the old Fenix (2x AA) amazon bestseller LD20: you'd pay 4x more and what is your actual gain? Also feel free to compare minutely all RC-29's positive features with the latest JetBeam RRT-0 XML: The Romisen has some desirable functionality which is absent in the JetBeam model!! *FYI* In the past quite a few CPFers mentioned the (original version of) RC-29:

AA Current draw test in D10 and RC-29
Getting the head off a Romisen RC 29 II

Romisen rc-29 CR2 Aspharical- Could this be the brightest CR2 light?

Google Search: < "rc-29" >


Did i mention in my above review that i would buy eneloop cells and an eneloop charger?? No way, i've just changed my mind! And here's the reason:

You really have to see to believe it: although i intended to use it mainly as flooder (like the Xeno), i tried the 14500 cell in High-Mode with full zoom (8x) during the night. This is totally insane, no exaggeration!! It is the most amazing thrower i could imagine. A super defined and enormously(!) concentrated, bright, focused beam which throws hundreds of meters, even further than the flashlights by LED Lenser! i was able to light up traffic signs and reflectors 350-400meters away (EDIT: i have measured the distance and this distance range is reconfirmed by me!) even though at such distances the objects are tiny when looked at with the bare eye. This is, from what i can see in practice, really superior to 40$ flashlights with fixed reflectors (MagLite, JetBeam, Fenix, ..)! i am absolutely stunned! (and btw, this immense throwing capability was already known with the original 1-Mode RC-29 version w/o 14500)

The Romisen is sooo satisfying and enjoyable! This has to be now my favorite and most beloved flashlight. So much fun because it is so versatile and amazing!! Since tonight i am going to cherish the Romisen more than any other flashlights in my collection. With 14500 cell, fantastic throwing performance and in practice no heat issues to be feared! And if i need a bright flooder, with my 14500 cell i go into Med-mode and zoom out (1x..2x), no problem. The TrustFire 900mAh lasts for 2.5hours in this mode (i've tested it!); that's a looong time (e.g. outdoors for a walk). Sufficient for my needs. i will never want to miss the extreme throwing capability of the 14500 cell in High-mode .. and that's why i am *not* going to buy/use Eneloops for my admired Romisen.

Yes, i agree with some Paul. If i had to choose only 1 flashlight from my collection, i would pick without hesitation the Romisen (with a pair of 14500's and a LiIon charger) for so many factual and emotional reasons. To me, it certainly is worth more than the 10€ i paid. But this low amazing price only adds to the excitement of this super amazing torch. This is a definite keeper. I will *not* give it away or sell it. It simply provides too much joy, fun, excitement and deep satisfaction.

Thanks for the write-up. I've been wanting a Zoom-to-flood light for a while now... I own one Romisen (RC-G2 neutral Q3) and I'm impressed with the build quality for the $15 I paid for it... I may well have to try this one out. From another site they offer the RC-29 with an R5 emitter which would give out (emitter wise) 45% more light according to the seller. However, the price is about $8 more plus shipping so I guess I'd have to weigh the light increase vs. the price increase.

Hi there Kreisler, welcome to BLF, and nice job submitting a review for your first post! :) We're glad to have you here.

Very well done review, great details. Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

hi, the review was specifically written for the 3-Mode version and which eats 14500 Li-Ion's. this special modded commercial version is available on dealextreme, lightake and maybe a few other sources.

The R5 version (i am sure you referring to Shiningbeam) might be brighter on standard Alkaline .. but its driver is different (no 14500, no 3-mode; and what about perfect constant current regulation?). If you already appreciate the RC-G2 (or RC-G2 II), then i would suggest you give your copy away ("gift") and get this one.

The zooming capability of the RC-29 in combination with the 14500 Li-Ion's is a worth the acquisition. And you know what? With the Q5 emitter and the 14500 Li-Ion, my copy (dealextreme) is definitely brighter than "your" suggested RC-29 with the R5 emitter and 1.5V Alkaline (Shiningbeam)!!


Welcome to BLF, Kreisler! Well done review with lots of good pics.

I have had an RC-29 for about a year and I agree that it's a very high quality zoomer. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a waterproof zoomer for rainy conditions or surviving brief dunks in water.

Thing I don't like, and the reason I never EDC'd it, is that gorgeous tailcap. While very agressive and what I consider to be one of the sexiest tailcaps on any light, it hurts my leg when pocketed and will tear up a pair of jeans in no time.

It's also not as shock proof as you think. I dropped mine 3 feet onto a thinly carpeted floor by accident and it stopped working. I had to take it apart and resolder the driver to the pill. Now it is better than new and can be trusted as an EDC I can rely on. Before it wasn't.

Once I found the Sipik SK68 I found a more usefull flood-to-zoom light. As bright or brighter than the Romisen and the flood beam is much larger too. No care or tweezers are needed to make it a mule, either. The lens is anchored to the bezel from the inside by a threaded ring. To convert to pocket just unscrew the bezel and put it in your pocket and you have a mule with fantastic heat sinking ability and 180° of light. The Sipik is also easy on the pockets inspite of the aggressive finning. You owe it to yourself to spend the $9 and get one from a reputable source like DX.


I agree with JohnnyMac 100% re the Sipik SK68.

Also welcome to BLF, Kreisler, great first post.

thanks all for the hearty welcome!

i am going to check out the Sipik on the web (it does say "120 lumens" only harha ), hopefully i can find some detailed info re it. then i'll point out the differences to my cherished Romisen 180 lumens :)

Great forum site, i like it already!!

I don't doubt that the 14500 with the Q5 would be brighter but since I'd be running NiMH's the R5 would be brighter for my needs and on this type of light I wouldn't really need a disco mode but yeah I would like it to have a medium mode but really sometimes I enjoy a single mode driver for the simplicity of it.

Has anyone tried the RC-27?
Similar to this version of the light but in a 2xAA format and still has the Q5 (2 Mode Lo-High) but since I won't be using the LiIon I can still get the increased brightness with 3v over 1.2-1.5 on the R5 model. Also... after thinking more about it... I think in this light an XR-E would be more beneficial as in full zoom (small beam) it would be more effective and both the XR-E and XP-G would be similar in terms of how they did in full flood mode.

Edit: Just Pulled the trigger on the RC-29 R5 version... Couldn't convince myself to get used to the 2xAA form factor and that it couldn't tail-stand... I'll put up a mini-review when I get it... prolly Thurs-Fri.

hey nick, congrats to pulling de trigger! (if your 1-mode version (AA only, no 14500) doesnt satisfy you for whatever reason, you could always return the product for a full refund, so you're not risking anything except for the shipping costs.)

meanwhile i have revised the text (OP), included a few more relevant links, etc. To me, getting the 3-mode version (AA and 14500, with 180 lumens!) was very essential to the purchase. people who need the very very brightest light for budget money should look into the Xeno E03 which is a 2 years old model too (and frequently updated with slight revisions and LED updates from Farka E09, Xeno E03 V1, Xeno E03 V2, Xeno E03 V3, ..) and costs 3x as much as the Romisen and doesnt have the elegance and versatility of the RC-29 with mule mode ("zoom 0x"), extreme thrower (zoom 8x), absolutely perfect constant current regulation.

The Sipik SK68, which has the zoom function and price point in common, might be better known and more popular on BLF, but i continue to believe that this particular Romisen model is truely the best flashlight you can get for this money (~13$). Especially those who are non-flashaholics and have been buying and using (rather pricey!) MagLite's should check out this particular "old" Romisen [in fact, this reviewed Romisen is a recent model, and not the 2 years old 1-mode model!] and take it as reference for LED flashlights when they do more research and comparisons. They will come to the conclusion that even much more expensive LED flashlights are in many respects inferior to this Romisen (e.g. the hilariously overpriced best-selling Fenix LD10 and LD20).

If the potential buyer isnt willing to spend more money than ~20$ and he/she wants to buy just 1 flashlight in her/his life for all kinds of usage (i.e. a single all-round torch for indoors and outdoors and any situation and as replacement of an old 3-D MagLite), then this is the one to get: And that's true even at the time of this writing (November 2011!). I bought 3 copies!! i also own a 6.5x more expensive EagleTac T20C2 MkII with 720 lumens (currently on special sale for 89.90$) which is super bright and impressive on its own but honestly does in no way justify the 6.5x increase in expenses (13.40$ x 6.5 = 87.10$).

i wish i could return my EagleTac for a full refund and i somehow regret having bought such an expensive flashlight: i would be perfectly happy and satisfied with the Romisen as my only flashlight. i really like it sooo much, especially with the 14500 cells (i paid 5.50$ for 2 cells!!)!!!

I agree... I'm excited to get my light... In all honesty... most "normal" people wouldn't need any other light... 80-100 lumens is plenty bright for most all situations except SAR (search and rescue) type situations. With the functionality of Zoom to Flood you get the best of both worlds and it'll run on Primary AA's which are available world-wide at less than .50c a cell or less if you buy more, (Here I can get 8AA for like 3.50 USD). While I'm sure I'll buy more lights, my point is that I wouldn't "need" another light with this one.

..and even when i dont "need" light (or it), i would use mine for the fun of it. in a way, the charging of rechargeable cells is part of the fun and it extinguishes my thoughts that i have only "5 alkalines left". runtime with your model (since it has 1 mode only) will be around 2.0 hours, and thereafter another 30mins max (my estimate; maybe you could run 1 test for us..?). if that is enough for you, then cool. since i have that cheap good charger (ultrafire wf-188) i tend to use the Romisen even when i wouldnt need it. simply because it's fun and doesnt cost me extra alkalines.

"saving energy (costs". no more such thoughts! :D

(i've just come back from hunting mosquitoes in the large house i live in. the Romisen got them all! my zippo did the rest when there was no little spider around ;) )

Yeah... with rechargables (I use Tenergy's) you can get "guilt" free lumens... I need to pick up some more rechargables but as of now I have enough for my needs.

please run some runtime test (1 alkaline, 1 rechargeable) if you can :)

Great review kreisler, looks like I'll have to order one. When I joined BLF I was warned to padlock my wallet and throw away the key. I'm beginning to understand this advice now..

oh thanks. i've been streamlining the text for days now.. I wouldnt have put so much time, efforts and care in writing the text if i werent that 100.00% convinced that i am. For this money (i paid 10€ for the version by dealextreme!) there is definitely no better 1x AA flashlight out on the market. The versatility with mule, Fenix diffusers & clip, pocket rocket thrower (Beats my 100$ EagleTac, as mentioned!!), etc etc and the feel and looks .. i really cant stop enthusing about this acquisition. And it's because it's the 3-mode 14500 180lumens edition by dealextreme, and not the original 2-year old 1-mode Alkaline 100 lumens edition (which comes with a smaller number of positive features, logically).

and as i suggested earlier: this is not a torch for flashaholics because they already own pocket rockets, Fenix hyper throwers, Titanium EDC's, several copies of floody Xeno E03's, Zebralights, Klarus Gold keychain lights, and real tactical flashlights by EagleTac or Olight. no.

this is a torch for people who do not already own several modern expensive LED flashlights but just a couple of old MagLite's, dont want to spend any much money on a new light, and are looking for the best modern LED flashlight in the amazon price range between 0$ - 25$. Imho beats the Sipik, the RC-G2, the Fenix LD10, the iTP SA1, and many other well-known 1x AA flashlight models.

In any case, it is perfect as gift!! And dont forget to order a spare lens. (and if not happened yet, the overwhelming wow effect and love will set in, guaranteed!, when you insert a 14500, twist the zoom to 8x, wait for the night, go outdoors, and throw at buildings, traffic signs, .. at 250-400m distance. For 10€'s?? Craazzzziiieeeeee!!)

Since i already mentioned in my review several competing products such as Xeno and Zebralight, let's compare the features of affordable (< 100$) "mass-produced" commercial flashlights suitable as EDC, and not necessarily keychain light!, for their sheer versatility, practicability, useful light output and compactness.

DX's Romisen RC-29 Quark "X" AA Tactical Xeno E03 XML Klarus P1A Zebralight SC80
emitter Cree XP-E Q5 CW Cree XM-L T6 CW Cree XM-L T6 CW Cree XP-G R5 CW Cree XP-G R5 CW
tint options no NW / WW / High CRI NW / WW no NW / High CRI
operating voltage 1.2~4.2V 0.9~4.2V 0.8~4.2V "0.8~1.8V" 0.7~4.2V
14500 / Protected 14500 yes / yes yes / yes yes / yes yes / yes yes / limited
tailstand yes yes (for 12$ extra) yes yes yes
switch forward clicky forward clicky reverse clicky forward clicky electronic side softy
tactical momentary on no yes no yes no
ultralow Low no yes (0.3|2.7 lm) no (20|80 lm) no (11 lm) yes (0.12|2.5 lm)
brightness levels 2 5 3 2 6
extra modes 1 (strobe) 3 (strobe, SOS, beacon) 0 0 1 (strobe)
mode memory no yes no yes yes
mule mode possible yes, perfect 180° extreme flood no no no no
net weight (grams) 63.944 (41.104 in mule mode) 45.519 48.760 59 "55"
number of extended parts 3 (+ bezel crown) 4 2 (+ bezel crown) 4 3
body wall thickness (mm) 1.85 1.34 1.91 2.50 ?
length (mm)

tba (mule mode, "zoom 0x")

98.0 (zoom 1x)

108.8 (zoom 8x)




97.20 106.29 81.6
char. diameter (mm) mule 21.8, bezel 30.0 head 22.0, body 19.0 head 21.5 head 23.1, body 20.9 throughout 23.9
fits LD20 diffuser kit yes (mule mode), tight yes, very tight yes, perfectly no (23mm) no
fits clip / points to LD20 / tail yes / reversible LD20 / reversible yes / head yes / reversible
assault bezel yes no no no no
original anti-roll design yes (by bezel) yes (by clip) no yes (by clip) yes (by clip)
reverse polarity protection no yes yes yes yes
water-resistant yes (4 o-rings) yes, IPX-8 yes, 10m yes, IPX-8 yes, IPX-8
shock-resistant (yes, plastic lens) (yes) yes, GFC system yes, 1.5m FL-1 (yes)
thread lockout yes yes yes yes yes
threads anodized yes no yes tail yes, head no yes
anodization HA Type II(?) HA Type II-like haha HA Type III HA Type III HA Type III
lens plastic, aspheric glass glass glass glass
reflector white plastic aluminum LOP aluminum OP aluminum LOP aluminum OP
beam pattern mule mode vs. extreme throw floody w/ big hotspot floody throwy very floody
hotspot size N/A large less large small tba
throw 350m (zoom 8x) 80m 60m 100m FL-1 40m
CW tint impression purplish very greenish greenish less greenish least greenish
overall CW tint quality
built quality & finish
★★ ★★★★★ ★★ ★★
constant brightness
☆☆☆ ★★
ease of replacing parts
★★☆ (buy another!)
★★★★★ (10yrs warranty)
cost of upgradability
★★★★★ (buy a new one!)
☆☆☆☆ (new lego parts)
plan'n fun factor

look'n feel factor

brand awareness
★★ ★★
packaged accessories

runtime@Max (min)
43min@"180lm" (14500) 58min@280lm+ (14500)
41min@430lm (14500)
41min@245lm+ (14500)
54min@200lm (eneloop)
2.6h@"90lm" (14500) 2.0h@115lm+ (14500) 3.5h@80lm (14500) 100lm mode N/A
2.6h@90lm (eneloop)
runtimes@14500 (hrs)
0.75 / 2.6
1.0 / 2.0 / 11.1 / 49.5 / ?
0.7 / 1.0 / 3.5 0.7 / 2.5
runtimes@eneloop (hrs)
1.85 / 6.5
tba 1.0 / 4.0 / 35 1.0 / 25 0.9 / 2.6 / 7 / 23 / 3d / 29d
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ShiningBeam I-mini

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Zebralight SC51
price shipped globally
14.99$ w/o lottery

73.88$ on holiday sale

(+19% import taxes)

29.99$ 21.39$ w/o giftcard


(+19% import taxes)

I have carefully chosen these five particular models because of their immense popularity (Xeno), versatility (Romisen), lego flexibility (Quarks), low price (Klarus P-series, Jetbeam BA-series) and state-of-the-art efficiency (Zebralight SC80) or size (Zebralight SC51). Each of them could be used as near-to-perfect EDC, and at the end of the day a personal preference regarding knock-out criteria would be the purchase decision maker. If money doesnt matter, then i would buy them all and use in EDC rotation. Personally, i do define "EDC flashlight" also with "something good which can be replaced easily". Why replace? Because you carry it everyday with you, it drops out of your hand, a car may roll over it and semi-crush it, it may get lost somewhere (because it's an EDC but not a keychain light), it may get stolen, or it gets broken for some good reason (overuse, abuse, misuse). To me it makes sense *not* to carry the best and most valuable things with me or on me. I could carry my ~110$ worth EagleTac T20 with me as EDC .. but no, to me, an EDC should be much smaller and less valuable/expensive. And since i already ordered a keychain light (Lumintop Worm SS), i surely dont need an additional EDC flashlight on me, such as the Romisen or the quite fantastic (yet bulky?) Quark as depicted in the customized compilation.

Anyone who already owns one of the four, certainly doesnt need any of the other three. If money really doesnt matter but i had to choose a single model only, then the winner with a high score of 90.0% in this (unfair) comparison would probably be the way overpriced Quark which seems to offer the best compromise between neat runtimes, brightness, new LED technology, flexibility and versatility (while it doesnt offer that much more than the Romisen, check the table!). It is not the perfect (~99.5%) EDC but there isnt much to criticize about it either except for its price and moderate efficiency compared to: The Zebralight is only interesting for its efficient use of standard cells (Lithium primary, Alkaline, NiMH) and its cute little size and weight; it's a wide(!) angle flooder with no throw! The Xeno has top-notch built quality, looks and finish, is practically indestructible and boasts with bursts of brightness, and last but not least comes from a very likeable company and original manufacturing site, Zhongwin, which manufactures LED lights and acts as OEM and ODM company since 1998. And finally the dealextreme's Romisen .. like the Quark a near-to-perfect allround flashlight with good runtimes and much bright light. If the Quark was actually worth its 80 bucks, then this Romisen's corrected value should be 49.95$. Hope you understand what i mean

well you cant get this light for 13, it costs 15, you should buy 3 and it will be 13.80 (1.50 for bulk)

also in your table the clickie is forward but no momentary on, could you explain this

and thanks for so deep and nice review

Yes, you are right. i forgot about the bulk freight fee (1.50$). Apart from that, the price seem to vary a little. Today's price is 14.99$ (instead of 15.10$). And there are no more copies on amazon wtf. Maybe this model is selling (too) well these days after this review lol (but i dunno for sure how well it is selling). I wouldnt order more than 3, because of your country's custom clearance fees and import turnover taxes. Yeah, the 1.50$ extra fee s*cks .. but you get an international tracking number.

the switch:

when you half press it, this forward action/movement will induce/establish electrical connection and the light turns on (e.g. in Med-mode). release the button and the light turns off. half-push the button again and you're in Strobe-mode!

For sending in morse code, the light should not cycle thru the modes when you continue to half press the button. If a torch features "momentary activation" or "tactical momentary on", then it means that you can send in morse code. Clearly, with this Romisen (by dealextreme), you can not!

( Reverse clicky means that electrical connection is established when you release the button, not push. )

On the other hand, the 1-Mode version sold by Shiningbeam, GoingGear, .. does have that "tactical momentary on"-feature because it runs on a very different driver.

Kreisler.. Im pretty sure your fingers must have some callus on them.

Wow you type a LOT!

good to read about all this.. and this is the longest Review ever seen! wow!
It looks like a nice allround flashlight for non-flashoholics.

I have the Sipik throw to zoom, but it doesnt have any modes.. which is a real pity.

the Romisen is defenitely nice!