Review: The little red AA host (fron CNQ) White wall shots added.

B1 1xAA Red Shell Flashlight Host Kit

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★

The LED and driver are not included in the kit.


Battery: AA
Switch: Reverse clicky
Modes: 3 with the driver used
LED Type: XP-G2 1D tint used
Lens: Glass
Tailstands: Yes
Price Payed: $14.61 delivered Australian
Date Ordered: 8.12.12


  • All the components are reasonably machined. Everything went together the way it should. Glass lens. O'rings are a good fit. Pill and tailcap switch retainer ring appear to be copper (could be brass). An excellent beam pattern.


  • Tailcap switch. I thought that I had melted the switch internally soldering it onto the battery board, but after a lot of head scratching it was found that if the solder tabs coming of the switch had any load at all put on them the clicky stuck. If the tabs were soldered on with no presure on the tabs it worked fine but when installed in the tailcap it would stick. Needless to say it is now in the bin and an alternate used.

Features / Value: ★★★

This is my first AA flashlight. Would I call it good value? Perhaps, I would of given this flashlight 5 stars without hesitation if the switch was a good one. Unfortunately it was not and the replacement switch added $2.00 to the cost of the host. The LED was about $6.00 and the driver $8.50. A total cost of $31.00. The glow in the dark lens o'ring works for a short time and if nothing else will keep the outdoors out. The battery tube is solid and the o'rings a really snug fit. All the threads are fine and are a bigger diameter on the head end. The anodising, if it is, has a metal flake look to it.

Design / Build Quality: ★★★

The build quality is good. The battery tube is solid and can be engraved on the three flat surfaces. The OP reflector is aluminium and again is very solid. A split ring or lanyard can easily be installed and the flashlight will still tailstand. The orange tailcap boot does not look out of place. The red even if you do not like the color will be hard to lose. Everything scews together nicely without a lot of play in the threads.

Battery Life & light Output:★★★★

I do not have the ability to check led light output so whilst doing the run times I took heat measurements as this should give a general idea when light output starts to drop. On a Turnigy 2200mAh LSD battery charged to 1.42 volts, starting temp was 17 degees C. Maximum temp was reached at 40minutes which was 45 degrees . It stayed at this temp until the 55 minute mark where temp dropped to 43 degrees. At 1 hour temp was 40 degrees and continued to fall until the flashlight turned of at the 72 minute mark. Light output at this time was very dull. Battery voltage measured .92 volts.

With the combination of LED and driver used I was blown away with how this flashlight performed. The nightshots are below. There are no rings at all and again another first for me is the OP reflector. The beam is a good combination of hot spot and spill. If anything the only fault I have is low is low with this driver. Not low enough, but this is not a fault with the host. I have been spoilt by the low on the KD 3040 8x7135 V2 drivers low.

Summary: ★★★

This is a really nice host with a major flaw, the switch. I have not contacted the seller with the problem as it was easier for me to just replace it. I really like this host and the way it has worked out even though it cost more than my HD-2010. Switch aside I would consider buying another for a present with engraving for another $2.00. I ordered a couple of NiZN batterries for this after not finding any 3.6 batteries that suit this driver before I had it operational. If I was being honest with myself it works like a gem on NiMH rechargables perfectly.

Now for some pictures.

The tailcap with IOS tailcap switch installed and spring shortend.

The switch was modified by chamfering the middle holes as these are for resistors and if the switch retainer ring touches these the flashlight will not turn of. The switch was soldered on the outer ring to get it to work in another flashlight so please ignore it. With this close up it looks horrible, I can only see this in the photo, not looking at it.

Here is the driver installed in the head. If it was 1 mm longer it would not have fitted length wise. it really is a tight fit. I'm really happy with the way the driver works. Memory is virtually instantanious and the modes well spaced when using a rechargable. As mentioned though I like a really low low which is good for sneaking around the house but this low gives you away.

The refector appears to have a course OP which works really well with this LED. You can clearly see the lens o'ring here.

The Battery tube is very solid and should be able to withstand any abuse thrown at it.

The next two pictures give you an idea the size of the flashlight against a AA and 18650 battery. The better half only volunteered her dainty hand when I told here she would be famous on BLF. (She is not that silly ).

Night shots. The plant in the middle was 14 meters away. The pictures are pretty much what you see in real life. Current readings are misleading as this is a boost driver and only one AA battery used. All measurements were taken at the tailcap.

.3 amp low. There appears like there is no light ouput at all but indoors this is really bright.

.5 amps medium. There is a huge difference in light output even though there is only .2 amps difference

And finally high. Readings varied from 1.5 to 1.8 amps. The light output to me was impresive and has endeared me to this flashlight. I did take pictures out to 50 meters but they only showed up on high hence the shorter distance these were taken at.

Overall I have fallen for this combination of components. The small size and light output along with the ability to get batteries anywhere has won me over. If the NiZn ever turn up I will add some comparison pictures.

The followowing pictures are taken with the flashlights about 400mm from a white surface. The green tint is only visible on the SK68. For some reason my camera likes to add a shade of green to pictures.

First up is the SK68 clone single mode from MF running a AA rechargable battery for comparison. This is my EDC and is only used with 14500 batteries. Its had a hard life and is like its user, a bit dimmer than it once was.

Secondly is the P60 MF 3 mode dropin.

Thirdly is a P60 XP-G2 dropin in KD reflector.

And finally is the review flashlight.

Sorry about the formating and text as I have used the review template and even managed to bugger that up.

Nice review, and thanks for posting this! I've been looking at that little host on trying to decide if it was worth checking out. Looks like it is. Also, on that you have a way of measuring actual emitter current along with tailcap current? I'm curious to see if it delivers the 600ma/1cell and 1000ma/2cell outputs it claims.

Nice review on a decent little light. Do you have a link for that driver?

Awesome review, thanks for sharing.

It seams the tail switch is the weakness with all these build your own light kits, it’s a shame because otherwise they are all a great deal and fun to build as well.

Match. I have wondered the same as you about the readings at the LED. I will have to unsolder a wire at the led to do these tests if I'm correct. Being the lazy bugger I am, hence the DNF, you may have sweet talked me into it, but not tonight as its 11.30 pm. Thanks for the persuation.

Sorry JohnyMac if the link above did not work. I seem to make a lot of working things like the template used not work. Here's the link. I haven't done any long time runs yet so can't report on reliability. Touch wood so far I'm a fan of it.

It sounds like you have had the same problem in the past. It was just lucky I had the other switch. It was being used in the Solarforce XP-G2 P60 mod flashlight that now has the stock switch back in it. After this build, if there is a good AAA host I would like to do something similar to it. Cheers.

Yes I had them break on more than one. These switched from DX are an exact replacement for the stock switch.

Thanks E.

Thanks for the great review.

I have that driver, sitting unused as-yet. Nice to finally see one powered up !

Thank you for the review with all the wonderful beamshots. It certainly looks like this driver is pulling its weight in this combination of host/emitter/battery. TY :-)

Thanks for the review. I have been buying a lot of these OEMs but have not tried that one yet. Seems like for every one it helps if you have some other spare parts laying around.

Nice review! Been wanting this host for a while! Just got in some AA drivers from DX and what a sweet place to put one of those.

Bank Account Punishment!!!


Good job .

A sk68 clone competitor? :smiley:

I find it hard to compare reflector lights with zoomies as the light patterns are just to different. With the SK68 zoomed out to show the LED die it would slaughterter this kit light on throw but would have a very tiny hotspot and no spill where as zoomed in the light radiates a light with no discernable hot spot and all spill where the kit light has a large hot spot and reasonable spill if that makes sense. Cheers.

Thanks for the review. :) I'm guessing the reflector fits a XM-L?

This hole for the LED is just big enough for it to fit over the square on the XP-G. If it was drilled out to a larger size it would chew into the tapered side of the reflector as there is no flat at the base. I would not recommend it. Cheers.

Darn, thanks though. :)

Here is a link to a short review on the driver.